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Dad Says Child Support Postcard Reminders are an Invasion of Privacy

The Short of It

A Kansas dad, who wishes to only be known as Scott, is upset that the state's child support payment reminder system is in the form of postcards. Since anyone handling, sorting or delivering his mail can read the postcard, he feels his privacy is being invaded, even though the monthly reminder cards don't mention anything about his children or payment details.

The Lowdown

The dad says he doesn't mind paying child support because he wants to help raise his children. But, the postcard reminder system has to go. He feels these notifications should be in sealed envelopes.

"I was utterly shocked," he told Kansas TV station KWCH. "Not only shocked, but embarrassed that they would be sending these cards out as public knowledge. I live in a very small town, and it's like, why don't you just put a sign in my front yard saying, 'Hey, here's a noncustodial parent, and he's paying child support.'"

State officials feel the postcards are discrete and are only sent to parents who have been mandated by the court system to pay child support. They're meant to help collect the $28 billion owed each year.

Theresa Freed, communication director for the Kansas Department of Children and Families, told KWCH, "You ask any parents who have children in their home and are not getting their child-support payments, and they will tell you it is vital."

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The Upshot

To please people on both sides of this issue, why doesn't the state of Kansas simply allow people who are paying child support to opt in to email, text message or phone call reminders for a more discreet notification? This would save the state on postcard printing and postage costs, while making recipients feel like their privacy hasn't been invaded.

Do you think postcard reminders are an invasion of privacy or is the dad being too sensitive?

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