published Monday, December 10th, 2012

JoAnne Favors plans hearings on child support

 Rep. Joanne Favors, D-Chattanooga
Rep. Joanne Favors, D-Chattanooga
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — State Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, plans to hold a public fact-finding forum to learn more from noncustodial parents about their experiences with Tennessee child-support laws, policies and interventions.

"I've had so many complaints," the lawmaker said, adding some noncustodial parents have told her that after finally finding a job they have been arrested a short while after being at work for previous nonpayment of child support.

"I've been approached by so many people I could not deal with them individually," Favors said.

The forum will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kingdom Center, 730 E. M.L. King Blvd.

In a news release, Favors said she has received an "overwhelming number" of telephone calls from noncustodial parents, their parents and others about "extremely harsh and unjust" interventions resulting in job losses, "further exacerbating the accrual of child support payment."

"Because of low-wage jobs, job loss, inadequate affordable housing and other factors, these payments would more than likely remain in arrears perpetually."

She said other complaints include threatening letters sent to noncustodial parents despite modifications that had been agreed upon or a parent having been awarded custody. In other cases, noncustodial parents have lost their driver's licenses for nonpayment, making it more difficult to find or maintain jobs.

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