Child Support: An Immoral and Bias System
Child Support: What is it?
Child support also known as child maintenance is an ongoing payment made by the non-custodial party or the obligor.
Sometimes you are ordered to pay a specific amount via a family court judge and it is upheld through the states child support division. Others it is based solely out of a divorce decree and is not enforced through the child support division. Other times, the non-custodial parent and the custodial parent come to an agreement on what is best suited for the proper care of the child (ren).
Life is possibly the most unpredictable force on this planet. One moment everything could be going so great and the next you could be in poverty. That is a lot of peoples life story in today's society. So why should things get worse? Well because the law does not always work in favor of the "better" but instead is biased towards the "worse".
Let's Face It
I don't necessarily believe in the term "mother's rights" let alone "fathers rights". I believe that these terms were created by our society to take advantage of people's fears when it comes to the ugly word child support. That being said, there are horrible and incredibly bias laws that hurt both the mother and the father when it comes to paying child support to an ex.
The worse of the worse is the fact that no court takes into consideration the responsibilities or obligations that are required of non-custodial standing in front to pay child support. The law does not take into consideration your current financial situation, only the situation of the person petitioning for support. They don't take into consideration your actual "take home" pay or the fact that you may have another family to support. Sadly, the only factor that is taken into consideration is your gross pay and the ex's. It hurts even more so if they are unemployed and refuse to find a job. For some reason, that is scarily becoming the new norm.
Let's say for example your gross is $4,000 a month and your take home is $1,500 every two weeks. According to some state calculations you have to pay a certain percentage, so I'll make up some numbers. Out of your gross a month you have to pay $200.00 a week or $800 a month. Then take into consideration if the child is in daycare and you have to pay half of that (which in 99% of cases you do) so that $800 a month has now increased to $1000 a month. So now you are left with $2000 a month. Your mortgage is $1000 and now you are left with $1000 a month. Here's where things get fun, now you have another child in the home with your new marriage. You have your normal bills, electricity, water, insurance, daycare costs, medical bills from current family and ex, and even possibly a car note as well. Now do the math--I didn't even mention the fact that you have to feed and clothe yourself and your family. So how do you do it? Well you look at getting another job--but if you do that, you end up having to pay more in child support as well if the ex decides again to go for more money or even finds out you have a second job.
So your new spouse works, but she/he only brings in $250 a week after taxes for a total of $1,000 a month. So she/he provides the clothes, food, helps with the current child's daycare costs, doctor's bills and whatever else may be part of the governmental norm. Doesn't really leave much room for incidentals, let alone emergencies. So how do you do it? You don't.
It's even worse if your in the military as your incentives (BAH, BAS, FSP, etc.) which change per your duty station are taken into consideration. So do you take your ex back to court every 3 years for a modification due to change of circumstance? I guess so, but the likelihood of it being granted is slim.
Now what if your ex married a millionaire, would your court ordered obligation change? Not one bit, even if it forced you into bankruptcy, you had to move back in with family, and no longer able to provide for your current family (if you still have them) let alone yourself.
Don't get me wrong, I get disgusted when I read, see, and even hear the parents are running from their responsibilities. Which having a child, whether it was with the right person or not, is. Every child has the right to be supported, I'm not disputing that. I'm disputing the fact that the system is financially destroying the non-custodial parent in order to do so. Which sorry to say, isn't fair to either party because if the non-custodial parent can barely support themselves or their new family because of child A then child A suffers just as much as child B.
So when the court does it's calculations they go off of a set percentage of income from both the ex and the non-custodial parent. They take into consideration how many overnight's the child stays with the non-custodial parent in comparison to the custodial. However, the court does not take into consideration whether or not you pick them up from school, feed them dinner at your house, clothe them and then return them to the custodial parent. That is just null and void in the courts eye, and it shouldn't be. The fact that bills that you would have even if you didn't have a child are taken into consideration, when the fact is---you would still have a rent payment without, electric bill, car note, etc.
Unfortunately the problem is that the law doesn't allow the Judges to actually judge the situation in front of them. Believe me, every case that involves child support is different and should be treated as such. For example, if the non-custodial parent has 2 Ferrari and an incredibly large house and says, "they can't afford child support" their situation should be heard. Now if the non-custodial parent has a beater car, pays for a mortgage and supports another family and barely makes ends meet and says, "I can't afford child support", then their situation should be considered. Just like the prior "why" should be considered as well. Every person has a reason, whether valid or not.
There is no reason that if you have another child (ren) living with you that their lives shouldn't be taken into consideration as well. However they are not, and in turn a lot of families suffer. Every child that is brought into this world should be taken care of, not just the one involved in a court proceeding. The current child support laws are setup up to create stagnancy and poverty. ESPECIALLY if the ex is on some sort of government assistance and won't get a job to support her family, instead lives off child support. Being a single parent is hard regardless, but if you are consistently getting child support the ex shouldn't be coming after the ex for more money.
If you think it's wrong for the non-custodial parent to move on with their lives, you honestly should feel ashamed of yourself. Granted, the child didn't ask to be brought into the world, however one shouldn't be forced into poverty while the other flourishes. By flaw, courts are discriminate to men--and keep in mind that if a judge told you as a woman well you shouldn't have had any more kids, there would be a riot in the streets. It's easy to be bias when your the oppressor and not the oppressed.
A Final Thought
I can see both sides of the system. I was and still am a single mom, even though married. I am the "replacement" family--and experienced first hand the Judge say, "well you should have thought about having another kid". My mouth dropped and I became infuriated. Both children are just as important, regardless of who came into the picture first. Even with me working and bringing in what I consider a pretty decent income, our leftover each month ranges from $100-150/month. Some months it's far less than that. I gave back my vehicle to get rid of a car payment that didn't work with the current budget, and am unable to work two jobs because we are a one car family currently.
So how is that okay? How is it okay to have to constantly worry about whether or not we can pay our mortgage? I don't argue the fact of child support, since at one point in time I did receive it, HOWEVER I also took into consideration that he had another family to feed and ask the court to be lenient with his support. To this day, even though he hasn't paid a cent in almost 3 years, I'm glad I chose to do so. To me, it serves no one any good if they can't support themselves because of a incredibly stagnant and bias if not immoral system.