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Topic : 02/27 Forced to be a Deadbeat Dad?

Number of Replies: 878
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Created on : Monday, February 23, 2009, 04:56:25 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Are deadbeat dads actually dead broke dads? As the American economystruggles, men comprise 82 percent of the recent layoffs. In childsupport cases, are men and women treated equally in the courts or arethese laws out of touch with today's economy? Bill says he could beforced to be a deadbeat dad. He wants to leave his current high-payingjob to become a teacher and spend more time with his children, butworries he won't be able to pay his current child support payments.Would it be fair to consider sending him to jail for trying to be abetter father? Next, former NBA star Jason Caffey used to make $5million a year but says he now has trouble paying the amount of childsupport he owes for his 10 children. He allegedly owes hundreds ofthousands of dollars, and there's an order out for his arrest. Why doesJason say he has been treated unfairly? An attorney for one of thewomen makes Jason an offer. Will he accept the deal? Then, Bret andJennifer say they struggle to keep up with the child support paymentsowed to his ex-wife. Jennifer says her family is suffering. Mel Feit,director of the National Center for Men and Lis Wiehl, legal analystand author, weigh in on these stories and engage in a heated debate.Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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February 27, 2009, 8:26 am CST


I am a step mom of a 4 year old boy. I love him like he is my own and would not take him back for anything but....his mom is the most selfish irresponsible person I know. She only wants money and has told my husband repeatadly that he should just kill himself and all he is to her is a sperm donor. She does have twins by another man that she admittidly says she will not be marrying. Although their son is calling him dad and we have to correct him but of course he doesn't understand what he is doing wrong.


My huband has never done anything to that little boy but try and be the best father he can. Unfortunately all she has ever done is make it as hard as possible. We just got through the courts about visitation and child-support in the last year and they take waaaayyy too much money out of his check every two weeks. The courts could care less and have told us that. They threaten to take away his license and send him to jail if he doesn't pay every dime of the money. I know for a fact that she has nothing put away for his son and spends the money only on herself. We on the otherhand have a piggy bank for him, a savings account, and money such as tax refunds go in his account because we believe that that money is his not ours.


My solution- make mothers be accountable for their actions too. Why should a man who wants nothing but the best for his child and has always given him that be burdoned with almost all the financial responsibilty because the mom wants to do nothing? I believe since they are both capable people then we should have joint custody and not be required to pay her anything. I also think that if we have no other choice ut to pay, which we don't, then we should be able to look at what she is spending the money on and if any of it is not spent on his son then we can take her back to court for the money she is blowing on herself. Accountability is my biggest thing because she chose not to show up for court the first time because she didn't feel like it and yet got no punishment.

February 27, 2009, 8:33 am CST

The other side of the pancake

Following a lengthy separation, my ex-wife and myself chose to get a divorce in 1994. I knew it was her intention to get married again and I personally wasnt concerned because our marriage was over. Here is what chafed me:

1) As a mother she didn't know as still fails to remember her own sons proper birthday.
2) During the divorce proceeding, she used a therapist to trump up a charge that I had frightened my son so I would be denied any visitation or any right to see my son, when we had discovered during this proceeding that the reason why he was seeing the therapist was because he had been molested in his own home.
3) Her lawyer, even after this evidence was produced, continued to harp on finance and money and dismissed any issues concerning what was best for our son. At one particular moment during this hearing a statement was made that our son was treated like property by my ex-wife and her lawyer and the judge agreed. Her lawyer objected, stating that he (the judge) had made up his mind and the judge had to remind her lawyer that, that was his job.

Even though my son is now 19, and the day he graduated was the last month I had court ordered child support, it was paid up to date. It continued to be an issue or bone of contention,  since the amount of support was over 300 a month and it showed me in arrears the moment the next month turned over. My name was reported to the federal government, and I was denied getting a passport. Since my name went on this listing even though the pay was deducted, I was put on a deadbeat dads list which prevented me from ever getting a federal job even though I was otherwise qualified.

