Black Community; Child Support Is Not Your Child’s Allowance nor a Come-up.




( For years we have been sold the logic that the government uses child support to keep the black man down. That the government forces black mothers to remain single by setting restrictions in place that will ensure the black man can not live in the home with the black mother, if she desires to receive state benefits. While this may partly be true, we are far removed from the times when black fathers struggled to seek employment. In fact, we reside during a time where men choose not to work or opt to move from job to job to avoid paying child support. I personally know men who will not even file their income taxes, because the government is going to keep those funds for back child support that remains unpaid.

For years we, as black parents have made numerous excuses concerning the government and child support, yet the government were not apart of the relationship prior to the birth of a child. We are a few weeks short of existing 2022, a year that has proven anything is possible, and we are still making tired excuses for why black non-custodial parents should not be paying child support.

I do not take to the logic that having a child is a “you made your bed, now lay in it” learning experience. No one parent should be forced to bear the burden of financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually supporting a child, when that child has two able-bodied individuals who should be mature enough to support him or her. No child should be seen as one see’s paying a utility bill, and I know single parents whose power bill is higher than their monthly child support check.

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Regardless of if the mother or the father is the custodial parent, the opposite responsible parent should be able to sit down and discuss plans to ensure that the child’s needs are met on a daily basis. I do not understand the concept of weekend parenting, arrangements where every other weekend the child will visit with the non-custodial parent. Was it the government who stepped in to enforce that you can only parent your child 4 or 8 days per month? There are non-custodial mothers and fathers who go to sleep with a full belly and a smile on their face every night, and whether their child has had a nourishing meal during the day never crosses their mind.

Then we have the non-custodial mothers and fathers who do pay their child support, often court-ordered because they neglected to reach an arrangement with the primary caretaker, who take on the attitude that everything the child needs can be attained from the child support payments. Some of these parents will even go as far as to call the child and inform them that they have made child support payments, and to ask if the other parent has given them money.

To that I say, your child support payment is not an allowance for your child. Child support was put into place for parents who can not reach an agreement concerning the care of their child(ren) without government or a child support agency involvement.

While I am not an advocate for taking out child support because you’re angry, attempting to seek revenge, or doing so out of spite, I still recognize the need for mediation for a lot of co-parents.

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Child support covers all things related to the child. It is not to be merely used to purchase clothes, shoes, or toys each month. At times it will play apart in your child having a roof over their head, food in their mouths, water to drink and bathe in, lights so that they can see moving around the house, even childcare or daycare expenses. I know single parents whose child support payments do not extend beyond their children’s afterschool activities or transportation to get the child back and forth to school.

For non-custodial parents who have only been ordered to make financial payments to “support” your children, sit down and count your blessings. As a single mother, I wish I was mandated a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly amount to spend on my child and not expected to go over even one cent. It is the custodial parent who is there every morning and every night, when your child is hungry, it is their face your child is looking into.

Whatever need or want that child has on a daily basis is placed upon the parent that they see. If they want to participate in afterschool activities, it is on the present parent to readjust their schedule to make that possible.

Step up to the plate instead of making excuses. If you have more than two child support cases against you, understand the mother or father is not to blame. Your lack of responsibility and concern is to blame. I understand funds get tight from time to time. That is apart of life, however, if you communicate with your co-parent the two of you should be able to reach an agreement to ensure the child is still cared for in the meantime. Don’t have a job? You should be doing all you can to get your child to school or back home everyday. Your co-parent should never need a babysitter.

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Those who do right by their children get treated fairly by the system because they never get caught up in it. Let’s seek solutions instead of excuses and above all let’s be responsible, beneficial parents in the lives of our seeds.

Blessed parenting.

Staff Writer; Dina Tuff

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