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View Full Version : Should an inmate have to pay child support while in prison?



Teresa
11-08-2011, 12:54 PM
This was brought up today by a friend of mine and I wanted to get other's opinions on it.

My friend has a baby daddy that now in prison....and before he got locked up he was paying child support for their daughter. Now that he is locked up, he was able to stop his child support while he is in and she is very angry. As a single mom, I understand completely why she is upset...but then I can also see the side of the inmate where it is a good idea to stop child support while a dad is in prison.

First off....here in CA (and I am not sure if its the same in other states) if a father who is paying child support gets locked up, he can have his child support stopped until he is released. Its like a credit card...he can get the principal stopped...but the state will still charge him the interest. If that person is lucky enough to have someone pay the interest every month...then by the time the inmate is released he will be current...but if he doesnt..he will owe all that back interest. And once the inmate is released, the principle will start up again and it will be like it was before...but the mother (as I have understood it) should still be able to receive a check. I am not sure on that though. If the inmate is not aware that his child support can be stopped while he is in prison...than he will have to pay back all of the child support once he is released which could definitely mean he will be paying for the rest of his life. I have seen guys have child support balances in the hundreds of thousands because they will never be able to pay it off in there lifetime.

It happens so often, that men get behind on child support for one reason or another...they lose there job...they go to prison...etc...and so the mother who is caring for the children is stuck with no support from the dad...and that is very tough....but should an inmate still be liable to pay child support while he is locked up even though he has no source of income coming in or is if fair to say that it should be stopped while he is in prison? What is everyone's thoughts?

Meeow
11-08-2011, 01:16 PM
Well, over here (at Germany) the child support depends on the father's/mother's income. If he/she f.e. lost his/her job, it may be that the amount he/she has to pay every monce will be reduced. Or, if he/she can't pay, the youth welfare service steps in and assumes the payment.
I don't know how it is at the States - does the amount of child support go by with the parents income or is there a determined amount of money one has to pay?

I can understand both sides somehow - the mother's point of view. Because if I'd have to raise my child on my own, I'd be really pissed if the payments would stop, especially since most of them really need that money.
On the other hand - the father's point of view. If he can't pay, he shouldn't. Or he should pay less - as much as he can.

It's hard and in the end, the kids are always the ones to suffer.

Teresa
11-08-2011, 01:45 PM
You are absolutely right...the kids are the ones that suffer which is so very sad :(

I am not sure how they determine the child support amount. I know it depends on how many children there are in the situation and I also know the government can take up to 50% of the persons check and the person paying child support has to provide medical insurance for all the kids. I know that if child support is too much they can request to have it reduced...but they have to go to court to do that.

For me...its a tough call because I can see both sides. I wish there was better solution to this...but unfortunately I do not know of one :(



Well, over here (at Germany) the child support depends on the father's/mother's income. If he/she f.e. lost his/her job, it may be that the amount he/she has to pay every monce will be reduced. Or, if he/she can't pay, the youth welfare service steps in and assumes the payment.
I don't know how it is at the States - does the amount of child support go by with the parents income or is there a determined amount of money one has to pay?

I can understand both sides somehow - the mother's point of view. Because if I'd have to raise my child on my own, I'd be really pissed if the payments would stop, especially since most of them really need that money.
On the other hand - the father's point of view. If he can't pay, he shouldn't. Or he should pay less - as much as he can.

It's hard and in the end, the kids are always the ones to suffer.

nodrama
11-08-2011, 03:01 PM
I think in some states mom gets a check from Social Services and they garnish dads finances. So if dad isn't paying mom is still receiving income. If you make to much for Social Services and go to court on your own when he loses his job or whatever you are stuck running back and forth to court to get him to pay.

I see both sides but most of the men in prison are lucky if they earn $30 a month. They need toothpaste, deodorant and personal stuff. $30 doesn't cover it really so what are they going to pay child support with? I think it should stop until they get out and I'm sorry I feel that includes the interest too because sometimes they never catch up. My bestfriend's daughter is 21 and he has lost his license probably 15 times over getting behind. He can't find a job and the answer is always his prison record. He has been out for about 10 years and off paper for 3 but he still can't get a job. Their past is never in the past. He wasn't in for murder or any sexual offense.

