A Former Child Support Prosecutor’s View On Enforcement
After establishing, enforcing, and collecting child support orders for several years before joining Cordell & Cordell, I have gotten to know the ins and outs of the child support system very well.
I have also heard probably every excuse under the sun for not paying or not wanting to pay child support, and the stark reality is the vast majority of men do not receive much sympathy from the court.
While there may be room for discretion or leeway in certain cases, it is a pretty narrow issue involving statutory guidelines, percentages, and a handful of formulas.
In my experience, the family court commissioners and judges will stay very close to those guidelines unless there is a very compelling reason to deviate. Each state has a strong interest in ensuring that the needs of all children born and living here are met. As a matter of law and public policy, the court upholds those principles.
There can be very serious penalties for not paying child support including suspension of driver’s license, suspension of passport, liens on property, jail time, and even prosecution for felony non-support. Having first-hand knowledge of the state government’s perspective and the court’s perspective is very useful as I will be able to convey that to our clients.
Something that I would always try to convey to fathers, especially in new actions, is that being a father comes with legal rights and legal responsibilities, with child support being one of them. Individuals that recognize this concept and follow through with their financial obligations will receive much more respect from the court and from the opposing party. Guaranteed.
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Especially in the area of family law where so many issues have the potential to be contested or an individual’s character is closely examined, willingness to follow the law, being agreeable to child support, setting an example, etc., will always be favorable to the father.
When it comes time to review a case for child support or enter into negotiations, I hope to help fathers understand that unfortunately child support is a fairly narrow issue. As long as the child support obligation is consistent with the child custody schedule and with the law, it is to the paying party’s benefit and essential for a more favorable outcome if they can understand and accept child support as one component of their case.
If you need help with a child support modification, contact the divorce lawyers for men at Cordell & Cordell.
Use the Child Support Calculator on DadsDivorce.com for an estimated amount of how much child support you should be paying.
By Nadia Noboa-Chehade