Child Support…What do you Think?

This may sound odd, as one might assume, coming from a woman and a single mother who raised her child alone, that I would be in favor of child support. I am not. In fact, divorce has become more about money than the welfare and best interest of the child.

If we look back and consider the initial establishment of child support, we can understand the necessity of it during that time period.

According to www.child-support-laws-state-by-state.com, “This financial dependency theme recurred almost in every children support case decided by the courts of America during the nineteenth century, primarily because newly divorced American mothers in nineteenth-century were almost always forced to live in poverty.”

History of Child Support

Child support was created for women because they didn’t work outside of the home. When divorce or separation from the father occurred, the mother was left with the financial burden of caring for children without the monetary means to do so. If a woman was lucky enough to find employment, she was paid pennies on the dollar for her labor that was not enough to support a family, much less place food on the table, forcing women to lean on family and other members of society for support.

But, if we look at the way things are today it is easy to see this isn’t the case anymore, for most Americans.

The statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate for men 20 years and older in June 2011 to be 9.1%, but for women 20 years and older showed less, with a rate of only 8.0%.

Employment statistics of Gender and Age

This clearly shows the need for child support is not like it was in its inception. This indicates to me a reform of the initial purpose of child support.

I have never received child support for my now grown daughter. I knew that I was far more capable of providing for my daughter than her father was. The only thing I wanted for my daughter was for her to have a relationship with her father.

As a girl, I came from a home where I did not know my mother and I lived only shortly amounts of time with my father. I did not have both parents in a way that was beneficial to my development. This is by far the more important thing and is grossly overlooked in the concern of parents who are getting a divorce.

Men who have regular visitation still have to provide for their child/children when they are in their custody. They have to provide a room and board, purchase clothing, shoes, toys,and other necessities just as if the child lives with them. When they pay child support on top of these expenses, they are supporting the child twice. I feel this is an issue not only for men, but for women as well who are not the custodial parent.

I believe if you do away with child support in the case of joint custody, neither parent should pay child support, and the non-custodial parent should only assist for medical, day care, and school expenses. The responsiblity of support of a child falls to both parents, period!

Child support, who should get it?

This will do a lot for the family court system:

1. The courts will find out who really wants to have full custody of the children because this alleviates the anticipation of getting free money once a month.

2. The only thing parents will have to fight about is decisions made on the welfare of the child/children, which is where the attention should be placed to begin with.

3. All monies given by the non-custodial parent will actually go the doctors, schools, and daycare facilities instead of the ex-wife/significant other. Doing away with tension and resentment by the non-custodial parent to “create a better life” for the ex.
I feel strongly about this issue and think that America needs to revise out-dated laws that no longer make any sense.

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~ by Liderien on July 29, 2011.

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