Child support reaches all time high

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) - Child support collections top a half-billion dollars in Tennessee and that's a record-setting figure.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services reports that this is an increase of nearly 60% in five years.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman explains why the collections are way up.

"It is good news. We can see the trend where child support is getting collected quicker and a little easier,” says Brenda Lindsay-McDaniel, a Child Support Referee for Chancery and 4th Circuit Courts.

Collections over the last state fiscal year are more than half-a-billion dollars. There's been a 60% increase in five years.

That's also good news to parents that are caught up on their child support.

"It's very important that the kids get the money and it's used right for the kids,” says Tony Tate, a father of three.

The judge credits the success to Child Support Services of Knoxville and the methods the state has put in place.

"Fideums, where they go in and seize bank accounts. That's pretty effective. The IRS offsets are getting very effective. They can grab the refunds before anybody gets them back,” says Lindsay-McDaniel.

Child support cases in Tennessee number beyond 400,000, more than half of those have court orders mandating support.

There's also added incentive from the bench to pay up.

"I was given the authority to actually incarcerate if the payments weren't made and that has had an impact on the numbers coming out of this court,” says Lindsay-McDaniel.

Not every parent sees it that way. Shanna Hickman says her husband is behind on child support. "If he gets put in jail, I'm paying for him to be put in jail. So, it's not really fair to anybody."

Even though collections are up in Tennessee. And there's another part of the child support equation that's also on the upswing.

"I have noticed an upswing, unfortunately, in the fact that women are becoming the ones that owe child support and are having a problem paying it,” says Lindsay-McDaniel.

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  • by Lisa Location: Knoxville on Apr 26, 2008 at 09:41 PM
    Why don't you do a real story about Child Support and follow a case? I would be glad to let you write about mine. Then people could see what really happens when child support is not paid. I go back to court May 2nd if you would like to follow the case.
  • by LISA Location: KNOXVILLE on Apr 7, 2008 at 09:20 PM
    My ex and I have been in Judge McDaniels court so many times in the last 3 years I have lost count and he continues to get away with not paying and only gets a slap on the hand. I have yet to see him go to jail or have his license revoked. He is the son of a West Knoxville Eye Doctor who has a silver spoon placed where the son does not shine. I guess if you have enough money you can pay the Attorney thousands of dollars to keep you from pay a couple of hundred a month. I happen to know his parents are big in the church Cedar Springs and proclaim to be Christian's but they cannot help with their 1st and may still be only grandchild. What is this world coming too?
  • by Gary Location: Florida on Jul 21, 2007 at 09:46 AM
    My daughter has a dead beat ex-husband in the Oakridge area. It doesn't matter if you are a man or women owing support, pay it up. Florida will tell you "get a second job or go stay ay the gray bar hotel for a while". Keep going after them dead beats. Can I come help?
  • by Dee Location: Knoxville on Jul 20, 2007 at 12:55 AM
    I have three kids and my kids father has paid 4 times in the last 4 years. in April of this year he owed me 16,402.00 This great plan that is in place does not work. I can't even get a new court date set. It would be nice if thee was a place to broadcast these delinquent fathers on some type of television network. On the custodial side, I work a full time job, and staying at home waiting on 324.00 will never be an option.
  • by ken Location: lenoir city on Jul 19, 2007 at 10:08 PM
    yeah its a shame the custodial parent can laze back a not work while the non custodial has to kill thereselve to make ends meet .thank god only a yr left and its over
  • by Barry Location: knoxville on Jul 17, 2007 at 09:09 PM
    It bothers me to see this in the paper. It is almost like they are bragging. This is an embarassment that there are so many divorced families. Every politician should apologize to these children for creating a society thats boasts on how much child support they collected. It should be a dirty little secret, this is nothing to brag about.
  • by Tom Location: Garden City on Jul 17, 2007 at 08:59 AM
    Yeah - great approach. What a sham. I only hear, "yea! we collected mor money!" I don't see anyone claiming that they have ensured that it gets spent on the kids. This is all about a transfer of wealth from one parent to another. We all just assume that custodial parents are all angels. Give me a break. This whole process is a sham. Love the quote from Tony Tate. He obviously has no clue. If you really want to do the public a service you should take a close look at the details surrounding child support.


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