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How Child Support Can Improve and What My Child Is Worth


Child support here in America is just one more of the systems we have in place that are meant to help and often don't. I first filed for child support when my oldest was 3 and my youngest was 18 months old. It was pretty easy, as the county system will do all the legal paperwork in court for you. Then if your child's other parent won't pay voluntarily, they will garnish their wages for you. This is of course assuming that the other parent works for an employer, and/or keeps a job long enough to collect anything. After the legal and financial paperwork came back, I was told that my children were only worth a whopping $130.00 a month. That's funny considering it cost me more than that in food alone for them a month. I was shocked. I have a close friend who has three girls by the same dad, and gets $700 a month for them! How are my children worth so much less than her three girls?

Well, what I didn't realize is this. It doesn't matter the "actual" cost of raising children, or the cost of living in the area you live with the children. It only matters how much the other parent makes, minus if they have any other new children, minus them being the sole supporter of their new family. After all that, your children get the crumbs that are left. It doesn't matter if your children are the first fruits of your ex's loins, he can go on having more kids and it just takes away from the children he left you with. And God forbid he tries to beat the system by becoming solely self-employed, becoming a full-time student, or changing jobs so frequently that they can't catch up to him fast enough to take your child support. In those cases, you are left with getting a check once a year if they can intercept a tax refund on your behalf. And that's if he actually does his taxes and doesn't owe the IRS instead.

How I Think the Child Support System Can Improve

Needless to say, the way they calculate how much child support each non-custodial parent should pay needs an overhaul. How is it fair to suggest that some children are more valuable than others? Is there anywhere in the U.S. that $130/month is exactly half of what it really costs to raise two small boys? I think not. The truth here is that the class system is alive and well and does infect our government systems. I have a few suggestions for the system and here they are.

1. Start with a flat rate (based on current inflation) of how much it costs to raise a single child based on age. We all know that small children cost more so I'm fine with a tiered rate by age. Include factors like, a mom with 1-2 kids will need 2 bedrooms, a mom with 3-4 kids will need a three bedroom place and so on. Rent does go up based on the amount of space needed to live.

2. Support for the first or any other child should not be reduced by the parent having more children. How does having more children and starting more families reduce the amount it costs to raise a child? It doesn't. Each successive child will add to the costs of raising a family, and the parent who insist on having more children should be prepared to pay for it. Maybe more people would not have as many children spread all over the country if they knew they would actually have to pay for them, instead of leaving their family to live off of welfare programs.

3. If the non-custodial parent is not able to pay the full amount of child support that has been determined they owe, garnish a partial amount and let the rest mount up in back pay owed with interest. For instance, Parent owes $500/month for two children from first family (this makes $250 for each child). He has 2 children in his next family that he still lives with and his financials show that he can only pay $300/month. The state should garnish the $300/month and $200/month would add up as back pay due, with interest. There are some major benefits to this kind of system. The first two children are worth the same amount of money regardless if daddy chooses not to get a job, or fails to get a decent job, or whatever other excuses make some people's children worth more than others. Secondly, don't you think this guy is going to start thinking, "wow, if I leave this next family, I'll have to pay $500/month for those next two kids too." That will be $1000/month just paying for his kids, whether he has a good job or not. The back pay will add up and up and someday his kids will have a college fund, cause this guy will be paying on his child support long after the kids are 18, unless he is smart enough to get a really good job and pay his child support. This system makes all the kids equal recipients to daddy's money. Plus it will motivate dead-beat dads to be responsible to working, and maybe stick with one of the families they create instead of spreading seed with no consequences.

The current system does add up back pay on unpaid child support with interest. But it puts no official value on the child itself other than through the lens of the status of the parent that owes. So, like me, my children are worth only $130/month because my ex has a new family and only works a minimum wage job. It doesn't matter that I work my butt off at a job that pays about $20/hr. (which I have to do to support us properly) because the child support isn't set at the level that the children deserve to be safe, fed, and clothed. It is set at whatever the other parent can afford after all their expenses and new family are taken care of, no matter how small the amount is. If I chose to work a minimum wage job, we would have to live on welfare of some sort, because $130/month sure isn't gonna make a drop in our expenses. How is this fair? How is this considered support? Does this make sense to you?

