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Why is child support so unfair to fathers? A case for needed reform

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The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

In my work writing about women, money and family in the United States, there are two prevailing issues:

  • Dads who do not live with their kids are barely involved. (Just 22% of dads who live apart from their children see them more than once weekly, per Pew.)
  • That pay gap will. not. close.
  • Child support is unfair and needs to be reformed.

Here’s the answer:

Start all custody negotiations at a default 50/50 equally shared parenting time and custody, with no child support or alimony.

Why is child support so unfair to fathers?

While the world is changing for the better in many ways, the majority of child support payors are men. Here are all the reasons why child support is is unfair to dads:

Child support is built on the presumption that one parent (mothers) care for the children while another (father) pays for them. This shoehorns men and women into sexist roles, with men forced to be the breadwinner.

Often, whether by law or practice, child support is tied to the amount of time a man is allowed to spend with their children — heightening an already adversarial family court system, and making men pay to see their children.

Child support calculations rarely factor in a man’s ability to afford payments, and in states where failure to pay leads to jail time, forces poor men trapped in a cycle of imprisonment, unemployment, and more imprisonment. Meanwhile, no money is paid in child support, and fatherlessness is perpetuated.

I elaborate on reforming child support in The 50/50 Solution: The Surprisingly Simple Solution that Makes Moms, Dads and Kids Happier When Parents Split (Sourcebooks, March 26, 2024):

Cover of The 50/50 Solution book by Emma Johnson.

Child support payments

Though the threat of jail is considered an effective incentive for people who are able but unwilling to pay, many critics assert that punitive policies are trapping poor men in a cycle of debt, unemployment and imprisonment.

The problem begins with child support orders that, at the outset, can exceed parents’ ability to pay. When parents fall short, the authorities escalate collection efforts, withholding up to 65% of a paycheck, seizing bank deposits and tax refunds, suspending driver’s licenses and professional licenses, and then imposing jail time.

Child support debt

“Parents who are truly destitute go to jail over and over again for child support debt simply because they’re poor,” said Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights, which filed a class-action lawsuit in Georgia on behalf of parents incarcerated without legal representation for failure to pay. “We see many cases in which the person is released, they’re given three months to pay a large amount of money, and then if they can’t do that they’re tossed right back in the county jail.”

Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat. — The New York Times

While many assume child support is mandatory in divorce — it does not have to be. If you settle out of court through a low-cost online divorce service, you can negotiate joint 50/50 custody, equal parenting time, no or lower child support, and any other arrangements that you and your child’s other parent agree to.

If you go to family court, however, a judge will likely apply your state’s child support calculator, with no flexibility.

Do courts prefer mothers over fathers?

While the current child support system isn’t equitable, there isn’t concrete data to support that courts favor mothers over fathers in custody or child support decisions, says Molly Rosenblum, founding attorney of The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm in Las Vegas, Nev. which handles family law, criminal defense, and civil cases. 

Ultimately, courts are charged with making a choice that supports the best interest of the child.

When choosing a child support payment amount, judges are bound to use predefined calculations to determine how much the non-custodial parent will pay. This does not change whether the non-custodial parent is the child’s mother or father.

But the reality is — the cost of raising a child is far beyond child support calculations. 

“Is the system geared toward making men pay? As far as child support goes, I don't believe that's true,” says Rosenblum.

In Nevada, and other states, child support statutes are in place to make sure the non-custodial parent contributes financially to meet the needs of the child or children. 

And in custody decisions, Rosenblum asserts that gender of parentage is not a factor. The laws dictate that gender does ot influence custody decisions. However, in court, it may look like decisions favor mothers.

“In practice, it may appear that courts have a preference for mothers over fathers but I personally believe that this is changing slowly over time,” says Rosenblum. “I have seen plenty of cases where fathers receive primary custody.” 

A 2020 US Census Bureau report looking 2017 data about custodial parents’ child support found:

  • Fathers are more likely to become custodial parents, rising from 16% in 1994 to 20.1% in 2018
  • Legal or informal child support arrangements were in place for 49.4% of custodial parents
  • Over half of custodial parents received some form of non-monetary support from the non-custodial parent

If you are able to work with the other parent and make decisions together, you and your child's other parent can create your own parenting plan for free using documents from your local court.

How child support reform promotes father involvement

Fatherlessness is a public health crisis, that affects every facet of American life. Antiquated child support laws and collection enforcement are at the root of this issue.

