Child support payments allow newly single parents who have custody of their children the ability to afford food, clothing, and other essential needs that come with raising a child. It is very common for a spouse who is ordered to pay child support in California to avoid doing so for as long as possible, which may be detrimental to their children’s health and well-being. Unfortunately, these “deadbeat” fathers (and sometimes mothers) are also putting pressure on regular taxpayers and the economy as a whole.

According to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, a total of $108 billion in unpaid child support was owed to parents in 2009. When a parent cannot afford to take care of their child because the other parent is not paying support, often times the parent with child custody will be forced to rely on public assistance programs to support their child. Payments are then supposed to be made to the government as well, in the form of reimbursement which in this case totals about $53 billion. The bulk of this money is then placed on the taxpayers.

82% of the time, the custodial parent is the mother; therefore, a great majority of the time, it is the father who is failing to make support payments. The question then becomes, why is the government allowing fathers to get away with not paying support? There are actually some ways for the government to force parents to pay support. Garnishing wages, revoking driver’s licenses, or even jail time are a few punishments these neglectful parents may face.

Even with these potential penalities in place, many fathers who do not pay their court ordered support may use various methods in an attempt at getting away with not paying, such as hiding their true income. Speak with an experienced child support attorney on the steps you can take to force the other party to pay court ordered support in Riverside and San Bernardino. Our office can also advise you on how much support you are entitled to under California law if you are considering divorce for the first time.

Source: CNN, “Deadbeat parents cost taxpayers $53 billion,” Steve Hargreaves, Nov. 5, 2012