This is a controversial issue. I heard that starting in September (at least here in Michigan); custodial parents will be charged a yearly, one time fee of $25. This is in relation to parents of children who have been receiving child support. This fee is being charged as a matter of federal law to help offset the amount of money the government has to spend finding deadbeat parents who skip out on supporting their children. At least that is the way that i understood the news report.
Many of the parents who receive child support and have custody of their children say, why should they have to pay an annual fee? After all, it is costly to raise children; and, if one parent is not paying their share of the support, it is even more financially difficult, for the parent who has custody, to make ends meet. Ultimately, it is the children who suffer for lack of proper support…both physically and emotionally from the abandonment of the deadbeat parent.
Both men and women are guilty of leaving their children in a poverty position by not paying child support. It is an emotional issue. Many parents who are no longer together mistakenly think of the money as “being given to the other parent”; that money is needed to support those children. It is to be spent on the needs of the children. That means a roof over their head, food to eat, clothes to wear, providing them an education, medical insurance…all of the necessities in life.
The child support can’t be thought of in terms of supporting the custodial parent…it has to go, to that parent, to support the children. If the needs of the children aren’t being provided for…that is when authorities need to be brought in to assess the situation. But, really, the child support should not be used as a weapon against the other parent; see it as a responsibility to the child/children.
From the news report I heard, the government has been able to round up quite a few delinquent parents; and, has been able to restore about a billion dollars in back child support. They do this by taking their income tax returns or lottery winnings…or in many cases…garnishing their wages. That billion dollar amount is astounding. If paying an annual fee helps to offset the money it takes to find these parents who don’t pay child support and it makes them financially accountable to help provide for their children…maybe it is a small price to pay. Why couldn’t the system repay the custodial parent the money out of the funds they recover from the deadbeat parent; after they find them and garnish their wages?
I know, I know…there are some that disappear again after they are found; they will quit their job, so that they don’t have to pay until the next time they get caught. The only way to change that is to hit them where they hurt…take away their freedom. If they skip out after being found…they should automatically do jail time; and maybe, some kind of work program while they are incarcerated; while the earnings go to the children. 🙂
A commitment to support the children that we bring into the world should be encouraged in a way that helps to provide not only money to the children but a real presence in the lives of the children. Kids have emotional needs that don’t get met when a parent checks out on them. The damage can last a lifetime and affect future generations as well. Parents must be held accountable; parenting isn’t easy, but it is the most important thing you will ever do.
What do you think about this issue of charging the fee? Will it be helpful or harmful in the long run?