Deadbeat Dads

My question is: should I send photos or not?

What happens when you have a father who not only refuses to pay child support, but refuses to work? In this case, the DBD lives with his brother(rent free), his 80 yr old father gives him $15 a week for ciggerettes, he drives without car insurance, is fed for free, is an alcoholic and drinks for free (bums alcohol).

Doesn’t support the 4 children he brought into this world. hasn’t seen them for two years. He has been thrown in jail on numerous occasions for up to periods of 6 months, only to bail out and be slapped on the hand by the judicial system (he always promises he’ll get a job).

Would it be more painful to this 48 yr old man to receive pictures of his kids or not?

[Ms. Manners}

Why not show that you’ve got class? Every six months to a year send him a letter with photos and news of what the kids are doing? Say nothing about what he’s doing. At best he might decide to clean himself up, pay child support, and visit his kids. At worst you’ve proved that you’ve tried to interest the father into visiting his kids.

[\Ms. Manners]

Darn it WW, I am now torn between telling her to be a big big bitch, and telling her to take the high road.
Ugh, stupid morals!

But in a way taking the high road can feel just as good as being a bitch.
I am going through this myself with my sons father.

Okay, I say be sickening sweet about the deal. Show him what he is missing out on. Tell him how wonderful his kids are and how much joy they bring you.
He doesn’t sound like the type of guy with a consience, but you will feel better knowing that you put the best foot forward.
I know it gets frustrating, and if you need to talk e-mail me, or ICQ me #16971971 or AIM under MistressKricket.

I do not envy your situation.

I would think (though the whole situation is totally hypothetical to me) that you have to decide if you even want this man to take a more active interest in your children. Two years without wanting to see them suggests that he dosen’t really care about them. I would think that no father would be better than annual reminders that you have a father that dosen’t care. If he hasn’t requested pictures, then no, I wouldn’t send them. If he normally shows no interest in these kids, then the best thing that could possibly happen is that seeing pictures each year sparks a short phase of guilt so he calls or something and then disappears, and that is also the worst thing that could happen.

Two years? What state? You know if they haven’t heard from him in 6 months in some states you can go to court & request that he never get to see them until they are 18 simply on the fact that he has abandoned them. tsk.

Naw, I wouldn’t sent photos, videos, report cards or anything else. It’s not your job to do what he won’t do. You’ll just be doing more for him & from your OP, it appears you don’t like people doing things for him.

I saw a similar situation many times; but it’s up to you, they are your kids.

I’m with Manda JO on this…It would be nice if you could send him photos and he’ll suddenly realize what he’s missing out on, feel guilty, then give up drinking, get a decent job, start taking an active interest in your kids, send them presents, and by next year everyone is living happily together like a “family”, but realistically that only happens on Full House. If he doesn’t make any effort to even communicate with your kids then he probably doesn’t care about them, and why bother forcing him on your kids when there are other, better adults they can look up to?

I say be a bitch and forget about him…If he doesn’t realize what he’s missing out on then why give him the luxury of even a sneak peak?

  • Tsugumo

Manda JO writes:

> If he normally shows no interest in these kids, then the
> best thing that could possibly happen is that seeing
> pictures each year sparks a short phase of guilt so he
> calls or something and then disappears, and that is also
> the worst thing that could happen.

No, the worst thing that can happen is that 15 years from now, the kids say to Delila, “You deliberately cut us off from our father. You didn’t even make an attempt to get him to see us.” I think it’s better to let them know the truth, that their father is an alcoholic deadbeat that doesn’t even make an attempt to see them, rather than have them fantasize about the great reunion they should have had with him for the rest of their lifes. (Of course, if this guy is violent in person, then there’s good reason to not let him see his children or even know where they live.)

How old are the kids? If they’re old enough, ask them if they want to write to their father. Be honest about this guy’s problems. Let them make up their own mind. If I were such a child, I would rather know the truth about my father than be told nothing about him.

