A few weeks ago I called your attention to an article on child support written by Albany Times-Union columnist Dan Higgins and suggested you write the paper. In Mothers skip on payments, too (2/23/09), longtime reader Chris Nelson of Clifton Park, NY writes:
I appreciate that your recent article on unpaid child support included a picture of a father who is owed support by his children’s mother. However, the text of the article is somewhat less balanced, noting that most child support is owed by fathers without putting that number in context.
You note that 91 percent of child support is owed by fathers and that is not surprising since the courts award custody to mothers 93 percent of the time. What you fail to note is that census data show mothers who owe child support are less likely to pay than fathers who owe.
When fathers are more likely to meet the financial obligations than mothers, why do you choose a comparison that puts fathers in a negative light?
I would add:
According to US Census data, noncustodial mothers are 20% more likely to default on their child support obligations than noncustodial fathers. This is despite the fact that noncustodial mothers are less likely to be required to pay child support, and those with support obligations are asked to pay a lower percentage of their income in child support than noncustodial fathers.
To learn more about so-called “deadbeat moms,” see the Fox News article “Moms Can Be Deadbeats, Too.”