Financial Incentives Drive Mississippi Child Support Enforcement

Financial Incentives Drive Mississippi Child Support Enforcement

child support enforcementChild support collections in Mississippi have increased by 61 percent over the past 8 years due to increasingly aggressive enforcement tactics and an incentive program that rewards coming after men.

Oh, and if you can’t pay because you’re unemployed, then “get a job.”

The Clarion-Ledger reports Mississippi’s Division of Child Support Enforcement collected $314 million in fiscal 2011 compared to $195 million in fiscal 2003.

The difference of $119 million over a span of just 8 years is largely contributed to increased enforcement and financial incentives.

Though it received praise for its cost efficiency in 2002, the paper reports, the state’s Division of Child Support Enforcement lost an estimated $1.14 million through penalties and reduced incentive awards by failing to meet minimum federal standards in other areas: establishing support orders and determining paternity.

But thanks to financial motivation, enforcement has stepped up and the agency was awarded $3.8 million in incentives in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

To enforce payments, the agency can suspend drivers and professional licenses, deny passports and put liens on property.

Also, it does not matter if you are unemployed due to the current economic situation.

Jayna Estes, a regional director of the agency, told the paper judges will establish child support guidelines based on the minimum wage even if the paying parent does not have a job. She says that encourages fathers to get a job.

Easier said then done considering the fact that in May the national unemployment rate was 9.2 percent and the unemployment rate in Mississippi was even higher at 10.3 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This continues to reinforce the point that most men who cannot pay child support are not willingly unemployed and simply refusing to pay; they are unable to pay.

If you need help with a child support modification, contact the divorce lawyers for men at Cordell & Cordell.

Use the Child Support Calculator on DadsDivorce.com for an estimated amount of how much child support you should be paying.


Matt Allen

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