A whole body of work studying lack of father involvement finds that when a child is raised without active involvement of a father, they are likely to suffer:

  • Diminished sense of physical and emotional security (children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives)
  • Behavioral and social problems, including with friendships
  • Poor academic performance as 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless
  • High crime, as 85% of youth in prison have an absent father
  • Fatherless children are more likely to have sex before age 16, not use contraception during first intercourse, and become teenage parents, and transmit STDs
  • More likely to use and abuse alcohol and other drugs
  • 90% of runaway kids have an absent father
  • Mental health disorders (father absent children are consistently overrepresented on a wide range of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression and suicide)
  • As adults, fatherless children are more likely to experience unemployment, have low incomes, remain on social assistance, and experience homelessness)
  • Poor future relationships (father absent children tend to enter partnerships earlier, are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions, and are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership)
  • Higher mortality rates (fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the lifespan)

A dad explains: “Why I don’t see my child”

How to avoid child support

Search the internet and you will find all kinds of shady and illegal ways to hide your income, get fired and other nefarious ways to avoid paying child support. Here are a few legal ways to get out of paying support:

  • Terminate your parental rights
  • Agree to allow another adult adopt the child
  • The child has been emancipated or enlisted for military duty
  • Both parents agree to a settlement, including a parenting plan in which no child support is paid
  • Increasingly, despite what laws may be on the books in your state, judges are ordering equal parenting time with no or reduced child support.
  • If you currently pay child support, but the time-sharing has moved to a 50/50 schedule, you can file for a child support review to have it revised.

Why not to fight your ex for child support, alimony or other money

Money is often cited as the No. 1 thing divorcing couples fight over. Financial disagreements clog the courts and wrack up attorney bills — not to mention burn untold units of stress and misery for each party, their children and anyone within earshot.

This money-related financial tension carries over after breakups and divorce. Often, women tell me that they can't move forward with their lives because they are stuck financially because of money their ex owes. They tell me: I can't afford to go back to school / advance my career by traveling or taking additional responsibilities because there is no money for child care — because he won't pay. 

He may very well owe you that money. Morally and legally, you may be entitled to it.

But sometimes you can be so right, you are wrong. After all, the average sum of child supported ordered monthly is less than $300, and total child support owed is actually paid just 40% of the time. What if you let that all go and focused on earning big, big money? I want every woman to understand what it feels like to be financially independent. Only then do you truly step into your power, and live your life in the biggest, most authentic way possible.

Life is not fair. There are laws designed to protect women and children in divorce, and there is also the universal law of what is just. But there is also the legal system, and it is messed up, unfair and is designed to support mainly the rich. Unless you're Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods, there is often a very low threshold to cross before it stops making sense to spend money on lawyers to get what you are owed. Do the math. Then take a deep breath. Let the breath go. And let that money go, too.

2. You're fighting for money he doesn't have

You can't get blood from a stone, as the old adage goes. Sure, he may owe you tens of thousands of dollars in back child support. You could have the courts take his car and send him to jail. But if you honestly know that he doesn't have that cash, do you really want to do that? Yes? What do you get in return?

How to deal when you’re a mom who pays child support or alimony

3. You're building a lifestyle around someone else's money — that you may never get

When you create a budget based on money you get from someone else, you are dependent on them. This is never a good idea. For financial reasons, that money may never materialize — or suddenly disappear. Men's child support and alimony doesn't show up if he loses his job, becomes disabled and cannot work, dies, refuses to pay for whatever reason, or has another child and is allowed by the courts to pay less. Plus, don't you just want to stop fighting and earn your own money? Doesn't that sound really, really delicious — to never be dependent on him or another man again?

19 reasons why alimony is unfair and hurts gender equality

4. You're fighting for money in divorce out of spite

Anger and spite are normal. God knows I've spent a lot of time being pissed at my ex! But exuding all that negative energy to take revenge is not a good reason to fight for money — even if you're entitled to it. Good reasons include providing a better life for yourself and your kids and/or because the money is genuinely yours.

Single mom struggles: How to overcome 9 stereotypes keeping you broke

5. He needs the money more than you do

Maybe each of your financial situations have changed. Maybe you have indeed moved on and are now killing it financially. Maybe he lost his job and is struggling. Maybe you're both stable, but you see that the money in question could help him out a whole lot more than it could help you. And now that you've moved forward, and you are no longer spiteful and angry, you have the energy to do the right thing.

6. Fighting for money is exhausting and bad for the kids

Divorce is one of the most stressful, draining crises a person can go through. In many cases — especially if there are children and significant assets involved — it is worth taking your time with a good lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement. But until the mailman delivers the manilla envelope containing your signed divorce decree, you will likely feel that your whole world is in limbo. Letting some stuff go moves everyone forward — including the kids.

After all, the more conflict between you and your ex, for whatever reason, means the children suffer at the hands of it. He might legally owe you, but sometimes you can be so right you're wrong.

Co-parenting is your priority now, and that is hard to do peacefully if you are fighting over money. Read my tips on how to co-parent with your ex, peacefully, as well as all the science-based research on why equally shared parenting is best.

