Skip to comments.Unable to pay child support, poor parents land behind bars
Posted on 09/12/2011 6:56:00 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen
It may not be a crime to be poor, but it can land you behind bars if you also are behind on your child-support payments.
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Thousands of so-called deadbeat parents are jailed each year in the U.S. after failing to pay court-ordered child support the vast majority of them for withholding or hiding money out of spite or a feeling that theyve been unfairly gouged by the courts.
But in what might seem like an un-American plot twist from a Charles Dickens novel, advocates for the poor say, some parents are wrongly being locked away without any regard for their ability to pay sometimes without the benefit of legal representation.
Randy Miller, a 39-year-old Iraqi war vet, found himself in that situation in November, when a judge in Floyd County, Ga., sent him to jail for violating a court order to pay child support.
He said he was stunned when the judge rebuffed his argument that he had made regular payments for more than a decade before losing his job in July 2009 and had recently resumed working.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
"In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."
Indeed, there has been a judicial coup dêtat which has taken over our Judiciary; it no longer honors our right as citizens to a trial by a jury of our peers.
Any time one citizen is sentenced to pay over monies to another because of damages that citizen has a right to a trial by jury of his peers, which then renders a verdict on the case. There are two little details called the law and the evidence which the jury considers if there is to be justice. Today, a judge simply writes an order and poor broke citizen has his property confiscated or his sorry butt thrown in jail or both without the opportunity to offer his version of the facts to a jury of his peers.
The sick and sorry lies offered as rationalizations for this would be comical if they were not so traitorous and treachorous.
I had this idea...if you can’t afford to have a child, don’t have sex and have a child. Then I thought, if you aren’t married, don’t have sex and have a child. Just an idea.
We have turned into those Arab third-world nations when it comes to debtor prison, reserved mainly if you’re a white male.
I’d like to know stats on how many whites are in this situations, vs. blacks or other ethnicities.
Many of the men affected by this were married when the child(ren) was/were born and later divorced. She won’t allow visitation, he doesn’t have the money for an attorney, but they expect the child support to keep rolling in. I’m sure many of us know people in situations like this and with other issues. Is every male in the United States who is a non-custodial parent in the wrong?
How many of our laws, policies, and “social programs” actually promote divorce instead of providing incentive for parents to stay married?
That’s a rhetorical question. The devil of it is, the sheeperals who support these policies are willfully CLUELESS as to the actual effects of these policies, and feel good about themselves for supporting them.
Id like to know stats on how many whites are in this situations, vs. blacks or other ethnicities.
I was in family court once watching a black, female judge dispensing justice. In my opinion, she was arbitrary and irrational. She didnt listen or care. She acted the same in cases involving whites and blacks but while I was there gave every woman before her everything they wanted from her. Men, black and white, were scr*wed.
A family law court judge can do things, like imprison you without legal representation, that cant be done by any other type of judge. Something should be done to rein in their power.
Without any data that shows this is always the case, and there is no other reason that spouses walk off, this is presumptuous high horsing.
So the guy gets thrown in jail, looses what job he has, still can’t pay goes back to jail. Gets out, has no job goes back in. Round and round. Something is wrong with that system. Some one told me it’s not because a person can’t or won’t pay, it’s because they defied a court order.
Sometimes you can afford a child and then life happens and then you can’t afford them. Sometimes you can afford a home, a car, a computer, etc and life happens and you can no longer afford them.
I hope you never find yourself in such circumstances.
You beat me to it!!
This is and always has been an unconstitutional return to debtor prisons. How much of the money owed is being paid to support the children when the in arears father is in jail? I am hard pressed to recall any mother who has been jailed for non-payment. There is also no accounting at all to prove that the money is used to support the kids which it is not in too many cases.
My sister got lucky.
Married a yuppie.
Took him for all he was worth.
I saw this actually happen to a guy.
There are sicko attorneys who write articles and get males resentful by characterizing child support as “alimony.”
Statutory provisions of this ilk were designed to deal with the segment of the population that quits jobs rather than pay child support. But when there are no jobs to quit, it is a sick joke.
On the days when the “criminal nonsupport” docket is called, you should see the poor guys, day laborers mostly, and the way the interest piles up means most of them are 20 30K in the hole.
These statutes are then fattened up with provisions about paying back government for welfare benefits and health care benefits, which further put the blokes in the hole. Then the blokes lose their drivers’ licenses for nonpayment of child support, which makes it further difficult to look for work.
The economy has nothing to offer these guys except selling dope. Then the guys go to jail and get further behind.
This statutory scheme majorly impacts the poor and the unmarried; I feel sick anytime I am at one of these dockets.
THE SYSTEM DOESN’T WORK AND IS EVIL
NEVER GET CAUGHT UP IN IT. IT WILL KILL YOU.
Oh, please. Did you read the article? People had children when they were married, had jobs, and could afford them easily. Then the recession hit. They lost their jobs. Eventually even the most prudent person runs out of money. Especially when a vindictive ex and her lawyers is jumping up and down on him, demanding every penny and then some, so that there’s nothing left to buy food with.
