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Pursuit of 'deadbeats' is paying off

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AIKEN --- Targeting parents with outstanding child support payments has helped the Aiken County Sheriff's Office and court system shave more than 2,000 warrants off their books in the past two years.

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ANTHONY JEROME WISE

Age: 34

Last Known Address: 3301 Highway 19, Trenton, S.C.
ANTHONY JEROME WISE Age: 34 Last Known Address: 3301 Highway 19, Trenton, S.C.


Fathers owing more than $20,000 in child support payments have been dubbed "deadbeats" by officers when selecting which warrants to single out. More than 40 dads are on the latest lists, according to Lt. Larry Schrade, who has led the deadbeat dad project since 2008. Ten mothers owing more than $15,000 were also singled out on the latest installment from the sheriff's office.

"There's no real definition, but we coined that term when targeting parents that are not taking care of their moral responsibility," Schrade said.

Of the county's 12,000 outstanding warrants, 1,183 are Family Court bench warrants, which often are for parents with unpaid child support, Schrade said.

The county began the second year of the deadbeat program last month after several cases reached thousands of dollars in outstanding payments. The increase is partially attributed to higher unemployment, said Beth Willis, Aiken County's chief deputy clerk.

"There are always different scenarios, but lately it's that they've been laid off and they're trying to take care of other bills or households," she said.

Even with financial strains, Schrade said, it's hard to believe that the majority are just down on their luck.

"Folks are having tough times for whatever reason, but I think in reality most of them know, especially when we get up to the numbers we've been releasing lately," he said. "I can't imagine how someone can incur $20,000 and say they didn't know."

Living next to state lines also provides an easy escape route.

"People will move to Augusta and know we can't do anything, so we just have to wait for them to come back to South Carolina," Schrade said.

Georgia's Division of Child and Social Services has also taken notice of Aiken's tactics.

Renorta Heard, the division's deputy director, said Aiken County's system is simpler than anything the division is doing with most wanted lists throughout the state. The division handles cases for all Georgia counties.

"In the last few months we have taken note of the process in Aiken County and are currently doing some research for possible implementation," she said. "But we want to make sure it's something we can do statewide and not just in isolated counties.

More than 3,000 cases are considered outstanding in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties, according to Sandra Jarrett, of the child support services offices.

Jarrett said while it might seem like a lot of cases, delinquency just means that the amount isn't paid in full, not that the parents aren't paying or have other outstanding warrants.

"We're very fortunate that many of these parents do come in and try to find a way to pay even a little bit," she said. "And many that aren't coming in are afraid of being arrested by just coming into our offices. That isn't the case; this isn't the courthouse."

From June through August, the three counties issued only 126 arrest warrants for outstanding cases, and most of those are already resolved, Jarrett said.

Parents feeling bogged down by payments are often referred to community resources, such as the Georgia Fatherhood program, to help them get on track with payments.

Since Aiken County began the lists in August, six parents have come forward to settle their cases, according to Schrade.

Deadbeat parents

Aiken County Sheriff's Office identifies "deadbeat" parents as those with outstanding arrest warrants and more than $15,000 in unpaid child support.

More than 40 dads are on the latest lists, according to Lt. Larry Schrade, who has led the deadbeat dad project since 2008. Ten mothers were also singled out.

Source: Aiken County Sheriff's Office

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PUPPYMOMMA
1367
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 10/05/10 - 07:44 am
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Every little bit helps.

Every little bit helps. Parents have a responsibility to provide financial support. It's bad enough when a parent has to go through child support recovery because it can take up to one year to get set up. The parent that owes pays to them and then the department cuts the check. Delays are sure to occur. I also know that in today's economy it is hard to get ahead. When someone owes $20,000 I can see where they think it's hopeless, no light at the end of the tunnel. It's rotten to be expecting a check for child and expenses and it never comes.

KingJames
11
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KingJames 10/05/10 - 08:23 am
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I'm glad to see equal

I'm glad to see equal opportunity warrants in that the deadbeat moms are also being sought. For every one pictured above, there are more moms who don't pay because the fathers have taken on the responsibility of raising their kids, and for whatever reason don't seek support. We always hear about deadbeat dads, and though this story reports on both the moms and the dads, it started out in typical fashion by bashing the dads first. I'm not saying they didn't deserve it. I'm saying those deadbeat moms deserve to be bashed in print just as much as the deadbeat dads. The perception is that the father is always the deadbeat parent. That's not always the case. The worst part is that a lot of guys are raising their kids without support from the moms and so far I haven't seen any statistics on it.

PUPPYMOMMA
1367
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 10/05/10 - 08:34 am
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KJ, I've seen it firsthand.

