Illinois parents are already faced with a difficult road after the breakup of a relationship. When a child is involved, the road can get bumpy, especially when child support and quality parenting time come into play. While both parents wish to be with their children, sometimes one parent can end up bearing the brunt of financial responsibility. A recent article discusses a correlation between perceptions of single parenthood and public policies.

When many people speak of single parents, mothers are often the ones that come to mind. Those conversations sometimes throw a spotlight on a woman’s choices and blame them for bringing a child into the world without a firm commitment to the relationship by the father. However, the majority of custodial mothers, over 60 percent, happen to either still be married or are divorced. In some of these cases, the father is absent and may not pay all of the child support that is owed for various reasons.

It has been asserted that misperceptions about single mothers have led to U.S. policies that tend to be unsupportive of single parents. These policies may also explain why the poverty rates among children in this country are so high. Many of these single mothers earn poor wages and little to no benefits at their jobs. In 2009, statistics showed that only 41 percent of predominantly female single parents had actually received their court-ordered child support. In many of these cases, the father had been detrimentally affected by job loss or the rocky economy and was unable to pay the owed money.

Public policies appear to be ignoring the plight of the single parent and the need to receive child support to help care for their children. Single Illinois parents in a situation like this have legal options available to them. Pursuing legal avenues can allow parents to finally get the financial support they need to successfully care for their children. On the other hand, those that owe child support they cannot pay have the option to apply for a modification of an existing court order, based upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.

Source: The New York Times, “Discouraged Dads,” Nancy Folbre, July 23, 2012

  • Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Illinois Child Support page.