One of the first co-parenting apps, and widely used app, OurFamilyWizard, which features chat, information storage (like pediatrician and teacher contact info, prescriptions, etc.), and financial record-keeping. 30-day free trial,  discounts for military families, and a program to provide OurFamilyWizard free to low-income families. Each parent can add unlimited numbers of other people for free, including children, grandparents, step and bonus parents, as well as attorneys.

Read our review of OurFamilyWizard.

7. You hold yourself back when you fight your ex for money

Deepak Chopra tells us that human beings have infinite energy, and I accept that to be true. But we are also physical beings living in the real world, and a girl only has so much energy to go around.

When you are dependent on his money, you are dependent on HIM. Dependence is never healthy. It holds you back, keeps you embroiled in a romantic relationship that is over, with someone who you likely don't care for much.

You have a choice: Spend your time, energy and power to fight with him, or invest that time and energy and power in yourself to earn far more money than he owes you from his 401(k). After all, when it comes to earning and building wealth, the sky is the limit!

My mantra: The best revenge is living well.

Bottom line: Because child support is unfair, seek equitable solutions

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), child support orders that consider the actual income of low-income fathers are part of the pathway to address equity in the system. Other factors include education on debt reduction and finding ways to increase earnings in employment.

And single mothers who are custodial parents have a financial burden on them to make up the difference as stated by The American Bar Association referencing 2020 US Census Bureau data showing that women were the head of 82% of single parent households in America.

If you are able to work together to create a parenting plan that covers top concerns like child support and visitation, you’ll have power over the outcome. Plus, you can file it in your local court to make it enforceable. 

If you leave your child support arrangement up to the courts, you might not agree with the outcome. To find the best equitable solutions, both parents must work together to come up with a parenting plan. File it in your local court so that it stands as a legal, enforceable decision.

 It’s all about creating a co-parenting relationship to raise your children in a healthy environment. For more information and help on how to achieve this, check out the following resources:

Divorce Corp and Erasing Family documentaries

Kickass Single Mom, Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children, By: Emma Johnson

Blend, The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, By: Mashonda Tifrere

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You, By: by Amy J. L. Baker, PhD and Paul R Fine, LCSW

Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, By: Dr. Richard A. Warshak

Are you part of the Facebook group, Millionaire Single Moms? No income requirement, though BIG GOALS and a positive MINDSET required! Join now!

Why is child support so unfair to fathers?

Child support is built on the presumption that one parent (mothers) care for the children while another (father) pays for them. This shoehorns men and women into sexist roles, with men forced to be the breadwinner.


2. You’re fighting for money he doesn’t have – then he needs to step up and help with the support of his kids.

5. He needs the money more than you do – no, his kids need the money!

You have got to be kidding me. I try to be respectful of different opinions but I think because you’re a wealthy mom, you’re out of touch with reality for us broke skngle moms who are struggling. I’ve been raising my kids with the help of my parents since 2007 and my ex husband owes an insane amount of money in back child support. We struggle big time and we didn’t make these kids on our own. Our kids deserve financial support from both sides!

I only started reading comments and got bored. The “Dad took off” thing is a simple case that deserves the child support action. I am in a very different situation where I want to see my daughter and I can pay child support to an unrealistic extent. My problem is that “Mom” is not finically responsible and pisses away any money I give her and still asks for me to pay for her clothes, braces, etc. in full despite custodial agreements already met. It’s a double standard sometimes. When I met my ex she made money more than me. At some point she decided to leave me and little did I know she had made a “nest egg” of money to leave me with. She then left me and tried to take may daughter with her asking for more money than I could ever afford despite my above average income. I put up a legal fight as my daughter and I had a serious daddy daughter thing going on and having them both leave would have been close to having both my mate and child die as far as trauma. Of course my ex and I were done, but loosing my daughter on top of it would have destroyed me. We have 50/50 custody and despite court agreement she still thinks I don’t pay her enough(calculated by the court) even though I help her out outside of child support with bills and such. This is where the system goes wrong sometimes. My ex grew up in a separated house hold where dad was seldom seen except for his child support money. My take is it wasn’t that their father didn’t want to see his children, but their mother hammered him into depression and shame that kept him away. I think it set a precedent that “fathers fail” and leave the mother to do it all. Yes! Child support is running perhaps a little out dated, a good part of the time father’s don’t want to be out of the picture but are forced to be bread winners in the back ground and don’t have a lot of free time, so 50/50 time is hard. I know, I do it, It’s hard, it’s worth it, but it could be easier. I think the worse and most deserved punishment is to force the parents to work together/stay together as parents. You don’t want to have sex with your partner anymore? Well, you did and had a kid! Soooo… you’re screwed, you have to continue parenting together. You made a decision that resulted in a new life that needs care and you need to make it happen. Child support is only fair for the parent, not the child. This leads to a difficult situation and perhaps why so many society’s focus on marriage and commitment…. Giving mothers perception they are “owed” if the fathers out of the picture sets a precedence that isn’t healthy. You should have to fight to prove the father is a deadbeat so it’s not as appetizing. Pretty sure my ex thinks she could “punish” me by making my life miserable by leaving me, taking my daughter, and my money.

