Why do parents fail to pay child support?

Federal and state governments devote millions of dollars a year to find and force parents to pay child support. Surprisingly very little research has explored why parents fail to make their child support payments. Is it because the parents lack the money? Is this a form of retaliation? Do fathers refuse to accept responsibility for their children? This post will summarize these findings.

The researcher reviewed family court documents for potential subjects. The researcher then contacted all appropriate files and received 150 responses. The respondents filled out a detailed questionnaire discussing their familial situation, circumstances of the child's birth and results of any family court disputes.

The researchers found that 38.65 percent of fathers indicated a lack of funds as the primary reason for failure to make payments. The second most cited reason, at 23.33 percent, was as a form of retaliation because the mother refused to allow the father to visit the child.

Another 14 percent argued that they did not pay child support because they have no say over how the funds are spent. Another 12.67 percent took the position that because they did not want the woman to have the child, they were not responsible for its support. And finally, 12.67 percent refused to pay because they were not the father of the child. 

Because single mothers are often financially vulnerable, governments enforce child support payments. It is believed that child support is one of the best ways to prevent single mothers and their children enduring severe economic hardships. Moreover, this goal is accomplished without expending taxpayer funds. But these results tend to indicate that failure to pay child support is more complicated than the "deadbeat" dad stereotype.

If you are trying to enforce child support payments against your spouse, then you may want to contact a family law attorney. As you can see, there are multiple avenues you may pursue. For example, you could involve state investigators, or you could file a lawsuit. A lawyer can assist you through the process and advise you on the best course of action.


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