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What is a Deadbeat Dad?

The phrase "deadbeat dad" can be traced back to the Civil War.
A deadbeat dad who purposefully disobeys a court order for child support may face charges of civil contempt.
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"Deadbeat dad" is the gender-specific slang term used mainly in the United States and Canada to describe a father who willfully evades a court order to provide financial support for his children. Used in general conversation and by government agencies, the phrase has origins in the American Civil War and has negative connotations based on social contexts. The intent of the father in paying is important in applying the label, as some men want to pay but, for one legitimate reason or another, cannot. Some people criticize not only the term, but also the methods used to get individuals to address their debt.

Common Use

In general, "deadbeat dad" is a slang term used in everyday conversation. Although other descriptions are available, many child support enforcement agencies and courts use the phrase freely as well, simply because the majority of people understand what is meant when someone says or writes it. The line between common and legal terminology is not especially clear because of this.

Related Connotations

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In most parts of North America, people generally expect parents to take responsibility for their children, even if the parents are not married or living together. Although society is becoming more accepting of single parents and is making strides toward better gender equality, the tendency is still for women to be the primary caregivers for children, and most individuals look especially harshly on men who don't provide some help to their children and former partners. Given this social context, when someone uses this phrase, the additional connotations are that the father is largely irresponsible in all aspects, does not value family, is (and perhaps never will be) a productive member of the community and is self-absorbed. These associations are not necessarily true in every case and can be hard for a man to shake, even if he eventually pays his debt.

Role of Intent in Labeling

Not all men earn the label "deadbeat dad" fairly. Some fathers truly want to pay, but for legitimate reasons — for example, unforeseen medical bills or company layoffs — fall behind on delivering the money they owe. In the emotionally-charged context of separation and divorce, the failure of these men to comply with the support order can lead former partners to see and portray them to others as the "bad guys."

True deadbeat dads usually don't have any kind of emotional remorse or resolve about their lack of payment, and they tend to maintain excuses for their behavior. Many go to extremes to avoid enforcement of the child support order, such as remarrying, changing names and working for cash. The intent of the father, rather than the simple lack of compliance, is essential in applying the term correctly.

Reasons for Not Paying

Deadbeat dads often express some common reasons for not complying with a child support order. One is that, even though they might love their children, they believe that the mothers won't really use the money for its intended purpose. Some fathers believe that their former partners have somehow tricked them and that the women got pregnant on purpose just to keep them in the relationships. Others think the mothers had children believing that, with the child support, they would be able to get out of working. The theme is the general feeling that the mothers are taking advantage of them.

In some cases, men refuse to pay child support because they don't agree with the amount they've been ordered to pay. They sometimes are not aware that they typically can report changes in their financial and general circumstances to the court to have the amount they are required to provide reduced. Other fathers feel so overwhelmed with the amount they owe that they don't see the point in trying to eliminate the debt.

Efforts Toward Child Support Order Enforcement

In the United States, California’s 1992 precedent requiring companies with five or more employees to report names and Social Security numbers of all new hires was the first major step toward actual child support enforcement ever made at the state level. In 1996, the U.S. Congress made the California program national, requiring all states to create same-standard systems. Child support enforcement agencies in the U.S. also work together in a no-tolerance, no-immunity program to catch child support offenders of every degree. Deadbeat dads no longer can cross state lines in hopes of hiding, and federal databases also help find serious offenders. Most states use tactics such as suspending driving privileges, refusing passports, withholding state tax refunds, garnishing wages, limiting or denying unemployment benefits and making arrests for contempt of court to encourage men to pay.

Online Resources

Today, many jurisdictions provide formal lists of the most wanted deadbeat dads. These resources, aside from using the term "deadbeat," remain fairly neutral, usually listing just the offender's name, photo, date of birth and amount owed. Websites outside of government agencies are common and have had a certain degree of success in their own right at finding men who owe money, but many are not objective. They often contain forums or comment threads in which users post personal attacks against the people listed, as well as against each other. Individuals who want to use these sites, therefore, have to use some degree of caution, because it is often difficult to determine how much of what is said actually is true.

Effect on Visitation

Women who fail to receive child support often are hurt and angry about their situation. They sometimes retaliate against fathers who don't pay support by refusing to let them see their children. In general, legal professionals in the United States do not advise mothers to do this, because a father's deadbeat status is not tied whatsoever to the visitation decision. Regardless of how much the father owes, he still has the right to attend the visitations he is legally allowed. Mothers who withhold visitation can find themselves in legal troubles of their own for not following the orders of the court.

Even though fathers who are not paying support might legally have the right to see their children, many don't. They often know that showing up at a visitation puts them at risk for arrest, so they frequently choose to "lay low" on purpose. The failure to attend the visitations typically becomes another source of conflict in the relationship between the mother and father.

Deadbeat Mothers

Statistically, in the United States, only about one out of every five custody cases results in fathers having custody of their children. It is more likely, therefore, that a man would owe child support than a woman. As the social landscape changes, however, more fathers are seeking and being awarded custody, and the number of deadbeat mothers is growing. A 2011 report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that, even though fathers who don't pay still outnumber moms who don't, mothers are less likely to pay everything they owe — 42% of mothers received everything they were supposed to get, but only 34.1% of fathers did. This might be in part because women often have incomes that are lower than men, even when their job duties, education and experience are roughly the same.

Criticisms

Some people are opposed to the use of the term "deadbeat dad." These individuals point out that the phrase often gets tossed around before all the facts are proven, sometimes leading to unfair discrimination. Related to this idea is the fact that stereotyping can occur — despite the fact that men of all backgrounds and races can be deadbeats, the tendency is to associate the term with the African American community based on statistical data, even though that information doesn't necessarily account for the economic and social disadvantages that might be present for this group. They also claim that some of the ways government agencies try to get men to pay are not effective. Putting a father in jail, for example, not only prevents him from working so he can pay down the debt, but also can keep him from attending visitation sessions, which can have negative effects on the child.

Origin of the Phrase

Although people usually think of "deadbeat dad" being a modern term, it actually has roots in the 19th century, specifically the Civil War period. During this time, the word "beat" could refer to cheating. It also referred to work or activity, such as "to walk a beat." When a soldier willfully avoided his military duties, superiors referred to him as a "deadbeat" because he wasn't participating in work as he was supposed to, and because he cheated his company out of service. Eventually, people adopted the term for anyone who shirked responsibilities, and they started applying it to men who weren't taking care of their families financially.

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anon925716
Post 64

Tomorrow morning I will apply for welfare. My ex earns over $500,000 per year working three days a week as a cosmetic dentist.

We were married 24 years. Since I have been divorced, he has paid $400 to me in support. I have two children.

So long as a man can keep the motions coming (and at his income level, he can file them for years to come), the agency cannot enforce the order. Also, my hand to God: in my Midwest state, all temporary support orders are unenforceable. State law. I knew the only financial winners in divorce would be attorneys. But his ego wouldn't let him see that fact until the trial ruling came. The lawyers tied for the win. So now he appeals and refuses to pay. Remember, OJ walked free.

anon329766
Post 62

My father is a deadbeat dad. I am a 21 year old female, and I have been without a father for 20 years. My mom divorced him when I was a year old because he picked up a habit of drug use and refused to find work and get clean. Her story is backed up by an apology from one letter from my dad from prison when I was in junior high. I know he has never really been well off, being in and out of prison, no college degree, working as a car mechanic when he can, so I'm not expecting my mom to get much, if anything. But it would have been nice to know my dad.

When I was five or six, I was allowed to know him for a little when when his mom and dad would take me to see him on visitation days in prison. He was in for drug trafficking and grand theft auto, and would be back in prison twice more during the next 15 or so years. I was able to see him about 12 times, and have only one picture of us together.

I am a middle child of three, and so far as I know, I'm his only child. My older brother is 24 and my younger brother just turned nine. Both of my brothers have the support and love of their fathers, which makes me happy. Good for them. It's just hard psychologically growing up, especially during the holidays, surrounded by people who care for your brother but don't give a damn about you.