KJ, I've seen it firsthand. In my own family. While the mom does pay child support, it is the lack of visitation and supervision that bothers me the most. The kids want to spend time with the mom but she's got her own life and agenda. Pure selfishness. What parent doesn't want to interact with their kids? Obviously there are many. I can't imagine not seeing or speaking with my child on a daily basis.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/05/10 - 09:34 am
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Not sure why you kept going

Not sure why you kept going on and on about the mom's KJ, but ok. They mentioned deadbeat moms and often do!
Ironic that I read this article today, and we just got copies of court papers yesterday. More people need to use the states support recovery unit. It may take time, (only took the BF's state a few months) to set it all up, but once it is, they go after these people with a vengeance!! Where my BF thinks it is law that they go after the parent, this article tells me it is different in various states. These warrents and courts getting involved are over substantial amounts!! Whereas in our case, the amount is little over 3 grand. Perhaps it is over the amount of time no payment has even been attempted! Close to a year. I feel for any child that has a *deadbeat* parent. No matter what, they are always smack dab in the middle of the chaos!

dadzrites
0
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dadzrites 10/05/10 - 10:12 am
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Wonder how many of these guys

Wonder how many of these guys are unemployed, underemployed, and not well educated? These look like the usual suspects that the "deadbeat" government sheriff's departments go after to make a splashy headline. I wonder how many of these guys were read their Miranda rights (for CIVIL matters) that the child support could be converted to a criminal matter, when the child support award was first ordered? Wonder how many guys were notified of their right to appointed, competent, effective counsel or their right to a trial by jury prior to being IMPRISONED FOR DEBT!!!!!!?

Federal courts and the US Supreme Court have all held that one cannot be arrested or imprisoned in a CIVIL matter because there is no Fourth Amendment probable cause that a crime has or is being committed. Again, I ask the question: How many were notified of their Miranda rights that a CIVIL child support debt matter could be converted into a criminal matter? I will bet NONE!!!!! This whole child support scam and fraud is ripe for Civil Rights suits on DUE PROCESS & EQUAL PROTECTION VIOLATIONS.

Let's also not forget that child support enforcement is a Marxist "redistribution of wealth" scheme that comes from Soviet Family Law, Article 81, that was brought into this country in 1975 by feminist groups (which are directly descended from communism) and the women's bar associations. As we learned, the family was destroyed in the USSR because of no-fault divorce, child support enforcement, and domestic violence programs there. Its seems that those practices were brought into this country and are doing the same thing here--destroying the family and the fabric of society. Child support enforcement, being a Marxist program that is helping destroy American families because it's too easy to divorce and have "daddy" government take care of lazy, entitlement-minded welfare moms, in actuality, is a dire threat to national security.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 10/05/10 - 10:56 am
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0
Pommom38, I feel single dads

Pommom38, I feel single dads who pay child support are stereotyped. Society expects that when you talk about a deadbeat parent, you are talking about the father and not the mother. The system is always in favor of the mother. Though dads are often the targets of the law and TV shows, moms can be just as guilty. Society doesn't get that. I know of a few dads who are raising their kids without any help from their kids' moms. I would simply like to see more equity on this issue. I hope you didn't assume the story was only about deadbeat dads when you read the title. If you did, then hopefully you now understand why I kept going on about the moms. Society's perception is that single moms are left to struggle and raise their kids without any help from dads. In many case, the opposite is true.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/05/10 - 11:26 am
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Oh no, I didn't assume. I saw

Oh no, I didn't assume. I saw where moms were actually mentioned. And after thinking about it longer, you are correct in the statistical matter. I have seen where many women are called out, but nothing in print that shows the ratio.
I do know that women are often awarded custody more than men, and to me, that is wrong. I live with an awesome dad, and he has shown the kid more love and guidance in 3 years than the mom ever did. IMO
Had she not willingly signed over custody, would a judge have awarded it to her? I would hope not, but you just never know with some of these judges.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 10/05/10 - 11:39 am
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Pommom38, I truly believe had

Pommom38, I truly believe had that mom not signed over custody of her child, the dad would have had to prove more than the mom was unfit. He would have had to prove what he did for the child prior to court and how much more than the mom he could do after court in order to get the judge to rule in his favor. Like they used to say, "What judge is going to take a child away from it's mother?" It's sad, but society expects the man to always be at fault, to be wrong, and to be a terrible father. The guy you're with sounds like a great dad. My kids chose to live with their mom because I live out of state and she's closer to the rest of the family. I try to visit about 4 or 5 times a year and have them visit me at least twice a year when they're not in school. When I have them for the long summer break, she still wants child support. I think that's wrong, but don't want to go through the legal system again to get it changed because it will only cause discontent, and right now things are quite peaceful between us.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/05/10 - 12:56 pm
0
0
I commend you:) Many dads and

I commend you:) Many dads and moms don't try to see the kids, and that is very sad!! In our case, the mom wasn't necessarily unfit, but in hindsight, the child has been MUCH better off! Can't hold down a job, and pretty sure she has been living off the welfare system. That is no way for any kid to be brought up. Even if she doesn't pay a dime, she still (by law) gets him every other holiday, spring break, and the entire summer. I really think, (actually know) in her case, she has been dodging the system so not to have to pay the support ordered. We're 1000 miles apart, so not easy to attend court dates, etc. So we just let CSR handle it.
Am sure *dad* will post on this article when he gets off work. lol
He'll find it as ironic as I did..