With the economy so bad I wonder how my husband will fare when he gets home - job wise.

Unfortunately the children suffer but the system doesn't work for anybody.

For MWI if you marry him in there then you are responsible for child support or Taxes owed in many states.

TerryAnn
11-08-2011, 03:13 PM
I think it's more a question of CAN he pay child support while inside? Here in Cali and inmate is very lucky to even get a job and a lot of them now have no pay number attached. The ones that do pay are like 30 cents and hour and it's not 40 hours a week either. Then if the inmate owes restitution the system takes 55% of that. My husband was working 30 hours a week and his monthly pay - that he saw - was $8.

There's simply no way he can pay unless he had funds outside that he can issue to mother for his children.

Teresa
11-08-2011, 05:28 PM
WOW...I didnt know they did that in TX with the child support....that is crazy!!!


I think in some states mom gets a check from Social Services and they garnish dads finances. So if dad isn't paying mom is still receiving income. If you make to much for Social Services and go to court on your own when he loses his job or whatever you are stuck running back and forth to court to get him to pay.

I see both sides but most of the men in prison are lucky if they earn $30 a month. They need toothpaste, deodorant and personal stuff. $30 doesn't cover it really so what are they going to pay child support with? I think it should stop until they get out and I'm sorry I feel that includes the interest too because sometimes they never catch up. My bestfriend's daughter is 21 and he has lost his license probably 15 times over getting behind. He can't find a job and the answer is always his prison record. He has been out for about 10 years and off paper for 3 but he still can't get a job. Their past is never in the past. He wasn't in for murder or any sexual offense.

With the economy so bad I wonder how my husband will fare when he gets home - job wise.

Unfortunately the children suffer but the system doesn't work for anybody.

For MWI if you marry him in there then you are responsible for child support or Taxes owed in many states.




You are absolutely right T....there is no way an inmate can pay child support and be locked up in here CA....they make no money and then if they have restitution...forget it. And then the price of commissary is crazy so the guys are lucky to have hardly anything at all.







I think it's more a question of CAN he pay child support while inside? Here in Cali and inmate is very lucky to even get a job and a lot of them now have no pay number attached. The ones that do pay are like 30 cents and hour and it's not 40 hours a week either. Then if the inmate owes restitution the system takes 55% of that. My husband was working 30 hours a week and his monthly pay - that he saw - was $8.

There's simply no way he can pay unless he had funds outside that he can issue to mother for his children.

BunniB
11-08-2011, 05:55 PM
For me this is sort of a personal subject. My biological father was actually sent to prison for failing to pay child support, so I'm not sure if in his case it would be fair to let him stop his payments, when he wasn't paying them to begin with.

For the most part though, I think that people should be made aware that they have that option, because there are a lot of good parents out there that are doing the best they can, and as we all know, the circumstances that lead to a prison stay aren't always planned. *shrugs*

comradrahrah
11-09-2011, 11:26 AM
If he/she can afford it then yes. Children still need to eat rather mom or dad is at war or in prison. In the case of prison, payments should be adjusted without penalty towards the inmate if the inmate can only afford $5.00 month out of his $12.00 monthly prison pay then that's something, if no other reason than being responsible for his parental obligation.

I am 100% against locking ANYONE up for falling behind or neglecting to pay their child support. Incarcerating someone for not meeting their financial obligation and their parenting obligation is ridiculous and does nobody any good no child should have to wear the stigma that "Daddy" is in prison because he didn't meet his financial obligation towards them.
If daddy has it and fails to give it then it makes him a lousy Father/Parent but it does not make him a Criminal.

BunniB
11-10-2011, 01:53 AM
Actually in my father's case, he took on an assumed name in order to avoid paying child support. He even made front page headlines as "California's Most Wanted Deadbeat Dad" My cousin framed it for me (which I found appalling!). There was a lot more to the story, because it was a 16 year case against him, but I don't know all the details. As far as the stigma that "daddy" was in prison, there was no stigma for me. Most people feel he got exactly what he deserved.

