Child Support Doesn’t Always Look the Same

Theres a myth about things like spousal support and child support: they exist just to let one spouse take it easy while the other spouse works hard.

Its easy to understand why those who have to pay the support sometimes feel this way, but theres very little truth in that myth at all. In fact, child support in particular is an incredibly important tool to make sure children grow up in safe homes with a parent there when they need them.

One way to push back from this myth is by showing that child support does not always look the same. Yes, there are cases in which one person has very significant resources, and they are then required to give some of those resources to a former spouse so they can continue to raise the children in the relative luxury the children and the former spouse are accustomed to. That, by the way, is as defensible as any other form of child support, but it is also the kind of support that is most often lampooned by those who dont like the concept.

However, that isnt what child support usually looks like. It may instead involve a parent who has to either choose between working multiple jobs to maintain a household or else be there for their young children when they come home from school. When the choice is between a household with a parent available and a household where the children are alone for long hours, it is obvious that the other parent has some responsibility to make sure the former situation takes place instead of the latter.

Beyond that, not all child support cases even involve traditional marriages and divorces. While the topic often comes up in the divorce or separation process, Alexander & Associates point out that such agreements can be required for parents that were never married but are no longer together, as well as in joint-custody situations in which one parent has primary custody of the children.

At heart, we should start to undermine the idea that child support is an unfair burden and instead see it more as a responsibility fulfilled by loving parents that allow their children to be safe and cared for.

This myth can have serious consequences, leading some into not pressing for help when they might need it and leading those paying child support to feel entitled to a sense of resentment. We should try to focus on how child support helps keep a family intact, even when the parents are not together any longer.

No matter what child support looks like in one family or another, no matter the social class of the individuals that take part, it is a positive tool that exists to take care of children, who have no say in what their parents do. Lets focus on them and their needs and try to make this myth go away once and for all.

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