How to Protect Yourself, and Your Baby, From a Deadbeat Dad
Few things in life are harder than having to deal with a deadbeat father. Not only are they shirking their responsibility to you, they are also making it harder to bring up your child in an environment that is financially stable.
This is not to say that a woman needs a man to create an environment of financial stability – we don’t. Instead, it is to say that a man not doing his part places an additional hardship on the woman.
According to the Fort Worth alimony attorneys at the Maynard Law Firm, ‘it may be necessary to formulate a legal strategy to enforce alimony payments.’ However, before getting to that step, here are some practical tips on how to protect yourself, and your baby, from a deadbeat dad.
Know Your Rights
Divorce without children is tricky, so just imagine how complicated it can be when kids are involved. Not only do you need to make sure that you are protected but as a mother, you are probably left to fend for your children.
As such, you need to know your rights – especially when child support is involved. While many of these cases revolve around a father’s ability to pay, there is also the question of their willingness and this can significantly complicate things.
Luckily most fathers will live up to their obligations in a divorce but there are always a few rotten apples that will make it near impossible for a mother to get what is owed them. In these cases, you will probably need to retain an attorney to assist in the tedious process of petitioning the court and following up to make sure that judgments are enforced.
While this does take time and money, it is something which you as a mom are due and as such, should not be easily overlooked. Sure, this can be a difficult time but the laws in the most states are accommodative when it comes to supporting the rights of custodial parents.
In fact, the laws just about everywhere consider the failure to pay child support as a serious offense – one which might even land a deadbeat father in jail. This is not to say that your ex needs to end up behind bars, but it is to point out the seriousness of the situation.
Another thing to remember is that the responsibility to pay child support is not to you but the child and this means that if your ex isn’t paying then they aren’t living up to their responsibilities as a parent. While this alone might be enough to get some deadbeats to shape up, the best way to make sure an order to pay child support is enforced is to get a lawyer who will fight for your rights.
Limit Access to Your Child
As mentioned the failure to pay child support can land some deadbeat dads in jail. However, this is not the only recourse you have in these situations. Another option is to limit access to your child, though this should only be done through official channels as taking matters into your own hands could end up doing more harm than good.
It’s also important to note that limiting access to your child isn’t just about collecting on child support as there might be instances when your ex is a legitimate threat to your baby. While these cases might call for more extreme measures, you want to make sure that you are in constant contact with your attorney as they will be able to give you advice and counsel in real time.
Beyond this, you might also want to make sure that any visits are supervised. Doing so will ensure that you are living up to your obligations under the terms of the agreement with your ex while also ensuring that your child is always safe.
When in Doubt
Regardless of whether the situation has to do with unpaid child support or if you are concerned about the safety of your child, the best advice is to remain in constant contact with your attorney. Doing so will not only make sure that you know your rights, but it will also ensure you are not giving your ex the leverage they need in any future disputes.
Being a single mom is not easy but there are plenty of examples of strong mothers who have brought up great children without any meaningful help from the father. Protecting yourself and your child from a deadbeat dad starts and ends with you. Know your rights, limit your child from an abusive father, and when in doubt keep your lawyer in the loop.