Deadbeat Dads and daughters

Reading the deadbeat thread in the Pit made me think of my daughter. She’s such a sweetheart and a beautiful girl but she seems make bad choices in men. When she lived another state she had some nice guys pursuing her but she wound up with some asshole. They wound up living together and got pregnant. He was a mean spirited manipulative control freak. Finally I got her out of there and she wound up moving across the country and is now a struggling single Mom living with her mother. My granddaughter’s father hasn’t seen her in years and pays no child support. He has another child out there somewhere that he also pays no child support for. I’ve asked my daughter why she won’t go after him for CS to help her daughter but she still hasn’t.

Worse than that she has a new boyfriend who lives at least part of the time with her and her Mom who also has two children that he pays no child support for. He doesn’t even have a job and told my son “What’s the point. If I get a job the state will just take most of it for CS” Hold fucking shit.

I just don’t understand what moves her to accept such horrible behavior. I’ll be going to visit in a couple of weeks and at some point I’ll be telling my daughter and her new beau exactly what I think.

If anyone has any stories or insight about this kind of situation being resolved please share.

If you Google the subject you’ll find some info. that may help convince your daughter to pursue the issue and maybe scare the hell out of the new BF, like jail time.

As someone who pays…a lot…in child support, this is a topic near and dear to me. I can’t stand guys who don’t fulfill that responsibility - cant’ even be friends with one; I don’t respect them at all. And I also can’t stand women who won’t stand up for themselves and go after these guys. The money isn’t for you, honey. Even if you’re “getting by” without it, your kid deserves more, and you’re the only one who can take the steps to get it for them. If the guy is an asshole, there are agencies out there whose sole purpose is to squeeze it out of him anyway. They can be slow and inefficient, but they do get the job done eventually.

I never got a dime from Mr. Not-So-Wonderful and I never pursued it. He saw Kid Kalhoun once or twice a year. The reason I didn’t pursue it was because he didn’t have any money. He barely provided minimal food and shelter for the one that came after my son, and he gave up parental rights of the first two.

He said he didn’t pay for children he didn’t live with. :frowning:

While that might be reason enough to pursue jail time for the asshole, I figured it wouldn’t help my financial situation and he would never be able to fuck with me on visitation and/or custody. Also, it would have put the youngest kid in an even worse situation than he was already in. Plus, my son was provided for by me (with help from my folks for a few years).

Prolly not the best justifcation, but he’s dead now so the conversation, for us, is over.

The way we resolved it was the mom and dad of our kid got back together. Of course, ours is a unique situation; everyone we talk to says they’ve never heard of another example where parents who are apart for so many years reunite to finish raising (together) the teen-aged kid Dad had never seen.

It’s been 2 years now since we got back together, and an absolute hoot. Both parties, however, had to give up their bitternesses, righteous indignation, and feelings of victimization/resentment, and learn to forgive and trust. Maybe that’s why it’s a rare situation. YMMV.

You need to tell him, “No, asshole, that’s the rest of us holding you responsible for the babies you created!” Honestly, Dan, the fact that you aren’t talking about baseball bats right now makes you a better man than I am.

Tipping the ol’ fedora to Kalhoun, too – lady, you deserve so much better!

I have no idea what warped, corrupt force is at work in society that produces men who “won’t pay for kids they don’t live with.” Where in the hell has the concept of personal responsibility and obligation gone!?

I have no idea, and frankly, the whole mess my ex made of his obligations to my son make me weep. He doesn’t see him (hasn’t in ten years I believe it is), when he did it was awful, in 17 years he’s paid $100 of support to my son, the way his father treats him and me makes my son, and me, literally cry. The whole subject is very very upsetting - in fact, I could probably use some therapy to deal with the anger I have about it. :frowning:

The agencies are going after them already, what more can I do other than waste a lot of my time, energy and money doing the exact same thing? If they’re deadbeats without legal (not under the table) jobs, there’s nothing there to get, whether it’s me personally trying to do the getting or the government.

Believe me, I’d have loved to have had the financial help lo these many years, hell I’d have danced the happy dance just to have half the child-care costs defrayed, but they have to have income for you to get a portion of it. Throwing a deadbeat into jail won’t generate an income either, sadly. Too many of these guys sponge off the new wife/girlfriend or have means of income that aren’t trackable, what can you do?

If you’re at least availing yourself of those agencies, then I’m not really talking to you; you’re doing what you can. I’m not suggesting that any moms directly stalk or harass their sperm donors. That’s how people get shot.

Agreed, but hopefully the real threat of jail time will encourage them to get up off that ass and get a job. I understand it may not often happen, but…

Nothing except keeping the threat of legal action going, I guess. If the guy is hoping to keep living with the new girlfriend, and fixing up cars (isn’t it always that?) on the side to pick up some tax- and CS-free income, maybe he needs to be shocked out of that illusion.

And the process to apply for enforcement is very difficult. EVERY time I have an appearance I have to bring a certified copy of my divorce and the support order which means I have to miss half a day of work to spend it at the County Clerk’s office, bring the right amount of quarters for the 40 year old coin-op copiers…why can’t they just use one of the 8 certified copies I’ve brought to previous appearances?

Why do I have to prove what he hasn’t paid, rather than him having to prove what he has paid?

Each appearance is a day lost from work, which I cannot really afford - and the result is predictable. If he had been willing to work we probably wouldn’t have divorced in the first place. And now he’s caught up in a new marriage with a new baby…and still not working. He has also moved across the country and interstate cases take on an extra layer of beauracracy.

