Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Child Support System Isn't Working

Couples don't stay together forever. When that baby arrives, we all plan on having that happily ever after as a family. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out the way that we planned it. When a couple splits up, they may come to a 50/50 parenting agreement where each parent has equal time with the child and split any extra costs that come along the way as far as caring for the child or school/extracurricular activities. This doesn't happen very often. Many times, the non-custodial parent only wants 50/50 because they think it will stop them from having to pay anything extra for the care of their child, not because they want that extra time with their kids.

child support, single parent, kids


Often times, one parent becomes the custodial parent and the other parent has the child on a set visitation schedule.

Child Support was created to (supposedly) ensure that the non-custodial parent takes responsibility for their child and share the financial responsibility of said child.

Unfortunately, the child support system is so screwed up that most of the time, the deadbeat parent gets off scot-free, leaving the other parent to shoulder the load of supporting a child both financially and emotionally completely on their own.

Each state has its own guidelines for calculating how much child support the non-custodial parent has to pay each month. It is typically based on how much both parents make but depends mainly on how much that NC (non-custodial) parent makes. They also take into consideration how much the NC parent has their child, so that a parent who has them every other week will pay less than one who has their kid only every other weekend.

This is where things get sticky. So, if the NC parent makes 20K a year, they may only be forced to pay $50 a week (or even a month) for a child. Child Support is supposed to be for half of the financial support of said child, and we all know that you can not support a child on that little amount! So the less money the NC parent makes, the less they pay.

On the other hand, I know of instances where the NC parent makes a lot of money and is forced to pay $1,500 a month for ONE child. That's a ridiculously high amount for one child.

There has to be some kind of middle ground. You have single parents who are struggling to get by with their $50/month child support, while other single parents are literally living off their huge amount of CS and not doing anything to support the child they have custody of. What?!?

And the child support system is so screwed up that a large majority of NC parents get away with not paying a dime to help support their child. According to liveabout.com, only 43.4% of custodial parents receive the child support they are due. Less than half!

These deadbeats get a job working under the table and then tell child support that they aren't working. Child support may make them fill out papers showing that they applied to jobs and are making an effort, but that's pretty simple to fake and they don't seem to check up with the employers to see if that person applied as they said.

You have NC parents who just go off the radar. They move and don't give anyone their new address and work under the table so child support can't find them.

Child support's job is to find the deadbeats and force them to support their child when they are being irresponsible. I've talked to a lot of single parents and it seems as if a lot of caseworkers don't want to bother with putting the work in to find these deadbeats or they just don't care.

My ex-husband has never been able to keep a job for very long in the 16 years that I've known him. His jobs usually only last a few months. When we were going to court, he paid child support, but because he couldn't keep a job, it was a very low amount. I had a good case worker here who actually did want to enforce child support. After he moved out of state, she put a hold on his driver's license which carried over to the state he moved to, but after that, it was pretty much out of her hands. I am not allowed to speak to the child support office in the state that he moved to. I have to speak to my caseworker here, and then she has to contact that state's child support office. My ex loves to get an under the table job so that he doesn't have to pay his child support for our 3 kids. He doesn't care about their well being, he just doesn't want me to have his money. In fact, he once refused to apply for a good paying job because he didn't want to have to pay me more money.

My caseworker here would call the other state's caseworker every other day pretty much, trying to get them to keep on his ass, but they wouldn't do anything. After almost a year of him not paying a dime, they finally brought him to court for contempt. He brought $100 with him and paid it. So they gave him another 3 months before another court date. He would again pay $100 before that 3 months was up. He now knows that as long as he pays ANY amount within 90 days, he is off the hook and they won't do anything about it.

Unfortunately, my bills won't do the same! My bills don't go based off of my income, like child support does. I can't just decide to only pay our bills once every 3 months, or pay school fees whenever I feel like it. When the kids have special field trips and activities at school, I can't just decide NOT to pay them. I HAVE to figure it out!

While the deadbeat parent lives their life doing whatever they want when they want without being responsible for their offspring, the custodial parent has to DO IT ALL ON THEIR OWN.

I've talked to a lot of other single parents whose exes owe an upwards of $75,000 in child support and their child support office does nothing about it. Why are these people not standing up for these children and helping these single parents get what they deserve to help raise these kids?

single parent, kids, parenting


There there's the complete opposite end of the spectrum, where you have NC parents who are being forced to pay child support, but never get to see their kids. If they miss even a couple of payments, child support is threatening to send them to jail. Of course, child support is completely separate from visitation, but I know of many situations where the NC parent is forced to pay a ridiculous amount of child support, then told that they need to get their own lawyer to take the custodial parent to court in order to see their own children. I know of one instance where a dad has never missed one single child support payment, and he did get a visitation schedule set up through the courts, however, the custodial parent still refuses to let him see his son. It costs him $200+ each time to take his ex to court for contempt, which he has done 3 times so far, and the judge just gives her a slap on the wrist and nothing else for the contempt. *MIND BLOWN*

Something has to be done. There has to be a better way to handle child support and visitation enforcement. This shit right now just isn't working. Every single parent should be helped to get child support, and every NC parent should be ensured their visitation rights if they want them. No one seems to be thinking of the kids involved in these situations.

The whole child support system needs an overhaul. There has to be a better way to get NC parents to help support the children they have made and be the responsible parent their child deserves and child support should be enforced the same way for every single parent in every single state. NC parents should not be forced to pay an insane amount of child support while being threatened with jail if they miss one or two payments while others are tens of thousands of dollars behind and running free.

Have you dealt with the child support system? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience!


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