Dr. Boyce: Taxation Without Representation–How Child Support Must Be Changed Right Now

by Dr. Boyce Watkins – Scholarship in Action

I was on 1380 WAOK in Atlanta for an interesting interview this morning.  The conversation revolved around child support payments and the “Financial Abortions” concept that my Senior Editor, Kirsten West-Savali, brought to my attention just a couple of months ago.  The conversation expanded to child support in general, and I can say that I am clearly concerned about deadbeat parents who choose not to support their kids.  I don’t care if he’s buying diapers and visiting your child every weekend; he should also be using a chunk of his paycheck to help you pay the bills related to taking care of that child.

But the child support system is in serious need of reform.  In Atlanta over the holiday weekend, there were hundreds of parents sent to jail for non-payment of child support.  While I don’t entirely oppose the idea of sending the law after parents who don’t pay, I’m not quite sure how putting parents in jail is going to help the child.  Also, the law is quick to lock a man up for non-payment of child support, but they are not so interested in using their resources to help that father spend time with his kids.

I am an 18-year veteran of the child support system, and I’ve also taken responsibility for children who’ve been financially abandoned by their dads.  Additionally, my own biological father never paid a penny in child support to my knowledge, so I was also a victim of a dead beat dad as well.  So, I understand the frustrations of losing parental rights, and I also understand why dead beat dads need to be dealt with.   The issue is a complex one,  but one thing that is abundantly clear is that the child support system, in its current form, is more likely to destroy a family than to sustain it.

Here are some things that need to be changed about the child support system:

1) Greater accountability on where the money is spent:  There is nothing more frustrating for a non-custodial parent than to pay hundreds (or even thousands) in child support, only to see that their child isn’t getting access to the money.  I know this reality from experience, and I’ve also heard from countless dads (and moms) who’ve taken care of their responsibilities, only to have their child calling to request money for things they can’t afford.

Money paid in child support should be tracked in some way, perhaps with a debit card to record expenses or some other form of verification.  A responsible parent is not paying child support for anyone to get their nails done.   At the same time, custodial parents should be allowed to submit a budget showing the magnitude of household expenses.  This is a clear reminder to the man paying $200 per month that this amount means almost nothing to a household that faces thousands of dollars per month in expenses – so no, your child isn’t going to have the entire check spent on new Air Jordans if his mother is trying to pay the light bill.

2) Solutions that strengthen families instead of punishing them:  Jail should be part of the accountability process, I truly believe that. But jail should not be a catchall solution for every problem.  Putting a parent in jail only helps the child if this punishment is supplemented with other methods to ensure that the relationship between father and child is strengthened as a result.  If the father wants nothing to do with the child, that’s one thing, but if the father somehow feels that his parental rights have been trampled and stolen from him, then something should be done to secure visitation or even partial custody as a result of paying child support on time.

In far too many cases, one parent chooses to hijack the child-rearing process, micromanaging everything the other parent does (“I don’t want my child in the car with your girlfriend, but you can’t say a thing about my boyfriend driving him around”).   It took two people to make the baby, so two people have the right to raise it.

Finally, garnishments and other solutions should be considered long before incarceration, and parents who are brought in by the police should be given an option to come up with a payment solution before being put in jail.   The point is that locking a man up punishes both the children in his home and the children outside his home, so we must think carefully before indulging the temptations of the “incarceration nation” that America has become.  Jail should be a last resort, and should also be part of a broader process to “encourage” men to become better dads.

3) Father’s rights should be laid on the table for discussion:  I’ll never forget when I asked the mean woman at the child support office what I could do about the fact that I wasn’t able to see my child on a regular basis.  Her response?  “If you don’t pay, you can be sent to jail.  But there’s nothing we can do about helping you to see your daughter.”  Sometimes, parents who try to do the right thing are punished more than those who evade the system.  Also, when a family struggles, we must grow beyond simply assuming that the man is always at fault – it usually takes two people to destroy a family, but in many black relationships, we are likely to hear just one side of the story.

In medicine, there is a “Patient’s Bill of Rights.”  In child support court, there should be a “Parent’s Bill of Rights.”  These rights should include the opportunity to spend time with your child, the right to representation to secure your parental rights, the right to accountability on where your money is spent, and maybe even the right to partial custody if you can’t afford to make child support payments.  Most of us would agree that time spent with a child goes a lot further than money, and a baby should not be used as a little ATM machine.

The system should be modified to go after deadbeat parents with greater ferocity in order to protect children and responsible mothers.  But it should also protect ethical, hard-working dads from being harmed by situations in which child custody is being used as a weapon of mass destruction.  We learned over 200 years ago that there should not be taxation without representation.  But as it stands, some parents are being hit hard financially every single month and are only rewarded with a loss of dignity, parental alienation and the stigma of being called a deadbeat just because you don’t live with your child.  It’s time to start telling every side of the story.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 




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92 responses to “Dr. Boyce: Taxation Without Representation–How Child Support Must Be Changed Right Now

  1. Pingback: Dr. Boyce: Taxation Without Representation – How the Child Support System Should Be Changed

  2. Mona

    When you make a commitment and then decide not to honor it (father or mother/husband or wife) there are consequences and it is usually nothing pleasant. Petition for joint custody and try your hand at accountability, I bet you won’t do that because you don’t want the responsibility. And with no responsibility there is no accountability.

  3. deb

    Good points but you must realize and accept that the support you pay is not your money once given. The courts will not be reformed in the way you wish, because the court does not supports, that type “control” of one parent over another, through financial accountability through stipulation and jumping through virtual hoops.ogs

  4. satisfied

    My ex-wife tried to take my children away from me, even though I was a stay at home dad m-f so she could keep her career, and I worked a week-end job.(i still made more than her). Even though she had no way of taking care of them without what amounts to financial castration to me, she still insisted. Even though I was as always capable to take care of them m-f as usual, she still insisted on daycare while she worked. Guess who would have paid for that? Luckily, justice was served. I won dual custody, legal and physical. Had I not worked weekends I would have had the same fate as all other 9-5 dads. I would have been the recipient of only the state minimum time to spend with the kids minus the monies to start my own life over etc.(She cheated on me, and left me. Broke all her vows, etc) So many men pay exorbitant child support and never know what that money goes for. There should absolutely be transparency. I love the debit card idea. But from personal experience working with mostly women and hearing their thoughts on the subject almost daily(“…he doesn’t deserve to know anything!”) there will be a great deal of complaining. I am among the minority of fathers that actually get to see their kids and do not have to pay support. In our situation justice was not only served(despite my ex’s unfair claims) the children won. They have their father, and their mother equally.

  5. I’m one of the good guys that pays every month and can’t see my kids on a regular basis. So what I narrowed it down to is, she’s a bitter Broad that’s mad I moved on in life. SMH And New Olreans child support system is full of CRAP! And can’t never get in touch with them but, they know how to take out of my check every month.

  6. Nubisis

    There is a lot of reform that needs to be done to the child support system. The main aspect is that when child support orders are entered, visitation and parental rights need to be established and a parenting plan including visitation needs to be entered in the same order. Too many Dads are being required to support kids they have no real realtionship with because they mother is using the kids as pawns in their sick vengeful games against the Dad.

  7. SisCookie

    I would love to see “accountability” on the part of the receiver of child support. My husband pays over $1,000 per month, however, the child calls too often stating that “she has no food”. The Courts are biased on the part of the mother who can lie and say that the father is not paying. My husband was paying “cash”, yet she was able to to to Court and get “back” child support because he trusted her. And, the part about “I don’t want my child around your girlfriend is true too”. I am not his girlfriend, I am his wife.

  8. I have said for many years that the child support system should be revamped. It makes no sense to send a person to jail for not paying child support or consider it a felony. Being in jail does not solve anything and it could cause the person to lose their job and having a felony conviction will hamper the person in seeking employment. Now, mind you, I believe that the non-custodial parent should contribute to his or her child’s support; however, there should be an agreement between the parent as to who does what. My daughter and her ex-husband agreed not to involve the child support system into their lives and they agreed to care for their child. It worked out for them but everyone can not agree on what is best for the child as they put their emotions and hurt feelings into their decisions. There are some dead-beat parents out there and there should be better solutions to this growing problem.

  9. PB Short

    I understand about the dead-beat fathers out here in society…but let’s not forget about the uh, um, so-called mother who mismanages money and do not pay her bills because she wants her hair done or some other less important want, instead of a need…

    All of this male and female bashing among the black community is terrible and needs to stop…

    Nine times out of ten, drugs and alcohol plays a role in the broken family home…unemployment among black males and females is second…

    How can you pay for anything when you do not have some type of employment? and for those of you who have the skills to command $45.00 per hour or more, you know exactly how hard it is to find a job in your profession…

    Dr. Boyce, I like your articles, but n$%*&r please, lets talk about how we can create jobs that pay our people six figures per year for those who qualify, and also create jobs for those who deserve minimum wage or more…

    Write an article on Oprah, and why she open a girl school in south Africa of all places…she could have open the school in Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, etc…but to be real, ask her why she did not open that school here in America in places like South East DC, Cleveland, Brooklin, East Columbus Ohio, and so on…

    We definitely have our priorities all mixed up and toatlly dedicated to the white man (Jesus), you know, the typical white male, perverted child molesting catholic…

    I hate this country, I mean seriously, I hate the USA and all countries that does business with this perverted racist nation…

    Go EGYPT, you are making change happen, break away from the USA…it will not be easy, but keep trying…

    To bad I was born and raised in the racist State of Ohio…

  10. It still amazes me that people equate being a “deadbeat dad” to a man who doesn’t pay child support. My dad paid child support for 18 years on time every month. He had the same job for 17 of those years and it was garnished out of his check. He refused to be a apart of my life so HE IS A DEADBEAT DAD. A man who does not participate in the rearing of his child is a deadbeat. Those men going to jail for unpaid child support are more than likely men who can’t afford it. Court ordered child support is garnished from their wages so if they aren’t paying they don’t received a wage. Not having a job doesn’t make them a bad parent. It’s the greedy, vindictive women who keep them from their kids who are bad parents. They aren’t thinking of the kids, they are only thinking of themselves. And the child support system is the worst. It wasn’t created to protect children. It’s sole purpose is to destroy families, rob the man of his parental rights and his repect as an authoritative figure in the child’s eyes. The system will never be rectified because it’s doing a damned good job of locking up black men and the folk in charge see that as success. Buying clothes and diapers IS being a good parent. That’s what the child support is supposed to be for right? So the father should be able to do it. He shouldn’t be punished for not being able to provide more. Being a responsible adult means being able to work through your issues with each other to do for the child. Both parents need to smarten up and figure out what works for them without putting the system in it. That is doing what’s best for the child.

  11. shanda

    I live in the state of LA and the debit card has been in play for many years now not unless the parent opted to have it direct deposited into their checking account. So if they wanted to track the spending they could but that will cost the state more money. As for representation for the non costodial parent is not going to happen. If a parent is granted joint or shared custody in the state of LA that cuts the child support in half and lets face it the state will lose money because they do take 10% of all payments made. So i decided to remove my son’s father from child support( with him signing a legal document stating he will continue to pay what he has been paying of course) simply because I dont feel the state should get any money that belongs to my child and neither me or his father came claim taxes on period. Its all a joke and I believe the system should only be used for deadbeats and parents who cant come to a mutal agreement with the financial decisions for the children but hey a mediator would be a whole lot cheaper than that system

  12. Kamara

    For starters, there indeed needs to be reform in the child support system. I do however take issue with several points: 1) most counties use a debit card to transfer the money from the father to the mother if they have a case, 2) most enforcement methods are progressive, from asking the father to pay something, anything, to garnishment, to driver license suspension, to pay-stay in court and THEN imprisonment- that is a LAST resort to a habitual non-payer and most counties don’t like using it but most counties are PENALIZED when too many cases aren’t paying, 3) child support offices are NOT family court and they cannot address visitation as they do not have jurisdiction over the issue – you must go to family court and/or mediation which is most often free or small fee and you don’t need a lawyer if you just do a little homework, 4)government agencies will never EVER strengthen families- what needs to be reformed is the he vs she attitude that is rampant in a community where people sleep together BEFORE they get to know someone. If a dude is a deadbeat, he was that way when you slept with him (unprotected). If a female is manipulative, scheming, and selfish (and likes to get her nails done) then she was that way BEFORE you made a baby with her. Great post that evokes a dialog but it seems that the dialog hasn’t evolved over the last 3 decades as men are still complaining about women getting their nails done with the child support money.

