Jeffery Leving supports Rep. Ford's reforms suspending child support for incarcerated fathers

Top Quote Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D) is sponsoring groundbreaking legislation which could significantly help end the cycle of reincarceration for parents in the state of Illinois. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 29, 2017 - CHICAGO, Ill. - Father's Rights Attorney Jeffery Leving supports this legislation, which would suspend incarcerated fathers' obligations to make costly child support payments while behind bars. Such reform would help them transition back into society and help break the vicious cycle of reincarceration - a cycle which creates millions of fatherless children. "This broken system can perpetuate a cycle that is harmful to fragile families with at-risk children," said Leving. "It should not reincarcerate, but should instead rehabilitate."

    House Bill 0236 amends the Illinois Public Aid Code, the Unified Code of Corrections, and the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Under the bill, a person's obligation to pay child support by court order or administrative order is suspended by operation of law while committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC) or the Department of Juvenile Justice (DOJJ).

    The bill provides that the DOC and the DOJJ share relevant data and collaborate to establish programs to assist incarcerated parents owing child support where child support enforcement services are provided by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

    Lastly, the bill would provide for inclusion of information about any child support obligation owed by a defendant and require recommendations concerning the payment be presented in a presentence report. A presentence investigation and report in the case of a misdemeanor defendant who owes child support would also be required.

    This legislation would provide hope to incarcerated parents for a chance at survival upon reentry into society.

    Rep. Ford's pending legislation lines up with Leving's mission to ensure a child is never deprived of a loving father who is willing to fight to be a part of that child's life.

    In 2010, Leving played an instrumental role in making Illinois the sixth state to enact Virtual Visitation Legislation - a landmark law allowing fathers to have crucial interaction with their children via video conferencing, e-mail, and other wireless technologies while incarcerated.

    Unfortunately, not all fathers are aware of their rights or the resources available to them in fighting for those rights. For more information on law and fatherhood, follow Leving on Twitter ( @ ) fathersmatter and Facebook.

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