Consequences For Deadbeat Parents

Children are living breathing human beings - not cute little puppies that you leave on a street corner, drop with relatives, or abandon when you get tired of the responsibility.They are a life long commitment.

If parents are not paying child support shame on them. They better look at the big picture, grow up, and get a life. They produced a child for whatever reason and that child is 1/2 their responsibility whether they like it or not (not the governments responsibility) .

What can be done about deadbeat parents? . So far these are the punishments I know of.
*Not permitted fishing & hunting licenses
*Garnishing wages (but what about those who refuse to work)
*Drivers license suspended
*Jailtime (what good is this if they are not out working to make the payments?)

Often times they run when found, jump state, hide behind other people, and organizations.

I was thinking of some creative consequences for deadbeat parents and these were my thoughts:

*They should have to pay taxes on the child support owed and that money go directly to the primary care parent - hell garnish their entire income tax check!

*I also think that for those who refuse to work (like my ex who owes over $80K in child support) should go to jail but be required to work in a workhouse of some sort. With all wages earned going to the primary parent.

*How about refused government support such as food stamps, financial aid and medicaid.

*Better yet how about an electronic collar that keeps track of their every move so they can’t jump from state-to state?

What can realistically be done to ensure these children get the support they need and deserve?

While I find this amusing I wonder is “shame” the way to go about this?

Do you know that often the primary parent has to pay legal fees, bounty hunters and child support enforcers to try and gain at least a portion of the money owed to them?

Is this fair?

No it does not sound fair. Situations ahould be handled on a case by case basis. See below for why. Btw:

They already do this, I know this as they’re done it to me each year for the past three years despite the fact that I am the primary custodial parent. How you might ask? Simple my kids mother went down an applied for welfare and received it. How I’m still responsible for this I couldn’t tell you and I got tired of paying lawyers who did fucking nothing other than bill me. Imagine how I’d feel had I been thrown in Jail, or had my license suspended.

I have an employee, who I’ve also received a garnishment order for, for half his wages. I have known this guy for 7years and know for a fact he has his daughter about half the time, hell she almost works here. I feel bad about having to garnish his wages but can’t do a damn thing about it.

I’m not saying there aren’t deadbeats out there but I doubt it’s as pervasive as it’s made out to me, there’s too much abuse in the system.

Case by case basis, definitely. In particular, I think it would make sense to look at the circumstances of the child’s birth before painting the father as some deadbeat who deserves to wear a self-insulting sandwich board around town.

This is a hot button issue for me. I watched my father obliterate every familial financial asset in order to make sure he received custody of us children (who wanted to live with our mother for the most part), and be allowed to pay the most miserly child support ($125.[sup]00[/sup] per child each month back in ~1970).

However, your idea of confinement solely for the forced recovery of assets (back-support) treads far too much upon a slippery slope that leads to the poorhouse of old. You yourself mention the “workhouse.” I suggest you read up on debtor’s prisons and their sordid history. America was one of the first nations to abolish debtor’s prison and for very good reasons. Read Dickens’ “Little Dorrit” if you are still unclear on the subject.

Go ahead and garnish wages, expropriate income tax refunds, deny sporting licenses (I suggest including noncommercial or recreational boating registration and pilot’s licenses as well.), do all of these combined. I do not and cannot agree with revocation of driving privileges, as these can represent a vital resource in obtaining steady employment.

You have noted the self-defeating aspect of jailing someone. I suggest that denying them fundamental support and medical benefits is similarly counterproductive. A healthy person is more capable of paying you back. I’ll suggest some more effective alternatives at the end of this post.

For people who have shown a prior history of bad faith, electronic tagging or other forms of house arrest (i.e., a traceable telephone call every hour) may be a proper solution. The issues of interstate flight figure quite prominently in this discussion. The courts cannot properly deny an unconvicted person the right of free movement to another state in order to improve their own quality of life. Relocation might increase their wages and ability to pay.