What I DO know is that I have had several friends lose their driver's licenses for failure to pay child support, even as they were making arrangements with the court to get caught up, which in turn wound up costing them their jobs, and put them in a bigger bind. That is messed up, considering that they were making the efforts to get caught up to begin with. Everyone falls on hard times once in awhile.

I honestly believe that it needs to be a case by case basis, and someone very well trained in the matters should over see it. Someone who already thinks all dad's are deadbeats, or all moms are money hungry, or vice versa, really doesn't have the capacity to handle these cases. I know there are good social workers and bad social workers, just like there are good and bad anywhere else.


If he/she can afford it then yes. Children still need to eat rather mom or dad is at war or in prison. In the case of prison, payments should be adjusted without penalty towards the inmate if the inmate can only afford $5.00 month out of his $12.00 monthly prison pay then that's something, if no other reason than being responsible for his parental obligation.

I am 100% against locking ANYONE up for falling behind or neglecting to pay their child support. Incarcerating someone for not meeting their financial obligation and their parenting obligation is ridiculous and does nobody any good no child should have to wear the stigma that "Daddy" is in prison because he didn't meet his financial obligation towards them.
If daddy has it and fails to give it then it makes him a lousy Father/Parent but it does not make him a Criminal.

Genesishope
11-10-2011, 10:50 AM
Honestly,i'm not really sure i feel about this.Bottom line,the kids suffer,and that is so very sad.I feel if it is possible for a child to be supported by the absentee parent,the state should do EVERYTHING to pursue getting it.The child deserves no less.however,i'm not quite sure how an inmate is supposed to do this.Many can't afford even the basic necessities,so it confuses me how they are supposed to be able to support their children.

I know someone who owes $43,000 in child support.sounds horrible.First glance you'd think what a lowlife jerk.However,YEARS in prison and it kept adding up,not to mention each and every month it's not paid a % of of interest is added.He's out,no license,makes it extra hard to get around job hunting.It just seems like the state expects inmates to walk on water when it comes to child support,but in my opinion their expectations are completely unrealistic,and they set them up for future failure,with no license,and the chances of them ever getting completey caught up are slim to none.Main point though,it IS the child who suffers the most.

comradrahrah
11-10-2011, 12:28 PM
Actually in my father's case, he took on an assumed name in order to avoid paying child support. He even made front page headlines as "California's Most Wanted Deadbeat Dad" My cousin framed it for me (which I found appalling!). There was a lot more to the story, because it was a 16 year case against him, but I don't know all the details. As far as the stigma that "daddy" was in prison, there was no stigma for me. Most people feel he got exactly what he deserved.

What I DO know is that I have had several friends lose their driver's licenses for failure to pay child support, even as they were making arrangements with the court to get caught up, which in turn wound up costing them their jobs, and put them in a bigger bind. That is messed up, considering that they were making the efforts to get caught up to begin with. Everyone falls on hard times once in awhile.

I honestly believe that it needs to be a case by case basis, and someone very well trained in the matters should over see it. Someone who already thinks all dad's are deadbeats, or all moms are money hungry, or vice versa, really doesn't have the capacity to handle these cases. I know there are good social workers and bad social workers, just like there are good and bad anywhere else.

BunniB I'm sorry you had this type of father. Albeit his changing of his name simply to avoid child support is unusually extreme and honestly if I had to personally experience that type of cowardly rejection, I would probably not ever utter his name off my tongue or allow anyone to mention his name in my presence. You seem to have demonstrated good perseverance.
I have a family member who is 12 years old and she and her dad are very very close, he fail behind in his child support and went to jail for something like 8 months, for failure to pay child support. To this day she has internalized that incident and falsely blames herself, even though her dad, mom, counselors and other well concerned family members have and continue to reassure her that her dad is a good father, and he is not a bum and was not punished because of her. The system is not always fair and it seems the most vulnerable suffers the most and that is the "Children"...God bless.

Wobabi
11-11-2011, 12:02 PM
Payments should be stopped and restarted if they ever get out.
Because if a father gets 30 years in prison and gets out with a 200,000 back support amount and gets locked up again-where is the sense in that?