Sunday, December 17, 2006

Exceptional Washington Post Story

Redefining Dad Missed A Few Problems

The Washington Post has featured a series on being a Black Man over the last couple of months with today a very good story about Redefining Dad. There were a lot of items that were left out of the story that all Dads face today. For Dads that do not have custody of their kids it is very rough to remain a part of their child's life. The child support system is unfair to the non-custodial parent--usually the Dad.
  • They get no credit for gifts or other items provided to their family. Everything must go through the state system, which is hard for a parent.
  • They pay and pay and pay, but the custodial parent controls all visits and all contact. The courts make it very difficult for Dads to participate with their children especially if they are struggling with housing or a job.
  • The system puts the Dad into debt and if the mother accepts public money there is no chance that the Dad can have that debt reduced by the court. In fact, the Dad can be in debt for decades after their child has reached adulthood.
  • It takes a very long time to get a support order revised if the Dad loses their job or is their salary is cut back. During all this time that they are trying to get their support order adjusted they must pay the full amount. This can quickly lead to debt that they will never be able to pay back.
  • If the custodial parent is struggling, the Dad must move a mountain in order to get the custodial agreement re-visited. The health and welfare of the child or the ability of the child to prosper does not seem to be the concern of the court or the child support system administrators.
It is so discouraging for a Dad who for the most part want to do the right thing. I see plenty of Dads who want to help and be part of the life of their kids, but it is killing them. They often give up because of the debt issues and the futility of working and never being able to find stability. Politicians will not touch this issue with a 10 foot poll for fear of being tagged as supporting "dead beat Dads." Many men do not realize how quickly their debt can spiral out of control over their outstanding child support obligations. Someone needs to address these issues if Dad is going to be "redefined."

Brian
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

1 comment:

Clevehomeless said...

Why do spammers continue to post crap sales messages to this post? I am very close to just deleting the whole thing because everyday some moron attaches a comment that is pure spam.