- Posted May 2, 2009 by
South Vienna, Ohio
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Family Law & Child Support Corruption
The simple results of the ACFC child support survey are listed below. A full report including the numerical basis, variance, and meaning of each result is in progThe simple results of the ACFC child support survey are listed below. A full report including the numerical basis, variance, and meaning of each result is in progress in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley and will be published in the near future.
According to the survey, 13.1 % of child support payers (child support payers) are custodial fathers, .6 % custodial mothers, 80.5 % noncustodial fathers, 1.2 % noncustodial mothers, and 4.6 % other.
9.5 % of child support payers are satisfied with the amount of time they spend with their children, 90.5 % are not satisfied.
82.0 % of child support payers have experienced access and visitation denial; 18.0 % have not.
Of the 82.0 % that have experienced access and visitation denial, in 17.7 % of cases, the court did something to enforce visitation; in 82.3 % of cases, the court did not do anything to enforce visitation.
Of those that spent time in court concerning visitation rights, 25.4 % spent under $1000; 24.1 % spent $1001- 5000; 27.7 % spent $5001-20,000; 7.9 % spent $20,001- 50,000; and 3.8 % spent $50,001- 100,000 on court and attorney fees; and in 11.3 % of cases there was no billing error.
In 41.2 % of states where children live, there are social service agencies that assist in resolving visitation problems; 20.5 % of states did not possess these agencies and 38.3 % of people responding were not sure whether or not these programs exist.
6.5 % of people surveyed received effective assistance in resolving these problems; 43.1 % did not receive effective assistance; 8.4% claimed that their state has no such program; 9.5 % have not had visitation problems; 32.4 % have not contacted agencies for help.
54.5 % of people surveyed have experienced billing error by the child support agency; 45.5 % have not.
Of those experiencing a billing error, 7.9 % have overpaid and 92.1 % have underpaid.
Of those experiencing a billing error, 45.1% spent under $1000; 31.4 % spent $1001- $5000; 17.9 % spent $5001- $20,000; 4.9 % spent $20,001- $50,000; and .7% spent $50,000-$100,000.
In 90.8 % of cases, the child support payer tried to get the child support agency to fix the error; in 9.2% of cases, s/he did not.
In those cases where the child support payer tried to get the child support agency to fix the error, the child support payer was successful 38.5 % of the time and unsuccessful 61.5 % of the time.
To fix billing errors, the child support agency took 1 week in 27.8 % of cases, 1 month in 21.0 % of cases, 1 year in 21.2 % of cases, 2 years in 3.4 % of cases, 3-5 years in 5.4 % of cases, and over 5 years in 21.2 % of cases.
Regarding a billing error, the number of calls made to a child support enforcement case worker was 1-5 calls in 44.0 % of cases, 6-10 in 23.3 % of cases, 11-20 in 10.9 % of cases, and over 20 calls in 21.8 % of cases.
In 29.7 % of cases, the case worker was courteous and responsive to the call; in 70.3% of cases, s/he was not.
Concerning errors of the child support agency, 20.7 % of errors were mathematical errors, 16.5 % were the child support agency's failure to record payments made by the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER, 4.1 % regarded the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER being charged for welfare reimbursement when the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER was not aware his/her child was on welfare, 1.7 % were failure to stop child support obligation when child reached the age of emancipation, 3.9 % were because the parent receiving child support incorrectly reported that the other parent owed money, 13.8 % of errors were the failure of the child support agency to update a child support order with a downward or upward modification or later court ruling, and 29.8 % of errors were for a reason other than those listed.
While paying the custodial parent directly, 22.9 % of child support payers have been billed by a child support agency for child support already paid (and can be proven paid) because the child was on welfare without the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER being notified; this is not a problem in 77.1 % of cases.
. If the above was a problem, the agency honored the receipts and presented the correct claim of the amount owed 33.8 % of the time; the agency did not do this 66.2 % of the time.
. Child support is paid directly to the custodial parent in 28.1 % of cases; it is not paid directly in 71.9 % of cases.
When child support is paid directly to the custodial parent, 32.4 % child support payers have been billed by the agency claiming they owe money to the child support agency; 67.6 % of child support payers have not been billed by the agency.
In 43.0 % of cases, the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER has been subjected to punitive measures as a result of a billing error; in 57.0 % of cases, s/he has not.
These punitive measures are as follows: lien on property (19.5 %), wage garnishment (26.7 %), loss of driver's license (1.5 %), income tax refund interception (15.9 %), negative credit report (6.7 %), seizure of bank accounts or other assets (3.1 %) and other (26.7 %).
22.4 % of child support payers feel the child support amount is reasonable; 77.6 % do not feel it is set at a reasonable amount.
