Roll these words off your tongue: Child support unfairness. When put together, it’s almost like millions across America are asking our children – many growing up in an advanced economy with higher living expenses and educational needs – to go without.
Believing that child support unjustly enriches state agencies, many are asking for accountability. Greater control over how payments are utilized. Debit cards issued to recipients with abuse control measures built in. Get guaranteed Salt Lake City child support attorney assistance. Honestly, we’ve lost sight.
Sure, it’s not unreasonable to request parents utilize financial support for its intended purpose. And, yes, the giant elephant in every noncustodial parent’s home is affordability. Nationally, the average court-ordered payment is $5,774 yearly, translating to $481.17 monthly. Bear in mind some court orders blanket several children; it’s really not much considering what many vices cost Americans annually.
Maybe certain components of support aren’t congruent with today’s demands. Wholly, there’s little wrong with states intervening and requesting men and women financially support children. With that said, let’s look at what’s really unfair about today’s wildly contested child support system.
Calculation system needs overhauled
Utah uses a somewhat archaic means of calculating orders. It’s based off presumption of potential to earn, what custodial parents earn and what noncustodial parents have before taxes and after any older support orders. Now, let’s say mother earns $59,000 annually and father earns $38,000. Mother has three children to support alongside her current husband, father only has one with that mother. Without thinking too long, who should pay more in support?
Many believe financial support for children should be equally adjudicated. Right down the middle. Dental cleaning cost $90, both parents pay $45. Groceries for child cost $150, each give $75. Theoretically, that’s how support should be calculated. Calculations don’t account for parents on welfare and not working, albeit purposely or because of economic disadvantages. That’s when things get dicey, especially since 50% of zero is still zero.
Punishments should only account for ‘willful’ nonpayment
You’ll hear people discuss the unconstitutionality of locking up nonpaying parents. It takes income potential away from children, ‘how can I work from jail’, debtor’s prisons don’t exist – you get it. Many states do work hard to hold nonpayers accountable for willfully avoiding child support obligations. Problem is, those who’ve simply fallen on rough times, have become homeless and aren’t in economically advantageous areas are being rounded up, too.
Utah laws very clearly define willful nonpayment of support. Fingers point toward individuals working ‘under the table’ to avoid income withholding, business owners who control their own payroll departments, even regular workers who quit jobs once withholding orders hit their HR department. These incidents are willful attempts to not pay. These are folks who should be imprisoned for falling deep into arrears – not the innocent man applying for work every day but being denied due to prior felonies or simply because they lack skill.
Ask any Salt Lake City child support attorney, and they’ll tell you: willful and unable have two distinct legal meanings in family law. Severest punishments should be reserved for the former.
Don’t wait for reform. Care for your kids.
Instead of hanging your hat on ‘tongue in cheek’ support discussions on social media, just handle your business. Complaining about an understandably tough subject isn’t going to change your child’s diaper. Worrying when child support obligations will equalize won’t put food into your child’s belly.
Sure, there’s some level of implausibility in America’s child support laws. Everyone can agree to disagree on this; even a Salt Lake City child support attorney may disagree. Won’t change the fact your child still has needs, however, which should surpass any angst towards legislation known for its imperfections.