I pay 1200 a month plus dentist of 420 and health insurance. I can’t even see my kids and I go to jail every month I don’t have it. I am being enslaved by the system. I have two other kids I have custody of and have to worry every month how I’m gonna keep a roof over their head or feed them if I miss a payment. It’s not a life. My kids have been brain washed to not even see me. How can I get out of it? She has more money than me and makes my life hell over jealousy and want to see me in jail. Help I need freedom

Bottom line up front: the law should change to determine the true money that a child really needs. A child support of $1,000 per month is nonsense. What does a child spend $1,000 per month for?
My case, I have custody of my son. The court ordered the mom to pay $300 per month. If turning the table, she got custody, I would pay her $1,500 for child support. This system just create more lazy and irresponsible women while these days male and female are equal.
A little bit about my case, she did not want to work since we married. I bought her a brand new car. When we divorced, she asked for half of my property, plus my retirement due to my military status even she filed a divorce when the marriage was just 7 years. She and her attorney prolonged the case until it hits the 10-year mark. Tell me, the U.S. justice is really fair and just?

They’ve ruined my life, never once in 17 yrs has c.s.e. asked if I was OK, will bend over backwards for custodial parent filing motions taking me to court, helping with legal issues, but won’t lift a finger for me, filed my own motion for modification the D.A. rejected it as baseless. Taking 60% of my pay for 15yrs, with 2yrs unpaid and arrears are $31,000 now they take 60% for 5+ more years , denied food stamps always say I make to much. Could never afford to do anything with my child since I had no money, now I’m living in my car because they take everything, apartment or food I can’t eat my apartment so now I’m homeless while I pay for my exs mortgage payments. I’ll never be able to live like normal people and I don’t know why they are doing this, I’m close to giving up hope

I have no idea what planet you live on. My ex moved across the country, never sees his kids and pays $500 a month I’m a teacher, so I am in no way rich. He decided to quit his job and become a security guard how is this fair to my children? The estimate is that it costs $17,000 a year to raise a child. He pays just $6000 of the $34,000. It costs to raise them a year. My friends ex-husband is $80,000 behind in child support, he has never been arrested in New Jersey at least they don’t arrest people for not paying child support. You need to get your head out of your butt and realize the money is ridiculously low and it is an obligation. The poor non-custodial parent is by no means suffering.

My cousins has 4 kids from his ex wife. He pays child support and she won’t get a job. She found a new husband and had 5 more kids. Still won’t work. The judge told my cousin that if her new husband were to lose his job technically she could take him back to court to up the child support. So basically the financial responsibility is all on him and her new husband. She keeps having kids and the older kids are responsible for the 5 new ones while she sits in her room and watches tv all day. These laws need to change.

It was all going great until you denied that courts don’t favor mothers LOL if you clean the shitters at the courthouse, you know it’s biased against fathers.

We all know child support doesn’t go towards the kids. 80% of divorces are filed by the women. If you leave your man, you should also leave his money out of it.

No one is “entitled” to my money

The real deadbeats are the women that get free money from their EX

From the Time a Women has a child and goes through Child birth don’t get me started on that !! And Getting your child from birth the intent stage in to school IS MOST DEFINITELY A JOB ! ONE A GOOD MOTHER CAN NEVER QUIT NO MATTER IF WE ARE SICK ECT WE HAVE TO CARE FOR THAT CHILD , IT IS A JOB TO HAVE A MANS BABY . Who pays Her for Cooking Cleaning ECT on Top of Caring for a screening baby WHO PAYS HER FOR THAT JOB ???? ASK YOUR SELF Would YOU GO THROUGH ALL THAT AND NEVER MAKE A DIME ???

THANK YOU for writing this!
BOTH parents are resposible for taking care of their child. Am I wrong? Why are BOTH not held as equally accountable?
I raised 2 kids by myself from ages 2 & 4 until adult. I am a good parent. I showed my kids how to work hard, value money and have self respect.
I had my kids with someone I shouldnt have. I was too young and dumb. Their dad never paid support or visited.
I worked hard, put myself through school, gave them a good life. They love and respect me.
Had I been born a man in the “wrong” state, I WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY THEIR DEADBEAT FATHER my money.

I am not sure why we women are looked at like helpless creatures, while the fathers are always viewed as deadbeats. My current fiance is an excellent father. He has 50/50. His ex chooses not to work, even uses their child as a tool to punish him. She was abusive, still is, yet he has to pay her a small fortune (up to 25% of his income in our state) simply because she chooses this “lifestyle”. Can you imagine if I had to pay my awful ex my hard earned money so he could stay home and pretend to be a parent?

SOME call themselves feminists, yet play games of being weak and needy. BOTH parents need to held accountable for caring their children, do they not?

