Many Californians are aware of the stigma attached to one’s failure to pay child support. However, those experiencing issues with regular payments know the severity of the situation; after all, a child’s entire wellbeing could be placed on the line with only a few missed monthly payments. Despite the seriousness of this issue, there are some shocking truths to today’s child support system that could help clarify current obstacles. 

According to the Washington Post, failure to pay child support could result in a vicious cycle. With almost one in four children in the U.S. under some type of child support plan, only 62 percent actually receive financial assistance. Acknowledging the stereotype of “deadbeat parent,” The Post reveals through recent research that poorer states have higher rates of missed child support payments. Poverty and child support collection rates have worked in tandem to create a debilitating cycle of financial worry for countless families. While enforcement of payment is certainly necessary, financial struggle ultimately affects the most important group of this process: the children. 

Pacific Standard also weighs in on America’s child support system and the ways it can hurt both parents and children. While various states continue to experiment with support enforcement, low-income parents grapple with exorbitant monthly fees. In fact, Pacific Standard shares that, as of 2015, parents owed a total of over $115 billion in child support debt. Parents most likely to suffer from overwhelming fees were those who also struggled to find steady employment. These parents often lose drivers’ licenses, tax refunds and other essential factors that would help keep them afloat in child support procedures. It is clear that certain issues surrounding child support exist, but some financial experts argue that modified plans that better meet parents’ levels of income could help resolve this nationwide problem.