*That, I'd like to see. They have no excuse whatsoever for not supporting their children. My dad, who works in social work administration, was instrumental in compiling a top-10 deadbeat dad list for his state, and I couldn't believe how much some of these douchebags owed. Tens of thousands of dollars, years and years of not paying support. The killer is that any other debt would have extremely dire consequences. This particular kind of debt should have worse penalties than most.
*I think they tried that in Puerto Rico, because my dad was all pissed it might happen to him. And once, they actually put him in jail overnight - which caused outrage within his side of my family. He owed about $12,000 in child support and thought it was unfair.
I love the guy (and I know he loves me and my sister a lot), but the sky is blue and my dad's a total douche. C'est la vie.
*In my state they stopped letting them get gun licenses and hunting licenses, and that shot compliance through the roof.
*Damn right. It's so infuriating. A friend of my mom's is divorced with kids and her ex is a total douche. He lives in a (well, formerly) million-dollar house in an expensive neighborhood with his second wife, but pays jack in support because he works for his wife's family business and when the people come around to check on his income, he's conveniently "unemployed." Add that to trying to cheat an inheritance from his youngest daughter and I'm convinced he's scum of the earth. *stabbyface*
*I'm betting the kind of people who refuse to pay child support because of "the principle of the thing" are the same kind who would then drive without a license for the same reason. (The "principle" in question, of course, is their right to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without any consequences. And, of course, anyone trying to levy consequences are just picking on them.)
*Why on earth are only 31 percent of fathers paying child support?
>@__: Because when it comes to enforcement, most states are pretty lax. I know my wife has been fighting her ex for years, trying to keep him paying his monthly support, but there are times he has managed to pay nothing, because his pay status has changed. Right now, she gets money from wage garnishments (which he hates), but when the military puts him on some new "assignment," they switch where his pay comes from and suddenly the payments dry up. And the State of NJ is too overwhelmed to be able to task someone to hunt down her ex's new pay source and garnish it.
>@__: Because they know they can get away with it. It costs a mother more to get him to court to have a judge order him to pay it than to suck it up and be the sole provider of THEIR children...
...then he complains that his wife "turned his kids against him," even though he hasn't called his son in 8 years, in spite of the fact that since then he has graduated college and gotten married.
Me? Angry at my "father-in-law?" What gave me away?
>@__: We can't forget how hard this is on the children. Their mother is stressed about money, so that affects the home environment. The children then also struggle with wanting a relationship with their father, yet can't help but feel hurt or as if they're some sort of burden to their father for "inconveniencing him".
>@__: A friend of mine has a private agreement with her abusive ex because she's afraid he'll take their daughter. My husband offered her pro bono representation to get a legal support agreement in place, and she wouldn't take it. It's hard to work with him, and hard to work with her. I don't even know what I'd do in her situation. The idea of having to be connected to someone who might hurt my kid just to hurt me is terrifying.
>@__: Because they are fucking assholes.
Mr.__'s dad, who's very fucking wealthy never paid child support. He's from a political family back home, so there was no way my MIL could go to court. Mr.__ grew up in poverty.
In my dad's case (a professional with a relatively high salary), his ego still can't deal with my mom leaving his abusive ass. He was always fighting the measly child support my mom dared to ask for. Me, my mom, and my sis all lived in one of grandma's bedrooms for years.
>@__: Because it's not worth it to me to have to go back across the country and file against my ex-husband, and then get the run-around from the courts while they grant him continuance after continuance.
Besides, and this sounds horribly anti-feminist, but it's just reality, I remarried, and Mr.__ provides for OUR daughter. Mr.__ is her dad, the ex is just the sperm donor, in all honesty, so, my ex gets to whine, occasionally, when he's feeling so very put upon by his other ex-wife with a child (there's one other than I know of, and there was an ex-wife that he didn't spawn with before me), about how mean I am.
But, he doesn't call, doesn't write, doesn't bother. My kid has a father who loves her, cares for her, and doesn't give a shit about biology. And neither she nor I has to be involved with his abusive self. Win-win all the way around for us.
The realities suck. But we're trying to make the best of them, and have managed to raise a scared preschooler into a self-confident, mouthy teenager. Would it be nice if her biofather gave a shit? Sure it would. But that would require him to give a shit about someone besides himself, his mommy, or his grandmother. That's never going to happen, because really, out of the three of them, the only person he truly cares about is himself.
*And just as a note to this: when my father left my mother when I was 5, he never paid child support. My mom did it all on her own, and it was rough sometimes, but we made it through, with the help of her mother.
>@__: The upshot of my parents' divorce: my father is still struggling to this day, and my mother made herself into a successful real estate agent and accountant (with a little tax preparer on the side). It's wrong my mother was forced to work so hard, but in the end, she made better of it than my dad.
*A highly underrated custody situation (that gets poo-poo'd quite a bit by many a male psychologist) is a 50/50 split. Week on, week off. The argument typically is that kids need "stability," but I fail to see why parents sharing equally is something other than "stable." Especially when the disparity is great enough for the children to notice. It is something that I would respect the father's rights movement more for if they took a very hard stance with that. You don't want to "victimized?" Then fucking own up to your responsibilities and PARENT like an equal.
>@__: Yeah, that works, until the dad decides to move out of state when the marriage ends. Parenting then becomes 100 percent one sided.
>@__: The only problem with this is that when fathers kill their children, they usually do it when the relationship with the mother has broken down and the kids are visiting. This is a good article, including some info relevant to the US: (see below)
>@__: I have a flashback of a woman at my one-time office yelling at her ex on the phone... because every time her little girl came back from Dad's, she had a cold because apparently he couldn't be bothered to dress her warm enough.
having the child for 50% of the time =/= parenting.