  13. quest4me

    The law has no problem locking up fathers who do not pay. I have issue with the young father who may have a spot or two on his record. Once released after being detained, it is dismal that he will find a job which will allow him to support himself let alone others. Please before anyone gets angry, I am speaking of young ones, 16,17,18. They have not finished their education, they have not had proper parenting themselves, then engage with young 16,17,18 year old young ladies, and are immediately expected to be financially supporting fathers. The system is the problem. Once they lock up the young father, he needs $500 to get out. Once his mother or relative pays the $500 and he is released, NONE of that money goes to the young mother, it goes directly to the system. Then after picking him up a couple more times, they take his license..That’s smart…Then if caught driving, apply a hefty fine that continues to grow if not paid. Now on top of trying to figure out how to care for his child, he is now afraid to move around. He is no longer legal. I think you can guess where he goes from here. I have a good friend who is a parole officer and good friends who are police officers. This is a vicious, vicious cycle that is in need of repair if our children are to grow to become productive little assets to their families and our communities.

  14. PB Short

    There is a difference between Bitch support (alimony), and Child support…

    The funds for the child should be spent on the child; clothes, food, toys, etc…not on the mother, and then the child is calling saying he/she is hungry and needs shoes…this is where women get ALL wrong, the money is not for you…Alimony is for you…mom was notorious for spending my child support money…so my father came up with a better idea, he took me shopping for everything, and bought the food…this way, the money did not get spent trying to impress some man or her roach infested family…

  15. david

    as there are “deadbeat dads’, yes there are ‘deadbeat moms”….each and every one should be made to take care of their responsibility. if the man has 3 other kids, he will still be made to pay…you get the idea. The reason people go to jail for non payment is b/c it is a violation of a court order to not pay child support. This is a backwards philosophy as it does nothing to help the child, which is the WHOLE purpose of the so called “child support system”. There is no plan in place to enforce visitation b/c the endgame is to collect money, period. Most states get federal funding for collection of child support dollars. The best interest of the child has long been forgotten in this system, and many people use it as a form of retribution for hurt feelings.

  16. Real Talk 101

    There’s only one solution: Both parties pay into a secured account bi-weekly/monthly administered by the courts to take care of the child monthly expenses. NCP should only pay 10% more than the CP. It is ouright disgusting the way the system make a NCP pay 50 to 60% of their monthly income, while the CP make as much money as they like. No one should have the suffer at the expense of other. The should an agreed upon amount that both parties pay into, with the exception that the NCP pay little more due to child/dren not living with him/her.

  17. K.J.

    I dealt with this issue over the holiday weekend as well, my sons father turned himself in to the police for non support, and i dont get child support until hes arrested and pays a bail, the bail goes towards what he owes and thats when i get a check, Im torn on this issue because i never even wanted to get the courts involved but it was obvious to me that it was necessary. I tried my hardest to make arrangement with him to help me out directly and even went as far as to only ask him for $25 a week which is barely lunch money, he didnt comply and i did what i had to, while i know he loves his child, hes being selfish and spiteful thinking that because i work hard and always seem to get things done without his help that i should just keep that up. I always thought that a child had 2 parents to be caregivers not 1. All i want is for my child to get what he deserves and jail is only good if it can put these deadbeats to work somehow and monitor them to do better, the work release program seems to work a little but not good enuff because those men that cant get jobs and need help in maintaining stability are not getting the help they need to keep up with their own households and take care of the child that doesn’t live with them. they feel they are paying too much with nothing left over for themselves. I say get a 2nd job. needless to say, when i did take him to court years later he ended up having to pay $113 a week which included current and arrears because I reported everything he gave to his child excluding bday and xmas gifts, he now owes $25000 and has no intentions of paying until he gets arrested again, and those were his words.

  18. Raziel

    Wonderful article with thoughtful arguments. However, it does not address deadbeat mothers! It would seem that this article makes the same assumptions and upholds the fallacy that somehow, only dads can be deadbeats. Mothers like my child’s mother who spent the first 17 years of our daughters life on drugs and not financially supporting her child seem to not only get a pass in the child support systems, but the discussion about child support as well.

    I have gone from public assistance to having a masters degree over the course of raising my daughter on my own. In the process, I have had to deal with the mother attempting to macro management me raising my child and she has never put a dime on the table. Even now that my daughter is attending college it is the same old story, however, society at large frowns on the fact that I tell my daughters mother that she has nothing to say to me about what I do and don’t do where my daughter is concerned. If you having nothing to contribute at this point other than conversation that centers on what you think and want, my daughter will be 21 in May, just stfu already. The days of baby-momma-drama is over. Personally, I advocate to totally dismantle a system that is inherently biased as the child support system is. Period!

  19. Iyonna

    OMG..the child support issue again..I have 3 children from 3 different fathers..Im married to the father of the last child, so all is good there. Both of the previous dads have paid child support/been apart of their lives.. and I am happy and grateful of that..So Im coming from somewhat of a neutral stand point AS A CUSTODIAL PARENT…what I dont get is how a custodial parents (usually the mother) has the audacity to ask for child support when she is sitting on Section 8 housing, getting food stamps, going to school to “better herself”..instead of getting in the grind (as required by the non custodial parent) and making ends meet for their children..most non-custodial parents have to go to school “to better themselves” ANNNND work..whats wrong with having the same requirement for the Custodial Parent..seriously……Im a counselor and it pains me to hear a client/custodial parent.. sitting across from me and tell me that the NCP has paid child support, consistently for past 4 yrs (child is still 4 y/o) and the NCP loses his job and shes ready to file for a modification or some other punitive charge…really!?!?!..This is a parent who makes a living off of the having children (And some clients have admitted to me this is actually how they “make it..pays their bills) all the while, she’s NEVER worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….How can States continue to pay Custodial parents to be glorified babysitters, specifically the ones getting benefits from the State to cover their portion of support for the child..and then have the Non Custodial parent be mandated to get a job to support the child..just dont get it..the rationale…From my experience with male friends, family member and general public (since I work as a counselor)..alot of men are required to pay child support and have NO say in the child’s upbringing..Im not talking about deciding which school to attend etc..Im talking about Custodial parents (mothers, in my case) that dont WANT the non custodial parent to have a say in ANYTHING about the child..only pay the MONEY..which in most cases damages the relationship the child has with the Noncustodial parent…the nerve, the audacity…The system empowers custodial parents to just “run amuck”…I sometimes feel the pain of the Non custodial parent: (in some cases) who are required to pay the child support but because of the relationship with the custodial, the relationship with the child suffers..some of these women need to be ASHAMED of allowing their feelings about how the relationship ended to influence the childs feelings toward the other parent..or talk bad about the other parent..these types of parents needs some serious counseling, a friend..a talk with Big Momma..something..they need to ask themselves: Why am I using my child as a confidant…GROW UP!! and get some scruples about yourself…Fro me, the reality was: the relationship with the fathers of my 2 previous children did not work out..cheating, drugs etc..so I could be bitter..am in alot of ways.. but none of MY feelings for my childrens fathers had a DAMN thing to do with their relationship with my child..I so appreciate my experience with the whole child support issue..couldve been so different for me…God Bless

  20. sssmrtsmartsmartone

    How aout some mandatory birth control? How about mandatory parentng training? How bout we STOP the procreation of fools?

  21. chrystal

    Perhaps ” the mean lady at the child support office” could have spoken in better tone. But she is right, the child support office cannot do anything about one parent not letting the other parent see the child or children. When I worked in child support, we would simply tell the non-custodial parent that they need an attorney to assist with that matter. And it appears that all efforts stopped there. Some parents would even end up in court about child support payments and would tell the judge they weren’t allowed to see the child. Even the judge would advise them that those issues were not handled in child support court and advise the parent to have an attorney handle the matter. As I said before, the efforts always stopped there. I kmow an attorney can be costly. I have never met one that would not work out a payment plan. And no amount of money should keep one from his or her child.

  22. Melva

    While I have read the comments and can see some relevance in everyone’s comments and do think that the system needs a major overhaul, I can only wish that some action would be taken against my ex-husband and children’s father. He has nothing to do with the children, one of whom is special needs. He doesn’t offer anything in the way of support, nor does he try to see them. He, for one, should be thrown directly into jail and for an undetermined time. He has known that for a time, I’ve had to work two jobs to care for them and just does not care. For me, I cannot see how a person can close their eyes to sleep at night and not see the children’s faces. I don’t think that the current system offers anything positive for any of the involved parties.

  23. steve

    all I can say is I think both parents should have to pay the same amount. If the NCP is required to pay 500 a month the the CP should have to pay 500 a month. whatever amount is agreed upon. but a CP shouldn’t be allowed to sit on their butt and collect money for having babies. so what if your spouse says you don’t have to work. that has nothing to do with the children you had with someone else. you might not have to pay bills in your current situatuion, but you do from your pass situation. I’m a father who pays child support, and to often my kids call me asking for EXTRA things. things I would love to give them if I could afford to. I also have a family of my own to take care of. middle class income. once they take out what I’m ordered to pay, pay my bills where I live, I’m basically waiting for my next check. all the while their mother gets to not work and go to school. or use the money I give for my kids for daycare for her OTHER children. But I’m told I don’t have a say as to where the money goes. so when she tells our kids to ask me for something EXTRA and I say no, I look like the bad person. then you tell them you pay support every month and to asked their mother where’s the money, they don’t want to be in the middle of grown folks mess. the bottom line is to wait until you’re married and live right by your spouse. then you won’t have to worry about it.

  24. Excellent points! I blog about fathers’ rights AND responsibilities. I launched Their Eyes Were Watching Daddy (TEWD) as an initiative to encourage and empower men to take a more active role in their child(ren)’s life – regardless of their state of affairs with the mother! Thanks for writing about this, Dr. Watkins!

  25. david

    @ chrystal..thats not an easy task. when you are already paying child support and supporting yourself and maybe another family…the family court attorneys will take your retainer and charge you exhorbitant fees, even when they know they cant win your case for you. sometimes getting an attorney is not all its cracked up to be. going pro se( representing yourself) is less expensive, but you are held to the same standards by the judge as if you were an attny….i actually won custody of my son this way, but it was very difficult to do.

  26. Roy Carter

    Great piece Dr. Watkins! The structure of our current child support system of laws is a gentle reminder that the US Constitution never outlawed slavery; the 13th Amendment Section 1 reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a PUNISHMENT FOR CRIME whereof the party shall have been DULY CONVICTED, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”.
    They are an affront to the 14th Amendment Section 1 as well in that ” No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    When non custodial parents appear before judges for not paying child support are judges required to read them their Miranda Rights? That being said, if not, isn’t that an affront to their 5th Amendment Rights as well? Sadly the answer is no. Non custodial parents rights are trampled on by cash strapped States who have “interpreted” the US Constitution to benefit their bottom lines; the needs of the child is their secondary concern.

