Change to Section 13(d) Child Support Law

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Petition to change Alabama law governing non-payment of court-ordered child support. A petition of Valerie Clay for the people of Alabama. We the undersigned would like to bring your attention to the following problem with recommendations: 

Section 13A-13-4 of Alabama law "Nonsupport" states that:
"(a) A man or woman commits the crime of nonsupport if he or she intentionally fails to provide support which that person is able to provide and which that person knows he/she is legally obligated to provide to a dependent spouse or child less than 19 years of age.

(b) "Support" includes but is not limited to food, shelter, clothing, medical attention and other necessary care, as determined elsewhere by law.

(c) "Child" includes a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has been admitted by the actor or has been established in a civil suit.

(d) Nonsupport is a Class A misdemeanor."

We recommend a change to Section 13(d) and agree that it would better serve the people if "Class A misdemeanor" was changed to "Class C felony" in cases where more than $10,000 is owed in back child support and to "Class B felony" in cases where more than $25,000 is owed so that parents will take their responsibilities more seriously.

On July 3rd, 2017, declared Alabama the 6th poorest state in the U.S. with over 900,000 living in poverty. I believe that dead-beat parents are the majority to blame for this issue. My ex-husband owes over $92,000 in back child support and the court system has mostly treated it as though there is nothing they can do about it. Had the laws been more strenuous in 2012 when they put him in jail, he would have feared the repercussion of his actions in the future. Instead, he got out that very same night on a $2000 bail bond and hasn't shown up for court since. He has been able to dodge the system by working for cash under the table even after I proved to the courts that he had his own profitable business. He has been able to walk away scot-free for the past eleven years affecting my children's lifestyles greatly. With his help, they would have had much greater opportunities. Child support affects the child's entire life (health, education, living arrangements, and future). 

Single parents work hard to pay for everything alone while dead-beat parents ignore their responsibilities and the child is the one who suffers the most. I say it is time for a change! I feel that nonsupport contributes greatly to the poverty problem we have in our state and that if the laws were more strenuous we would get better results from our child-support court cases. 

Agreed upon by the following people (all who have signed below):

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