I am writing this as a divorced woman who has seen how unjust the system is toward fathers, and has taken GREAT care not to take advantage of my own ex.
yep, but the bell has already rung, or you are closing the barn door after the horse is already out..........
“Sometimes you can afford a child and then life happens and then you cant afford them”
With a little maturity, this is avoidable. Young people do NOT use their head and will wait and save for NOTHING.
I could afford (according to the bank) a MUCH better home than the one I bought. I would be homeless right now if I was an immature and selfish fool who wanted more than I could afford.
You want your kid growing up poor?
I am in no way impacted by the issue, but I’ve always felt it would be more reasonable to determine a baseline support amount. There are of course many expenses incurred by custodial parents that are difficult to quantify, but does anyone believe that awards of several thousand per month are justified?
I had this idea...if you don't know the facts, don't spout off like you do.
I have a friend who had a child 16 years ago, while properly married. The marriage didn't last, and the ex-wife (as usual) got custody, with my friend having the burden of child support. So far, so good - he had no problem with supporting his child. Now fast forward to 2 years ago: my friend's business went bust, and he was doing all that he could to support his 2nd wife and their 2 kids. He didn't have enough money to pay the child support on a timely basis. Oh, and to make it worse, his prior employer was supposed to garnish wages and send them to the state - but didn't do so, and also didn't pay my friend the money. Despite that, he borrowed money and appeared at court to pay it back, in full (being about 2 months behind). His bitch ex-wife, from a very wealthy family, asked the judge to throw him in jail. My friend's lawyer said that if he was in jail that he couldn't earn any money to pay child support, and wasn't the whole point of the exercise to see that the child was supported? Further, he asked why it was the fault of my friend that his ex-employer took money from his pay and didn't pay the state. Too bad, said the (female) judge, off to jail you go. He got out 6 weeks later and 15 pounds lighter, only after he had been forced to agree to give up all of his parental rights, including the very name that his daughter carried. Meanwhile, his present wife and kids had to go on food stamps, and he only kept his job out of sheer luck that his boss was a thoroughly decent human being.
Don't tell me that the system is only full of irresponsible people - it is also full of decent people who, because of circumstances beyond their control become victims of a twisted and biased system that allows vindictive ex-spouses to call the shots. You want to know why a lot of men refuse to commit to women with marriage? Our incredibly biased family law system is the main reason.
Then you planned poorly. How many american live right on the edge with every penny of their pay going to maintain their lifestyle? total-us-savings-rate-lowest-in-recorded-history WAY too many.
this doesn't even qualify as naive.
—I hope you never find yourself in such circumstances.—
I used to look at divorced people as second class citizens. Then it happened to me, without cause. She just didn’t like me any more. Fortunately my kids were old enough that I paid child support for only a few years - and maintenance since we had been married a couple of decades.
And I found out that somewere around 75% to 80% of divorces are brought on by the wife. And yes, the men basically get screwed in a way that only family court can do it.
It is extremely foolish for a young man in the US to marry a woman in the current legal environment. I’m sure she’s a real sweet girl, but people change. And these days it can ruin your life - for the REST of your life. This is especially true if you have single digit aged kids. I’ve seen WAY too much of it.
And we’re not talking wife beaters here. We’re talking ordinary flawed men married to flawed women, but the power these flawed women are given by the courts is absolutely criminal. It is also creating a permanent underclass of what should be a strong middle class and part of what is actually destroying our country.
Still, she was awarded custody of their only daughter and he was ordered to pay child support. The family courts are stocked with traditional family hating liberals, lesbians and dykes for judges. But I repeat myself.
Oh yeah, it’s a picnic for the women. sarc They get to care for the children, 24/7 while the men are out sowing their wild oats, not showing up for visits, trying to control the women by withholding what little child support does get awarded. Look buster, do you not realize that when the dad cuts out the women’s lifestyle goes to the dogs? Men can make a lot more money than women.
Oh, so then the men get the bright idea, “I’ll just take the children from her, then I won’t have to pay child support.” And the children then have no mother.
Men, it is not about YOU. It is about your children.
The Bitch State.
He also owes it all when he gets out. It can follow him the rest of his life.
So you think nothing extra-ordinary happens?
You should put a * next to your screenname, einstein.
You're being presumptuous. It's clear that "thinking" never entered the process.
Glad everything always worked out so perfectly for you, bub. “Planning” solves all eh?
This is a lie. Even the most mature are having a time finding jobs today. You are acting very self righteous.
This is an example of an out of control judicial system/Government creating criminals out of innocent people.
Odd how so many true criminals avoid jail due to over crowding, yet there seems to be room for these people.
This really makes me mad.
—THE SYSTEM DOESNT WORK AND IS EVIL
NEVER GET CAUGHT UP IN IT. IT WILL KILL YOU.—
I repeat: A young man that gets married in the US in the current legal culture is taking a HUGE risk with his life. And it is almost a 50/50 proposition, Christian or not.
What saved me, other than the Lord himself, was that I was a professional and all my kids were in double digit age when it happened.
On a side note, I paid huge child support and maintenance (it was a long term marriage that she ended “without cause”) and although she dressed very nice, the kids were dressed from Goodwill except for what I ended up having to buy for them.
I sat in on family court prior to my court dates to get a feel for it. I was shocked by what I saw. I no longer respect the US. At all. I also believe this will be part of this country’s undoing.
meathead, eh? a clueless, myopic moron calling an unemployed veteran a "meathead?"
Nothing bellows like a fool.
While I’m no libertarian, I do agree that the best course is for the gubmint to stay out of divorce and child support issues.
Do not issue arbitrary visitation schedules. AND DO NOT order child support, nor enforce any orders demanding it be paid.
I guarantee you (based on history) there will be a lot less fewer divorces and broken homes.
But as we know... Liberals and big government democrats DO NOT WANT a stable secure family. Only when the Welfare Check is the head of the household is when total control of the plantaion is secured.
“a man’s enemies will be the members of his own house.”...”it would be better not to marry...”
There was no common sense on the bench as the judge then ruled that he was not allowed to leave the state to take a job so he could pay his child support until he was current with his child support.
In the end the ex wife gave him the money to get current so he wouldn't end up in jail and be even more behind.
The situation was totally ridiculous.
AMEN, AMEN and AMEN!!!
Horror stories like the one you posted are I would NEVER get married in the USA.
I have a close childhood friend who is married and who has told me he's gone up on his roof with the intend to throw himself off of it as an alternative to getting divorced and having a “judge” tell him how he will live the rest of his life. He hasn't done it yet because he doesn't want his children traumatized and stigmatized.
What do you say to a person that's at that point? “Don't worry pal, this is Massholechusetts, and you'll get a fair shake in court?”
FWIW, I'd advised him to disappear and flee to another country or claim he's turned gay and file for divorce.
You sound kinda like a monster. Either that or you didn’t read the article.
Yes they can. And until the last few decades women killed the golden goose at their peril. Now they just dump the poor guy and abscond with all the eggs. Their lives are usually worse, but they don't think about that when they decide it would be easier to live alone than have the stress of living with someone that doesn't acquiesce to their every wish.
Like I said what in the hell does the vet part have to do with it, and I am a vet, are you one.
We badly need divorce reform in this country, no doubt. Divorce without cause is WRONG. Divorce is wrong. And kids do the majority of suffering.
That being said, mid life crisis causes males to act like idiots. The statistics about women wanting most of the divorces don’t reflect how many marriages are destroyed because of rutting by aging males. The males may not file for the divorce because they want their cake and eat it too, bu the women want the pain to end. Still, divorce is NEVER the answer and divorce lawyers are akin to abortionists.
I think everyone knows circumstances like you’ve mentioned. I know of several - including an ex-wife with a past drug conviction, and a recent stint in the hospital for drug over-dose - who kept custody of her kids - despite legal challenges and a substancial amount of money spent on documentation and lawyers.
I’ve seen a man lose his job, and sell everything he had (tv, CD, DVD, games, bed, living room and clothes) trying to keep current. His current wife and kids are going without - so he can pay child support to a wife who is re-married and in a household that earns 5+x what he is raising his family on. Yep, when he was working he was raising his family on less than $50K, and his ex-wife is remarried and earning $300+K/yr.
Men have no rights - we are basically slaves. Many men are paying child support for children that they have not fathered - they just happened to be one of the people who had sex with the woman. The judges are looking for “the good of the child” without regard to justice, or any other considerations.
I have a number of friends that are divorced.
In every instance *not* involving children, all of them received the same advice from their (different) attorneys: "Just give her what she asks for. She'll wind up getting it anyway, and all you'll do is run up my legal fees."
Now when kids were involved, it was a little different. But, I thought it interesting that a half-dozen or so lawyers all provided the same advice to my friends. Truly, the deck is stacked against men.
—You want your kid growing up poor?—
That is what divorce tends to do. That is why it is a thing to be avoided.
Way too many women just don’t like living with another adult that may have needs or wants like they do and discovers she can get all the financial perks but still be “free” of the yoke of marriage, so she pulls the trigger on the divorce. She then discovers it does not turn out the way she had hoped.
People are not machines. Sometimes divorce can impact a man’s earning power or job satisfaction when it is all going to a family of children that have been legally removed from his home without cause. He does not make a conscious effor to stop making money, but he may be “less employable”.
I realize circumstances change. But I also realize that many people give up on marriage way too soon...and refuse to pay for their kids.
Hey...I say give ‘em a trial by jury (which is the basic point of the article)...but for god’s sake, quit whining and pay for your kids.
Michael Jackson agrees:
If You Cant Feed Your Baby (Yeah, Yeah)
Then Don’t Have A Baby (Yeah, Yeah)