4. Do not allow a ratio of 50/50. This is another problem created by the current system, the idea of credit for visitation. If you can split the time spent with the child 50/50, then technically neither parent can be held responsible for support because they are sharing expenses by having the child in their home half the time. This creates wars within families. Fights for tax credits, fights over visiting times, fights to get public benefits like Medical or Healthy Families. Not to mention interesting situations with the kids' school and lessened accountability between school and home when the school doesn't know which parent to call that will get things done. The child can start to feel like a pawn, especially as they get older and become aware of the issues surrounding their care. Some kids start using their split families to their advantage. Miscommunication between two homes can make some significant loopholes for kids looking for excuses. Stealing, sneaking out, not completing homework, and cutting school are common behaviors in kids with split families, mostly due to lack of accountability and communication between the two original parents.

One parent usually is more in charge of a child naturally anyway. One parent usually has more room in their home for the child, and one usually has more time. Assigning a ratio that allows one parent to really care for the child and the other to "support" the child makes more sense. It will also curtail many of the situations I described above, and give the child a sense of belonging to one home or the other. It will also stop arguments about how to claim the kid for benefits and taxes. We all know that some visitation does happen, or its completely absent. Give the non-custodial parent 25% credit toward the standard amount set if they have a visitation schedule. If no schedule at all is set or they live to far away to have regular visits, then they get no credit. If they really want to be involved with theirchild, they should just do it, and stop worrying about how much their visitation with your kid will cut down their support payments and just be the best parent they can be.

Now doesn't that sound ideal! Custodial parents unite for a fair child support system!! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

Oh sorry, I drifted off to my dream world again. Hehehe.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


SanXuary on June 14, 2015:

I see it the other way. The problem is there is no incentive in the system to allow visitation or joint custody. Every child needs support but there is no limit on what they can take if the court chooses to do so. The court can be absolutely bias and is towards men to the point of destroying their lives. In most cases no amount is ever enough and 50-50 is not the proper equation in determining the future of the non-custodial parent. Its not about what the child is worth, but how can we insure the non-custodial is kept in debtors prison. What you have written and I assume you our a female, that problem is 75 percent worst. 75 percent of women do not pay any support. You our forced to play the system by the system. What financial incentive would a person need to work like a slave to only give you everything the person makes. Apparently that person only exist to live in poverty to meet the needs of the custodial parent. There is no proof that it even goes to the child and none has to be given. If your ex was fantastically rich the amount they can charge that person has no limitations and can not even be included in taxes at the end of the year. The system is broken and needs reformed badly.

divorcemagazine on May 09, 2013:

You must be a real thinker to be able to write such a great quality article like this. I agree with many of your views. I would like to share more information related that ...

Heather on June 13, 2012:

You had me until "No 50/50". That is so unfair to the kids to make their parenting time be solely about money. I told my husband (we have 3 young boys) that if we ever split, it WILL be 50/50 because a father is just too important. But my husband is an amazing dad and provider and if we split, I know he would continue to care for them.

Scroll to Continue

ALL my girlfriends who have deadbeat dad problems started with deadbeat BOYFRIEND problems!! They chose the loser in the first place and now they think they deserve to enjoy some special victim status for being a "single-mom". Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. As long as we keep sheltering young people from the consequences of their bad decisions (with entitlements that discourage marriage and 2 parent households) they will keep making bad decisions.

I have an idea... let's automatically award custody to the parent who doesn't pay. Then he/she is forced to figure out how to provide for the kids and raise them on an $800 factory salary. And then we'll see if the mom steps up, gets a job, and sends $700/mos. You don't like that idea very much, I am guessing. Because there is a benefit to physical custody that the non-custodial parent will NEVER enjoy. You HAVE your kids. If you told me tomorrow that I could only see my kids every-other-weekend from now until they turned 18 and for that privilege I had to pay $700/mos.... well you wouldn't get anything because I would be in jail. I would kill you and I would be in jail. That simple. Boy put in those terms I just got chills. Put the shoe on the other foot and things all of a sudden aren't so simple.

guest on May 22, 2012:

It's going to be a messy issue for both sides with abuses on both sides until capitalism dies off or is heavily socialized.

