Does this kind of thing really happen? (Divorce question)

I was on another board where some people were having a discussion about a TV show about a poverty-stricken single mom; many of them told stories about their own deadbeat exes, and it reminded me of several guys I worked with when I was in college who talked about how they planned to get married with the intention of treating their wives poorly after the kids arrived, so he would be a divorced dad (i.e. all the fun and none of the responsibility). Or they planned to disappear from the kids’ lives when they were very young and then make the Big Hero Dad Comeback when they were teenagers, mostly in order to party with them and maybe sleep with their girlfriends. :eek: :dubious:

I do know that there are women who get married with the intention of having the guy adopt her kids, so she can divorce him and get child support. I have known a couple of men who did indeed have this happen to them, and a couple of others who figured it out before it was too late. :mad:

Do men really do what I described in the first paragraph? I did mention this elsewhere, and got several responses along the lines of “I’ve been doing family law for 15 years and have NEVER heard of anyone pulling a stunt like that. Certainly some people bail on the responsibility, but they didn’t get married so they could deliberately do that.”

No, guys don’t talk like that, or admit that any of their friends talk like that.

I find it easier to believe that some guys (not very many, I hope) would do stuff like this than that they would tell some college friend (especially a woman - nearwildheaven is female, I think), in all seriousness, that they planned to do it.

It is a big bad world, and there are probably have been some psychopathic guys, somewhere who have made plans like this, and perhaps carried them out too. Boasting of those plans beforehand, though, seems to me to be far less likely. I think they must have been putting you on.

Incidentally, surely this belongs in IMHO not GQ.

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While it may be possible to answer this factually (someone may have conducted a scientific poll on some occasion, who knows…), it’s more likely that responses will be related to personal experience and opinion.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

What’s your thing with asking really dumb questions? You already told us that you know “several guys” who did exactly what you asked in the “Does this kind of thing really happen?” So, if in fact you do know “several guys” then yep, it does happen.

Myself, I’ve never heard of such a thing, but you seem to hang out with all sorts of weird and wonderful folk on your ‘other’ messageboards.

And what’s your fetish with single parenthood, divorce, naughty kids and other such topics? It’s sort of creepy really.

So, what’s your thing, and does it really happen?


I can just barely imagine a drunken conversation among 20-year olds that amounted to “You know, the thing to do is disappear when the kids are a pain in the ass, then come back when they are old enough for you to be the Cool Dad”. But that’s not a plan.

This is an awesome plan! What could possibly go wrong?

Sure you do.

Most of the boards I post on are heavily female-dominated, so when I see a board with a majority of male posters, I’m going to ask questions that can be answered from their perspective. That’s why.

It might have been the “thing to do” or at least, plan, back in the 60’s or 70’s… but in the last 20 years or so, the government has tightened the noose around dead-beat dads. Some of the things I heard -
-can’t get your income tax refund.
-court-ordered garnishees (duh!)
-if the ex ends up on welfare, the state assumes her right to the debt and to your obligation to repay the welfare paid, and will chase you for it mercilessly and unendingly
-the kids go to college, the court orders you to pay your share of the college costs.
-can’t get out of it with bankruptcy.
-court can even order payments based on percieved ability to earn, if they think you are deliberately shirking work to set you obligation lower…
-if they can’t find you, some states allow the paternity case to be sent to the “last known address” then decide the outcome uncontested - so hiding does not help.

So basically, having kids is a bad idea unless you plan to stick around to raise them. Your financial obligations (i.e. must pay for college) are a lot less in an intact marriage.

I have heard of a few women who basically demand the new guy adopt their kids - not so much a plan to “take the money and run” but I suspect as an insurance in case this second relationship doesn’t work either. However, in Canada for example, once the man “establishes themself in the role of parent”, whether adoption or even marriage happened or not, the man may be on the hook for child support… and as your income rises, the ex may go back to court to increase the amount of support.

