Child support laws in the US need to change to reflect the common values of our society and to encourage two parent homes instead of single parent homes. The laws at present encourage women to have children outside of wed-lock and use the children as a way to receive a monthly check without working. It also works in a counterproductive way that encourages mothers sometimes to leave the father of their children if his income is significant enough that she would receive a substantial amount of money.
Child support laws need to be geared to what the child´s actual needs are and the support costs should be equally divided between both parents. The child´s needs obligation should not all fall on the non custodial parent. If it is possible joint custody should be pursued even in situations where the parents were unmarried. We as a society should encourage both parents to be active in raising the child. Child support and obligations are very important, but time with the child is even more important than the amount of the check received. If a father is willing to bear a portion of the time to raise his child he should not be obligated to pay full child support. The father should dedicate at least equal time to child rearing that the mother does so that a more stable environment is available and the child has the chance to be an active part of both parent´s lives. If the father does not desire to have contact with the child he should be obligated to support the child 100% financially regardless of what the mother´s income is. In the situation of single parent homes if at all possible both parents should be required to work so that they both can actively contribute to the support of any children that are caught in the middle.
At present if a father or mother falls behind in child support there is little the parent can do to appeal their situation without hiring an attorney and paying money that should actually be going to support the child, or perhaps not being able to pay the attorney and just ending up further and further behind with little recourse to catch up in their payments if they lose their job or become ill and unable to work. Child support obligations cause a non custodial parents license to be suspended and even passports to be denied which essentially prevents a parent from actually being able to support that child. Instead of suspending a driver´s license it could perhaps be restricted to being used to travel to work only. Parents that need to have a license to get to work and are behind on support end up losing their job because they have lost their license and it creates an eternal conflict for a parent that perhaps wants to pay their obligation but has fallen behind for a variety of reasons. I like to think that most parents actually do want to support their children but frequently give up because the child support is too high. They end up losing their job and get behind in payments creating a frustrating cycle for them and the custodial parent often punishes the other parent or uses the child as a weapon by not allowing them to visit with the child while still collecting support so the parent out of frustration decides to no longer pay or even because after falling behind, they end up losing their license and any hope of finding another job or being able to legally drive to the job that they have found. In today´s society most jobs require you have a driver´s license and if you do not have that license you have little hope of being hired.
Whatever laws we make towards child support should be framed around making sure that both parents are involved in the child´s life and then needs paid for the child in a mutual fashion. The child should not be used as a weapon against either parent and if a child is used in that fashion there should be legal recourse for the offended parent without a huge expense on their parent. All of our laws should be geared toward keeping the family unit together and the encouragement of raising a healthy and happy child.