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The need for civility concerning child support situations

An article tells the unsettling story of a so-called "deadbeat parent" that apparently fled to Florida and many other locations to get out of his paying his child support obligations. Eventually, this father ended up in jail and his picture was plastered all over the social media pages announcing that he had been in arrears in paying his child support since 2002.

Though many individuals on Facebook felt the need to vent their indignation, it remains unclear what benefit anyone had in such publications. While the father was undoubtedly in the wrong in trying to flee his court ordered child support obligations, the one other individual most likely harmed by all of the publicity was the child for whom the child support was intended to help.

Too often, the issue of child support becomes a contest between two parents determined to get the better of each other. And though the court mandated obligations are often intended on preventing placing an unjust financial burden upon one parent or the other in the care of the child, child support can lose its beneficial purpose if the obligations become so inflexible that it only leads to resentment and game playing on the part of the two parents.

A family law attorney needs to prevent incivility from bleeding into divorce proceedings. The message to their clients has to be made clear that the child needs more than just financial support following a divorce. The child needs the emotional nurturing and support from both parents.

Getting two parents to agree on child support without first requiring a court order is a victory for all parties in a divorce including mother, father and child.

Source: Huffington Post, "Deadbeat Parents? State-Mandated Child Support Hurts the Ones It's Supposed to Help," by Ellen Kellner, March 15, 2013

  • Our Plantation, Florida family law attorneys can answer any number of your child support questions.

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