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Myths About Deadbeat Parents-Common Misconceptions About Deadbeat Parents:

In the public perception, it seems that a “deadbeat” is anyone who’s ever fallen behind on child support payments. However, if you look at the wording of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998, a deadbeat is someone who chooses not to pay child support. It’s a willful act. Many parents fall on hard times and find that they cannot fulfill their child support obligations, due to sudden job loss, income reduction, or disability; but these individuals aren’t necessarily deadbeat parents. Read on to learn some of the most common misconceptions of the term deadbeat.

Myth #1: A “Deadbeat” is Anyone Who Cannot Pay Child Support Falling behind on child support payments does not make a parent a “deadbeat.”  A true deadbeat is someone who willfully chooses not to pay child support.  These are individuals who are (or could be) gainfully employed and are able to come up with money to pay for what’s important to them, but say they have no money to support their children.  It’s particularly infuriating when these same individuals are able to afford new cars, the latest tech gadgets, and fancy vacations, but do not set aside money to pay child support.  Sadly, many parents who’ve fallen on hard times get lumped in with these self-centered individuals and are labeled “deadbeats.”

Myth #2: Deadbeat Parents Are Always Fathers This is false.  “Deadbeat parent” is not synonymous with “deadbeat dad.”  There are plenty of women who choose not to pay the child support they owe.

Myth #3: Falling Behind Once or Twice Makes a Parent a Deadbeat While each state handles the non-payment of child support differently, the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act (DPPA) can be used to prosecute parents who owe outstanding child support to a child living in another state.  Under the DPPA, a parent who falls behind once or twice would not likely face charges.  In order to face federal prosecution under the DPPA, parents must have willfully failed to pay child support for at least twelve months, or owe more than $5,000 in unpaid support.

Myth #4: Parents Who Don’t Pay Child Support Don’t Care About Their Kids This is a gross generalization.  Many parents who are unable to pay child support due to hard times or physical disability care deeply about their children and continue to be a part of their lives.  Love is not only expressed through financial support.

Myth #5: Parents Who Don’t Pay Child Support Are Living the High Life This is another common misconception.  Sadly, many parents who owe years and years of back child support payments are themselves destitute.  They may not have a job or even a place to live.  Many of these individuals rely on family members for assistance and need to get their lives back on track before they can even consider making regular child support payments.  However, depending on where they live, the state may continue to charge interest on the unpaid payments, making it even more difficult for them to bring their payments up to date.

Myth #6: Shaming is an Effective Way to Make Deadbeat Parents Pay Child Support Actually, it depends on whether the person is truly a deadbeat.  If an individual has fallen on hard times economically or has become disabled and cannot work, then it’s not an issue of choosing not to pay.  Shaming can only work with individuals who have the means to pay and are choosing not to.  People who have no means to pay child support will not suddenly begin to pay when their face shows up on a web site or on a pizza box.


Source: Single Parents

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