    ALL family members should get should get equal protect under the law, not the just the custodial parent and the child.

  27. Diane

    I feel like the system should make child support payments based on both parents income. My husband pays almost $1000. in Child Support every month, faithfully. And, although he sees his kids often, and his ex-wife makes good money, the burden of the support lies on him for all of their personal needs. Since he pays with a check, it is not mandated. While on the other hand we strugle to make ends meet. While she does nothing for the kids she feels that he is obligated to buy eveything that the boys need.
    Where is the justice. She does’nt even buy them Christmas gifts and it makes me so mad.

  28. quest4me

    This is exactly what I was saying. The information being given here comes from all walks, both male and female. Children are caught up in these very situations. They grow up listening and imitating, they become the very young people who are in need of direction. They are the ones who all too often lead the same lives as ones before them. Sometimes these children are pawns in the endings of bad relationships..but the adult in you should look at it from their eyes, they need a mother to nurture and teach,and a father to teach and lead. The money is a part, but there is a bigger picture here.

  29. Iyonna

    @ Diane..good point..I feel your pain…. I forgot about my husband’s ex who doesnt buy Christmas gifts for the 2 children between them..knowing that he and his family will buy the the “good” stuff..all the while, she goes “all out” for the 3 children she has with her current husband..the nerve..”who does that..these are big kids who can also see the difference”..and she calls herself a Christian too…Once again, Im a custodial parent whose other childrens fathers paid child support..so I know how its “supposed” to be done. I just hate that my husband has to deal with the ignorance of it all…Confession: I was married to the father of my second child..and when we both amicably divorced, the judge wanted him to pay almost $600 for our child and I thought: his $600 and my equal share (assumably $600)..would be ‘more than’ enough to take care of our child..key words: MORE THAN..(In my situation, area)..we both laughed immediately and went back in the court room with our agreed upon amount and it was changed to an amount that he could afford..I wasnt in in for the money as some custodial parents are..how could I expect him to pay that amount KNOWING..KNOWING that 1.) I didnt think was a fair amount and 2.) he couldnt afford to have his own life..another family if he wanted to..besides I like that we still go in half for all of her extra curricular expenses..like basketball shoes, school stuff etc…..I wonder if he wouldve been able to pay half on those things if he was given me the lump sum that the judge originally ordered…If I was a bit younger ;-)..I would go back to school..law school..on behalf of the rights of non custodial parents..men AND women..because this child support issue is destroying lives!..causing society to work harder vs smarter!!!!

  30. Chidd support as currently mandated is a primary tool of economic apartheid welded against the African American community as it is
    estimated that white males owe approximately $100 Billion in back
    child support. This is due is part as child support laws are already in
    place to collect child support arrearages right out of personal bank accounts via Financial Institution Data Matches – the federal statute
    became law in 1996 (PRWORA).

  31. lewis3k

    Here is a simple solution, if you don’t want to pay child support, then be responsible by wrapping it up and stop blaming others for your misery.

    You knew well in advance your situation was most likely unemployed, probably several kids from previous relationships which you are not supporting and prior /present criminal record that is keeping you from being employed. Given all the above, you should be under the jail.

    The women that take up with such a deadbeat should have their head examined. What decent person would have a baby with a man that have about 10 + children from previous relationships, baby mama’s to deal with and uneducated/unemployed. SMDH

  32. Kamara

    I don’t understand your comment. Maybe read it again and clarify. FIDM (financial institution data matches) can only be used as an enforcement tool when certain criteria are met. Usually, habitual non-payment. And even more, when an NCP’s obligation is $2000 monthly, if he makes payments of $20 a month he will accrue arrears but be considered a regular payer. The whiners are the ones who don’t understand the system and they blame “they” or “the man” or some unnamed entity for their lack of personal responsibility. The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement was created as a WELFARE RECOVERY PROGRAM to sum up. A woman doesn’t get pregnant on her own and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pick up the slack. Like @lewis3k above said: if you don’t want to be caught up, strap up (not a direct quote).

  33. Education101

    Where I live in in NC, child support I’d a separate issue from custody. I have full custody of my daughter and receive child support. I can go to jail or be held in contempt if I don’t abide by the visitation agreement just like he can go to jail for not paying support…it’s accountability on both sides. I think the problem is most men don’t know or understand their rights when it come to visitation and child support. I have seen my male friends got to court with no attorney or not show up at all, but then get mad at the women when things go against them. I never understood that. Men need to educate themselves and then use the court system to their advantage. That’s probably a more realistic option, than trying to reform the child support system….at least in the short term.

  34. joe

    Here in TX, its as if the custodial parents income is not considered in the determination of the child support amount, even though they do ask. Also, I got a 2nd job and later was taken back to court, where they awarded her even more money based on the part time job is gotten to help supplementm the initial payments that were coming out of my check. Then I was told that if I quit my pt job, the amount would not be reduced because it has now been established that I have the POTENTIAL to make a certain amount. The system is definitely broken.

  35. Vince

    This child support system has NOTHING to do with the child and EVERYTHING to do with the government lining their “budgets” and working hand in hand with vindictive “give me my money” women. Not all but a lot of women have turned to child support as a means of making a living knowing full well they have the bias of the court due to the governments own interest in it.

    I have so called joint legal and physical custody of my children and it really means jack sh$T! I pay support EVERY month, yet when the kids needed school clothes I paid for that outta pocket, when they needed clothes for their grade and middle school graduations I paid outta pocket. After school activities, I pay outta pocket. They call me and say there’s no food in the house, I send food. I STILL have to clothe and feed them when they are with me on top of all this. Yes I called child protective services, yes I’ve been back and forth to court, NO nothing is changing because they love getting their “fees” from my paycheck. Meanwhile, mommy doesn’t work and according to the kids is usually gone.

    Anytime child support is brought up, you get so many dead beat moms screaming about it. Of course they don’t want to have to account for where the money goes, it’ll blow their cover. They love the system just the way it is. It pisses me off that I can go right to friend of the court and see guys sitting there in cuffs over nonpayment yet I’m at the next counter filling out parenting time complaints and nothing gets done. Something has to give, the system is creating is kettle pot that will soon boil over.

  36. To be honest this is a conversation to complex to be addressed in a reply to a article; but one that needs comprehensive exploration and the establishment of foundational facts before we can even begin to approach the issue you are presenting with respects to Child Support. I like you Dr. Watkins believe the system of Child Support needs a MAJOR overhaul. I like you also believe that in many cases the system of enforcement can be more harm than help when it comes to the well-being of our children. However there are a couple of diverging points that I also believe that doesn’t disagree with you, but addresses a few points we should be mindful of. Before I do so, I would just like to give you a brief perspective of where my knowledge base comes from…I grew up fatherless and in poverty, I had a child of my own that I failed to provide all I could, at least until she was older, I have a young child that I pay informal support for, I’m married with a young son and also provide care for a young nephew. Also ran the New York State Fatherhood Initiative that was operated within the New York State Child Support Enforcement office and currently Fathers Incorporated designed to promote issue of responsible fatherhood and mentoring.

    1) The necessary change in child support is not only a systematic one; it is also a cultural one. There have been many policies and legislation put in place to deal with the issue of child support; particularly with regards to low-income fathers; however it is the enforcement of those polices and legislation that has been lacking. In addition; the real culprit lies in the fact that most of the nations Child Support arrears are owed by fathers who make less than $10,000 a year or has no reported income. Unemployment and lack of support and services compound their inability to provide financially.

    2) WE need to release this notion that somehow if we know how the SMALL amount of child support paid is used will make a different in a father’s engagement; we’re fooling ourselves. There are the extremes where both mothers sometime abuse support as well as fathers who contribute absolutely nothing. But to think for one minute that $200 places a dent in the expenses of a child in any given month is laughable. Let’s get real; the issue is not about where a mother spends the money. It’s about control. WE no longer control her, so we want to control the money.

    3) We are in total agreement about jail. I have seen situations however where jail is the most appropriate thing to do, because quite frankly, the father has just flat out refused to take care of his children, regardless of his financial situation. Having said that; these big sweeps do nothing to encourage these fathers to be responsible.

    4) Lastly, I think that we fall into issues when we separate and or define Father’s Rights and Mother’s Rights, as opposed to simple Parental Rights. You are absolutely correct and I agree that a balance in how we deal with the extremes and the parents caught in the middle should take a closer look. There is so much emotion attached to this issue that sometimes we can’t see the logic of doing the right thing for everybody involved.

    Thank you having the conversation; we should do more of it.

  37. Struggling

    I usually agree with all of your blogs but this time I will have to strongly disagree. I was 23 when I got pregnant and my child’s father was in his 40s. My career was barely taking off when my water broke 4 months early and I spent 2 months in the hospital not knowing whether I would live or die, let alone where I would live because I lost everything being in the hospital so long. I had money saved but when you loose your job no one will rent to you. I finally stayed with my racist alzheimer grandmother. After she set fire to her house I decided to move to a shelter. I obtained counseling for the recent trauma I went through and started going back to school to finish my bachelors in econ. After getting a little more security and starting my own business online I decided to move 500 miles away closer to my family. That didn’t work out either and I decided to apply for low income housing and was extremely lucky to only have to wait 3 months.

    In all of my struggles not only has my child’s father not helped but he has made things worse. When my baby was born he didn’t offer for us to stay with him. He never visited me in the hospital even with repeated phone calls from myself, friends, or the hospital. If something would have happened to me, my son would have had to go to a foster home. At one point he called CPS aleging that I left my child on the sidewalk, after an argument during a mutually agreed upon weekend visit. My son was taken and put into a foster home based on his lies so he wouldn’t have to pay childsupport. It was my word against his and I was literally told he was more believable because he drove a Lexus and was charming. It took the help of my states senate office, the county board of supervisors, and the local chapter of the NAACP to get my kid back. Even with that I still let him see his son (always supervised just in case). I have helped him pay for his visit even though he has a job and I was receiving unemployment. He felt it was unfair that I moved so far away. I helped pay so that my son could see his father and for no other reason. Within the past years I have been contacted by one of child’s father’s girlfriends who is white and claims to be part of a prominent and well known black gang in my state. She stalks me online, she threatens to kill my son and I in her tweets, she has stolen my identity (not proven in a court of law, a hunch from the detectives), some how obtained access to my email and private online photo albums, and prank calls me. Mind you I have never actually met this woman who, believe it or not, is in her 40s also. I once gave my child’s father an ultimatum, either his kid or the crazy lady. He chose his kid but when she took a bunch of pills and tried to kill herself by running in front of a car, he went back to her. Apparently she gives great head and buys him things.

    I don’t use drugs and I drink maybe once ever two years. I had my first corporate job at 17 but it was in the tech industry and I finally had broken into the industry I wanted to be in when I was 23. I drive responsibly, I haven’t gone to a club in 6 years ( other than the gym) , I buy organic food from a co-op , I am somewhat active in my community and volunteer when I can, I have no social life without my son, I recycle and use natural ingredients to clean my home, and I am still trying to build my business. Because my son has been a victim of my child’s father’s BS, my son has severe emotional problems so I spend a lot of time with my son in therapy and supportive play groups. His emotional problems are so severe that he has been unable to attend preschool and daycare so I am unable to work or go to school but hopefully soon that will change. My sole income right now is childs support and what little money I make from my business.

