Have you ever had to deal with child support? Well I have in the worst way. Thousands of “deadbeat dads” exist in America today. The system seems to leave it up to the custodial parent to get court ordered supports enforced let alone established. They tell you that you should report any changes as they occur. Huh! Have you ever seen any non-custodial parents that voluntarily offer changes in income unless it’s a decrease? You need to wait a 30 day period of non payments before any action can be taken. In some cases that can be a reoccurring situation. As the years go by the custodial parent continues to struggle which in turn forces the children to suffer. This will cause the custodial parent to create a trail of bad credit choices. In turn this can keep them dependent on public assistance or other family members.
When a couple splits under circumstances of abandonment, the one that is left behind to care for the children is already in a poor state of mind and not as capable to support a family on her/his own in any manner. A lot of times they might even need counseling and are not able to get it because they might not have the ability to access it. Time and transportation could be an issue, and they are unable to attend appointments because they have to work long hours and have no one else to care for their children. Running a single parent household is rough enough, especially when you do it on your own. Taking care of yourself could be the last thing on your mind when you are caring for a houseful of children. It might not be a smart move at the time but, in most cases it’s something you just have to work through and hope for the best.
The following is a statement made in the Handbook on Child Support Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement.
“The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program is a Federal/State/Local partnership to collect child support: We want to send the strongest possible message that parents cannot walk away from their children. Our goals are to ensure that children have the financial support of both parents, to foster responsible behavior towards children, to emphasize that children need to have both parents involved in their lives, and to reduce welfare costs.”
Did you know that 6.2 million single mothers do not receive child support for one reason or another? Some mothers choose to not even collect child support. They may make other arrangements like sharing in the cost of groceries, car repairs, babysitting, clothing, etc… Others just refuse to go through the hassle and try to do it on their own. There is really not a choice, it’s not about whether they can do it on their own it’s about what the children deserve. If the mother (custodial parent) is a hard working prosperous individual and the father (non-custodial), slacks because of it that just means that the children are loosing out on what is rightfully theirs. They deserve both of their parent’s financial support. If the custodial parent doesn’t need the money for present expenses then they should establish a trust fund or an educational fund for the future needs of the child. Even if it were just put aside as a savings to give the child help with costs for that first attempt to live on their own or maybe even that first automobile.
The “deadbeat dad” syndrome has been the cause of several social illnesses, from poverty driven homes living on welfare to social pathology. Dysfunctional homes popping up everywhere seems to be more the norm today. This is the soul blame of fathers who have walked away from their responsibilities and the mothers who don’t get what is due to the children. How can they be so heartless just to seek out their own happiness and pleasures? This causes troubled children to seek acceptance from other relationships which can cause other dysfunctional situations such as an increase in teen pregnancies.
The definition for “deadbeat dad” – a pejorative term (primarily U.S.) that refers to men who have fathered a child but fail to pay child support ordered by a family law court or statutory agency such as the Child Support Agency. No gender is really attached to “deadbeat dads”. It can be phrased as a “deadbeat mom” if the case refers to a woman. In most cases it is the father that is why it was first established as such. Fathers who are considered “deadbeat dads” aren’t always the bad guy. In some cases he may be worse off than the mother of his children. But, 11% of the homes with “deadbeat dads” are men in marriages who deliberately walk away from their responsibilities to their children for the sake of their own gain.
The Department of Domestic Relations needs to devise a way that they can monitor the absent parents finances so that when the non-custodial parent has raises, bonuses, or even reductions in their pay so that both parents can stay on top of the situation and ensuring that the children receive what is rightfully theirs. There needs to be more focus on what the children are entitled to. If a parent has children in more than one family household they should still be responsible for supporting that household with 50% of the income needed to raise that child. If that means that they must obtain more than one job to do so than that’s the way it should be. The way the system is now, the more accounts the absent parent has the less he pays to the household on the bottom of the chart. That isn’t fair to the child in the later home. Maybe that would encourage the non-custodial parent from producing more children he can’t afford.
Our system isn’t perfect and with the growth of fatherless homes in society today, it is becoming even harder to work out the niches. If anyone has ideas on how we can enforce stricter laws that will ensure the financial obligations of fathers everywhere, feel free to contact your congressmen, and let them know of your concerns. I have found out in the past that whenever I had problems with the system my congressman helped me get results I needed. After all, that is what they are there for. We need to show more concern on how we handle fathers and mothers who are absent in the home. There are way too many single parent households and that does not give a good example in anyway.
I have been fortunate in raising five children on my own without the help of others. It has produced great rewards for me. My children have grown to be very responsible people. They all took on jobs at a very early age because of the “deadbeat dad” syndrome in our home. In some ways it was a learning tool for them. No dysfunctional situations have occurred as of yet. They seemed to have grasped the positives and continue to do well. Only a few families end up like this and it’s not always due to how the parents handled the situation. You might say it’s just by the grace of God.