Deadbeat Dilemma

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Some say navigating their way through our state child support system is like putting together a computer without directions. It doesn't matter if you're trying to collect or pay support, the process can be equally as difficult.

After more than 10 years of trying to collect child support, Jessica Edlund has accumulated piles of papers and files, but no consistent support checks.

"Sometimes it's just easier to forget about, I'd rather not even deal with it," says Edlund.

She also believes the state has miscalculated her support. To try and clear things up, she's tried calling the Illinois Department of Public Aid. She even submitted more paperwork back in October.

"I've received no response yet," says Edlund.

And for Edlund or any parent trying to clear up a problem or simply find out about their case, there's only one number to call: the Illinois Department of Public Aid's 1-800 number.

"Nobody gives you the same answer. I could call back and talk to someone else and get a different answer and then write in and it all takes months," explains Edlund.

"There needs to be an avenue for those with legit concerns," adds attorney Donald Ray.

Ray says even those trying to pay support have problems. For example, if the IDPA takes too much money out of a parent's pay check for support.

"For him to try and get that fixed, for him to call in, from what I’m hearing, it's just near impossible. I don't think there's a lot of good communication between the Illinois Department of Public Aid and individuals," says Ray.

Ray says it's a shame because he knows there are a lot of good people at our regional office that could clear up some of these problems and perhaps make things a lot easier for parents like Edlund.