We have all heard the term “deadbeat dad” and generally means that the father involved in a divorce is not holding up his end of the bargain. Many times, dads are involved and responsible, but the term can be a sticking point for them. The term is defined as a parent who is not supportive by his or her own choice and does not pay their legal obligations.
In today’s economy, many dads are just unable to make child support payments, much less gain full child custody. Sixty-six percent of the child support not paid by fathers is due to inability to make those payments and painting them as deadbeats is often wrong. They love their children and want the best for them. They want to be involved and be present in their lives. Much of the time, custody is granted to the mother, and dads don’t get an opportunity to spend time with their children. Seventy-two percent of child custody cases result in fathers seeing their kids only 5.5 days per month.
No matter why they missed their child support payments, they are called deadbeat dads. Strict laws and punishment can further put the father at a loss of how to pay the amount owed. Garnishing wages, intercepting tax return funds and even taking their driver’s license away are all part of the legal route that states can inflict if you get behind in your payments. If a dad gets too far behind they are brought to court. They can face a year in jail, as if that would help get the payments made. All the while the court system is judging them as bad people and the vicious cycle of jail, inability to get a job and make payments rolls on.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, it may be a good idea to contact an attorney who knows what you are going through and can help you get a fair hearing for child support or child custody modification.
Source: Huffington Post, “The myth of the “Deadbeat” label” Joseph E. Cordell, Feb. 07, 2014