There used to be a time when one man working a normal job could support a whole family, right? Now it tends to take two parents just to pay for kids, and even then most families are poor as dirt.

You can blame the man, you can blame the child support system, or you can blame greed and corruption for making it hard to survive with or without kids in the first place.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on April 13, 2012:

@ women take advantage of the system. Uh-hem. You obviously missed the point of this hub, which was to point out the flaws of the current child support system, and to provide some suggestions as to how to fix it, and also to illuminate the fact that it doesn't matter whose body the child came out of, all parents need to be responsible. You also did not read the comments discussing the material, and you also missed the part where I also live in California, and I was working a job that paid $20+ an hour to support my kids all by myself. You know, if being a martyr and working 3 jobs just to support your children all by yourself is making you so angry, maybe you should try to get some child support...

women take advantage of the system on April 13, 2012:

i am a single mother living in california with my son, and living cost here is the highest. you know what i did?


i dont understand why women complain about how they need money, and they THINK THEIR EX DESERVES to pay them. nobody forced you to have children, and if you cant take care of them then give them up! or shut up! i see men getting takeen advantage every day for this. divorces, one night stands, etc.



Reds Sweets from Detroit, Michigan on February 23, 2012:

I have seen both sides of this as well. I have watched a number of men suffer because 50% of their paychecks were being taken for child support. On a factory salary, that left them with only $800 a month left over. That is not enough for rent, gas, food, or any other basic life necessity. It is sad.

However, as the mother of two wonderful children, who has received a total of $400 in child support over the past 7 years, I understand the pain. I told him when we split, "be a good father and I will tell the court not to collect from you." (The court will do that here in MI)

At first he would visit the kids 1 day a month, if I would take them to him and pick them up. Then he decided once a year would be good enough. Finally, he decided he would move, leave no forwarding anything and that was that. The kids have not received a call, a letter, or any sign of their father's existence in over 3 yrs.

I don't expect to ever see a dime from him. We get on fine without him. Although, if they ever do find him, I hope they crush every last cent out of him til the day he dies.

It is not fair that I have had to bare the sole burden of supporting our kids, because he couldn't keep it in his pants... I may seem bitter, but I assure you, I couldn't care less about having to be the sole provider for my kids. I will continue to work my fingers to the bone so they can have everything they NEED.

The thing I am bitter about is the nerve he had to walk away from those sweet, innocent children and never look back. Never care if they live or die. Not care if they have a roof over their heads. Not care if they have food to eat or shoes to wear. Not care that they wonder "will I ever see daddy again." Not care that they cry, hysterically, for him and I am the one who has to console them and make them feel whole.

The State may not ever make him pay, but I'm sure he will get what's coming to him.

Krysta on January 12, 2012:

I have seen many men that have to struggle to make it on their own (and some that can't support themselves at all) because of the ridiculous amounts in CS that the courts deem necessary. The government has no place making these decisions for the parents/children unless it us a case where the custodial parent either requests mediation or is forced to use government assistance. I find it ridiculous that CS is mandated, even when the custodial parent doesn't need/want it.

jlcaudill07 from Michigan on September 01, 2011:

I almost don't even want to comment on this. I never went after my daughter's father. Honestly it was always my view that if I couldn't support us on my own then who was I? My family honestly gets so frustrated with me, seeing the way I live so she can benefit. I'm the talk of the town with my talking sneakers and worn out oversized clothes. But, I do it because if I can't support my creation something I chose to bore into this world, what is she going to learn from me. I know I know this is not always the case. I bet half you ladies are screaming mad right now. I'm sorry, well kind of. I'm not sorry I work 2 jobs to support my daughter and home.

