“Encourage” may not be the best word to use for the potential effects of a proposal in California. Critics of the bill may use the word “shame” or “compel” instead. ABC7 News reports that one lawmaker in the Golden State wants to publicly name parents who owe more than $5,000 in back child support payments.
The proposed bill is not unique to California either. The lawmaker points out that several other states are running what he calls “deadbeat parent” websites to urge parents to provide the financial support that their children need. He claims that many of these sites have actually been effective and reminds the public that the real victim when parents do not keep up with child support payments is the child.
The lawmaker believes peer pressure may play a strong role in compelling parents to pay up. The information that might reportedly show up on the website includes the parent’s photograph, name and the amount they owe. He added that organizations would not be allowed to use the information to deny employment, housing, credit or services.
This may work on parents who choose not to pay child support out of spite or who are just irresponsible and selfish. However, what about all the parents who are behind due to genuine economic hardships? USA Today recommends that parents seek a payment modification if they are unable to meet the demands heaped on them.
While not always successful, this may lead to a reduction in the amount of money owed each month for child support. This may help parents to get back on their feet while providing ongoing financial support.