My ex would call twice a year, never give birthday or Christmas gifts, NEVER paid child support (on 4 kids with 3 women)-- he actually said that he won’t pay for children who don’t live with him. But I thought I would take the high road. Stupid! Stupid!

So…my son went through a very rebellious 15-17 year old phase, and after giving me a truckload of grief, decided he wanted to go live with his dad (where he figured there would be fewer rules and regulations – wonder why). The first day there, his dad put him up against the wall, make an unkind crack about his green hair and how it wouldn’t go over well down in Kentucky. My kid left a note and split 2 days later. Shortly after that, his dad died of cancer and I practically had to force my son to go to the funeral. They will sort things out for themselves, but not without a lot of pain for everyone involved.


That makes no sense, she isnt cutting him off from the kids - and its NOT her job to chase him and beg him to give a damn about them,

Dont send pictures, dont call him, for the love of god, this man is a huge loser, and potentially harmful to your kids! what if he sees the pics and decides to involve himself in their lives!!! What a mess he could make of your kids!

You will have nothing to ‘account’ for later on, you cant make him care.

what you should send him is a big man to break his legs and make him pay his child support!

(good luck sweetie - I am going through the same damn thing myself right now - no cash since March of 2000, he hasnt bothered with the kids since may 2000…what a piece of shit.)

“That makes no sense, she isnt cutting him off from the kids”

True. Doesn’t matter. Happened to us. The father didn’t have any contact for a long time. They one day wanted contact & full custody when the kid was 12. When the kid asked him why he didn’t stay in touch he said because his exwife wouldn’t let him. Bunch of crap. Men lie. Especially those who don’t pay support.

Nice book: Child Support Made Simple

It happened with my dad, and it is happening with my son.
My sons father shows up when he wants to.
When my son was hit by the car he came up to the hospital and spent a total of three hours in two weeks up there. We even left the room so that his new wife and family wouldn’t feel uncomfortable with my family all there.
My son was hit in May, and in June his dad called and wanted to know if he could swing by and see him after he got done spending the day with his family. You see, Josh was still in a body cast and in a full reclining wheel chair and I had a hard time getting him around in my van let alone letting his father take him in a small compact car.
I told him to swing by when he was ready and I would have Josh dressed and ready and he could take him to the park so that he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable around my house.
I got Josh ready and outside, and lo and behold, dad never showed up. You see, he has a family now, and they come first.
He won’t let my husband adopt him since Josh is his only son, and “That’s my boy, I would die without him”.
Now, one of my friends just ran into Joshs’ aunt, and she actually made the statement that I was being nasty since I wouldn’t let anyone see him.
His crazy grandmother stopped by at christmas to see him, and even tho I don’t like her I let her in and made nice.
I want my son to see that this is not on me. It is not my responsibility to make sure his father gets tracked down for birthdays and holidays.
I do get some satisfaction out of my friends letting his family know that he is doing fine without them, and that it is not my fault, but his fathers fault that they have no contact.
So like I said, I have been there, and am doing that.
He wasn’t there for the surgeries, the doctors visits, or the physical threapy. He didn’t have to sit and listen to Josh cry over why the other kids wouldn’t play with him since he was in a wheel chair and took too much effort to play with. And why we couldn’t go swimming or camping.
But, that’s right, that his boy, and he would lay down and die for him. Only if his family isn’t doing something more important first.

Sorry bout the rant, but Kelli, it does happen. My son blames me for his father not being around, and I have been nothing but nice. I am best friends with my daughters father and my step-daughters mother. I am not a hard person to get along with, and I have a habit of walking into shitty situations. There was one point in time when dad was too busy to come and get Josh, so I drove him back and forth to dads’ house. It wasn’t my responsibility, but I did it for my son. It backfired on me and to dads’ family I am still a selfish bitch.

You guys/gals have been great with the responses. The kids know that he is an alcoholic they do not know about the drugs. (I spared them that) They know he hasn’t paid support in 4 years. Their ages are 10, 12, 14, 19.
3 boys who really want me to marry someone so they can have a real dad as they put it.

