Posted at: 06/12/2014 7:00 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Just in time for Father’s Day – a snapshot of New Mexico’s deadbeat dad problem.
But let’s deal with one thing right off the top. It’s not just deadbeat dads. There are deadbeat moms too. But the fact is that the men vastly outnumber the women.
The sad truth is that 41 percent of New Mexico’s children live in single-parent households. In all too many cases, the other parent isn’t paying the child support they owe. The total amount for all years is a staggering $717 million. The state has bench warrants out right now for 733 deadbeats – mostly dads.
“I work with a young girl, a single mom with three kids,” said Marlene Moynihan of Albuquerque. “Her husband has not paid one bit of child support. It’s a struggle, something awful. Garnish their wages or lock them up. I say put them in jail!”
“No, because a lot of times the situation of the dads is they’re not in the position where they can pay child support,” said Megan Clark of Albuquerque. “Obviously, that’s their responsibility, so they need to figure out how to make it happen.”
So who owes the most? Here are the top four:
Victor Polanco, San Juan County - $172,000.
Fernando P. Rodriguez, Dona Ana County - $218,000.
Gilbert Begay, San Juan County - $229,000.
Joe Ben, Jr – San Juan County - $333,000.
So far this year the state Child Support Enforcement authorities have collected more than $126 million – on track to beat last year’s record of $132 million.