Good efforts are finally being made. I’d suggest a few more:[ul][li] A federal mandate that deadbeat parents be required to undergo maximum W-2 withholdings from all earnings. This would be in conjunction with both garnishment and expropriation of annual refunds. A quarterly payout system might need to be evolved in order to better serve dependents’ needs. The monetary increased overhead to cover quarterly reporting and disbursal would come from a penalty fund paid by the offenders.[/li]
[li] In order to move out of state, convicted deadbeats should be required to register at their new locale and be subject to increased wage withholding and monitoring. The track record of deadbeats moving out of state in order to complicate recovery of funds is too dismal to be ignored.[/li]
[li] Again, recreational licenses, i.e., pilots’, boats, snowmobiles, hunting, fishing, sailing and any other sort nonessential sporting pursuit should be denied anyone who is in arrears. Being a deadbeat should involve not having much fun on a regular basis.[/li]
[li] If it were possible, there should be tracking of home purchases and sales in order to monitor an offender’s acquisition or disposal of real property. [/li]
[li] Similar tracking of business partnership and incorporation plus stocks and securities purchases might be of use as well. This could possibly include a ban on hold offshore bank accounts so as to discourage sheltering or concealment of assets.[/li]
[li] Revocation of one’s passport might also have to be a feature of such an extensive program. This would serve to hinder both flight to avoid payment and a portion of parental child abductions too. It would (as with the recreational prohibitions) serve to restrict such luxury (and expensive) activities as overseas travel. Exceptions would have to be granted on a case by case basis and the possibility of posting a bond to ensure one’s return might be needed as well. [/ul][/li][quote]
While I find this amusing I wonder is “shame” the way to go about this?
Back when “shame” had very much effect as a form of social censorship, divorce was so scandalous that deadbeat parents more often just slipped away entirely and went to another country (please refer to the travel restrictions mentioned above).

Rather well. I was abducted as a child and am fully aware of the financial blackmail imposed by the courts to reunite us children with our financially equipped and abusive father.

Not yet, but great strides have been made in the past few decades. The glacial progress may readily be attributed to the distinct lack of female politicians. Once there is any sort of reasonable gender parity in our political and legal system, big changes should be in store. This is one small reason I seek out every reason possible to vote for women candidates.

Zenster wrote:

Politicians being politicians, most of it will be for show. If you treat the current situation as a two-sided zero sum game, the sides are treated “equal.” But it isn’t two sided and there are bad examples on both “sides”. We should strive for equity rather than merely swinging the pendulum, which would be what would occur if we elect people based on genes rather than policy.

When we finally have anything close to gender parity, remind me to change my voting criteria. Until then, I feel it is critical to make sure that women have equal participation in our political process. Do not think I will blindly vote for just any woman who runs. Hillary Clinton could easily force me to vote Libertarian or Independent.

Re child support and Passport issues: If a person owes $5K or more in back child support, supposedly a passport will not be issued or renewed. See

Even though it is purely an academic interest, I have always found it odd that laws are written (about the father, because the mother is pretty obvious) that seem on one hand to say that the DNA is the primary deciding factor for paying child support. Then other laws appear that say raising or treating the child as your own is the primary deciding factor. The hypocrisy is cloaked in “what’s best for the child” but as a practicality, appears to be a case of the law being able to go after whichever ‘father’ is easier to obtain support from.

On one hand, establishing genetic paternity has a simple logicality to it. You made it (or helped, with the mother’s assistance) you pay for it.

On the other hand, I would expect a father who has helped raise his kids as his own would want to ensure they were financially ok, as he would love them as his own, even if they genetically weren’t. I can understand rejecting 18 years of child support when you discover your 3 month old isn’t really yours. I can’t understand rejecting a 15 year old that you’ve always thought was genetically yours. Unless you didn’t really love them anyway.

So, there’s valid arguments for both sides. But I think there needs to be one legal standard, not two. I think it’s unfair to saddle a guy with child support payments on an infant that isn’t his. I think it’s unfair to deny a father the right to see his 15 year old, even if the DNA says the kid isn’t technically his.

I would like to see laws stating that the only two people who can be forced to financially provide for a child are the two who are its genetic parents (or adoptive). Perhaps, those who have raised the child as their own and wish to continue to do so, could have a right to continue having access to the child. Whether or not they would have to pay support to keep this right is an interesting discussion.

Keep in mind that as an inevitable result of (1) beaur’cratic innefficiency; and (2) spiteful ex-spouses, a lot of innocent people will be subjected to whatever punitive measures are set up.

what luc said, and what I was trying to say. And Zen, I do not think we have gender parity in this country, but in this particular issue, we do. If we do not, it is in favor of the female if anything.

But like I said before, merely shifting the balance will mean that the same number of people will be shafted, just on the other “side”. We don’t need sides.

(As an aside, I, too, am slightly more inclined to vote for females in order to establish gender parity. But if anything, this issue makes me LESS likely to do so. And my mom’s second husband is a true deadbeat parent: she’s baring scraping by since he disappeared and cannot be found. Still, I have seen the potential for abuse when anti-male policies are in force.)

