The Habitual Deadbeat

Deadbeat dad is a typical label for a father, and in some cases a mother, who intentionally refuses to pay child support or struggles to keep up with payments. Regardless of the full meaning of the label, we know you need your support payments paid to you on a timely basis and at bare minimum, get a payment made to you toward child support money in arrears.

The term, deadbeat, is actually used in some state’s legislative family code. It specifically describes parents who have fallen behind for any reason and refused to pay child support. Some parents who cannot pay child support due to loss of health or job aren’t actually considered to be deadbeats, however, if someone is in arrears, we will put efforts into collecting that with dignity and respect. If a parent is trying to get caught up and falls behind in a pattern, requesting jail time isn’t going to be a productive answer to getting child support paid. Parents don’t earn money in jail and any state or federal government aid awarded to the non-custodial parent is going to be placed on hold while they’re incarcerated.

Except for cases where a protective order is in place, an order for no contact or the communication has been mostly negative and threatening, when we take a child support collections case, the first thing we aim to accomplish is creating an open dialogue that’s free from insult and focuses on mending the lines of communication. Parents who achieve the co-parenting relationship have less combative communication, and it’s always better for the child to have a favorable and happier family relationships and carries over into their adult relationships as well.

Many states have taken extreme measures to get deadbeat parents to make payments, including seizing any IRS refund due, blocking access to a U.S. Passport, garnishing unemployment and worker’s compensation benefits, and blocking vehicle registration renewal. Most of these things are pretty severe to someone who needs to get their car tags or take a trip out of the country. It won’t, however, stop the transfer or registration bought on a new vehicle purchase perhaps unless you’re in a state where license plates stay with the vehicle owner and not the vehicle, when sold.