“Child support was designed to take a 1/3 of a man’s salary and keep him in financial peril.” – A man paying child support
This is a common statement that I hear from men who are at risk of paying child support. They may or may not have children. They could have a friend that is paying a large sum of money in child support or they could be paying their own large amount. But, what is the real deal with child support?
Child Support started in 1975, when the government established Section IV-D of the Social Security Act. Now, during this time many children were brought up in two parent homes (think shot gun weddings) and men and women were divorcing. In many cases men were regulated to still provide for the family so that the children didn’t suffer, because they didn’t believe divorce should affect the financial standings of the life of your children.
Men were the main providers during that time. Research showed that men progressed in their careers after a divorce because women took care of the children. Women were viewed to be the ones who suffered during a divorce which is why the child support system was designed to make their families whole again. Custody and child support are separate but now you can see why historically women were viewed to be the main caretakers of children.
Fast forward to the 90’s and the government was dying in the welfare program. Doesn’t everything come back to the almighty dollar? So, many people were on welfare or receiving public assistance.
Many people receiving assistance from the government had children. Should the taxpayers be responsible for the children? Yes and no. Yes, because children needed to be supported, but no if you laid down and created a baby you should be financially responsible for said child. This is why their was reform.
We need you to name your child’s father. We will go after them for all the support you’re getting from the taxpayers. Brilliant. Why should we pay for children we didn’t lay down and create?
Can we agree that if your child’s mother is receiving public assistance and you don’t pay child support that you should? Okay, great. Now that we know who should pay child support without question, let’s talk about other cases. Not questionable about support, but maybe the amount of support is what some men question.
Many men say that the decks are stacked against them in child support cases. They always feel that they get the short end of the stick because they have to fight for custody and then pay an astronomical amount in child support. When I explain that child support and custody are separate and why they don’t apply for joint custody off the bat, I’m often told it’s because they don’t believe they will get it.
Many states are leaning towards a 50/50 custody and visitation schedule among all parents. I would say that in many cases children under school age may get more time with the mother than the father. Is it right? Nope, but that is what the court may be leaning towards. But, custody is separate and we’re talking about child support.
In Maryland, the guidelines are pretty straightforward. Maryland uses an income shares model for its child support guidelines. The guidelines also take into account the income of both parents, number of children, cost of health insurance for the child(ren), current child support being paid for other child(ren), alimony being paid, alimony being received, the cost of daycare, and the cost of extraordinary medical expenses for the child(ren). So, if they use this guideline, what’s the deal?
The problem basically boils down to this…one parent making substantially more than the other and not being the non-custodial parent. If you get your children every other weekend and two weeks in the summer, you will pay child support. In some instances if you get your child 50% of the time you may still pay child support. Why? The income of the other parent is way less than yours.
Is it fair? Yes. Does it need to be revamped? Yes, but seriously what states have the manpower to do so. Under no circumstances should you just pay child support and not be allowed to see your children because the other parent is withholding them. Go back to court. File contempt. Let the courts get tired of seeing you.
Child support is for the care of the children.