Well there’s more than one side to the issue. I am a sales professional and have paid a hefty CS since 1994 and never missed a payment in addition to buying tons of things for the kids way beyond the CS payment, however, at the medium-lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder there is relatively little income to play with, and it’s here (IMO) where most of the problems concentrate. The court sets up hard guidelines for payment and the CS system is relatively inflexible and slow to respond to the ups and downs of men who may have lost their jobs and suffer through various economic downturns. The institutional attitude (which is reflected by the single mothers in many cases) is largely to treat the non-custodial fathers like ATMs and difficulties are often met with an autopilot “tough shit, where’s the check?” attitude. Women rarely appreciate the impossible position the man is in in these scenarios unless they have to pay CS themselves. People who are treated like ATMs tend not to be too cooperative over the long run.

I’d go one step further and cancel the passport of anyone owing more than $5K. Thanks for the link.

Also, while the system has seemed to favor mothers in divorce settlements, it has always been much easier for men to redirect a more substantial portion of wealth in their own favor. The average woman’s standard of living still drops significantly after a divorce. Only with the advent of a national child support registry has there been much change to how many men skate on their payments.

One thing that’s interesting is that I almost never hear the phrase “deadbeat mother” applied to a mom who doesn’t work to financially contribute to her kid. Does this say anything about the gender role expectations of society?

Being solely responsible for a child lowers your standard of living. You can’t work 60 hours a week when child care only covers 40, and promotions tend to go to the people who work 60 hour weeks.

Well, we could always arrest the worst cases of deadbeat dads and sell their organs. Slave labor probably isn’t economical in this day and age.
Look, I’m getting mildly freaked out here. We have ruled out debtors’ prisons on grounds of economics, but how much money and how many indignities can we take from someone before it becomes worth more than supporting a child? Have we really as a people collectively decided that the rights of children to be supported always outweigh the rights of deadbeat dads to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Quick fix remedies, like not allowing hunting licenses, wont work. You just have a never ending game of trying to force him and he trying to get out of it.

What really works:

is to marry a man who absolutely positively loves children, more than anything else, and who would not be stopped by anything in the world to keep him from spending as much as he can on his children, and doing what is best for the children. Lots of men out there are like that. If you want to marry a man who doesnt love children, then dont marry him.


  1. Because most women get custody of the children.

  2. Because most mothers love their children and do what ever they can for their children without being forced by someone else to do it.

  3. Because until very recently, most men made more money than females. This will soon change/is changing with our colleges now mostly composed of women, who will end up with better paying jobs and higher skills than men in the next several/foreseeable decades to come.

I sure as hell hope we have, or at least the liberty and pursuit of happiness portions. The father always had a choice whether to participate in activities which were likely to conceive a child, but the child had no choice in the matter, nor does the child in most circumstances have any ability to influence his standard of living.

The consequences only kick in when the noncustodial parent refuses, for an extended period, to do what the judge has ordered. Even $5K is at least several months of support for most noncustodial parents, conservatively. If you do what you are supposed to do, there need be no indignity involved.

I do think noncustodial parents whose wages are garnished for nonpayment of child support should be left with enough money for the basics of food, clothing, and shelter, but I have no problem whatsoever with anything above and beyond that going to meet their overdue support obligations.

Attitudes about divorce and responsibility for the child need to change for both parents. People have children all too freely without forethought into what it means to bring a child into this world.

If I had a say in it, all women would be on birth control until they, along with their chosen father, had been licensed to have a child. The couple should attend classes on personal finance, housekeeping and sanitation, child welfare, and philosophy in rasing a child. Anger management might not be a bad idea either. I’m sure many more topics could be added to this list. We go to 12 years of school and learn about math, languages, science, economics, art, music, etc. but are never taught how to care and provide for a family.

Having a child is the single biggest thing that most people will do in thier lifetime. Yet, more concern is giving to earning the privilege to drive an automobile on the street. Having a child should also be a privilege, not a duty, a whim, or a right.

There are heaps of people that should never have children.

Actually, I think native born american women, have been below zero population growth for over 30 years.

If not for immigration, our population would be getting smaller, highways lonlier, schools emptier, etc. Furthermore, native born american women are steadily decreasing the total number of children they each do have, postponing having children until they can better afford them compared to any time period. In the larger American demographic groups, most women have very few children, have them later in life, and they are nearly all married to an employed husband provider.

Children not being provided for by the natural born parents, is basically a non-issue for the majority of the larger demographic groups in America today.

The source of the problem, is the few women who have children out of marraige, or who marry a man with no fatherly attributes and then divorce him.

To correct the source of the problem, it still comes down to women should not have babies out of wedlock, and should not marry men who are not good fathers.