Child Support Collections Down in Alabama

Montgomery, Al (WSFA) - 230,000 Alabama families depend on child support payments to make ends meet.  "We know the need is great for many families to receive these benefits," said Faye Nelson.

Nelson runs the child support division of DHR. It's her job to make sure families receive those payments. She says in April 2008, $35 million dollars in child support payments were made. It fell by a million dollars this April.  One reason is that more people are out of work. The number of people paying through unemployment checks jumped from 455 this time last year to more than 3,000 now. "The unemployment compensation does not compare to a salary," said Nelson.

Nelson says the harsh reality is when parents don't pay it's the children who pay the price.  "Children needs are not being met," says Nelson.

Nelson says she is currently trying to get a bill passed in the legislature to give her office more authority to collect child support payments.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.