glass_lion (glass_lion) wrote in parenting_alone,

Child support RECIPENTS now get to pay a fee to support federal premarital counseling

Didja hear about the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005? No? Well, among other things it REQUIRES states to charge child support recipents (NOT the payors) an annual $25 fee. Why? To collect money for federal premarital programs (and "fatherhood skills" programs). No, really. Because, sheesh, the reason I'm a single mom - and should therefore be fined $25/year for staying single - is because I didn't get enough "pro-marriage education" in high school. And my ex-husband changed to a new wife because he didn't have enough "fatherhood and job search training."

Outrageous. This is another example of the subtle, pervasive stereotyping of single moms - that we're all stupid and got pregnant as teenagers - that I'm always soapboxing about.


The fee is assessed beginning Oct 2007. Fee is waived if you've ever received TANF or AFDC.

Oh, I should clarify:

"[The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005] requires states to impose an annual fee of $25 on families who have never received TANF assistance in child support cases with collections of at least $500. States have four options: (1) retain the fee from collected support; (2) charge the individual applying for services; (3) recover the fee from the absent parent; or (4) pay the fee out of state funds."

(same source)

How do you know if, in your particular state, you'll be charged the fee? Some people have reported getting notices from their child support agency that say so. I just Googled "Mystate Deficit Reduction Act TANF child support" and turned up a link for my state (yup, I get to pay $25/year). Most states are apparently charging the support-recipient parent, either because (a) it's easiest to get our money, since we are getting a monthly amount, or (b) we are being "punished" for getting pregnant, regardless of circumstances. Based on the pro-marriage crap programs this money supports, I actually believe (b). Bush thinks we're all stupid, unmarried teens who can't keep our legs closed.

cross-posted from my journal
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