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Child support issues can strain family relationships

There are likely numerous parents in Florida who are paid child support to help with the financial responsibilities of raising a child. In many cases, the non-custodial parent is ordered by the court to make child support payments. Relatively recent data from the Census Bureau show some surprising statistics about the payments paid across the country.

According to the data, over 50 percent of parents who are supposed to receive child support payments claim they are owed money. Surprisingly, over $14 million in child support has not been paid according to the 2011 data. The reports indicate that most people who receive child support are women who may live in poverty.

Failure to pay child support can have serious consequences on the family dynamic. If it results in requesting court interference, the relationship between the two parents, as well as that between the parents and child, could become irreparably damaged. However, the instinct to withhold access to a child when a child support payment is owed may not be the best action — the Census data also suggests that non-custodial parents with significant contact with their child were more likely to make court-ordered payments.

Beyond the fact that a child may not have everything he or she needs if a child support payment is missed, failure to provide the financial support required by a family court in Florida can strain what could already be a delicate relationship between parents. Additionally, there are several other potential consequences of failing to make child support payments, including imprisonment and wage garnishment. For those people who are unable to make payments due to a significant change in circumstances, open and honest communication with the court and the child’s custodial parent could keep the relationship amicable.

Source: The Washington Post, “Things can get ugly when family and money mix, especially over child support“, Michelle Singletary, July 12, 2014