This morning, I read an article through Yahoo News entitled "Prison Is No Relief From Child Support". The article talks about a move to require states to reduce the amount of child support owed by an incarcerated parent.
Whatever a person's feelings are on the incarcerated parent, or the parent who is not incarcerated and is carrying for any children, it does not diminish the needs of the child. Having a parent in jail is hard on children. Now, let's make it a little harder.
As a parent who is owed back child support, I can say, it hurts terribly. I am not going to allow my child to suffer for it though. I also know that eventually, I will see that child support. It's already as if I am giving the other parent an interest free loan for his portion of raising our child.
Now, let's take that a step farther, if he was to commit a crime and end up in jail, that should be on him. It should not be for me, I should not be penalized if he committed a crime.
The article says that all the responsible parent wants is some type of reimbursement. But, if there is to be a settlement made, then let me have a word in it. What if, as the other parent who is all of the sudden not receiving their child support, debt is incurred. They may well be dependent on knowing that eventually the amount owed them is going to be paid. That light at the end of the tunnel, that somehow, someday, it will come. I know for me, that light has been a beacon in the past.
There is another side to this as well, and that is the side of those who do make their child support payments faithfully. Who care about their children and do everything they can to care for them. What about all those great parents out there that put their kids first, that make sure that their children are cared for? Committing a crime and being send to jail is completely a voluntary underemployment issue. By reducing the amount of child support on those who commit criminal acts, is rewarding those ill acts, it is also devaluing the good parents out there who will do anything to care for their children.
I have a great amount of respect for parents on both sides of the fence out there. There should be respect for those who are on the receiving end of child support and for those who pay child support. These parents should not be disrespected and devalued by such regulations. Regulations such as this only will hurt good parents out there and reward criminals.