This stigma needs to be changed and the laws regarding this need to be reviewed. I know there are a lot of deadbeat parents who fail to recognize their responsibilities, but what about the other parents who hold the children hostage and alienate children from the love of their other parent?

February 27, 2009, 8:34 am CST

02/27 Fathers and Finance

I married a man who fathered a child  with his previous wife and have seen first hand how the courts give preference to the biological mother.  Even though my husband paid his child support without missing a single payment, there was little he could do if/when is ex decided he couldn't see his daughter on his weekend.  There also was nothing he could do to make sure that the money given to his ex for child support was spent on the child.  We watched the money disappear, not on summer camps, after school acidities, hobbies or the like, but instead watched as "the ex" took vacations to Vegas and other warm destinations without the daughter and often expected us to provide the childcare while she was away.   She would often hit us up for more money to pay for clothes, but she always found the money to take her own, personal vacations.    I think the system is broken.    Somehow, all monies given for children need to be accounted for and spent on the children!  Clothing, food, education, extracurricular activities, etc,  are needed to raise a happy, healthy, well-rounded individual.  Vacations for parents are not!  If a father did this, he would be negatively labeled.   However, because it has been done by the single parent mother, she is labeled the victim and is given a pass.   As a sidenote,   the daughter is now 20 years old and has fallen into the "always a victim" role like her mother and doesn't take responsibility for much of her choices.

February 27, 2009, 8:42 am CST

Financial Terrorism

I'm a perfect example of what this show is about. - a singe father fighting an endless and costly battle to be an equal parent for my two young boys against a "family court" system that has had an extreme bias against me and done turned a deaf ear as my ex has played a successful strategy of driving me into financial ruin, offering me no options other than to declare bankruptcy and lose my home or to just walk away in disgust.

My ex and divorced last April after a very costly divorce.  She went through no fewer than four attorneys in a year, finding despicable attorneys who did things such as showing her a spy catalog and where to buy a wire, and then instructing her to wear it in her bra and to try to get into a fight with me so she could call the police on me.

The divorce ended last April by agreement but only after months of financial and other terrorism against me.  This included my ex filing a motion in court to freeze all of my assets and a judge who inexplicably ordered that I could pay for thing such as my alarm system ,but not my mortgage or credit cards for a period of three months and this destroyed my credit ratings.  All my credit cards went into default and my home was almost foreclosed - this is the condition under which I was forced to sign the agreement or be left in the street. 

During one hearing, a judge openly admitted that she "didn't have the luxury of a financial affidavit from either party" and yet still issued a devastating financial ruling against me with absolutely no evidence of any kind in regards to our respective financial conditions!

My ex agreed to joint physical custody as part of the agreement  - a condition the court ruled was in the boys best interests and which was enacted back on October 2007.

My ex walked away from the divorce with over $120,000 in cash, no martial debt, child support and has since lived in two luxury apartments - the current one bigger than our home, been able to find great full time work and is now pursuing her *second* Master degree.

I've was left devastated and struggling to find work as an 45 year old former executive in a declining job market.

This past September and right after I informed my ex that I would have trouble meeting child support for the first time since I couldn't find work and "could we work something out", she ran into court late on a Friday afternoon with an Ex Parte motion seeking full custody of the children.  Even her own attorney was so disgusted by this, she fired my ex as a client.

The court, having absolutely no third evidence backing evidence of any kind in support of her allegations and motion, granted it!  My 4 and 7 year old boys were suddenly ripped out of my hands and for over FOUR MONTHS prevented from reasonable time with their father or to even see thier grandparents - a wonderful 74 year woman from Poland who had been with them almost every day of their lives and their loving 77 year old grandfather from German who is suffering from cancer.

The court didn't care about this or the devastating emotional impact this had on my boys - who thought their grandparents had died.

