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`REGISTER' MAY MAKE IT EASIER TO PUT BITE ON DEADBEAT DADS

In the continuing quest to find ways to get child support out of deadbeat dads, the Office of Recovery Services is suggesting creation of a "new hire register" that will make it easier to deduct the payments from paychecks.

Bruce Heaton of ORS made the proposal to the State Industrial Commission's Employment Security Advisory Council, and even though he didn't request support, he said legislation is being prepared that will create the register. He also invited council members to submit comments on the plan.Heaton said there are 500,000 Utahns being hired every year, each having to submit a W-4 Form to their employer for income tax deduction purposes. If copies of the forms are forwarded to his agency, the names could be cross-checked against lists of deadbeat dads.

There already are 14,000 Utahns who have child support money deducted from their paychecks, but that is a small percentage of the 93,000 cases where child support payments are involved.

Once the W-4 Form is matched to a person owing child support payments, Heaton said, businesses will be asked to inform the worker that a plan will be established to deduct child support payments from the paychecks. Currently, it takes six months to find some of these deadbeat dads, and the new program would reduce that to one month.

It isn't uncommon, said Heaton, for a person who has a job to quit once found by ORS employees who ask for a paycheck deduction. He said 26 states have a similar program.