I pined for the love of my father if nothing else, and sometimes I still ache for it. My mother has provided for us to the best of her ability, and has done a damn good job in my book. She works 14-hour days even today to pay for her house, provide for my younger brother, and care for the people who need her. She does nothing but give and give and sometimes I'm afraid she'll break.

She's been working at this pace for nigh on 18 years, with her only break coming from my ex-stepfather (father of little brother) who she divorced after six years because he was emotionally and mentally abusive to my older brother and me. For example, he'd come home from work and I'd be home alone babysitting my little brother to help mom out. We'd be standing side by side in the kitchen to greet him. He'd bend down and go, "Hey buddy! Daddy missed you!" and would hug and twirl his son, give him a treat, and they'd go off together to play racecars without even a hello in my direction. That level of affection for me was lowered even more for my older brother who, despite an involved and hard-working father, was always a rebel and is on the track of becoming a deadbeat father himself.

Our stepfather wanted us to toe the line and stay out of the way, which I did fairly well since I was used to just taking care of myself anyway. But my older brother was never the sort to obey the rules. If he saw a line, he'd push it and prod it and then laugh at it as he jumped over with wild abandon. He and my stepfather were always circling and growling. I ended up just being gone most of the time, with mom tired and working and trying to keep the peace, my little brother blissfully unaware, and no father to speak of. Usually these fights would end up being taken out on me, my older brother bullying me harder or being expected to be straight A+'s instead of just A's by my stepdad.

I guess you could say that having no father growing up made me stronger. It also made me lonelier. I have very little regard for family ties, I don't care about anyone besides my mom and my brothers (older more than younger because we went through so much together, despite his bullying). Frankly, I don't understand families who stick together because I've never experienced it. My older brother would spend years with his dad sometimes, and my little brother was just starting school when I left for college. I wish I knew that family love, that security, but enough woe-is-me. Back to the point.

My father is a deadbeat dad. I tried to get in touch with him last year through my grandmother since I had no idea where he was, and she gave me his information after checking with him first. He said he had "nothing to hide." Well all right then. Too bad he didn't answer my letter or return any of the three calls and messages I left on his phone.

I don't want his money. I don't care about that. Sure, it would be nice if he could help me out, maybe help pay for my wedding, help me to get through college since I'm on my own financially, even just help me get a new computer to help me in my programming career. But even if he did none of that, I just want to know him.

I have three pictures of him: one of us together, when I was still small enough to fit on one hip and him in prison blues, one of him at his wedding to mom before I was born, and one of him red-cheeked at a bar with his new girlfriend from eight years ago when I had a letter from him.

How is it possible to miss someone so much that you never knew? I think about him and I'm close to tears because I ache so deeply. All I ever wanted, above all, was a dad. Someone to stroke my hair and call me his princess. Someone to come with me on father's day at elementary school and push me on the swings. Someone to sit on the end of my bed, awkward around his teenage girl, to give her the birds and the bees talk. Someone to send me to my room or tell me he's proud of me when I graduate with honors from high school. To one day walk me down the aisle at my wedding.

All I wanted was a dad, and I don't even have that.

anon327011
Post 61

I've been separated for six years now and because this is a high conflict divorce, it’s been complicated, long and drawn out. I’ll try to be as succinct as possible.

We were separated in March 2007, after being married for nine years and had two kids, 5 and 8 at the time. I filed in December 2007. I was represented at the time. In August 2008, I got child support orders for the first time. Child support was $1041/month and he was to pay half reimbursements for child care and out of pocket medical costs. His income at the time was about two to three times my income. At this time, he was also ordered to pay the mortgage. He paid the child support starting in September 2008 until March 2009. He never paid any medical or child care reimbursements.

In April 2009, I agreed to take over the mortgage payments so I could stay in the house where the children grew up. I relied on child support to pay the household bills. I opened a case with child support services in July 2009. I was no longer able to afford a lawyer -- she stepped out in late in 2009.

At trial in December 2010, there was $22k in mortgage and taxes owed and I was ordered to bring the mortgage current. I was owed $17k in child support arrears. I had no means to make the mortgage current. In August 2011, his wages were garnished ($7k) which were the arrearages on the child support, but the reimbursements ($7k) were still outstanding.

In November 2011, we went to court and all parties agreed that I would apply to the loan company for a modification. The modification would have rolled all the first mortgage arrearages into a new loan that I would be responsible for. I supplied all the financials, paid the application fee and they accepted my application. The next step was for the respondent to sign off on it. He refused and instead took me back to court to ask for permission to sell the house. The judge allowed that, and the house was sold in June 2012. It wasn't a short sale, but there was no equity.

Fast forward to November 2012. The respondent sues me for 86k in damages he is owed because I failed to bring the mortgage current. My argument was that he brought this upon himself and he should not be rewarded for failure to pay child support. Had he paid child support, I could have paid my bills, (i.e., food, housing and child care so I could work). Since he didn't pay child support, I paid for food, utilities, child care and I made as many mortgage payments as possible. Once I fell behind, it was impossible to catch up. We went to court in March 2013 and I was ordered to pay him over $50k. Presently he is approximately $10k behind in child support.

Currently, our incomes are about the same. He has his own business so he pays more in taxes and has more deductions. The court ordered me to pay him $2,000 per month. I don’t have any savings and these payments will be an extreme hardship for me.

I know the back child support is handled by child support services and they do the accounting. But I don’t understand why the money which is owed in back child support is not considered when other monies owed are considered. It seems to me that because child support is handled ‘offshore,' it is effectively ignored. This puts me, a single mom, who relies on child support at a disadvantage. He has benefited by not paying child support.

anon325544
Post 60

These posts on here who talk about women using the child support on themselves are ridiculous. Child support is supposed to go towards shelter, food and clothing? How far does 79 bucks a week go toward any of that? Wake up and smell the coffee.

anon322204
Post 59

I'm so afraid to touch on the subject where I may hurt a father's feelings. What is this country coming to? I personally know a crappy dad who refuses visitation and won't pay his child support, yet wants to keep his joint status so he can claim the child on taxes. Don't be afraid to call him scum because he is.

LovingDad
Post 57

I am a proud dad of a 5 year old princess. She is my world. Mom wasn't happy and filed for divorce. She travels and works weekends as well. My ex is a very hard worker. During our daughter's time, I became the primary day to day parent -- "Mr. Mom" as many people have called me.

Anyway, the ex was bread winner, I worked but as most couples learn, one parent will need to become the lead for daycare, doctors, baths, meals, playtime, schoolwork, etc.

At the temporary hearing, my ex asked for full custody stating she has been the primary earner. Thankfully, I had medical records showing that I had been the one who took our daughter in for the past five years. It also helped that daycare has a fingerprint scanner that records each parent bringing in and picking up of children. It showed that I performed this over 70 percent of the time. I actually had to highlight my name and give the percentage.

Along with letters from community neighbors, school teachers and local business within our area, the judge still said every other week from Thursday through Sunday. The only letters my ex produced came from co-workers talking about what a hard worker she is. No one anywhere could describe one moment when they saw her and our daughter together.

So, I refused to be reduced to an uncle. All I wanted was for our daughter to be loved by both parents and I stood my ground. Finally, it was ruled 50/50. The judge signed off on joint legal and joint physical custody, one week on, one off. I know some will say that may be too much, but each case is different. What I do know is that my daughter is super excited to see me and I her.

Well, Mom takes our daughter and moves to another state to be with family. It was not court approved, which you need in most states, unless one parent has full/sole legal custody. I have seen my daughter a few times since the move. She wants to come home with me. The courts have been no help. Mom is saying, "We'll make this work". I informed her last week that I am moving to the state they are in so that my daughter and I can be together again.

