Time and time again I hear men complaining about having to pay child support. For the most part, it is a process to have a child support order. I know women pay child support too, but I can only share how most men feel about it. Through experiences of my own, I have fallen into that endless loop of child support and even child support arrearage. It’s a deep dark tunnel I made by myself. But there is light at the end of the tunnel for parents who are willing to persevere and take full responsibility. Although it takes time, this is how you can become current with your child support order.
In many cases, an attitude adjustment is the first thing that needs to take place. It takes two to make a baby and it takes two to raise one, so men be there for your child even if you’re no longer with the child’s mother. Doing so will prevent you from going deeper into debt.
Men stop complaining about the law and stop blaming the mother as the reason you have to pay child support. Believe it or not, I actually know men who refuse to work in an attempt to not pay child support. And if they do work, they’ll get a job that pays under the table. No matter where you go your social security number goes with you. Some men think not getting a job will protect them from child support. Get a job. And when you do have the payments taken right from your check.
Let’s keep it real, it takes lot of effort to earn a check, cash it, get a money order, and mail in your child support payment. The simpliest way is to have your payments automatically withdrawn from your paycheck. If you don’t you will begin missing payments and interest charges will be added then eventually your tax refund will be intercepted. What may also happen is that the amount withheld will increase by a certain percentage depending on the state in which you live.
If you decide to set up a payment plan follow through with it. Child support liens are automatic once the past due amount reaches a certain level. The state can establish liens against personal property; driver’s license denied; revoke passports; intercept tax refunds; unemployment funds or your workers’ compensation payments and they can garnish your bank account. Child support is nothing to take lightly.
Another suggestion is to spend time with your child. Child support is court ordered as a means to ensure financial stability for the children of divorced or seperated parents, however; I think it should also be set up to make the non-custodial parent spend time with their child. What many men don’t know is even when a child’s father does not pay child support regularly, the court may still decide that the child is entitled to visitation rights.
Courts think about the child first and so should the parents. When a parent is ordered to pay child support and spends quality time with their child think about the message that sends to the child. On the other hand, not spending time with him or her will damage your relationship with your child. Spending time with your child not only helps build that relationship but it helps you focus less on making your child support payments.
Stop worrying about the mother. I don’t care how my child’s mother is acting or who she is sleeping with, there isn’t a woman on earth that will dictate to me how I’ll act towards my children! As a father you are not hurting the mother by not paying child support or by not spending time with your child. I know women out there who talk bad about their child’s father in front of their kid, but let your actions prove them wrong. Remember the only people you are hurting are yourself and your child.
Increase amount withheld from your income. This is the one that will get you current. I’m speaking about arrearage here. This is a wise thing to do because I know a brother whose child support order has ended but is still paying arrearage…for years!
When you move or change jobs call and tell your county Child Support Enforcement Agency. Again, we’re taking care of our responsibilities. Some of us have unrealistic expectations thinking child support will never catch up with them. Unpaid child support must eventually be paid even if you declare bankruptcy or go to jail.
Let’s face it, the steps provided above do involve a lot of effort. And honestly there’s rarely a man that’s going to be willing to take these suggestions. But understand what happens when you run from your responsibilities. We have total freedom to create any kind of life we want for ourselves. God has made accountability a necessary element of healthy living. Remember the bible tells us in Galatians 6: 7-8; “a man reap what he sows.”