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How does low income factor into child support?

Both parents of a child have a responsibility to care for and support the child, including financially. That is why California has a child support system to enable non-custodial parents to provide financial support to their children. However, support arrangements can put financial strain on some parents, especially those with lower incomes.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it is important for those making child support laws to pay attention to low-income earners and to provide them with support. Parents with a low income may be more likely to fall behind on payments and end up in arrears. Adjusting guidelines to make it easier for them to pay would help prevent them from falling behind and enable them to provide adequate support for their children.

There should be a movement to help low-income parents obtain jobs and training that will help them raise their income or at least gain steady employment. It also helps to change the perception of those who fall behind or do not make payments. They are often referred to as deadbeats, but not every parent who is not paying support is a doing it on purpose. Some just cannot afford to make the payments.

States can also forgive past due support and change laws that throw parents in jail if they fall behind on payments. After all, if a parent is in jail, he or she cannot earn money to make future payments.

In short, there are many ways states can provide more support to parents to help make it easier to pay child support while at the same time ensuring children are being taken care of properly. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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