Corrupt CT
Bringing corruption to a whole new level.

Robert Franklin, Esq.  (Original post, 2012)

Note: This article from 2012 is extremely relevant to day as most states are engaging in a system of “stacking” where child support payments made are held in suspension accounts and then added to the cumulative amount reported to the federal government as “collected child support”.  The result?  A massive overpayment that increases the dollar for dollar matching funding for every dollar collected in child support. 
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“Then there’s the fact that Washington pays states 66 cents for every dollar of €0-administrative costs they incur in squeezing non-custodial parents. That of course means that the more money you spend in administrative costs, the more you get from the feds.

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The United States government spends over $499 for child support enforcement for every $1 it spends to enforce access and visitation by non-custodial parents. Thais the news from a document entitled Payments to States for Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs issued by the filescacoaaliDepartment of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. It’s a breakdown of expenditures for various programs in the recent past and budgeted for the near future. Here’s a link to the document which is an real eye-opener.

First the good news. The Office of Child Support Enforcement knows that keeping fathers involved in their children’s lives is good for all concerned, particularly the kids. It also knows that non-custodial fathers are a lot more likely to pay the child support they owe when mothers don’t obstruct access to their children.

The proposal also requires states to establish access and visitation responsibilities in all initial child support orders. The proposal also would encourage states to undertake activities that would support access and visitation. Implementing domestic violence safeguards is a critical component of this new state responsibility. These services will not only improve parent-child relationships and outcomes for children, but they also will result in improved collections. Research shows that when fathers are engaged in the lives of their children, they are more likely to meet their financial obligations. This creates a double win for children an engaged parent and more financial security.

Great. So when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, what do they do? The actual expenditures for 2010, the most recent year for which those figures are available, were $4,993,417,000 for child support enforcement including incentive payments to states and $10,000,000 for access and visitation support. Now, don’t blame the administrative agency for those radically unequal expenditures; the $10 million allocated for access and visitation is capped at that number by law. That’s right, our elected representatives in Washington refuse to spend more than that to promote children”s relationships with their fathers.

Back in 2010, I posted this piece on the respective expenditures by the State of Texas for child support enforcement and visitation. Back then, Attorney General Gregg Abbott was crowing about having received a $500,000 grant from Washington for access and visitation support, so I tried to figure out how much the state spent on support enforcement. My quick-and-dirty figuring suggested the figure was about $257 million. I was wrong. The figures in the DHHS (updated to 2012) document for expenditures for each state show that in fact, Texas received a whopping $378 million for child support enforcement versus just $702,000 for access and visitation. That’s about in line with the 499:1 national ratio.

And, as I said in my piece two years ago, if you’re trying to figure the relative values assigned by our current system of custody and support to custodial and non-custodial parents, that 499:1 ratio is about as good a measure as their is.

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