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Thursday, June 4, 2009

County begins new crack down on delinquent child support payments

CASS COUNTY — It's a problem that's plagued single parents for years, but with the economy sinking, payments are shrinking. Cass County's court system has a new message for parents who refuse to pay child support: pay up or pay the price.

Parents who don't pay their child support got a harsh warning Tuesday in the form of a letter from Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz.
It reads simply: "The Cass County Friend of the Court has submitted a warrant request for criminal prosecution due to your non-compliance in paying child support...I have determined there may be sufficient facts to prosecute you."
It came as a breath of fresh air to one Cass County woman. She's asked WSBT to hide her identity because of a pending court case, but that didn't stop "Jessica" from telling her story, rich with the financial struggles of a single mother over the past five years.
"It has been difficult," she said "My daughter is 8 and my son is 10, and it's hard when you're trying to feed them and pay the bills and that money's not coming in."
That lack of money isn't because she has lost her job, her house or her car.
Instead, she's lost opportunity for her children because the child support payments she depends on for their well-being have been, in her word, "sporadic."
"It usually will come in for a few months here or there, when he's working and I am getting the income. But then we'll take long breaks without it where I don't get any money. It's hard for the kids to understand that they can't do everything they want to because you're not getting that money," she said.
It's not just "treats" that suffer the consequences in the absence of a check.
"They may not get to play the sports. They may not get to go to the movies or do those fun things that kids do. Because you have to pay the bills first, and then you do the extras," she said.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cooper, in-laws agree to suspend child support

Attorneys for Brad Cooper and his in-laws went to court Monday to legally suspend his obligation to pay child support.
Cooper is being held in the Wake County jail under a $2 million bond for the death of his wife, Nancy, last July.
Nancy Cooper's parents and sister were awarded permanent custody of the couple's two daughters May 15.
The children are living in Canada with their grandparents and aunt, and Brad Cooper asked the court last month to keep in place the temporary order until after his criminal trial, saying it would be in the best interest of the children.
Deborah Sandlin, who represents Brad Cooper, said her client felt like it was the right thing to do at the time for "the consistency of the girls' care."

Child support evader makes top ten list for Beaumont child

Dean Greer is wanted by the Texas Attorney General's Office for back due child support for his daughter in Beaumont.
Greer, whose last known address is in Nacogdoches, owes more than $39,000 for seven years of unpaid child support, according to the Attorney General's Office.
In 1990, Greer was ordered to make monthly child support payments of $120 and he did not follow that order.
Missed payments and accrued interest makes the total owed by Greer about $39,962, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Last month Greer was named to the top ten most wanted child support evaders list.

29-year-old father of 21 ordered to pay child support with minimum-wage salary

The Volunteer State has a baby-making monster on its hands.
Desmond Hatchett, a minimum-wage earner from Knoxville, Tenn., has heard “Desmond you are the father” 21 times.

‘Desmond Hatchett Plus Baby Mamas Plus 21”
He appeared in a juvenile court last week for 11 cases involving 15 of his children. Eleven seems to be his lucky number.
Hatchett’s children range in age from 11 years old to 11 months old.
Keith Pope, Hatchett’s attorney, said there is no way Hatchett can support that many children.
“The state of Tennessee has had to step in,” he told KCAL 9.
Some of the Hatchett’s baby mamas only receive $1.98 a month in child support.
For his part, the Hatchett said all of his baby mamas knew what they were getting into.
He said he didn’t intend to have 21 children and has had his fill of reproducing.
“It just happened,” he told KCAL 9.


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