    When my baby was born my child’s father finally showed up to the hospital, only to lie to them saying he would pick me up when I was discharged. I hadn’t walked in two months so when he didn’t show up not only was it emotionally upsetting but it was almost physically impossible.When my grandma’s house caught on fire he laughed and ask what I was going to do now. When I was in a shelter and was terrified of all the meth heads (no offense to those in recovery) and begged for my child’s father’s help, all he did was threaten to take my baby away and put him with my son’s grandma so he wouldn’t have to pay child’s support. When I moved 500 miles and begged him to let us stay with him, he told me that would never happen. When I moved into my place and invited him for Christmas, I found out he was still seeing the crazy while he was trying to sleep with me. When I confronted him a second time about the crazy white lady he told me that her threats weren’t his problem. When I was pregnant I begged him to work out financial support between us so the government wouldn’t get involved. He never intiates phone calls or visits, up until last year I did that until I realized that his visits and phone call with his son are his business not mine. He has told me he never wanted a relationship with me because I’m not a size 4.

    I haven’t always been kind to him because of the anger and I felt after all the stuff I allowed him to put me through. I learn to speak to him like he was a man instead of a child and stopped cussing him out and being so deffensive. My behavior changed but his didn’t so I gave up.

    I know I am the exception more than the rule and my situation may not be believable but I really feel if you ask any single parent the BS they have gone through you would hear similar stories.

    So to all the new partners of non-custodial parents there is a reason why that person is paying child support. That parent could petition for split custody and wouldn’t have to pay a dime. You better believe my child will go nowhere with my child’s father if his “girlfriend” has threaten to kill both my child and I. And as far as greater accountability goes, what about the opportunity cost of being a single parent. The forgone opportunities and income from not having another willing parent to take care of their child. So far my total income lost is about $100,000 plus a decrease in my credit score of which childs support will not be compensating. So if I want to get my feet massaged so that I can stay emotionally supportive of my child because I am literally with him 24 hours a day, than really thats no one’s business. Greater accountability should fall on the state and non-custodial parents. Mandate counseling, community service, and classes for people who don’t want to take care of their children. Really child support would not be an issue if people physically took care of their kids and it’s no one’s business what the custodial parent does with the money if non-custodial parent rather pay than play. The system isn’t broken, families and communities are. If society was geared more towards family and community, we wouldn’t have to allow the government to have a say in how we raise our kids or how much it costs not to take care of them.

  38. Anon Mus

    As many protests and activities that occur because of other rights issues, men and women who complain about the child support system need to become proactive in getting changes made. Rally, petition the courts, organize programs, meetings, and awareness events. Stop sitting on your behinds being mad and disgruntled about the unfair child support regulations. Nothing ever got changed through complaining to the internet and to each other. I get so tired of hearing mainly men complain about how unfair things are. Black people complained about civil rights but they also got up and did something about it. Women complained about gender equality but they also got up and did something about it. People on child support complain, but the only thing I see happening is the parents bickering amongst each other. To change things, one must fight. If your are not willing to fight, stop complaining.

  39. londoner

    I see you talk about “strengthening families”, is that a joke? These black men have no clue or idea about family when they make babies and CONTINUE TO REFUSE TO MARRY THE MOTHER OF THE CHILD TO BECOME A FAMILY UNIT. How can you talk of bonds between father and child when that father has alrwsdy destroyed the bonds by refusing marriage?? I also noticed several sarcastic comments regarfibg nails, hair and boyfriends, really?? How juvenile. Is this is blog to discuss how to let black men off the hook in paying for the CHILDREN they create right? pathetic.

  40. david

    this is not a forum to bash men…take that attitude to your local girls night out. this is supposed to be a productive dialogue. but….let me say that all men just dont up and haul tail after making a baby…sometimes the woman forces them out by acting unruly and then automatically puts them on child support to get that tax free money…that happened to me, and now i have SOLE custody of my son b/c his mom used that money for drugs.

  41. Great article and all so true. Accountability is paramount to this process. We must stop vilifying the fathers. When I was in college, my summer job in the division of Child Support with Social Services. There were many fathers who paid their child support money faithfully, but were dissatisfied that the child apparently wasn’t getting the money. Some of the fathers barely saw their child. Why? Well the mother felt he should be punished for not staying with her (although she had moved on and with a new man). This has to stop! Not all black men who father a child are irresponsible as society would have us think and as some (unfortunately) black mothers portray them as being. What I have never understood, if the mother feels the father isn’t a real man than why doesn’t she raise the fatherless to be the man she thinks he should be?

  42. Anon Mus

    David u r right. My husband suddenly got put on child support by his son’s mother one year after they broke up just because she was hating on our situation. The sad thing is that I am a stay at home mom and I practically raise his son. He is barely ever with his mom. I teach him, provide food and clothes for him, and nurture him 5-6 days and nights out of the week, and my husband still has to pay child support. Do I think he needs to take action on that? Yes….the same way you took action when your son’s mom wasn’t handling business. I applaud you for that. I wish more men would step up and realize that there is something they can do to fight if they are handling their business and just being used by women unnecessarily.

  43. This comment may get lost in the mix, but I read these comments as if I am a Black man from a different planet. That planet was populated by people with a very different set of community values. Fatherhood meant “responsibility” — not just a child support payment. Motherhood meant working to provide a supporting environment — not a hammer to use against dead-beat dads. I see an epidemic of “fathers” and “mothers” who are producing babies like rabbits. I don’t see “families” in the problems discussed. The epidemic we are suffering from has eliminated the definition of family that I grew up with.

    My wife and I are involved in helping several young Black women who are struggling with child care. Our concern is primarily for the children. What I have observed is that sexual activity has been reduced to “recreation” — and the possibility of a pregnancy is an “unintended consequence” that most of the current fathers and mothers are unprepared for. The root cause of the problems are no longer addressed. The new community value system seems to be that this is something that happens to everybody, so a new set of values need to be developed for under-educated and under-employed baby daddies and angry baby mamas who don’t have any intention of becoming a two-parent family. A “Parents Bill of Rights” seems to me to be the farthest thing from the minds of these victims of social decline.

    A sub-culture of poverty and dependence has developed around the issues discussed here that spell doom for the children — doomed socila value systems, doomed life of poverty, doomed exposure to the criminal justice and social service system. It is a sad state of affairs that makes me weep. I am helpless to prevent this downhill slide. I grew up dreaming about upward mobility. The children in this new world have very little hope, and in many cases, not understanding of what opportunities are available to them to rise above the circumstances of their parents.

  44. quest4me

    I think it is also very important that we as a society do not get involved with the labeling when it comes to this situation. I try and help teach our young people. Their self esteem is also a very important piece to this conversation. I do not refer to them as “baby momma” or “baby daddy” not only is it disrespectful when addressing our people, but it is also bad language. Again, we have to be mindful as elders, and as elders, we are not followers, we are leaders, and we should lead and always speak with pride. I try and help young ladies who are in this cycle, and our young men who have no direction when it comes to matters of parenthood. They are in need of so much help, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. We as a people including myself have a responsibility as a village to help if we can.

  45. Lindsey B.

    I am a grandmother whom has not seen my granddaughter since she was 2 and she will be turning 7, February 2012. Although her parents (my son) were no longer together at the time of her birth, my son was raised to understand the importance of taking care of ones responsibilities. He has always paid child support via payroll deduction, but he has not seen his daughter since she was 3. Due in part because her mother chose to move to another state 1400 miles away, although the court mandated that she could not go more than 200 miles from where my granddaughter was born. My son can’t even file his daughter on his income taxes, because he is not the custodial parent. And yet, the mother can list child support as additional income. I just don’t understand how the system works. I know there are a great many good men doing the right thing and taking of their child / children, at least financially. But they want more. The Right to be true fathers and not financial sperm donors. Reform to a very antiquated system is badly in need.

  46. Ronin

    We should not complain. We who make or have made decisions to engage ourselves in known high risk, life altering behaviors. They always leave us at the mercy of some higher authority(parents, bosses, govt.etc). Because these acts demonstrate our inability or unwillingness to make sound choices in these areas of our lives. Everyone connected to us suffers the consequences of these selfish and short-sighted acts. Therefore, we should not complain. No system of oversight works better than personal restraint. No system of accountability is more efficeint than a grateful personal who cares more about those who will bare the burden.
    To women: the harzards love are disguised well but love does not ask of you what love will not commit to.
    To men: there is no such thing as “running game”. A woman is born to trust and want to be lead by a man she “loves”. We only weaken our greatest source of help on earth.

  47. Andrew

    Child support is supposed to help kids. I don’t know any way that putting a deadbeat in jail is helping a kid. Even if he is a deadbeat, is jail for him making his child’s life better, of course not. I’ve never heard of a woman going to jail for not paying child support. In fact, I work on IT systems for maintenence enforcement in an east coast state, and less than one percent of all child support payments come from the mother. If that stat was in any other context, it would be used to change the law. When black people are overrepresented in crime stats, people want to do something about it, why not here. Men are getting the shaft because society doesn’t realize the ownership that women should be taking in this.

    Both he and she did the deed to get to this spot. She has the choice of abortion, he doesn’t, so effectively their is no balance of power at all. If she wants him to pay, unless he’s an out of work daycare teacher(what are the odds of that) he will have to pay.

  48. kathy

    I struggled with the useless Texas Child Support system. I guess the only good thing is that I learned to do research on my own. The pathetic thing is that there are so many laws in place but they are rarely enforced.

    My exhusband disappered about 12 years ago. The last time he saw my daughter she was about seven and she is now 21. Mr. Pathetic crawled out his rock about the time she turned 18. I believed he thought that the child support would not pursue the case since she was 18.

    Of course, he was wrong and stupid and they are still taking money out his check. In fact, they suspended his drivers license. He pays all of this on me–when the plain fact is that he is a deadbeat and the system caught up with him. He is gutless and blames me when he screwed up his job and lossed everything. His monthly payments were only $375 and he owes over $30,000 so you do the math.

    I think the system is a joke because it is not being enforced.

  49. Chris

    I like the modifications.

  50. Dr.Boyce Watkins I like the idea changes.

  51. Mike

    Look i feel this letter totally i am going thru every lil step i can 2 see my child. I have been locked up for being 200 behind paid to get out 400 dollars behind paid 2 get out. 650 and every time it was digging me in a ditch. It got to the point that i was homeless after the last time i went to jail. I had no where to go.. Then the courts tell me you can see your Daughter for 4hrs every two weeks but you gotta pay 150 dollars foe supervised visitation.. So now i have no place to rest my head lost my job because i was in jail for two weeks as well as lost my apt.. So i feel this letter to the fully… Atlanta Ga

  52. Karen

    The child support system should be reform without a doubt. Parents should be required to attend basic life skills classes such as: budget & finance to learn how to spend money; behavior course to learn different ways and/or techniques to handle crises pertaining to adult and more importantly children; disciplinary course to learn the meaning of sacrifice; basic psychology to learn self control and understanding others; early childhood development to learn about children and their demands/expectations; cooking to learn how to prepare and eat healthy meals; stress and time management to learn how to accurately schedule time; adulthood to learn about oneself and how to set a positive foundation for their child/children. This is not all inclusive, but some ideas to start with.

  53. Eliminate the $10 BILLION per year child support enforcement industry and with the money saved each year, send the checks directly by mail or wire transfer to the child support recipients. They claim there’s a $100 BILLION child support arrearage nationwide. Watch how fast that number disappears when you eliminate the entire CS enforcement bureaucracy and it’s “deadwood” lazy, arrogant and nasty child support workers and officials.

    Send checks or wire transfers like Social Security does–especially since federal child support enforcement laws fall under the Social Security statutes. While we’re at it, make child support accountable like monthly Social Security disability payments for children. The forms are already in place. All they have to do is convert them to state forms from Social Security forms. The Social Security Form Number is the SSA-6230 form.

    No more “deadbeat dad” hysteria. No more taxpayers’ monies being wasted on Nazi-style sheriff’s raids, no more government bureaucrats who don’t do their jobs. Problem solved!

