Small victories add up to big accomplishments for Child Support - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Small victories add up to big accomplishments for Child Support advocates

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville parents are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back child support and there's a group of people constantly fighting for them. 

For instance, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and Child Support Division recently collected a $113,653.81 payment for one single mother. Officials were able to get the payment after the non-custodial parent received a big settlement of his own.

That's just one of thousands of cases the county attorney's office and child support division are working. In the basement of the Jefferson County Child Support office, there are thousands of case files.

"These are all active cases," said Joe Leavell, Ombudsman for Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Those case files all represent innocent people.

"Each one of these case files represents a kid who is a part of a family...who depends on what I do," said Leavell.

What Leavell does is trouble shoot child support claims, and his investigations have led to millions in child support payments.

"Well over 70-million dollars every year," Leavell explains. 

That money is collected from non-custodial parents, who are not always easy to find so the child support division has to get creative.

"They include IRS tax interceptions," said Leavell. "We have motions to revoke, we have contempt pleadings so we try to attack it a couple of different ways."

That's how the child support division was able to recently collect a significant payment for Angel Cook.

"We were able to collect for her back child support owed to her by Mr. Curtis Gordon in the amount of $113,653.81," said Mike O’Connell, Jefferson County Attorney.

The father of Cook's son recently won a $2.8 million settlement. "People in our office saw it and got together and started talking about a way to get part of it," O'Connell said. 

The payments are not always that big, but Cook's case is nothing new.

"We have small victories like that every day," said Leavell.

Because the workload is so big, the child support division has more than 200 case workers. 

Leavell says they often hear from the people represented in the case files. "If you look behind me, my stand there is loaded with thank you cards from families that I have done the very best job that I can do to make sure that they receive regular support."

Right now, the child support division is working more than 60,000 active cases - and growing.

Leavell explained, "We average about 4-hundred new case filings every month."

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