She started ignoring my calls and texts for my phone time. At one point, she proceeded to lecture me over the phone with our daughter right beside her. I informed her that now wasn't good, we could talk later and that right now our daughter and I wanted to talk. She always has to have the last word and tells me, "Fine. I'm going to be talking to my lawyer about this arrangement." She then let me talk with my daughter on speaker. Obviously she was scared; I could hear it in her voice. We talked for maybe two minutes and I told her it's OK and I love you.

I am current on my support. It is based on what my potential is based on an income that I made before our daughter was born. Mind you, my ex-wife's income has grown since I provided her the needed support at home. You know, like many women/mothers do for their spouse. Well, even my lawyer showed frustration to the judge about my support obligation. It's kind of like the sub-prime mortgage industry. Let's base your ability to pay, not on what you are currently earning, but rather let's calculate future potential. Really? And in this economy that has seen incomes drop, and unemployment higher than what is being reported, more men are being laid off.

So the ex knows that this is hard on me as I am paying support, my own bills, saving up to move, my apartment and looking for a job in the market. She has said that there is no reason for me to be that close and it is more important for me to pay my support than to see my daughter. Well, I will do both and pray that one day I won't be broke and that my daughter will learn that I do love her.

I love my girl and everyone knows that. From the day she was born, those around have seen my involvement daily. She does have me wrapped around her finger and it's awesome. Many moms have told me that my ex is jealous, but I don't know.

anon301325
Post 56

I’ve got tons to say, but it would take a book to say it all!

First, I am not a woman hater. I am a lazy bum hater! Yes there are deadbeat dads out there, but I am not one of them.

Second, a man is automatically labelled a “deadbeat Dad” if he doesn’t pay child support. This is wrong! Women are just as bad! Some are even worse. Read on.

I am a crappy earner, too. I just can’t make a decent living. I make enough to get buy, but that’s it. That's just the way it is now. Not everyone has a college degree and a six-figure income!

I am not a deadbeat, and never have been. I bought diapers when she didn’t have a dime. I paid for car seats. I paid her rent, utility bills, etc. Unfortunately, it was all off the record, which was my mistake. Technically I would be a deadbeat too, but I refuse to pay child support, because all my ex does it spend the money on drugs! I will support my child in any way that is needed, but I will not feed her habit!

My ex didn’t do crap for the kid, except give birth to her. She pushed her off on anyone who would take her and often lived with low-lifes so she wouldn’t have to raise her. She never took her to doctor’s appointments, or to the dentist. She never got her shots or anything. I did everything! Yet because there is no money involved, I am considered the bad guy. It's a totally unfair and biased system.

Next, a lot of women/girls/kids today have babies for the sole reason of never having to get a job or work. This is wrong! Why should a man have to pay for a woman’s laziness? Since when did one moment of pleasure translate into a lifetime of torture?

I think if child support is paid, there should be a few rules that go with it. This is my list:

Mandatory random drug tests. No pass, no money! No excuses!

Anyone collecting support should be forced to hold a job, in an effort to “support” the child as well. “Support” means support, not a “free ride.” No job, no money!

A child should be kept current (shots, school, etc.) No upkeep, no money!

All money on the spent on the child should be audited and proved every month! If women had to jump a few hoops like men do, they would think twice about doing this. Period. By proving where the income goes, this would put a stop to a lot of drug use, and frittering it away on themselves, when it should be going to the child.

5) The child should be monitored by the schools, human resources, etc. This way the women would no longer have the automatic upper hand. (No live-in scum bags, girlfriend nannies, i.e., someone to push the kid off on!) The kids would also be much safer.

Lastly, this needs to be a federal law. The only time good men are going to stop getting cheated is if it stops. Think about it!

anon298677
Post 55

The subject of deadbeat dads is so annoying. Please know that women saying that a man should practice abstinence should realize that the statement is a double edged sword. Why should women be able to abort, or have a child and give it up for adoption? I believe all men should be able to opt out of having a child within two to four weeks of a woman finding out she is pregnant. She should name the father and a certified letter should greet him in the mail the same way a child support citation would. If he fails to file and the child is proven his he just signed up for 18 years of child support.

anon293775
Post 54

The system is completely broken. There are people who owe tons and somehow skate around it, and then there are those guys who are basically being raped by the system.

My ex-wife files for a modification every – and I mean every – year. Oh boy, he got an 18-cent an hour raise so he needs to pay more. It doesn't matter that she violates the visitation orders. It doesn't matter that she has been found guilty of parental alienation against me three damn times. It doesn't matter that I proved the last time I went to court that she had her new boyfriend's psychology buddy forge letters stating the child was receiving therapy that he never received, which you were forced to pay for.

I'm not saying there aren't deadbeat dads out there, but as someone who has gotten the backlash and name, despite some of the most unbelievable bull, believe me that there are some guys who are just being raped by the system.

I got injured on the job and the LTD insurance didn't pay out on time. As soon as it paid out 10 days later than it was supposed to, which put it in the middle of the month, she had already complained and the state sent paperwork stating that I had to pay my arrears immediately or they were taking my license. What? You owe less than a month when you just suffered an injury that almost killed you and they are talking about taking your license?

Again I know there are deadbeat dads out there and that's a shame, but there are money hungry, system using deadbeat moms as well, and there are guys who get it hard because the state does know where and how to find us and we pay every month.

When you go from making almost six figures a year to only 30 to 40 percent of that and you file for a modification and it's denied, it's crap. That's not dodging. That's circumstances happening that can't be helped.

Both parents are responsible for the child, but at least in my case, it sure doesn't seem like that means monetary responsibility. It ticks me off when my support goes up for an 18 to 45 cent raise every year but when I lost well over half my income, I got no relief.

anon290405
Post 53

I read these comments and some make me angry and some I can relate to. First of all, there is less talk about deadbeat moms, because there aren't that many. Although with the way times are changing, there will be more and you will see more and more deadbeat moms. I also agree that some men get put through the wringer because their ex is a selfish jerk. This happens to good men, who truly try to be a good father in every way, not just financial. Those women should be ashamed of themselves, because here is what I have had to deal with.

My ex-husband had an affair and left. Good for him and I truly want him to be happy and successful. He left 11 years ago. The first 18 months he did not pay child support. I had to take the kids out of their home and move in with my mother. Fine, it worked out for the best anyway. My ex was good about visitation in the beginning, then it started. He started showing up late, returning the kids late or returning the kids before his time was up. Then the visitations stopped and started whenever he felt like it. He would go months without visiting or even talking to the kids. The longest time he has been missing in action has been 16 months, then he shows up again. He has been to one game of each of the kids, but showed up late. They have been playing sports for 11 years. He has come to their school twice and has never bothered with anything else they have been a part of.

He refuses to pay medical bills. I have taken him to court numerous times and it is never the outcome I would like. I am looked at as if all I care about is the money. Typical response from the male gender. My boyfriend even thinks that of me. My ex hides his money, has no accounts or property in his name and although he is a business owner, he is on the books as an employee making $10 an hour. Unfortunately, I put myself through school and have a good paying job. I make three times as much as he is reporting, so he only pays 37 percent of child support/medical bills. I say it's unfortunate, because child support cut my payments twice. So, here I am raising two teenage boys (men) and I get a whopping $478 a month. My ex has attempted to get this payment cut once again to $222 a month. Now I'm sure all of you know that $478 doesn't even cover my grocery bill for a month.

I have never asked my ex to pay for anything but his child support payment and his out of pocket medical/dental expenses. As you know as the kids get older, they do more things: camps, dances, driving, etc... I never asked him to pay for those things and still he says I'm raking him over the coals. He says I'm taking all his money. I can't tell you how degrading it is, to ask him for money – money for his kids. I can't tell you how it breaks my heart that he does not want to be a part of his kids' life. He infuriates me when we are in court and he tells the judge and child support that he is barely making it. He also tells them that he has his family too, and the financial burden of paying for my kids is too much. In the meantime, I have and still do continue to work two or three jobs for extra money. I have to continuously beg him to pay and take him to court when he doesn't comply.

