An Illinois woman was arrested for non-payment of child support, taken to the DeKalb County Jail and then transferred to the Kane County Jail. Her case is unusual from at least two aspects. First, the vast majority of noncustodial parents who are charged with violating a child support order are women. Second, the man who initiated the proceedings is the son of a man who also initiated non-payment charges against a mother in 1994.
Deadbeat parents come in both genders, but the percentage of delinquent parents in 1994 who were mothers is estimated to have been between 2 and 5 percent. The occurrence is believed to have grown a little since that date.
The father in the recent case questions the authorities’ response time after the warrant for arrest was issued. He believes that the police have a different set of standards for arresting a deadbeat mother than they do a deadbeat father. Police responded that they treat everyone equally, and the woman had not been home or did not answer the door on their numerous attempts to take her into custody.
An author of the Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Handbook said that although the courts are good about a gender-neutral application of the law, fathers still have a harder time collecting child support than do mothers. He noted that society biases about the traditional roles of fathers and mothers, even though they are being diluted generation by generation, still tend to come into play. A family law attorney may be able to help ensure that each family member takes the welfare of the child into consideration when parents divorce.
Source: The Beacon-News, “Case study: Plano dad’s child support payment problems a family affair”, Denise Crosby, June 15, 2014