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African American Men dealing with Child Support

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Just because a man pays his support, and may even be paid up-to-date, there is no guarantee that they will be able to see their children for whom the support is being paid. In other words, when one buys a car, pays for a bag of groceries, or buys a house, you can see what you are getting, and where the money is going. While there are laws on the books mandating visitation rights in many states, those rights are seldom enforced by the courts--without a lot of expenses having to be paid by those already 'on the hook' for child support. Add to this the fact that, according to federal guidelines, up to fifty percent of one's income can be ordered 'garnished' by the court to satisfy a child support obligation. Thus, if a noncustodial parent gets a five dollar a week raise on the job, and the custodial parent gets wind of it, they could order the noncustodial back into court for a new child support order--and still not grant visitation rights to that parent.

America's child support system has been called by many: 'The modern-day resurrection of the debtor’s prison system.' Dozens have been jailed or imprisoned--for anywhere from six months to three years or more--over this type of debt, and have had FELONY convictions tacked upon their records. With an already tight economy, just try to apply for a job with a felony conviction on your record. More than a few attorneys have remarked: 'A murderer has more rights than one who is behind in his, or her child support.' More than a few new spouses have watched their spouses have to run back to court and wrestle with financial obligations from a previous failed marriages and relationships.

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