Study reveals role of in-kind support by fathers

When a man is tasked by the court to provide child support, he is legally required to do so. Most men want to do what they can to help provide financially for their children. If a man should fail to make his payments on a consistent, timely basis, he may be tagged with the moniker of "deadbeat dad." But sometimes this derisive term is unfair.

These days, many men are facing economic hardships, making it difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with child support payments. But at the same time, some of these men are finding meaningful ways to provide for their children.

Recently, the Journal of Marriage and Family Medicine published a study focusing on men who make contributions to their children that are not part of child support payments. These so-called "in-kind" contributions can go toward things such as toys, clothing, food and books.

Three hundred and sixty seven noncustodial, lower income fathers located in three different cities, including Austin, Texas, were studied by researchers. The research revealed that these men made contributions averaging $60 per month for in-kind provisions.

By making these in-kind contributions, fathers can give things directly to their children. This allows fathers and children to form stronger bonds as the children can better understand the efforts their fathers are making to help and support them.

It is only fair to acknowledge when a man is doing his level best to support his children. Support transcends mere money and can include providing attention, love and quality time.

If you are a father who is having difficulties keeping up with child support payments, it may be possible to seek a modification in the amount you must pay. A Texas child support attorney could assess your situation and may be able to help you get the terms of the agreement modified.

Source:, "Are all deadbeat dads really deadbeat?," W. Douglas Tynan, July 9, 2015

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