Local News

State Says Man is Deadbeat Dad

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GRAHAM — In North Carolina alone, 65,000 parentsfail to meet their child support obligations each month.

Now, the state is beginning to crack down on these deadbeat parents.Most know they're doing the wrong thing, but others really don't knowthey're breaking the law.

Many parents try to handle matters without going through the courts.The non-custodial parent gives the custodial parent money directly andthat can lead to trouble.Parents need a legal support agreement where the money changing hands isdocumented. Without it, people sometimes find themselves owing the state abig chunk of money.

Alamance County has charged Allen McNeely $3,000 in child supportfor his 8-year-old son Danny. The county says the money is owed to reimburse the state for public assistance Danny's mother has received.

Public assistance payments are very expensive and as a result of childsupport payments that were made in those cases, over $60 million will bereturned to the taxpayers this year. This is part of the state's crackdownon deadbeat parents.

McNeely is married to now and has two young sons. He wants Danny toknow his new family. but the child's mother has barred McNeely fromseeing his son.

But by law, child support and visitation are two separate issues.And the state says they intend to make people like McNeely pay, accordingto Child Support Enforcement Chief Mike Adams.

Even when one parent is not allowing the other parent to see the child,that parent is still responsible for child support. Visitation is aseparate issue which must be handled privately by the parentsand their attorneys.

Uncollected child support is a huge problem and, in one way or another, everyone pays part of the price. Odds are that one in every twokids born into a two-parent family will live in a single houshold beforereaching the age of 18. More than 29 million American children do not recieve the support due them.

One report puts the value of unpaid support at $34 billion.Another says 40 percent of welfare money goes to children whose fatherscould afford to support them.