It’s very difficult for me to find child supporters support on the web. Just something to help me feel like I’m not the only person living the “life’s not fair” mantra. I still am in misunderstanding why I’m the custodial parent, sharing the kids, custody and placement with their father because yes, that is what I feel is best for our kids, but I make twice as much as he does, work 45+ hours a week, financially independent, and I pay HIM support while he’s working part time and getting public assistance. He refused to work when we were together but has since gotten a serving job. It has deprived my kids from the lifestyle I had given them because there’s no money for gymnastics lessons, weekend activities, etc. What gets me… is that he used the support money I pay him to pay off thousands of dollars in arrears for his other kid. I wish someone would tell me this is in no way fair… but life’s not fair, right? I’m still struggling to swallow this.

Go after the money. It’s not your choice to refuse money your child is entitled to. A child has a right to be financially supported by both parents. And 50/50 custody does not always stop child support. I have 50/50 custody & so get child support but a lower amount. I don’t agree with almost anything on this page. So kids don’t have to eat because their father is broke? He may get money in the future, claim taxes, get a better job, or win the lottery. You don’t know what the future holds.

Why cant we women feed our kids? Why should we depend on another’s paycheck? Especially an ex?

I truly believe this is bs and highly encourages deadbeats. The author needs a mental check or she is simply a deadbeat mom. Horrible article.

Having a baby and Raising that child to school age is MOST DEFINITELY A JOB A JOB MOST MEN COULD NOT HANDLE !
WHO PAYS HER FOR THAT JOB . ? on top of Caring for a Man ng House doing Laundry Cooking dinner , Are they Kidding me , What women are expected to do all that EVERY DAY NO DAYS OFF AND NOT GET SOME KIND OF PAY ??? ARE THEY JOKING ??? PLEASE

If you’re doing your part when they are with you, they will eat. Read the article again. Toxic, venomous hate is what she is saying needs to be let go of. That BOTH parents are EQUALLY responsible during EQUAL (50/50) parenting time and that anything else is simply playing games because one is bitter.

I have to say I was always in agreement with this philosophy and everything you say here about the resentment child support can create for men, the alienation of Dad’s as well and it all sound so sensible in theory however in the real world it just isn’t always possible. Fathers who have explosive anger issues and drug abuse problems are simply not able to give kids the safety and nurturing that they need and reading this now I must say that while 50/50 parental responsibility and financial responsibility sound like a great goal for some it is simply not possible for many.
I will tell you a bit about myself so that you can understand how I came to this conclusion. My parents finally divorced when I turned 18 after waiting a decade and during which time resentment over step relations, drinking, and other marital issues (since it was a second marriage for both) was festering so badly that the toxic emotional environment of our home drove everyone to drink, drugs and rarely ever coming home. I promised myself I would never stay in a bad marriage or prevent my child’s father from seeing the kids regardless of support or not.
I got pregnant at 19. my then boyfriend cried, said his life was ruined now and begged me to give my daughter up for adoption if I would not have another abortion which I just could not do. His biggest concern was that I was going to go on welfare and he would be stuck paying support. So not wanting him to be filled with resentments like I felt from my parents I made a solemn promise that I would never ever do that. We ended up moving in together and trying to make things work and they sort of did. We stayed together until she was old enough to start school so she would not have to go to daycare as a young child and could have the advantages of a stay at home mother. When I left to go out in my own with her I asked her Dad to please make an agreement with me to pay me $100 per month to help cover the expense of daycare which he did attempt for about a year. He saw her one day per week and even though I encouraged more time with him he rarely ever stepped up to make it happen. Though he did watch her after work for one year while I went to night school so that I could get a better paying job. When she became a teenager she wanted to move in with him. He had a 2 bedroom apartment only about 3 miles from her schooI and I encouraged it hoping that their relationship might flower which it’s so important for a daughter to have with her Dad, but he was a chronic pot smoker, incredibly apathetic and negative he somehow left her with the impression it would be a burden to him to have to drive her to school since it was the opposite direction from his work and leading her into a near suicidal depression since she was also not happy at home with my new husband who unbeknownst to me at the time used to deride her for the fact that her Dad was a deadbeat loser all while praising me to my face for not being a “greedy bitch who was after a man’s money”
This man was the father of my son born when my daughter was 14. I didn’t plan to marry him or have a baby with him but I am good at unplanned children I guess and he insisted we marry even though I had great reservations about it. I was reluctant because I was ready to split with him already since I had discovered he was cold, narcissistic and had explosive anger issues as well as being a financially irresponsible chronic pot smoker, but he did turn a lot of this around for the sake of his son (aside from the covert emotional abuse of my daughter which was hidden from me at the time) Well around the time my son turned 5 I was informed by the daughter of my husband’s ex girlfriend that he had been having an affair with her mother throughout our whole relationship. This was the last straw for me and I decided that was it. I confronted him about it and told him I wanted a divorce. He said fine as long as I continued living with him and cooking and raising our son to his liking. I refused. Then he flipped the script informed everyone in my family that I had been cheating on him and flew into a terrifying rage. I fled in the middle of the night with nothing but my son and the clothes on our backs. We suffered homelessness and unbelievable turmoil for the next 5 years during which he retained the marital home in spite of defaulting on the mortgage twice, filing for bankruptcy, destroying my credit, was in contempt of court orders immediately but I was too intimidated by his rages to do anything about it. When I finally returned to that home for the first time in 6 years I was appalled to find that there were 17 broken down vehicle outside. 20+ empty weed containers right in plain view where my son uses the computer, ( which is all my son does while there, not much real interaction from his father) It was so filthy and disgusting I did not want to send my son back even to visit but I have to since that is what our arrangement says I have to do. He has never paid support in 8 years because I was afraid that asking for it would just make him angry and escalate the already hostile attitude of this guy however I finally have screwed up enough courage to take this guy back to court to get the divorce that was never completed due to my fear of making him angry. I am going to ask for the sale of the home and a 50/50 split plus support. I think my son is old enough now to understand what is happening and less likely to be affected by parental alienation. For 8 years I have been bending over backwards to keep the peace with a selfish jerk who cannot and probably will not ever appreciate the sacrifices I have made. I have been self employed for 17 years so I have the flexibility to be there when he gets home from school most days and stay involved and do things like Cub Scouts with my son My income has hovered around 30k per year while his has been in the range of 50-65k not including the rental $900 monthly rental income he is collecting from all the roommates he sublets them other 3 bedrooms in our 4 bedroom home to. Somehow with all that he could not even make the $1100 monthly mortgage payment. Why? Probably spending even more money on drugs than he was when we were together. It’s heartbreaking and while I have lived most of my life in fear of being labeled a “greedy bitch” or “money grubbing whore” by men my whole life I have decided I really don’t care what he calls me. It is time for me to step up for my son before it’s too late like it was for my daughter.

