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  07/17/2017 AG Walker continues child support payment initiative  
    
 

ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Attorney General Claude Earl Walker continues in his efforts to ensure that the financial needs of the Territory’s children are being met.

            On assuming office in 2015, AG Walker launched an aggressive campaign to collect millions of dollars owed in child support payments by non-custodial parents.  During this initiative, the Department of Justice’s Paternity and Child Support Division was forced to revoke the driver’s licenses of those parents who had overdue child support payments.  AG Walker said some of those licenses have since been re-instated.

            “We have suspended over 40 driver’s licenses and we have re-instated about four of them,” AG Walker said.  “The delinquent parents have done what is required in order to have their licenses re-instated, either by paying off the arrearages or entering into a payment plan for a period of time, and have shown they will comply with it.  We’re making it clear to the public that although we have the authority to suspend, we also do re-instate driver’s licenses.”

            U.S. passports are also suspended if parents default on paying child support.

            “We’ll send a notice to the U.S. State Department notifying them that the person is now in compliance and ask that the suspension on the passport be removed,” AG Walker said.  

            Earlier today during a telephone conference with members of the media, AG Walker announced that PCSD is now targeting professional license holders who have outstanding child support payments.

            “Our focus has shifted to professional licenses… The statute clearly provides that professional licenses and business licenses can also be suspended for non-payment of child support fees,” AG Walker said.  “The law is very broad… It covers just about every field where a license is required.”

He said the emphasis is now on different sectors where there appear to be significant amounts owed in child support payments and one such profession where there are some who are not meeting their fatherhood obligations is the taxicab operation.  AG Walker, along with Director of Bureau of Motor Vehicles Lawrence Olive, Executive Director of Taxicab Commission Levron Sarauw and PCSD Program Administrator Kathryn DeLugo, has been conducting face-to-face meetings with taxi drivers who are behind in child support payments, informing them of their delinquencies and making arrangements for them to settle their arrearages or become current with their payments.  

              AG Walker pointed out that non-payment of child support creates a strain on the welfare system.

            “Ultimately, it is the people of the Virgin Islands who will have to take care of these children and that’s not fair,” he said.

            Meanwhile, DeLugo said during the third quarter of 2017, PCSD collected a total of $1,853,514 in child support payments.

She said the regional director for Administration for Children and Families (ACF) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be visiting the territory next month to introduce a number of programs and initiatives being implemented on the mainland that may be replicated here in the territory as PCSD continues its enforcement process.   

 

 
  AG Walker continues child support payment initiative.pdf