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:
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.
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.”