This was a horrific article. Ms. Emma Johnson is so set in her own version of morality along with her personal motivation to sell her “wealthy mommy dream” to other women that she doesn’t seem realize the harm she is causing with very bad advice. She should not be telling Mothers “don’t fight for child support” or telling women who are already overburdened with custody they should just “earn more money” themselves rather than making the Father responsible for his portion of raising his own child. Ms. Johnson does not advance or improve child support laws instead she takes hard won child support laws back to the dark ages where men can abandon their kids without any accountability. Ms. Johnson doesn’t take into consideration that one parent during a divorce or custody battle (man or woman) may make substantially more and have the greater ability to help provide for the child. Ms. Johnson seems to advise that a child should be deprived of food or clothing rather than women seeking to enforce child support. Improving child support laws means to make enforcing child support easier and less expensive, it doesn’t mean letting Fathers avoid complete responsibility. Ms. Johnson is stuck in her own perfect version of a world where Fathers always act in the best interest of the children and Father’s will voluntarily pay their child’s expenses but she fails to recognize that when a Father (or Mother) is a genuine deadbeat and avoids physical and financial responsibility, they should be help accountable or it burdens the custodial parent and society. Ms. Johnson’s entire theory is based on her fairytale belief that parents will be good and decent human beings but that is not always the case. Mrs. Johnson clearly knows very little about the real world court system and people who are advocating for real child support reform. She is harming people who are really trying to make improvements in laws. Ms. Johnson skews percentages and avoids listing the percentages of men who abandon their original kids, who don’t want custody, or who start new families while ignoring their original kids.

I have been paying support on adult children I now have a 18 year old grand daughter and still paying child support the principal is less than the amount of interest I have no way to catch the interest rates and pay over 700 a month in arers. What a shit show . I have payed child support for over 37 years

It’s a pathetic way of saying the family law is corrupted and who is on the court rooms making it worse for the father.. yes toxic feminists. It’s not outdated that’s another ignorant way of saying family law is corrupted. It took this long and covid for the law to see the truth. Lmao yea it’s that much pathetic and corrupted

I pay between $300-$600 a WEEK depending on child-care for a child I almost never get to see, and when i do its on mom’s terms. This despite fighting for years for more time. There is always an excuse, and because the lawyers and court profit from it they always entertain some stupid reason why financially responsible dad doesn’t get time. This system sucks, is unconstitutional and is riddled with conflict of interest. I’m sorry but if there is no child there should be no check. I work a second job and do not get enough time with the family I DO live with to pay an ex who works 2-3 evening shifts a week (two hours to and from her job that I pay for). And I don’t get to see my child who yes, does love and want to see me. This system is kidnapping and extortion. And the ex had another man and has not had a successful relationship in her life. Family and child support court are archaic

Sorry…but 50/50 isn’t fair. You are rotating kids to the point they only have moms house and dads house. I’m still old fashioned so I think men should be the providers. In my case I have 3 children and their dad chose to leave. I gave him several years to come back. He has always had money issues. I have given him 5 years to get his life together and after he left the state to be with his girlfriend. So I need child support? No…but he has an obligation considering I now have to hire additional help to work. Our youngest is severely disabled and it costs quite a bit to care for her. Even when he was close he didn’t take them yo appointments or school. He claimed wanting 50/50 but then said he couldn’t take them to school/ pick up or appointments as our youngest can have 6-8 per week. So now I filed because he refuses to help. I’m sorry but that is enabling poor behavior and it is not beneficial to the person.

