Child Support and Not Making Your Payments
Is There a Relationship Between Seeing the Children and Not Paying Support?
There are approximately 2.5 million divorces each year in the United States, and almost half of those relationships have children. That means that each year more than one million kids may come from a broken home from which the court has ordered that one of the parents must pay child support. Although there are many reasons the non-custodial parent may use to justify late or canceled child support payments, the lack of financial assistance that occurs in divorced families is growing at a concerning rate. Here are some of the many problems associated with those missing payments.
Parental visitation takes a concerted effort at a time when the ex-spouses may not want anything to do with one another. Resentment may trigger a missing visit, which can expand into sporadic and often miserable “stop bys” to see the child for a few minutes. When the parent responsible for child support payments omits the monthly contribution, he or she knows that questions regarding the money will be part of the visit. Too often, the result is an angry cancellation of visitation by one of the parties.
It is estimated that more than 30% of the non-custodial parents are more than three months late on their child support payments. The explanations vary between individuals, and for most, the excuses are valid. The reasons cited for non-payment often include:
- Multiple families
Still, because the government can quickly become involved in non-payment issues, fear and guilt can be a heavy burden and cause the parent to stop visiting the children altogether.
Parents love their children, but when the non-custodial parent begins a new relationship or family, the children they left behind often suffer because of the lack of child support payments. The custodial parent may claim there is no money for an item because the other parent is not paying support. The child may then transfer feelings of resentment toward the non-custodial adult. The child may also call out for attention using physical anger, disruptive language, or sulking depression that the parent misidentifies as a signal he or she should leave the child alone. This results in fewer visits, which is counter to what the child really needs.
There is a crucial relationship between paying child support and lack of visitation, but there does not seem to be a solution to the problem. Missing payments can lead to guilt, fewer visits, and government intervention. Sadly, when the parent is not involved in the child’s life, the real victim is that child. A family attorney from a firm like The McKinney Law Group may be able to help you out with child support and other family issues you are facing.