Child support can be a very complicated situation, and child support cases often create far more stress than required. The Future of Children, which provides current policy research and analysis for children’s welfare, indicates children who are raised in single parent homes have a higher likelihood of living in poverty.
Unfortunately, the child support enforcement aspect of the support system can take an extended period to complete. During this time, the child may be unable to receive the kind of support he or she truly needs. Consider these hindrances to the system:
- Establishing paternity. There is some discrepancy between states about paternity establishment. In most states, a “presumed father” (one who takes ownership as a father for a variety of reasons) will be recognized by the court as responsible for paying child support. Other cases in which paternity may be established include by a stepfather, by a financially supportive person, or by an alleged or “unwed” father.
- Enforcing payment. While every state has an enforcing body for child support, not everyone receives the payments they deserve. Unfortunately, this is one major flaw with the current system. Even though one parent may have a court order stipulating payment for child support, every year half the money owed to single parents goes unpaid. Single parents often don’t have the support needed to ensure payments are being sent appropriately.
- Low income parents. Another issue that plagues the system is the ability of a parent to pay court-ordered child support. Single parents who have the best of intentions but lack the skills to secure finances suffer greatly in this scenario. Welfare is sometimes available for those who are unable to pay, but not always. Sometimes, parents don’t know they can ask for assistance when it comes to paying for child support, and they become delinquent in their obligations.
The best way to ensure the best results in a custody case is to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced custody lawyer. Contact Mariam Ebrahimi, Esq., a custody lawyer in Fairfax, Virginia, if you have any questions regarding child support.