I avoided this thread for a while because this is a sensitive issue topic for me. My husband used to pay child support, doesn't anymore.
When he went to court, they had a month of overtime work prior. They based his child support on this even though he stated that his checks would be nowhere near that for probably years. A few weeks later, when work dropped off, we netted about $100-$200 a week out of his paycheck after child support. We had a car repossessed, had to move in with my mother in a very small condo, couldn't pay any of our bills, and his credit was ruined. Why was his credit ruined? Because when his check wasn't enough to pay the full support amount he got in arrears which hits your credit. Not enough to have the repo on there, but that's there too.
He went back to court no less than THREE times trying to get it reduced based on his actual pay scale. Judge turned it down every time. They had him fill out forms on our income versus expenses which clearly showed he could not even afford to live. Judge literally said "I don't care."
What good does it do a child to have their father living on the street? Had he had visitation, there would have been no where for the child to go and visit. Which, of course, would have meant his visitation rights would have been taken away. If it weren't for my family, he literally would have had no job (no car to get to work - couldn't afford it - and worked too far away for a bus), no place to live, and likely very little food to eat.
After living like that for two years, I RESENT the child support system. I also saw it do the same thing to my dad. While my dad was an ass and didn't want to pay on principle, I also know he could hardly afford the one bedroom apartment he had after he paid (which was usually late - partly because he was an ass and partly because he didn't always have the funds).
I get that both parents need to fund things for the child, but no parent in their right mind would spend so much on their child that they would have nowhere to live, no way to get around, and no food to eat. Why should child support amounts be such that it would cause this for a person??
My husband and I have a child together now. If ever we divorced, rest assured I would never in my life go through the judicial system for support. If he wanted to still be around for my son, then we could split bills or something. I wouldn't want my son to have to visit his dad in squalor because he couldn't afford to live after paying us. If he wanted to disappear, so be it. I'd rather tough it out on my own that get near that fucked up system.