1. Parenting

Readers Respond: Child Support Horror Stories

Responses: 159


This Has to Come to an End

I read some of the articles from ex-wives that continually claim, "My children’s father is a deadbeat dad." Look, there are a small majority of men that don’t pay child support because they just don’t want to, but there’s a larger majority of men who have lost their jobs, and they’re incapable of supporting themselves - let alone anyone else. In Illinois, it’s been proven that 10 out of 10 arrearage cases brought against divorced father are false. Why? Because it's free. And arrearage numbers are made up by ex-wives for nothing more than vindictiveness, and the Illinois Attorney General office never verifies the arrearage claims brought against divorced fathers. Here’s a stat for all divorced mothers: 48% of women on welfare are married with their husbands living in the same household, and 31% of women on welfare are single and have no idea who there children’s biological fathers are. I received this information right from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The last 22% are widows.
—Guest Tony

They Are Not Legally Allowed To

I have a 6-month-old daughter, and we desperately need the support from her father. He was all gung-ho before, but then he decided to take a hike and play his games and have all the girls and smut he wants. Now he claims he wants to see her, but he pawns her off on his mother and ignores her completely. I am confused at how the system could allow such a stupid thing to happen. I was forced onto welfare, and he is abusing the system by hiding behind a disability. This is B.S., and if he wanted, he could kidnap my little girl and I would never see her again. I am worried about his erratic behavior and harassment of me, wanting nothing but a three letter word. Right now he says he can't see his daughter because he can't talk to me. It's about the baby, not me! He truly is a deadbeat. Not all dads are, but a lot of them...well...I can't say they will ever take proper responsibility for their kids. I live in Canada. The laws should change everywhere to make it fair for the kids, not the other parent.
—Guest ticked off

Living in the Twilight Zone

I recently got the courage to stand up to my kids' fathers' abuse after eight years and two young children. I have endured physical, mental, and emotional abuse in front of my children. I did everything the police told me to do after he was removed from the home. I told them I feared him, and I got an emergency order of protection - only for it to be dismissed to a refrainment order! He broke it, and I called police each time - only for them to tell me it's a family court issue. He has put in six petitions in a month and a half, trying to take my children away from me. I am a full time student and made the decision on schooling for my children, which was something their father despised and did everything in his power to keep me from accomplishing. He has told our five-year-old that his mother doesn't love him, he's taken my car, my school books, and made invalid statements about my character - all while living under his mom's roof, driving a new 745 BMW, not paying support, and has not had a job since '99. He also is a known drug dealer. What do I do?
—Guest Nat'e


I have three children. My ex owes $16,000. We've been to court seven times in a year. The judge has given him specific timelines and amounts to pay. Each time he has not complied. They finally issued an arrest warrant, and the DOR lost the warrant! So they let him go. The court then ordered another court date. They now lowered his child support payment s and let him go yet again. What is the point in the judge giving a court order when they just keep changing it? I watched the judge let six non-paying parents just leave the courtroom. Between them, $40,000 was owed to children. If the original orders were enforced, this amount would probably not only be less, but might actually be paid.
—Guest Kirsten

Unfair System

I am a single parent of a 15-year-old girl. I have had custody of her since May of 2005. I receive child support, and I pay child support. The horror is that I pay $70.00 a week for my son, but I only receive $23.00 for my little girl. There is nothing right about that.
—Guest Marryo M Dallas

Tired of the Fight

My ex is at it again. Our 12-year-old asked me if he could go live with his dad today. Not that he is unhappy here, or abused in any way, but dad blows money on him just to buy him. Child support recently went up from $160.00 per month to $813.00 per month. Now my ex wants my son to live with him so he doesn't have to pay! My ex has tried this before, and was unsuccessful. Because my son is an honor student; he's a well mannered, loving child. Going to dad's every other weekend is like a mini-vacation where there's no rules, bad food, no bed time, and no supervision. What child wouldn't love that? But my ex works second shift, and a lot of over time. And when he is home, he is either sleeping or on the computer on dating sites. He has no time to be a parent - or the desire to! My son is used to a schedule, chores, good home cooked meals, and a mother who is involved in his life. Living with his dad would destroy my son. But I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas for how to handle this? I'm trying to save my son.
—Guest tityler

State Doubled Child Support Error

My ex decided that she wanted to be single and try to "latch" on to some of our "professional athlete" friends and associates. It didn't work out for her, and she moved my two girls from state to state. She finally settled in New Orleans, while my oldest went and lived with my mother on the East Coast. I sent child support to both households because I was working out of the country. I returned last year. Both of our daughters are over 18, and the state of Louisiana doubled the order when my eldest turned 18. For the last year I have been fighting with the state to look into their error. I have sent them the original order from the state of Florida - numerous times - only to be told that they will look into it and get back to me. Meanwhile, the ex is laughing all the way to the bank, as she has received almost $15,000 that she should not have gotten, not to mention that my credit score has dropped from 690 to 570. I had no debt and I just tried to do the right thing. I hear your stories, but the system is broken,
—Guest Chris

I'm Tired!

