Ouch! That shoe hurts when it’s crammed onto the other foot.
It seems that men aren’t the only ones complaining about their lives as non-custodial parents; women are too. And guess what? Their complaints about the family court system are largely the same as men’s.
It’s true that non-custodial mothers have one additional complaint that their male counterparts don’t. Public perceptions of mothers without custody are predictably negative. Since women are assumed by popular culture to be natural parents who place the highest value on childrearing, mothers without custody can feel stigmatized.
But when it comes to visitation and child support, non-custodial mothers are singing close harmony with dads. According to this site, it seems the concept that it’s the noncustodial parent who takes the bigger hit financially is true after all and not something MRAs made up. And this site calls custodial parents “narcissistic” and says that children have a right to both parents. Both parents? It’s good to hear women singing that tune.
And now that I’ve mentioned child support among the litany of their complaints, take a look at this Census Bureau report of 2005 statistics. Apparently paying to support their children is something non-custodial mothers aren’t very good at. They do a poorer job of it than do NC fathers, even though their child support burden is less onerous than men’s.
The report shows 13.6 million parents with custody of 23 million children who had another parent living elsewhere. Physical custody was 84% female and 16% male. About 7.8 million of those parents had some form of child support order in effect, but mothers were far more likely than fathers to be the beneficiaries of support orders. Almost 61.4% of custodial mothers but only about 36.4% of custodial fathers had support orders in effect. That means there were about 800,000 custodial dads with child support orders and a little over 7 million custodial moms with orders.
Why are courts so much more likely to order support for mothers than for fathers? It’s hard to say, but I suspect that men’s greater tendency to be gainfully employed contributes. The same Census Bureau report finds that 73.4% of custodial fathers worked full-time year-round, while only 50.1% of custodial mothers did. What the statistics are for non-custodial parental employment, the report doesn’t say.
Custodial mothers were due, on average, $5,176 per year from NC fathers, who paid $3,579 for a 69.1% compliance rate. By contrast, custodial fathers were due only $4,471 per year and received only $2,797 for a 62.6% compliance rate. So NC mothers, although they had substantially lower child support obligations, still paid a lower percentage.
So yes, that shoe can pinch, whether it’s a Red Wing work boot or a Gucci pump.