I recently saw the news story about the father in Texas facing six months of jail time for doing too much of the right things – visiting his child and paying child support. (You can view it http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/24359680/2014/01/03/father-pays-outstanding-child-support-still-gets-jail-time) This especially struck me hard for I continue to fight my battles as I do the right things for my children and fight my battles in the same state.
Just based on what was said on the news story, this good father is being charged for paying too much child support and failing to follow visitation modifications that he knew nothing about. WTH!?! Is he paying child support? YES?!? Is he visiting his child? YES?!? What’s the problem?? The young man sadly stated, “I can’t visit my son in jail. I can’t pay child support in jail.” Sounds like an open and shut case in which the mother, her lawyer, or the presiding judge can just make a fair judgement and act accordingly to avoid this. We will stayed tuned…
This situation brings up the desire to discuss something that has plagued my mind for years now. Why do some of the good fathers doing the right things have to suffer while the ones not present or doing the right things aren’t held accountable? Now, I know every case has its sense of uniqueness and background story, but there is a trend going on…especially in Texas.
The institution of child support started in England many decades ago as a way for people to recoup money after rescuing destitute mothers and children in their communities. Years later, the US enacted aggressive laws meant to lower the burden of communities of taking care of children due to fathers choosing to be absent. Now, it has boomed into an institution that is filled with a mixture of good intentions and harsh treatment toward fathers (mostly).
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no issues paying child support for my children, and I visit as often as I can. I believe every father should do so without question or hesitation. I guess my confusion is focused at those who abuse the system as well as those who are victimized by it. It is funny how many states have assistance or forgiveness programs for many that fail to willingly support their own. These same states have measures that constantly go after the ones that are doing the right things for more money or further limitations. The measures breed conditions in which: lawyers stay getting paid, parents stay fighting instead of parenting, and the children suffer instead of enjoying both parents to the fullest. Though it is not an excuse to be absent, it is frustrating to many fathers as the family dynamic is broken or strained as some mothers use their children in vengeful games of spite while leaning on these same laws that are meant to lessen the burden on communities.
It saddens me every time I hear a lawyer, distressed father, or child support advocate say, “That is just how the law goes.” and “That is just the way things are.” Why is that? The children are the ones who suffer…in the end. Your thoughts?