Lion of the Blogosphere

Child support re-examined by the NY Times

I previously blogged against child support. Twice. With a follow-up.

In light of those old posts, read the article in yesterday’s NY Times about the child-support trap which dooms prole men to economic poverty and jail.

* * *

Commenter “Jeff” writes:

I agree with you, Lion. I am a family law attorney, and I’ve witnessed firsthand the kind of problems that child support creates in men and women who are stuck having to deal with it. One effect of child support that you haven’t hit on is that it causes a lot more battles over child custody, and the litigation is costly and very inefficient. Child support is calculated using a formula based on a bunch of factors, but in most states the two most important factors are the incomes of the parents and the amount of time each parent has with the child. A dad who has his kids half of the time will pay much less in child support than one who has his kids only every other weekend. Long, drawn out battles over child custody are the natural result of this. Cases can last forever because the parents can always reopen child custody cases to modify the parenting schedule. I guarantee you that most of these fights will go away if you took away child support, and dads wouldn’t mind having just every other weekend with their kids, which is probably in the best interests of most children.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 21, 2015 at 7:06 AM

Posted in Law, News, Underclass

60 Responses

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  1. The eugenics movement had a humane, fool-proof solution to the child-support burden that traps so many poor people of color in “a cycle of debt, unemployment and imprisonment.”

    Mark Caplan

    April 21, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    • convince the religious right first.

      wolf

      April 21, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    • Most people of low character and low intelligence would probably take the money to be sterilized. Even if it cost $100k per woman, it would be worth it. Their kids will cost way more than that if born.

      not too late

      April 21, 2015 at 3:34 PM

      • Yes, eugenics! Great idea.

        A one-child policy for women who can’t afford to raise their children by themselves is the best solution to the problem of too many such children, not putting the dads in jail (which doesn’t stop the moms from having sex with other men instead).

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2015 at 3:56 PM

  2. This is an area that needs a whole host of reforms. The question is whether this one reform would do more good (by improving the circumstances of men and their children) or harm (by causing men unable to support the children they have to have more of them). I don’t know.

    It’s frustrating that the obvious solution to these problems is off the table.

    Lloyd Llewellyn

    April 21, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    • Men don’t choose to have children, women do.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 21, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      • Thats true and that’s one thing I’d like to see change. But a man out of prison, working, and with disposable is much more likely to end up with a child than someone in the opposite circumstances.

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        April 21, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      • If NBA players can take measures, so can these guys.

        Dan

        April 21, 2015 at 9:47 AM

      • “Men don’t choose to have children, women do.”
        Agreed. So accepting that, what would a better system be? Even If you don’t eliminate child support, at least having it set at lower and more reasonable levels would be an improvement. You also want to avoid a system where unmarried men pay high levels of taxes to support children that aren’t theirs. The biggest problem I see is that women make up half the population and that’s a really big voting bloc. The current unworkable and unfair system largely came into effect because they supported it. If you have a large group that makes decisions based mostly on their emotions, has a strong desire for security and a weak desire for freedom and fairness, and has a herd mentality where they all agree with each other and reinforce each other’s beliefs then how are you going to shift them in a direction where they’ll support needed reforms?

        Mark

        April 21, 2015 at 12:08 PM

      • Some guy in Canada payed for a surrogate to have his baby. A somewhat enticing idea if a man wants to have a high gene quality child, but can’t land a high gene-quality woman.

        fakeemail

        April 21, 2015 at 6:42 PM

  3. The system works as designed. This is what feminists wanted, and if the system grinds poor men down, feminists have no sympathy whatsoever.

    I recommend the book “Arrest-proof yourself” written by Dale Carson (an ex-cop). As Carson points out, the American justice system has a tendency to arrest people for what essentially is absent-mindedness. Someone fails to pay a citation, next his driver’s license is suspended, next he is arrested for driving without a license. Once he has an arrest record, it becomes very hard to find a job, which leads to more missed payments and so on…

    WRB

    April 21, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    • It’s really an alliance between feminists and social conservatives. In that sense it’s like the anti-pornography movement. Also, in the cases where the money is going to the government to recoup welfare payments given to the mother, theres some influence from especially deluded fiscal conservatives who thinks the paltry sums they’re extracting from these men amount to to anything.

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      April 21, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      • It might cost more money to extract the money (bureaucracy + law enforcement + court costs + prison costs + lost taxes from the guy being in prison instead of working) than the money collected. At best it’s a negative sum activity.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      • “It’s really an alliance between feminists and social conservatives.”

