LAist.com, an affiliate of the popular, highly-awarded Gothamist LLC blog group, interviewed me on the problem of fathers being punished for falling behind on their child support in the recession. In A Sobering Day for Many Fathers (LAist.com, 6/21/09), reporter Tom Lewis writes:
Welcome to Father’s Day 2009, a Father’s Day in the midst of a recession. According to an April article in the Financial Times, men lost almost 80% of the over 5 million jobs that have disappeared as the industries hit hardest by this recession,
construction and manufacturing, are staffed primarily by men… [P]erhaps hardest hit are men who are non-custodial parents with child support arrangements. A father who seeks to modify child support payments due to a layoff or mandatory wage cut can wait, in some cases, for over six months to get a hearing in front of a judge to have a petition heard, much less have a contract modified… LAist spoke with Glenn Sacks, Executive Director of Fathers & Families, about this phenomena. “What we have here is a system that is disconnected from the economic reality,” said Sacks. “While there are certainly ‘deadbeat fathers’ out there, the truth is that there are many fathers who take their responsibilities very seriously, they want to be an active part of their children’s lives, but they are disproportionately affected by what the entire country is going through right now.”
Read the full article here. To comment on it, click here. To learn more about the fathers/recession/child support issue, see the recent Fathers & Families column Layoffs, courts put some dads in jail (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/21/09).