  54. Jay

    I’ve been paying child support for 12 years now and I agree that the system needs to be reformed. In my case, my son’s mom was micromanaging my visitations. I finally gave up and walked away from the situation 6 months ago. I continue to pay child support but I have not seen or spoken to my son since…I feel like a new man, I have my weekends back and I’m investing the money that I save on gas, extra clothing and entertainment (that would have otherwise been spent on my son)…I miss my son but I’m a much happier person now that I don’t have to deal with the emasculating drama…I don’t think men should get hung up on this child support thing…just pay your dues and walk away…children are remarkably resilient so they don’t really need two parents…

  55. LadyKat

    I, as a woman, feel that the Child Support laws should be changed. My boyfriend is paying out the arse right now, and because she decided that she wanted to play like something is wrong with her and gets disability, she also used his support as her ‘paycheck’. Now he’s not making that much to begin with, but he took the first job he had available to him because he didn’t want to go to jail or have his license suspended. Now because she’s sitting on her behind and getting welfare, he’s suddenly been hit with not only having to pay support, but medical coverage too. It’s expensive enough just for him to be on it, but add a child and literally his paychecks will be in the NEGATIVE, meaning he can’t put gas in his car to get to work, he can’t pay his cell phone bill, he can’t pay rent and he can’t eat. This is sad and pathetic, and it all stems from the fact that he didn’t want to be with her in a relationship. She was a ‘booty call’, and she knew her status. It was her fault she allowed herself to get caught up in feelings never reciprocated on any level. And when she found herself pregnant (they used condoms), he told her more than once to get an abortion, and even gave her the money for it. She didn’t use the money for what he requested but treated herself to some nice things with it, all the while hoping that he would change his mind and be with her. I’ll tell any woman in a heartbeat, “A baby does not keep a man, in fact it will make him run faster than anything.” Now she gets to be spiteful and he has to suffer the consequences. Yes, it took two to tango, but he couldn’t MAKE her get that abortion. My heart bleeds for him and wish I could do more. He’s tried more than once to get her to do direct remittance, because that way the courts are not involved and not only that, she would be getting ALL of the money instead of bits and pieces. Child support is nothing more than a business that doesn’t give a damn about the child, but they do care about that all mighty dollar. I wonder how many people actually realize that, for example, if a judge says a man has to pay $250 every two weeks, that the mother actually only gets a PORTION of that money, not the whole amount? Women need to stop being so damn spiteful and bitter, because this is where the child support usually stems from. They know that they can use it to make a man’s life a living hell, and if he doesn’t know his rights as far as visitation, then that child is nothing more than a pawn to ‘get back’ at him for whatever crime, real or imagined, that he has committed. Granted there are truly some deadbeats out there who would sooner go to jail than give a red cent to their child’s upbringing, because I’ve heard stories. My favorite one is when guys will stay at a job until CS catches up with them and then they just quit that one and go to another. And there are deadbeat moms too; although why you don’t hear about them so much is beyond me. I personally think that CS should be done away with completely, and just have direct remittance established. The law should only get involved if there are no payments being made. As I said before, CS is nothing more than a BUSINESS, and like any business is in it solely for the money. Kids are just a means to an end.

  56. Renee

    As a woman, I do see some of the worse case scenerios of child support abuse. My heart goes out to those men who try and who are apart of their children lives…My brother is a prime example. His oldest two children had some other mans name when they were born. The fathers decided to get blood test after a few years and they ended up not being theirs. So the child support system went from the time they were born until they took new DNA test and made him pay back arrears…I think he should pay child support, but why should he have to pay that far back when the women didnt know who they “baby daddy” was.

  57. DT

    And this is why im getting snipped.

  58. ron murray

    IF you don’t get married and put some parasite on your bank account; Get a vasectomy; you may be able to come out of an American relationship relatively unscathed.

    Otherwise, bend over.

  59. Ms. WIlliams

    Child Support and Visitation are two separate issues. If a man really wants to see his kids he can go to court and get an order for visitation. Stop making these silly excuses about the mother not allowing the man to see his child. Once court ordered visitation is in place the mother has to allow the father to see the child or she will be held in contempt of court. No the law and use it.

  60. As a child of a deadbeat dad, I do believe that at some point there needs to be serious punishment. In a case where you have a serial baby maker, he needs to be put in jail or be forced to have a vasectomy. His rights to produce more children should be terminated.

    I also believe that there needs to be accountability as well. There should never be a situation where, the child’s basic needs are not being met. That is unacceptable. Nor should a child be separated from their non-custodial parent unless they are danger to them.

  61. RobinATL

    First off let me thank all the deadbeat dads for their obvious frustrations of having to be FORCED to provide for their children. As I read many of the comments, my heart was truly saddened by the way many people jump on the bandwagon of crucifix of custodial parents. I myself am a custodial parent so let me break down the dilemmas we must face…while my ex husband(no I am nor was ever what society considers a statistic of non maritial sex or baby mama) is able to buy a 2 seater(make/model irrelevant) I must dig deeper into my wallet and purchase a four door to adequately fit carseats, baby bags, etc…while the noncustodial parent can move into a one bedroom loft, the custodial parent must ..yes you got it…dig deeper and rent/purchase at least a 2 bedroom residence (wouldn’t want teenage kids sleeping with mom would we?) While the noncustodial parent can choose to work days or nights, the custodial parent must sacrifice that high paying night gig, to be able to attend those PTA meetings, do homework, or help the child with a special project for school. The custodial parent is also typically the one that takes off of work because of the childs illness, md appt..etc…
    Now with that being said (and believe me I could continue) if the custodial parent chooses to occasionally treat themselves to a manicure ($25-$70) is that truly offending the noncustodial parent? Key word ..parent
    If so, perhaps its not the custodial parent being vindictive, but instead you. Why wouldnt you want the mother or father to look nice, dress nice and take care of themselves…children learn from what they see DAILY and hardly what they see every other weekend during those COURT ordered visits that so many have spoken about. It’s funny how so many have issues with the courts making fathers/mother pay for the life that they took part in creating. The system wasn’t designed to build relationships..that should’ve been done BEFORE conception. However, in Georgia, the noncustodial parent receives letters, notices, texts, phone calls all before an incarceration warrant is signed. His/her neglect to answer is what gets him behind bars not the “bi*ch” that he now calls the mother and seemingly sole provider of his children….you see just as many of life’s UPS and downs are faced by the noncustodial parent, so must the other patent face…but instead of figuring a way to get back on their own two feet alone, they must pick themselves up with 1-2 (or more) KIDS on their backs. If you didn’t want the financial responsibility, then maybe you shouldve been more careful.
    And to all the women standing beside a deadbeat, shame on you…what type of woman would purposely insist her man to neglect his kids? Better yet what type of man would be with a woman that in essence is saying to him “f#@'” YOUR” kids, I need your check for this household? ….if this happens to be your situation non custodial patent, then you’ve obviously not learned your lesson regarding the consequences of the choices made.

  62. young&educated

    well i must first say that i am completely torn apart by most of this arrogance from these mean hurtful comments…but i can give a point of view from both sides as well….my fiance pays his childsupport faithfully….adores his child and used to jump whenever his childs mother called and said anything about the chuld..yes she did play games by using his love for his child as a advantage to get sympathy and attention because she wanted to be with him….couple of years later we have our child and another on the way and she want even let him see his child…yes he could get an attorney but for what??? His child has lived with us for almost a year in 2010 and with all this negativity the child has heared about him and me she didnt behave at all knowing he worked long hours and i was the 1 taking the most care from her..and being that she was used to disfunction like not having to brush her teeth, going to bed late, eating roman noodles for lunch, and not bathing or doing homework, she was ready to go back and live with her mom..and this was a 7 year old…who told me her mom always says she is going to buy her something but only buys cigarretes and pills when money comes on her cs card…if i was an evil person i could have recorded it and used the info but i believe that my fiance chose to sleep with her and thats his responsibility to take action…we tried to get his daughter for christmas and made agreements to get her and guess what..that didnt happen…so you see i think a non custodial parent goes through just as much as a custodial parent does at times…they need to come up with something to make sure both parties are treated fairly and not blame the men for everything. My fiance is a great father and excellent provider so i think that its women fault too…you should get to know someone before you lay down and spread your legs..dont wait until the child is born to get mad at a man…be real women and realize that if the relationship has changed and he isnt trying to marry you then save your time and effort for a man and not a materialistic boy.

  63. Patrick

    I am a working father that has never been arrears with child support and for 18 years and counting have been getting the short end of the stick. How can you fight for fairness when you have an order that compels you to work to survive? Who has time to fight in court when the threat of taking time off from work jeopardizes your job or you can’t absorb the loss of income? The courts need to change.

  64. Marion O'Connor

    While I agree that the child support system is difficult to navigate (at its best), I have a huge issue with the theory that men have no recourse when women stop allowing them to see their children. The same way women manage to take men to court for support, men can take the woman to court for custody & visitation. Sadly, most men choose not to pursue that avenue. In my case (fortunately, my children are now grown), my ex and I had a custody agreement (paid for by me, the mother) and agreed to by him that he never took advantage of. In addition to what was in the agreement, I was flexible in regards to his work schedule. He only wanted to be a father when it was convenient for him. Usually, his convenience was detrimental to what our daughter’s needs were. He expected her to fit into his life rather than work to make hers better. Once she turned 18 I totally bowed out of being a mediator for the relationship between them. She is now 20 and it is hers to manage. Sadly again, he only wants to be a father when it’s convenient for him (still true to form). I never had the need to bad mouth him or tear him down…she was able to see exactly how he was for herself. At any time, if he wanted to revise our agreement or work something out, all he had to do was ask me or file a modification request with the courts. He did neither…

  65. Jay

    Holy high horse! I think some women here need to get off their pedestals. Child support is the equivalence of paying a prostitute to leave so you don’t have to look at them in the morning.

  66. Mary

    The NC Child support system is in need of Reform. I told my son’s father that the money was not important,I am college educated, work and make good money. Just spend time with the child.We moved to FL. I offered to buy airline tickets so they could be together and nothing has worked. My son is 10 now , academically gifted and well mannered but I still know he needs his father. What a heartless man, to turn his back on his child (DNA) proven. I try to surround my son with good male role models to help out.

  67. Y. Us

    Great article. My hubby and I pay almost 700 a month and the girls never have new clothes. The clothes they’re wearing this winter are from summber 2010. Their shoes are always worn out because she only buys them one pair at a time instead of multiples. We have them all summer, every other weekend, every holiday, every birthday and she doesn’t celebrate any of the holidays or birthdays…we do. Why are we paying so much when we’re acting as full-time parents? She cheated and vandalized his property and then refused to try and patch things up. Now that he’s divorced her and remarried she filed for child support when he was already supporting her. She get’s off living like a fat cat in a nice section 8 house and all that she can get from the system while we struggle. We applied for a modification and she refuses to send in her expense reports. There should be accountability. The support should be given in voucher form. Like clothes, shoes, food, school supplies, etc. That way the children are sure to get what they deserve.

  68. RobinATL

    @Y.Us…I’m baffled that someone could feel,especially with kids of their own, that every other weekend, holidays and birthdays of spending time with a child equates to being a full time parent. Let’s do the math shall we: there are 30- 31 days in a month…every other weekend visitation, if you are picking the child up Friday night, equals about 4 days out of the month inwhich the ncp is actually with that child…the remaining 26-27 days the child is with the cp. Holidays…how many holidays per year are truly celebrated in length? I’ll answer..2…thanks giving and christmas. In GA, kids are out for 1 week for Thanksgiving and 2 for Christmas….add in the days here and there for teacher’s workdays, ill give an extra 2 weeks for holiday time…adding to be 5 weeks total. Birthdays come once yearly so add one extra day or 2 if it happens to fall on your weekend to get the kids….the total amount of days for every other weekend equates to 48 days per year…hince…48(weekend visits) + 35(holidays) + 1 (birthday) equals 84 days total that most ncps spend with their kids…there are 365 days of the year…so 281 days we agree that the kids are with the cp right?……….if that’s all the time the ncp is spending with their children, he should be locked up…not for child support, but for child abandonment…..just a thought
    Kudos to the real men/women doing more for their children than the system demands!!!!!

