What To Do About Deadbeat Dads?

ATC has been blessed with another awesome Guest Post from Meredith who runs the blog TheCookieChRUNicles.com where she shares her experience and expertise on going through a nasty divorce with her ex battling over her support due and custody rights of their son and becoming stronger through the process. In this post she shares a few words on how she feels about our current child support system, and if it really does have the children’s best interest in mind. We look forward to your comments. Enjoy!

Revenge always sounds good when you are angry, fed up, annoyed, jealous, bitter, upset, or tired.  Just pick a negative emotion and plotting revenge usually turns your negative emotions into a crazy form of a positive feeling.

For us divorced/divorcing/separated/separating folks, revenge comes to mind more often than “regular” people.

Magnify that by 1,000 when you add in custody battles and attempting to co-parent with your ex.

Let’s magnify this number now by 1,000,000 when you have an ex evading his financial obligations.

Unfortunately, this happens more often than most people realize. Fathers (and in some cases, mothers) are required to pay a determined child support amount mandated by the court.

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For some of these people, it seems that an obligation, even one mandated by the court, isn’t important. They don’t feel the need, desire, or obligation to pay and don’t really care about the consequences.

Maybe that’s because this parent isn’t living with the day-to-day results of absent child-support payments.

However, for the parent who relies on this support, it is an extremely challenging and difficult situation.   This parent desperately needs the money and often turns to “legal revenge” by seeking the assistance of our legal system.

And, sometimes, well, legal revenge just creates another problem.

“Nation’s worst deadbeat dad sentenced to 31 months in prison”

deadbeatdad

“Robert Sand, 51, was nabbed in the Philippines last year after traveling from his hideout in Thailand without the proper identification papers.”

Click here to read the full article regarding Robert Sand’s arrest.

Great. Fabulous. They caught the fugitive.

But how does sending this man off to jail for 31 months help his ex-wives? Or his children?

I understand that people who do bad things deserve to be put in jail.

Sending this man to jail isn’t helping him to make the money he needs to support his children. And, the children will certainly never get to know their father if he is behind bars.

I can’t relate completely to this situation since my ex didn’t flee the country to evade his obligations.

But I can relate enough.

There is just so much about the legal system that is not fair.

And we thought the law was about doing right and justice?

Apparently, the “law” and “fairness” are not the same —  or so my attorney has told me.  But when it comes to your children, shouldn’t it all be about what is fair for them?

kidsneedlove

New York law requires child support to be paid according to a statutory formula based on income and the number of children.  It is then defined in the parties’ divorce/separation/temporary support order agreements. If the party does not make the required payment, there are actions the court can take:  suspend the party’s driver’s license and/or passport, seize bank accounts, intercept tax refunds, impose property liens, and the ultimate weapon in the judge’s arsenal — incarceration.

I never understood the taking of the driver’s license.

Don’t we want these men to be able to drive to work?

Isn’t the goal here to get the dads to pay? How can they pay if they can’t get to work?

Robert Sand isn’t a threat to society; he is threat to his own family. And by threat, I mean threat by neglecting his responsibilities.

So now his two ex-wives have to wait another three years without child support while he gets to live rent free in prison with his only responsibilities being brushing his teeth, playing cards and maybe doing some odd job behind bars that will earn him a few cents to buy himself a Snickers bar from the canteen.

Sounds like a summer camp of some sort.

“This Father’s Day will find Sand behind bars, finally being held to account for his abandonment, “ the United States attorney for the Eastern District, Loretta E. Lynch, said in a statement.

How is putting him in jail before getting him to pay up, “finally being held to account for his abandonment?”

Am I missing something?

Does anyone else see that not only is the child support payments still missing but now the children can’t see their father unless they take a family trip to the jailhouse?

Can someone please inform me how jail is the solution?

I don’t know what the real solution is and even if I did, I can’t change the laws or operating procedures that are currently in place.

I have dealt with the child support enforcement unit one too many times to see first hand how dysfunctional, unorganized and outdated the system truly is.

I am not a lawyer, politician, police officer or government agency worker.

But I am a divorced mom to a son that needs his father – financially, psychologically, physically and emotionally.

I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and viewpoints pertaining to this case.

Thank you Meredith for sharing on this somewhat heated and controversial topic. Hearing these words from a mom who has experienced her own degree of difficulties with this system certainly adds weight. Many single parents, moms and dads, have been dealing with this flawed system for years. Getting the word out there is just the start if any of us want a change.

www.AboutTheChildren.org

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Posted in Change Child Support Laws, New York Guidelines

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