“Deadbeat dad” has become an increasingly popular term, describing fathers who do not uphold their legal responsibility to support their children after divorce, bringing forth visions of dads who abandon their responsibilities and do not care about their children.
But the truth behind a lot of these “deadbeat dads” is that they are unable to afford the child support. So despite how they feel – and most of these men love their kids, want what is best for their kids, and want to be there for their kids – they are still stigmatized as deadbeats, regardless of the reason behind the missing payments.
Divorce Law and Child Support Stacked Up Against Fathers
Because of the way a lot of custody agreements work out, many of the fathers rarely get the opportunity to see their children. Some don’t get to see them at all. And if a father falls behind on support payments, the state or child support agencies often do anything possible to collect what is owed. This can include garnishing wages, intercepting income tax refunds, or suspending licenses.
Not Being Able to Pay Child Support Might Mean Jail Time
If a father falls too far behind a court hearing is scheduled and the father can face up to a year in jail. It should be noted that in many states an attorney is not provided to a father (that might not be able to afford hiring a lawyer) because the case is a civil and not criminal matter.
Vicious Cycle of Child Support and “Deadbeat Dads”
An unfair cycle is created for destitute fathers who would pay the support if only they had sufficient funds. Unable to pay support, perhaps because of a lost job, they are thrown in jail. They won’t have a job when they get out of jail but will still be required to make payments. And the cycle continues as the state continues to sweep their legs out from under them.
For advice on child support and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.