Disturbing trend: Experts say number of deadbeat moms on the rise


by Gene Kang


Posted on January 5, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 6 at 1:36 PM

Experts say the recession and drug abuse are causing more mothers to miss out on child support payments than ever before in Jefferson County.

And because of that, thousands of kids are not getting the financial help they need leading to the growing problem of deadbeat moms.

When it comes to deadbeat parents, the child support division says their staff of 200 people faces a tough challenge trying to collect millions of dollars.

Many of the deadbeat parents on a public list haven't paid a dime in 10 years.

It could be a while before this payment window at the child support office sees any cash from thousands of deadbeat mothers in Jefferson County.

Mothers we're told who have been delinquent on their child support for years.

But why?

Angela Anton, Assistant Director Child Support Division said, “instead of being deadbeats, they're more dead broke from the state of the economy and the issues with drug and alcohol abuse."

In fact, the Child Support Division's basement is filled with thousands of files.

They say out of roughly 61,000 active cases nearly 10% are deadbeat moms which equals hundreds of thousands of dollars for the division to collect.

Part of the solution is an annual list made available to the public.
Over 4 years, it helped collect roughly $2 million in child support.
It has the top 1000 deadbeat parents and WHAS11 counted at least 20 women.

Including Adrian Ellis at nearly $40,000, Shanna Adams at $22,000 plus and Nicole Birdsong who owes more than $27,000.

We knocked on doors of the last known address for each woman.

None of them were home.

Birdsong listed her residence as The Healing Place on Broadway which was an old location.

So we went to the new building and folks there told us Birdsong is no longer staying with them.

"It's a real good possibility that she knew she had it hanging over her head and was worried about it and so decided to get help," said Pam Scott at the Healing Place.

Family Rights Lawyer Louis Winner tells us another part of the problem.

Many of his male clients don't want to ask for child support from women.

Winner said, "it becomes a little more difficult for the father to say you know what, I need to go after and get child support because it's the right thing to do and it costs money to raise children."

The division says they're more than willing to set up payment plans with any mom or dad who's avoided child support.

If not, they tell us it can be punished by jail time and heavy fines.

See the List: 2009 Delinquent Child Support Obligors