Child Support and the Holiday Season

This time of year is tough financial time for many families. Every family is different, but any parent will tell you that seeing their kids have a happy and memorable holiday is a top priority for them. But with kids’ endless wish lists and the skyrocketing price of toys and electronics, parents are increasingly faced with trying to balance their kids’ joy against a strained pocketbook. Single parents especially feel the crunch around the holidays. Often working with half the household income of other parents, single parents struggle each year to “make it work” when it comes to holiday presents for their kids.

Take for instance the plea of one single father who took matters into his own hands this holiday season, posting a sign outside his Memphis, Tennessee home that reads, “All I want for Christmas is child support.” That single father is Joseph Wheeling, a handyman and father of two, who says that although it’s tough all year round, this Christmas the frustration got the best of him. He explained to a local news outlet that his ex owes him over a year’s worth of child support, but pays only $3.00 every 90 days. Mr. Wheeling says business has been slow this year, but his is grateful for family and friends who helped put presents under the tree for his two daughters.

A sluggish economy over the last couple years, coupled with high rates of unemployment and underemployment, has left many parents who owe child support without the means to fulfill their obligation. As a result, more parents than ever are reporting that they aren’t receiving the child support they’re entitled to. A recent survey by the Texas Attorney General’s office showed that a whopping 46% of parents in Dallas County are behind on their child support payments, and the trend seems to be consistent across the country.

Short of posting a sign on your lawn, what is a parent to do who is owed child support, but isn’t receiving it? Talking to a knowledgeable Pennsylvania Child Support attorney is the first step toward seeking relief. Parents who aren’t receiving much-needed child support should work with an experienced family lawyer to seek relief from the Court, requesting that the Court enforce the existing Child Support Order against the delinquent parent.

Single parents everywhere work hard to make the best out of a strained situation. Mr. Wheeling exemplifies a hard working single parent who will do anything for their kids, as evidenced by his commitment to sending both of his daughters to private school despite his ex owing him more than $30,000.00 in child support.

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