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Child Support Essay

1654 words - 7 pages

A child sits in a pitch black room wishing he had a better life, wishing he was someone else. He is deeply depressed and in pain. His father has been arrested and taken away from him again. The father is incapable of finding a good job due to his past mistakes and is forced to do grunt work. He can not afford to support both his children and his self, so he chooses his children and is forced to move around from house to house. Now he is homeless and rarely gets to see his children. This is just one of the few unknown side effects of the harsh enforcement of child support laws. While child support laws were created with good intent and are in effect to help divorced parents to provide for their children, there are many cases in which these laws cause more harm than good. Parents that are present and active in their children’s lives should not be forced by law to pay child support.
Child support has become a growing issue in America, however it has existed long before the development of the United States. The oldest known recording of the idea of child support can be traced back to seventeenth Century England. The original purpose of child support was to ensure that parents that had either abandoned their children or divorced their spouses, did not flee their responsiblities to help provide for their children financially. Child support laws were not present in the United States as federal laws up until 1935 when the Federal government decided to implement welfare for children and families with absent or deceased parents. Child support laws were not actively enforced until 1949 when New York noticed that too many fathers were abandoning their families and refusing to pay child support. As a result to this large group of unpaying fathers, New York came up with laws that allowed divorced wives and their children to file lawsuits on men who abandoned them. After that, other states gradually adopted their own laws enforcing child support (Lieberman 5).When child support enforcement laws were created and added to state laws, no one really considered the effects and issues they would cause. The initial argument used in favor of forcing people to pay child support was the prevention of taxpayers money being wasted on welfare. Because of this, people were more focused on their own finances rather than the well being of the children. The enforcement of child support can range from any number of punishments. There is imprisonment, stripping of licenses, and even a federal income withholding. Now that child support has become a major concern and continues to grow as an issue, more people are beginning to realize the down sides and problems of parents being forced to pay child support.
A majority of child support orders like the Deadbeat Parent Punishment Act of 1998 ignore the capability of the parent to pay and do not cater to every individual person. For instance, some guidelines set for child support say that a parent...

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