I recently started dating a guy who found out he has a daughter. They had to test 7 different men! She is a month younger than mine. Because, of the amount he has to pay which isn't a lot but is to a single man working a regular factory job. He is losing everything, his apartment, his car, he doesn't eat, his clothes are worse than mine. All of that for a Mom who doesn't even spend the money on the child and refuses the father parenting time. I could write a Hub about just this so I'll stop here.

I'm sorry if I offended you but, your ex shouldn't go through heck to pay you. They take as much as they can without running down the way the man is living to much. If they take more is it worth it to you for your sons to see their father in that state?

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on January 06, 2011:

It is true that there are lazy welfare mom's out there who take the kids and run, then live off the system till the kids are 18. People are always taking advantage of what they percieve to be free. It's sad that some people are willing to hurt others in the first place. There are cases where the dad's are getting punished and don't have enough resources for their own second family. But remember, there are single dad's out there with primary responsibility for the children, and it is imperative that the "system" works correctly and fairly if anyone's children are to be benefitted, no matter who they live with.

my opinion on January 06, 2011:

Child support should be paid, but the man should not be taken advantage of either. There are women who get bored rip the family apart and finds her a new family and wants dad to pay for it. Women want to equality? They want full control at dad's expense. Now days women who do get jobs because they request it, run around on their husbands. Women should be accountable for their actions.

Trouble's the nam on October 29, 2010:

Seriously I love your thoughts and think you should put them into action. I have two children with my ex, and he couldn't even be bothered to pay $56 a week for them. I have chased him clear across the country to pay for his kids.

Child support was going to lower his payments at one point to $25 a month because they said he wasn't working I told them he was, then they said I had to have proof. I was on a plane faster than they could blink, and I took a picture of him in uniform getting into his work truck. Walked into the court and showed them. Needless to say they never lowered it.

I have spent thousands of hours on the phone with child support enforcement, only to get nowhere fast. Every time they would bring him into court for non payment he would hand them $100 and sign a piece of paper saying I promise I will pay. They would let him go without penatlys, only to repeat the process in two months.

I have even been told when he didn't show up to court there was nothing they could do about it, because he lived out of state. However when he decided to visit his family and though he could come talk to me and maybe sew his wild oats again. I had the sherif come and arrest him in my kitchen on a capius for not showing up in court. The judge locked him up for the weekend until he paid me 1/3 of his arrears. Needless to say he never came back around. I do have to say it was sweet justice though! I would definatley do it again if given the chance.

Currently the deadbeat owes me over $15000.00 The courts finally started garnishing his wages only to have him up and move clear across the country again. I gave child support enforcement all the information as I learned it... just like the last time. Only this time he decided he had post tramatic stress from his divorce. He currently has custody of his other four other children (including the one that wasn't his from when his wife cheated on him). Now he's on some sort of assistance (which I haven't been able to find out if it is Social security or welfare yet) and I am being told by child support enforcement there is nothing I can do to collect. It would be against the law for child support enforcement to have a court order him to get off his lazy butt and even look for a job.

As a result I have not seen a dime from him in over a year. He hasn't even filed his taxes for the last five years because he knows they would take them. I reported him to the IRS, who apparently also gets paid to sit around and have tea and crumpets with each other. What a lovely system we have! I am losing my mind over this whole situation, and I feel as if the government and all there programs don't do any good unless you plan on doing nothing with your life. I am not eligible for any type of assistance because I have to much income according to them, but I struggle to stay afloat. While he sits back and collects our tax dollars! It makes me enraged at how this system really is.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on October 07, 2010:

