Deadbeat Dads: A National Child Support Scandal

Deadbeat Dads: A National Child Support Scandal

Deadbeat Dads: A National Child Support Scandal

Deadbeat Dads: A National Child Support Scandal

Synopsis

This book explores the history, reforms, and consequences of child support in America. The authors have included case studies as well as discussions on the psychological consequences of separating families, effects of divorce laws on the award of child support, contested paternity, and child custody alternatives. They conclude with a discussion on economic responsibility and the deadbeat epidemic. The book is intended to empower the larger number of parents who are caught in the midst of over-worked agencies, discouraging tales, and the lack of information that keeps them paralyzed from acting on their own behalf.

Excerpt

In recent months, various political voices have indicated a strong desire to track down absent parents (usually fathers) who have absconded without fulfilling child support obligations to their biological or adopted children. The intent is to locate these parents and make them pay. In large part, this renewed interest in "deadbeat dads" has resulted from a recognition that social welfare programs, which pick up the tab for abandoned children, are contributing significantly to an ever-increasing federal budget deficit. In past years, the relative inattention toward pursuing absent parents in part resulted from the notion that it was as burdensome to regulate payment as it was simply to pay the bill. Of course, there were other reasons as well that the climate was not right for vigorously enforcing these moral as well as legal obligations: a father who deserted his children was a disgrace and to pursue him would further the insult.

Today we are all forced to come to terms with the reality that choosing not to pursue absent parents is a luxury that state and federal budgets can no longer afford. At the same time, the deadbeat epidemic has somehow become more of a moral issue than it was thought to be in the past, and the decision to pursue such delinquents is one that stirs up great controversy. This controversy . . .

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