Father’s Day is almost here, but some dads aren’t celebrating the fact that they support a household of children. In fact, some fathers didn’t even want to parents in the first place, or may have left their families because they didn’t want the responsibilities that come with parenting. While this is a sobering attitude, it is one that many dads take. Fathers who don’t want to support their children after a divorce are often referred to as “deadbeat dads.”
If you are one of these unhappy parents, then you need to remember that you have a court-ordered responsibility to help your family post-divorce. If you move out of the state, this won’t get you off the hook. Distancing yourself from your family won’t remove your responsibilities, and the court can still mandate that you pay child support. If you avoid paying your family the installments agreed upon at your divorce hearing then you might face jail time. If you lose your job, the court won’t excuse an overdue child support payment.
You can petition the court to reduce your obligations if you are financially unable to keep them up. Remember that bankruptcy won’t eliminate child support. Your family is not a creditor, so you cannot avoid paying them by filing. Even if you have joint custody of your child, it won’t reduce your payments. If you aren’t allowed to see your children, this doesn’t offer an excuse to avoid paying your child support.
Some dad’s assume that if they don’t want to visit their kids, then they shouldn’t have to finance them either. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Visitation and child support are two distinct matters. A father that has a restraining order against his kids may still have to give them the money they need to survive every month. If you have more questions about your role as a father after a divorce, then talk to a divorce attorney.