A single father just sent me the following brief albeit very profound email;
What do you do when they take so much support out of your check that it is literally pointless to try to work? When it costs you more in gas than what your paycheck is? What do you do when you are faced with being homeless in less than a month? When your phone is going to be shut off? I don’t see too many answers to these questions at this point.
My reply to Joe was as follows;
I just wanted you to know that I received your email. I will do my best to respond later tonight by posting your email and my response (this one and what I’ll write later) on the blog. I will NOT identify you NOR disclose your email address.
If it’s okay with you, I’ll use only “Joe” as well as the body only of your email below. It’s important to put things like this on the blog so others around the world can see the hell that good and loving single (and remarried) fathers live in and go through, in order to be a part of our children’s lives.
Please listen to what I’m about to say; I know EXACTLY how you feel and I’ve been where you are. You CANNOT lose hope, and despite how hopeless your situation appears to you at this time. The day WILL COME that your situation starts improving.
Focus yourself on a better future, don’t focus on where you are today.
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights
And there you have it folks, in a nutshell. That’s the life that many (and I dare so most) single fathers are forced to live as a result of the unconscionable and immoral amounts of “child support” single fathers (under the threats of felony arrests, convictions and incarceration) are forced to pay.
Please bear with me as I digress for a bit. I emphasize “child support” with quotes (almost always) because the money is rarely is spent on the child. It usually supports the noncustodial parent’s (a ‘single mother’ 85% of the time) lifestyle at the expense of the children.
Given that there are other issues I wish to address in this post besides a reply to Joe, I will divert from the nature of the email itself to explain other points, then will address Joe’s questions directly near the of this post.
There are studies out there (I apologize for not having links, but if you search hard enough you’ll find them) that state that only in about 35% of cases is the money actually spent on the child, and even then, only some of the funds are used to actually support the children.
It’s emails such as Joe’s, that fuels the indignation whereby my nearly unrestrained wrath is unleashed on single moms (such as in the post directly below this one), who on a grand scale, unjustly and falsely label as “deadbeats” all single fathers who have unwillingly fallen behind on their “child support” obligations.
That louse with whom I had that exchange with, also went to “new depths of low” by asserting through an inference there exists no fathers who have been cut off from their children. Perhaps she would do well to open her misandrous eyes and read this piece by the highly regarded, extremely intelligent and well respected Wendy McElroy.
Back to not only Joe, but his children. We’re told that “child support” is in the best interest of the children. Really??? Joe is facing homelessness and is about to have his phone disconnected. Therefore, and presumably, his children will have no way to reach him.
Assuming he has a “visitation schedule” he will have no place for his children (nor himself) to stay after he’s homeless. Additionally, he’ll be without the means to contact his children after his phone is shut off for nonpayment. And finally, he has no money with which to buy food to feed himself or his kids.
Therefore, and as a direct result of being court-ordered to pay such an unconscionably high amount of “child support” because we’re told it’s “in the best interest of his children, Joe will be forced into homelessness, his phone will be disconnected for non-payment (so his children won’t be able to reach him), and because what remains of his paycheck isn’t enough to cover the cost of gas to get to work, we can probably correctly assume that he won’t have any money to purchase groceries for neither himself nor his children.
Now REMEMBER, we have been, and are CONTINUALLY told that this is in the “best interests of the children.” It’s therefore imperative that you understand and also remember that the State of Ohio “”PROFITS”” off of each and every one of not only Joe’s “child support” payments, but off of EVERY “child support” payment that’s made in the State of Ohio.
Moreover, the higher a fathers (or noncustodial mothers) “child support” payment is, the higher Ohio’s profit is from that very same order. I have therefore always maintained that “child support” is only in Ohio’s best financial interest. And that, at the expense, and on the backs of, Ohio’s precious and innocent children who are alleged to be the recipients of said orders, but that the aforementioned studies prove they rarely benefit from financially.
That the mother of Joe’s child(ren) and women like her who take so much (steal in my moral opinion) of their children’s father’s money that he’s left with almost nothing and will be homeless, destitute and penniless as a result, speaks volumes about their despicable lack of moral character and more importantly, their utter indolent indifference towards their child’s well being and best interest.
I allege indolent, because in my experience, nearly all of the mothers whose theft of the father’s income (through “child support”) was so extreme that’s he’s ultimately bankrupted and homeless, the mother’s have been lazy slugs who did little or no work. Drug and/or alcohol addictions (on the mother’s part) were also a factor in many cases.
Indifferent because in cases such as Joe’s, the child’s relationship is severely and highly damaged as a direct result of the father’s indigence.
PLEASE NOTE that the last few paragraph’s are NOT meant as a broad indictment of all single moms, only those who steal so much of their children’s father’s income that they alone cause him to be financially destitute. I happily and willingly acknowledge that there are many good and loving single moms out there.
Now I will address you Joe directly and you asked me, “What do you do when they take so much support out of your check that it is literally pointless to try to work?” My genuine answer to you is that you keep working Joe. At this point, I suspect that just how incredibly stressful and dire your situation is most likely hasn’t fully sunk in because it sounds to me as if your still in emotional shock and utter disbelief.
You must believe that despite how completely isolated and alone you feel emotionally, there are millions of others who have and are going through EXACTLY what you are. I am one of those people Joe, and I can still very vividly asking my girlfriend (now my wife) 8 years ago, WHY AM I WORKING??? IT’S POINTLESS!!!
