Child support scofflaws finally paying up

LOS ANGELES - More than $9 million in unpaid child support has been collected over the past two years from Los Angeles County's worst child support evaders, according to a report from county Supervisor Don Knabe.The evaders represent "a small group of parents who go to great lengths to avoid the law and avoid caring for their children by not paying their child support obligations," Knabe said. The county's Child Support Services Department launched a partnership two years ago with the District Attorney's office to criminally prosecute parents who spend years avoiding child support payments. The county also launched a "Most Wanted Delinquent Parents" website. The partnership has resulted in the collection of $9.1 million in unpaid child support from delinquent parents, Knabe said. Additionally, 95 child support evaders were imposed jail time by the court. "In virtually every case, these are parents who were given multiple opportunities to comply with criminal court orders but who repeatedly failed to live up to the terms of probation they accepted after conviction or after entering pleas of no contest," Knabe's office said in a statement. A team of law enforcement personnel pursue arrest warrants issued for parents charged with crimes for failing to support their children. Investigators have cleared 1,778 warrants by arresting or citing defendants or convincing them to surrender voluntarily in court, county statistics show. An additional 188 warrants have been cleared by other law enforcement agencies. Of the 33 men and women that have been featured on the Most Wanted website, 15 have been arrested and six surrendered. The remaining 12 are "currently the subjects of active investigation," county officials said.

********** Published: March 5, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 46