child support systemCordell & Cordell CEO Scott Trout was recently quoted in a Deseret News article that detailed efforts to utilize incentives to boost child support payments.

Child support is ordered for 87 percent of custodial families, which impacts 15 million children nationwide. Unfortunately, nearly 6 in 10 Americans relying on court-ordered child support only receive a portion of the money they are owed.

However, the child support system has historically placed an overemphasis on collecting payments. The methods used to coerce payments are often especially harsh on low-income parents, which ends up being counterproductive and drives a wedge between families.

Mr. Trout noted that the preconceived “deadbeat dad” stereotype fails to acknowledge the economic challenges face. Moreover, the recent recession caused even more issues for noncustodial fathers stuck in a system that fails to consider outside economic forces.

“There’s a significant number who are trying,” Mr. Trout said. “It’s a broken system that expects 100 percent enforcement and ignores the efforts the guys are making.”

Some states, such as Georgia, have been successful in getting more parents to meet with child-support workers by making its communication to parents more friendly and treating parents as customers instead of debtors.

The child support system is confusing for many parents. If you find yourself falling behind on your payments, it is best to be proactive and get in touch with a divorce attorney to see if a child support modification is possible.

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