There are so many women that struggle daily to provide for their children. Many of them struggle because they have children with a man who is a deadbeat dad. All men do not strive to be an absent father. However, there are some that are skilled at being absent and eliminating their parental responsibility. Some even go as far as to benefit from children that they are not involved with. As a single mother, I have had my share of experiences in dealing with a deadbeat. As a result, I feel that the knowledge that I have gained should be shared to help other women, and possibly men.
When discussing a deadbeat, we first have to define what we mean by that. Basically, it means that there is a parent that does not provide for or interact with the child. There are many parents in the world that walk away from their offspring with no remorse. There are some that are kept away for safety reasons as well. Nevertheless, some parents choose to be absent.
In my situation, the father of my children decided that he did not want anything to do with them after we agreed to end our marriage. This is baffling. The children were not the reason that the relationship ended. I will never understand how a person can walk away from their children. In any event, it happens.
As the mother, we are expected to keep it together no matter what. If the father decides that he wants to move on with his life and forget that the children exist, he is able to do so. The father is only held to the financial responsibility of caring for the child in most situations. When that is not even being done, what is a mother supposed to do? She is expected to smile, grind, hustle, be a lady, be a mother, be a woman, hold it down, and keep it together without complaining or crying.
The woman, in most cases, is the custodial parent. The woman has to adjust constantly to the demands of the children and the situation. Some women feel that they are mommy and daddy so they do not need anyone to help them take care of their children. Some women feel like they will do whatever needs to be done to provide for their children regardless of what they get. Some women feel like they have a mixture of the two all while they are still struggling. Women fight hard to keep their nose above water when raising children alone. Regardless of how successful that woman is, she should not have to accept or be content with raising children alone without the help of their father.
In the event that you are a single parent dealing with a deadbeat, I wanted to give you a few tips that I have learned along the way. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I would love to help eliminate as much of the stress as I can or at least provide some direction towards elimination.
Intercepting Taxes – In the event that the non-custodial (NCP) parent is in arrears, when they file taxes the IRS will interrupt the payment and put money towards the arrears. It could take anywhere from 30 up to 120 days to receive the payment. However, if that NCP is in bankruptcy at the time, the child support agency will return the money to them. Regular payments cannot be included in the bankruptcy, but involuntary payments cannot be made on their behalf either. If they are married, their spouse can stop the interception by filing a claim stating that the debt is not theirs and they do not want to be responsible for it.
Disability – If the NCP files a disability claim, any involuntary payments that could be made to the custodial parent (CP) are not paid. No action can be taken on a child support case while there is a pending disability claim.
VA – If the NCP is a Veteran, it is possible that they could file for VA benefits as well. In the event that they file for disability benefits and have proof that they are the biological parent of the children, they will receive benefits for all biological children in the award. As the custodial parent, you will have to file an apportionment claim to get the funds sent directly to the children that are being claimed. It could take multiple months to receive a decision. It is also possible that they could deny your claim because it does not benefit the NCP.
Congress – In order to get claims expedited with VA, the CP will need to write to their local Congress person. They will follow-up on behalf of the CP to see if VA can process the apportionment claim faster. This is the only way to get a claim processed faster. This process could still take months.
Felony – If the NCP has arrears of over $10,000 it is considered a felony. In most cases local lawyers will not attempt to help with this, if you want to have it looked in to, due to the fact that it is a federal matter. Many lawyers are less inclined to work on this and more inclined to work with you on the child enforcement side.
Assistance – In the event that times get so hard for the CP and they receive government assistance, the child support payments could be affected. If the CP receives temporary assistance for needy families, they will only receive a portion of any child support payments that are submitted while they are receiving assistance. They will only receive that portion, IF the NCP is in arrears. Otherwise, they will not receive child support while also receiving this government assistance. Even if the assistance is less the child support amount. Food stamps are not typically affected. However, receiving food stamps could increase the amount of time that you have before you can file for a modification.
I hope that this information opens the eyes of any parent that is struggling to make it and those that are opting out of involved parenting. Either way, you are not alone. There is help available. I understand that everyone’s situation and circumstances are different, but the knowledge is universal. The more that we are educated, the more we are equipped to deal with various issues. If you have additional information, please share your experience.