  69. Do people realize how much a person has to be behind and how many times the custodial parent has to take the noncustodial parent to court before anything is actually done? My ex-husband refused to pay support for years because I had a man and his attitude was let your man take care of our daughter. Well, my man is exactly that a MAN and he went from my new man (he had no children) to my husband 25 years ago and has been a wonderful stepfather and husband. My husband willingly did the day in and day out job both emotionally and financially of caring for our daughter and we all know sometimes parenting can be a thankless job (especially when they’re teenagers), but I DEMANDED my ex do his part. When he saw I was going to be relentless he finally buckled down and got with the program. Our daughter is now 30 and he has as much to do with her now as he did when she was 2 years old which is NOTHING! For those that say they can’t afford to pay child support how do YOU eat? Do you do it on a daily basis or only when you can afford it? Who keeps a roof over YOUR head? Are you indoors at night only when you can afford it? If someone has to miss a meal it should be YOU never your child and it’s not the total responsibility of the parent that saw them last .. the custodial parent.

  70. $6.95 goes a long way

    Great points from both sides. Being a dad and non-custodial parent of two little girls, all I can say for men and general is to wear a condom. A condom that you brought with you and once the sex has been completed, take the condom with you or flush it down the toilet. Relationships in general are what they are. We as men have to realize that we should protect our “swimmers” at all cost, or be left with a 18 years of unwanted misery from a woman that you know deep down inside you would have never married. Everyone’s situation is different. You have the brothers who are white/blue collar, educated, technical skilled, and those that are not employed for various reasons. Child support is a very sensitive issue for both men and women. I for one pay 825.00 and 679.75. The mother of the first child doesn’t work/refuses to work. I believe she is supposed to be starting a “business” of some sort. (She’s been saying this for years.) Our relationship had dissolved prior to knowing that she was seven weeks pregnant. I too had arrears at one time. The mother drew welfare and waited to put me on the pad. I have since paid the arrears off and my family and I go up and above financially for my daughter. I had her for the holidays last year and bought shoes, boots, new winter jacket, clothes, etc. I even paid for her airline tickets because she (my oldest) doesn’t live with me. My daughter arrived wearing the same tennis shoes that were bought for her by my family members this past summer. SMH. Now that she has had another child, I know that my CS isn’t being used for my child. Additionally, while deployed to a combat zone I paid additional money for after school tutoing to help my daugther with her reading and math. The mother has been unemployed for a minute, so wouldn’t you think that she would be taking the time out to reinterate the 3 R’s? Just because a custodial parent has physical and full custody of a child doesn’t make them a good “parent”. However, the “system” (case workers / judges) are biased against men in general. Step forward 5 years last and I returned from a deployment to only find out that I was the father of a two-week baby. Wow. Deja Vu huh? Well I already knew what to expect from the emoitional abuse that I endured from the first baby mamma. Prior to going on another deployment, the second baby mamma assaulted me. I didn’t defend myself because I knew that the Gun Control Act and Brady Bill would have crushed any future aspirations of being a gun owner or embarking on a second career in law enforcement after I retire in 24 months from the service. Fellahs you know what I mentioned earlier? About protecting your sperm? Well I was dating the second baby mama and she told me that she wasn’t into playing games as the first one. I told her about my goals, which only included my oldest daughter at the time and my career. I told her that I was the marrying type and that I never would marry her. She was cool with that. Seeing that she was approaching “40”, had a career or job, lived in her own house I figured that her word as bond. She even told me that she couldn’t conceive due to a medical condition. I know ladies….. That’s the oldest trick in the book. Anyway I trusted her and now it’s what it is unfortunately. For two years straight I have had gifts/clothes mailed or delivered to her. With the past violence and her emoitional state, it’s just too much to deal with. Too correct my “deviant” behavior, I had a vasectomy after my second child was born and I’m currently not involved in a relationship. I pretty much don’t trust or believe in much of what women say nowadays, because everyone is out for themselves. Whether it be to obtain a “ringgggggg”, get a new house, have some of the debt that was created before your time paid off, etc. Oh and did I mention that she want’s more CS, so I’ll be in court again. When James Brown sang “It’s a man’s world!”, he was lying because in 2012 men are considered nothing more than financial credit unions for women who either (1) want someone to take care of them, (2) would like to have a higher quality of life, and (3) are bitter because the boyfriend or “friend” in this sense rejected them and moved on with his life. Look at Tiger, MJ, OJ, Nas, and now Kobe. My apologies. Those men were married, but still took it in the shorts with no vaseline.

  71. William Newsome's

    Child Support, what a rip. Theres dads that take care of their children while the mother refuse to work so that she can get the max support from the dad simply because he has a decent job. In my case, the mom works a minimum wage job so that no modification can be made. She also has a live in person that benefits from my payments. My son is in school and when home has a curfew. So how much utilities can he really be using. Why is the man responsible for taking car of a household that he doesn’t live nor never live in. Why are we not allowed to file income tax claims for the child that we support or at least alternate years. one the odd years and the other the even years. I live out of town and I never recieve a happy birthday call, happy fathers day call card or a simpl call to say hi. When I call him I’m told he’s not home or he’s sleep. $500.00 a month and the father gets nothing. I’ve asked the mom to let him stay with down spring break, she says okay then change their number, but the deductiions keep coming out of my payroll. I love my son, he’s 13 and I don’t even know him. For this I blame his mom. The only time I hear from her is when xmas comes around and when its time to renew my medical insurrance, of I forgot to mention I provide that too.

  72. Al

    I totally agree with this article i have been saying 99 percent of what Dr. Boyce has been saying for ever. The only problem is in this country they will never ever ever change the system it is designed that way for a reason mainly because blacks and latino’s make up the bulk of there case load. AND THAT IS A FACT IF THEY DESIGN IT TO HELP THE CHILD AND FAMILIES IT WILL BE TOO MUCH LIKE RIGHT! TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!!!

  73. $6.95 goes a long way

    William Newsome – I understand your pain. I found out today from my 8 year old’s teacher that her mother was disenrolling her from school. She claims that she is now going to “home school” my daughter. So how can you homeschool if you won’t even get her to school on time? Now that you’re homeschooling her, who will you blame this time for our child’s lack of motivation with wanting to read, write, and do her times do her addition/subtraction/multiplication/division? The baby mama and her mom even have the audacity to blame the school system. Same ole song from the previous state that the left. It bothers me that Mr. Perry hasn’t made a film about negligent baby mama’s who are not instilling any type of work ethic into their daughters. For the sistahs on here who are single mothers and you keep your child groomed, reinforce that education is a priority good on you. There are two sides to a story that will eventually be told one day. I challenge Mr. Tyler Perry to reach out to Dr. Watkins and the everyday “Joe” to understand what is going on with this distaste for black fatherhood. A distaste due too some of our own fellow black women who are angry with themselves and their lives.

  74. Fred Fred

    Poor men.

    Also, poor women.

    Even more than men and women, poor children.

    Far too many of men, women and children are ALL trapped in a system that is impossible to escape once in its clutches. The legal system (family court and child support) in the US is nothing short of the New Jim Crow – http://www.YouTube.com for more info – for too many families, particularly African Americans.

    Given the well-documented list of Judges, lawyers, police, social service workers, court clerks, sheriffs, legal aid lawyers, YWCA staff and workers, family “counselors” (this term used VERY loosely), many group home operators and workers, rehab facility operators and employees, court bailiffs, Guardian Ad Leitens, intensive in-home “counselors”, social workers and many, many others in the “system”– at one time or another many have been proven to be “on the take” (just out for the money) to the detriment of many families (in general)
    and African American families – in particular.

    I dare anyone to find just one, sober, sane, self-confident, self-assured, career-minded, well-employed and wholesome woman caught in the child support system who does not FULLY REGRET running off a GOOD MAN in pursuit of her “freedom” from the common obligations of matrimony and the very difficult work that it takes to make a marriage and family work over the long haul.

    Yup, life is hard – PERIOD!

    Life has ALWAYS been hard, especially for African American fathers, mothers and families. This is NOTHING new.

    What our society is dealing with more today is increasing numbers are “independent-minded” women who have the “I DON’T NEED A MAN!” mentality.

    No, thanks to the courts, welfare, free medical insurance (but of course, NOT free to taxpayers), support structure of the child support system and many other systematic (and often racist) elements, in a sense
    you are right.

    At the same time, YOUR KIDS NEED THEIR FATHER!

    No, not a mentor, not a revolving door boyfriend (living with you out to get as much as he can, too often giving absolutely nothing), not a step father (who too often is broke and paying child support himself), not even your naggy ass sister, girlfriend, brother, mother, friend from high school or co-worker who has already destroyed their relationships, kids and lives now having a the sole objective to have you join their misery – remember, it (misery) lives company.

    ALL children need their FATHER! A GREAT FATHER AT THAT!

    Ladies, so you picked a deadbeat?

    OK, then why punish your kids to the nth degree for YOUR very, very poor decision by picking a no-count man? How does such help your child(ren) over the long term. It only serves to destroy them.

    Child support fairness? Given how most child support systems work, the father AND mother are jointly responsible for providing support (especially financially) for the child(dren). As an example, if CS is set at $1000 per month, the mother AND father are equally responsible for providing $500 each per month for the support of the child(ren).

    So you DON’T have a job (oh, so you feel your job is absolutely soaking every dime our of that man as possible – OK, I got it)?

    Sadly, too many custodial parents don’t work, won’t work and live off of public assistance (setting a horrible example for their vulnerable children) and child support paid by the non-custodial parent.

    So, if you don’t work, how can YOU provide YOUR half of the mandated child support each month?

    If YOU (the custodial parent) are not working, won’t the child’s overall standard of living going to suffer?

    Think about it, if the father is not paying, he (eventually) has his driver’s license taken, professional licenses taken and even put in jail for non-payment of child support. If the mother is not paying, WHEN DOES SHE YOU GO TO JAIL? Something to think about, right?

    In the hatred of the man YOU picked, YOU had sex with and YOU decided to have a child(ren) with, too often YOU work so hard to destroy the image of the father in the mind of YOUR child(ren).

    Here in 2012 – and over many years now – any woman who gets pregnant and has a child(ren) WANTS to get pregnant and have a child(ren) for their own selfish reasons.

    Once YOU destroy the image of the father in the mind of your child(ren), his relationship with the child(ren) suffers, gets worst and he feels rejected by all. Once the feeling of total rejection is felt, the father does not feel compelled to do much at all.

    To complicate matters, increasingly custodial parents decide to take in boyfriends or lovers – often no-count types. This situation always caused more dejection by the father. At this point, the downward spiral has begun and never ends.

    Nobody wins — especially YOUR children!

    Take my word, I don’t want to appear to let men (good or bad) off the hook for their obligations to / for their child(ren). At the same time, as a society let’s fully hold both mothers AND fathers to their obligations for their children.

    Given the percentages of men who are accused of fathering children that are NOT their own (research indicates the rate is as high as 40%), along with the rapidly escalating amounts paid by taxpayers to support children from broken families, how about a couple of novel approaches.

    First, AT BIRTH put in place mandatory DNA testing to determine the parentage of all babies. At that point, the “father” clearly knows if he is in fact the father of the child or not – period!

