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3 Myths About So-Called Deadbeat Parents

During divorce negotiations, the separating parents will come to an agreement about important issues such as child custody and support. Even if they don’t amicably agree, a New Jersey family court judge will issue an order requiring that the parents financially support the children. When one of the parents fails to pay court-ordered support, they may be referred to as “deadbeat parents.” However, the term deadbeat is best reserved for parents who have the ability to pay the child support but choose not to pay.

When it comes to parents who want to pay but don’t have the means to do so, there are many myths that exist. Here are three:

Myth #1: Failure to Pay Child Support is Another Way of Saying a Parent Doesn’t Really Care About the Children

A disgruntled ex may say that to the children, but it’s simply not true across the board. If one parent cannot make ends meet on their own, and therefore are unable to make payments, it’s not right but it, in no way, automatically means being behind on payments is a symptom of not loving the kids. (Likewise, even if the delinquent payor is choosing not to pay support despite the court order, it’s not necessarily a reflection of how they feel about their children.)

Myth #2: Failing Behind a Month or Two Immediately Means that Person Can Be Labeled a Deadbeat in the Eyes of the Law

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act (DPPA) can be used to prosecute people who are in arrears in paying child support it can be proven that the “deadbeat” willfully failed to pay court-ordered child support for at least one year or owes more than $5,000. This statute is often used to go after parents living in another state who think they can escape NJ law.

Myth #3: Mothers Are Never “Deadbeats”

Unfortunately, not true. The term “deadbeat” refers to either gender parent who fails to pay child support ordered by the court. The concept of “Deadbeat Dad” came about because for many years men were more often than not the ones who were paying child support.

If you are having trouble paying your court-ordered child support, or your ex is significantly behind in payments, contact an experienced family lawyer in South Jersey who will take on your fight. Call Ronald Graziano today at Graziano & Flynn for a consultation about your case.

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