GOOD FATHERS DO NOT PAY CHILD SUPPORT
By Ryan E. Hamilton
Based on the potentially controversial title of this article, I think I have a lot of explaining to do…So, let’s jump right into the matter! Okay?
FIRST, LET ME BOLDLY STATE WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS NOT.
- This article is NOT to ridicule fathers who pay child support.Many of them are loving and involved fathers. And, as a long-time payer, I actually fell into this category.
- This article is NOT to ridicule mothers who file for child support.Many of them are excellent and loving mothers, including my ex-wife, despite our frequent disagreements. And, many of them do deal with deadbeat fathers who should step up their financial support and time spent with their children.
- This article is NOT claiming that fathers who don’t pay child support are necessarily good dads.Far from it! Hey, a deadbeat dad is a shameful thing, and I am not here to glorify them, nor to disrespect their children and their spouses, given their lack of involvement and financial support.
- And, perhaps most importantly, this article is NOT a rallying cry for fathers to stop paying child support.Each family situation may vary, and oftentimes, children do benefit from a father’s hard-earned income. In fact, I’d say that 100% of children would and should benefit from the efforts of both parents’ income and time. And, if the courts and government agencies have to intervene to ensure that this happens in your household, so be it. Who am I to judge?
SO, WHAT THE HECK IS THIS ARTICLE, THEN?
- This article IS to highlight the often untold story of loving and involved fathers who fight an uphill battlewith their spouses, family courts, and child support enforcement agencies, just to provide adequate time and money support for their children.
- This article IS to shed light upon the technical and operational problems within the Child Support Enforcement systemto clearly, logically, and perhaps even objectively explain why the system is a fundamentally flawed one.
- This article IS to explain specific cases where a loving father, acting very reasonably and responsibly on his family’s behalf would choose to disobey court orders and NOT pay child support.
- And, perhaps most importantly, this article IS a personal story, telling why I, as a loving parent, chose NOT to pay child support and how my non-payment has had a positive impact on my family.
THAT SAID, LET’S BEGIN AT THE END OF THE STORY…
Just a few days ago, my ex-wife decided to drop her child support judgment against me, which had previously entitled her […err, my son] to roughly $1,200 per month in my financial contributions.
YUP! MY EX-WIFE DROPPED HER CHILD SUPPORT CASE! WHY WOULD SHE DO SUCH A CRAZY THING, YOU MIGHT ASK?!
Well, because, [Re-read the title of this article…] I STOPPED PAYING IT!!!
SO, WHY WOULD I STOP PAYING CHILD SUPPORT, YOU MIGHT ASK?!
Well, because, [Re-read the title again…] I am a good father, and when viewing my family situation in a logical and pragmatic manner, I made the decision to disregard the various court judgments and enforcement actions against me in the best interests of my family…which, in fairness, includes both my son and my ex-wife.
SO, WHY WAS STOPPING CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS IN MY SON’S BEST INTERESTS, YOU MIGHT ASK?!
[Gee, do I have to answer everything for you?!] Well, like many other aspects of life, it all boils down to time and money. Basically, I can more efficiently handle time and money than can any governmental Child Support Enforcement agency. And in a deeper sense, as a good father, no government agency [nor any third party for that matter] is gonna dictate how I spend my time and money. [Period.]
I am the greatest “judge” of how to best parent and lead my family, regardless of claims, judgments, legalities, threats on my property, etc. I love my son, and he loves me…I will best determine how to invest my time and money in his future and well-being.
No intermediaries needed!
SO, HOW AM I BETTER EQUIPPED TO HANDLE TIME AND MONEY THAN GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES, YOU MIGHT ASK?
[Sigh…] Well, let’s start with the obvious. [And, yeah, here come more bullets…So, watch out! I’m starting to get heated.]
- It’s called the f*cking internet!
You see, the last time I checked, we lived in the 21st Century, and we had this thing called the World Wide Web, through which a variety of monetary transactions could occur instantaneously. And, whereas private citizens like you and I have come to rely on these relatively newfangled tools and automated systems, our government agencies have been slower to adopt the technology.