Long story short - this Ex Parte motion to date has cost well over $45,000 - we had a disasterous Guardian Ad Litem who seems more interested in pursing his own biased agenda than represneting the best interests of my boys - who he has seen ONCE over the papst six months, yet billed over $16,000 on his own.

The grandparents are STILL limited in their inaction with the grandkids even though they have been found guilty of nothing - trampling theier civil rights and impacting their health.

And I now face either paying the GAL's fees or losing my home of the life insurance I established for my chidlren - because once again, the courts are deaf to the financial costs and obvious financial terrorism and harassment as a strategy to achieve their means.  SIX MONTHS over a lie to the court which ripped children from a stable enivironment where they flrouish, to a condition now where they are suffering obvious emotion harm and doing poorly in in school - while everyone looks away and lectures me on what is "in the best interests of my children."

Its beyond despicable.

February 27, 2009, 8:45 am CST

Why cant support be administed locally, but non-payment be federal offense?

My wifes ex now owes about 12 grand in back support now. Nov 27 2008 he finally had his license suspended. We now have a court date in April, then he will be almost 13 grand plus behind. He works under the table for his dad. Has had spotty employment record. 2008 he was only 5.9 percent compliant.


I work in a different county than I live. Co workers I talk to say that in my work county, he would  have already been arrested and put in jail. My wife was told on the phone that her ex couldnt make any money in jail by our county.


It just seems to me, that within  a state, local agencies get to dictate different policies and liency. If enforcement and policy was federal, then there would be less flex in the system for failure. Collection could go across state lines easier. Maybe the Honorable President Obama can fix this with all the billions he is spending.

February 27, 2009, 8:48 am CST

listen to me

 i have two sons that pay child support , they both are not making what they were when the order was file one of my sons went to the court house to file the papers showing what he was making , nothing ever came of it , they never lower it but if he got behind they were ready to put him in jail. the other son his x told him one of the kids wasnt his he went to court and told the judge he wanted a dna test . the judge told my son that bye the time you get threw paying support for him he will start looking like u. i was so mad and me are my sons have great jobs so we cant pay for the test and cant hire a lawyer . i worry about my sons and my grandkids all the time we never see them the xs always make excuse. so dr. phil they are two side to every story.
February 27, 2009, 8:51 am CST

Both Sides

I was watching the show today and was a little upset at Dr Phil for talking to the guest about what the courts will do. 

 I have been on both sides of the track.  I have three chiildren of my own and also married a man who has three children.

 My child support was less than $500 per month and is and has been so far behind since the beginning.  It was more costly and more frustrating to continue to fight with Domestic Relations than to just do without it.  I pay for health care, I paid for day care, I paid for every essential that has come across their lives.  We made the decision to have the children but im left feeling guilty because I cannot do more for my children.  Even though its court ordered, the way the courts work is nothing like Dr Phill said, here is the real truth.  They can be up to 12 weeks behind, then at your request and allot of lectures Domestic Relations  will send out a notice to the father, at that time they have 10 days to pay.  IF they pay anything their clock starts all over again, 12 weeks another discouraging and humiliating phone call and they send out a letter exc.

Dont get me wrong even through being a single mom and holding 2 and 3 jobs, my kids were always clothed and fed and had enough love to spare.  BUT they could not do the little things as most kids do, we have NEVER been on a vacation but their father continues to buy cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles.  We very rarely have gone out to eat, went bowling, they have never had a birthday party with friends, just small things that most kids take for granit.  Now my kids are college age and I cannot help them, my daughter has had a job since she was 12 and is working to put money away just to be able to go to college. Thats not fair and its not a good feeling as a mother to watch your baby have to work her whole life just to be able to make it, when she should be out with her friends, going to the movies, or just being a child and he could help if he wanted to.

