Parents often fear repercussions for enforcing child support

Many New York parents who have gone through divorce struggle to make ends meet each month. Raising kids on a single income is difficult, not to mention having to run a household and care for a child at the same time. When the other parent fails to contribute by way of paying child support, the custodial parent is often placed in a difficult position, and unsure how to best approach the issue.

Many parents fear that taking an aggressive stance toward child support enforcement will lead to tension with their child or children. This is especially true when the kids still have contact with the non-custodial parent, who may be playing the role of victim in the matter. However, allowing the other parent to fall behind in his or her child support obligations does no good for the child or children who need that support.

While the realities of child support enforcement may be difficult to explain to a child, parents must take action to ensure that the financial needs of the family are adequately met. In some cases, this means involving the court in the process. It is possible that a family court judge can communicate the importance of making timely payments without the necessity of punitive measures. However, the decision to make good on one’s obligation lies solely with the individual who is responsible for those payments.

As with most issues surrounding child custody and child support in New York, the best course of action is to refrain from discussing the matter in depth with a shared child. These are adult issues, and children are unable to grasp the complexities of the financial requirements of running a household. Including a child into the dialogue is not only not necessary, but could end up leading to tensions between all involved.

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