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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deadbeat Parents and Unpaid Child Support

When a parent is ordered by the court to pay child support and continuously fails to do so, he or she is commonly referred to as a "deadbeat parent." This pejorative term is used the actual legislation of some states, and is often misunderstood. Parents who fall behind on child support due to job loss or unforeseen circumstances aren't necessarily "deadbeats." Deadbeat is generally reserved for those who have the means to pay, but do not. Parents who are unable to pay may be eligible for child support modification.

More on Deadbeat Parents:

Stereotypes About Deadbeat Parents:

"Deadbeat parents" and "deadbeat dads" are not synonymous. Not all deadbeat parents are fathers, and not all non-custodial fathers are neglectfully behind on child support. In fact, there plenty of moms who have been ordered to pay child support, yet fail to do so, as you can see from jurisdictions that post lists of their most wanted deadbeat parents online.

Consequences for the Parent Who Does Not Pay:

There are several things the state can do when a parent falls behind in child support payments. These steps include:
  • Garnishing his or her pay
  • Refusing to allow the parent to obtain a legal passport
  • Intercepting unemployment compensation
  • Offsetting federal and/or state income tax refunds
  • Enforcing jail time

Taking Action When the Checks Stop Coming:

If you are owed back child support payments, you should contact your local Child Support Enforcement Office to report the lack of payments. Be prepared to provide detailed explanations of the missed payments, as well as any information you may have about the parent's last known location.

Inability to Pay:

It's also important to be aware that many times the parent who is in arrears simply does not have the money to pay the child support payments. In some cases, payments may need to be adjusted to reflect the individual's most current earnings. In other cases, the parent owes so much child support that the money will simply never be paid in full.

The Relationship Between Child Support and Child-Parent Visitations:

Child support is completely separate from visitations. In the eyes of the law, the parent who owes back child support payments still has the right to visit with the child. Therefore, any parent who is in distress over missing child support payments should take the steps outlined above instead of withholding visitations. Refusing to allow your child to visit with your co-parent because he or she has unpaid child support could jeopardize your good standing with the courts.

To see more child support information click here


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Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. One of my friends has an ex who hasn't been paying his child support. Are there any good child support attorneys in Tucson that I should recommend her use?

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Megan Jones said...

I had never really considered that not all deadbeat parents are dads. It is a little sexist to assume that about deadbeat parents. What are the number of dads who don't pay child support verse moms who don't pay child support?

Paul Herman said...

My brother has custody over his child, so his wife has to pay him child support. He's been having trouble getting his wife to pay child support every month. He doesn't make very much as it is, so he really needs to get that child support on time. I hope that he can find some help to get his wife to pay child support on time from now on.

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