Child support will not do anything to punish him and I'm tired of trying to get my point across. Listen, I'm all about being fair, but how fair is this? The only ones suffering are the kids and for whatever reason, he can't see it. I never talked bad about their father to the kids, but now that they are in their teens I tell them the truth. I have been the bad guy all these years and on top of everything else I just couldn't take hearing that I spend all the child support on me. That's what he told the kids. So, every case is different and both men and women alike can be a jerk or a deadbeat. Before anyone can judge, you really need to see both sides.

anon277439
Post 52

I was with my ex 10 years. He was manipulative and I allowed myself to be his toy, diminishing my abilities to make him feel superior. When I finally left, we were both in a bad place, mentally and physically done with each other. We lived in a garage package without running water or flushing toilets. My bra was held together with safety pins while he ate steak.

I read all of the blogs and I hear the comments about what a jerk he or she was, and I agree. Some good men are pushed into being deadbeats; others are natural deadbeats. Some men are just jerks. And some women think that it is their god given right to punish their ex for eternity and just become a hater.

I was angry, too. I vowed that the ex would never get the best of me again. I had $200 in my pocket and two young boys. I chose to gain back my confidence. I found myself working full time while going to school full time. I also started a small business that helped generate needed money. I knew one day I did not want to have to rely on support payments that he would pay when he decided to.

I didn't want to be labeled the "deadbeat mom.” I also did not want to find myself relying on his support payments and my boys doing without if he lost his job or whatever. I also did not want to become the ex that every man hated.

In the few years that have passed, I went from making a measly $34,000 per year and looked down upon by the community to over $130,000 per year and partnering with some very influential people on amazing projects. I now make a positive impact in my community for the community.

My ex chose to be himself. He says he stopped drinking, and he found himself a good woman -- too good for him, in my opinion. She is great with my boys and I am thankful to her for that. My ex is losing his house, which he blames on me. He won't work more hours because he has to pay more child support. He refuses see the boys outside his court ordered every second weekend because I nag him. He lives two blocks away from us.

I will never stop caring for the father of my boys, although I cringe when I think about him, and my eyes burst into flames. I will never ever speak ill to the boys or other people about their father. That is wrong!

I met an amazing man who I am going to marry soon. Since the entrance of my new spouse, the ex has decided to turn on the jerk alarm to high.

My ex still thinks that even after all that I have accomplished, and that I can financially support my family without his support payments, and he accuses me of using the child support payments only on myself and my bills.

His manipulative personality won't change. I don't care about his approval anymore, either. He is losing the battle of control with me and it infuriates him. It has come to childish actions now.

I was right about the child support payments, too. He stopped paying the last couple of months since my new spouse bought flat screens for the boys' bedrooms. Maintenance Enforcement has taken his license away. I was told that was my fault too, by the way.

To the dads out there who try, I applaud your perseverance. To the moms out there suffering, hang in there, be strong and prove them wrong!

To the rest of you manipulating men and women out there, grow up, think about the kids and how they are being affected by your childish crap!

On behalf of the decent parents who do our best to find the goodness in our exes and be positive when talking to our kids, I pray that one day they will see the real you!

anon273589
Post 51

My ex absolutely hates paying child support for his two daughters. His excuse for not seeing or even contacting them for more than 11 months at a time is that he is too busy. On the other hand, he has time for visiting his friends in another town who live the same distance from him as his kids do.

He has time to spend on the Internet for hours at a time with girls (usually 15-20 years younger than him) that he met on several different dating sites, local and overseas. He has more than enough time and money to go overseas and visit these girls overseas, wining and dining them, taking these girls on vacation, etc.

Even though I have tried to keep him in their lives, he's just not interested. According to him, he has a new life and he deserves to be happy. The kids are just in the way of his "busy social schedule". They do not even get a phone call on their birthdays. He lies in court about his income and expenses and the sad thing is that he gets away with it. He is financially well off, but pays the minimum amount of child support because, according to him, it is more than enough.

He spends more on himself and his "friends" in one day for entertainment than what he pays per month for his two kids and he is always late in making the payments despite of a court order. According to him, he pays when he's got time.

This is what I call a "deadbeat dad," even though he sees himself as some kind of god.

anon256640
Post 49

All I have to say is that, even when you do go through the proper steps and even try to be amicable with the deadbeat, it still bites you in the butt. I live in alberta, and I went to court seven times and was awarded judgement in my favor each time. The file is with mep and the deadbeat has not paid in a year and they claim to not be able to find him, so the debt keeps increasing, but essentially nothing happens to the debtor.

So, I did some digging and in one night found out that he still lives in same house, and that he is, in fact, gainfully employed! So how hard does maintenance enforcement really look?

anon254908
Post 48

All child support in Massachusetts is worthless. I have never heard a judge order more than a hundred bucks a week. My ex is a millionaire, owns over a million dollars of property mortgage free and he was only ordered to pay 70 bucks a week in child support even though the clown abused me while I was pregnant.

Judge Robert Scandurra asked me why I wanted more child support money from him when I earn more than he does. Simple answer, idiot: he is wealthy so he doesn't get off his butt to work and I have a zillion and one bills to pay so work three jobs. That might account for me earning more than he does, you brainless wrestler.

I want to know why in what is supposedly the greatest country in the world, can a father walk away from his child, leave the mother responsible for the care and providing for the child and the court treats him like a king and her like a piece of garbage?

anon250092
Post 47

I am an aboriginal living in Canada. My daughter's father was always very emotionally abusive to me and neglected my daughter (and emotionally traumatized her as well) and wasn't there the first three years of her life. He was hiding her from his many relationships and then again after he decided to choose a woman over a family.

He is a master manipulator and uses feelings to try and get what he wants (i.e plays with emotions and mind games). He has never paid a dime to my daughter and he has no interest in her whatsoever when he is in one of his relationships or when he doesn't get what he wants.

He hates women and I have stood by for the last umpteen years and thought this kind of person can change. I do love him (unfortunately) and want what's best, but how can you love someone who doesn't care weather you live or die?.

However, he chooses to have a beautiful relationship with his love child (a son). He now blames his mental illness on me, which is why he continuously debases me and disrespects me and talks to my daughter like she is an adult when she is only a child.

I think in the end, they should have a law that states after abandoning a child for a year, they should have all paternal rights removed. It's less harmful for a child who has a dad when he feels like it!

anon246986
Post 46

Some ladies need to take some responsibility. The man who fathered their children didn't just start drinking or taking drugs. He didn't suddenly start having an unstable career or being a little bit of a dreamer, or having trouble with faithfulness. Often, these women knew those things when they had children with him.

They should put themselves in his shoes for a moment. He may be struggling with his own demons. Many women want to have children, whether in or out of wedlock, and take no responsibility for their decisions. Before entering the relationship, did they take responsibility for thoroughly vetting a prospective mate? He may have believed he was something he wasn't. He may not have been ready to be a father. It was their responsibility to use their head, to make up their own damned minds and live with the consequences. Yet even now, they continue to insist on their rights to "follow their heart". They chose not to exercise good judgment. Now afterward, they want to hold him solely responsible for the way their lives turned out.

These women may also want to escape any liability for upholding their end of what is essentially a relationship contract. During the relationship, did they keep up their end of the bargain? They say they don't want to cook for any man, don't want to keep his house clean, or his children well cared for. They don't want to give him respect in his own home. They only want to service his sexual needs at their whim and then feel free to give their sex to other men. Guess what? The answer may be no.

This country's feminized value system may say it's appropriate for them to demonize their children's father in front of them and the whole world on the internet, but consider the effect on the children. They need to understand the benefit to a child's soul of showing charity to strangers in need, so how can they justify teaching a child to not to look past the shortcomings of their other parent and to find some way to appreciate them unconditionally? How can it help a child's self esteem to tell them their parent doesn't love them? As adults, they are, in effect, telling these children they're unlovable. Children can't protect themselves against such constant criticism from an adult. It gets in their heads and defines who they are. Is that who they want their children to be?

