Spinoff from child support thread

Question: Has anyone here ever found out that their SO abandoned a child or a family? I’m not talking about someone who put a baby up for adoption (unless they didn’t tell you) or even someone who’s prohibited from seeing their children, whether it’s justified or not.

I always hear about these women raising kids on their own, with no involvement from the father even though she knows who he is. Where do all these men go, anyway? I’m sure a lot of them end up incarcerated, but certainly not all of them.

A while back, I posted this question on 3 different message boards, and only got one response. Most of the replies were along the lines of “My husband’s ex-wife wouldn’t let him see the kids, and had no good reason for it” which wasn’t what I was looking for.

My ex-husband had four children by two previous marriages before I came along. He was seeing only the youngest when we met, and soon enough, he had a fight with Ex-wife #2 and “wasn’t allowed” anymore.

(Hello, young Dung Beetle! Those reddish, flag-like objects smacking you in the face mean something!)

When our marriage broke up, he continued to see our son through supervised visitation, but with a bit of effort on his part, he could have had more. IMO, he abandoned all his children.

I was with a guy for a little while who had one daughter I knew about and was actually a really good dad to her. Her mom had died, so he took care of her on his own. Then I found out he had 3 other kids who he paid child support for (garnishment) but never saw. He said the moms wouldn’t let him, but that was bullshit. He could have gotten visitation through the courts. And he claimed one of them wasn’t even really his but he was just declared the father by default because he was out of town and didn’t get the notice about the paternity test, blah blah blah whatever. Anyway, I quit seeing him when I found this out (he was annoying anyway). Weird how he was a good dad to the one kid and deadbeat to the others.

Did you mean to put this in the Pit, which is the forum for people to get angry at things?

I could see putting it here to allow posters to vent, but you’re also pretty new, so you might’ve just put it in the wrong forum.

My (half-)sister’s Dad did abandon her after he and my Mom got divorced. He was a medium-rank construction worker and so by my calculations the child support was almost 1/3 of his pay, pre-tax, so that probably factored into the decision to leave the state with no way to contact him. I know I would not have been able to live on that amount of take home pay, and my standards are pretty low.

On the other hand, my Dad’s child support to my mom was less than half of what my sister’s was, and that included my brother, and my Dad made more than my sister’s dad did. I think, that while on the low side of fair, that it was much better than an onerous exaction that causes you to make no payments at all.

Then again, it did have the positive benefit of not having to interact with my sister’s dad once he disappeared. I wouldn’t say he was a bad person, but he was so stupid and ignorant that he was uncomfortable to interact with.

My younger brother walked out on his wife & kids, got remarried, and has never seen his children since then. Once the kids were adults they got in touch with my Mom and talk to her on a regular basis, but have never wanted to get in touch with their father.

Moved to MPSIMS.

I have rarely encountered a sentence that summed up a relationship so succinctly and yet so evocatively. The whole arc, from start to finish, in thirteen words. Awesome.


My father’s father walked out on his family. I don’t know the details but apparently there was only a few phone calls to the kids before thier mother remarried, and then nothing. You’d think he’d be at least curious.

I’m reading the OP differently.

And on re-reading read it rong.

My cousin’s wife walked out on their marriage and kids. Left him to raise the two kids himself, saying “this just isn’t what I want for myself”. It was many years before she got back in touch.


Did he sue her for back child support?

My cleaning lady is in the middle of being left. It is a sad story.

Three years ago, she was married with two young kids. Her husband and her were living from (small) paycheck to paycheck. He washed dishes at restaurants, she cleaned houses. Her husband handled the finances. He was too proud to admit he couldn’t make ends meet, and he had not paid rent for a while without telling her. It was a big surprise for her when they got evicted. She and the kids moved in with her mom in a one bedroom apartment. She had no clue how to get an income, and somehow he failed to find them another place to rent. (they didn’t qualify for subsidized housing due to having gone bankrupt in the past). This went on for almost two years, always with a solution just around the corner but never quite materializing. It was not quite clear where the husband lived that time, he said " with friends" in another town he was working or looking for work. He did babysit the kids occasionally during that time. Whenever it seemed like the woman would get a house, the man tried to make up with her so they could move in. When the last opportunity went sour, the husband did not even try anymore to hide that he had been staying with other women. They are now heading for a divorce, as soon as the woman has rented a place for herself with the help of her eldest son (she has one son of 18 and two kids of six and four years old). Then she can go on welfare and divorce him. He tries to save face by saying she has been holding him back and now he can finally be free.

I think he was as clueless as she was in how to get a home and his finances in order, but that unlike her he was too proud to admit it and seek help. All he knew to find a place and not to be homeless was to hook up with other women.

You’d think that such a case could not be possible in nanny state Netherlands, but it is. Somehow this family has fallen through the cracks.

My family has had problems with women showing up declaring one of my brothers-in-law or cousins was the father of their child(ren) and demanding money. Someone has to waste time explaining that sperm hitting a vagina is not the same as a marriage contract.

There’s a news story making the rounds about a Pennsylvania woman who left one day without a word to her family, while her kids were in school, to become a vagrant in Florida, and who just resurfaced after 11 years. It’s a bit extreme – she disappeared completely and was eventually declared legally dead – but I’m not sure it would be newsworthy if it was a father who disappeared like that.

Your jurisdiction must have very different child support rules than mine. Round here it is as simple as ‘sperm hitting a vagina’ - if you’re the biological father then you’re up for child support until the kid hits 18.

He may be. It sounds like the women are trying to get money from other family members. Good luck with that. Everyone who isn’t the father can make whatever rules they like.

My father didn’t abandon us, but there were long gaps between visits sometimes. And no support ever. Now that I’m older, I wonder wtf he told his girlfriends.

Laws were different then. So even though we did see him and his family occasionally, there was no easy recourse for my mother to get support or set up a regular visit schedule. And really, why should we be visiting if he were high?

My own personal rule when I was younger was to never date someone with a kid. Now that I’m older, I would be very cautious about dating guys with kids if I dated.

No stories about me or my husband, but I know of many abandonment situations, including several in my own family. A cousin who marries, has a kid, then leaves… serially. A cousin whose baby-daddy is in prison for murder. An ex-sister-in-law who joined a cult and abandoned her kids. My husband’s biological grandfather disappeared completely after his grandmother divorced him.

After my divorce I have always felt the way I handled it was one of the proud points in my life. I worled two jobs, kept them in the same house and put them trhough college. I bought my clothes from the good will and a big date for me wa a mvie and a $25.00 dinner for about 15 years. I put enough away to pay for their weddings and they all turned out great. I feel it made a man out of me for the first time in 40 years being an overgrown kid.