The court reviews several factors before allowing a divorce to proceed. Before spouses can part ways, the judge has a legal obligation to make sure their children will be properly cared for. The purpose of child support is to guarantee that a child can financially maintain their prior standard of living. These ongoing payments provide for a child’s food, clothing, education, health care expenses, and more.
Unfortunately, there are many delinquent child support cases in California. When an obligor fails to provide payments, the custodial parent may struggle to afford their child’s daily needs and general necessities. To help these parents, California lawmakers have drafted and presented Assembly Bill 1498. This bill would require the Department of Child Support Services to create a website that lists delinquent parents who owe more than $5,000 in child support.
This regularly updated website would provide the following information to the public:
- The delinquent party’s name
- The delinquent party’s photograph
- The amount of child support owed
- The number of children
- The delinquent party’s last known zip code
Per the bill, the Department of Child Support Services also has the authority to post profiles of its “top child support deadbeats” across various social media platforms. State lawmakers are hoping that this act of public shaming will encourage delinquent parents to make their payments. As Assembly man Tom Lackey, who wrote the bill, explained to ABC 7, “What we’re trying to do is use a very effective tool called peer pressure that actually allows people to share their behavior in a positive way because where we need to focus is not so much on the offender, but we have to be reminded that there’s a very, very serious victim here and that’s the children.”
To be fair, this policy won’t affect parents who receive state assistance or are going through bankruptcy proceedings. It also won’t impact parents who are currently in jail or prison.
When a delinquent parent hasn’t made payments in over a year, the Department of Child Support Services will contact the custodial parent and ask if they can post the offender’s information on the public website. If the custodial parent is embarrassed or has privacy concerns, the Department of Child Support Services will refrain from posting the delinquent parent’s information.
Otherwise, officials will update the website regularly and only remove a listing if the parent in question makes consistent court-ordered support payments for at least 90 days. There are still concerns about how this website will function in regards to retroactive listings and parents who owe child support for children who are now legally adults. Should the bill pass, these issues will need to be addressed before the website goes live in 2021.
Struggling with Child Support Payments?
Contact the Fresno child support lawyers at the Arnold Law Group, APC if you have questions about child maintenance or require a modification. We can review your financial situation and explain your legal options. Our legal team also provides guidance and representation to parents who need to enforce a child support order.
Call The Arnold Law Group, APC at (559) 900-1263 to schedule a consultation.