SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WCIA) — Should fathers in jail have to pay up? At least one lawmaker is trying to change the rules when it comes to child support.
Some men behind bars are having to foot their child support bills and then once they get out are left with nothing. That’s why one lawmaker is hoping to change that and allow men to put child support on hold while locked up. Thousands of fathers are severing time behind bars and having to cough up child support payments. Lawyer Jeffery Leving says this leads to many getting out with nothing.
“There’s a dad didn’t want to go to jail so he found a way to pay up his support, but he went to prison anyway because he committed an armed robbery to get the money to pay the support,” said Jeffery Leving.
Representative Lashawn Fords bill hopes to end this cycle of re-incarceration for parents. Fords bill would suspend child support payments while fathers are in jail. It would also freeze the interest rate.
“The amount they owe is one thing and now it’s almost doubled or tripled depending on how long they been incarcerated and the interest does not go to the child it goes to the state,” said Rep. Ford (D) Chicago.
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services is on board with this legislation too. There is resistance from some parents who say they rely on this money. Leving argues if fathers continue to make payments or can’t afford them after years of being locked up, they’ll likely go back into the system.
“We don’t want to create incentives for desperate people to commit crimes we want to create incentives for people to rehabilitate and be part of our society functioning.”