Arizona residents might be interested in a recent study that shows that many fathers who do not make their child support payments partially or in full are still offering other types of financial support to their children. Even more interesting is that the percentage of non-custodial mothers and non-custodial fathers who do make their full child support payments is about the same,a according to 2011 census data. However, public perception seems to focus on the idea of deadbeat dads, or fathers who do not financially support their children at all, while only considering the court-mandated child support.
The study found that many fathers who make child support payments partially or do not pay at all still contribute financially to the upbringing of their children through in-kind support. This type of support includes buying baby products and clothes for the children and paying for school expenses and food. The study found that this support averages out to about $60 per month for lower-income fathers who are often cash-poor. Many other parents were found to give cash directly to the mother instead of through the court system.
Viewed from a child support lens, these fathers often seem to be distanced from their children, lending no support and earning the label 'deadbeat". However, the reality seems to be that even though these fathers are marginally employed and cash-poor, they are putting a lot of thought into offering some sort of financial support to their children.
Unfortunately, there are still many noncustodial parents who simply refuse to comply with existing child support orders. A parent who has relied on this income may wish to speak with a family law attorney to determine if there are available methods of enforcing the order, such as wage garnishment.