The city of Worcester, MA marked Father’s Day this year with the arrest of sixteen fathers reportedly owing more than half a million dollars in child support arrears collectively.
Are these parents simply ignoring their responsibilities?
Well, according to federal data, two-thirds of so-called deadbeat dads are at the poverty level of income, with only four percent reaching $40,000 per year in income. Pre-recession.
Massachusetts imposes the highest rate of interest on child support arrearages in the nation: eighteen percent.
And last year Massachusetts increased its reportedly already high child support guidelines even more. During the recession.
Parents suffering reversal of fortunes rarely take the proper legal steps to modify their child support obligations, and even more rarely succeed in obtaining a child support reduction.
In many instances, fathers who fall behind in child support borrow from their parents to avoid being held in contempt of court and jailed.
Of course, there is no reason to think that custodial parents are faring any better in the recession than noncustodial parents.