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Deadbeat parents off the roads

Posted by: under Civil liberties Updated: January 11, 2010 - 11:46 AM

Whistleblower frequently gets calls about deadbeat parents shirking child support payments. But one reader had a complaint about the enforcement remedies the state can use to get a non-custodial parent to pay up. The woman’s brother owes child support for his two children, but he lost his job in the construction business a few years ago. Here’s what she wrote: 

“With no job, he was unable to pay child support. As a result, his (driver’s) license was revoked by the state about a year ago. With no license, he can't drive to a job to make money. With no money, he can't get a lawyer to get his license back. The vicious cycle continues.
 
I am in no way advocating for deadbeat dads, but I believe the license revocation penalty is unnecessary and only keeps people under the gigantic thumb of the government with no way out.”
 
According to its website, the Minnesota Department of Human Services can ask the Department of Public Safety to suspend a driver’s license if the non-custodial parent owes past due support that is at least three times the monthly support requirement and the parent is not abiding by a court-approved written payment agreement. The state can take other actions, such as intercepting lottery winnings or a state income tax refund and suspending hunting and fishing licenses.
 
Do actions like these help when it comes to collecting child support? Should the state be allowed to use tools like driver’s license suspension?
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