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Why Do Men Have to Pay Child Support?

by Siobhan Quinn


No matter the circumstances, a baby that you and your partner have created deserves the proper care and support for a healthy upbringing. Whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned, you and your baby daddy are responsible for the wellbeing of this child—as long as you decide to keep them.


However, it is far too often that immature fathers who aren’t ready for the commitment of a child try to wiggle out of paying child support. Not only is the refusal to pay child support incredibly selfish and uncaring, but it can also result in some messy legal consequences. Here are some concrete reasons why your baby daddy should—and ultimately must—pay child support.



IT TOOK BOTH OF YOU TO CREATE THE BABY

To have a child, an egg cell and a sperm cell are needed. It will not be possible if one of those is absent, so the responsibility of raising a child belongs to both the mom and the dad,” points out Samantha Moss, editor and content ambassador at Romantific.


Even if your relationship or marriage has ended, your responsibilities as a parent persist—because ultimately, it took both you and your baby daddy to create this living, breathing, and helpless creature. If your baby daddy doesn’t want to have a physical role in your child’s life, that is his decision to make.


However, he can’t wipe his hands clean from the decision that he jointly made with you when this child was conceived. At the very least, paying child support is necessary for him to assume his responsibility as a parent despite not wanting to be in the child’s life. What’s more, even if your marriage has ended, that does not mean that you can gatekeep the child.


Moss goes on to explain that “a failed marriage is also not your ticket to not let the father see his child because it [could] trigger [him] to stop giving child support. If you [were] in the father's shoes, would you be enticed to support a person you barely see or interact with?”


YOU BOTH HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THE BABY IS PROPERLY TAKEN CARE OF, NO MATTER YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS

Relationship expert, Michelle Devani, explains that the obligation to pay child support is not a condition of marriage. Rather, “…if you are a parent, you have to support your offspring until they come of age, your parental rights are terminated by adoption, or a child is declared legally emancipated.”


So even if you and your baby daddy are no longer together, that is not a valid reason to abstain from paying child support. Your child still exists even if your relationship or marriage does not. Even though your baby daddy may no longer want to be involved with you, it doesn’t mean his child becomes void. He has to acknowledge the decisions he made that led him to this point and pay the price that comes with them.


It took the two of you to produce this baby, so it will take the two of you to ensure its health and livelihood. If this is a reality he can’t handle, then he wasn’t fit to be having unprotected sex to begin with.


RAISING A CHILD IS EXPENSIVE

It cannot be denied—raising a child is an expensive undertaking. That’s why child support is necessary to ensure that the child is taken care of financially in all the ways the child needs and deserves. Child support funds “…assist children in meeting basic needs such as clothes, food, and safety … [and] they also contribute to the cost of their schooling by paying for school supplies, tutoring, and perhaps even money for food,” explains April Maccario, founder of AskApril.


Additionally, there are often add-on expenses including “…the child's medical insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical expenses, and child care when the custodial parent is either working or going to school,” according to attorney Michael Fried. Even if your baby daddy doesn’t want a relationship with you or your child, he cannot leave you stranded financially.


There are serious legal consequences that come from his refusal to pay for child support. It was your and his actions that created this baby, so it is both your and his obligation to ensure the baby is taken care of financially. Without child support, the financial burden of the child would likely become too much for just you to bear.


When two adults create a child they automatically assume full responsibility—even if it’s an unplanned pregnancy and/or the relationship has ended. So even if your baby daddy doesn’t want to pay child support, it doesn’t matter. The needs of your child should and will always take priority over the wants of your baby daddy.

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