Over the years, we have seen people drag each other to court on matters regarding child support, and some of these cases end up with people behind bars. It makes people wonder what the fuss is all about and how best such a situation can get handled.
There is a saying in the tune of better safe than sorry and having the necessary knowledge can help you in escaping some of these pitfalls along the journey. First off, you need to understand what the concept of child support is. Child support, also known as child maintenance, is a payment which takes place periodically to ensure that a child’s needs get met in a timely fashion.
Child support is thought to apply to only children conceived out of a marriage but this is not the case, and any child borne out of any relationship has a right to receive money to aid in the attaining of their needs. The payments can go out to the custodial parent, caregiver, state or guardian and they come from the non-custodial parent.
However, the payments depend on the state. You may find cases where the custodial parent ends up making payments to the non-custodial parent. The system does not recognize gender, and both parents are bound to provide for their child. There are cases where joint custody applies, and in such a case, both parties make the necessary payments, with the more financially stable one giving out a big chunk.
Worst states for child support
You need to note that the worst states for one party may prove to be the best for the other party and as such, it depends on which side you view the circumstances. I will give you some examples to help you review the child support laws in some of the states where the requirements may seem unfair to the non-custodial parent.
However, for custodial parents, these are the best states for child support.
Take Allan for example. He had an ex who moved to Texas with his child. After residing there for six months, she moved to other states where he continued to send the child support payments as agreed. Unfortunately for him, he got into a car accident and could not work for at least nine months.
Given that most of his money was going into covering his medical bills, he fell behind on the child support payments. The child support case was in Texas, and as such, his ex-partner took up the matter with the court. For the nine months of not keeping up with the payments, he got probation, classes, community service, dues amounting to $150 per month and he ended up owing $40,000 in back child maintenance.
The thing that makes the fee so outrageous is that he had kept up with the payments for fifteen years and according to the judge, that was inconsequential. Right now, for every dollar he makes, 70% of it belongs to the State of Texas.
If you think that Allan’s story is sad, wait till you hear what happens to people who do not comply with the payment schedules in Wisconsin. In this state, you do not get much time to get your affairs in order once you start falling behind on payments.
In only one hundred and twenty days of non-compliance, you get a Class J felony which can land you up to three and a half years in prison. If you fall behind for a year, you can look forward to spending eleven and a half years behind bars.
Unfortunately for the fathers in this region, the women are well aware of how the laws work and will threaten to take up matters in court when displeased. You also stand to lose your licenses when you fall back on payments. For women, this state is a great place to file for child support as your man will live in fear of sleeping behind bars as well as losing his permits.
This state probably has one of the most active child support systems. You see, with Kansas, the money gets cut directly from the wages of the non-custodial payment, reducing the amount of hassle required to get the money.
The other thing about this area is that joint custody is applicable and the fight can turn ugly where both parents want to be in the child’s life.
Best states for child support
As a father trying hard to make ends meet and who cannot comply with strict deadlines, this would be a good state to start. Though the court will threaten to take away your license in the case where you default on payments, you will get a grace period, during which you can get your act together.
Some men take advantage of the system by quitting their jobs and claiming that they have no source of income. Though this may work in your favor for a while, the court will hold you in contempt and will require you to journal all the places in which you apply for work.
Be warned. Such strategies could work against you. For ladies, avoid this state as you could end up catering to your child’s needs on your own.
This state works for people who are unable or unwilling to pay child support. Where the custodial parent takes you to court demanding payment, and you have enough evidence to show that you are unable to keep up with the payments, you can walk out of the courtroom with all the charges against you dismissed.
Ladies, watch out for this state unless you are willing to foot the bills.
We will end the list with Yvonne as an example. She had a child with a man who moved from the state and stopped making the necessary payments. Her appeal to the court has been futile as they claim that they cannot trace him yet they have all his information. It is quite clear that the systems here are failing to the detriment of women.
For an extended period, men and women have fought each other in court over the issue of child maintenance. Until we can find another way to deal with the matter, it’s best to know where to turn in such an event, depending on whether you are a custodial or non-custodial parent.