Last night on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” rapper Lil’ Scrappy attempted to make amends with his longtime girlfriend and mother of his child, Erica Dixon. After deciding to take a break from living together (and apparently, their relationship), Scrappy asked Erica if he could also take a break from paying child support for their 7-year-old daughter Emani.
Umm … what?
While Erica is working hard to support herself and Emani, it seems as though Scrappy’s career is struggling. After having a couple of hits a few years ago, his music career has taken a turn for the worse and his money isn’t what it used to be. And now that Scrappy and Erica are apart, it looks like he wants to take care of his daughter on his own terms, but Erica isn’t falling for it.
Last night, Scrappy apologized for how he’s been stringing Erica along while he gets himself together. Although he says he wants them ultimately to be together, he isn’t ready to commit fully to her now. Erica stood her ground and told Scrappy she wasn’t going to be mistreated anymore and claims that chapter of her life is now closed. As they seemed to come to an understanding, Scrappy then asked if Erica would have the child support order lifted because “he takes care of his child,” but she refused, reminding him that she asked him for money for their daughter and still hadn’t received it.
We’ve seen this scenario play out time and time again. The parent with primary custody wants the other parent to step up and pay their fair share, and the non-custodial parent feels like what he is doing is enough. While it may seem adversarial to involve the court in such decisions, allowing a third party to determine the minimum amount that should be paid toward the child’s care is not only fair, but it’s best for all involved.
While some couples are able to work out amicable agreements, far too often we’ve seen the reverse. When emotions and loyalties are in play, things can get blurred and the money it takes to provide for a child can be put in jeopardy.
Because Erica hasn’t been holding Scrappy accountable, his support for his child has been lacking. But now that the court will be involved, he’ll have no choice but to pay up or suffer the consequences.
Parenting isn’t easy, and when you have to share parenting duties with a former partner, things can get even more complicated. Because children cannot eat air and good intentions, it’s important that both parents work out an agreement that is fair and, above all else, provides for their child.