Victims of Child Support, Who Should Have to Pay?

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Addressed Issue:

Whether the custodial parent’s & their spouse’s income should be taken into consideration when determining the amount of child support the non-custodial parent has to pay for child support. This issue is not cogent and therefore weak.

Position: Yes, the custodial parent’s income should be taken into consideration.

First I would like to post this chart:

 (1)the age of the children; (2) a child’s medical costs or extraordinary needs; (3) educational costs; (4) daycare costs; (5) shared physical custody arrangements; (6) a parent’s support obligations to another household; (7) hidden income of a parent; (8) the income of the parent with custody; (9) contributions of the parents; (10) extreme economic circumstances; (11) a parent’s own extraordinary needs; (12) historic spending levels of the family; (13) the cost of health and accident insurance coverage for the child; and (14) any extraordinary visitation travel expenses. [Code of Georgia Annotated; 19-5-12, 19-6-14, and 19-6-15.]

P1: There are many factors taken into account when determining the amount of child support that a non-custodial parent has to pay. Just because the parent is non-custodial does not mean the parent does not love his or her child as much as the custodial parent does, or that they do not deserve or want the child as much as the non-custodial parent.  Extraordinary costs are actually taken into account as well. With all the other factors that are considered, the normal costs of raising a child are supplemented by the non-custodial parent’s child support. The custodial parent’s income is considered, but does not mean a complete lack of child support on the non-custodial parent’s part. In most cases, your income is supplemented accordingly.

P2: Setting child support costs at a rate that the non-custodial parent may not be able to pay could land the non-custodial parent in jail. This could lead to no child support payments for months or even years while the noncustodial parent sits in jail accruing more child support. This is unfair on someone who has simply lost their job, which is happening at an ever increasing rate in this country. The child support recovery process could take months. The custodial parent suffers no jail time when he or she loses their job. I call it even, although I do agree with nonpayment penalties.

Here are some other penalties your child’s noncustodial parent may be subject to:

? Withholding child support from paychecks, unemployment or weekly worker’s compensation benefits.

? Intercepting federal and/or state income tax refunds.

?  Reporting parents owing $7,500 or more in child support payments to credit bureaus.

?  Suspending or revoking driver’s, professional or occupational licenses for failure to pay child support.

?  Reviewing and changing child support orders periodically.

?  Intercepting lottery winnings of more than $5,000.

?  Filing contempt of court actions, which may result in a jail sentence if the non-custodial parent is found in contempt of court.

?  Filing liens to seize matched bank accounts, lump sum worker’s compensation settlements and real or personal property.

?  Denying, suspending or revoking the passport of someone who owes more than $5,000 in child support.

P3: These factors are also fair because if your income goes down or changes, a new review can be made in 3 years.

“Both parents have the right to ask OCSS to review a child support order three years after the order becomes effective, unless substantial change in circumstances can be shown for orders less than three years old. The request must be made in writing to the child support office handling your case. The review can find that the amount should be less, more or stay the same. Medical insurance may also be added to the order.” (2)

In that time, the situation may be reversed. This would make the predicament fair in the end.

Conclusion :
There are too many variables in determining child support to make your argument a strong one. You did not consider the negative consequences of non-payment that may be forced upon the noncustodial parent. While single parenthood can be trying and difficult, should a displaced homemaker have to pay 23% of her unsubstantial income to the rich man who just keeps the kids to avoid heavy child support charges, and kicks her out on the street after using her for years as arm candy? No education and an increasingly temporary job market combined with the fact that she may have been encouraged to be a stay at home mother would make me side with the woman in this case. Not to mention that he can afford better lawyers. While I agree with some of your points, I can form counterexamples, and I can understand why these rules are in place. Maybe the case you speak of should have been the exception, but try to keep everyone in mind. The law has to.

(1)    http://www.blacklawoffices.com/Family Law/child1.htm , Internet 03/05/09

(2)    http://ocse.dhr.georgia.gov , Internet 03/05/09

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