Should I Put Them on Child Support?
If you find yourself asking this question, you are definitely not alone. When we were little we all had that picture perfect scene in our head about us having our children. "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes me with the baby carriage." Well, for most of us this is not how it always goes down, and even if it does, this is not always how it ends. When things don't work out and we have to go our separate ways, things get even more complicated when there are children involved. Many struggle with the choice of filing for child support for their child/children because of several reasons. Maybe its because you know that the other parent is already struggling financially, or you think they may get mad and then want nothing to do with the child/children anymore. You may have even made the decision not to file because you do not want to have a third party interference in the situation. In this article there are a few questions that you may want to ask yourself before you make your decision.
What Are Your Intentions?
We all know someone that has placed someone on child support or who has been placed on child support for vindictive reasons. The custodial parent (the one who the child lives with) is using the child support system in order to punish the other parent. Most of the time it is because the non-custodial parent does not want to be with them anymore or they have moved on into another romantic relationship. If this is your reason for wanting to for file for child support, it is definitely not the righteous thing to do. If the other parent is doing everything they are supposed to do for their child, trying to punish them for your own personal reasons will also bring unnecessary negative affects for the child.
What Reasons Do You Want to File for Child Support
Is it in the Best Interest of the Child?
This is the most important and the first thing to consider. Technically, nothing about child support is meant to have direct negative affects on the child, but there could be indirect effects. For example, if you do not think that the other parent will have your child in a safe environment, when there is a court order of child support, that parent has rights that you can not interfere with. So, it may not be in the best interest of the child to be associated with the other parent in any type of way if you do not think it is safe for them. Maybe, your child does not even like the other parent or want to be around them. If your child is old enough you may want to consider asking them how they feel about.
Is the Other Parent a Deadbeat?
Sometimes you feel left with no other choice but to file for child support to get some assistance from the other parent because they choose to be a deadbeat. But first, what is a "deadbeat"? And let me also emphasize that there are deadbeat parents of every gender out there. A deadbeat parent is someone who evades their responsibilities to their children and are seldom financially or physically there for them by choice. There are some parents that are doing the best they can, but may fall on hard times financially and are not able to provide the way they really want. These parents usually will try to make up for it by being more involved physically, helping out with extracurricular activities, keeping the kids over there house from extra days in order to give the other parent a break, and etc. I would not consider them to be deadbeats, because they are doing the best they can with what they have. Then you have those that you have to constantly beg them to have any involvement in their child's life, but they only leave you with disappointments and broken promises. Unfortunately, sometimes more enforcement has to be called in.
Are You Needing Government Assistance?
One thing that many don't realize is that when you are needing to get assistance from the government they sometimes require that you file for child support from the other parent. There are some that have been placed on child support that don't understand that if the parent that the child lives with needs food or medical help from government agencies, they sometimes only file for child support because they have to. And it makes sense because if they qualify for government assistance it means that they are really needing help and therefore should also get financial support from the other parent.
In conclusion, it really is a matter of what is best for the child/children in this situation. You may be thinking that the other parent will get mad and have nothing to do with the child anymore. If that happens, it really only shows that they were only in the picture for their own interest instead of the child's. Paying child support should not change the way the parent cares for the child. If it does it only proves they were entertaining the situation only to keep you from filing child support on them and that is not a healthy relationship for the child anyways. It is important for you to do everything that you can and use all the resources at your disposal to make sure your child is getting everything that they need. And if filing for child support is one of those things, then you should do it. But, if you are only doing it for revenge or believing you are going to make it harder for the other parent, then you may want to think twice about your intentions and the consequences.