Yes in your situation I agree. Sadly my situation is the other way around. I care for my kids and she doesn’t. But lol the infamous corrupted family law said she is the best interest. Broken protection orders, and interfere with kids visitations 35 times. Yes it’s very annoying specially because I pay 1,100 a month and yea they know she has also denied appearance in court. And 5 times of those denies she went to a bar and even posted that on FB. Seriously how stupid can they be. But I’m not giving up. I hope the best for you. I go after him with child support the children need his help. You may not but they do

I have been paying child support for 14 1/2 years, I was a jockey for 30 years until 2016 when I had a career ending accident, t-12 paraplegic from the waist down, when I went to court in 2019 mind you I am in a wheelchair permanently and had to fly to Nebraska from Arizona stay in Nebraska for one week at a hotel, just to go to court to get child support reduced and to desperately see my children, they did end up coming to Arizona and my daughter wanted to move with me as well as my son, when they got home it wasn’t a pleasant welcome, my daughter turned 18 yesterday and has never left town unless with her mother or gets special permission, she is 18 still in school but still needs her mother’s permission to come visit me, I actually think they are scared to come see me because of what drilling they get when they get home, it is sad but both of my children want desperately to get out of their house but are scared to death to try.
I do know about getting arrested for not paying child support but what about when you do pay child support but your ex never lets your children come visit? I have been trying to get ahold of my ex but she doesn’t respond to my text or phone calls and my children are afraid to ask her about it, I’ve called the Merrick County court house and they said that’s not her country but that’s where I went to court in 2019 and where she lived when she filed for child support so I have no idea what to do about all this, I am in Delaware and they live in Nebraska, all I know are the laws for child care and child support should be changed because my ex is setting our children up for failure

Thats BS there are different situations! My situation is I spend my money and time on our child while he doesn’t. So its only fair I receive money so his child can have a little more then what i am already giving him. I pay the bills,buy his clothes,his presents for holidays, out to eat and buy things just because I love him and want to make him happy. Like I said there are several different situations not all mothers are B this stereotyping needs to stop, not all fathers are saints.

That’s only works if the father wants to be involved, my ex-husband started a new family and ignores my daughter he didn’t even invite her to the wedding and it has nothing to do with child support he just doesn’t care he has open access to her and I even offered to drive her to his house I always say yes when he asked to see her I usually ask him to spend more time with her, there is no one to fix for this because there’s too many special circumstances he would love to not pay child support and then he would never see our daughter still

Even in your own writing… you said, “I always say yes when he asked to see her.” Just think about that. He has to ask you, for parent time with his own child. He wasn’t found guilty of anything. But because you two didn’t want to be together for whatever reason he loses his parenting rights to you. This is exactly what the system needs regardless of the, “special circumstances” that exist. How excited would you be to stay in a child’s life that you had to ask an ex relationship for?? Just ridiculous. If he doesn’t want to be in her life and you guys had 50/50, then fine you still raise your daughter as you are. See how your, “special circumstance” isn’t affected by this proposed law? The only reason women would want their, “special circumstances” and the current ridiculously unfair system to stay in tact is for a transfer of wealth from the father to the mother. And 85% of the time it’s the mother who moves on with a new husband and is now benefiting from 2 men’s incomes… just ridiculous

Unfortunately there are too many unique circumstances. My ex-wife left and took the kids. We lived on the West Coast, but now she resides on the East Coast. I didnt file for divorce prior to six months (my ignorance) from when she left me, and therefore Ive been paying CS for 6years and they have settled into their new home. As she lives out East, my ability to see my kids is totally dependent upon my ability to fly them out West- during COVID that meant I didnt see them for over a year. The 50/50 rule would not work for exs who are separated by distance, but removal of CS would help me to see them more often. My ex also claims she cannot work due to a disability and quickly remarried after moving East, her financial situation is now much stronger than mine. In addition my ex conviced my oldest to “hold back” another year in HS after transferring from home school to public, I believe solely to collect more CS as my daughter has a C average. The system allows abuse and needs reform.