I like you Joe, went to work daily and worked up to 50 hours a week (I was a salaried employee) only to bring home nearly nothing after the $1,300 a month in “child support” and alimony (paid to someone more educated than myself) was deducted from my ‘net’ pay. I was not only not getting ahead, I was in the process of losing everything.
After 37 years of perfect credit (up to my divorce) I was then filing for bankruptcy and the foreclosure process on the three homes I owned back then had begun. So despite me getting up and going to work every day, I was falling further and further behind financially.
I was ultimately jailed, and fired from my job when the police (The Hamilton County “Fugitive Warrant Unit” went to my place of employment to arrest me on a “CIVIL” contempt warrant related to my then pending divorce. I was ordered as part of the property trial to pay my daughter’s mother $50 per month in payments on $2,000 of “marital equity” that the court claimed existed one of my pre-marital rental properties where I was literally upside-down on after the housing bubble burst.
I pleaded with the judge to not order me to that payment not only because the equity didn’t exist, but because I had no money to pay with after that very same court ordered me to pay $1,300 per month in “child support” and alimony for one child-my very precious and equally awesome daughter whom I love very much and cherish more than words can describe.
When I didn’t make the payments after warning the court I couldn’t because they didn’t leave me enough of my own paycheck to pay with, I was found to be contempt and a warrant (Writ for Bodily Attachment) for my arrest was issued by the Domestic Relations judge.
Again, this was a “civil” warrant Joe. And when the police when to my place of employment, and right to my cubicle (I worked in a downtown office) to arrest me ( I was at the back fire exit watching them as the situation unfolded) my employer at the time fired me. They didn’t appreciate the cops coming to arrest me.
So after the court bankrupted me through my “child support” order, it then directly caused me to for the first time in my life, get terminated from a job, and they then jailed me because they were taking so much of my net pay for “child support”, that I couldn’t pay the $50 per month I was ordered to on a pre-marital rental property where I was literally upside-down (as were most people) on the mortgage. And this is the real-deal Joe, that really happened, you can’t make this stuff up!
As horrible and cold as this is going to sound Joe, please know that I’m sincere, and very cognizant of your feelings; with regard to working, please try to be thankful that you have a job, and even though you get no money for working because of how much your ex steals from you under the guise of “child support.”
You should have only a few goals right now.
1. STAY OUT OF JAIL and avoid a felony charge and conviction by paying your “child support” despite how immoral and criminal like that order is. And believe me, it’s my belief that morally, “child support” is the moral equivalency of theft, and I truly believe that it’s legalized thievery in most cases.
2. Find a place to live in the short term and consider your car if you have a safe place to park it when you sleep. Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re running it for heat while you sleep in it.
3. Determine how you will pay for food.
4. Try to maintain some type of contact with your child(ren.)
5. No matter how badly you may be tempted, do not in any way disparage your ex in front of your child(ren), and refrain at all costs from arguing with her not only in front of the children) but at all, because it will do nothing but increase your stress levels exponentially.
I can’t stress this enough Joe; in spite of the fact that you aren’t making any money by working, and due to the excessive amounts of “child support” you must pay, you must keep working to avoid falling behind in your “child support” payments.
Statistically speaking, most of those (especially if you are someone who doesn’t make much money to begin with) who fall behind in their “child support” obligation and thereby go into arrears NEVER recover.
And the result for those that don’t is a felony indictment for criminal non-support of a minor child, an ensuing felony conviction, and possible perpetual incarceration if the State of Ohio re-indicts you under a much more serious felony charge (since it’ll be your second charge) for criminal nonsupport of a minor child WHILE you’re incarcerated for your first offense!
That is no joke, and no exaggeration Joe! I’ve met fathers and wrote to them in jail who while they were incarcerated, were charged with a second more serious felony offense of criminal nonsupport of a minor child because they didn’t pay their “child support” while they were incarcerated.
And there’s a very good reason the State of Ohio does that. In doing so, they can assure that the incarcerated father will accrue such a high amount of “child support” arrears, interests and penalties, that they’ll for the rest of their lives, be paying “child support” on their “child.” And what that means, is for the rest of their lives, the State of Ohio will PROFIT off of that father’s payments.
You asked, “What do you do when you are faced with being homeless in less than a month?” Do you have any options at all Joe to live in someone’s basement, or on their couch, in their attic, or even in a tent on their property? Is there anyone at all, family or friend where you could live as described until you figure out a more permanent solution?
Another question you asked was, “What do you do when your phone is going to be shut off? You wouldn’t qualify for an Obamaphone since you “make too much money”, so your options are very limited. Is there anyone in your life who you’re close enough to that they would put you on their cell phone plan?
I would like to know more about your situation so that I could perhaps suggest other solutions to you, are you willing to disclose more to me? Also, it would help if I knew where you were as there is some very limited help to fathers in some parts of Ohio.
In closing Joe. please know the following and BELIEVE it, as your life could depend on it depending on your mental state. I HAVE BEEN EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE. And for a very long time in my life back then, each “light at the end of the tunnel” was yet another train coming at me head on, and that when it hit me, would deliver yet another payload of destruction that would rain down misery, tragedy and or chaos or all three in my already upside-down and destroyed world.
But PLEASE KNOW THIS…In time things WILL get better, your life WILL come back together, and life will be wonderful again. There is a saying, “this too shall pass”, and it shall. I know, because I’ve been where you are.
I’m willing to walk with you through this Joe if you’re only willing to discuss. You can reply to me here on the blog, by email, or not at all, it’s your choice.
But do know this; I’ve been where you are, things WILL get better, life WILL be fun and happy again, and I do care about you and what you’re going through.
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights