Public Comments for: HB1058 - Child support; interest on arrearages.
Last Name: Lawson Organization: H.E.A.L. of Virginia Locality: Grayson

I would appreciate if you take in consideration my thoughts on these bulls especially 1080. This would harm innocent children and families their are 13,000 children on sex offender registries in Virginia...What do you plan to do with them their parents can go in a shelter but a child is excluded. Also a single parent who has a requirement to register stays outside and children are took inside unattended. Please consider this bill as not a wise choice

Last Name: Lawson Organization: H.E.A.L. Locality: Independence

I oppose multiple bills that have made it to the house the one bill regarding Emergency Sex Offenders is the most absurd bill I have ever heard in my life. No one is going to be worried about sexual offending in a State of Emergency number one. For example Dad is on a registry and he has three children who are accepted inside without supervision while dad is kept outside in the storm or natural catastrophe. When you pass bills like this your punishing innocent children and families. What about people who committed murder or child abusers are they treated the same? You Senators and delegates got this wrong and this is harmful to innocent families and children. Now let's talk about the 13,000 children on Sex Offender Registries in Virginia some as young as 7 years of age so Mom , Dad and entire family is allowed in but the child is made to stand outside during a castophre alone and sacred while his or her family are allowed inside these laws are based off fear and gives a false sense of security to the general public. Sex Offense is to broad, urination in public is a registable offense as a Violent Sex Offender, Reprorting a Sex Crime will land you on a Violent Sex Offender Registry such is my sistuation. Please reconsider the harm the harm of this bill

Last Name: Merwin Organization: Family Reunion Locality: National Organization

I support HB1058. Many noncustodial parents have child support orders set beyond their ability to pay with their low-income wages, often living paycheck to paycheck trying to support their children, families, and themselves. Putting interest on arrearages further compounds their dire financial situation and inability to pay, setting into motion a domino effect of penalties. For many noncustodial parents, these penalties are financially cataclysmic. If the noncustodial parent is employed, their paycheck can be garnished, leading them into further debt. If they have a low credit score, they often have trouble securing housing, ending up homeless. If they have a driver’s license, it can be taken away. The parent must then use public transportation, lessening their viability for a better job. Transportation expert Randal O'Toole says that "One recent study found that low‐income people with cars have access to 30 times as many jobs as low‐income people dependent on transit." See Randal O'Toole, Helping People Reach Jobs, Cato Institute, Nov. 15, 2017 (https://www.cato.org/blog/helping-people-reach-jobs). Government restrictions withholding a poor person’s ability to drive lead to them getting worse jobs or working fewer hours than if they could quickly drive to work. That shrinks the size of the economy and increases the federal budget deficit. Spending hard-earned taxpayer money to try and collect from poor noncustodial parents is a waste of time and resources, and the likelihood of getting them to pay is slim. The financial impacts on noncustodial parents also lead to negative relational and emotional outcomes for children. Studies show when a noncustodial parent owes child support beyond their ability to pay, they have significantly less contact with their children, and when they do interact with them, they are less effective parents. Debt also leads to decreased mental and physical health and worsens family relationships. The children suffer in the long run. Please vote YES for HB1058.

Last Name: Frank Locality: Arlington

This bill makes sense, and I support it. It will reduce uncollectable arrearages and hard-to-collect arrearages that consume lots of taxpayer dollars to collect -- often more than the amount of the arrearage collected. When people live paycheck to paycheck, they have a hard time paying retroactive child support. Even if they can manage to come up with the money to pay retroactive child support, they will have trouble paying interest on top of it. It doesn't make sense for state officials or courts to spend time and money to try to extract additional interest when a poor noncustodial parent already can just barely pay the underlying child support to begin with. Many working-class parents are already at the edge of survival, financially, and can be destroyed by a large retroactive award of child support, with can lead to the suspension of a drivers license needed to have a decent job to pay adequate levels of child support. As Judge Anne Kass observed, many noncustodial parents simply cannot pay in full what they are ordered to pay. She said, "I have seen far more parents who are ordered to pay child support who pay some support but not all they are ordered to pay. Many of these parents are engaged in a financial struggle they cannot win. These are the working poor." This is the classic situation where parents often simply can't pay, as opposed to being unwilling to pay. The Baltimore Sun reported on how excessive child support obligations backfired and resulted in low-income parents losing jobs and drivers licenses and actually paying less child support as a result: "Decades of ... policy for setting high child support orders .... has done more harm than good for low-income Maryland families, destabilized communities and trapped many men in a cycle of debt they cannot escape, a report by the Abell Foundation released Tuesday shows. "The report, written by [a former] top [federal] child support enforcement officer...said the state should ensure orders are set by the court based on a parent’s ability to pay, using their actual income rather than their potential earnings. [the way Virginia and Maryland do] … "'Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives,' Vicki Turetsky wrote in the 55-page report." See Yvonne Wenger, "Maryland should overhaul child support system and how payments are set, Abell Foundation report says," Baltimore Sun, June 18, 2019 (https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-child-support-abell-foundation-20190618-story.html). When noncustodial parents lose their jobs or their drivers licenses (due to inability to pay excessive child support obligations), they end up making less money, and actually often end up paying less in child support over the long run. Most good jobs aren't easily accessible via public transit, and require a car to commute to. See Ian Chaffee, "How transit affects job seekers—the first and last mile to the station make all the difference."

Last Name: Achin Organization: Father's Rights Locality: Woodbridge

This should be linked with HB 572 as well. I am a father who has been taken advantage of by the system for the sole reason that he left the mother. No amicable resolution was possible, and no had to force me to support my child; I did so voluntarily and thoroughly, paying well over $1,000 a month on a schoolteacher's salary. Did the court force the mother to respect the visitation and custody arrangement she had agreed to? No. They enabled her, made excuses for her, and consistently prioritized her needs over the child's. I fought both the ex and the court so my daughter could see me. The court consistently gave more visitation hours, only to refuse to enforce them, effectively depriving me of all visitation. Years later, in 2018, I was accused of and wrongly convicted of a felony and was unable to pay. Boy, did the law come down on me! I had to liquidate retirement to pay back child support, with interest. Even when the formula changed in 2014, they came back at me, and I paid. I paid for all autism treatments prior to that. I had to work 5 jobs, while my ex worked 5-10 hours per week. In 2020, the court decided that it didn't matter that I can't find employment due to my felony, or that I was underemployed. I had to create a miracle somehow. Now, you are about to hand them another cudgel with which to beat fathers like me. There should be no interest whatsoever; this serves not to compensate the child, but a particularly vicious brand of mother. The interest cessation should be retroactive in some fashion.

End of Comments