I know 2 women in the state of NY. They were married – now divorced. One parent made 23000 the other made 70. NY State law – under ALL conditions (unless you are the man) require the parent who makes the most money to pay CHILD SUPPORT and that parent also becomes the non-custodial parent – PERIOD – unless of course the woman makes the most. So the parent with the most money, pays child support, spends the same on utilities, spends the same amount of time, same on grocery, same on gas – also pays for extracurricular activities and so on. The parent with the least money is rewarded for not applying themselves and working harder to make more. The lower paying parent knows the system and can take the other parent to court FREE – at will. So it is a situation where the woman who carried the child for 9 months could be taken to court and lose custody or put through the ringer from a woman who has NO BIOLOGICAL union with the kids. It is extremely sad. NO – ALL MOTHERS/WOMEN ARE NOT BAD OR TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SYSTEM – however there is NO consequence for the ones who do. How can that possibly be right?

I shouldn’t use the word “unfair” to father to pay child support. Maybe that’s in your case but usually mothers that are single with more than two kids it’s so fn hard to keep at home perfect, kids, meals and have to go to work. Plus I workout too to keep my sanity it’s not cheap!!! I have me my three kids I have to see how do I make time for it mean while the father is living a beautiful life has money for a girlfriend and no time or money for his kids so
At least what he can do it’s to help me help his children to have a better life with a little miserable money he can give us so don’t say it’s unfair. Mothers are important in childrens lives as fathers are
If they only did the half of the work we as mothers do we would have more time for “us” meaning I could go out work more hours too and fathers can help not only pay child support but actually be involved and if they can’t be involved pay a nanny meaning extra money smh. Not agreeing with you and any of your comments post or blog.

What a joke… yeah don’t be too sorry… fathers pay child support by an average of over 96% of the time nationally! Bringing up 4% as if that has any seat at this table is a joke

It’s impossible to fight child support, they have the power of a Judge. Because what ever child support services decides to do to you. Which is always extreme, the Judge will grant it every single time. 3 or 4 lawyers will be fighting her case for her. While I have no representation without paying large amounts of money. She has never let me see my son. Because she was mad because I wanted a paternity test, with good reason. He is mine. But she is so mad that she will not let me see him. So I speak up in court, she refuses to let me see him. That is contempt of court. They always say that I will have to get a lawyer. While there are 3 lawyers fighting for her, through the state. “Child support services “.. it’s bullshit no matter what the circumstances. Now he is 18yrs old and hates me because he thinks that I abandoned him. I have 3 other kids and I see them or talk to them almost every day of the week.

I do pay everything in my house I sometimes wants to say just stop paying and don’t come around
Because it feels like I pay so much for my kids for everything I pay for all in my home and he only gets to pay so little he spends more money in a day than where he gives his own children for a month. As a single mother I only don’t do my job as a full time mom I work full time I am doing so much! I feel like it’s unfair fathers don’t help enough.

Child support needs to be reformed. It’s so unfair to fathers. What are our rights? How can we fight for change?

I have been saying this for years. Your platform is truth.
I’m a grandma now. Divorced several years ago and I was more than fair to him. I choose a path forward.
It’s time for real positive change in theses kiddos lives.
I have a son that is twice divorced. Typical mother’s, fight about money. Won’t let him see them. Spends money to go to court to see his kids. He finally said I can’t do this anymore.
I shouldn’t have to fight to see my kids or pay to see them.
I’m the grandma that has to jump through loops to see my grandkids
I would like to see the laws change! It is an antiquated system.
Is there a platform to get involved to write to our senators to help on this scientific study?
How do you talk to these mothers that think they got ripped off?

I have seen men suffer at the cost of the exploitation of child support. My brother could not afford to even get an apartment for years. He became a slave to pay child support he was working 2 and 3 jobs to just survive. He went through depression wanting to commit suicide. The system is abusing men and just because we are the mothers it doesn’t always mean we have the right to abuse men. If the men is there for his children picks them up spend time it’s them care for them why do we in top of that expect them to pay 1,000 dollars a month. I am a single mom and I knew my kids father was not going to be able to pay that much money so whyyyyyy I’m the world would I put him on child support so that he can get in a deeper hole and not be able to be there for my kids in any other way. You have these women wanting to live in castles and luxury at the cost of a man’s paycheck. This is ridiculous it is unfair and it is not justice. I see men crying because they are doing everything they can and still they get treated like garbage because a woman is lying through her teeth talking about I have no help. The man lost everything has nothing at all because he cannot afford it and you want more. Come on women now days are selfish. You crying cus you don’t have help but you over here with a boat a jet ski a fancy house a fancy car and asking for the father of your kids to give you more when he has no home he had to move in with a family member because he can’t afford the rent today which is 1,000 and up plus bills and he still there for his kids but you want more. This is disgusting to me that a judge would not look at a case and see a man going above and beyond they only listen to the lying mothers. Justice for men please. They need help. I would sign any petition they need help. This is why many end up selling drugs and down the wrong path because the system pushes them to do these things in order to SURVIVE.

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