With all things in our justice system, rules and laws were created at a certain time with a certain need in mind. The flaw with most laws is that there was never a loophole created to close certain things, or to change them, when the times and needs of the people change.
When the Child Support laws were put into effect in most places, the courts saw all of this as very necessary. The man provided the money, the woman provided the emotional support, and for the most part that was the way that it was. Therefore, the courts have the man (if he does not have custody) send money and visit the child usually once every other week, and sometimes on Wednesday. They believed that this was the best solution to keep the father in the life of the child while helping the mother to raise the child financially.
Life, I have noticed, is not black and white. There are more shades of gray than anything else, and this was not put into account when it comes to the legal system.
I receive child support from my ex-husband. He pays a lot less than he should according to the current laws. The amount was determined 8 years ago when he was making a certain wage, and now that he makes more I could take him back to court to receive more. However, I do not need it. My ex-husband sees my son, driving 2 hours here and two hours back twice every other week just to do so. He talks to him on the phone on occasions and I am very certain that he loves him. That is good enough for me.
My current husband pays child support. When we first became a couple he owed back child support, and even though he did not make a lot of money, I knew it was important that he pay it off. He had to. It is, after all, the law. Never did I say it was right, fair, or the like, but it is the law, and so it must be done. So we paid it off and his $8500 price tag of being in arrears is now gone. He does not see his son or speak to him due to ‘issues’ with the mother and the son.
Paying child support is not the payment to see a child, however. Even though his child support is taken care of, I do not think that the mother of my husband’s child would let him see the child. With this in mind, it does not give my husband the right to stop paying child support. If one person does wrong, it does not mean that you should do wrong, too.
It may seem as if paying child support is unfair, and at times it is very hard. It is, however, one of those things that must be done. You had sex. You are no longer with the mother and child. So the legal system tries to keep you in the child’s life in some way, and this is the way that was chosen.
To some it may not be right, to others that child support makes the difference between making the rent and not making the rent. Either way, it will not last forever. There will come a time when the child turns 18, a paycheck is no longer garnished, and that will all be over. Then the fun really begins: having the chance to be a parent to an ‘adult’, spending more years giving them your advice, love and help then you ever did paying child support. And one day I am sure that the child and parent will talk about the past, about what happened, and the child will understand, and you will be able to move on in life.