Child Support Programs Larry Roberts Fayette County Attorney

Child Support Specialty Court

Larry’s office works tirelessly to enforce the legal and moral obligation of making sure children in Lexington receive enough money for housing, food, and clothing.

 

Incarcerating non-custodial parents for failure to pay child support has proved to be counterproductive in most instances.  Not only does that prevent the non-custodial parent from earning an income, but it also places a burden on the state to provide welfare payments to the custodial parent. Incarceration further lessens the non-custodial parent’s ability to find employment after being released.

 

In response to this pervasive issue, Larry Roberts enacted an innovative program called Child Support Specialty Court which is supervised by District Judge Bruce Bell.

 

Instead of facing a felony charge of Flagrant Non-Support the non-custodial parents are given the option to avoid the potential conviction by allowing the Court to ultimately amend the felony charge to a misdemeanor and then complete the requirements of the program.

HERE ARE THE REQUIREMENTS THAT EVERY NON-CUSTODIAL PARTICIPANT MUST FOLLOW:

  1. Get a job. Larry’s office has been able to find employment for every person in the program. This often requires a life change for many individuals who have never had a good work history.  Local employers become a probation supervisor in sorts because if the individual does not come to work on time or perform the regular duties for the job, Judge Bell is immediately notified.
  2. Each individual must begin making current weekly payments and payments to reduce the arrearage.
  3. Participants must accept counseling, testing or treatment if there is an alcohol or drug problem.
  4. Attending 14 weeks of Parenting classes provided by the County Attorney’s office is required.
  5. Regular meetings (weekly and monthly) with District Judge Bruce Bell and Larry’s staff are required.

At the successful completion of the program (generally 12 to 15 months) the felony charge will be dismissed. A graduation ceremony is held in Court with Judge Bell and the criminal record is EXPUNGED. Since 2010, 272 individuals have entered this program. 141 non-custodial parents have successfully completed the requirements.

IS THE PROGRAM WORTH IT?

We have collected $545,918.99 from these non-custodial parents, all of whom were NOT PAYING ANYTHING.

 

Only 5 of the graduates have failed their obligation to keep paying their weekly obligations.

 

Getting a program like this off the ground without any Federal, State or Local funding was and will remain the priority of Larry Roberts. His thoughts about this Specialty Court? “This is the kind of program that makes me want to come to work every day.”

Programs Initiated While in Office

Child Support

Larry’s office works tirelessly to enforce the legal and moral obligation of making sure children in Lexington receive enough money for housing, food and clothing.

Cold Check Collection

Many people write checks for merchandise or services knowing there is not enough money in their account to cover the check.

Criminal Diversion

As Commonwealth Attorney, a defense attorney and County Attorney Larry has always believed in diversion and has had an extensive program since he was elected.

Delinquent Property Tax

One responsibility of Larry’s office is to collect delinquent property taxes.

Kids In Court

One of the most enjoyable thing Larry does in his office is not a required function. It involves 4th grade children.

Traffic Diversion

One of Larry’s duties is enforcing traffic laws. His office handles thousands of citations yearly.

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