Here are four of the most critical flaws of the current child-support system.
The system is outdated.
The child-support system was originally a bipartisan policy reform designed to serve divorced parents who were steadily employed. But the system was established nearly 40 years ago, and is based on outdated stereotypes that viewed Mom as a housewife and Dad as the sole breadwinner.
The system makes it particularly tough on low-income fathers.
29 percent of families in the system live below the federal poverty line. Many fathers sincerely want to do right by their children, but simply don’t have the means to do so. That becomes a very slippery slope for a lot of dads.
When unpaid child-support payments accumulate, this often snowballs into another issue: parental alienation. Research has shown that men with outstanding child-support debts tend to be less involved in their children’s lives. Some even find themselves incarcerated over unpaid payments.
The “deadbeat dad” myth.
Another stereotype feeding many of the problems with the current child-support laws is that of the deadbeat dad.
The current system fixates on enforcement and ignores involvement.
The core of the problem with modern child-support laws is that there is too much emphasis on enforcement and not enough focus on getting fathers involved in their children’s lives.
There is no shortage of evidence showing that shared parenting helps offset the negative effects of divorce. While it is important for them to receive adequate financial support, it is arguably even more essential to have quality time with both Mom and Dad.
Source: Child support needs to catch up to reflect new roles for fathers, say experts | Children’s Rights