    In the event he is not the father (up to a 40% chance), he can decide to or not to assume both the role and obligations of fatherhood of the child. If he decides not to, his obligations for someone else’s child ends immediately.

    A hopeful side benefit of this DNA testing is that mothers will be a lot more careful about relationships
    and the men they deal with in the future.

    Second, with every case in Family Court or Divorce Court, make it an initial requirement that the mother and father must submit to psychological testing – if BestBuy and other employers make this a basic requirement for all applicants, so why not taxpayers who could be on the hook over the next 18 years for each child?

    As well, other requirements should be extensive family, educational, employment and social background checks, all in providing valuable information to the Judge in making an accurate “Best Interest of the Child” decision. If a parent has a poor family, education, work/career and personal backgrounds, how will it change for the betterment of the child in the future? Research and statistics indicate ir probably won’t.

    Today’s society – which is made up of all types of people – has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. Unfortunately, taxpayers are bearing a larger and larger burden in taking care of “broken” people, “broken” famiies and too many horrid lifestyles that too often only serve to destroy children.

    As Americans, why not begin to put in place reasonable checks and balances to increasingly hold people personally accountable for their actions and behaviors.

    Given these and other check and balances, maybe many will think several times about how they approach parenthood, marriage and the related responsibilities that go along with both.

    As African American, as well as all American, we can’t afford continuing the current failed system. The MONEY needs to be taken out of the system. It must be replaced by prudence, hard work and much dedication for family and children.

    Societal rewards should be bestowed ONLY to those who work hard to build strong families, not for those who destroy their lives, their marriages and children based on selfishness and irresponsibility.

  75. Great post. I agree with all points.

  76. $6.95 GOES A LONG WAY FELLAHS..................................

    21 Jan 12 – This is a follow up to my post from January 3, 2012:

    This past Tuesday (17 Jan) I appeared at the Chesapeake Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court in Chesapeake, VA for a child support review. I originally had an support order for 675.79. The childs’ mother filed a motion for an increase in her child support after I returned from doing 15 months in Afghanistan. For the last past four months, she wanted me to provide my LES to my daughter’s school/daycare so that she could receive an discount for my military service. She receives one already for being a federal civilian service employee. I asked her if I provided the daycare with my paystub would the amount be deducted from my child support. You already know what that answer was. I then asked her to provide me with a copy of her weekly or month bill and her paystub. She refused. The school of course couldn’t give me a copy of the bill due to privacy act guideline so I didn’t even ask them. She even had the audacity to comment that I didn’t give her any of my tax free earnings from my 15 combat tour. I reminded her that I wasn’t her husband and never would be. I also told her that she gets the earned child income credit as well. I was penalized for being an E8 over 20 years, with a housing allowance, and allowance for subsistance ($7,479.69). The year to date gross is $90,627.64. Her monthly gross pay as an GS5 step 1 is $2,696.58; making her yearly salary of $32,358.96.
    Based on the Common Wealth of Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines, my portion of support for my 4 year old daughter is $1,140.39 and her portion is $468.61. The “system” did take into account my $825.00 support order for my 8 year old, and the $15.86 that I pay for TRICARE Dental. But that was it! When the mediator asked her if she wanted to negotiate, she refused based on: (1) when she asked me to enroll my daughter in an on base child care facility, I refused. I refused at the time, because my child would have to resided with me. Additionally, she wouldn’t have been able to pay the weekly fees that she would have been charged due to my rank. (2) she stated that my child is reading on a Second Grade level, her medical condition requires attentiveness, and she is comfortable with the small classroom size at this Academy/Daycare. (3) I’m not involved in my daughter’s life because I didn’t get her any X-Mass/Birthday presents. So I explained to the mediator that prior to leaving for Afghanistan in November 2009, I left X-Mass and birthday presents with a mutual friend. During my 2010 time in country, my sister’s did the shopping and FEDEX’d the X-Mass and birthday gifts to my daughter’s house, and while I was sitting in that seat speaking to the mediator – gifts were in my vehicle.
    I appeared in front of the judge in my Service Dress Blue uniform. I didn’t expect preferential treatment just because I’m in the military. It is a know fact that in states were the military is the dominant ecomonical stimulate for jobs and revenue there is biasness anyway. Just ask any man who has been stationed or has retired in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
    They love the military industrial complex, but its a “double-edged” sword for a male servicemember residing there who might be undergoing a divorce or dealing with increases in child support payments. I feel that child supprt itself isn’t for the child. It is for the custodial parent, which 99% of the time is the mother. Unless the mother is smoking crack or doing something hideous and it’s posted on YouTube or FaceBook, she will always be awarded custody of the child. When the judge asked the Petitioner if she was okay with the increase the comment out of her mouth was, “Thank you. I can now pay my daycare.” She was receiving $675.89. How was she not paying for the daycare expenses? At $144.00 (give or take) a week, her previous child support amount did cover the daycare. The problem is that she still wants her cake and icecream. She has her mortgage, car note, home/car insurance, student loans, monthly utility bills, and credit card debt (come on folks you know that all women have a few credit card bills:)), and last but not least the weave, nails, and pedicure expenses. Once I was given the opportunity to speak, I humbled myself to the Judge and explained to him that the new amount would endure an financial hardship based on my monthly expenses for being stationed in the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Northern Virginia) area. In his reply to me, he simply focused on the updated Commonwealth of Virginia child support state guidelines formula. When I asked if I could present to the court my monthly itemized bills, he reminded me that basically the child support guidelines were simply the guidelines and it alleviates the courts involvement with making a decision. I was under the impression that as a Judge, he could always use his discretion. Not the case. Furthermore, he awarded her the increase retroactive to when I signed the return receipt card. This was done on November 23, 2011. So I had to make up November – December 2011 and January 2012 difference between the old and new child support amounts. That came out to $1,393.50. That was mailed to the Treasurer of Virginia in Richmond, VA. I didn’t want to experience the heart ache of having “arrears” again.
    So much for the unity between black men and women or the focus on the black family. It’s sad that in 2012, black men are being financially, emotionally, and even physically burdened with the anger and hate from
    black women. When we were segregated as a race, this wasn’t the issue.
    Men took care of their kids and were not reduced to being simply an employer for black women who refuse to work or better themselves. Everyone is looking for a payday based on what happens in Hollywood. Every man doesn’t have the income and assets equal to that of an NBA/NFL basketball player. When it comes to fatherhood, men have no rights or so say with their income or their ability to engage in an loving relationship with their children if, they didn’t marry the mother of their children. Even get a divorce and the tables turn on the father quicker than a women running after an paycheck at the NBA All Star Weekend farce. When will Tyler Perry tell this story? Probably never, because his fan base and supporters are angry Black Women who feel that a man should marry them because they conceived or in a majority of cases today (as in mine) deceived him by having an unwanted child. Any woman over the age of “30″ that has a child does so intentionally. That is the new “comeup” today with women of all races. Not the married ones, but the ones who are single and are looking for some financial security and stability.
    Dr. Boyce & Yvette – Keep the dialouge going. Let’s see how many people reply to these comments. At the end of the day, this will be the next “Million Man March”.

    /s/ $6.95 GOES A LONG WAY FELLAHS………………..

  77. joe

    Say bruh, I feel ya. I took a 2nd job to try alleviate some of the financial tension my support was causing in my house with my wife. Now her support went from $250/mth to $625/mth for my pt Wal mart job. Ain’t no gettin ahead.


    Joe – Stay up. That’s all that we can do. The parential alienation is another issue also. Isn’t it odd that everytime you watch a reality “court” show thee judge says in the end after you’ve been humiliated and berated on national television, “….now you are going to be in the child’s life?” I’m sure the mother of my 8 year old will be seeking an increase as well. She receives 825.00 and has been unemployed for at least four two years.

  79. We Know What You Are Doing


    When in the HELL will all of this all end?

    You may be hurting that poor guy who you have crushed so devastatingly and NOW hate so much. However, you didn’t hate him when you gapped your legs so wide though, did you? But, the reality is you are actually KILLING Y O U R own child/children that you are holding for a King’s ransom!

    Kill the man, and then complain to the Judge “he won’t come by and spend time with my child.” No, he won’t. Pain for everyone is a horrible feeling and being around you – as you stand firmly between him and his child, still dominating things – just brings back the pain he no longer want to feel.

    Yep, Angry Black Woman admit it, it’s all about continuing to inflict as much pain as possible on that man at all costs.

    In the end, that same child/ your children are going to hate YOU along with many, many other women who are on seek and destroy missions – out to get all Black men. Today’s children are not stupid and they both see and know everything you are doing to destroy their lives and the lives of so many others.

    At the same time, so many Black women often cry out: “I can’t find a good Black man!”

    Well, 90% of Black children today are raised in single parent and/or female DOMINATED (caps, bold, underlined and italics on purpose because sadly it is the TRUTH) in many Black households. If you want your daughter to find a good Black man, START RAISING A GOOD BLACK MAN by getting up off of your BRAIN (yep, for so many ya brain is no longer IN your chemically fried head), get a job so you will be appealing to one of the VERY, VERY FEW good Black men who are left out there.

    But remember, you better hurry!

    Of the VERY FEW good Black men – the ones you and the courts have not killed, YET – are left out there, they are being stalked, tracked, tricked and tied tightly in LEGAL knots by many more of your kind who are simply seeking a monthly paycheck in the form of King’s ransom (oppps!) I mean a child support check.

    We all are just so stupid in continuing to fall for the o ke doke that has been so well planned by our enemies! Effectively pitting Black women against Black men ONLY serves to KILL Black children leading to the sheer and rapid destruction of the Black race in America.

    Remember, “In the beginning . . . (based on the Bible), Eve bit the apple given to her by that snake in the perfect Garden of Eden that was created by God.

    Eve then convinced poor and innocent Adam to do so as well, thereby casting mankind into an eternity of oppressive toil, misery and labor. All of this pain continues today. Oh, and that Delilah, again thru trickery and being led by others she cut Samson’s hair thereby killing his strength that even she enjoyed herself. Duhhhh!

    Black women, if you believe in the Bible should not these two situations as clearly described in the Bible be very instructive to you and allow you to better guide your actions (and the actions of your family) in a more moral, upright and family-oriented way?

    OK, if that is not enough Bible to turn you completely around, then MEMORIZE FIRST then BEGIN TO LIVE BY Proverbs 31: 10-31 found at: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+31%3A10-31&version=KJV.

    If all of this does not work, Lord help us all!

    As a such pious acting people, we need to believe either ALL of the Bible or NONE of the Bible. We can’t continue to have it both ways, it’s already killing us and killing our children.

    It seems, based on what is happening to both Black men and Black children, too many (not all) Black women now believe in NONE of the Bible.

    Too many Black women only believe in their massive greed, selfishness, the stupid-assed, very radical feminist man-killing agenda (EVERY man in your life did not rape you) and a lust for MONEY at all cost – even now ransoming your children!

    Hell as a very special section for people who live their lives destroying so many others – especially their children!

  80. david

    dang…as much as i hate to agree w what u have said….i have and am still going thru the same thing u have described here. the one caveat i will add is that i chose to sleep w these women, as we all did as men. but i did so not knowing that if the relationship didnt work that i would be drug thru so much tragedy just trying to raise my children. i am blessed that i now i have custody of BOTH of my kids( yes it can happen for a man–judges now can see that some women just arent fit to be mothers). but i still go have to deal w the games they play…..mostly b/c i chose not to want to be with them, so they try to hurt me by using the children as they know thats the only way to get to me. sad but true. my sons mother told me to my FACE when she was six months pregnant that she found a check stub of mine and had calculated how much support she would get from me, so is that a case of premeditated child support? all of this has made me very distrustful of women in general…but still i press on hoping to meet a decent, honest woman one day.

