Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The day I agreed to pay child support, I did so whole heartily with the thought in my mind that I love my children and of course I'll pay. Wow, how does time and experience change one's view. Make no mistake of what I'm about to say for their are parents who should pay child support. Those parents who choose to not be in their children's lives-should pay. Those parents who chose to move far away with limited interaction with their children-should pay. What has changed my view on child support is that I'm like millions of parents out their, I'm involved in every aspect of my children's lives. However, I pay child support and for the life of me I don't understand why.
Most days I'm left scratching my head in bewilderment as to why I pay child support. Child support sounds fair in casual conversation, one party pays child support to the other and the receiving party pays for child care. Sounds fair right? Then look at the simple spreadsheet I put together and it's not so fair. I still have child care expenses, when I can afford it. I still have clothing, toys, entertainment expenses, when I can afford it. I still have to provide room and board, when I can afford it. I realize now that I'm in a system called the Texas Family Code that literally gives me a financial incentive to not see my children. It's expensive enough to pay child support, but then add in all of the day to day child related costs and it's truly cheaper for me to be an uninvolved father. Does this make any sense to you? Why would a state put a system in place that makes it cheaper for me to an uninvolved parent? If I don't pay child support then I'm labeled a dead beat dad, also known as a bad parent by the public. Yet, if I pay all of my child support then I don't get the public dead beat dad label, irregardless as to what quality of parent I actually am. Do I care what the public thinks? Not at all. Do I care immensely about being a positive guiding force in my children's lives? You bet. So many times when I can barely make ends meet and my children and me are eating romen noodles sitting on the floor, I'm just amazed as to the discriminatory nature of our family code. In my opinion my state's family code is not there for the benefit of families or children, but rather it's put in place to punish children and parents for being divorced. I nearly wrote my state's family code is written to destroy children and father's to only elevate moms, but it's not about mom's vs. dad's. It is about families versus the state. Child support in my opinion is more about taking from one family to give to another or more plainly put, it is in fact redistribution of wealth.
A couple of areas I'll be examining in my Child Support Charade series are:
How come 50/50 custody is not standard in divorce?
How come child support is the standard and not the exception?
How child support trumps many joint decision clauses in your custody agreement?
How extremist parties influence the Texas Family Code?
Who is on the side of families and influencing the Texas Family Code?
Is the Attorney General your friend if you pay child support?
Where did Child Support come from?
Is Child Support for your children or the other parent?
When did being a parent become punishable by law?
Is the Texas Family Code written to line attorney's pockets?