Parents to have money taken away from child support paymentsby Carrie McClure
Oct. 02, 2007
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CASTLE ROCK - Linda Green couldn't believe what she found when she opened her mail this week.
She received a letter from the Colorado Department of Human Services, telling her she would soon have money taken out of the child support payments she receives from her 13-year-old son's father.
"I was a little astounded," she said.
The letter stated that under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which President Bush signed into law early last year, federal spending on so-called entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other social programs, would be restrained, in order to pay down the national deficit.
To help do that, starting October 1, custodial parents in Colorado who receive at least $500 in a fiscal year in child support payments, will have $25 a year automatically deducted, helping fund child support enforcement programs the Federal Government has previously been paying for on its own.
It was up to individual states to decide which parent, custodial or non-custodial, would pay the $25 fee.
"In essence," said John Bernhart, the State of Colorado's Child Support director, "collecting from the non-custodial parent amounted as a practical measure to have the state pay, and in the case of Colorado, that was not a fiscally possible option."
Green doesn't want the money to go to anything other than her son.
"It could go to school lunches. It could go to a pair of athletic shoes," she said. "When you think about moms who are single moms or unwed mothers who depend on that money - that may be the only income they're getting. I just feel that it's wrong."