Missing Child Support Payments Hurt More than the Children
The amount of child support one parent pays to the other can be determined by either the Utah court system or by means of divorce mediation. In divorce mediation, the parents decide how much is appropriate depending on the income made by each parent and how many children are in the household. As many people are aware, paying child support is not an option; it is a parental responsibility that every parent needs to fulfill to provide for their children as if they were still in the same house.
The federal Office of Child Enforcement has stated in a report that an estimated $108 billion in back child support payments are owed to custodial parents since 2009. There is no longer a debtor’s prison for parents that are not fulfilling their financial obligations, but there are alternatives for custodial parents who may be struggling to make ends meet. One way to help ensure payments are made and on time is through the use of payroll garnishments.
Another method that may work is having the ex-partner spend more time with the child, which could enable the noncustodial parent to see exactly what the child’s needs may be on a daily basis. As an aside, extra contact may also help the child feel as though the other parent is still part of the his or her life. However, some parents have been known to hold visitation back as a bargaining factor. This includes actions like saying that if payments are made, weekend visits may be granted. However, this can harm the children in the long run because they are not being allowed to foster relationships with both parents.
Utah child enforcement is there to make sure that children are being provided for after a divorce and that their needs are being met. The responsibility of child support payments rests with both parents. If they cannot agree on a support amount for the noncustodial parent, the state court system is set up to provide guidance and tools to help calculate child support.
Source: US News and World Report, What to Do When Your Ex Won’t Pay Child Support, Geoff Williams, Nov. 20, 2013
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