SENATE PASSES BILL CREATING “DEADBEAT PARENTS MOST WANTED LIST”

 

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation that creates a “deadbeat parents most wanted list” of financially-delinquent parents who are substantially late or behind on child support payments. The bill (S.4114), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), is intended to locate parents who owe more than $10,000 in child support payments.

    “Money is owed to children and families throughout New York City and State because parents are not holding true to their commitment of child support,” said Senator Golden. “The dollar figure is alarming and that it why we must increase our efforts to ensure timely and satisfactory collection. The collection of child support payments has escalated to the point where we must ask for the public’s help in notifying us as to where the deadbeat parents are. And furthermore, the fear of public humiliation may also encourage individuals to stop shortchanging their children.”

    Statistics show that in 2009, more than $648 million that was owed to New York’s children went uncollected, including $317 million owed to New York City children.

    The legislation would require the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to compile, disclose and publish a “deadbeats most wanted list” of individuals who are late or behind in their child support obligations under a court administrative order. Before posting, the OTDA will attempt to notify the individual about the potential posting and provide him or her the opportunity to either pay the child support, or agree with the child support collection agency to make payments.

    The list would include the individual’s name, physical description, last known address and photograph, if available, and will be posted on the OTDA website and made available to local child support collection units. An individual’s information would be removed from the list upon payment of the balance of child support owed, making three consecutive payments, or providing court documentation that they are not responsible for the payments.

    The bill has been sent to the Assembly.