The stereotype of a deadbeat dad is a man with plenty of money to pay child support, but who decided not to do it simply because he doesn’t want to. He has a good job and uses his money for cars, vacations, nights out with his friends and things of this nature.
While some of those people may exist, the reality tends to be a bit different.
First, there are a lot of deadbeat moms, as well. One study found that about 61 percent of support payments were made by fathers who were not living with their kids. That means about 39 percent of those debts went unpaid. However, the study found that mothers in the same situation — when the kids lived with dad — failed to pay at the same rate.
In addition, it was found that a lot of fathers who did not pay were simply out of money to do it. Unable to write a check or drop off cash, about half of the fathers studied did still try to give something to the family. They gave the kids clothes, for instance, or they gave baby products to the mothers. Some covered the costs of expenses at school or helped provide food.
That doesn’t make up for everything. The total value of these gifts averaged out a mere $60 per month. However, it still helps to break the stereotype. It shows that not all who fail to pay just check out entirely because they want to.
Child support disputes and conflicts can get very complicated, and it’s important for parents to know all of the legal rights and options they have.
Source: Time, “How Deadbeat are Deadbeat Dads, Really?,” Belinda Luscombe, accessed Sep. 15, 2017