So they chose this path, and after it didn't work out, rather than taking responsibility for finding a graceful compromise, they went and got the entire might of the family court to attack the ex and work him over. With odds in the justice system stacked heavily against men, many women have no trouble beating him in court. They believe the fact the judge agreed with them means that justice was on their side. OJ says the same thing. But who cares, anyway? Now they can slander him online.

The feminized family court laws may say it's fair for them to take all his money, regardless of what financial condition he's in. Well, America has always had unjust laws and there have always been people who've resisted them. They put the ex in a situation where his back was against the wall and he had to decide between taking whatever active role in supporting and nurturing his kids that he's capable of, or escaping persecution from the government. Think of the kids and don't put him in that position.

The situation many women are in comes down to a problem of a lack of responsibility, combined with a sense of entitlement. Many women refuse to take any responsibility for choosing a man, for choosing to have children with him, for not upholding their end of the bargain in the relationship to keep him upholding his, and then after the relationship is over, they feel entitled to have him take care of them and their children with no right to a relationship with the children and no say in the children's upbringing.

A lot of women are looking for “Captain Save a Ho.” Real men want something back for taking care of a woman. Real men want to have a say in the lives of their own children. Guess what? Any dude trying to come off like he doesn't is probably a player. So keep talking back when their man asks for a sandwich. Keep being manipulative when he wants a little tail. Keep denying visitation or turning the kids against him. They're teaching their sons that investing in a woman and in a family isn't worth it because it can be taken away at any time. They're teaching their daughters to behave irresponsibly in a relationship and to expect to be taken care of. They're teaching them to find the same type of dude they're bawling about on this board. The one who introduces himself as Captain Save a Ho but in the end, has more women and does less to support them than Don the Magic Juan.

anon243651
Post 45

As for the comments made about the father's right not to have a child: if you don't want a child, don't have sex. It's that simple. Don't act like it is someone else's fault or you were trapped into having a child you didn't want. Abstain and there you go.

anon243649
Post 44

I cannot believe that anyone could believe that just because their spouse (male or female) remarries after divorce, that it excuses them in anyway from supporting the children that they helped create. It takes two to tango.

That support money goes to support the children, not the ex. Get that straight. To raise a child properly it takes time, effort and yes, money. Food, clothes, medical bills, a proper education, keeping them clean, haircuts, not to mention daycare, extra-curricular activities, summer camps. All of those things take money. Walking away from that responsibility for any excuse is being a deadbeat parent. Period.

anon240140
Post 43

In my experience, anytime a father tells his ex wife no to any financial request she makes "for the kids," he is a deadbeat dad in everyone's eyes.

Deadbeat dads are fathers who make no effort to be a part of the child's life and who avoid the child in order to not pay child support. Sometimes, a child is encouraged by the mother to treat the father so terribly, he gives up and then poor single mommy has a deadbeat dad to complain about, because she made sure he could never be anything more than a paycheck to her.

While I don't think any father should walk away from his child, I have seen many cases where these women had such a hold on a child that having a relationship with that child was impossible, and I can understand a person not wanting to cut a check to a woman who requires her child to hate the father and act abusively towards them. Paying for abuse is too much to ask anyone, I think. There are other ways to deal with it, but I think a lot of men abandon the kid because the mother is so toxic and dangerous and she has compete control of the child.

The whole system rewards this biased attitude that a father's job is to say yes to anything his ex wife wants because only she can make decisions, assess the needs of a child and only she is the 'real' parent. The more often she takes the father to court, the higher that check is and she gets financially compensated for every day she picks up in custody time.

As astounded as I was years ago when I was getting divorced at the brazen "take him to the cleaners" advice I was given not just by my attorney, but the judge, it was a big shock to me when my current husband's ex wife took him to court constantly over ridiculously small sums of money. She truly believes he isn't allowed to tell her no or to spend money on anything but her household.

Every time she wanted money for something on top of the two grand a month in child support and the splitting of all medical, schooling, dental and activities (that dad had no say in choosing and was never invited to a single game or concert, I might add), the "deadbeat dad" phrase was used because he didn't fund everything.

He has never missed a child support payment or an insurance payment and regularly has the kids, however, if he balks at her endless requests for money, then he's a deadbeat dad and she's a martyr. Dad isn't allowed to say no to any activities, he isn't allowed to spend his money doing things with the kids when Mom wants more money; that makes him a Disneyland dad. Dad's primary job is to be a human ATM machine. Otherwise he's a deadbeat.

I think there should be fines applied to those who repeatedly and unsuccessfully go after the ex for money like that. Just because he got a raise, the ex wife didn't. The default image of the long-suffering, poverty-stricken victim single mom offends me. While there are cases where that is true -- plenty of them -- it seems that becomes the default view of every single mom who refuses to accept as much financial responsibility for her kids as she feels her ex husband should.

anon238266
Post 42

Why is there less emphasis placed on deadbeat moms?

anon235727
Post 41

What about when a deadbeat dad still has his photos on the in-laws' fireplace mantle and the step-daddy has been doing god's work for over 10 years, taking care of them all, yet whose existence is not acknowledged by the in-laws after over 10 years?

Not that the step-daddy needs the validation or anything; he's used to complete invalidation. Like if the step-daddy's self-esteem were any lower he'd be running an orphanage, doing god's work. Let's make the deadbeats do a little god's work. Fair is fair. It won't kill them, for kris kringle's sake.

anon229898
Post 39

I think we need a law that if a parent has not been in a child's life for years. they should not have any visitation rights, and if the child at 18 wants to see them, it is up to them. --michigan

anon228856
Post 38

You can be and are a dead beat parent (whether mom or dad) even if you pay child support like a slot machine, yet you don't see your kids. You have child support legally withheld from your paycheck; you can be legally court-ordered visitation rights.

While one parent doesn't choose to exercise his/her visitation rights, the other is in contempt of court if he/she doesn't allow visitation to take place; i.e., one parent is doing the "raising" of a child; the other parent pays child support, but never sees the child; yet if the custodial parent denies the other parent visitation (that he/she never exercised), the custodial parent can be found to be in contempt. Being a parent is far greater than paying child support.

anon228299
Post 37

I am deciding whether to be a "deadbeat" dad, but the reverse, actually. I will happily pay the support. But my daughter is 23 months old, and doesn't seem to miss me when I'm gone (I was a great dad, but I think at her age she just accepts situations as they are).

I probably seem like an idiot to other guys who fight to see their children. But it is very difficult for me to go to my old home (I don't have a car, only a bike) and see my daughter. Her mom is already seeing someone else (a month after our split). I have accepted that my ex does not want to be with me, and that my daughter will get a new daddy. And think it might be simpler for everyone if I just don't see them anymore.

anon211213
Post 36

Nothing is ever said about the Dead Beat Moms out there.

When my kids were four and five, my wife left with another man. I raised those kids on my own until they were grown. I didn't receive a dime of support from my ex, and she only had contact with the kids a few times the whole time they were growing up.

It was hard both financially and emotionally for me, but I never complained, and to be honest, I'd rather have it the way it was. Having her out of our lives was worth the support I never received. So when I hear these women yelling, "poor me, poor me", and no mention of the dead beat Moms, it makes me sick.

anon191947
Post 33

It all boils down to taking responsibility. Certainly, sometimes, circumstances prevent a man from doing all he can for his children. However, the man helped create that child as well, and bears a responsibility to help care for that child.

Child support should be fair, equitable and should take both parents' income into account. A judge should consider the overall financial picture for both parents before ordering child support.

However, if the child support amount is fair and equitable, the parent paying child support needs to pay it on time, every month. There's just no excuse for not paying it because the exes don't like each other. If the ex is concerned that the custodial parent is not spending the money for the child's needs, then he or she needs to speak with the judge about providing part of the support in the form of say, grocery store gift cards, or agree to buy school clothes, or something along those lines.

