Disclaimer: The following are the views of a single, black father whom shares custody of his child. These views are not representative of all single fathers or black parents. These views are not meant to excuse or justify the choices or actions of any individuals. However, this discussion piece is meant to provide new perspectives and encourage dialogue. Comments are greatly appreciated.
Child Support is a program established by State government law that dictates the amount a non-custodial parent should pay in dollars to ensure their child’s upbringing. These laws are built from two foundational understandings:
- It is always the biological parents’ responsibility to ensure their children have access to the [financial] resources they need for a “proper” upbringing.
- In our society, financial responsibility is the first responsibility of a parent and it cannot be bypassed… even by actual parenting.
The benefit of Child Support is difficult to argue against. However based on our prior analysis of how some fathers are introduced to this life role and responsibility, it’s odd how the laws are often interpreted.
In our previous discussions, we’ve touched on how fatherhood is often not a choice of the father… that he never makes any commitment to a child and yet is still expected to rightfully raise the child. In a moral world, this would be assumed by all… but as we know, sometimes parents don’t want to be parents… and some parents never asked to be parents because they know they can’t cut the mustard.
As a result, the government will step in and say… “Hey BD, it costs this much to raise your child… so pay your bills”… essentially monetizing the value of parenting and effectually replacing the obligation of investing attention into your child because you’re already forced to pay cash.
KING’S LAW: Money will never equate to the value of actual parenting, but it can impede the desire to parent.
“But [King]… if they were doing what they were supposed to, they’d be spending money on the child anyway…”
This is true…. but by law, the parent (often the BD) does not pay the money to the child, he pays it to the other parent (often the BM). So who’s to say that your $280 a month (the median child support payment in 2006… probably increased since then) is actually going to the child? It could be going to purses… dinner… beverages for the apartment and its guests… The issue here is, just like when you give your money to church, you’re [supposedly] not allowed to complain about what is done with the money after you give it away…..
… and you wonder why niggas don’t want to pay.
Here’s a controversial expenditure of child support…. Rent. While my child may need a roof to live under, why should I help pay for that when you’d still need your own roof if you didn’t get knocked up? The things that a parent would need regardless of if they had a child, should not be supported by my money. Especially if you decided on your own to have the child… you should’ve been able to take care of the child on your own.
Now this of course doesn’t apply to the mothers who were lied to, misled, or coerced into having the children… but let’s be real… it ain’t all “Daddy’s” fault… Momma played a part in this too.
KING’S LAW: The children are the only innocent party when there’s a conflict between parents.
And the innocent are treated like bargaining chips… Regardless of one parent’s relationship with the other, the child should never be punished. A great example of this is Chris Bosh… who in 2008, was targeted as a dead-beat father after breaking up with his girlfriend, Allison Mathis. Despite the speculation of him not supporting her during the end of her pregnancy, the man is attempting to be a father to his child now… But BM said he could not have custody of his daughter during the 2011 NBA Finals so she could see him play in Dallas….
That shit is trash… but I bet she’s happy to cash them checks when they come in the mail.
So not only could a BD interpret his obligation of forced payment as a relief of his parental responsibilities… but the BM could view it the same… even if the forced payment is supporting her as well as the child.
Rapper Nas, once married to Kelis, was ordered to pay in excess of $40,000 a month in spousal and child support after their divorce. You can never argue that a child will need that much money in support in order to survive or even live well/healthy…. Yet the courts allow it.
Nas was recently able to get his forced payments reduced by half, but he still pays $5,000 a month ($60K Annual) in child support alone. All the while, Kelis is able to still live lavish while she makes it “Hell” for him to be able to see his son, conveniently allowing him to be a parent when she “feels in the mood” … Yet the courts allow it.
Excluding a willing and responsible party from the right to parent their child is actually called “Parental Alienation”… and in some cases it’s illegal. The only way to fight this is to have the court order the custodial parent to fulfil your rights to visitation… but most BD’s arent Chris Bosh or Nas, and don’t have the money to pay for legal fees in addition to child support… and as a result… the courts allow it.
KING’S LAW: Not allowing your child to have their other parent is just as evil as a parent not wanting to support their child… and the courts allow it.
The Courts are at the center of all of this. While I won’t go as far as to say that the majority of women are getting pregnant because The Courts are guaranteeing meal tickets, I will say that it does happen. The Courts are an extension of the State… and as such are subject to the same issues that arise in times of economic hurt. Child Support is encouraged by The Courts in order to minimize the amount of State money spent on public welfare programs. Additionally, by keeping parents in dealings involving The Courts, legal fees will be paid… and if you don’t pay that or your Child Support obligation, there’s always the possibility of jail time accompanied with indentured servitude as a resource of cheap labor.
KING’S LAW: Legal ≠ Ethical… Slavery was Legal…
KING’S LAW: The shit is chess, it aint checkers…
The arbiters are in fact biased; they are stakeholders in the degradation of individual accountability… and they’re able to do it because it’s easy to scapegoat a villain – The BD.
At some point, you have to ask yourself, is there any difference between a dead-beat and someone who feels beat dead? Nobody walks out of this situation unhurt… and all of those feelings of scorn and neglect tend to repeat themselves in future generations…statements of how “I don’t need that nigga”… Baby Mamas raise Baby Mamas… and if they were a beneficiary of child support, they’ll be expecting that check one day too. And who wouldn’t expect it when The Courts are so willing to levy financial penalties in order to reward the implicitly irresponsible… or even the explicitly crazy…
If you never actually had sex with a woman, would you expect to pay child support? … The Courts MANDATED it…
It really does sicken me because there ARE benefits to a court enforced child support process, but the consequence of cyclical child support dependence/ avoidance of accountability outweighs the public gain in my opinion. If support was really about the children, mothers would be required to pay child support to adoption agencies until the child is granted a new home. The system rewards those in need and those in greed all the same.
Maybe you think different… all I can say is I’m happy I can contribute my payments to my son’s mother without the courts getting involved, and without missing out on his growth. Because at the end of the day, what does it matter if the children are still not okay… even if The Courts allow it.
Next time… A Day For [Hating] Daddy… A Father’s Day Message.