I'm absolutely amazed to read these comments. If the absent parent elects to not pay child support, it means that the parent either 1) does not have the money, 2) does not care enough to provide care for his/her children, or 3) feels as though he is being grossly mistreated. The original poster said that the absent parent owed a whopping $40,000. Except a kid in college, who needs that much money? I have seen case after case where the court award child support payments that are grossly out of proportion to what the children need. Not only that, but I have on too many occasions seen the beneficiary of those payments use the money, not for the children, but for themselves. The child support system is not perfect, but I would even argue that it's completely broken and causes irreparable harm to the absent parent in many cases.
Should the absent parent be required to provide funding sufficient to pay for 20% or 50% of the housing for his/her absent children? If so, should he/she not also be entitled to ownership in 20% or 50% of said housing?
Should the absent parent not have the right to declare that a certain percentage of the money get directed to a college fund? It absolutely amazes me how many parents receiving child support do not consider putting a single penny away for college. Every month, I put money aside for my children's college. If I had to give that money to my ex, what money would be left for college? Likely none at all.
Should the absent parent be required to live in squabble? I know several cases where the absent parent did pay the required child support and, as a consequence, the absent parent quite literally did not have sufficient funds to provide for their own healthcare, was often evicted for not having money for rent, etc. I have examined the financial situation in those cases and can honestly report that the court did not leave the people with enough to survive. How those people can live and not commit suicide is beyond me.
So, while I do agree that the absent parent should take on some responsibility to help with children's expenses, I do not expect my ex to give me a penny. I take care of myself and my children and I prepare for their needs on my own. I do not use the words "deadbeat", either. If the person truly was dead, who would you blame for your situation? Rather than spend so much effort pursuing money that is, from what I can tell, significantly higher than the actual needs of the children, why not focus on your own life and the happiness of your children?