The stereotype of the ‘deadbeat dad’

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

In Illinois and across the United States, many people are familiar with the term “deadbeat dad.” However, the phrase is not always used correctly. Even though the word appears in regulations representing some states, parents are not automatically “deadbeats” because they cannot make child support payments. Furthermore, the term “deadbeat” does not only apply to dads. Moms can also fall behind in their child support payments.

However, those who cannot meet child support obligations because they lost employment or met with other unexpected financial difficulties are not automatically classified as “deadbeat” moms or dads. A parent who is willing to pay child support without having the necessary financial means may qualify for a child support modification endorsed by the court. The definition of a “deadbeat parent” is a person who doesn’t pay child support on a regular basis even though the court previously ordered them to make said payments.

The phrase “deadbeat” applies to parents who do not care enough about their children to support them financially even though they have plenty of money. Any father or mother can refuse to support their child despite their ability to make payments. Consequently, the term “deadbeat” is not strictly about men or women. The court can punish parents who ignore their financial responsibilities by garnishing their wages, preventing them from getting passports, offsetting their income tax refunds or even sending them to jail.

A custodial parent who receives either delinquent payments or no support from their ex-spouse may want to speak with an attorney. Legal counsel could take measures that will compel a noncustodial parent to meet their child support obligations.

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