Re: disappearing fathers

david horne (dhorne@DIRECT.CA)
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 20:09:01 -0700

At 04:52 PM 8/1/96 -0700, you wrote:
>david horne wrote:
>> When you say "broad community" aren't you really talking about the male
>> community? I don't think that you'd get much agreement from women that men
>> aren't obligated morally and otherwise to pay their fair share of child
>> support. Being responsible is about being responsible not about getting
>> "something tangible" in return. Legislation is not any kind of a total
>> answer to the problem, but it is a start. If absent fathers would think more
>> about the welfare of their children and less about punishing their "ex"
>> [which is what this whole issue is really all about] then maybe they could
>> be a little more "cheerful" about paying up.
>Dear Abby,
>This whole thread irritates me. Not necessarily the views, but the whole
>issue of government destroying peoples' lives over the almighty dollar.
>I have three daughter that are 16 and 16 (twins) and 13. I raised these
>children as a single parent. Their mother did not ever visit them, nor
>did she ever pay a cent of the court ordered child support. The mother
>became strung out on heroin, and then, in 1990, she went to court to get
>custody of the kids, and the judge actually said that "children are always
>better off with their mothers." (Exact quote, those words are permanently
>burned into my brain.) I still do not understand how children can be better
>off living with a heroin addict rather than a father that provides a good
>home for them. Then to top everything off, the judge said I had to pay
>child support, although I had had never received a cent of the court ordered
>child support that was supposed to be coming to me between 1983 and 1990.
>Like a fool, I dutifully pay the extortion (oops, I mean child support) money
>each month. (It goes to the District Attorney's Office.) My ex-wife
>disappeared with the three kids in 1992, and I have not seen or heard from
>them since. The court refuses to even look into the numerous blantant
>violations of the court order, nor have they ever been interested in
>enforcing it against her, only against me.
>To top all of this off, the Riverside County (California) District Attorney
>has decided that they want some money too (I don't know for what) and have
>been threatening to throw me in jail for not paying them for several years
>now. (I am refusing to pay until someone tells me what the money is for
>and why they think I owe it.) I am not that hard to find, so I don't think
>they are too serious about carrying out their threats.
>They money argument concerning kids is bullshit! A dollar cannot raise a
>child properly--especially when that dollar goes to buy heroin. A sober
>*parent*, whether male or female, is needed to properly raise a child.
>Has it ever occured to anyone that "being responsible" might include
>*raising* the kids? Apparently not.
>Sign me ...
>Fed Up with the Bullshit
>PS: At the same time I was found incapable of being a good parent, due to
> lack of a vagina, in Riverside County, California, I successfully
> adopted a child in San Bernardino County, California. Go figure.

Color me sympathetic and I assure you that I'm not being sarcastic. My
friend is Wayne Reardon and his situation mirrors yours in every respect
except that the drug involved was alcohol and not smack. Another horrible
example from where I live is the case of one Mathew [sic] Vadrieul. Because
social services kept saying that "a child is always better off with its
mother" the mother in question got to abuse and torture this kid for five
years and ended up killing him. No, I don't think that custody should
automatically go to the mother. What I do think is that every case should be
handled on an individual basis with no gender bias involved. Yes, Julian, I
have a weakness for uptopian ideals.

My only point is that I feel in general terms that court ordered child
support should be paid because in most cases it is of benifit to children
that this be done. And that's -30-.

David H.