20 Oct Is the California Department of Child Support Collections DCSS, oh I mean “Services” double dipping?
They sure are. The federal government pays the State of California. The State then reimburses the local child support services department in your county. The better these debt collectors are in your California county, they more incentives they have to get paid. California also collects the monies from parents on welfare and keeps it, except for about $50. The unbelievable 10% interest rate collected on child support payments? We have many parents collecting child support payments who claim that after the regular payments have stopped, they never see the additional interest. This collection agency keeps it for the State of California.
What counterintuitive approaches does the California DCSS take? This collection agency suspends parents’ driver licenses, seizes their bank accounts that might be jointly owned by a minor child (or college student), suspends other state issued licenses such as teaching credentials, business use permits, contracting licenses, etc. This collection agency even enjoins the federal government to stop US Visas from being issued to parents, or renewed by a parent, who owes $2,500 in back child support.
Need a REAL ID? Nope, unless you manage to find your way around the required documentation. Need a job? There is repeated legislation to prevent parents from being hired who are behind in child support payments, by putting them on a public California registry for prospective employers to see. Let’s not forget this collection agency also regularly enjoins the family court to jail parents behind in child support payments for contempt of child support orders.
Oftentimes, the non-custodial parent wants to support their child but at the same time have more contact with their child. That means less child support for the other parents so court orders (or lack of court orders) prevent it and so does any resulting parental alienation.
The law says that California parents are presumed to be fit parents and should be granted frequent and continuing contact with their child. This helps to #StopParentalAlienation and reduce child support payments. However, in practice, members of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts routinely advocate for no contact, or only supervised visitation. The low standard of evidence used to find a parent “unfit” was a creation of the AFCC members as an additional way to extract money from parents.
What happens when a state run governmental agency, like DCSS, becomes the collections agency? Chaos. The massive federal governmental collection agency, the IRS, is much more reasonable than DCSS. Why? DCSS gets paid to collect. The IRS wants parents to succeed, hold jobs, and pay taxes so collecting isn’t always the IRS’s highest priority, the taxpayer is. The IRS has several ways for the taxpayer to settle their debts. DCSS, however thrives on UGI (unwarranted governmental interference).
What are some of RaiseYourRights’ solutions? One is already being implemented beyond our control. Self-employment wages are being erased. Independent contractors are ceasing to exist. How does this affect DCSS’s ability to collect? More and more employers will be paying their employees W2 taxable wages which are easily found and leveraged for child support payments. Second solution? Child support should be based upon the actual cost of raising a child instead of the parent’s income. California determines child support on the income of the parents because in this state, the more money a parent has, the happier the children are, right? The third solution? California legislative action to lower the unbelievable 10% rates DCSS collects to something more reasonable considering what banks pay in interest. Fourth solution? Family courts kick out the AFCC members and do what the law says, “frequent and continuing contact with both parents” and a presumption that that the parent entering a family court is “fit”. Fifth and ultimate solution? A reasonable high enough standard of evidence to prove “unfitness” and giving California parents the right of a jury trial to keep legal custody of their own child(ren) if needed. Juries will use their own reasonable standard of evidence to decide whether or not to take custody from a parent.
Jury trial rights remove incentives to take legal rights to the child from one or both parents. The goal of child support payments is for both parents to take responsibility for the child and work out a solution that suits them, #PreventUGI. One parent wants to trade increased contact with the child in exchange for taking a bigger responsibility for the child’s expenses on their own? Another parent wants to support child rearing using relatives in exchange for less monetary support? #PromoteSettlement by using available resources outside of the DCSS methods of operation. Our goal is to keep child support commissioners and DCSS out of families. That is in the best interest of the child.