Child support system benefiting from unemployment

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - They can't print the checks fast enough. Right now, the state is handling about $2 million a day in child support payments.

"You can run, but you can't hide. Move to California. Move to Idaho. Move to Texas. We will follow you," said Nick Young, Virginia Director for Child Support.

Sign up for unemployment and the state's got you there too.

"We intercept that money before it goes to the parents. Usually about 55% of that money," Young said.

So far $20.9 million has gone to Chesterfield children. But even with the help of government checks, Virginia's Child Support Director Nick Young says it's still an uphill battle.

"15,000-18,000 children in Chesterfield County are on the rolls for child support," said Young.

And 3 out of every 10 are still waiting on what's owed to them. So Young says unless parents work with the system the state will go after them: putting holds on passports, driver's licenses, changes to credit scores, even time behind bars.

"We're doing better at it. Due to population increases, the economy - I'm not sure that the problem is getting better," he said.

In fact, our higher unemployment rates may be creating a false sense of security.

"I believe that when some of this government provided money perhaps is not there, that we will see a downturn in collections," Young said.

So with checks flying out the door, the state is right now thinking of ways to keep this system up to speed.

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