*Boyfriend-of-__ is a single dad, who has 50% custody of his young daughter, and pays half of her healthcare, preschool, clothing, etc expenses. He quite rightly feels that it's just his responsibility to take care of these things, but it's stunning how many people give him profuse compliments for "being so involved in her life." We need a cultural shift so that fully involved fathers are the norm, not an exception to gush over.
>@__: I have to agree with you on this.
I've been a divorced dad for about two years now.
We share true 50/50 joint custody of our daughter and live in the same city for that reason. The court system of AR will never award joint custody in a divorce hearing, according to our lawyer. Neither of us wanted the other one to be forced into a visitation scenario, so we chose to skip court entirely and work it out ourselves. I happily left most everything to her for practical reasons: I had the financial ability to rebuild a second household from scratch. She really didn't. We didn't fight over a single thing. We were married exactly 10 years. The reason this worked out so well? Because we both retain a healthy respect for each other and, more importantly, place our daughter's happiness and peace at the top of our priority list.
Her mom stayed home when she was little so that our daughter could have a parent at home full time during those years. We both wanted that for her. On the upside, that extra time also allowed her mom to complete a Master's degree.
I don't *officially* pay child support because I share expenses 50-50 with her mom. Health care, clothes, everything. Her mom will often pay for smaller expenses herself, but I insist that she give me a tally at the end of the week and let me pay my half anyway.
I have myself heard some similar comments from others about how "remarkable" my involvement is with my daughter. I don't consider it remarkable at all. I consider it right and I don't think anyone should be trying to give me a medal for it. The bar is absolutely set so low for fathers these days that even the slightest support is magnified into something that should be natural.
Nowadays, I do make significantly more than my ex-wife, even though I have no degree and she has a Master's. But thats simply a reflection of her chosen career path: she's a firefighter. ;-) I'm certain all of you would love her. lol
>@__: I think your story is testament to the idea that courts probably aren't the best places for divorcing couples to settle their problems. This is one area I do agree with Alec Baldwin and the men's rights people-- mediation is a much better option, usually. Disclosure: I'm a mediator.
*To all those who said,"Keep your jobs". I'd like to add to that- all women should be encouraged to have higher education for this reason. Even if it's not a 4-year college, go with a vocational skill. Thank God my mom was able to leave my VERY dangerous father many years ago. Why? She had a Master's when she met him & her own home. Even if all you have is some sort of education, it can give you a sense of self esteem in knowing that you aren't trapped, and it will be easier for you to acquire gainful employment to care for yourself (and a child, if you have one).
*I'm living this article right now...my ex-husband is debt-free, off skiing the Swiss Alps and boozing it up in Brussels because I busted my ass to pay off his graduate school and car loans. Meanwhile, pretty much everything I eat comes from a can and I can barely pay rent.
And he says he "got screwed in the divorce." Um yeah, that does not compute.
>@__: Maybe he'll have an unfortunate ski accident.
>@__: Wow. How did he pull that off? Your situation sounds like the most clear cut case for alimony (for education and retraining) since you gave up your time to support him. I'm so sorry.
>@__: Basically we (read "he") decided that his loans should be the first to go, while mine were up next. We never made it to the "next" part in our marriage.
Throw some legal factors (no alimony for less than 10 years in my state, my debts being personal property brought into the marriage) together with a dash of unemployment, and I've brewed a small batch of angst for him.
Lessons learned though! He's out of my life and I'm the better for it.
*Same song, different verse: my parents divorced, my mom got custody after a battle. The first two years my dad paid child support late. The third year he quit his real job and got a badly-paying job just so he paid less child support. He went back to his job, and luckily we lived in a state with provisions for situations like this, so the child support was then automatically taken out of his check.
As he spent my childhood complaining about my mother "stealing" from him, she funded entirely out of pocket (from her job where she made less than half of his income) braces, field trips, clothing, drivers license training, sports teams, etc ad infinitum.
It's really sad when adults are not able to separate their anger at their children's mother from the actual children.
*The parent who raises the children, in her care most of the time, has it much harder. Even when fathers pay they don't think it's their job to help out when their child is ill. They think they are absolved of all responsibility with child support. It is better than not having child support but women still have it much harder.
Divorce Makes Men More Moneyed
Ending it All
by Kate Hilpern
In the United States, which now sees 10 murder-suicides a week, they have coined names for such men: "slam dunk murderers" and "family annihilators" are current favourites. "The profile of a family annihilator is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbours to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father," says Professor Jack Levin, a leading expert from North-Eastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, who has studied such cases.
"Often he tends to be quite isolated. He is often profoundly dedicated to his family, but has few friends of his own or a support system outside the family. He will have suffered some prolonged frustration and feelings of inadequacy, but then suffers some catastrophic loss. It is usually financial or the loss of a relationship. He doesn't hate his children, but he often hates his wife and blames her for his miserable life. He feels an overwhelming sense of his own powerlessness. He wants to execute revenge and the motive is almost always to 'get even'."
Davina James-Hanman, director of the Greater London Domestic Violence Project, believes "powerlessness" is the key word here. "Domestic violence, whether sustained or carried out in a single killing, is essentially about power and control. If you think of the violence as a continuum, with murder at one end and minor abuse - for want of a better description - at the other, abusive men will go as far down the continuum as they need to establish the power and control to which they feel they're entitled. If the woman leaves the relationship - the ultimate challenge to his control - he will sometimes come back with the ultimate sanction and sometimes the only way to get back at her is through the children."
A particularly macabre feature of murder-suicides is that contrary to claims that the killings must have been the result of a momentary act of insanity, virtually all are premeditated.