In an AC article named Deadbeat Dads; What are they thinking?, Susan Corbett approached the subject of non-payment of child support. While the article was well written, I believe she has taken a general stance where there needs to be a case by case decision making progress.
For instance, at one point she states that child support payments are too low to cover a child’s shelter, food, clothing and other miscellaneous items. While this may be true, her statement is too biased to the person that has custody. For one thing, the other parent would have to provide the shelter and utilities anyway for themselves whether or not there was a kid.
Another problem is that maybe, just maybe, the child would have these other things if the government would give at least partial recognition of the money spent by the non-custodial parent for children’s clothes, school supplies and other essentials. As it stands, no matter how much money a non custodial parent spends on the needs of the child it is considered a gift. Do you have any idea of the number of parents that want to be able to take their kids shopping, but can’t because they can afford only the child support payment?
Another point she made was that she believes that the child support payments are set too low to begin with. Is this possible? Yes. But I don’t think that it is true in the most economically depressed parts of America. When a person works their as* off, they are supposed to be able to provide some support. But when that same person works for a miserly wage and can barely have enough food to feed themselves and still make the rent and electric bill on time, then that small amount might as well be a million dollars due.
As for the difference between child support and visitation, it is suppose to be two different things. But this is the real world. I can imagine how many parents make the payments in hopes that they will get to see their kids. When there is no money, then the kid is ‘unavailable’. So it does affect seeing your kids, even if it isn’t suppose to.
So the topics of child support and visitation is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of situation. If you are a true deadbeat- then you should be ashamed. But a person that really has a ‘situation’ should be considered a person that is having difficulties. As for those that hold the children ransom? Well, what goes around, comes around. And when it comes around, the person they love the most will possibly be unavailable to them.