DHS: Unemployment Impacting Child Support

By: Ashley Conroy Email
By: Ashley Conroy Email

Sarah Criss is a single mom of two children. One is married and on his own, but her daughter still lives at home.

And for years, Criss supported both children on a nurses' salary, until she had to go on disability. Since then, it has been a struggle for her to receive a child support payment.

"We depend on that money," said Criss. "That money is grocery money. It's food for the children. It's utility money."

But her case isn't like the '10 most wanted' faces pictured by DHS. Most of those guys are yet to be found and owe thousands of dollars.

Criss says, in her case, often they receive just enough money so the father gets by, without going to jail.

"The child never received the full amount. We would receive a percentage, which would keep the absent parent out of jail," Criss said.

DHS says, since the economy has gone down more and more, cases have popped up around the state of parents not being able to pay child support.
Director of child support enforcement, Wallie Naylor, says last year the agency had about 4 times as much collected in unemployment payments. So far, this year is looking the same.

"We are going to have at least $4 million intercepted again in unemployment payments," said Naylor.

Of the 360,000, about 55 percent have a court order on them. About half are not paying because of unemployment. But services are offered to help them find a job.

"Job training, job prep, you know, if he needs to learn how to present himself in such a way to get a job," Naylor said.

Criss says, in her case, the father is working. But after getting help with DHS, she's confident that her daughter can get the support she needs.

"But do persevere and someone will eventually listen to you," said Criss.

