Following a divorce, one of the greatest challenges faced by many parents is the issue of child support. For various reasons, many noncustodial parents either refuse to or are unable to send child support payments every month. All across America, many custodial parents are operating without any child support at all.
The problem of nonpayment can be solved through legal channels. Custodial parents can bring the other parent into court under charges of failure to pay, which can result in garnished wages and other penalties. In many cases, these measures are very effective at securing back child support; in others, however, they are not. If the noncustodial parent is unemployed, self-employed or has moved away, legal action can become more complicated and time-consuming.
Ideally, the issue can be avoided entirely. Often, noncustodial parents refuse to pay child support due to a lack of trust and openness between the two parents. One woman, the creator of a software program designed to assist with child support accounting, noted that many noncustodial parents refuse to pay because they do not feel involved in their child’s life. They may also suspect that the custodial parent is spending the child support money on him or herself, rather than on the child’s needs.
The woman’s software program seeks to solve these issues by acting as an intermediary for communication and accounting related to child support. The program tracks child support payments and child-related expenses, which provides transparency into the costs associated with raising a son or daughter. Future versions will also include a calendar of events that noncustodial parents can use to keep up with their child’s activities.
The program’s creator notes that all of this seeks to ease communication in a situation in which direct contact could be difficult or acrimonious. It also seeks to help parents feel more in contact in their child’s world, which can in itself help improve child support outcomes. According to the software’s author, 97 percent of parents keep up with their child support payments if they feel involved in their child’s life.