Because children’s well-being might be at stake, the state often takes an interest in child support matters. If the noncustodial parent pays the child support on time, then there will be no need for court hearings and possible jail time. But a Minnesota parent who falls far enough behind in child support may face consequences to his or her finances and/or freedom.
Some states try to avoid letting things get that far by sending reminders to the noncustodial parent to send their support on time. But a man in Kansas says that the way that state reminds him to pay child support is an invasion of his privacy.
That state sends postcards to all parents with a court order to pay child support. Yahoo Parenting shows a picture of the postcard, which includes a State of Kansas logo and the phrase, “Have you paid your child support this month?” The father’s objection is that the postcard is not sealed in an envelope, like a letter might be.
He said he is “utterly shocked” and “embarrassed” by the possibility that his mail carrier or someone else might read the postcards and learn he does not have custody of his kids. The father says he meets his child support obligation every month, and understands there is a “valid need” to do so.
It is not clear from the Yahoo Parenting article how long the man has been paying child support, how long he has been receiving the postcards or why his story is receiving national attention.
The communication director for the Kansas Department of Children and Families says the postcards are meant as reminders, not as shaming devices.