My life was going good until I left my son's father. He brought my son everything. I never had to spent money. He was hurt that I left him, and now he feels that he should hurt me by not giving me any support. My son's father owns a restaurant. He pays for my son's private school (his choice). Yet, he feels that paying for school is his child support. My son is 10 now. I left his father when he was 8. Is paying for private school enough?
—Guest Shelly

How Do They Sleep at Night?

I made a couple of payments, and then I lost my job. Soon after that I lost my car. I met a girl who was able to get me back on my feet, and we moved to a new city. After just over a year of looking, I finally got a new job about two months ago and opened a checking account. The only thing I've used the account for is paying the electric bill. I'm averaging about 15 hours a week at $7 per hour in an area with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. This morning I get up, and not only has child support enforcement taken all the money from my account, but it's suddenly over $3000 negative. So, how do they sleep at night? I didn't even know they had done this until I tried to put gas in my truck and could not. I can't put gas into my truck now because they just took all my money. That also means I can't get to my job because I live in a rural area and it's 16 miles to work. I can't get food stamps because of an outdated law, and I can't get a job because there aren't any. Now what?
—Guest Matthew

Dads Get Treated WORSE? HA....

I got a divorce from the kid's dad. And he said he wanted the kids every other week for four days, but every time it's his turn, I have to take them to his mother's because he has no time for them. And child support...he says he has no money! But he owns a Lamborghini, a Cadillac, other businesses, and a house - but he doesn't have the money to pay child support? And he had another child before our divorce was even finalized. The system is a joke! He looked like a good man - and father - but he's a deadbeat, which his own children have already started noticing. I am still waiting for the system to start collecting for the kids!
—Guest Glen

I Am a Debtor

Get this, she always had the bank card. She spent all the household money. We spent ten years together and had three children. I made $100,000.00 per year for the ten years I was with her. Then, she gets into drugs with her "friends" and starts sleeping with them! After two phases of rehab, she takes the children away to another town - via lawyer - and she gets legal aid. Meanwhile, I pay $350.00 per hour! We get nearly nothing for the house. I'm nothing to anyone except a money tree that produces! I owe $1,597.00 per month in child support, and I'm homeless!
—Guest Robbed

Help for Deadbeats

Dad of five ... father to none! He took a hike and now owes nine years of unpaid child support - somewhere around $100K. His first set of kids are in their 30's, and he's still being garnished for their support after he abandoned them in California to move to Texas. Also, I found out that he never divorced his wife! He is a functioning alcoholic/drug user, and after two times in rehab, he's still drinking/using. He drives a truck and earns $60-$70K per year. Now he owes roughly $80K - and he's paid about $500 total. He has seen his kid fewer than five hours in nine years. He claims he wants visitation, so I was forced to move back to Texas, thirty minutes away from him. But, still, we never saw him. He has no contact with our child (no calls, no cards, nothing in nine years!), and he's back in hiding again. The only number we had for him is now disconnected, and he has no known address. The court would force visitation, but not allow supervision or bother to collect child support. Meanwhile, he's total stranger to our child. The case is still pending ten years later. The judge says "all dads are good dads," and the Attorney General's office is awful. Family court is a sham, and the whole process is a mess. Meanwhile, dad's on year ten now - Scott free!
—Guest Montague co. Texas

No Christmas for My Son

I have been waiting since November 1 to get my child support in Texas, and come to find out they sent the money to my ex and he cashed it! So he had himself a good Christmas, and I'm here without money. Now child support says they have no order to collect from him, but the divorce decree says it was supposed to start in November. I am so angry! I asked what to do, and the woman at the child support office said, "I don't know!" Well, my ex now wants to put our son on his income tax. Yeah, right ... whatever! I don't think he should be able to, no matter what the divorce paper says!
—Guest angry

Worthless Father

Well, I don't know where to start. My son is almost ten, and his dad has made a total of fifteen child support payments, if I'm lucky. He is in hiding, works under the table, and cannot be found anywhere. He wouldn't even come to his own father's funeral. I think he was afraid of being report and picked up. He has a warrant for his arrest and knows it. Instead of just helping to support his son, he would rather hide like a coward. He hasn't called my son for his birthday, Christmas, or anything else in two years. He has no idea how he is doing in school, or - to be frank - what he even looks like these days. I have be apart from this man for eight years and have married the man of my dreams now, and he is a wonderful father to my son. Yes, I call him my son, for his real dad has never helped, never taken him to the doctors, never watched him so I could go to work the two jobs I had when his dad went to jail, never had to sit up with him at night with a 102 fever and rush him to the ER. It is my goal to track him down and collect back payments.

CSEA is a Scam

I met a woman in 1999 who was living at the YMCA and didn't have custody of her other four kids at the time. I was a bus driver, and she came on to me. My stupid self fell for it. I bought a house and allowed her 13-year-old son to come up to live with us because he had molested his younger brother. She constantly made excuses for them (the kids) and about not working. I got fed up, finally, with the lies and the disrespect and left (like a dummy) because we had a child in 2006 and she ended up pregnant again in 2007. But I began to think she cheated with someone right under my radar ... that's another story. Well, we went to court and she said, "He just doesn't want to pay." I took care of her and her behavioral problem-sons for 10 years! They ended up taking back support and she constantly - to this day - harasses me because I won't get the kids when SHE wants me to. As a result, I don't trust women with kids who come from poverty-stricken towns in Ohio. Men beware!
—Guest James

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