Fathers who miss child support payments are often called “deadbeat dads.” The idea, in popular thought, is that these fathers do not care at all about their financial obligations or their children.
The trouble with this idea is that the sentiment rarely applies — even in situations where a father isn’t paying their support. It is an unfair slur to many fathers who desperately love their children. The deadbeat dad is not nearly as common as critics assume.
The financial burden of child support on fathers is real
Child support can be such a financial burden that some fathers simply can’t keep up with their payments. By some reports, two out of every three fathers who miss a child support payment simply couldn’t find the money to pay. They love their kids. They weren’t willfully withholding support. The money just isn’t there, and there’s little they can do about it.
The system also works against these fathers. Say a man loses his job and misses a few support payments while looking for another one. That’s hardly his fault, but what if he ends up getting fined and then arrested over his missed child support? Now he has no chance to get a job, which just ensures that he still can’t pay the support.
Furthermore, many fathers who are ordered to pay child support still don’t have custody or visitation, so they don’t see their kids. They do love those children and wish they could see them, but it’s tough to just keep mailing checks to a family that they’re not really part of anymore.
Understanding your legal potion when you can’t pay your child support
Child support and custody issues can get quite complex. If you’re having trouble paying your child support, you need to know more about your legal options. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your future and your relationship with your children.