Due to an increase in segregated families, the need for child support services has increased. Those parents who are not paying child support are creating problems for all those who are involved. The lack of a stable income creates a financial burden or hardship which can lead to causing family crisis. This poses the question, if you are responsible enough to create life, are you responsible enough to care for that life? How can we better enforce the payment of child support?
In many of the states, there are different agencies that are there to provide the enforcement of child support payments. In the state of California, this service is known as DCSS (Department of Child Support Service). Their mission is to: “Enhance the well-being of children and the self-sufficiency of families by providing professional services to locate parents, establish paternity, enforce orders for financial and medical support” ( www.childsupport.ca.gov). While there are agencies there to provide enforcement of child support payment that does not always mean that the custodial parent will receive payment from the non-custodial parent. It has been said that non-payment of child support is by far one of the easiest crimes to get away with.
“Over the past generation the issue of unpaid child support has received concentrated attention, both from individual states and the federal government.”(DuCanto, J. N. 2013) Child support can create a burden for both parties that are involved. On one side, the family may need the support in order to provide a healthy way of living or to pay any medical services a child may need. On the other side, it may create a financial burden to the parent who pays child support and can be taking money from their individual family. If at any time the non-custodial parent is unable or unwilling to pay and the other parent then files for federal assistance “the LCSA (local child support agency) automatically files a child support case against the non-custodial parent.” (Paying a Child Support Order - support_famlaw_selfhelp 2009). The willingness of the non-custodial parent to pay support depends on various factors, whether or not the non-custodial parent lived at one time with the child or is sharing time with the custodial parent. Regardless of the willingness of the non-custodial parent to pay support, it is ultimately their responsibility. “A state may be a leader in passing child support legislation, but its laws may not actually be enforced.” (Garfinkel, I. 2010).Parents who do not pay child support now are faced with consequences punishable by law. “Many states are quick to freeze bank accounts and suspend driver’s licenses, potentially risking checks bouncing and the inability to drive to work”(How to Claim a Hardship When Paying for Child). Other options when a parent is late or fails to pay the support payments are: it can affect that person’s credit rating, passport denial, property liens, and unemployment benefits. The Franchise Tax Board also gets informed by “the LCSA anytime a person is more than $100 and 60 days behind in paying support.”(Paying a Child Support Order - support_famlaw_2009). The enforcement of child support payment can exist on a state level as well as a federal level, with the development of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998. Nevertheless, “the support enforcement system needs to utilize a holistic intervention that adequately addresses the barriers and the complexity of mothers’ situations.” (Chien-Chung, H. 2010).
“Nearly 60% of custodial parents receive in-kind (i.e., noncash) support of some form.” (Garasky, S., 2010). One solution to the non-payment of child support would be better co-parenting skills. In order to obtain these skill there are several programs and online