And by the way: Custodial parents who spend child support on themselves and not their children are deadbeats, too.

It's all about personal responsibility.

anon176653
Post 32

I agree with the term "deadbeat parents". I myself have two children, each one from a different father, but I was married to both fathers at one point. The father of my oldest I have a great relationship and we work together to raise our child even if it's in two separate households. We split all her costs equally.

Now the father of my youngest is the total opposite. Yes, he is ordered to pay child support but I have yet to receive a dime. Granted, I know a child is not a paycheck.

However, can one be considered a "deadbeat parent" if they are not paying their court ordered child support, not assisting with any part of they parental responsibilities, and continue to cancel their visitation with their only child (forgetting to let the child and other parent know they are canceling their visitation)? I have never denied him seeing his child and I have never downgraded him in front of his son (that's just not right).

It's just sad that one parent seems to have to take on the role of both mom and dad. Yes, I choose to have my children and they are the number one priority in my life.

anon171380
Post 31

Do you help the fathers out who have been wrongly accused on non support payment issues? Or know someone who can?

I have traveled for aviation my whole adult life and my ex-wife has always had my phone number, whether it was a hotel phone or a cell phone number after they became affordable. I would pay her every time I made it to Illinois to see my two sons, but she always had excuses as to why she couldn’t accept a check and needed it in cash.

Now, 20 years later, I see what the real reason was. My ex had collected from me and from the state, as well. I am so accustomed to getting my life stolen from me that it really doesn’t matter that she is a thief and a liar. That’s why I divorced her and her boyfriend back in 94 when I came home unannounced from Saudi Arabia and found him in my house, But that’s another story.

Why I’m looking for help is I am going to lose my job here if I do not get my passport back from the embassy to get my work visa in it (It's like a green card for an alien worker there), but because of the child support issue they want $47,025.00 from me to release it and I don’t have it.

It's just the price I will have to pay to finally have her completely out of my life now that the kids are grown. I have asked if I could make payments and they said that would not be a problem, But they won't release my passport until it's paid. I have tried to tell them I won't have a job next month without it and that nothing could get paid then but their answer is, "that's not our problem."

So I see I have few choices left but to go to prison as a deadbeat dad who wasn’t one and be another victim of the system or try to find a lawyer that can actually help me. Any ideas?

anon168810
Post 30

First of all, realize that the system is extremely sexually biased in favor of the woman, period. To prove my point: "According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), nearly 75 percent of all child custody awards are made to the mother. Only about 10 percent of child custody awards are made to fathers. The rest of the child custody awards involve some sort of joint custody arrangement." That's pathetic. And what's worse, the less you see your children, the more you pay. What kind of crap is that? Then there's the extremely lopsided child support "schedules", which make sure the men get raped financially as well as emotionally, by taking up to 65 percent of the males' after tax (think about that) wages. These numbers have nothing to do with the actual cost of what it really takes to raise and support a kid, but are, in fact, just a disguised form of alimony. In fact, the suicide rate of divorced men is absurdly above the norm (my friend's son killed himself over this), at about 4:1 over the norm.

I'm a father who loves his kids, even though my second wife tricked me into getting her pregnant and then walked out looking for a free paycheck for the next 19 years. Both evil exes have denied me visitation with my kids, prevented my calls and letters, and have lied to the courts about me abusing the kids (luckily the truth came out to the GAL and I was found not guilty), and lied to the kids to ruin my relationship with them. All this while the court doesn't do crap about it, and not even the cops will do anything, even if they deny me my visitation when I show them my court papers.

But boy, don't be late on your support payments. I've been out of work through no fault of my own for over six months now, and have been raped by the system in every way you can imagine. They're taking 65 percent of my unemployment, making it impossible to survive on the $133 per week that's left. They seized the $242 I had left in my bank account that was left over from the 35 percent of my unemployment they couldn't legally otherwise take. They left me 100 percent flat broke without even food money. Instead of being limited to that same 65 percent, they can and will take 100 percent of your tax return, even if that's all you have to live on. The system is so spectacularly sexually biased from start to finish, it would foolish for any man today to ever get married, or especially have kids with a women in a relationship of any kind.

The extreme sexual discrimination of the court systems can be found in this one chilling statistic: "According to a study published in the American Law and Economics Review, women currently file slightly more than two-thirds of divorce cases in the United States." Well, of course. They have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, especially if there are kids involved. Hey, if they decide they don't like the guy, they just divorce him and get his paycheck for the next 18 years. Forget that. Guys, wake up. If she pressures you to marry her, she's a gold-digger, and it's time to move on. My advice? Donate sperm to a sperm bank, have them freeze it, and if you ever want children, buy an egg, get in-vitro fertilization done, and find a surrogate mother and pay her the fee. You'll be glad you did. I would have, knowing what I know now.

Think of this guys: Marriage is the only contract you will ever enter into where the details of the contract are not fully disclosed and agreed to at the time of signing (marriage certificate, or common-law). And a prenup will not protect you if children are involved. Be warned men, and be safe. Don't make the mistakes so many of us have.

anon167590
Post 29

Being newly divorced and a victim of domestic violence. I can tell you from my experience, this is not a gender issue. The courts are set up for a divorce to be a money making scheme for the attorney. Attorneys make money off everything they do. The more drama they can stir. the more money they make. Why else would a divorce drag on for as long as they do?

This system needs to be fixed. You can be dragged to court to defend the most ridiculous lies during this process. Perjury is rampant! Attorneys work in a very grey area and it has nothing to do with right or wrong. They inflame the issues and encourage discourse between the opposing parties. And its all about winning! Who wins in a divorce! No one is supposed to! But ask an attorney if they want to win their case?

There are always two sides to every story, but the court system encourages the behaviors that are vile.

anon160891
Post 28

I have been on both sides and it works both ways. I have a "dead beat dad" who won't keep a job after the first garnished check. He remarried and emotionally and financially support ships step-children, but never calls or sees his son and has court ordered visitation.

I also have a new husband who pays over half his income for his kids and rarely gets to see them. The mother hasn't worked in three years, gets government housing and assistance, the kids never have name brand clothes or shoes. Yes, we have court ordered visitation, but when she doesn't comply it's our responsibility to file it in court and hire an attorney. This mother keeps these kids from him out of pure spite. The kids don't see any of that money.

There needs to be some equality. It takes two to make them so how is it only that dad has to pay? I work to support my children. If a man is behind on child support he goes to jail. But a woman who has custody and claims to be the more responsible one can sit and do nothing and there are no consequences? There's a cycle we're allowing. If the children are being raised with a role model who has no ambition or work ethic or self-accountability, how will they turn out any different?

anon160437
Post 27

He lowered his income from 80k to 30k. He hides his income. He and my best friend are together. He is a snake in the grass. I go to the food bank while he buys expensive gifts for the boys and takes them to Disneyland. I have bad dreams. I will survive. I work and try so hard. I hate him.

anon153952
Post 26

Poor guys out there who are classified as deadbeat dads. You helped the woman get pregnant and yes, you have an obligation to help provide for those kids! I am the mother of three children who have a deadbeat dad.

We were married 10 years, 2 of which were before our first baby which was planned - all 3 of our children were planned. He decided to get a mistress pregnant and have a son with her. We divorced and he skipped out for a year paying nothing! He even hung up on my daughter when she tried to call her dad.

When they hit him for child support he decided he now wanted to see the kids (85 days a year. I said he could have 50 percent of the time but he insisted he has his own life!) He has only scheduled 13 overnights this year and only did 70 last year, 24 overnights the year before. He is $7,000 behind and has been jumping from job to job the minute child support catches up to him.

