The Americans seem full of ideas about how child support may be recovered. The latest, coming from a mother of triplets who has spent eleven years battling to get child support from their father, is to make a television programme aimed at 'deadbeat' parents. The programme Most Wanted Deadbeat Parents "will be presented in a 1-hour television format in which four (4) of the most serious deadbeat offenders are profiled on-camera using photo’s, court records, interviews with acquaintances and victims and information obtained through public records in an attempt to narrow the geographic area in which the offender was last known to frequent and then bring in local law enforcement agencies. When possible, a MWDBP camera crew will be on-site when “deadbeats” located due to “tips” from television program viewers are apprehended by local law enforcement agencies".
According to this report, the programme is not looking to target parents who genuinely cannot afford to pay child support, but rather those who can afford it but choose not to pay. The idea behind the programme seems to be twofold. Firstly, "through the help of the general viewing public, locate serious “deadbeat” offenders and through local law enforcement agencies, bring them before the courts where they can". Secondly, to encourage 'deadbeats' to pay up, rather than face being shamed on television.
I'm sure that there may be some on this side of the Atlantic who would be horrified by this idea, but is it really any different from those TV programmes we watch that 'expose' other types of wrongdoing?