As for the OP and why would she accept such behavior? I don’t have an answer. For me even when I was going through the worst bits I would have thoughts of “You’re smarter than this, how did you let this happen to you?” but my intellectual understanding of my situation was very different from my emotional experience of it. I think that’s true for lots of folks.

I think it’s great that you’re in her corner. Knowing that might make her able to make some changes. Best wishes.

Maybe your daughter thinks that deadbeat dads are the norm. She has personal experience with two of them – maybe she’s never met the other kind.

If we can fill up this thread with accounts of dads who struggle to do the right thing, she’ll see that she’s picked another loser.

My daughter’s boyfriend is paying, even though child support takes half his pay. My husband and brother paid faithfully for years, even when it hurt. I know scads of dads who struggle, or who try to get better-paying jobs.

What’s the alternative? Live off girlfriends or relatives for 18 years, while producing more children they won’t take care of?

raises hand

I’m very fortunate in my employment; my current job pays more than any I’ve ever had in the past. And even now, my child support is close to half my take-home pay. It’s high enough that the people who report to me (single twentysomethings in college, for the most part) take home bigger checks than I do, and drive nicer cars.

But even in the past, when I was between jobs or had lesser-paying jobs, I’ve never missed a payment. Even when I’ve had to live on ramen and multivitamins for the last three days of a pay period, or dig change out from under the floormats to buy $3.00 worth of gas, my kids have lived in a comfortable home, eaten good food, and had decent clothes to wear, and my ex has never had to accept any kind of government assistance.

And I’m not saying any of this to glorify myself, or seek praise. In fact, I’d be a little uncomfortable with someone praising me for doing this. All I’m doing is what I’m supposed to do. It should be the norm.

Amen. It’s really good to hear this said.

I thought the ex’s death might somehow make me feel better in some bizarre and macabre way, but it didn’t. He’s been dead 12 years, saw the Sprout sproadically, but never took responsibility for anything. I feel 0% better about it.

I got $100 cash, probably…and some toys and fireworks on one or two occasions.

HALF??? I think what you’re supposed to do is very unreasonable. There may be less deadbeats if a reasonable amount of support was asked of them.

I raised my daughter by myself for 10 years and it didn’t cost anything close to half my takehome pay (and I don’t make a large salary.)

The difference is you had one household to support. He has to support multiple kids and their “share” of the mortgage, utilities, taxes, food, clothing, education, lessons, toys, transportation,and doctor bills. It is based on income, but it is also based on their “share” of his income to run things smoothly at their other home.

There’s a lot of self righteous petulant fury getting thrown around here, but the issues are a lot more complicated than “fuck that deadbeat!”

To the OP, does the new boyfriend help take care of your daughter’s child? Does your grandchild really need three parents supporting it? Do you have any idea where dad number 1 is, or what he’s doing? Chances are you don’t. Chances are that child support checks help mommies live a two-income lifestyle with only one income, or a three-income lifestyle with only two incomes.

Child support is a terribly broken system that ends up being more punitive than helpful. Children who really do need court help getting support from deadbeat dads get drowned among cases where a kid calls another guy “daddy”, who pays half the rent and buys her diapers while mommy is on the phone screaming because the child support check didn’t arrive this month and she won’t be able to get a bigger television yet.

I haven’t seen a child support case that wasn’t dirty. I’ve seen child support checks go toward a gambling addiction, 100 dollar haircuts, Prada, jewelry, and just about anything else you can think of besides the welfare of a child. In high school, a friend of mine got child support of close to 300 dollars a week for his mother, but he had to get a part time job to pay for stuff like new shoes and clothes, and a bicycle to get to school. What did his mother do with the money? Not sure, but I bet the fucking WATERFALL she had built in their LIVING ROOM had something to do with it. Or maybe the casinos got most of it. I don’t know, but I was at his house when his mother demanded a hundred dollars from him so she could gamble with a relative that was in town.

Another friend of mine (much later. I was in my mid 20s) learned 9 years after he moved away from a small town in the midwest that he had a daughter, and that he owed 50-something thousand dollars in previous child support. The mother had since gotten married, and they had gotten a lawyer to streamline the process of her husband adopting the little girl. They had been together since before the girl was born, but the lawyer informed them that she would lose the right to seek child support if the stepdad adopted the girl. Until then she had apparently not even considered seeking child support, since the girl had two present parents her whole life. Who cares? That’s FIFTY THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS we’re talking about here! So now a single guy struggling to survive in a town with low wages and high property values has to pay 30-40% of his checks every month to a little girl who already has a mommy and a daddy in a stable relationship.

I guess what I’m trying to say is get off your high horses, people. You sound like an angry mob, and you either don’t know or refuse to see just how much damage this broken system is doing.

Maybe you did. But this doesn’t seem typical if you’re talking about multiple kids, factoring in child care costs, and taking into account the things Kalhoun mentioned. For example are you considering the monthly cost of renting or owning a home with an additional bedroom? Having the kid on your health insurance? Shouldn’t the goal be to give the kids as close as possible to the upbringing they would have had with both parents still married?

Yes, but I have four kids, and I had them in about as father-unfriendly a state as there is (Utah). The only reason my child support is as low as it is, is that my ex-wife makes about the same money that I do. Otherwise it might have been higher. I don’t begrudge it one bit, but that’s because I know and trust their mom, and I believe it’s spent wisely and in their best interest.

Ah, 4 kids. That makes more sense now. If you believe the money is being spent wisely then you’re a lucky man indeed, because my ex would waste it on clothes and shoes (for herself.)