I should be a good Christian and not try to make him feel guilty, but I’ve been strugling financially and hoped it might spark him into reality and make a payment in hopes of seeing his kids.

I can’t recall who said it, but about the time frame of not seeing the kids, it is true. I live in FL. He legally cannot see them now till they are 18. BUT he still oculd call and write.


What the hell do I do? HE split for the other side of the country, and started a new life. I didnt cut him off, or restrict his visits in any way. HE chose to stop supporting his kids (I didnt tell the kids) HE chooses to blow off birthdays and xmas without a call - he hasnt spoken a word to them since MAY! (I had let him and his new g-friend take the boys for the weekend, even though he hadnt paid support in a couple of months, or called the kids for months prior to his visit)
Even his parents seldom bother with the kids.(twice a year)

I have been as nice and as accommodating as I can be, thinking that at least they wont be able to blame me…


My youngest (5 yrs) still asks for him:
“I want my daddy”
“Sorry, I cant help you, I dont have your daddy”
“I miss him.”
“I know, but I still cant help you.”
“I want him.”
“Its ok to want him, but there is nothing I can do.”
“But I want him!! Whaaaaaaaaaa”

I finally had to tell him not to talk about him around me or my oldest(9yrs) anymore. Probably not the best way to deal with it, but my older son gets really mad, and hateful when frankie does this - what else can I do? I cant make the man care! I feel bad for frankie’s pain, but to let him express it over and over again just hurts my other child, and we all end up the worse for it. :frowning:

I hate this! If I tell the kids what a useless bastard their dad is, I am a bad person - even if what I tell them the truth! If I sheild them from the hurtful truth that their dad doesnt want them anymore, then he can swoop in years from now and be a heroe!!

My youngest looked at me recently and told me : “if you got a step-dad, that would be good”

He wants a father. And my poor older son - I doubt he has enough trust in him to allow another man into his life.

I wish, with all my heart that absentee parents could see what harm they do! I dont care about the damn money!! Just call the kid once a month so they dont feel so worthless.

No matter how much I love them, or what I do for them, I can never give them back what they have lost.

I have pretty much given up on ever getting any support from him, and I actually worry if I manage to find him, and the courts collect from him - he might show another breif interest in the kids again… causing more harm. So I dont look for him anymore…

My youngest stutters. Sometimes not at all for days, then on a cartoon (for example), someone mentions their dad, and he cant talk right for days. He was out sliding over xmas break and a vicious little bitch in our neighboorhood was teasing him about having no father. He has been stammering ever since. He also wont play outside anymore.

If I could make that bastard feel even a fraction of the pain he has caused my kids, I would give my right arm!

Kricket, what should I do?

Kelli - can you get your sons into therapy? Not that I think you are in any way doing a bad job, just it sucks to have to try to manage that alone (as the parent) and alone (as the kid). I wish to God that my parents had bothered getting us therapy when we were suffering. Check your insurance if you can’t cover it…

Don’t let the pain sit, or it warps the rest of the structures. Very sucky to put back together without being given some tools.


Anything - art therapy, group therapy for kids suffering losses (look for death/divorce/separation groups), something. I spent years depressed, borderline suicidal, (and so on), plus just plain more miserable than should have been. Don’t let that happen to your boys if you can help it. At the very least you still have one who wants to talk about it.

You don’t get to pick whether they will blame you. You CAN fight fair. And you can protect, help, comfort, and support as much as YOU can, then get help to make sure they have the support they need that is beyond your strength. Unfortunately, 5-year-old boys generally want their fathers - there isn’t much you can do about that but keep trying to be there yourself.

