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Deadbeat Illinois: Unpaid Child Support

Updated: Thursday, May 22 2014, 10:50 AM CDT

It costs us all a lot of money when parents walk away from their children and don't look back.

More than $3-billion in child support is owed to families across Illinois.

The price of snacks, play clothes, school lunch, and school supplies all adds up. The costs add up and so does the paperwork. Every parent waiting on the wheels of justice to turn in his or her favor has piles of them from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

For her two daughters aged 9 and 12, Kebrina Frakes is owed nearly $30,000 total in child support.

"It's a nice trailer and a car for sure," Frakes said.

She rents a home in a Springfield mobile home park. The father of her two girls Cornelius Tolbert hasn't seen the kids in years.

"I can't say I don't care. I mean I do care, but I know they're not struggling," Tolbert said.

From the mobile home where they live and receive disconnect notices nearly every month, Frakes disagrees. Tolbert lives at a house in Dawson where he says his new girlfriend picks up the tab.

"I'm disabled so you know-- I can only do what I can," he said.

Tolbert says he's been twice denied social security and is trying again. He isn't exactly
remorseful about the money he owes in child support.

"She's just got to accept it. I'm accepting it. I'm going to always owe her some back child support. That's how it goes," Tolbert said.

Frakes says if Tolbert would pay the support he owes, she could get off government assistance and her kids could have a better life.

Across the nation there is$ 116-billion dollars in unpaid child support. Statewide $3.2-billion dollars is owed to more than 338-thousand families. Here's a look at how much is owed in local counties: Sangamon $51.2-million, Champaign $45-million, Morgan $6.7-million, and Macon $30.6-million.

"I want to give them everything I can, but if I have nothing what can I give?" Tolbert said.

Making non-custodial parents pay isn't as easy it might seem.

We'll explore that in part two of this special report.

Deadbeat Illinois: Unpaid Child Support

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