There may be a few misogynist types out there who plan to marry or knock up a woman and then “dump the bitch” but odds are once they think the plan through, the deck is horribly stacked against them.

The only likey useful action like this is if you have dual nationality and can disappear to the other side of the world for a decade or two. Plus, seriously - do you think a long-lost dad who’s been bad-mouthed by the mother for a decade will be welcomed with open arms? Do you think a life on the run and hiding bank accounts will result in a dad able to buy Junior a cool car? Or even own one himself?

it might be a misogynist dream during a night of drunken rambling, but in the cold light of day the plan makes no sense.

Usually (experience with breakups I’ve seen) people enter a relationship in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout - then reality sets in, the rose glasses come off, the drudgery of earning a living and raising kids becomes more draining, and the immature or incompatible fall apart. then if the breakup is particularly bad, they each go after the other guns blazing - “I’m gonna take the kids”, “you’ll never see them again”, “i’m going to quit my job so you won’t get a penny”, court-ordered support, and so on.

And even more love their kids and don’t want to lose contact with them, no matter how bad the fighting with the ex gets.

I also thought I read that there are states where you can’t even renew your driver’s license if you owe back child support.

It literally makes no sense. At least the idea of a psychopathic woman using her child as a lever to extract financial support from a man is logically coherent. Getting someone pregnant just to ruin their life is pure sadism. What gain is there?

nearwildheaven describes being a divorced dad as “all the fun with none of the responsibility”, except the exact opposite is true. 1) being a divorced father is a massive contingent liability and 2) not in any way inherently more fun.

You may as well ask if thrill killing really ever happens.

This is the exact opposite of my observation.

As for stepfathers adopting the kids, I have seen it many, many times where he was all too happy to sign the relinquishment papers solely so he would no longer have to pay child support. :mad: And these aren’t limited to men who never saw the child in the first place, or only had very limited contact with them. It’s not uncommon for the kids to have lived with him for 10 years or more, although in these cases, he probably wasn’t EVER interested in them and that’s a major reason why the marriage failed, and the kids didn’t want to have anything to do with him anyway. Honestly, if the couple divorced when the kids were preschoolers, it’s almost a guarantee that the main reason was because he couldn’t cope with parenthood, and that’s why they split up.

BTW, I like that unwritten rule that stepparents should never adopt kids until they have been married for at least 5 years. Not together, but married. This also applies to stepmothers, and families where the other parent is deceased.

One other thing. If a man says he didn’t see the divorce coming, or says “We grew apart”, it’s also a guarantee that he treated his wife like crap for many years, and didn’t care about anything except having a live-in maid and sex partner. When I was growing up in the 1970s, divorces really WERE almost always entirely the husband’s fault, so that’s colored my views ever since.

Well, something has certainly colored your…“views”, did you call them?

I cannot make a lick of sense of what the OP is talking about. :confused:

Are you saying you commonly associate with men who plan to have kids only to abandon them and their mother? If so, you should find a better circle of friends to associate with.

What are you* really* asking?

That’s what it seems like. To answer the OP, I have never heard of such a sociopathic thing, even from my “less enlightened” male compatriots. It is an entirely bizarre set of motivations and actions.

Sure it is.

You might want to get your observation equipment checked.

My thoughts on the OP in a nutshell. Maybe OP has been watching too much TV, cos his post sounds like the convoluted plotline of a Criminal Minds episode or something.

Are you seriously saying that childless single college-age men want to have babies with women they don’t care for, so they can have more fun and less responsibility?

Of course not! Like I said, when I was in college, I worked with several men who repeatedly said they planned to do exactly this. I haven’t encountered that kind of thing since, but sadly, I don’t think they were kidding.

This was prompted by a board I saw yesterday where a bunch of women were all saying things like “My ex-husband said he’d co-parent, but he didn’t, and he didn’t even support the kids financially while he lived with us, and he isn’t interested in the kids now and they say they don’t want to see him anyway”, etc.