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Child support laws need to be tolerant of disadvantaged fathers

There are many fathers in Spokane, Washington who pay child support. In many cases, these fathers have difficulty in arranging for the funds, not to mention in times of hardship. As a result, many of them fail to make timely payments and end up losing contact with their children. In worse situations, they are cited as defaulters and jail is often a possibility.

In many states, child support is calculated based on an archaic formula and the consequences of failure to pay the money is considered an unpardonable offense. Once the credit bureaus become aware of the fathers who fail to pay child support, the information is passed on to district attorneys who use this as a means to further indict them in court and incarcerate them. In a case where a father is already struggling with a job and employment, being incarcerated will only hurt his chances of finding another job after being released.

In a society that strongly believes in the tender years' doctrine, fathers are often punished unfairly when it comes to child custody and child support matters. Most fathers want to be able to provide for their children but a negative change in the father's life might prevent him from being able to make payments. Some people believe it is unfair to penalize such fathers. It may be a good idea for authorities to try to create avenues by which a father can build his own financial stability and be able to support his child, both financially and emotionally.

For fathers who are faced with situations like this, modifications of child support can be a wonderful solution. State laws mandate that neither the father nor the mother is entitled to child support; it is the child who has the right to child support. Hence, it is possible to make modifications to a child support arrangement, based on circumstances and changes in circumstances. A thorough understanding of the law can help most fathers, and mothers, to work out a child support plan that will ensure a stable life for the child.

Source: Savannah Now, "Commentary: A more fatherly approach to child support," Randy Jurado Ertll, Jan. 12, 2014

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