47.1 % of child support payers have had problems getting credit or buying a home because of incorrect information on their credit report; 52.9 % have not had this problem.
Of the child support payers that have wage garnishments, 8.3 % are because they were behind in child support and the court ordered it, 39.1 % because wage garnishments are automatic in the child support payer's state, 24.1 % because the custodial parent requested it, 6.3 % because the custodial parent is/was on welfare, and 22.3 % because of other reasons.
22.0 % of child support payers pay by cash, 33.7 % by check, 5.2 % by money order, 50.7 % by garnishment, and 8.2 % by voluntary pay allotment.
9.4 % of child support payers have received notices and/or demands for payment from more than one state for the same child support claim; 90.6 % have not.
Reasons that child support payers are behind in payment are 9.7 % because the monthly amount is set too high, .6 % because of penalties and interest, 12.0 % because of loss of job, 4.6 % because of billing error, .6 % because of welfare reimbursement, 1.0 % because of illness, 2.9 % because of disability, 21.0 % because of other reasons, and this question is not applicable to 47.7 % of those surveyed.
9.0 % of child support payers have been jailed due to child support issues; 91.0 % have not.
Of those jailed due to child support issues, the person who posted bail was the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER in 8.0 % of cases, parents of CHILD SUPPORT PAYER in 17.3 % of cases, spouse in 14.7 % of cases, significant other in 1.3 % of cases, friend in 10.7 % of cases, and other in 48.0 % of cases.
Of those jailed due to child support issues, the person who finally paid the amount claimed as owed was the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER in 42.0 % of cases, parents of CHILD SUPPORT PAYER in 8.0 % of cases, spouse in 8.0 % of cases, significant other in 3.4 % of cases, friend in 3.4 % of cases, and other in 35.2 % of cases.
33.6 % of child support payers have been denied access to their children because they were behind in child support payments; 66.4 % have not.
20.4 % of child support payers have reduced contact with their children or abandoned their child/ parent contact altogether as a result of a conflict with the custodial parent over a child support billing error; 79.6 % have not.
4.8 % of child support payers are paying child support for a child who was proven by DNA testing to not be their child; 95.2 % are not.
60.1 % of child support payers have a second family that s/he is supporting; 39.9 % do not.
Of the child support payers with a second family, 61.0 % have suffered hardship due to a child support billing error; 39.0 % have not.
29.9 % of child support payers with a second family are also supporting a child from the new spouse who doesn't get child support from their ex; 70.1 % are not.
22.6 % of child support payers have had a tax refund intercepted as a result of a billing error when they were actually current in their child support; 77.4% have not.
Of the child support payers that have had their tax refund intercepted, 29.0 % got their money back while 71.0 % did not.
16.3 % of child support payers have filed for bankruptcy as a result of money being spent for child support billing errors, punitive child support collections, or other child support or custody related issues; 83.7 % have not.
When unable to resolve a child support billing error on their own, 24.4 % of child support payers could afford an attorney to represent them while 75.6 % could not afford an attorney.
When unable to afford an attorney, 10.0 % of child support payers were able to get free assistance while 90.0 % could not.
12.1 % of child support payers could find an attorney willing to sue the child support agency to recover civil damages as a result of grossly negligent child support billing error that the state agency knew or should have known was false; 87.9 % could not.
3.2 % of child support payers have filed criminal charges against a child support agency for civil rights violations, false certification, or mail fraud as a result of a grossly negligent child support billing error that the state agency knew or should have known was false; 96.8 % have not.
Of those who filed charges, in 18.4 % of cases, the U.S. Attorneys an/or Postal Inspectors took appropriate action to correct misconduct on the part of the child support agencies; in 44.8 % they did not, and in 36.8 % of cases, it is not known if appropriate action was taken.
The mean amount spent by the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER on attorney fees since the divorce is $12,016.21.
In 40.4 % of cases, someone has helped the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER pay attorney or court fees; in 59.4 % the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER has received no help and the question is not applicable in .2 % of cases.
If the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER has received assistance in paying fees, the mean amount was $6,308.56.
42.2% of Child support payers have received a notice from the child support agency stating that they are behind in their child support when in reality the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER was current in child support payments; 57.8 % of Child support payers have not received a notice with this claim.
In the cases where the CHILD SUPPORT PAYER did receive this type of notice, the mean amount of the child support billing error was $6,625.21.
3.7 % of child support payers feel that the performance of the child support agencies was very good, 4.4 % feel it was good, 19.3 % feel it was fair, 24.0 % feel it was poor, and 48.6 % feel it was very poor.
3.7 % of child support payers feel that the performance of the courts in dealing with custody and visitation issues was very good, 1.6 % feel it was good, 7.4 % feel it was fair, 19.5 % feel it was poor, and 69.6 % feel it was very poor.