State claims victory in crackdown on deadbeat parents
Posted at: 09/10/2012 5:33 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
The state claims victory in a crackdown on deadbeat parents who have not been paying child support. It is a combination of amnesty and arrest, and the governor said it is paying off.
State authorities report a big surge in child support payments during a five-day amnesty period in August - more than $800,000 in a period where they would normally expect to collect about $650,000.
More money is rolling in from deadbeats who decided not to take advantage of the amnesty and wound up getting arrested during a crackdown period over Labor Day weekend. Police statewide rounded up 80 parents with outstanding bench warrants, hauling in nearly a quarter of a million dollars in support payments for their children.
"Eighty individuals who think they can hide from the law and not be responsible for their children," said Gov. Susana Martinez. "Having them arrested, having already collected $243,000 from those individuals. They don't get out of jail until they pay the bond which is the amount they owe in child support."
The governor said 84 parents with bench warrants contacted authorities to set up payments, while others who did not have warrants out for them did the same.
"Just yesterday I spokes to a woman who hasn't received a dime in three years," Martinez said. "Not a visit, not a dime, and she continues to support her two children alone."
State and regional groups have saluted New Mexico as the most improved state in child support collections, moving from 48 in the nation to 40, exceeding goals set by the legislature.