Even with today’s news of indications of economic improvement, the rough economy is still hurting many. Among them are those struggling to pay their child support. A recent article in The Providence Journal focused upon men who are unable to make their child support payments due to lack of work.
The article describes how over the course of two days, “dozens of men were summoned courtrooms… to answer questions about why they are not making their child support payments.”
To the casual reader it might appear that there might be some truth to the old, well-worn stereotype of the deadbeat dad.
The article goes on to point out that these dads are not, in fact, deadbeats: they have been paying religiously, but have simply fallen on bad times. And it goes on to give examples of how the solution for these men is sometimes to pay reduced amounts directly through the court system rather than paying mom directly.
Along with all the other numbers of economic decline that we’ve witnessed during this recession, we are told that the amount of court collection of child support is also down from $84.5 million to a mere $56.3 million.
A more seasoned reader, one with a more intimate perspective on the child-support industry, (such as the readers of DadsDivorce.com) might ask: Where are the moms? Surely non-custodial moms are feeling the brunt of the economy as well! The answer would seem to be that there simply aren’t as many non-custodial moms… not by a long shot. And when one considers that women initiate 85% of all divorces filed we have to wonder if the state isn’t incentivizing women to not remain attached – isn’t, in fact, incentivizing the break up of the American family.
If all these families in question would have divided anyway, shouldn’t we then see more balanced numbers of men and women struggling to pay support? We at DadsDivorce.com simply want to explore what the mechanisms are behind such an obviously skewed state of the divorced family.
Read the entire article here: http://www.projo.com/news/content/CHILD_SUPPORT_10-26-09_IOG52JP_v26.37ce26a.html
Rick Ortiz is the editor of dadsdivorce.com