Lawmakers hear what’s behind problems in Kansas child support system

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Not everyone is paying child support in the state of Kansas which is hurting some parents.

The special committee on child support enforcement and collection was created to help prevent people in the state from struggling financially. Lawmakers on the committee, that have heard from single parents saying that they’re not getting what they deserve, met Tuesday. Now they’re going through the entire collection and dispersing process to see what the problems are.

“Little bit of a breakdown in the system and we want to find out where that is at,” Sedgwick Senator Carolyn McGinn said about what she’s heard.

Katie Whisman shared what her experience has been like trying to get child support. She described an out-of-state dad that hasn’t been keeping up his end of the deal.

“An individual who’s self-employed and is not responding to any of the attempts to collect on that debt, so I’ve been caught in the various aspects of the system for over 13 years, and the debt that’s owed to me is over $53,000,” Whisman said.

She said the agencies responsible for enforcing payment aren’t doing their job, and that she’s not the only one being affected.

“Saw an opportunity to share a very personal story to really put a face to the failures that exist, and really expose it, not necessarily on behalf of me, but all the other Kansans that struggle with the same thing,” Whisman said.

Lawmakers are looking at the Department for Children and Families, contractors, a payment center, and the courts to see what areas can be improved. They also said it’s critical to make sure national dollars are going to the right people.

“We have federal money that comes in to help us with this system and we want to make sure the percentages of the people that are getting paid out are at a good national level that’s making sure that our system is working,” McGinn said.

Lawmakers on the committee will meet next month to form recommendations on how to improve the system to send to the full legislature.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm