Saturday, October 27, 2007

Do Deadbeat Dads Have a Story?

This week I interviewed Brian Smith on Worth More Than Rubies. Brian is the author of Mama's Lies Daddy's Pain.

In his book, Brian delves into "Baby Mama Drama" like never before. The female character in his book has allowed the male character in the book to believe that he is the father of her daugher 17 years. But, he really isn't

Jamal, the male character, has done everything for this child and in the end the child snubs him as well.

When I read the book, I must say that it angered me. Having been a single mother myself, I never received a dime from my sons' father. So, I personally find it reprehensible that a womam would do something like this.

Now, I have heard the other side of the story in which someone suggested that negative attention is better that no attention and maybe this "Baby Mama" did this because she still had a thing for Jamal. How pathetic!

Anyway, it makes me wonder if some "deadbeat dads", who know their "baby mama's, may have a point when they don't want to send money to them. We're talking about mama's who use the money for hair, nails, and boyfriends, instead of the children.

What do you think?


tanya said...

Well, I think the first thing to consider, (and most of us really don't take the time to do), is the person that we have chosen to 'do responsible (that so often turns into irresponsible) ''things', with. In other words, if we choose to sleep with someone (married or unmarried), we need to know what issues, and who we are encountering. I know, hind sight is always 20-20, but, for the deadbeat dads, most of them already know what type of female they encounter, WHEN they encounter them. Men are not as intuitive (to me) as women are, but don't be fooled... they know the difference between swan and a chicken(head) LOL.
I think the part that the dead beat dads miss, is that when they don't support the children emotionally and financially, the children are the ones who suffer in the end. I have known guys to become dead beat dads, but I've known some to go and file child support on themselves to protect against 'baby mama extortion tactics'. So, do the dead beat dads have a story? Oh, I'm sure of it. Unfortunately, it's just not a very good one. The reason for this is because they don't see 'the bottom line...' the children's needs. I believe that in most cases, the dead beat dads don't want to deal with responsibility to begin with, and they use the issue with the baby's mamma as ammunition against why they 'choose' not to support the child during the crucial years.

Leeta said...

I guess i still really dont think that dead beat dads have a story.. the reason i say this is because honestly lets look at the situation when the mother and father do live together and raise the kids- does the mother get her hair done? does she get her nails done? does she go shopping etc? YES= the fact that the father is there in the home, actually helps her be able to enjoy life a little more. If he is NOT in the home- why should she have to suffer? is she supposed to LOOk like she is suffering just so that she can say yeah the money is totally going to the child. not to mention what a lot of men dont realize is that the mother is daily providing for her children- whether it be materially, emotionally, spiritually, etc, so what ever he "pays" isnt like it's really covering what should be given to the child from him as the father ANYWAY... i think he shouldnt worry about what she does with the money- if he sees the child is going with out then he should continue his obligation but go to the courts and prove she is negligent- but other than that i say he needs to pay his money. i mean doesnt he go get his hair cut, get nice, clothes, probalby has a girlfriend or wife or someone he takes out etc, so why shouldnt the mother have those things! she should be able to do what she wants how she wants- after all if all he is doing is paying child support then he is falling short of his responsabilities as a father anyway...
my mom was a single parent- and went without MUCH- and when they FINALLY caught up with my dad and started paying her back pay (mind you i was in my 30s when this happened) do you know my mom actually thought about giving some of it to me and my sister???? I told her you go buy you nice stuff!!! Enjoy being a little selfish for a change!!! the role of the single mother is totally underrated and underestimated- Pay these women the money and keep it movin!!!
and thats my take... :-)


My view may be vastly different from others.

First of all, I take exception to the blanket label of ‘dead beat dad’ that is placed upon every man in a state of owing when it comes to child support. Are there those who purposely do not pay their support? Yes! Be that as it may, it is not fair to assess each case by what is being presented as the norm.

My view stems from what I have observed over a period of time. I have known women whose husbands, boyfriend or whatever, have quit jobs in order to not pay support. One man was so open with his determination not to pay that he, periodically went to jail in order to show his distain for the law. His view was that he should care for his children in the manner he deemed best. Unfortunately, what he believed reasonable fell far below the needs of his children.

Due to due the restructuring of a company, a friend of mine was forced to accept lower pay for the position he was in. Although his income was drastically reduced, there was no consideration given by the legal system. He struggled to pay support, but fell far behind within a year’s time. His initial reward for his efforts was the revoking of his drivers license. Without a valid license he was forced to make a two hour bus (each way) trip every other weekend to pick up and return his children.

Subsequently a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Regardless of what he presented to the judge there was no concern for his plight. He was ordered to find additional work or go to jail. He found a second job. This led to less time with his children. To add to his challenges, the extra job increased his income. Because he could not claim the children on his income tax, he was faced with owing the IRS. How does the story end? His ex is asking for an increase in support and decrease visitations because of her claim that the stress the bus trips were placing on the children. Her petition was granted, but her inconsideration and greed has forever damaged the father and the children.

When the father applied for a higher paying position within his company a background check was done. When it was found that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He lost his job.

So I ask, is it fair to attach the tag of ‘dead beat’ to such persons?

Ladies, we too have a responsibility in this. Often we know who we’re connected to. If you had to run him down, check up on him and enter into scrimmages with his other baby’s mama, how can you complain when he treats you the same what he treated her?

Again, I reiterate that each situation is different. Because it is, they must be handled based upon those circumstances rather than the ‘blanket laws’ that do more harm in many situations.

Do 'Fathers' have a story to tell? I believe so. Will people really care? I don't know.

Dr. Linda F. Beed

Leeta said...

Additional Thoughts,

I wanted to add an additional thought to this topic. I dont think that the label "Deadbeat Dad"
is meant to label All men that are not with the mother of the children. For example, the term reckless driver- doesnt apply to all drivers that may speed- there are certain specifications to deem a person a "reckless driver". By the same token, i feel deadbeat dads tittle is referring to men who DONT fulfill there obligation. I've known many men that Do take care of there responsability- but i've known too many that dont.
In my opinion- true a woman should be wise and make good choices, and certain signs should tell her what kind of person this guy will be- HOWEVER, that doesnt take away the fact that two people lay down and conceived a child- no matter what- she has the right to demand him to take care of his child. Again, i think it's important to realize that some men are real men and try to take care of responsabilities and get burned- however, we can flip it around and say this- what kind of person was SHE when they were dating- was she all about money, and what he could do for her, did SHE have several children with different fathers- again- if he made the CHOICE to lay down and have sex and a child was conceived he has to face the fact that now this woman IS the mother of his child- and good or bad he will have to still take care of the child- I think both man and woman, should think about the big picture before having sex- and remember that anytime even with "protection" they are making a choice that could impact the rest of there life and the life of a child that comes along as a result...

Anonymous said...

When I wrote the book, Mama's Lies-Daddy's Pain, I wanted to bring out some of the issues that often go overlooked. I told Cheryl Donovan on her show last week that I believed many women have become desensitized about the actions of some scandalous women because of the residual affect of so many men who don't take care of their responsibility. The sentiment appears to be - so what if a woman get's over, look at all the men who aren't paying their child support.

Trifling goes both ways. There are a lot of "dead beat" daddy's; however, there are some women out there that need to be checked as well. I stronly disagree with this notion that a woman should be allowed to spend the child support check whatever way she feels. Just like there are accountability measures in place for the man to make sure he sends the correct amount of "child support", there should be some accountability on the women to make sure they spend that "child support" on the child.

I know a situation where a brotha was paying $700 a month for child support. His "baby mama" took $350 of that money and sat it aside for six months and gave her boyfriend more than $2,000 so that he could buy some rims for his car. Less than two months after she helped sponsor his rims, the guy dumped her. The only way my friend found out about this was because the young lady's mother felt so bad about what her daughter did, she snitched on her. Now, if he had taken it upon himself to only send $350 a month in child support for his daughter - instead of the required $700 - he would have been hunted down by both the "baby mama" and the courts because his actions would have been deemed irresponsible. Why doesn't the "system" consider what she did just as egregious? Her actions cause the child to be deprived financial support in the same manner that would have been claimed had the brotha not sent the full amount.

Women will not find a brotha who is harder than I am on a "deadbeat" daddy; however, it continues to disappoint me to see so many women (NOT ALL) who will come up with a million excuses why "baby mamas" should get a pass on this accountability issue. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
The person getting "hustled" may one day be your son, brother, fiance, boyfriend, etc.

Brian W. Smith

Leeta said...

My brother was one- my brother is one of the men out there taht has tried to take care of his kids, fought in court, been mistreated by the mothers, etc...I know it does happen to men. I just feel like men shouldnt use as an excuse what the woman does with the money-do his part to take care of his child. The child should be able to live as though the father were in the home...and i feel the mother should be able to also have nice things and do nice things as well.
I respect any man that no matter what can take care his his kid(s) and not get hung up on drama with the mother....

Timothy Stelly Sr said...

What about Deadbeat Moms? I have had to deal with three. Mother number one decided she wanted to smoke crack and spent every dime she had on it. My three teens and one pre-teen moved in with me. She moved out of state, never wrote or called, never sent a dime, and on top of that claimed the kids on her taxed, despite the fact I had physical custody of them. This led to an ugly bit of business between myself and the IRS that took five years to settle.\
Mother number two had two children when I met her. She gave them to their father. After she had a second child with me, she decided "I don't want to be a mother any more." As I returned home from the hospital wearing a cast (I (broke my leg and ankle), she met me at the door and announced, "Here's your kids. Bye."
He contribution? She works full-time for the school district yet only pays $30 per month. The courts decided she could not afford to pay more. Meanwhile, she lives with her mother and pays a monthly sum of $150 per month, She takes bi-monthly trips to Reno to gamble, and keeps the kids maybe 7 or 8 days a year.
Mother number three allows our nine-year-old to visit every two weeks and during school vacations. He also stays for weeks at a time when his mother travels with her trucker boyfriend. I have him more than half the time, I buy most of his clothes and food. She contrinutes nothing, but because she's on SSI (and has section 8), she claims an inability to do more.
Meanwhile, I stretch the hell out of my disability retirement payments.
In summation, I have to be mom and dad, which is hard, 'cause I ain't the woman I useta be. LOL--yeah, through a humorous window is the best way to view this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

not trying to be mean but again why are you men laying down with these trifling woman and having kids with them? you see how they are beforehand..and if you don't, perhaps you aren't taking enough time to get to know the woman, sleep buddy, or whatever she is, before you sleep with her..

and please don't say "she wasn't like that when i first met her"...yes she just chose to ignore the signs..

and this goes for woman as know what kind of man you got.....


Although the tag ‘Deadbeat Dad’ is not meant to label ALL men, it has systemically taken place.

I do agree that the two people involved with the creation of the child(ren) have responsibility for providing and raising them. My concern is for those trying, but by circumstance (lay offs, down sizing, etc.) who are being treated like criminals.

Common sense within the legal system and the two parties should kick in.

If the father (or mother) were in the home and his financial livelihood were diminished via the aforementioned circumstances, should he, or would he/she be viewed as ‘deadbeat’?


Leeta said...

My thoughts..
I personally think that if a man and woman are together and one of them loses the job, or some other unfortunate circumstance happens- there is a measure of accountability to still take care of family. So people find ways of making it work- when you are in contact every day with the results of your efforts- it motivates you to work quicker and harder to handle business. But if the mother and father are not together- and he loses a job etc,- SOMETIMES there isn't the sense of accountability so he isnt concerned as much with finding a way to take care of home. and this goes both ways for mother and father...Back in the day in My grandparents time period- a man did what he had to to take care of his responsabilities- if that meant two jobs- working nights, whatever- he did it... Now a days men think if it dont "fit" what they like or dont give them the cash to get bling bling- then they aint doin it.. so meanwhile the family (kids) are the ones that suffer....Also i think that "deadbeat dad" is being thrown around when it really shouldnt apply to all men- even men that legitimately cant provide- they shouldnt be considered a dead beat dad- but we ALL know if we keep it real- that the majority are the men that have the several baby mommas who are looking for a reason to say "i aint givin her (bleep) and wait to see she look like she got her nails done, or some nice clothes and want to question her about "oh you spending my money to get that" and yes women abuse the system, i'm not saying they dont, but if we look at the majority of situations-Especially before the government really started cracking down - alot of men fell into the dead beat dad category....

atellbread said...

Sometimes "support" isn't always financial. Some fathers, after a loss of income, opt to stay away because they feel they have NOTHING else to contribute. In reality, their time is as umportant as their money. They can soend more time reading to and talking to their youngsters. Educating our youth is a form of support,