@zoe. Um, the state doesn't get any cut of child support payments if that's what you are inferring. Secondly, it's obvious that you have no children, otherwise you wouldn't suggest calously that you shouldn't have kids unless you can care for them all by yourself. Ever hear the saying, "there's no good time financially to have children"? So I'm assuming with your line of logic, that you intend on having your own career that pays more than $50,000 a year. That you will be able to afford health care insurance payments, diapers and daycare costs all on your own; with no government help (i.e. welfare, cash aid, food stamps, medi-cal, or govt. subsidies for childcare costs). That you will also have a college fund all ready to go, and foresee the future so that you can pick a man that will never cheat on you, beat you, sexually abuse your babies, or just do drugs till you have nothing, and then you will make the responsible decision and command your body to produce a child at the appropriate time???? WOW, if it were that easy to plan our own lives, don't you think EVERYONE would do it that way? BTW, the govt. has a huge interest in making the dad's pay, because it helps to prevent moms and their kids from ENDING UP ON WELFARE! You know, where the govt. has to be the dad, instead of the real dad taking responsibility for his "fruit". And another thing, there are lots of mom's who never use the system, and don't go after these losers. The govt. doesn't usually step in and force payment from the non-custodial party unless the custodial party applies for welfare.

Hope you found this info helpful; have a nice day, and don't forget to pick up your free condoms from a govt. subsidized "family planning" facility on your way to your boyfriends house!

zoe on October 06, 2010:

the way I see it (and I'm female, btw), the state doesn't have any business meddling in a family's affairs, especially when it's in the state's best interests to charge exorbitant amounts for it because they get paid to collect. Child support should be an issue between the parents only, no gov't involved. If you can't take care of them on your own, don't have them; condoms exist for a reason.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on June 28, 2010:

Wow coolmompublishing, your ex sounds like a real piece of work. Obviously he is a very selfish person, and maybe even narcissistic. It sounds like you haven't actaully filed for support yet, and you should file with your county right away. You don't have to report to him just to get some money. Let the county deal with him, so you don't have to deal with his insane selfishness. Sounds like he'll do anything so he doesn't have to pay. But putting the kid in perpetual daycare, and making you travel long hours is just rediculous. The courts will see through him in a second.

coolmompublishing from Georgia on June 28, 2010:

I really appreciated this hub. You pose some provocative points.

I'm currently going through a very complicated child support situation, and I have so many conflicting thoughts about the whole system. When he found out I was pregnant, my ex told me I had to choose him or the baby after 5 years of dating. He also said that he didn't want to be responsible for taking care of me while I was pregnant, and I didn't have anyone else in case of emergencies, so I broke my lease and moved back with my family when I was 3 or 4 months pregnant. He refused to help me pack despite the fact that I was pregnant, but offered to help with the actual move.

Meanwhile, my ex told me he wanted me to figure out some way to get him off the hook for having to raise our child and be financially responsible for him. At first he pressured me to give up the baby for adoption and to consider other "options". When he realized how serious I was about keeping the baby, he wanted me to get my parents to adopt him so that I could still be around him but he wouldn't have to do anything.

Three weeks before I gave birth, he finally started playing nice again and acting supportive and interested in my pregnancy and the baby. He wanted 50/50 custody as soon as possible so that he could try to get out of child support. He wanted me to go back to my old job because they would have taken me back so that I could transition into moving closer to him again to facilitate the 50/50 arrangement. His idea was that I would work an intense 3-4 days back to back while he had the baby and then drive back to my parents until I had enough money to move. The problem is that my old job is 4 hours away, and I that wasn't reasonable for me to do that, especially with a newborn. His idea of 50/50 custody is that he'll put our son in day care because he has on site child care at his job. That means he'll only spend 4 of his waking hours at home every day he's with his dad, and it's questionable how much of those he will actually spend with his father and not at his paternal grandparents' house.

My son will be 5 months this week, and I still haven't found work outside of freelancing because of the recession and the extremely rural area where my family lives. My ex knows this but doesn't care and says I should have moved back sooner. He insists on paying only half of food and diapers no matter what, so when my savings ran out my mom started stepping in for him. Between the two of us, we pay for way more than half of my son's expenses.

As far as child support goes, I believe the way it's calculated is wrong, but for different reasons than those listed in your hubs. My ex makes six figures, and the standard child support in Georgia is 18% but can go as high as 25% in some cases. I can understand my ex's unwillingness to do that because it's exorbitant. But at the same time, he only wants to pay half and basically expects me to keep receipts and records for every purchase or he won't reimburse it. I refuse to be reduced to that, and I'm not telling him every time I or my mom spends $5 on teething medicine or a pack of onesies because he outgrew his old ones. Even though he knows how fast his son is growing out of his clothes, how much food and diapers cost, and how much we go through in a month, he won't give me money for it and I have to ask him or remind every time it's his turn to buy.

