Deadbeat Dilemma, Part 9

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For several months we've been exploring the deadbeat dilemma in Illinois. We've learned of thousands of parents in our area having trouble collecting support payments, but now we take a look at some of the problems those paying support face.

Joe Amodeo is searching for answers about his child support payments, but as a father paying support, he says it's not easy.

"It's very frustrating," says Amodeo.

Amodeo just wants information on his account balance. One hundred dollars has been deducted from his paycheck for support every week for several years now. His daughter is now 19, yet he's still paying. He was behind on payments at one time, but he just wants to know how much more he owes.

"We've tried calling, tried getting on the Internet, we've got nowhere," says Amodeo.

But the Amodeo’s may have been looking in all the wrong places. The Illinois Department of Public Aid says if the case wasn't opened with them, the Amodeo’s would have to go to the courts or the state disbursement unit for answers. They're now looking into the specifics of this case.

Joe says it seems like a lot of work for a seemingly simple request. He believes the system just doesn't cater to parents like him.

"Basically, it's for people trying to collect. It says nothing about people who are paying who have questions on the other end," says Amodeo.

But he's been pointed in the right direction now and perhaps some real answers lie ahead.

The director of the Illinois Department of Public Aid Child Support Division is visiting Rockford Wednesday. He'll highlight a new initiative that may increase child support payments. We'll tell you about it on 23 News at Five and Six.