        And yet the problem didn’t exist until you leftists created the welfare state and war on poverty. You leftists shit all over society and then blame others for the smell.

        destructure

        April 22, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    • It seems like system punishes members of the lower class, who are more likely to be absent-minded, less detail-oriented, hold low-wage jobs, etc. for being good citizens —- (believing that they ought to pay these fines and doing everything they can to do so).

      swanknasty

      April 21, 2015 at 1:06 PM

      • The article makes it seem that the system punishes people that don’t comply way more.

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        April 21, 2015 at 4:03 PM

  4. Perhaps this upcoming book might be of interest: http://www.realworlddivorce.com/

    (Drafts of all chapters available at the site.)

    Glengarry

    April 21, 2015 at 9:29 AM

  5. OT: you ought to run a piece about the bizarre closing of six Walmart stores. The company closed these stores, located in four states, on literally a few hours notice. It issued an obviously false statement claiming that each store would be shut for at least six months due to urgently needed plumbing repairs. It is unquestionable that Walmart is lying because (a) no one who had worked in the stores knew of any plumbing issues; (b) Walmart hasn’t sought any building permits; (c) plumbing repairs don’t take six months; and (d) no sane company will incur the massive expenses of a prolonged shutdown for building-related reasons except in the absolute worst case scenario (if need be it could bring in trailer mounted portable restrooms and connect the fire sprinklers to a water tanker).
    Something is up.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    April 21, 2015 at 9:38 AM

  6. I don’t trust the NYT to get this kind of story right. Read between the lines – they are sugarcoating the guy’s obvious intentional periods of deadbeattery by making him out to be Mr. Gentle Sweet Simpleton. His four kids just magically appeared, apparently.

    Look, I’ll forgive him one sprog. She set him up! But 4? Nah-uh.

    Fiddlesticks

    April 21, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    • I don’t think he’s the world’s greatest person. But if he really had a $30K job once, he’s not the world’s worst person either.

      It takes two people to have sex (or at least the kind of sex that makes someone pregnant).

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 21, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      • If you take away child support, then there are zero consequences for a guy running around making babies he can’t support.

        Dan

        April 21, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      • Women who want to have sex will always find some man willing to do that. Child support only scares away responsible men with good genes and thus contributes to dysgenic breeding.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2015 at 1:03 PM

      • Um…what other kind is there?

        Jokah Macpherson

        April 21, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      • If you take away child support, then there are zero consequences for a guy running around making babies he can’t support.

        Right now, in most cases, there are no consequences for women failing to spend the money on the child.

        swanknasty

        April 21, 2015 at 1:13 PM

      • @LOTB
        Child support only scares away responsible men with good genes and thus contributes to dysgenic breeding.

        How does your proposal to keep child support mandatory for divorced dads while making it voluntary for never-married baby daddies help “responsible men”?

        Fiddlesticks

        April 21, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      • “If you take away child support, then there are zero consequences for a guy running around making babies he can’t support.”

        With child support there are zero consequences for a gal running around making babies she can’t support.

        Toad

        April 21, 2015 at 2:13 PM

      • @Toad
        Lol. The Left wants to water down child support to make it EASIER for hero momz to tap gov aid/beta bux hassle-free.

        Fiddlesticks

        April 21, 2015 at 3:34 PM

      • Women who want to have sex will always find some man willing to do that. Child support only scares away responsible men with good genes and thus contributes to dysgenic breeding.

        I don’t see why this would be the case. It seems obvious that a woman’s decision to have a baby is both a reflection of her own inner desire and her opinion of the desirability of the men around her. The current system lessens the desirability of the men impregnating women, especially large numbers of women.

        And how can child support scare away responsible men when a responsible man would support his child even in the absence of legal enforcement?

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        April 21, 2015 at 4:07 PM

      • Women who want to get pregnant, or just don’t care, manage to get pregnant, so the system doesn’t work.

        In a society where premarital sex is endorsed rather than condemned, people are going to have sex and women are going to get pregnant.

        Perhaps you just want to punish alpha men out of jealousy that they are having sex and you are not? Not saying that it’s wrong to want to punish people who are more successful than you. Nevertheless, the punishment is very random. A women who, for some weird reason, was attracted to nerdy nonathletic males, could very easily get pregnant by one of them. The nerdy kid would then be prevented from attending MIT because he’d be put in jail for not paying child support. I know this is not the normal type of man who is saddled with child support, but it COULD happen.

        Laws should make sense for a modern society. The concept of child support is based around 18th century society in which it is assumed that a woman would never want to have sex with a man she wasn’t married to or at the very least wanted to be married to, and everyone agreed that if it happened the correct solution for everyone was an immediate marriage. It was further assumed that only men would try to fink out of marriage, and therefore it was appropriate for him to pay financially for his bad behavior. Today, having sex is considered GOOD behavior and women don’t want to marry the men they have sex with.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2015 at 4:19 PM

      • [Women who want to have sex will always find some man willing to do that. Child support only scares away responsible men with good genes and thus contributes to dysgenic breeding.]