The situation being what it is, I don't pity him for having a high child support requirement. While I did start out feeling bad about the fact that he would have to pay so much, I'm coming to a point where it doesn't really bother me. He can afford it, but he'll have to give up his dream of going into semi-retirement at 40. If I can work less or make do with freelancing because of it and keep my son out of day care, that's something you can't put a price tag on.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on June 16, 2010:

@ jbollowed, I am not sure exactly what you are meaning, but I do know that when a judge orders child support, usually custody and visitation have already been settled. They do give dad's credit for how much time they spend with the children, and use that to figure a lower rate the dad has to pay. I like what you said about mom's who abort babies and the dad's have no say. It is really sad that the guy has no rights over the fetus. When the child is born though, the dad can avoid paying child support if he wants by giving up his parental rights. If he doesn't give up his rights, judges do give dad's visitation, and sometimes even full custody, if the mother is not the best parent or caregiver. Then the mom would have to pay child support to the dad. My husband used to get some child support from his kids' mom, because he had physical custody of them!

It's just me from Alaska on June 10, 2010:

The day my ex pays any child support is the day I'll have a heart attack. The Child Support Enforcement Agency is nothing but a big fat joke put in place by a bunch of know nothings who wanted to make themselves feel like they were doing something about "the problem."

jbollowed on May 31, 2010:

I think that with every child support judgement visitation and partial custody should be awarded.

In addition I believe that fathers should have the right to adopt out their children if they do not want them. Case in point, a woman gets knocked up and has an abortion. However, the father wants the child but he has no rights over the fetus. So how is it fair to give the woman the sole right to accept the burden of raising a child or deny it when the father has none.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on January 10, 2010:

Lana, thanks for your comment. I feel for you, that is rediculous what your father is doing. I wish you all the best and pray that the courts see through his selfishness and stick him with an even higher payment instead of lowering it. Now that would be ironic, huh?

Lana on January 10, 2010:

My own father is taking me to court for child support. I am not even worth the ridiculous $25 he should be paying for me, and trust me he makes good money.

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on September 26, 2009:

Sound to me like you need someone to bring this to not only the authorities involved, but the people I sense a radical movement in the works? Maybe cull the people for their stories of non-payment, and over-payment, document them and take it to the media...different towns, different states...

Anyway, just a thought, and no I'm not volunteering lol I have my own crusade to fight ;) but I think someone should take up the gauntlet...

Both your hub, (which was excellent, by the way,) and CRASH's comment have a lot of merit, and should be addressed.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on September 25, 2009:

Thanks for your input Crash! You have some great thoughts! Its true that there is no real one-size fits all and that there are a ton of factors. It really is an issue that deserves a lot more attention than it gets from the powers that be.

CRASH on September 25, 2009:

Just my thoughts, not directed to anyone. Mostly based on my personal experiences.

I think the answer is "actuals". Actuals should consider parenting time and the cost associated. Actuals should take into consideration intentional under and out right un employment.

As a Father I have been on the other side of the situation. That being said I don't believe that any government "one size fits all" solution will work well for everyone or every situation. Its just the facts. I find it completely unthinkable that a judge would allow a divorce to be settled with out a parenting plan in writing, yet until recently most states still allowed such non sense. I have seen where the Father has lived two blocks away, pays nothing and never wants to interact with his children. I have seen where the Mother moves several states away and collects so much in child support that the Father simply can't afford to pay and have the means to travel and visit his own children. It's a mess. There are no easy answers. The key is not the dollar amount. The Key is the amount of parenting time and the reasons behind that. A parent should not be forcefully separated from his or her child without cause and then be made to pay extrodinary ammounts in child support. By the same token a parent who refuses to take an active role in the child's life should bear the majority of cost. The problem is that would require our judges to be judges and well they don't want that. They want some legislative hack to draw up a confusing piece of legislation that takes two lawyers, a judge and a social worker to decifer.

