Are Deadbeat Dads Always Evil? One Man's Story About Being One

Are Deadbeat Dads Always Evil? One Man's Story About Being One

So, lots of people will says deadbeat dads are evil and terrible...and I thought so to, but I ended up finding this fascinating story posted on the Good Men Project by one:

How I Became a Deadbeat Dad

His story is really complicated and so I chose two paragraphs that got to the point and shortened them a bit:

"I was shattered, broken, beaten down. An attorney friend suggested I go to trial pro se, since I couldn’t get a worse deal either way, and he was probably right. There was only one catch—I would be imputed with income I didn’t have and pay more child support than I could afford. Thinking of the alternative, which could mean six months of an expensive domestic violence program that would mark me as admitting guilt for something I never did and possibly compromise my parenting time permanently, I signed.

Of course, being broke and unemployed, it didn’t take long for arrears to start to build, and it took me some time before I could start paying in full, by which time I was already months behind. My meager bank accounts were seized in the dead of night, I have been threatened by the child support agency, and my credit was reported to all national agencies. There’s a hold on passport renewal with the State Department, my tax returns are subject to seizure, and I could be jailed or have my licenses seized at any time. Given that I am also paying off student loans, becoming “current” will be a rather painful process. Although it’s not a pleasant place to be, at least I know that I am merely one of millions in the same situation, and many have it a lot worse than I do.

Yes, it sounds like an awful mistake, but to me, the time with my kids was worth it. They can throw me in jail, make a pariah out of me, or proclaim me a worthless deadbeat to the entire world, but I am not in the least bit ashamed—my conscience is clear."

So, is his story and struggling to pay for child support really that common like how he says? I wanted to research to see, so I ended up finding this:

When Child Support Is Due, Even the Poor Find Little Mercy


And this says (after I shortened a lot of it):

"But because the laws made little effort to differentiate between the wealthy and the out-of-work and incarcerated, the laws have produced consequences for poor men that are increasingly vexing local and national policy makers.

Low-income men are accumulating enormous debts. About 70 percent of the debt is owed by men who earn $10,000 a year or less, or have no recorded wage earnings at all, according to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. Less than 4 percent is owed by men with incomes of more than $40,000.

And the poorer men are getting caught in a vicious circle. Their debts have become obstacles to getting licenses for jobs to help them produce wages to pay down the debts.

Recent research by the Urban Institute, a left-of-center think tank in Washington, found that aggressive collection of debts played a crucial role in pushing low-income black men ages 25 to 34 out of lawful employment, the very opposite effect policy makers might have hoped for."


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  • Excuses. Time to man up and stop blaming circumstances

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