Clement Law Center your family law attorney
Free Initial Consultation
Our office is open. At Clement Law Center, the safety and wellbeing of our clients and employees come first. In response to COVID-19, court hearings and all conferences with client and prospective clients will be by phone. We are not conducting in-person court hearings or meetings. Our staff will often be working remotely during this time. Our office will be checking voicemail and will return client calls as soon as possible. We continue to offer free phone consultations.
We offer a 25% discount to First Responders and Health Care Workers
Attorney Bruce Clement headshot
Quality Representation & Individualized Advocacy You Can Depend On

Documentary puts spotlight on punitive child support system

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2018 | Child Custody & Visitation

Family courts in Washington generally have good intentions when they pursue child support from noncustodial parents. The punishments for default, however, frequently make it harder for the parent to catch up on payments. The documentary “Where’s Daddy?” explores the harm that children experience when parents cannot pay support.

Courts often impose punishments such as revoking a driver’s license or sentencing people to jail when they are substantially behind on payments. These actions typically result in the inability to get a job or dismissal for those who have employment. These consequences deepen the problem of child support default. The consequences sometimes riddle parents with guilt and set them on the path to self-destruction.

The documentary recounts the story of a man who fled from police when his vehicle was stopped. He owed $18,000 in child support. Previous penalties for his default had landed him in jail and gotten him fired for work. According to the documentary, police killed him by shooting him in the back as he ran away.

The substantial portion of child support debt, 70 percent, arises from people who have reported incomes under $10,000 a year or no income. One newspaper review of the film called it a sobering look at the inability of the child support system to address complex parental challenges.

State guidelines generally factor in the income of a person when calculating child support. Someone falling behind on support payments might lose rights to visitation or child custody. An attorney may help a person petition a court to adjust child support based on current financial difficulties. This effort might prevent someone from falling into default and experiencing separation from children.


Start Your Free Consultation

Our Office Locations

Federal Way Office
31919 1st Avenue South, Suite 103
Federal Way, WA 98003

Toll Free:888-351-6779
Phone: 253-954-3351
Fax: 253-815-8458
Federal Way Office Location

Seattle Office
3418 NE 65th St., Suite A
Seattle, WA 98115

Toll Free: 888-351-6779
Phone: 253-954-3351
Fax: 253-815-8458
Seattle Office Location

Bellevue Office
14777 NE 40th Street, Suite 206
Bellevue, WA 98007

Toll Free: 888-351-6779
Phone: 253-954-3351
Fax: 253-815-8458
Bellevue Office Location