It's sad how so many parents say they either don't have money to pay child support or money to adequately support their household, do have money for court cost and a Lawyer. Its very telling. Its NOT about the children. Its about an on going argument between two people. Both who are using the children like pawn's on a chess board.

If you are a costodial parent there is absolutely no reason for your children to go without. Every state has programs that will assist and document payments to be charged back to a non-custodial parent. Eventually all non payers will get caught. If you have applied for help and its determined you make too much, then guess what? Its time to make some tough choices. You have to cut back until the non payer gets reigned in. Understand that once the decision was made to move on the cost went up for both parties. Also don't forget that if the separation was not amicable, your not going to get a lot of cooperation.

Maybe we need divorce counceling! Maybe you should have court ordered counceling on how to be divorced. I'm confinced that all this arguing over money is driven by left over animous of a failed marriage.

Heather Nickless from England on September 25, 2009:

I agree with you response to lela. You can't just leave your kids. I could never do that to my babies. I would work myself into the ground before giving them up. Counseling doesn't always work either. Both parties have to be willing and if the man isn't then theres nothing that can be done. My dad left my mom cause he found a new woman and even though they went to counseling, nothing worked. My step dad was abusive so my mom left him. You can't fix someone that's abusive in any other way than turning them into a christian (Ive worked with a lot of battered women and this is the conclusion we have drawn).

Some people just go in complete different directions and grow apart to where they are no longer compatible. Unfortunately that makes it difficult especially if there are kids.

This sorta reminds me of the other day on pogo where another young mother and I were talking about our kids. We both have young babies close to each other. Someone else chimed in and said that she was too young to have kids. She happened to be the same age as us. Then we brought up being sleep deprived. Her comment was, 'well go to sleep when they do.' Much easier said than done especially since they have different sleep schedules. Then she goes on to yell at us saying that we were denying our children because we were on the internet playing a game. Just so happens that most of our kids were down on their naps while the ones that were awake were quiet. People tell people what they should do without truly going through it themselves, which is terribly sad because they tend to tear a person down.

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on September 25, 2009:

Hi lela, it sounds like you've made some assumptions here and I wonder if you are speaking out of your own pain. There is no mention at all in the article or previous posts as to why we left our men, or actually why they left us! Also, I personally have never received any welfare benefits (I always made too much money!) which brings me to point out again my statement that I have been working jobs that bring me good money, till this recession of course. I am also left wondering if you have children. Your statement that if you have no money you just drop them off on his doorstep and then if he doesn't take them in you report child abuse and go to the courts, etc. doesn't make sense. No mother would willingly abandon her child just because of a lack of money. That is child abandonment. He could just as easily prove in court that you ilegally abandoned the child that you had custody of. By the way, the courts cannot and will not enforce his vistiation with the kids and he could go to court and say he doesn't want to see them for whatever reason, and no one can make him take care of the kids. Only going through the child support process can the courts do anything to touch him regarding taking care of the children financially. And also, if you do go on welfare while he's supposed to be paying support, they will get the value of the welfare out of him later because he was supposed to be providing.

Also, I find it amazing that you would assume that we are stupid for having married these type of men in the first place. Were you not aware that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce in this country? Hell, maybe some women leave their men to protect their children from abuse! And no my dear, not all problems can be worked out in counseling. I hope that you have an ideal situation when you have children, otherwise I fear you are going to be in for a nasty learning curve!

lela on September 25, 2009:

Women have children with these men. Women need to be responsible for their decisions. 1. The women did not get a career with good pay 2. She chose him. The father may not be perfect, but neither is any-one else, or the mother. The father will support their kids if they are bonded to them. Who in their right mind wants to if they are told where to go, while she has the kids. Or where he didn't spend years with them? Kids are a part of a whole family and to love the child, both have to get on with the other partner. If your guy is really bad and you didn't detect this, there is something wrong about you, that has to go through the process of change too. To be on a benefit means poor planning. Ideally both are educated, and the woman before the child. Women, you dig your own holes. And I'm a woman. If he doesn't wish to pay, you put the kids on his doorstep if you have no money. If he doesn't take them in, you report child abuse and go to the courts for concern for your kid as to not having a father. Then you get a sympathy vote from financial supporting agencies, not for financial costs, but for abandonment etc... If he takes the kid in, he will more than likely provide, because guys are different with kids than with partners, and have a different relationship, and it will more than likely pull his britches up. It's you having a dispute with him, not your kid. If there is a concern, you go to the courts.

