Why do some parents choose not to pay child support? It certainly isn't a wise choice to go against a judge's order, and the penalties can range from having wages garnished and tax returns grabbed to being jailed for contempt of court.
Here are some of the main reasons experts have discovered that parents refuse to pay support:
- Their own low self-esteem leads them to believe that their children would be better off if they simply drop out of their lives altogether. Even the support payment is a connection that they see as unnecessary.
- New romantic interests or spouses might resent the children, the custodial parents or the money being sent to a different household. Noncustodial parents can be persuaded to stop sending child support payments.
- Some noncustodial parents are convinced that if their exes drive nice cars, wear expensive clothes or get manicures, they are using "the children's" money on it. These noncustodial parents seem to prefer their exes live in poverty. They see any visible indications of material wealth as signs that the child support is unnecessary.
- Others feel the whole system is rigged. Maybe they didn't want children and felt tricked (even if the contraceptives just failed), or maybe they wanted the mother to get an abortion or think it's unfair that a woman has to pay support to a man when the dad has custody.
- Some genuinely can't afford to pay. They've lost their jobs, been demoted or laid off, were recently injured or had another child and now can't afford the same amount of support.
Whatever the reason, you have to decide how to respond, whether you agree to receive less support on a temporary or permanent basis (if the nonpayment is due to a real problem). You might decide to ask the court to enforce the order.
You also need to reassure your child, if he or she is old enough to understand the money-flow problems, that the situation isn't his or her fault. Children often worry that they are somehow responsible for things they can't control.
For help with child support issues, talk to an attorney today.
Source: the spruce, "21 Reasons Why Deadbeat Parents Bail On Their Kids," Jennifer Wolfe, accessed Sep. 08, 2017