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Study examines why fathers fail to pay child support

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2016 | Family Law

Federal and state governments, and even local police, are all working to compel the “deadbeat dad” to pay his child support. Collectively, these institutions spend millions of dollars a year toward this goal and yet, surprisingly, little research has been done to explore why fathers fail to pay child support. Is the stereotype true? Are fathers selfish and refuse to care for their children? Are the reasons economic? A recent study undertook to answer these questions.

States are heavily invested in fighting deadbeat dads because if fathers do not support their children, the burden falls on the government and the taxpayers. State governments take firm action to avoid this scenario and ensure that fathers are unable to shirk their duties.

Fathers with no money constituted the single largest response, at 38.65 percent. These results are interesting because they indicate that increased measures to compel payments merely shifts need for government assistance from the mother and child to the father. Moreover, it shows that “deadbeat” dads might have less to do with accepting responsibility and more to do with economic reality.

The study also found that 23.33 percent, the second largest group, refused to pay child support because the mother was not permitting them to see their children. This is another interesting result because this indicates that, rather than being unengaged, these fathers are heavily engaged and want to see their child.

The final three categories noted that they lacked control over how the funds were spent, refused to accept responsibility, and argued they were not the father. These positions are more in line with the stereotype, but they constitute a minority of respondents.

If you are engaged in a child support dispute with your ex-spouse, then you may want to contact a family law attorney. There are several options for you to compel payment including filing a lawsuit and submitting a petition to your state regulator. A lawyer can walk you through the pros and cons of either choice or if you should even undertake both. Navigating these various laws and requirements can be intimidating, which is why it is good to have a legal professional on your side. You don’t need to confront these problems alone; a lawyer can help.


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