  On the other side of the tracks, My husband had three kids whom he was active in their life, paid child support and has actually lived on $30.00 a week just to make sure his kids were taken care of.  Almost yearly his ex took him back to court for more child support and won every time, not sure where the money went because he continously bought them clothes, he provided the health care, he paid half of the Dr Bills.  Then when we were just finally digging our way out and the kids were getting older his ex decided to quit her job and have anoher baby.  Since she quit her job he was ordered to pay more support, the baby is not his she is from her present husband.  Where is the fairness in this system?  We decided not to have children together because of this reason.  We knew we could not afford another child and although we both had good jobs, it didnt matter because everytime we would manage to get a raise we would loose the raise plus due to child support. 

  After both stories I want to say that I believe in child support, but not in the system.  I think both fathers and mothers together or not together should support that child both financially, physically and emotionally.  I think SOME mothers and fathers take it to the extreme and leave a bad taste for the rest of us.  But what is the point of a child support order if they dont enforce it?  Whats the point of a child support order when everytime you just start to be able to breath you can end up back in support court?  I know Dr Phil said you should plan for this, but how can you when you just have enough to put food on the table and not enough to put gas in the car?  Nobody expects to be devorced and when they are they dont expect to be taken for every cent they make and everybody thinks that once there is a COURT ORDER it will be followed.

  I was one of the lucky ones who even as a single mother always managed to find jobs where I could have my children with me such as a teachers aide, Day Care employee, school bus driver, and Cosmetologist.  But not all mothers have that luxery and day care alone will eat them alive. 

 Dr Phil, Im asking you to please look into the system and open some eyes.  My children are great children and deserve to have a college education, and if  I would have had the child support that was owed to me I could have atleast given them an education.

February 27, 2009, 8:53 am CST

Money needs to go to the child not the mother!

My husband pays child support every week. He don't deny that he should pay. But I feel that that money should only go toward the child. Thier should be a card or something that gives a detailed description what the money is being used for. In my husbands situation it wasn't his fault that him and his ex split. She actually left state with thier child and he didn't get to see him for three whole months and my husband loves his son so much. But when they went to cort for custody the child was 18 months, so of couse the child didn't have much say in where he lived, but anyways she ended up with custody, a pat on the back pretty much for running off with the child and my husband gets a slap in the face and only gets his child every so often and has to pay her. When in the first place he didn't want any of this to happen. How is it fair that she is the one that completely runs the marriage and he is the one that don't get the child. My husband is my husband, I don't feel as if he should pay for what she wants or needs, its not his place. The only reason why she is in the picture is for the fact of his son and if it wasn't for his son, she wouldn't be getting any money!


Anyways, I am a women and from what I have had to deal with, Just because a man has to pay child support dosn't mean he is a bad father. It seems as if men who pay are looked upon automatically as if they are the one that ruin the marriage or is the bad parent. No, its not like that at all, its just that the mother is the one that gets the child no matter what. The law should change to where both parents should be evaluated first. I love my step son and my husband loves his son, but in no way should my husband give his hard earned money that we need and give it to his ex, so she can spend it on what ever she wants.

February 27, 2009, 9:03 am CST

What does it take to see your kid?