What this means? We loving fathers must “snail-mail” or perhaps even more efficiently “deliver” handwritten checks to Child Support Enforcement offices’ mail slots.
So, while I look fondly back upon the monthly unsheathing of my prized quill pen, dipping it into my inkwell, scratching out paper checks, and gassing up the buggy just so my child could have adequate food and tuition money, I’m glad those days are long gone.
Gee, what’s next? Stuffing burlap sacks with gold nuggets and loading up pack mules? Well, then, here’s a toast to the future!
- Week-long financial holds on deposited checks at or above $500.
Do the math. My official monthly child support contributions were $1,200, so if each check written could not exceed $500 without a 7-day hold, simple arithmetic should tell you how many times I had to gas up the buggy each month. Let’s just say, my checks had plenty of threesomes, and I’m sad to say, but my quill pen got more action than I did!
And, the worst part? I learned about this $500 limit the hard way, when I was a blind and naive rookie at paying child support. I walked to the enforcement agency with a $1,500 check in-hand one time, thinking I was being an excellent, dutiful, stand-up father by over-paying my child support obligation, but my son failed to see that money for close to half a month! All in the name of “check processing!”
In subsequent months, by wisely offering three $400 checks, the money was delivered to my spouse in only about a week! [Whoa! Lightspeed, baby!] Unbeknownst to the agency, $400 x 3 = $1,200…I think I pulled a fast one on them. “Stick it to the man, eh!?!” >8)
- Our Joint Bank Account.
This is perhaps the MOST ridiculous thing of all, especially in light of the previous two bullets. My spouse and I had a joint bank account through which we could electronically transfer money to one another instantaneously. The internet aside, with MOBILE APPS I could zap her $1,500 from my mobile phone if I wanted to! With ZERO holds on money…within mere milliseconds!
So, please enlighten me, someone […anyone], why would I write a check […oops, THREE checks] from this account, gas up the buggy, and hand deliver those payments to a government agency to be held for days, if not weeks, just to be deposited back into the same f*cking personal account from which it originated?! …AN ACCOUNT THAT MY SPOUSE ALREADY HAD ACCESS TO?!?!
Now, I’m not the brightest person on the planet…but, it seems like this gross inefficiency alone would be cause enough for any reasonable divorcee to put differences and mistrust aside for the sake of the children. But, this debacle lasted for close to a year. [Ohh well…]
- FEES, FEES, FEES.
When your cash flow is slow, and you need to pay the bills ASAP, late fees and penalties cost you more money, which in-turn costs you more time and money…This negative financial pattern compounds, and leaves you wondering what the hell the Child Support Enforcement office is doing while holding onto your money.
All I know is, in America, when you hold onto money, you have flexibility and options. And if your government is holding it, and not paying your child, what are THEY doing with it? And, more importantly, what CAN’T YOU do with it during that time? And, what is it costing you?
I could go on, but I think you get the most gaping technical and operational flaws in the child support enforcement system, for now. I’ll be writing more on the topic in the future, delving deeper into more of the philosophical, psychological, socio-political, governmental, sociological, marital, familial, sexist, favoritist and other flaws in the system.
But, for now, just know that for the above reasons alone, the child support system is a total scam. A complete catastrophe for fathers who love and support their children. The child support enforcement system in our country will grind your financial, personal, and family life to a screeching halt, and will ironically leave those who filed judgments against you incessantly complaining about, “Where the @#$% is my child support money?!”
So, yeah, while you may hear people rant and rave about child support and the commonly-held belief that it’s a father’s bounden duty to pay it, please humbly accept the story I have offered above as fact…That good fathers [like myself] will avoid paying child support at all costs, as if our lives depended on it. Because, frankly, our lives, our children’s lives, and even our spouses’ lives DO depend on it.
I’m glad my spouse (the plaintiff) finally agrees. #CASECLOSED
So, you may be asking, “Ok, Ryan, since you’re stiffing your son outta $1,200 in monthly child support, how can you claim to be a good loving father?”
Short answer: My son gets at least TRIPLE that now, in money alone, thank you very much…and I’m now seeing him more than I ever have in life. But, I’ll leave that for another blog post. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.