Bringing Child Support into the 21st Century

Find Your Ex Online

Why Take a Child Support Enforcement Agency At Face-Value, When You Can Find Your Ex and His Assets Online?

Let’s be honest – it’s far too easy for non-custodial parents to avoid paying their fair share if you’re counting on today’s Child Support Enforcement agencies. In 2019, the Virginia enforcement office had 167,120 cases and only 907 employees.  At best that’s 184 cases per CSE employee, and even then, not all of them would be described as caseworkers. 

The truth is unless your ex is working a steady job with a regular paycheck, and is easy to find, CSE won’t pursue the case. In many cases NCPs knowingly exploit this and choose to work outside of a standard 9-5 in order to avoid making their support payments. This is not fair for the mothers or the children who depend on them and yet it still happens way too often.  While most state-run CSE agencies intend to do “what’s best for our children”, the truth is they simply aren’t up to handling a case that exceeds connecting a few dots. This has led to an increase in the total national arrearage debt by billions, year-over-year (page 91, table P-85). 

Updated online solutions can give custodial parents the tools they need to navigate child support enforcement and make collecting arrears a much more manageable goal.

Accessibility Is The Key

What’s the most revolutionary online app that you can think of? Facebook? Instagram? Amazon? How about financial banking applications like PayPal or Venmo?

The amount of security and reliability required to instill confidence in the user and institutions was a big technological hurdle. After all, what’s more important than getting paid so you can provide for your family? 

Banking apps, and online account management has proven that security and confidence can be trusted on the internet. This change then paved the way for legal tech solutions to begin providing services through the net. As legal tech solutions continue to become more popular, there’s really no need to spend time waiting for CSE to solve problems they might never get around to tackling. 

Let’s talk about Texas…

A mere 2,610 employees carried 842,038 in 2019, that’s 322 cases per caseworker. No wonder they don’t do much beyond wage withholdings; they don’t have the time or resources for it!  Suppose technology could do the heavy lifting instead of putting it all on caseworkers’ shoulders (but hiring more caseworkers would be a step in the right direction, just saying)?  Caseworkers could actually give client files adequate attention to help you collect what you are owed. 

Location Tools

One of the most challenging steps in collecting arrears is just finding the obligor and his money. 

You can’t collect if you don’t know where he is. Searching for your ex can really take over your life, let alone a caseworker’s who has many other evaders to find. 

The introduction of technology could bring improvements to an outdated process.  It could cast a wider net and use skip tracing methods consistently until you find him. 

What if this was possible…If he sells his car, you are notified. If he uses his address to sign up for a gym membership, it is caught. Even if he moves across state lines, it’s flagged and you are alerted. This is a solution you could get behind because right now, all he has to do is move down the street to set back CSE months. SMH…

Child support enforcement, as it stands today, isn’t getting the job done. The $118 billion arrears mountain is proof that the current stet-up isn’t working.  Embracing technology and what it can bring to the table has the potential to find obligors faster and help more Moms get paid. Athena can help…check us out!

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