        The guys who will be hit with these measures probably don’t even know they exist in the form they do when entering the bedroom. Thus the deterrence factor is nil.

        Two babies ago, my 17 year old hospital roommate’s baby daddy #2 looked genuinely stunned when his mother pointed out he would be on the hook for child support. The idea had clearly never occurred to him before that point.

        He had ignored the new mother for the entire pregnancy and skipped the delivery, unlike babby daddy #1 who had ignored her the whole pregnancy, but attended the delivery. I learned all this from her late night conversations on her government-provided phone.

        slithy toves

        April 21, 2015 at 4:45 PM

  7. I agree with you, Lion. I am a family law attorney, and I’ve witnessed first hand the kind of problems that child support creates in men and women who are stuck having to deal with it. One effect of child support that you haven’t hit on is that it causes a lot more battles over child custody, and the litigation is costly and very inefficient. Child support is calculated using a formula based on a bunch of factors, but in most states the two most important factors are the incomes of the parents and the amount of time each parent has with the child. A dad who has his kids half of the time will pay much less in child support than one who has his kids only every other weekend. Long, drawn out battles over child custody are the natural result of this. Cases can last forever because the parents can always reopen child custody cases to modify the parenting schedule. I guarantee you that most of these fights will go away if you took away child support, and dads wouldn’t mind having just every other weekend with their kids, which is probably in the best interests of most children.

    Jeff

    April 21, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    • The article is about child support payments from men who have no chance of paying them and whose lives are destroyed by the obligation. You’re talking about a much a much wider reform that would extend to men who do have the resources to support their children which is a silly idea. I also don’t accept the idea that children are best served by marginalizing their fathers.

      A much better reform to address unnecessary divorce litigation is to just make 50/50 the default that’s only deviated from in rare circumstances.

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      April 21, 2015 at 10:55 AM

      • The current child support system marginalizes fathers by treating them as nothing but a monthly check.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      • My point was the poor incentives that child support litigation creates. A lot of fathers, who would otherwise admit that the children spend more time with the mother, wouldn’t attempt to claim 50% of custody if the child support obligation wasn’t at stake.

        Jeff

        April 21, 2015 at 1:05 PM

      • I’m with Lloyd. The default should be joint custody, 50/50 time, and no child support. This would both cut down litigation and keep fathers involved. There was a recent initiative in North Dakota that proposed a similar model, and trial lawyers came out heavily against it. They want lots of litigation.

        BehindTheLines

        April 22, 2015 at 12:32 PM

    • The kids’ best interest is acquiring as few step/half siblings as possible. Preferably none.

      It’s not fair, but more needs to be done to keep Dad off the prowl than Mom, since his fertility window is longer. So support payments that cut into his discretionary party spending, or custody time that has him watching “Frozen” at home instead of trying to recapture his baggage-free glory days at bars – are good things for the kids.

      Fiddlesticks

      April 21, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      • You have this backwards. It’s women that are initiating the divorces and child-custody suits lawsuits, not men. The Feminists won.

        dsgntd_plyr

        April 21, 2015 at 1:16 PM

  8. I read this and was baffled and horrified. It’s not that I disagree with the notion of child support, but what good does it do to put a parent in jail for nonpayment of payments they could never afford in the first place (remember many men are ordered to pay support even if they’re unemployed)? And how on earth are these men supposed to pay back to the state massive medical and welfare expenses accrued by the children? Particularly when the *mothers* are making the choice to enroll the children in welfare programs. By that logic why not make everyone who amasses welfare benefits pay them back, or jail mothers who can’t properly house or feed their children? None of it makes any sense.

    I don’t know if you read the nytimes comments but one father relates the tale of his wife who refused to vouch for the fact that he’d made years of CS payments when he was incorrectly designated as in arrears, her attorney refused to vouch for him, and the cancelled checks weren’t enough. He had to have his own attorney haggle with the orwellian enforcement agency and was a hair’s breadth from being jailed despite having done nothing wrong.

    Not to mention the trauma to a CHILD of having a parent in jail, for whatever reason. That alone is reason enough to end the practice of jailing fathers over child support matters.

    slithy toves

    April 21, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    • what good does it do to put a parent in jail for nonpayment of payments they could never afford in the first place (remember many men are ordered to pay support even if they’re unemployed)?

