Montgomery, AL (Gumptown Magazine, 2015)
Citizens of Montgomery filled a courtroom at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the First Annual Child Support Forum. The forum was held on Thursday, October 22. District Attorney Daryl Bailey held this forum to find solutions to problems with the child support system process. Parents had the opportunity to talk to professionals from the Department of Human Resources (DHR), District Attorney’s Office, and private attorneys.
“There are problems with the systems that we have” said District Attorney Bailey as he opened up the forum. “There are individuals not paying any child support at all.” Non- custodial parents also have concerns about paying too much in child support.
The District Attorney also expressed his concern for the children. “The goal is to make sure that children are being taken care of and cared for in a proper manner” he said as he was talking about how children need financial support to make it. “I talk to many parents who have issues with buying school supplies and basic necessities.”
The District Attorney’s Office has a Child Support Enforcement Unit. An investigator from that unit explained their role in helping DHR with paternity establishment and child support orders. Melanie Baldwin from DHR explained the process for filing a child support claim. “The more information you provide, the faster the process will get to the D.A. Office” she said.
Victoria Relf of the Relf Law Firm was another panelist at the forum. Her firm handles child support cases and represents non-custodial parents. She encouraged non-custodial parents in attendance to always show proof of income. “Get receipts for all money donated for support” she shared.
Community Activist Karen Jones was also in attendance. During the open question and answer portion of the forum, she talked about the current policies dealing with the child support process. “We need policy changes” proclaimed Jones. “Let’s meet with the commissioner of DHR and talk to legislators.” The DHR Child Support Enforcement Unit currently has 25 employees who work on 17,000 child support cases.
For more information about the Child Support Forum contact the District Attorney’s Office Child Support Unit at (334) 832-1299.
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