Allen Iverson, Former Philadelphia 76er, May Face Jail Time For Past Due Child Support

"Deadbeat Dads" provoke child-support law discussions.


Allen Iverson, former Philadelphia 76er, 1997 NBA Rookie of the year and 2001 NBA MVP may face incarceration over unpaid child support. Today, the Inquistr reports Allen’s ex-wife Tawanna, claims Iverson owes more than $40,000 in past-due child support. In January 2013, the court ordered Iverson to pay $8,000 a month in support of the Iverson’s 5 children. Tawanna states Iverson has never paid a dime.

When family court finalized the Iverson’s divorce in February, the judge decided in favor of maternal custody and stated Iverson hasn’t the foggiest idea what its like to be a father. “Iverson does not know how to manage the children; has little interest in learning to manage the children and has actually, at times, been a hindrance to their spiritual and emotional growth and development. For example, he has refused to attend to an obvious and serious alcohol problem, which has caused him to do inappropriate things in the presence of the children while impaired. He has left the children alone without supervision. He has left his young daughters in a hotel room with men who are unknown to the mother.”  Iverson and his ex are scheduled to be back in court this week. Iverson’s ex-wife wants Iverson to pay the past due $40,000 and suggested that Iverson be put in jail for his actions.

Both the “rich and famous” and the not so “rich and famous” are making headlines this week for failure to assume parental responsibility and pay court ordered child support.

Shame on you Orlando!

In what seems a pathetic egomaniacal pursuit of “manhood” Orlando Shaw fathered 22 children with 14 women. The deadbeat Nashville dad stated he thought he was the father of 18 children with 17 women. Wrong! The count so far is 22 children with 14 women, making Shaw the “most expensive deadbeat dad” in Tennessee history. On June 7th, 2013, Shaw appeared in court to answer charges brought by Child Support Services filed on behalf of the mothers. Shaw is said to owe tens of thousands of dollars in past due child support accumulated when he refused to sport the children he fathered. Child Support Services reported that it is currently costing the State of Tennessee more than $7,000 a month to support Shaw’s children.

In all likelihood, Shaw will go to trial and could receive a jail sentence. However, Shaw is no stranger to a jail cell:  he has been there before. Shaw states his criminal record is what makes it so hard for him to find a job.

Half Of All Child Spend Childhood In Single Parent Homes

The University of Wisconsin – Madison: Institute For Research On Poverty reports, “Official statistics tell us that about half of all American children will spend part of their childhood living in single-parent, overwhelmingly single-mother, families. Because single-parent families with minor children are the most economically vulnerable families—over 40 percent fall below the official poverty line—government has come to play a major role in the way society ensures support for minor children who have one parent living elsewhere.”

Child Support Laws In The United States

If you owe child support and refuse to pay, you can go to jail. Individuals failing to support their children can also have their driver’s license suspended, lose their hunting and fishing licenses, contractor’s or business license or have their passport suspended. Past due child support payments can destroy your credit record.

In the United State, the laws governing child support vary from state to state and among Native Americans, from tribe-to-tribe. The individual states and federally recognized tribes are responsible for developing and enacting their own set of regulations for deterring and enforcing the payment of child support payments. Within the United States, child support is an ongoing obligation for a period payment made directly or indirectly for the ongoing support and care of children of a relationship or marriage. Payment is typically made to the custodial parent, guardian, caregiver or a state agency. In the United States, there is no gender discrimination for child support: a father may pay the mother or the mother may be obligated to pay the father.

Up to 1950, only a fractional minority of children lived in mother-only families. The Federal Government up to 1950 tried not to interfere in domestic matters the American people felt were best left in the hands of the state or tribal courts. In 1950, the Federal Government enacted the first legislation on child support, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Act. The law required state welfare agencies to inform law enforcement when benefits were dispersed to a child or children that had been abandoned by one or both of his or her parents. The law’s intent was to undertake to locate nonresident parents and force them to pay child support. Up to 1975, the federal government limited its intervention to focusing on these abandoned welfare children.

