Often, men and women do not take the same position when it comes to coping with an unplanned pregnancy. However, because deciding to keep a child is ultimately the mother's decision, a question often arises as to whether a father should be forced to pay child support for a child that he may not have wanted. Let's explore the pros and cons of imposing child support on a father in the case of an unplanned pregnancy:
Reasons to File for Child Support Even if the Father is Reluctant to Pay
There are several reasons why a father who may not have wanted a child should be required to pay child support, including:
- Fathers should accept responsibility of providing for a child they helped create when they chose to be with the child's mother
- The risk of pregnancy could have been minimized by using a reliable method of birth control
- The child has needs, regardless of whether the father wanted the responsibility of a being a dad
- Filing for child support guarantees the father must pay; and if he doesn't, his wages will be garnished or his driver's license may be suspended
Reasons Not to File for Child Support if the Father is Reluctant to Pay
There are several reasons why a father who may not want the responsibilities of parenting should not be forced to pay child support, including:
- The father might have been deceived by the child's mother
- The father may be unable to support a child, financially
- The father may prefer to relinquish his parental rights
- The father may have a change of heart and file for full child custody or visitation rights of the child
Additional Considerations Regarding Fathers and Child Support
Parents have an additional option if they would like to sever ties between the other parent and the child.
Parents may seek a Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) which would prevent a parent from seeking child support from another parent. However, please note, it is the court's decision to decide whether or not to terminate a parent's financial obligations when parental rights are terminated. However, if a mother would like to terminate the father's parental rights so the child can be adopted, then it's highly likely that the mother would no longer be entitled to child support.
For more information about child support, visit child support calculations of your state or speak with a qualified attorney in your state.