Heather Nickless from England on September 24, 2009:

Good hub...If only I could get my ex to actually pay support. Actually it's better if he didn't thanks to voluntary abandonment. I wrote a hub on that. My husband can adopt with very little problems.

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on September 23, 2009:

This is just so horrible - and all true of course.

Further, this is a culture that condemns women for taking time to raise her children - who is supposed to care for them? Mind you, this is the only industrialized country that does not offer paid maternity leave, nor guaranteed medical care, and daycare. When a women becomes pregnant in the US - she has to take a vow of abject poverty because she is entitled to no income and no time to raise a baby, bond, and breastfeed. Zero.

Can you believe the system was much worse at one time? Like idiot judges were allowed to offer anything they felt for support until our Gov. here in NY (Mario Cuomo) put a formula in effect. There was no such thing as a man going to jail if he did not pay - and he was supposed to pay support for a son until he was 21 but a daughter only until 18 (she was not entitled to go to college). I'm not talking about 1880's - this is 1980s.

Your argument for interest makes sense. And if he loses his job he should then beg and borrow money as a mother has to do to take up his slack. One newspaper here on LI was putting pictures of deadbeat dads in the newspaper. Bravo. It made a difference. There should be a show like "America's Most Wanted" - not supporting children should be a serious crime!

There is a reason why child poverty is epidemic in this country - that's because their mothers are impoverished.

It is never enough because it begins with the acceptance of motherhood being a totally disfranchised institution in this country.

Before I go - when I taught in S. Korea - if I got pregnant I would receive 3 months paid maternity leave. Here in the US as a teacher I would not get a paid maternity leave. My own country gives me nothing, yet here I pay nearly 1/2 my salary in taxes.

We have a long way to go and making women dependent on men for support any time in her life is degrading - and is uniquely an American concept. Even in so-called poor and 3rd world countries a woman has an extended family, a village, that totally pitches in and is expected to do so.

I wish we could do more for you young women (I'm a grandmother now) - but I am so happy that young women today have no problem speaking out! Good for you!

Willow Mattox (author) from Northern California on September 23, 2009:

Amen, sister. I knew there were others out there that had similar feelings. If anyone has any more ideas, throw them out there!

Patricia Huntington on September 23, 2009:

I hear ya about the support being an issue. I feel that the system should be more stern with the non paying parent. You know my ex. He purposely got out of the military to avoid paying 880 a month for the girls. Now his order is set at 238 a month because i was making three times his income. That is with me having them 100%. Now for the last 3 years he doesn't pay anything unless taken from his taxes. He is 2 states away and his license is only suspened if he gets to 2000 dollars behind. Which even after they take his taxes in 2 months he is at 2000 dollars in the arrears. They should be lockin him up. Now he is able to pay 35 bucks to try to lower it because he is goin to school - funny part he goes to school because of his 9 years in military he gets nearly 1600 untaxed money each month. That is 3 times the amount he last reported when support was determined. Lord knows Im not one to be all give me money I can provide and have for all of my childrens lives. But these dead beat dads should be held responsible - scare them into being responsible. If he doesn't pay after months and months arrest his ass, post his dead beat pic in newspapers like some states do take his license away for good and so on. Maybe then they will think twice before trying to beat the system because they choose not to be involved with their children!!!

Ok i ranted enough. I hear your frustration and Im there with you!!! You can imagine the hell i have seen when it comes to tryin to be sure he is responsible in some way for having children!!!

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