Early in the 1970s Congress recognized that the caseload of the AFDC had changed dramatically. In prior years, the majority of children required financial assistance because their fathers were deceased. However, by 1970 the majority of the cases of need were for children of parents that had never married, separated or divorced. The number of “Deadbeat Dads” or “Deadbeat Parents”, a term describing parents that have elected not to be financially supportive of their children and willingly fail to pay court ordered child support, escalated dramatically.

In 1975,  Congress responded with The Child Support Enforcement and Paternity Establishment Program (CSE) in an attempt to obtain support from noncustodial parents and to establish paternity for children born outside of marriage so support could be court ordered and collectible.

In 1986, Congress put more teeth into the Federal Government’s role in encouraging noncustodial parents to pay the child support they owe and to collect it when they don’t comply. In 1986 Congress passed the Bradley Amendment. The legislation automatically triggers a non-expiring lien whenever child support becomes past due. The innovative law overrides state statutes of limitation. The law also disallows any judicial discretion, including bankruptcy.

Reasons For Non-Payment Of Child Support

Parents who willfully refuse to pay child support seem to come equipped with a diverse array of self-serving justifications. A recent study of Illinois parents’ delinquent in their child support payments reported:

·      38 percent said, “I am too broke and I can’t afford to pay.”

·      23 percent used lack of payment as a protest against lack of visitation rights.

·      69 percent protested that they had no say over how the child support money was spent.

·      13 percent said they did not want their child or children

·      12 percent denied paternity

It is saddening to note that no one in the study said, “The well-being of my child is my number one priority.” They all had a lame excuse to justify non-payment and avoiding parental responsibility.

•       The latest United States Census reports 42 percent of custodial mother received all of the child support they were owed. 70.5 percent received some. 34.1 percent of custodial fathers received all the child support they were owed, and 72.9 percent received some.

•       In excessive of $35.1 billion dollars in delinquent child support was owed during 2009.

Federal Tax Refund Offset Program

On April 26, 2013 the United States Department of Health and Human Service, Offices Of Child Support Enforcement announced updates to the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program stating, “The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program collects past-due child support payments from the tax refunds of parents who have been ordered to pay child support. The program is a cooperative effort between the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Financial Management Service of the Department of the Treasury, and state child support agencies. The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program was enacted by Congress in 1981 and was originally restricted to child support debts owed in public assistance cases. It was expanded in 1984 to include child support debts in non-assistance cases. The Federal Tax Refund Offset remedy is mandatory, and must be used if a case meets the criteria.”

Under the offset program, tax refunds owed to noncustodial parents are intercepted, and sent to the state child support agency through OCSE, to pay the noncustodial parent’s past-due child support. Since the inception of the Tax Refund Program went into effect in 1982 through the beginning of March 2013, more than $35 billion in past-due support was recovered from 38 million intercepted tax refunds.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) impose passport denial to any person certified by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as owing past due child support in excess of $2,500. The Secretary of State is also granted authority to restrict, limit or revoke a passport previously issued to an individual now owing a child support debt

Parents That Don’t Pay Child Support Hurt More Than Just Their Children

Public News Service, August 13, 2012, reported, “Parents who don’t pay their child support are not just hurting their own children. Erin Sullivan Sutton with the Minnesota Department of Human Services says they’re also taking advantage of taxpayers, by putting pressure on state programs that help the poor. “When the child support is not being paid, there is pressure on both the custodial parents and the state system because custodial parents may have to rely on other public assistance programs in order to meet the needs of their children and families.

By: Marlene Affeld

Children’s Rights

Collecting Back Child Support

Child Support Laws By State

United States Department of Health and Human Services: Offices Of Child Support Enforcement

How To Get Child Support

Public News Service

Unpaid Child Support Puts Pressure on State Programs, Taxpayers

United States Department of Health and Human Services: Offices Of Child Support Enforcement

Federal Tax Refund Offset Program

United States Census Bureau

Nearly Half of Parents Get Full Amount of Child Support, Census Bureau Reports

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Institute For Research On Poverty

Child support enforcement policy and low-income families

United States Government

Section 8: Child Support Enforcement Program

Sport Balla

Iverson May Face Prison


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