Kids are a huge responsibility in so many ways, but if for whatever reason you decide you can't handle your financial obligations to them, be warned: You may have to pay a very high price for not paying child support. Here are 10 of the top reasons you need to keep up your end of the bargain.
10. Your kids need stuff.
Going through school, puberty and life in general are tough enough on a child; don't make it worse by taking things away from them. While new sneakers may not save the world, they will make your kid's life a little more pleasant. Peer pressure and the need to be accepted during childhood is vital to their emotional health and development. Don't look at child support as another monthly bill for you to pay, look at it as a way to empower your kids to be better and do better.
9. Your kids will be grownups one day.
Imagine a conversation with your kids 10 or 20 years from now. Are they going to be blaming you for failures, lost opportunities and painful memories of high school? They will grow up, and yes, they will hold you responsible for your actions. You don't want to face them if they feel you let them down repeatedly, costing them much more than a new pair of shoes every year. What about the example you have to set for them now, too? Cycles tend to besiege families, from alcohol abuse to criminal activity; what is it that you want to teach your kids?
8. Your kids have a better chance of succeeding in life.
An unfortunate 29 percent of custodial parents live in poverty, meaning their children do too. Poverty is an enormous obstacle to success in life. While some can rise above their situations, going on to college and perhaps bigger and better things, most don't. Your financial contributions now may mean the difference between a good life and a sentence of permanent poverty to your children, and possibly their children as well.
7. Working with your ex is much better than not.
Even if you shudder at the mere thought of your ex, playing games to get back at them, deprive them or one-up them over a past incident only hurts your kids, and most probably makes you miserable in one way or another. Considering the fact that it now costs around $245,000 to raise a child these days, working together with your ex will work out better for everyone.
6. Nobody wants to be labeled a deadbeat parent.
It matters not if your ex is a monster, nobody will look at you the same as a deadbeat parent. It may not even matter why you missed your payments either, as society at large uses the label in a very cruel and unforgiving manner. Coworkers, neighbors, your boss and friends might see the impediment as a Scarlet Letter of sorts, leaving you to sort out a host of consequences.
5. Your social media life may be ruined.
The average Facebook user over 18 has more than 300 friends at their fingertips, meaning with the click of a mouse, everybody you know and who knows you may suddenly be privileged to the fact that you don't pay your child support. The popular social media site even has a few groups solely dedicated to the purpose of telling the world about the problems associated with not supporting your kids.
4. Google knows where you live.
Pretty much nothing gets by Google, meaning if your name hits the local papers, court dockets or social media networks in full-force, it's all a matter of public record. Also easily accessible to every person on the planet are your personal details such as place of address and employment. Thus if you intend to skirt your responsibilities for child support, you can and will be hunted down like an animal in the woods. Between law enforcement, child support collection forces and the Big G: You have no place to hide.
3. You have to sleep at night.
Of all the things that might stand between you and a good night's sleep, the welfare of your children certainly has to be one of them. Not getting enough sleep may cause you health problems, interfere with work and even shorten your life. Give yourself one less thing to worry about, kick yourself over and keep you up at night, by paying your child support.
2. You don't want to spend a night (or more) in jail.
No matter how much you might be tossing and turning in your own bed, it's certainly a lot better than the accommodations over at the county jail. No matter how dire your straits, a warrant for your arrest will be issued and the police will enforce it, if you are negligent in the court ordered support of your children. Few things will interfere with your own welfare more than being a jailbird.
1. It's the right thing to do!
Of all the negative consequences that come with not supporting your children financially, your heart might pay the highest price of all. Kids are the single most precious commodity in life, and as a parent, your heart should ache when they are in need, or when you have let them down. Looking out for them in every way possible is coded into your DNA, and for so many reasons, putting out for child support is simply the right thing to do.
If you can't afford child support payments, be sure to talk with a lawyer for more information on how you can fulfill your obligations to your children whilst also having enough money to get by.