Congress: Everyone Deserves a Stimulus Check, Except “Deadbeat Dads”

Stimulus checks are garnishable for child support arrears in the middle of the pandemic

Jenny Ian Asencio

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Photo by Hidde van Esch on Unsplash

Apparently, if you owe child support, you can suffer through COVID in ways even tax evaders don’t have to. Your stimulus check will be applied to your back child support, and so will your spouse’s, if you file jointly. In the interest of “taking care of children,” the stimulus checks given by the federal government to deal with an unprecedented health crisis will go to everyone who filed for taxes in 2018 or 2019, except people who have child support arrears.

How is this not sexist and discriminatory???

First of all, the common nickname for people who owe back child support is “deadbeat dads.” This is because, thanks to misguided responses to oppression by sexism, fathers are more likely to be charged child support, even when they’re responsible individuals who want to be a part of their children’s lives but just can’t make ends meet on low incomes, especially in times when there’s not a lot of work due to economic factors or national crises.

The legal name for people who pay child support is “non-custodial parents,” and this refusal to allow them the stimulus money they deserve is discriminatory against both men and the poor, especially those whose only loss of income came from health matters and not pure narcissism and unwillingness to work. If someone is behind on child support, odds are excellent that they need the stimulus check worse than the average person, even the ex-wife or girlfriend who is the mother of the child. If someone is behind on child support, it is often an indication about how their own life is going, a life which is going to be more adversely affected by COVID and the very factors this stimulus check is here to relieve. It certainly doesn’t represent a lack of interest in their children.

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Yes, there are actual deadbeat parents out there, dads and moms who refuse to pay, even though they could easily afford it. However, child support law disproportionately supports the rights…

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Jenny Ian Asencio

Card-carrying nerd, rational feminist, spiritual observer, ally of free thinking and objectivity, Harvard student, power metal is life!