DHS also says when a parent can't pay because of unemployment, often that means they go back to the court system and both parties' pay is adjusted.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by dg Location: Collinsville on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    I have been dealing with the local DHS since about 1998. I have had many case workers and the only way that anything gets done is to call and send letters and still it takes forever. The minimum time to do adjustment is 6 months. If it took me 6 months to do my job i would be fired. Oh and while deadbeats are getting a break the other parent is raising the kids. Kids still have to eat unemployed or not. It is a unfair system and when you try to get information they treat you like you are the criminal. What is horrible is they can pay anything in the month and no action will be taken against them no matter how far they are behind. These caseworkers should go to an ettiquette class for how to treat people. There is nothing you can do because they get paid if they do something or they don't. If you could afford an attorney then you would not be in this position in the first place. DHS should be evaluated for performance and courtesy and produce some results!!!!!
  • by DHS does not care about children on Jul 3, 2010 at 10:18 PM
    Children First, you are a prime example of ______ _____ _____ _______ & him keeping ___ _______ ______. He needs to be kept in jail where he can't procreate more children when he can't pay for the ones he has & where he can't spend his money for himself but they garnish it for the children. My son is raising his child alone without the assistance of the child's mother or the government & DEFINITELY without assistance from DHS! I agree OUR KIDS... but sometimes it's the mothers also!!!
  • by Our Kids are suffering at the hands of thier own fathers Location: Somewhere waiting on these men to step up to the plate on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:24 PM
    I am a working mother. If I can find a Job so can these men. DHS is looking for a cop out to make thier work load lighter. Not meaning to be judgemental toward the system but if they can't do thier jobs and collect the child support for our children then they need to step down and let other child support advocates step in and handle the positions! Children and Elderly people are allways the ones to suffer! If a Man, Father a Child. It shouldnt matter if he has to walk the streets and pick up empty bottles and cans. Sell peanuts on the corner or mow yards in 200 degree weather. He should do just that for the wellness of his Child. There is no excuse for a man not taking care of his responsiblities. So wat is DHS saying? For the father to lay and make the babies then make it all the women issues to raise and pay for the things the child need on thier own. Anything is possible and paying Child support is one of them!
  • by Children First Location: Mississippi on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:11 PM
    There is a difference between a man trying to take care of his children and one that don't. I must say My child's Dad is most definately a DEAD BEAT DAD! The only way I have ever been able to get Child Support out of him is to have him locked up. Then he rely on his family members to pay. After another year of non payment. He ends up right back in the same situation. In Jail and exspects family to pay. He is 10,000.00 behind right Now and all he's set to pay is 150.00 a month. The support order that's on him were based on minumin wage in the early 2000's! He can walk around in brand new clothes and don't even contribute toward school clothes, shoes or anything else for our child. He has went out and made 5 other children and we are married but separted and hopefully soon to be divorced but he is not doing for those children either! Now That is what U Call a DEAD BEAT DAD! I have No Mercy for DEAD BEAT FATHER'S B/C They have no mercy for our Children!
  • by Just trying to survive on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM
    Some of the men that are paying child support should be given even a small break in times of hardship. I have picked my husbands check up before when they didnt have enough work for him to make his regular hours and after they took out chil support and taxes we had $50 for our bills, groceries, and whatever else. that is crazy. These men have to be able to support themselves and the families that live in their homes too...and what about the custodial mothers who won't even get a job to help support their OWN child!!?? These men shouldn't have to do it ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by End Slavery NOW Location: everywhere on Jun 25, 2010 at 05:28 PM
    All I have to say about DHS & government run businesses, is keep your legs together & your zipper zipped. That will take care of a lot of social problems. Courts, lawyers & government workers are in it for the money - bottom line. They do not care about others who are not like them. They just want to sit in judgement that doesn't interfere with their lives or business. It's my tax dollars who eventually ends up paying what that dead beat dad or that hop-along cassidy neglected to pay. I raised my children without government assistance. They joined the military, took life by the horns & earned their own way in the world by working hard. By raising your brood on public assistance & DHS you've fallen into the slavery of the system. I hope one day you will get out, but how many of your children will get out without endless help from endless government assistance? Family is for support, they are where feelings exist; never saw any feelings in any government agency.
  • by momdoingitalone Location: mississippi on Jun 25, 2010 at 06:39 AM
    I apologize for not staying with the article that I was posting on, but this is a big gripe of mine. I have been on unemployment before and I thought they asked if you paid child support and told you if you did even if you did not tell them, it would be deducted from your benefits. Although I know that the custodial parent might not receive as much as they were receiving, it is better than nothing. And I know that there are a lot more decent non-custodial parents out there than what my children have that want to do what is right for there children and the custodial parent should understand when someone is out of work most of the time it is not by there choice because it is not fun to try to pay the bills on unemployment!
  • by momdoingitalone Location: mississippi on Jun 24, 2010 at 08:56 AM
    It is all MS politics as far as I am concerned. I have raised three children own my own without any public assistance, because my ex is "self-employed" and cheats on his tax returns-always showing a loss so therefore he does not pay what is due his children. I went through DHS to try to get my child support amended. WHAT A JOKE!! Not only did the lawyer they assigned to my case not seem to care, she would not even "allow" me to go to the hearing; the chancery judge was biased in the case because of his friendship with my ex's mother. It was a total waste of my time. It took more than 3 months for them to serve him with the papers, it is a joke. What most men do not understand that the meager support they give is not enough in most cases to even feed the child for the month. My ex has never contributed any extra to our children.
  • by bubba Location: still here on Jun 23, 2010 at 05:30 PM
    many of the words missing on my post is due to the system taking them out before they post what is said on the post
  • by Bubba Location: on the 2nd floor of the court house on Jun 23, 2010 at 04:58 PM
    I have dealt with the child support system and they try to kill the person that pays. I was late by 2 weeks once and I was treated like I had killed someone and the money was paid before my court date along with (attorney fees and court, and process serving fees) I had to sit there and watch people come in and out that owed thousands of dollars and watch them joke with the judge and my lil bill was 200.00 and it was due to the wife utting it in her purse and it ended at up at the bottom of her purse. That mistake costed me an extra 300.00 but i bet the attorney for the CHILD SUPPORT agency was happy they got their money. IT _____ for a person that is trying to do what is right but one time and u are screwed by the money making system. They don't care bout the child it is their own pocket they care about. O let me tell u about the time I paid the support AND the system put it in the wrong account. I had to take off work and pay my bank for a copy of the check and still show up in court
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