      Well, I guess that he will have less of an opportunity to father another kid while he is in jail.

      not too late

      April 21, 2015 at 3:28 PM

      • These guys manage to get women pregnant from behind bars. There’s always some story in the news about female prison guards knocked up by their charges.

        slithy toves

        April 21, 2015 at 4:46 PM

  9. I’m trying to figure out my own family plan. It’s come down to two options, really:

    1) Take the risk of divorce and marry the nicest girl I can and hope for the best. Pros include having a solid family life and raising my children to the best of my ability. Cons include divorce rape at any time for any reason.

    2) Don’t get married, and impregnate a few different women, have some free range children I see once in a while. The Pro here is that the worst outcome is a little bit of child support, assuming I never live with the moms. Cons include being a bad father, step-dads raping/beating my children, me and all those women dying alone.

    The reality is that I think I’m headed for the second option because, at the end of the day, I refuse to be a slave. But I don’t feel good about it.

    jjbees

    April 21, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    • A girl from a good college whose parents are married is unlikely to do that.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 21, 2015 at 1:07 PM

      • They think they’re too good for us. They get the good-school degree so they can land jobs in alphas’ orbit. Not LOTB readers’ orbit.

        Fiddlesticks

        April 21, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      • Girls go off to college because it’s expected of them and not because it’s part of a carefully-laid-out plan to avoid beta males.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      • @LOTB
        You just moved the goalposts from “good college” to “college.” We’re not talking about somebody getting a nursing degree.

        And who said “carefully-laid-out”? By age 18 (heck by 13), their intuition makes them perfectly adept at avoiding beta boys. No one has to draw them a picture of Caltech’s logo or a Differential Equations textbook with a big red line through it.

        Fiddlesticks

        April 21, 2015 at 2:05 PM

      • College is majority beta, in terms of the male demographic.

        JS

        April 22, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    • The reality is that I think I’m headed for the second option because, at the end of the day, I refuse to be a slave. But I don’t feel good about it.

      3): Don’t have kids if you have some bullshit excuse for not doing your best by them. Solved your problem.

      swanknasty

      April 21, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    • I think it’s funny how “girls hate betas” has become the go to rationalization of every C-grade man out there when their love life isn’t what they want it to be. A huge chunk of the population is beta, and most of them are married, but “girls hate betas”.

      Seriously, a willingness to have your children be potentially beaten or raped before a willingness to gamble that your marriage will be one of the 2/3 that make it, is one of the most cowardly worldviews that I have ever seen espoused, and I have a feeling that similar attitudes are a big part of why most of these “beta” men believe that “girls hate betas” instead of looking in the mirror.

      Mad Hatter

      April 21, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    • May I suggest learning something from the Stoics? You have the attitude that if someone inflicts suffering on you, this is a humiliation and your dignity depends on keeping them from having that power. But many people in history have believed that their dignity depends on bearing up under whatever life dishes out, good or bad. If you don’t feel good about where your current mind set is taking you, perhaps it’s time to try a different mind set.

      Libertarianish Economist

      April 22, 2015 at 1:14 AM

      • I don’t think that the Stoics extolled the wisdom of purposefully getting into situations that would lead to suffering.

        nebbish

        April 22, 2015 at 12:50 PM

      • He wouldn’t be putting himself in a position to suffer for no reason, he’d be doing it because it is more honorable to risk yourself being metaphorically raped than your children literally raped.

        I’m not an expert on the Stoics or anything. The guy says he’s unhappy with where his life philosophy is taking him, and I’m just reminding him he has options.

        Libertarianish Economist

        April 22, 2015 at 2:20 PM

  10. I read a study a couple years ago that said divorce is a function of women’s* ability to “win” divorce cases. A win is custody + child-support + alimony. So getting rid of alimony/child-support would lower divorce rates. A boon for kids.

    *Lesbians have the highest divorce rate, followed by M-F marriages, then M-M. Women cause divorce.

    dsgntd_plyr

    April 21, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    • Do you have a link for the last part? Also presumably only one woman at most in a lesbian marriage is going to get the custody-child support-alimony trifecta so why if the anticipation of that is the cause of divorce would lesbian marriages have a higher divorce rate than straight marriages? Is it that both partners in lesbian marriages think they’re going to get custody, child support, and alimony from the other one?

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      April 21, 2015 at 4:12 PM

  11. This is why mgtow is becoming so popular

    grey enlightenment

    April 21, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    • America is gradually becoming a mulatto nation in the making, with mtDNA from White women. The over-surplus of fat, rude, undesirable and unattractive black females is shockingly true, but no liberal gives a rat ass about this problem!

      JS

      April 22, 2015 at 2:27 PM

  12. I wonder how comes no insurance company came up with child support insurance. Considering the risks involved it would make sense for people to do this insurance before starting active sexual life, the same way people buy travel insurance before travelling.

    Hashed

    April 21, 2015 at 9:37 PM


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