State attorneys essential in child support cases - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State attorneys essential in child support cases

June 16, 2003
Worth County- When Kim Kimble gets her child support check to help provide for her son Derek, sometimes it's as little as 99 cents. The checks don't come close to covering Derek's expenses, like 24 dollars for feeding tubes. For her daughter Katelyn, the checks average 68 dollars a week.

"You can't even feed a child for 68 a week. Let alone anything else they need," Kimble said.

But it's still important that the checks come.

"That's the hard part, raising them," she said. "Not having the money to do it with makes it harder on you."

And Kimble says it's important that the Child Support Enforcement Office and state attorneys are there to help.

"If ever I do have to go to court, if he ever lags behind and that has to ever be done then I'll go to court."

Last week, while in child support court himself, state Representative Lawrence Roberts said he will push for legislation that will force custodial parents to hire their own lawyers. He wants state attorneys taken out of private cases.

 "That's people not receiving public assistance," said Jeff Morrow, an assistant district attorney with the Child Support Enforcement Office.

But most families can't afford that.

 "Attorneys are expensive," he said.

Morrow says your average court case usually runs two-thousand dollars in attorney fees.

"Quite frankly, a lot of children go without support simply because the parents don't know about our agency."

Kimble says you shouldn't end up in court over child support.

"Had they paid their child support like they were supposed to then they wouldn't have had to worry about going to court and getting a lawyer. Unfortunately, money makes the world go round. And you can't raise a child on excuses."

And excuses, she says, doesn't put shoes on children's feet.

posted at 11:10 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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