D. A. admonishes delinquent parents - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

D. A. admonishes delinquent parents

December 13, 2005

Albany-- The largest child support roundup in the state is underway in South Georgia. Almost 700 parents in Dougherty County have been called into court this week for back child support.

District Attorney Ken Hodges says if they don't pay up, they'll go to jail.

During the last fiscal year, Child Support Services in Dougherty County collected more than $12 Million in owed child support payments. So far this year, they have already recovered another $4 million, and hope to get even more before Christmas arrives.

Naughty children may be on Santa's bad list, but naughty parents are on District Attorney Ken Hodges' list. "Just want to get the word out there for those that are going to be delinquent, we've got room for 'em out at the Dougherty County Jail," Hodges says.

On Thursday, 665 child support cases will go before the court, in hopes of getting money to the children who need it.

Jeff Morrow of Child Support Services says, "We pick this time of year because it's Christmastime, families are strapped, and we want fathers to step up to the plate and take responsibility."

One reason some men may run from responsibility, is because the child was born out of wedlock.

Brian Skala of Child Support Services says, "We encourage, heartily encourage everyone to be DNA tested, so they resolve any doubts in their minds and we find that by having them get the DNA results back, that it does help us in our collections, because it does resolve any doubts that anybody had about the paternity of a child."

"If a father feels a bond for a child, if they have that relationship, they are more likely to pay the child support." said Morrow.

If you owe back child support, there's one way you can avoid going to court on Thursday, go ahead and pay what you owe beforehand. There are some changes in Child Support guidelines that will go into effect July 1st.

Tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 there will be a public forum and informational meeting about the changes at the ACAD building at Albany State University.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=ChildSupport

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