Single Mothers Rights

Single mothers
Life can be very challenging for single mothers. If you've been through a divorce recently, learning to look after your kids without any support from the father can be a very stressful experience. It's important to have a good understanding of what the typical experience of a mother is like, so you know when you're dealing with common problems and when and how you can seek help. Let's take a look at the challenges solo mothers often face and how child support can play a big role in alleviating the struggle.

The Challenges of Solo Motherhood
One of the major challenges of being a mother on your own is simply finding someone to look after your children when you can't. Chances are, you're going to be juggling motherhood with at least one, possibly two jobs. If you're not making a lot of money, simply paying someone to look after the kids can be a big expense. If your kids are pre-school age, finding a good daycare is essential – and you can often have the cost of this paid for, at least partially, by child support.

If your kids are already in school this won't be such a big issue – however, there's still the problem of getting someone to look after them occasionally so you can have some personal time. It's hard for single mothers to find time to go out and let their hair down, but it's important to make an effort to get out now and then and keep in contact with friends.

Allowing yourself to become isolated, feeling 'stuck' at home with the kids, can lead to psychological and emotional problems. So find a good babysitter – preferably someone you know, or someone recommended by a friend. If you have family capable of taking care of the children, they will usually be your best option.

Another issue you want to be careful of, relating to parenting itself, is avoiding any perception of 'choosing favorites' between your children. If they don't have regular contact with their other parent, your love and attention as the sole parent becomes a whole lot more important. That's why it's important to be fair and even, so none of your kids get the impression you 'prefer' one of them above the others. (Remember, we're talking about perception – you may think it's obvious that you love all your kids equally, but kids often have their own way of interpreting things).

How Child Support Laws Helps
Obviously, child support can make a big difference to a solo mother. It provides much-needed financial support to cover the cost of essentials like food, transport, babysitters and school fees. It also helps reduce the amount of time you have to work, allowing you to spend more quality time with the kids.

It's important to get all your documents in order and plan out expenses in detail so you ensure you get the right amount of child support from the father. If you're stuck getting insufficient payments because you didn't have the right information at the time of the divorce, you can gather up all those documents now and file to have the child support payments increased accordingly.

What happens if the father stops paying his child support, or is behind on payments? You don't have to tolerate this – there are actions you can take through the legal system to pursue money owed to you in the form of child support. The government can even take money direct from a 'deadbeat' father's wages before he receives them, paying that money directly to you.

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