State governments spend millions of dollars a year in enforcement programs to compel parents to pay child support. Governments spend all of this money without fully understanding the problem. Surprisingly, very little research has been done to examine the justifications that fathers raise to avoid their payments. A researcher set out to study these reasons.

The study covered 150 respondents who agreed to participate in the survey. They were asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire that discussed their situation, divorce, custody and support arrangements. The researcher also asked the respondents about their support obligations and why they were delinquent on the payments.

The study found that only 12.67 percent stated the classic “I’m not the father” argument. Moreover, another 12.67 argued that they accept no responsibility for the children because they did not want to keep them. These two positions perhaps most clearly align with the government’s interpretation of the situation, but they constitute a minority.

The next group, 14 percent, refused to pay because they have no say in how the funds are spent. A further 23.33 percent declined to pay child support as retaliation against the mother because she does not permit them to visit the child. At first glance, these explanations might be a justification for the real reason, refusal to accept responsibility. However, fathers wanting to be involved in their child’s life is not an outlandish position to take. Moreover, many state governments favor co-parenting because it is believed to be in the best interests of the child.

Finally, the largest group, 38.65 percent, failed to pay child support because they lacked the funds. This indicates that the father might be willing to pay; he simply is not in the proper financial situation to do so.

Are you engaged in a dispute over your parenting plan? You may want to speak to an attorney. You can seek a court order to modify a parenting plan, but you will need to gather evidence and submit arguments to support your contentions. A lawyer can help you prepare effective arguments to maximize your chance of success.