5 Oct 2004

American Samoa social problems linked to non-payment of support

4:20 pm on 5 October 2004

An increasing number of children are said to be dropping out of school in American Samoa because parents are not paying child support.

The High Court has just introduced special forms so that parents can sue those defaulting on payments without having to hire a lawyer.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says a familiar pattern has been developing in cases involving children, such as burglary and alcohol abuse, coming before the courts.

"They're noticing that in a lot of cases, these are kids whose father has deserted the mother and the children, and they've dropped out of school. And the mother's story is that she has not been able to afford to put them through school and part of the reason is because the father has not made his child support payments."

Monica Miller reporting from Pago Pago