How should the child support payment system in the U.S. be changed to make it more fair?
What is unfair about child support for the child support payor (also known as the child support obligor):
- tying child support to the number of overnights the child spends in the custody of a parent entices many parents to seek being awarded as many overnights as possible, thereby ensuring that the one receiving child support receives as much as possible or ensuring that the one who pays child support pays as little as possible. Even when the child would benefit from being in the joint (or even joint equal) physical custody of the parents, many parents try to seek sole or primary physical custody awards simply to gain the child support calculation process.
- child support recipients (also known as the child support payees or obligees) who use child support money for the their own personal expenses and not for the child’s actual support.
- lack of accountability on the part of the child support recipient for how the child support monies are spent, to ensure that the monies are being spent on the financial support of the child, as opposed to the personal expenses of the child support recipient.
- child support calculation formulae that are not commensurate with the child’s actual financial needs, i.e., orders that someone has to pay more money each month (in some cases substantially more money) than is necessary to meet the child needs.
- child support awards that “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs” by requiring such a high amount of child support be paid that the child support payor cannot meet his/her own basic monthly costs of living.
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