As a Non-Custodial Parent, When Do You Stop Supporting Your Kids?
The immense delight of bringing a bundle of joy to the world is unmeasurable and incomparable. The sleepless nights are all worth it and fatigue simply vanishes when you look at your baby’s small angelic face.
In the beginning, the child demands a lot of attention from the parents, from 24-hour surveillance to prevent anything bad from happening to them to make sure that all their needs are met instantaneously.
As parents, it is our duty to make sure that our children are well provided for; that there is always a roof over their heads, ample food on the table, and quality education to help them excel in their respective careers.
But as they grow older, kids could drain the life out of you, especially during the teenage years, leaving you wondering when their angelicness turned to obnoxiousness and downright troublesome. Despite all of that, we all know that deep inside that we still care for them.
This tremendous care even shows when they grow up. We feel that it is our moral obligation to provide for them and to protect them. Non-custodial parents also feel this as much as typical moms and dads do. However, there’s no clear boundary as to when you are no longer obligated to support your child.
Definition of ‘Child’
The question lies in the definition of child, which is quite unclear. Some people may say those who are 18 and below are still considered a child, but this could be wrong depending on the state. This is because some areas order noncustodial parents to provide child support until the kid starts college and is not a minor anymore.
There is a case in 2010 where a father asked his ex-wife to help with their 19-year-old son’s college tuition. The court ordered the woman to cover 25 percent of the schooling’s costs. This decision was seconded on appeal. However, in a surprising turn of events, a child law overturned the outcome.
According to Chief Justice Roy Moore, the child custody law in Alabama doesn’t actually give a definition of children, so they just applied the common notion of a minor.
The Struggle of Parents
In the mentioned case, the child was almost 19 already, which doesn’t fall to the definition of a minor. Of course, this reverses the decision in 1989 that states parents must financially cover their children’s college expenses.
But sadly, there is more to that story. As a result of the obscure law, single parents who don’t get financial support from their ex-spouse are forced to resort to loans that further sink them in debt.
According to reports, fathers are mostly the ones who don’t pay up what they owe. Their debt totals $1.54 billion, whereas, for mothers, it’s almost $60 million.
There is a multitude of sad stories of single parents trying their hardest to make ends meet because of their former better half’s failure to pay child support. As such, many of them choose to secure more jobs and to spend as little as they can.
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