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Georgia child support roles changing?

Georgia parents may be interested to find out it is not uncommon for mothers to pay child support. When one thinks of child support payments, the mind usually wanders to the father. The father has traditionally been looked upon as the one who leaves the family and, even so, is sought for continued financial support.

Times have been changing for a few years. According to a report, there are several reasons why a mother is not able or willing to stay with her family and is sought to provide child support. There may be some unavoidable reasons such as her job, especially if she is in the military and is deployed for long periods of time, serving prison sentences, or mental or drug rehabilitation stays.

Sometimes, however, a woman simply no longer wants the responsibility of her family, much like the reason a father may leave. She may feel inadequate to raise her children and that the father can do a better job, she may feel she wants something more from her life than her children, or it may even be leaving for another person. A woman choosing to leave her family is judged more harshly than a man in the same situation and it usually has connotations that she may be mentally or morally in the wrong.

As men are showing more and more often that they can be able single parents, courts are awarding custody of children to the fathers in situations like these. Whereas women are often seen as the parent seeking child support from the fathers, not as many fathers are pursuing child support from the mothers who leave. One reason could possibly be that, as men, they feel they should be the providers whether or not there are two available parents.

Many men and women, not only in Georgia but also in other states, find themselves in seeking and providing child support on the part of the mother. This can be a very complicated situation for all parties involved. Counseling and support groups are available for those who feel they need help. For those obligated to pay support that they can no longer afford, our courts will consider applications to modify future payments based upon a showing of a substantial change in financial circumstances.

Source: The Washington Times, "When mothers abandon their children or families," Paul Mountjoy, May 07, 2013

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