SC88fan
0
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SC88fan 10/05/10 - 01:37 pm
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0
I feel like a "deadbeat"

I feel like a "deadbeat" parent is one who is any amount behind with child support. I am seeing this firsthand. My husbands ex has moved across country to try and avoid paying child support. To make matters worse she hasnt even called, emailed, had absolutely no contact with the child in almost a year. This child is very hurt by this. Tough situation. We have had our case with Child Support recovery for over 1 1/2 years but to date nothing been done. Just dont understand it all.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 10/05/10 - 01:40 pm
0
0
You guys are doing the right

You guys are doing the right thing. Some custodial parents use visitation as punishment for the non-custodial parent. No matter how you all feel about the mom, the child still needs to know her. My brother pays child support, but hasn't seen his daughter in years. The mother would always send the child away with a relative when she knew my brother was scheduled to visit. He tried to visit the first few years, but then gave up. He still pays child support though, and hopes that he can work on his relationship with his daughter when she is of age to want to see him and not be hidden away by her mom's family. Anytime I mention her to my brother, his entire demeanor changes and I can see how hurt he is that he was not permitted to be part of his daughter's life. His daughter's mom and family wanted nothing to do with my brother or us. All they wanted was the child support check. The thing that I don't like about it is that my brother didn't trust the courts so he gave up the fight and missed out on a lot of good years with his daughter.

pommom38
1496
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pommom38 10/05/10 - 02:15 pm
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KJ, that is so sad!! And

KJ, that is so sad!! And wrong on so many levels!
I will pray that when the time comes, his daughter will allow him the chance to give his side and they develop a meaningful relationship! I forgave my parents after 30+ years for their choices made so long ago, I wish the same for your brother and his daughter:)
SC88, did you contact the unit in the state she resides? I don't know how it all works from state to state, mine had to file in IL and gotta say, they have yet to drop the ball! They do send us letter after letter saying they can't seem to find her place of employment, um.. If you run her SS# you'll see why! She doesn't work so that she doesn't have to have the amount withdrawn! Last time the bf received anything, it was because the state took her tax refund. lmao
And she got [filtered word] about it! Well I don't feel sorry for you, we have shouldered all clothing, food, school, entertainment, etc. costs while you sit back and play the *good mom*. I think it took 6 months for CSR to get all the info needed and they have run with it. They have taken her back to court twice already, (this 3rd time is by order of the state attorney general) to make her pay and/or increase amount to be paid based on her income.
What do they tell you when you call to get info on your case? I can think of no reason it should be taking them that long unless the number of clients has quadrupled.

cristinadh
6
Points
cristinadh 10/05/10 - 05:23 pm
0
0
I do not count on my son's

I do not count on my son's father for support and we are doing just fine without him in the picture!!..

Farmboy
1018
Points
Farmboy 10/05/10 - 05:34 pm
0
0
This is sad, but it's what we

This is sad, but it's what we have come to expect.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/05/10 - 06:22 pm
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We don't count on it either!

We don't count on it either! Good dang thing seeing we never SEE any of it.
But when you are court ordered to follow through with something, you do it. Don't want to? Then you deserve everything you got coming..
We have no choice in our situation, it is court ordered that the mom see her kid, so guess what? She see's him.
Yes it is farmboy, but over time, many of these lackadasical parents will pay the consequences.
I have absolute no use for any person that can have a kid, but not help support them or be a part of their life. Exceptions of course for those who are prevented from seeing the kid.

George1McCasland
0
Points
George1McCasland 10/05/10 - 11:41 pm
0
0
How many of these cases

How many of these cases involve men who were out of work, yet Child Support Enforcement withheld info that they provide free legal services to get a reduction? Did their friends and family have to come up with money they never should have owed? How many were hit with retroactive child support orders for a child they never knew existed? How many are not the father of the child? How many were using the money to pay for an attorney to get their access rights enforced, not knowing the child support enforcement provides this service free?
http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/family/childenf/noncustodial.htm
http://Child_Support_Quiz.dads-house.org

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