Thursday, May 25, 2006

Child Support "Obligations"

While Researching Tennessee laws on child support, I found out about some interesting changes:

1. Both parent's household incomes are now being considered instead of just the income of the non-custodial parent.

So, this means, if the custodial parent gets a good job, the non-custodial parent has to support the child less. The custodial parent is expected to sacrifice child support for going out and trying to make a living in addition to child support. Sounds a lot like the welfare trap to me.

Also, from the non-custodial parent's perspective....

If the non-custodial parent remarries, the total household income is considered and therefore the new spouse becomes obligated to pay for children they did not birth, just because they married somebody who is already paying child support? That spouse is already forfeiting a portion of the income through the husbands prior obligation, why should the new spouse be obligated even more?

And what if the custodial parent decides to get a roomate to help with expenses? Is their income considered as household income? If this is the case, then a roomate becomes responsible for paying child support as well. Considering that the roomate may already be helping the custodial parent when necessary, why should that parent have to sacrifice the child support that he/she already obviously needs as a consequence. If the roomate is helping out, then perhaps the non-custodial parent should be paying more...not less.

(I was told that once child support was set, that it would never be less unless the parent became physically incapable of maintaining the wages in the original order, or if the parent lost a job due to no fault of their own (and was unable to obtain a new job at the same pay rate). I was told that the non-custodial parent would be responsible for maintaining the current wage other than in situations beyond their control. This is not true by a long shot. So if anybody tells you this....DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT! )

2. Health insurance premiums are considered....

What if the non-custodial parent is ordered to provide healthcare but fails to fulfill that obligation and therefore the state is taking up that responsibility? Should the state pursue the parent who is in contempt or just continue to foot the bill for the child's healthcare? What if the children don't get the medical help they need because it's too expensive and unavialable through the state?

3. Medical and dental expenses are considered- What if the children don't get the medical help they need because the custodial parent has no financial means to cover the children, and for one reason or an0ther, this help is not available through the state?

4. Daycare expenses are considered- of all kids including the ones the non-custodial parent is supporting.

So, this means if the non-custodial parent chooses to remarry, the person that they marry has 3 kids and then they choose to have another child together. They put the kids in daycare, the child support is dramatically reduced and the first children of the non-custodial parent become less of a priority and should suffer the consequences?

Something is terribly wrong with this picture. A child should not have less support from a parent who chose to bring the child into the world....regardless of how many others that parent decides to marry, how much money they have or how many children they have. The parent's responsibility towards a child they brought into the world should not decrease simply because that parent decides to have more children with a new spouse. If that parent can't afford what he/she already has, then he/she should not have anymore. Isn't it obvious?

As a matter of fact, when a person brings a child into this world, and by some misfortune, a divorce takes place (for whatever reason), the non-custodial parent should be more than willing to provide whatever the child needs to live a comfortable lifestyle...this includes healthy and productive visitation with the child, moral support, and financial support. This rarely happens.

To reward a parent who has not fulfilled their obligation to his/her child, is an atrocity! To reward a parent who decides to marry another, and take on the responsibility of more children by making that parent have less of a responsibility to prior children is a crime.

Here's an idea....

What if the non-custodial parent who has proven themselves to be irresponsible with obligations to their current children, were not allowed to remarry or have anymore children????

When did children become a burden instead of a blessing anyhow?

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