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It was around 1992 when the first active idea of privatizing child support came about. The thought of having civilian contractors helping the social welfare programs enforce Child Support would free up government workers to do other things within the Department. To me, it seemed like a great idea to free up ( CSES Child Support Enforcement Services, a Division of Dept. of Health and Human Services). Even though the idea floated around for a few years, it wasn’t until 1996 that the floating idea would get a life and be attempted by the Department of Health and Human Services. However, Social Services didn’t decide to enter into an agreement until 1997 which allowed allow private companies to assist in the enforcement and recovery process associated with collecting child support monies. One of the first companies to accomplish this goal was Lockheed-Martin IMS. At the time Lockheed Martin was known as one of the largest defense contractors in the United States. The company would enter this venture by helping Florida Social Services CSE by taking over its case management division. Other state and government agencies waited in anticipation, eager to comply with this new idea of enforcement and collection being run by civilian contractors. Those agencies were enthusiastic, hoping that a general contractor would be competent enough to completely take over this responsibility with a more thorough approach to the problem, and would also be better equipped to handle the task bringing more advanced resources than the government was accustomed to achieving this goal. Lockheed Martin was armed with good intentions but lacked the knowledge and experience to help these children awaiting their monthly allotments. The disaster that Lockheed caused would delay other contractors from following suit until some years later. However as the program started to evolve with substantial success from private industry collections; the pursuit of non-custodial parents had taken on a new meaning. Companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon had become allies with law enforcement by merging technology with enforcement. This reduced the time it took to collect and increased general collections. The governments quest to recover funds paid through the Department of Social Services – Temporary Assistance Programs now had the glamorized notion of hopeful reimbursement. As the government allowed collection and enforcement by private industry to bring in record profits associated with recovery reform, the Dept of HHS now had the manpower and resources needed to effectively establish and enforce more cases.
Relative to child support, kidnapping is when the other parent has absconded, without permission with the child. In most cases, there is an arrangement that was originally permissible such as traveling with the child but fails to bring the child back.
The criminal taking away of a person by persuasion (convincing someone-particularly a minor or a woman-he/she is better off leaving with the persuader), by fraud (telling the person he/she is needed, or that the mother or father wants him/her to come with the abductor), or by open force or violence. Originally abduction applied only to protect women and children as victims. Currently in most states it can also apply to an adult male. In fact, in some states like New York abduction meant the unlawful taking or detention of any female for purposes of “marriage, concubinage or prostitution.” Kidnapping is more limited, requiring force, threat of force upon an adult or the taking of children.
A court’s determination of which parent, relative or other adult should have physical and/or legal control and responsibility for a minor (child) under 18. Child custody can be decided by a local court in a divorce or if a child, relative, close friend or state agency questions whether one or both parents is unfit, absent, dead, in prison or dangerous to the child’s well-being. In such cases custody can be awarded to a grandparent or other relative, a foster parent or an orphanage or other organization or institution. While a divorce is pending the court may grant temporary custody to one of the parents, require conferences or investigation (in some states, if the parents cannot agree, custody is automatically referred to a mediator, commissioner or social worker) before making a final ruling. There is a difference between physical custody, which designates where the child will actually live, and legal custody, which gives the custodial person(s) the right to make decisions for the child’s welfare. If the parents agree, the court can award joint custody, physical and/or legal. Joint legal custody is becoming increasingly common. The basic consideration on custody matters is supposed to be the best interests of the child or children. In most cases the non-custodial parent is given visitation rights, which may include weekends, parts of vacations and other occasions. The court can always change custody if circumstances warrant.
Court-ordered funds to be paid by one parent to the custodial parent of a minor child after divorce (dissolution) or separation. Usually the dollar amounts are based on the income of both parents, the number of children, the expenses of the custodial parent, and any special needs of the child. In many states or locales the amount is determined by a chart which factors in all these figures. It may also include health plan coverage, school tuition or other expenses, and may be reduced during periods of extended visitation such as summer vacations. Child support generally continues until the child reaches 18 years, graduates from high school, is emancipated (no longer lives with either parent), or, in some cases, for an extended period such as college attendance. The amount and continuation of support may be changed by the court upon application of either party depending on a proved change of circumstance of the parents or child. Child support should not be confused with alimony (spousal support) which is for the ex-spouse’s support. Child support is not deductible from gross income for tax purposes (but may allow a dependent exemption) nor is it taxed as income, unlike alimony, which is deductible by the payer and taxed as the adult recipient’s income.
the termination of a marriage by legal action, requiring a petition or complaint for divorce (or dissolution in some states, including California) by one party. Some states still require at least a minimal showing of fault, but no-fault divorce is now the rule in which “incompatibility” is sufficient to grant a divorce. The substantive issues in divorces are division of property, child custody and support, alimony (spousal support), child visitation and attorney’s fees. Only state courts have jurisdiction over divorces, so the petitioning or complaining party can only file in the state in which he/she is and has been a resident for a period of time (as little as six weeks in Nevada). In most states the period from original filing for divorce, serving the petition on the other party and final judgment (or decree) takes several months to allow for a chance to reconcile.
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