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Deadbeat Dads & Moms May Be the Exception, Not the Rule

The decision to get divorced is usually difficult for a variety of reasons. If you have kids, this is even more true. Of course, you want the very best for your children and have all intentions of providing for them to the best of your ability after the divorce. However, some times life gets in the way.

For example, an ongoing battle between you and your ex (the custodial parent) may make you suspicious about how the child support is being spent. Are the kids being taken care of with your support check or is your ex getting manicures or playing golf? On the other side of the coin, you may not be earning enough to keep a roof over your head and make the court-mandated child support payments.

Custodial parents who have to delay buying necessities for their children until the child support check arrives know all too well the pain of being “caught short.”

The adjective “deadbeat,” used these days for men and women, refers to a non-custodial parent who is not living up to child support responsibilities. While you might think of a parent who left the marriage and the children and moved on with another life, more often than not, someone given the “deadbeat” label is doing their best but can’t pay the bills.

That’s why the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998 recognizes that a true deadbeat is one who knowingly and purposefully falls behind on child support payments. The court recognizes that sometimes parents are unable to pay. However, just being unemployed is not enough to get you out of the obligation. Contact Ronald Graziano of Graziano & Flynn today for experienced legal guidance about child support issues including motions for modification.

There are many myths out there when it comes to so-called “deadbeats.” Separating fact from fiction may be helpful as you look to hold your ex accountable for non-payment of child support. Legally, remember, a deadbeat is someone who willfully decides to ignore a court order for child support. They spend their money on themselves or others, but fail to take care of their children. Falling on hard times is not the same as being a willful deadbeat.

  1. Deadbeats are men. Wrong again. There was a time that the term was “deadbeat dad.” Those days are long gone. In this economy, many women are the main breadwinners in the family. They may remain the higher earners after divorce. Unfortunately, there are many mothers who earn the deadbeat title.
  2. It doesn’t take many months to earn the deadbeat label. This is not true either. If you fall behind on your payments a couple of times, you likely won’t face charges. In fact, under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, a person must have willfully failed to pay child support for 12 months or be more than $5,000 in arrears.
  3. People who don’t pay child support as directed don’t care about their children. In most cases this couldn’t be farther from the truth. However, some parents delay sending the check or fail to send the check for other reasons.

If you have fallen behind on child support payments, and you have had a significant and permanent change in income status, you may be able to ask the court to modify your child support order. Conversely, if your ex owes you child support and isn’t paying, a good family lawyer may be able to pursue your claim in family court.

Contact Ron Graziano at the Cherry Hill, NJ law firm of Graziano & Flynn. For more than 40 years, Mr. Graziano has been guiding clients through the divorce process and is extremely knowledgeable about child support and alimony laws.

Client Reviews
Mr. Graziano had my best interests in mind when he represented me. He is clearly knowledgeable and handled my divorce quickly and efficiently. I'd hire him if I ever found myself needing a divorce lawyer again.
★★★★★
Attorney Graziano is one of the brightest and most compassionate professionals which anyone could work with! He is a great advocate and is extremely knowledgable of the judicial system. He made a very unpleasant legal situation a pleasant journey, and he helped keep things in perspective and in a positive light. I fully recommend him without reservation! Danielle
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Hiring the right attorney to represent your divorce case is one of the most important decisions you will ever make! I was fortunate enough to hire Ron to handle my case and had what I believe to be a favorable outcome. I based my opinion on achieving the goals we set in the beginning of the case and comparing my final outcomes to friends and colleagues that went through the process with other attorneys. Thank you Ron! Craig
★★★★★
It seemed like my case took forever but I trusted Ron Grazaino and listened to what he had to say. Mr Graziano said that the insurance company was not being fair and that we should go to trial. The trial was very nerve racking however he eased my mind and killed them with proof and knowledge. My outcome of my trial brought me to tears of joy. I could never imagine such a good outcome. Listen to him, have faith and you too will be impressed. Robin
★★★★★
Ron surpassed my expectations in my case. He always kept me in the loop, updated me with any change, and answered ALL of my questions.. And I had a ton! He was very knowledgable, honest, supportive, and calm. I was nervous every step of the way and he listened to each and every one of my concerns. He was always available by phone and email. He responded very promptly to every email I sent (I sent a ton!). Ron is an extremely trustworthy lawyer. Listen to what he says and have faith in him, you will be as impressed as I am! I couldn't have dreamed of a better outcome in my case. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to represent me, I highly recommend him to anyone looking for an amazing lawyer!!
His staff is amazing as well!!
Gia
★★★★★