One Mother’s Views on Child Support and Supporting Young Men

I’ve recently watched several MRA videos and while I am female, I’m no feminist, and actually may be a budding men’s rights activist.

My partner just came back from court on Wednesday with two years of probation for non-payment of child support. I don’t want to bore you with all the details but the woman involved is a serial child support extortionist. This isn’t the first time she’s done this and it probably won’t be the last either. The only reason she hasn’t found another guy and dropped another calf already is because she isn’t getting a satisfactory pay out from her second attempt at my partner, who has been unemployed since prior to the birth of this child.

She lied on her application, or whatever it’s called when a child support claim is filed, about her income as well as his and about his other children that he supports. She completely neglected to mention them in fact, and his payment amount was calculated at nearly $500 per month.

My partner and I have a child together. For the first three and a half years of my son’s life, his birth certificate was blank where the father’s name should have gone. This was because I didn’t believe it was my right to put my partner’s name on the birth certificate if he didn’t want to be the father and didn’t have any choice in me carrying to term and giving birth and keeping the child. It isn’t that I didn’t want my partner to be his father, but I respected his rights to not be the father just as he respected mine and didn’t try to force me to abort or adopt.

My son just turned four early March this year. From the time he was 5 months old, I was the one working to support the household. My partner stayed home and cared for my son because he couldn’t find work and with only one income we couldn’t afford day care for an infant.

When my son was about 14 or 15 months old, we noticed there were odd things about him; he had regressed in his language skills, losing all the words he had previously learned. He walked on his toes almost exclusively. He was obsessed with spinning objects and lining things up, and would have violent tantrums with no sense of danger.

When he was 2 and a half we recognized more abnormal behaviors and he still wasn’t even trying to talk. An evaluation showed he had significant developmental delays and when he was 3 they evaluated him for autism. He was diagnosed with mild to moderate autism in June 2010. I was still working full time, my partner was still caring for my son so I could work.

We still couldn’t afford day care and given our son’s emotional violence and his inability to socialize and cope with change, he wouldn’t have been accepted to, or have been able to handle, traditional day care.

When it was clear that my son was special needs, my partner tried to contact his case worker for the child support claim to let them know. He was told they didn’t care that he was taking care of a special needs child so I could work. All they cared about was that he wasn’t taking care of the child that was legally his, meaning his name was on the birth certificate. That was when he decided he needed to add his name to my son’s and so we went and filled out the affidavit and had his name added as the father.

This was difficult for him as he doesn’t trust women. He’d been burned too many times. He fears I’ll take that little name and use it against him if he and I should ever part company and now feels slightly trapped thinking his only recourse is to stay with me so I have no reason to retaliate on him. I don’t think that way, never have been the vindictive type and take personal offense to women who play the victim because they can’t handle the responsibilities of their own choices. Words won’t convince him so there isn’t really anything I can do about how he feels.

Even though I’ve proved to him over and over that I am not going to cheat on him and I’m not going to leave him to even think about dating another guy (I’m 40 years old, mother of 6 and a grandmother now and I have a 4 year old son with autism; I’m not exactly anyone’s dream girl here) but he is convinced one day he’ll here me say I’m bored and I’ve found someone else to be with.

My partner has many ideas on changing the child support system so women can’t take advantage of the system and use it as a meal ticket or a weapon of destruction. One reason for this exes doing it was to make him suffer. He has countless emails saying exactly that, and that it isn’t about the money.

All this in mind I wanted to write about what I feel was his best idea for educating high school boys, or maybe even middle school/junior high school boys about what it will mean to them to become a father…

Picture a room full of teenage boys. Maybe they are a little embarrassed, talking smack like young boys do when they are nervous but don’t want to lose face. This is after all a sex education class. A man walks to the front of the group, welcomes them and then asked a question. This question catches them off guard because it has nothing to do with sex…

“I want to know, who here, by a show of hands, has $5000?”

“Does collage money count?” one boy asks.

“Sure. Collage money, trust fund money, savings from your paper route, any money you have that equals $5000.”

About half the boys put up their hands.

“OK, good. Keep your hands up, now how many of you have $10,000?” Several of the hands go down now.

“How about $50,000?”  Many more hands go down.

“Who here has $100,000?” Everyone but one boy puts their hands down.

“Congratulations!” says the man at the front. “You can have sex!”

After a few nervous chuckles and a very confused silence, the man begins to explain. “You can have sex, because you can pay child support if the girl got pregnant and decided to keep the baby.”

He explains the average cost of child support per month, not to mention medical expenses, and if the child goes to collage you would be required to pay for that as well.

And he explains the inside of jails for those who can’t afford to pay.

Obviously there would be a significant amount more of information given than what I’ve generalized here, but this might be a better approach to sex education for boys than trying to scare them with STD’s.

Some of them will understand money, particularly if they’ve earned any of their own.

Women, for too long, have been the ones regulating sex education classes and they’ve been about empowerment and safe sex.

When a child is involved and child support is on the table, there is no such thing as safe sex.

Young men need to know what really awaits them out there. The world of women is a scary place for the boy who isn’t prepared because nobody ever told him.

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