  81. JB

    I think that CS is a waste of time. I live in DC and was awarded 50.00 a month. This does not even fill up my gas tank to get my daughter back and forth to school. I am a 28 year old black woman who works hard to support her child. I have learned to do my own natural hair, arch my own eyebrows and to create a meal for scraps. Why do I have to do this because I pay my car insurance car note, mortgage, daycare and all other expense by myself. I didn’t have this child by myself. I don’t care if he lost his job. Why do I have to stress and try to scrimp and save while he is out here with the freshest tennis shoes on? Ask me how I know because everyday my daughter goes to her father’s house after day care. I don’t play that. I am not sure as to why women feel the need to stop the child from seeing the father if he is not supporting them. Shit every moment when she is not at school, sleep and on weekends you can best believe she is with him. She is there, since you can’t support her then u will be a major part in her life. So I do feel sorry for you men who cannot see your kids, but cut me so slack. I got gray hairs over here trying to figure out which bill I have to avoid this month to make ends meet!

  82. mjizak

    What’s written here is a start, The Mother of my daughter took me for support when my daughter was 13 years old, why? Because I got married! ID ALWAYS takin good care of her then because she gets pissed I’m automatically $15,000 in the rear, then during times of Unemployment instead of lesser fees it accumulates! Hard times fall on us all how can women be allowed to spitefully do things like this & get away with it? Hell yeah Child Support needs new reforms. Its an unfair biased system.

  83. joe

    I see both sides. When I met my wife she & her husband were 6 mths into their separation. And she was 8 mths pregnant. This guy has had less than minimum involvement in this child’s life. This is despite my wife dissolving his arrears and accepting a far lesser amount of support than she was projected to receive. He has actually been to our house about 4 times. MY son (yea my son) will be 17 this year. It’s guys like him that make women angry due to them not wanting to be a man and step up to their responsibilities. So women simply see it as, if u don’t want to be a man, you can be a broke azz punk and they accept the maximum amount they can get. But guys like me who pay their support and despite working 2 jobs, spend time with my kids, can’t get ahead. This system is set up to keep men in a negative state of mind. Because you can’t even get excited about a raise or promotion because they take that from you too. More brothers need to be real men and maybe,….maybe more women will treat you as such.

  84. $6.95 GOES A LONG WAY FELLAHS!!!!

    Joe – Understood. However, I disagree with your rational that women are spiteful, aggressive, cold and calculatiing when it comes to cs increases due to the mere fact that the father has no involvement with the child. If you poll must men that pay cs, you will probably find out that they try to have something to do with their child, but end up staying away based on yet another saga in the life of an Angry Black Woman and her Baby Mama Drama. It’s happening all too much. This entire “trick” or “con” stems from the fact that the “Jon” or man didn’t marry the woman. Reducing a man down to nothing by leaving him with nothing to live on is apart of the system (i.e. U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services / D.C.S.E.) . Their sole role is to collect as much cs for the benefit of the child, which really means, “We’re going to financially rape you for not following our western, christian values.” Furthermore, I think women see it as, “Okay I couldn’t trick you into marrying me, so I’m going to exploit your upward mobility and newfound success for the next 18 years!” “….. and I’ll play games with the child!”

  85. I totally disagree with you… First of all Jail is for criminals. Not paying child support should not make you a criminal, might make you a bad parent from a financial aspect but not a criminal. I think we all forget where we come from and now have placed “money” as what’s important in raising children. I, like many other Americans came up not poor, but close to it, and Love from my parents is what made me successful today. It wasn’t about wearing the latest jeans, or shoe’s, or having a 300 dollar cell phone. We received what we needed not always what we wanted. To penalize a person for not paying child support is so damn stupid, and I pay child support and yes it’s current. There needs to be Child Support Reform, but I doubt it will happen because it keeps plenty of African American males in a bind, without any real court representation. ” You owe child support and your behind or can’t pay it for several reason’s….. You go to Jail, no consideration of the facts, nothing.” “Big Banks and Automobile Corporations can’t pay there debts….. They Get Bail Out Money and a Hug.” Wake up People, it’s not about the Kids, It’s “Capital America” Private companies make billions on incarcerating people, white, black, asian, latino’s, they don’t care. It’s just so sad to see so many blacks get caught up in this cycle. What should really happen is the Government needs to have a hands off approach. If there was no such thing as Child Support Enforcement, women would be more selective in laying down having unprotected sex. I’m not putting it all on the women, but damn, this is 2012 and we still have women out here having unprotected sex, having babies, knowing that that guy you slept with just wanted some “Ass” and the likelihood of him even being anything close to a responsible father is zero, but these women still have sex. Why, because if things don’t go the way they want, they can always file for child support. The government doesn’t care about you or the child, it’s “ECONOMICS.” If they really cared and it was really about the child, then they would take that same money used in all the efforts to incarcerate the father and just give it to the mother. Or how about mandating that the father gets partial custody, Oh no, the father has to go and spend more money… To who??? The courts…. Wow, funny how they stay in the Loop. But these women think the courts care, your making the situation worse. Locking men up for non-payment is like me telling my son to study for his math test; “if you get a failing grade, I’m whooping you,” then I take his math book and hide it… I’m setting him up for failure, and that’s how the system is designed… It’s set up for millions of men to fail, and it’s funny how African American males are the majority who suffer from this. If the odds of you having a car accident in a snow storm are likely, would you leave your house to go buy a candy bar. So if the odds of you sleeping with this guy, getting pregnant, him leaving you alone, and not being financially responsible are likely, WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU SLEEP WITH HIM ANYWAY???? Women need to THINK before they get undressed, I’m not saying it’s all their fault but in the end it’s the Women who has to carry the baby, have the baby, feed the baby, raise the baby, etc, in the absence of the father. So why not be selective when we have sex, protected or unprotected. Why put yourself and the baby in that situation. Think People, Think…… We can change it ourselves, we don’t need government to change it. Change your sleeping habits, and stop putting THE MAN,,,,,,, IN THE MIDDLE……

  86. joe

    Awesome statement bruh. You hit on several key points. Especially about jail being for criminals. You are right. Not Paying cs should not be a crime. And if u really think about it, for those who are behind, you get that thought process in your head that you are criminal or less than, simply because society has been brainwashed to think so. And that begins to negatively affect your thoughts and decisions. I have 7 kids, 22, 21, 17, 13, 12, 12 & 11. I have been working 2 jobs and paying my cs since the first one was 2 years old. I have never been in arrears, but do understand that things happen and you sometimes just don’t have or can’t get the money. I am 43 years old and already planning the biggest party of my life for my 50th birthday and the end of my ORDERED cs. I say ORDERED because supporting ur kids never actually ends. Keep your heads up brothers and sisters and let’s work this out.

  87. hectare22

    Its amazing how some of the women can come on this blog, and make some of the most asinine remarks about men not living up to there parental obligation. You can’t lump all men into one group, just like it would be unfair to lump all women in the category of getting pregnant to collect a child support check. Dr. Boyce is absolutely correct in making the statement about how this current child support system is broken, archaic, and downright unfair to men. I speak from experience of having to deal with this horrible system, hiring attorneys to fight for my parental rights, because their mother wanted to use them as atm machines, and dictate how the relationship with our children would go concerning me, each time I took her to court for violating the current order that the same judge signed into order, they did nothing but slap her on the wrist with weak ass threats and send her on her way. This woman broke the law by taking our children out of state without confering with the court, and I went back to court to petition this violation of my parental rights, and again they claimed that something would be done, and yes, nothing was done. You see by the grace of God, I have been blessed to have the resources to make my support payments on time, have never been late with a payment and it’s been well over fifteen years and still counting that I pay big money, and not peanuts. Even though the law in my state says when a child turns eighteen, they are now a emancipated adult, and no longer eligible for child support. so my lawyer petitions the court two years ago to have the order closed, and this same judge in all of my hearings, has the gall to say that i dont see that anything has changed, and therefore I’m not dismissing the child support order. So for you ladies that make that comment about the man going to court and fighting for his custody rights, they don’t care, meaning, the court. You see men or discrimminated against in the family court at a rate of ninety-five percent, and men of color face two types of discrimmination, gender, and color. THIS CHILD SUPPORT SYSTEM SUCKS!!!!!

  88. B. Butler Sr.

    One very critical thing that needs to be changed in reference to child support is that the custodial parent (more often than not the mother) needs to be held EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE for what they do with child support payments as the non-custodial parent is for making the payment! All to often these women are taking that money & spending it on THEMSELVES rather than for the needs of the children! And that makes them every bit as guilty as the men who don’t pay, who they direct so much aggression towards! I mean come on really. I know this is an extreme example but makes my point just the same. The Black female member of the Spice Girls had a 1 night stand with Eddie Murphy & gets $50,000 A MONTH for the child born out of that “booty call!” Does anyone really believe that she or any of these other women out here getting these OUTRAGEOUS sums of money for child support from actors, athletes & the like, are spending ALL or even most of that money on those children? GET REAL! And in my own personal experience with this, the mother of my 2 older daughters (who are now adults) claimed in the child support hearing that she spent $150.00 a month on EACH of them for clothes. Yet on the RARE opportunities that I was able to see them, she would send them over to visit me with these really shabby looking clothes. When I finally asked my daughters about this they informed me at that time that THEIR MOTHER HADN’T BOUGHT THEM ANY NEW CLOTHES IN OVER 6 MONTHS! So if she wasn’t using that money to buy them clothes THEN WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE DOING WITH IT? Also in the child support hearing, when she showed up for court that day she had a financial disclosure form (which we both had to fill out), that had only a question mark after each question as to where her money goes. BASICALLY SAYING THAT SHE HAS NO CLUE AS TO HOW MUCH MONEY SHE SPENDS EVERY MONTH OR WHAT SHE SPENDS HER MONEY ON! BS! A 2nd court date was setup for us to work out the details & finalize things but neither she or her lawyer ever showed up for it even though it was supposedly scheduled. And I was told by court clerks that they had NO IDEA what the problem was! Again, more BS! So as I’m leaving the courthouse this very nice woman who was a courthouse employee saw that I was VERY ANGRY & asked if she could help. I explained to her what was going on & she said, “well why don’t you go look in your file”. Unaware that I could do this, she also informed me that not only could I view it, but I could make a copy of every document in there that I wanted to! Not hesitating, I went right to the location she directed me to & what I found in that file made me EVEN MORE angry! Among the documents was a separate financial disclosure form she had filled out that actually had $ amounts after each question instead of question marks! And the figures she placed on that form were HEAVILY INFLATED! Because at the time she was not only living with a new boyfriend, but his daughter from another relationship as well! But she played it off as if those were her accrued monthly finances for just her & my daughters! Saying that her monthly expenses were $1,077 more than her income! Again, the rules need to be changed to ensure EQUAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR BOTH PARENTS!

  89. This valuable post, “Dr. Boyce: Taxation Without Representation-How
    Child Support Must Be Changed Right Now | The Boyce Blog” reveals the fact that you fully understand just what
    you’re writing about! I personally completely agree with your post. With thanks ,Marlon

  90. Pingback: How Child Support Must Be Changed Now « familyinnocenceproject

  91. i do understand that the amazing credibility a blackman receives in the destruction of his self and others but I do not receive any black man of any date of time a dead beat dad…not now not ever! can anyone articulate the history of this continent pre-European? now that is a dead beat, no pulse im sure. peace!

  92. if your grand or great grand is indian are you African anymore? Are you American? or what ever Nubian people Christopher Columbus encountered looking for india. No religion no culture no land and you will not rear your children so pay child support! sounds so Romantic!!!

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