Effectiveness of Child Support

With all this talk about child support, a fair question is to wonder how effective it is. The idea is to provide sufficient financial resources for a child when his parents have separated. This, of course, is a noble goal. But, like anything else in government – the programs that surround it have swelled to unanticipated sizes. So, it leaves one to wonder whether the unanticipated consequences cancel out the benefit of the original goal. Here at MT Child Support, our opinion is that while there may be problems with the system, it’s not worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Any problems should be addressed independently, without forcing the consequences on children.

However, the reality is that child support has been embraced by government and the legal community and the child support system has become a good source of money for courts, lawyers and parents. Some say that our child support laws encourage parents into a legal “tug-of-war” which just costs time and money from both parents (including legal fees, court costs, and time off work). The law exists to protect children, but some say that children are hurt by the system. The conflict that results from these systems can spill over from fights between the parents into hurt feelings by children. Non-custodial parents sometimes feel like they are only an ATM. It can be hard to feel an emotional connection to a child if you think your only role is bank account.

And the reality is that child support has become a business. For attorneys and courts, child support represents a revenue stream. While ethical attorneys can still be counted on to provide good representation, the reality is that they depend on child support for their livelihood. Good members of the legal community would never stir up controversy just to make a quick buck – but as we’ve seen too many times, not everyone is a good apple.

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