Erik Simonson: Child Support but no Contact
Erik Simonson is running for the DFL nomination for a Minnesota house seat. Mr. Simonson has a 20-year old daughter from an earlier marriage who he allegedly hasn’t seen since she was two-years old. Mr. Simonson reportedly dutifully paid his child support obligations.
However now, his daughter Leah Simonson has spoken to the press. She has alleged that her father “abandoned” her. She has also expressed regret that she has not had contact with her father. The full story is here.
Mr. Simonson responded that by paying child support as required he “did everything I was supposed to do …” I don’t know their situation, of course, and the point of this post is not to put him or anyone else down.
Child Support is only part of the Equation
This not uncommon situation is sad in the respect that a parent believes that all the child needed was money and the parental obligation was fulfilled. Of course providing for your child financially is important.
However, parents often underestimate the importance of the parenting time they spend with the children. It’s easy to fall into the trap in a divorce, particularly a bitter one, that it’s all about who pays who and how much.
More important is the fact that children need their parents regardless of their marital status. The amount of time, love, and attention provided will influence their wellbeing incredibly and should never be underestimated.
If anyone is in the unfortunate circumstance of going through a divorce, they should always keep in mind what’s best for the children. With the exception of cases of abuse, what’s best will almost always include regular contact with both parents. This is something parents should keep in mind throughout the process.