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5 Things to Know to Avoid Being Called a 'Deadbeat Dad'

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

There's probably no worse position as a parent than being called a "deadbeat dad."

If you have children who are not living with you, you may have an order requiring paying child support. To ensure that you avoid that "deadbeat dad" moniker, here are five things that you should know:

  1. Moving out of state does not get you off the hook. The custodial parent of the child can request a court to impose enforcement of child support on you even if you move out of state. Additionally, the custodial parent can request that the state forward the child support order to whatever state you happen to reside in. If you don't make your payments, you could face jail time.

  2. Losing your job is no excuse. A court cannot and will not excuse overdue child support payments because you lose your job. However, you can petition the court to reduce your child support obligations.

  3. Don't assume bankruptcy will help. Paying child support is one of those few debts that cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. So even if you're experiencing financial difficulties, be prepared to have enough to pay child support.

  4. Know that joint custody will probably not reduce your payments. Joint legal custody means that both parents have authority to make decisions on the child's behalf, but this does not affect the financial obligations as one parent still raises the child.

  5. Even if you don't see your children, you still have to pay. If the custodial parent is being difficult and does not allow you to see your children, you still have to make your child support payments. Paying child support and complying with visitation requirements are two distinct matters, and failure in visitation does not excuse paying support.

To avoid being called a deadbeat dad, you have to make your payments. There are very few ways to avoid paying child support and if you owe support, you should keep the above five things in mind.

If you still have questions regarding your child support issue, you can find a local attorney in your area.

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