As for sending notes/photos… tough call. If he isn’t trying, then I might maybe do it once a year, maybe the school photos, a breif note about what is going on. But you have to make the call about whether that is safe or not. Ask the kids what they want to tell him about, so they know he’s being contacted. Keeping up with the postive attitude and factual info is good, but be careful to be truthful. My mom was good at telling us the good stuff about our dad, and the facts about the bad stuff, and letting us make up our own minds. For some of us, that meant we wanted to be with him more, for some it meant we wanted to be with him less, and for some it just made us see him clearly. There is no easy answer, but the moral high ground is valuable - even if they don’t understand NOW, when they are older, you can put things into perspective. Even with the ‘good’ approach, you don’t know how it will turn out. Just like with most choices in parenting. There’s no way to test the alternatives. You just do your best.

(this from someone who has been through three parental divorces)

I’ll be 19 in March. My parents divorced when I was 2. And I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my father.
It’s sad, it really is. And when I was little, I wanted him to be in my life. My mom tried calling, sending pictures, we even wrote letters ourselves. And when I was seven, he came to visit us! For a week, he took us to the park, and bought us stuff, and treated us like we really meant something to him. When he went back to Georgia, he promised to write every week, and keep in touch. He sent one letter, and we didn’t hear from him again until my mom took him to court for unpaid child support. As of 1991 or so, he owed some grand total of $23,000 or something.
For the greater part of my life, I resented that he wasn’t around. I blamed my mom because they got a divorce. It took me a long time to realize that I’m a lot better off without him. When he wrote me a letter last year asking to be involved in my life again, it didn’t take much for my response.
“Dear Dad,
Fuck you. I haven’t needed you before, and I don’t need you now. Have a good life.
Love Pam”

Kinda harsh, but so was growing up fatherless.

Kelli, I am truly sorry. I miss understood you in your first sentence after the quote. I thought you were saying that you couldn’t believe that something like that could really happen. Now, I see that you have been there yourself.
These men don’t realise that they aren’t hurting us, they are hurting their children. Yeah, in a way it hurts us, but only in the way that we are the ones to pick up the pieces of our broken children while they move on to bigger and better things.
Maybe we should let our kids start emailing each other for someone to talk to whose going through it right now. I can tell my kids that I would wait for my dad with my suitcase packed for the weekend and he never showed, and my step-father cried when he carried me to bed after I fell asleep on the stairs waiting. But as with most things our kids just don’t think it is the same as what they are going through.
Joshs’ doctor didn’t help, he just made matters worse by telling me to get ahold of dad. The problem was he was telling Josh that I would before he even discussed it with me.
I know we are all doing a good job of group therapy here, but if anyone wants to email me just to rant or have a shoulder to lean on by all means please do.

And I do know that there are men out there dealing with the same thing that we are. It is so sad for the kids on either end.

And once again Kelli, I am so sorry. I took your statement as disbelief. I get pretty upset about this subject and tend to fly off the handle.
My first post to this I thought that maybe she should show him what he was missing. I also made the statement that that wasn’t what I wanted to say either.

Pam, was there anything your mom could have said or done so you didnt blame her?

Not really. I wasn’t really mad at her, but I was mad at the situation. She was there, he wasn’t. So I took out my frustrations on her. Really, nothing she could of said would have made me any less angry.

You know how picture frames at the store already have some photo in them which you pull out once you buy the frame? Just find a frame with a picture of some kids in it and send it to him. Don’t worry too much about the number and gender of the kids.

Seriously for a sec, don’t associate child support with access. If it is in the best interests of the kids to stay in touch, then stay in touch despite his being a deadbeat. If it is in the best interests of the kids to cut all ties, then cut the ties. Holding the kids out as bait for cash is not a good thing.

I thought access without child support would be good for my son, but in retrospect, I think I should have just let him disappear with the third family. The situation made me bitter, because he barely took advantage of the access thing. He moved far away, he never called, he wrote once (from prison), and then he had the nerve to ask my son to help him name his new son! Fucker! I tried to take the high road, but he’s been dead nearly six years and I still can’t forgive him. He’s a worthless piece of shit who did nothing but bring pain to every relationship he was ever in.