They have taken his tax refund (last year) reported to credit agencies and even threatened to suspend his driver's license if he does not start paying something. He entered into a written agreement with the Child Support Program only to lie to them, find another job and break their agreement so now they have suspended his license. I do let him see the kids and you know it is very frustrating to see him reap the benefits of seeing the kids when he is not contributing to their financial care as we bust our butts to provide all their needs alone!

He drives two very nice cars, just moved into a very nice home and is always dressed nice. Our kids need to be provided by both parents. Not just me and my new husband who thank God for him loves these kids enough to be there for them both emotionally and financially. They love him as if he were their real dad. That is their own dad's fault - nobodies else but his own so yes there are deadbeat dads out there. I'm sure deadbeat moms, too.

I am disgusted by the men on here saying that they see their kids and shouldn't have to give money to the mom as that should be enough. You love does not put food on the table, clothes on their backs, etc. They need both! That expense should not only be the custodial parents.

anon137437
Post 25

Mothers or fathers can be deadbeat parents. If you make a child it is your responsibility to support that child emotionally and financially.

I'm sorry if people don't like to spend money on someone besides themselves. As far as being ordered to pay more then they can afford, well the concern is about the children and should be.

These children can't fend for themselves. Like the courts will tell you get another job. On top of that, this would be an issue if there weren't so many parents who will be come under or unemployed to try and afford paying. You also had those who would try to sign away their rights not to pay this is a huge issue in the USA.

anon135455
Post 23

As I read the comments posted here I see deep hurt and incredible anger. Everyone has either experienced or knows of the human wreckage of divorce and the savagery often heaped on the children involved.

The question is, do we brand people in the aftermath? There are certainly many 'bad behaviors' exhibited before, during and after a divorce that could be grouped with a label.

Years ago we branded and stereotyped people with labels such as adulterers (scarlet letter) to invoke social pressure against such behavior. There used to be a stigma against single moms, drunks, people who got divorced, adulterers, abusers, etc. that mostly no longer exists today.

Today 'deadbeat dads' remains as a label that is associated with the worst of behavior and even on this page described as sociopathic.

Modern American society has long given up on correcting behavior by labeling behavior. (It is a separate argument whether that was a good idea or not.)

In the case of 'deadbeat dads', it may only describe that a judge has ordered someone to pay more than that person can afford to pay. In my experience, this is often the case.

As a society, we should decide to either let all the labels go or promote labels of the other bad behaviors exhibited in divorce...maybe 'Scum Sucking Custodial Parents Who Permanently Psychologically Scar Children To Gain Advantage For Themselves' would be even better. Even though the vast majority of S.S.C.P.W.P.P.S.C.T.G.A.F.T. are women, there is no reason to take a cheap sexist shot here like the 'deadbeat dad' branding does.

I think I would rather be branded as a 'deadbeat dad' than a 'Scum Sucking Custodial Parent Who Permanently Psychologically Scar Children To Gain Advantage For Themselves'.

Come on people, lets start calling them out and listing them on websites with their pictures, addresses and S.S.C.P.W.P.P.S.C.T.G.A.F.T. labels underneath. Or not. --Doug

anon134075
Post 22

So we worry about the dead beat dad. The dad who is ordered to pay child support in the best interest of the child.

Sure, fathers do have a financial responsibility to their children and so do mothers.

So why is money in the best interest of the child. Why is making a father a part-time parent in the best interest of the child.

The majority of fathers are ordered to pay and never get to see their children. Dead beat dads are promoted by the courts and legal system.

There is no justice for the child when all the child sees is money and not their father.

By the way, lets not forget all the mothers who falsely allege and will do anything just for the paycheck and keep the fathers from their child's life. That is not in the best interest of the child.

anon119349
Post 20

While true that there are more non-custodial fathers, therefore most of the support payments are from dads, it is also true that as a percentage there are more "deadbeat" moms than dads. This is lost due to the overwhelming sundering of fathers from their families by courts that still practice the "tender years doctrine" which follows that mothers are more fit as custodial parents than fathers.

This perverse and antiquated methodology artificially creates separation anxiety for fathers and harms the relationship with their children in a sexist manner. No matter what you say, fathers are just as important in the raising of their children and the continued state mandated punitive measures are bad for all - fathers, mothers and children.

anon116244
Post 19

If the mother wants to take the children away out of spite, why should the father have to pay? a child is a person, not a bargaining chip. i agree that both parties should support them. if so, then both parties should support them.

calling someone a name does not help the situation. it just means that the person calling the other that name is immature. "judge not less ye be judged..." how many deadbeat dads are supposed to pay child support to irresponsible moms, or the classic example of the mom that takes the "support money" to pay for her own extravagant lifestyle? the mom has nice hair and nails and the child is reduced to looking very homely.

i agree that there are people who try to circumnavigate their responsibilities, however, let's not coin a term and let it become fuel to stereotype everyone who is late or behind on payments for whatever reason.

for that matter, lets start a new crusade against mothers having children with different fathers and discredit them. "multidad moms". yeah shame on them. What's wrong with these women? couldn't keep a man four, five, six, different times? what is our welfare system not crowded enough? I'm just saying.

anon114639
Post 18

@anon66970: You talk about a guy's right not to have a child? Well guess what? It is your responsibility to use protection or not have sex if you don't want a child. It's not just the woman's responsibility. If any man has unprotected sex and a child is the result, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

lmichelle
Post 17

Some men are absolutely pathetic jokes. In response to anon 78318 who states a distinction should be made between a woman who claims to be taking some form of contraception when she is not and therefore commits fraud on a man, you made the choice to be a parent when you had sex with this woman. So man up. You are an adult and quit pitying yourself.

This post also applies to anon 66970 who talks about a guy's right to have a kid. Control yourself if you can't handle the consequences. Sorry, it's not just the woman's fault, but both parties involved.

anon107519
Post 16

I lived with my common law for six years then the twins came along, and two months after they were born,he conveniently decided to abandon us in the dead of winter.

We split up and one of the twins has neurobehavioral disabilities. he is a driller and makes about 120 k/year. He came and went for years, confusing them and upsetting our lives, and causing psychological harm to all. I got a court order, but he has vanished. He e-mailed me two weeks ago, after disappearing for four months, saying i hope the kids will understand one. day MEP is all too slow.

Meanwhile he lives in a 2000/month condo, leases a new 300 chrysler and tells everybody i am keeping the kids away from him. he said this is the way it is and that he needs to get his life back on track. i use the food bank, rely on donations and live in a mice infested basement suite in subsidized housing.

i am coded as having to tend to their needs and can stay home, for now, but i will get back out there and have sacrificed since they were born, while he gets to go on ski trips, shop at designer stores... He says he is always broke.

Child care is to be tacked on to the court order when all is in order for my son. He has needs like quality trained people who understand his outbursts and has gross speech impediments (clinical jargon).

i am alone, living below poverty and still wear clothes from four years ago. i sometimes steal because i am broke. That still doesn't justify stealing, but they need food not outdated beans and noodles from the food bank.

I'm hurt and alone and mentally drained and tired of the mice and ants. he took the car too, when he walked out. His style and social status was more needed than providing his kids with their needs. he tans, has an expensive gym membership and has to buy top grade gas at top dollar. What point is family law when he still ignores it? Where's the garnishing? Where's the retro payments? I'm sick of family law.

anon105760
Post 14

Fellas, hang it up. If you are a real man and a real father you would not for one second take offense to the accurate description of deadbeats as sociopaths.

Deadbeat behavior is inhuman and unjust. Anyone who can rationalize willfully not taking care of his (or her) children for any reason, regardless of the circumstances of the child's birth is certifiably crazy.

Our society is crumbling because of you. Take a long look in the mirror, do some soul-searching (if you have one) and man up. This goes for deadbeat moms too, but let's be real, they are a small minority. - Real Dad (of my biological and step-children).

anon101286
Post 13

Bottom line -- those who willingly choose not to pay child support tend to demonstrate sociopathic characteristics such as: manipulation/incessant lying, grandiose sense of self, lack of remorse/shame/guilt, shallow emotions, lack of empathy, irresponsible, unreliable, and criminal behavior.