After this show, I really had to get this off my chest. My husband has a son who will be 13 tomorrow, do we get to see him, no. Do we get to tell him happy birthday, no. All because the mother and her father chose not to let it happen. The last time we seen his son was August, 2006 and the last time we spoke to him was October, 2006. When I met my husband in 2004, we got married in 2005, he adopted my daughter and since we have had 2 more children but according to them, they think my husband is a deadbeat dad. He paid over $800 a month in child support, I have every piece of paper from court since the day we met, plus papers from before, she would lie about my husband and me and get away with it, even when we had the proof that she lied, the courts would find her in contempt with not letting us talk to him or see him according to the court papers and the courts never did anything to punish her. When he would get home to his mothers who lived with her parents and niece, all they would do was question him about everything that went on while he was with us, I have a video where we went to one of his basketball games and they lost so, my husband was speaking to his son when out of nowhere, the grandfather comes and jerks him out of my husbands arms, just because he didn't want him to speak to his father. All they did was make us look like horrible people and it was wrong for him to see his father. This was a battle in and out of court since the day my husband and his ex split. We complied by all the court rulings but yet we are the ones that got punished. I stay at home with my kids and my husband is the only one that works and takes care of everything. Finally in the interest of his son, we had to make the hardest decision we had ever been faced to make, we hated to see him hurting and going through what they would put him through after we would take him home, tired of the courts never doing anything they should have done and choose to no longer see him to let him have a life without them interagating him constantly. We hate that decision we had to make but what else can you do when the mother doesn't comply by the courts and the courts do nothing about it. Unfortunately everywhere, the courts 95% of the time side with the mother and father's who are trying there best to make ends meet and who want to see their children and pay their child support are the ones who get screwed. You rarely see a father who gets custody of the kid(s) and the mother has to pay child support. These mother's need to get a grip on life and realize that just because  their marriage didn't work out or they don't like the father that they are punishing their child(ren) also, they chose to lay down in bed with the father and had a child together. Both parents have every right to see their child(ren), especially the ones that do follow the court orders.
February 27, 2009, 9:04 am CST


First of all let me say that I am a BIG fan of Dr. Phil.  Now, I would like to say that this show was one-sided and garbage.  My husband and I are struggling to pay the OUTRAGOUS amount of child support that is being requested of us.  My husband makes $9.00 an hour and is expected to $583.00 a month in child support.  He works 14 hour days when available, and side jobs when he can find them and we still can't make ends meet.  The mother of his 2 kids lives at home with her parents, pays no bills of her own.  Her parents buy all the food, pay her phone bill, and her car insurance.  She works at a factory, 3rd shift making at least $12.00 an hour, yet we are expected to pay $583.00 a month to her.  On top of all of this the condition of the kids is appalling.  My step-daughter, had lice for almost a YEAR AND A HALF, and the mother made excuse after excuse as to why she didn't take care of it.  Everytime we get the kids we have to toss them in the bathtub the moment they get here because the smell of B.O and moldy clothes is toxic.   I completely understand that there are dads out there that should be thrown in jail, because they don't even attempt to try.  But, there are also dads out there that are the best thing that could ever happen to a kid.  But, they are dragged out and beaten by the "ex's" and court system.  My husband did the best he could for 4 years to make the relationship with his ex to work.  But her laziness and lack of motivation drove him to walk away.  Now he is being beaten down by her and "the system".  My husband is a loving, caring and driven man.  But no matter how hard he works, the child support will forever make him poor and broken. We have tried to get the courts to lower the child support, according to the money we make and they have put us off and beat around the bush for almost a year now.  Because of this he is now he in the "red" and they are threating jail time.   How is that going to help??? Hey let 's throw you in jail so you can't work at all, you'll lose your tiny little apartment because you can't pay the rent and we you do get released you'll be even farther behind in your bills.  THAT MAKES ALOT OF SENSE RIGHT??????  I would LOVE to debate this topic futher (trust me I can go on for days) with Dr.Phil and that poor excuse for a women that was on the show today.  But, the funny thing is no matter how hard we push for change in our kids home and health, nobody will listen.  So, here I am letting loose on the message boards hoping that someone will listen and help.  We can't pay our bills no matter how hard we try and we can't get the attention of the system to change the amount.  I want to make it VERY clear that I agree fully with the idea of child support and taking care of the choices you make.  But, I feel that the system today favors women of any type, and beats men down, even the good ones.  So, Dr. Phil ask you what should I do?? I love my step-kids, and I love my husband....but when is enough enough???  We can't feed the kids when we have them and we can hardly keep a roof over their heads, yet my huband is the bad guy??? Please, I would love to hear

your opinion and any advice you have.  With all the respect in the world...Rene.

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