A woman who was denied child support under a law that allows families to use a “parental support portal” to request a child support check has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Alabama alleging the state violated her constitutional rights.
Bethlehem attorney Michael Rochon, who filed the suit in Montgomery, Ala., said the state is trying to deny Bethany’s request to get support by claiming the law is unconstitutional.
“We have a constitutional right to access a child’s financial information, including the child support that they are paying for,” Rocho said.
The state, however, says the law only applies to families who are married and have children. “
It’s a right that we, as citizens, are entitled to know.”
The state, however, says the law only applies to families who are married and have children.
The suit says Bethany has been denied payments under the law for a period of time and has been unable to get help for months because of the delay.
On May 4, the Alabama Department of Revenue released a report saying the state’s child support system had been in a “stuck” status since January 2017.
The report said the child maintenance office is “sticking” on a total of 1,500 children.
“These children are owed support payments totaling more than $6.4 million, and the child care center has not provided care for a single child,” the report said.
Rochon said he has filed similar lawsuits against states in other states that have used child support law to deny the requests of same-sex couples seeking child support.
“We’re looking for other states to take this up with their legislature,” he said.
Rocho and his partner, Heather O’Brien, have filed a petition in Montgomery seeking to block the law.
The couple said the family of two has spent more than a decade fighting the state over the amount of child support they are owed.
Bethany said the law violates her constitutional right not to be treated as a property owner because of her marriage.
In April 2017, the Supreme Court struck down the federal law that allowed gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, calling it “terrible, terrible, horrible.”