While they may not "chop people up" like those sociopaths that are glorified in the media, they tend to emotionally destroy those who come in contact with them.

The statistics do not lie. The overwhelming majority of "deadbeats" are fathers. And within that group there are men who show significant characteristics of a sociopath. They are the monsters and their kids are the ones who are suffering.

anon94118
Post 12

I have read several articles on this subject and let me be the first to say I am one of the lucky ones. My ex pays child support and sees his children. What I find interesting is there are exceptions to these rules.

I am seeing a man who loves his children very much. One is his biological and the other one he adopted.

During his divorce, he lost his job but before that he was paying almost 300 a week in child and spousal support. His ex wanted the divorce finalized so she did not ask for child support but the court ordered him that when he got a job to turn in pay stubs etc. Well, he did and did exactly that.

The ex does not want to go back to court because she knows she will not get ordered what he was paying before. The sad thing is she has custody of both children and he is supposed to see them every other weekend and one day a week. Well the oldest lives with his great grandma because he refuses to live with either parent and the youngest, while mom has custody, spends maybe one to five days a month with her and the rest with my boyfriend and his parents.

The mom has not had either of her children on a weekend in the last six months. The other thing is my bf makes sure on the holidays the kids have easter baskets and halloween costumes, takes them trick or treating, etc. He also has paid for the youngest to play softball and the oldest anything he has needed to do home school. He even goes to all the youngest child's games and has only missed two because he had a prior commitment he could not get out of.

Mom, on the other hand, always is busy or if she comes to games never stays for all of it. So my point is why is he considered a deadbeat dad. Why would he give Mom money when he had the kids majority of the time anyway and feeds them, clothes them and puts a roof over their heads? Mom only keeps custody for benefits she gets from the state such as her housing and tax time. Please explain that one to me.

anon89480
Post 11

Some people are really missing the point here. Child support isn't about paying the woman. It's about making sure a kid, who didn't choose to be here and didn't have a say in who his parents was, gets food in his stomach, clothes on his back and a roof over his head. Unfortunately many men--not all, but the ones who deserve the deadbeat label--seem to forget that.

And yes, while there are some guys who are "tricked," most aren't. They're married or in a relationship, and when they break up with their partners, they break up with their kids, too. Or they think that they should only support their children through sole custody, instead of shared parenting, which denies their children the right to access to both parents. Once again, their own agenda is more important than their children's physical and emotional well-being.

And many deadbeats live to regret it; my biological father did. He did claim to want me, but broke up with my mother, and then thought it was very cute not to pay child support or interact with me when I was growing up.

When I was 20, he suddenly called and expected me to fawn all over him. I think it was a shock when I told him I wasn't interested and asked him to go away. You reap what you sow, and if you walk out on parenting responsibilities, don't expect your kids to wait up for you.

anon89357
Post 10

not all deadbeat dads are fathers of unexpected children. for example, my father and my mother chose to have me, but then he decided to completely leave us without a word and not help my mother financially. and those are the true irresponsible fathers. and those are the type of people who shouldn't really deserve a chance.

anon78318
Post 9

A distinction should be made between a woman who claims to be taking some form of contraception when she is not and thus commits fraud on a man who subsequent to her claim has unprotected sex and results in her pregnancy.

In this scenario one of two things should happen: the father pays the woman nothing or the father becomes the sole carer of the child and supports the child - his choice.

However, in another scenario, where a man and woman have sex and are both sufficiently careless to result in pregnancy, then both are responsible for the child. The father and mother, so far as practical, should play an equal role in the child's life and equally support the rearing of that child.

A father should not be forced to pay unless he has a relationship with the child and is known to the child as the child's father. A woman should never be allowed to deny the father access to the child and then expect to be 'paid' unless in exceptional circumstances where the father is unfit mentally or is a danger to the child, e.g., has a criminal record of violence against children (of any kind).

A father should also have the right, by law, to ascertain whether or not he is the child's father by DNA testing before he pays maintenance or if this is not possible, to be able to recoup any maintenance paid in the event that he is not the father.

anon70638
Post 7

the only way to end deadbeat dads is the system needs to change. who cares? who's to blame? children are innocent and the only chance to have stability is through financial security.

anon68036
Post 5

anon: If you're saying that you as a Father would have a right to ask the Mother you have impregnated to have an abortion, that is stupid. It's not her bed if she decides to have a baby.

If you don't want to have babies don't have sex,

or take the proper precautions, simple as that. It's not just her fault -- it takes two to make a baby.

I mean, how would you feel having a fetus cut up and sucked out with a vac of your parts? Abortions are traumatic and have long term psychological effects on women. I mean, who wants to be known to her friends and family as a baby killer?

It's easy for you to say as a man with a penis who doesn't have to go through the procedure to demand her to have a abortion. It is her body therefore her choice, and your sperm got in there in the first place by a mutual act.

Grow up and stop crying about men's rights. It's because of guys like you that men get the terms they do.

anon66970
Post 4

I sick and tired of the continuous attacks on the so called "deadbeat dads." How about the guy's right *not* to have a kid?? The fact is that the *mother* is the ultimate decision maker....if she decides not to have an abortion, knowing that the guy won't stick around.....it is ultimately *her problem*....not the man's.

Having kids is the biggest decision in your life...forcing that kind of a decision onto a guy who clearly dosen't want kids should be criminal. (I know of several men who's life got ruined by the mother of a kid, they didn't want in the first place).

Of course...if the guy wants kids and then changes his mind, I do agree, that he should be held financially accountable....howewer, I would like to talk about the guy, who clearly doesn't want anything to do with being a parent.

I put myself into this category.... I'm not shy about not wanting kids and I always make sure, that the girl I'm with (sexually) understands that *very clearly*.

I went as far as getting a vasectomy, but even that isn't a 100%. (There are cases of people who had vasectomy and still conceived.)

So theoretically...if I get a girl pregnant, I fully expect her to get an abortion...if she doesn't...she is on her own...she made her bed and she should lie in it.

What I don't understand is the government sponsored "witch-hunt" on these men...they should *not* be held accountable for someone else's bad decision.

Speaking for myself..I like my life the way it is...kids free. I have freedom, I have money, I answer to no-one..I can do what I want and when.... I love my care-free lifestyle and I want to keep it that way. If I ever get someone pregnant i will *not* take *any* responsibility whatsoever. Hope this helps.

anon65014
Post 3

So what you are trying to say anon55738, is women who describe our children's fathers as dead beats aren't entirely truthful?

it's not like we've done segregation on you and that word is condemned. In fact, it describes most men. maybe you are not one of them. My son's father has three kids, all by different woman. he's seen my son twice and not by his choice.

i have child support on him and he has visitation rights.

I've seen no money and he has run away. his other two children are now being adopted because the children's mothers could not do it without his support, and he has given none to any of his children.

he works in a car shop, making money under the table. i know this because when i was with him he did this.

I know I'm not the only one with a story like this.

so when she said that about dead beat dads, I'm thinking it was towards scum like my son's father.

anon55738
Post 1

While I understand this is a sensitive subject, I don't think the person writing this article is coming from a subjective standpoint.

Yes, there are men who do not step up and take care of the children they helped make, but there are also ones that do. The words "sociopathic" and "stereotypically" can be perceived by some as an attack on these men. While I do not condone not taking care of children I think that one should be careful of the words they use.

I myself am a single dad who had to fight two circuit courts and a supreme court to get my rights as a parent.

I could also give an example of a "deadbeat" mom by the definitions given in this article. I bear her little malice as I love my son dearly and honor the part she had in bringing him into the world.

Please give men the chance we deserve and don't condemn those who can not or will not take care of business to the terms you have labeled them with. In doing so you belittle all of us. Irresponsible, yes I agree, but not monsters.

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