Program helps parents devise child support payment plan

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Moms and dads from across Shelby County arrived at the child support office today in anticipation of devising a payment plan.

Terry Scales, a father of two, said he got to the office early.

"I had gotten behind on my child support when I had got laid off from my job," Scales said.

After Scales told officials he recently found a new job, they worked out a payment plan to help cover the payments he's behind on.

Frenchell White Phipps, child support program director, said the goal is to talk to parents and come up with a plan that works.

"We want to discuss their case with them - the current support figure, what's got them behind, and then pretty much work with them on getting the support updated and to continue the regular support because it is a program from this week only," Phipps said.

Officials have named the program Help Us Help You, and this is the third time this year that delinquent Shelby County parents have been permitted a week where they could pay $250 as the first step in a payment plan. The program prevents parents from having their driver's license revoked for back child support.

Of the 65,000 child support cases, only approximately half the people who owe money pay on a regular basis. When child support officials tested the program earlier this year, they said it brought in a lot of back support money.

Parents like Terry Scales say they are prepared to take fulfill their financial responsibilities.

"Yeah I think it is 'cause like I said, the kids need the money or whatever - and the single parent income is not enough."

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