Growing up in the 80’s, I knew lots of kids from divorced families. They lived with mom, their dads remarried or lived somewhere else or both. Dads were tan. They were usually coming back from skiing in Aspen or sailing in the Caribbean.
None of my friends lived with their dads. If there was a divorce, mom ended up with the kids. Period.
And here we are in 2016. There’s a new divorce normal, and it isn’t shared parenting, it’s deadbeat moms. More than half the divorced families I know today were the result of moms walking out — not because they were abused, neglected, or mistreated in any way. They just wanted a different life. They wanted to pursue their art, or their modeling, or just have the experience of living on their own. https://www.fira.ca/article.php?id=150
They left their children with their soon to be ex-husbands and just walked out. Call it the new feminism, where feminism has been misinterpreted to mean “I can do whatever the hell I damn well please.”
So What Did The Dads Do?
They picked up the slack. They took care of the kids. They parented.
And when it came time for those men to face their soon to be ex-wives in court, it was as if there was a time warp in the courtroom: It was still the 80’s. The judges had a hard time believing that the children lived with the father, that the father still lived in the family home and did the bulk of the parenting.
Deadbeat moms were becoming the new normal, but the laws, set up at a time when women couldn’t even get their own credit cards, financially favored the lesser earner, which was typically the wife, and made sense at the time.
Today in New Jersey, here’s how the law works: If the deadbeat mom and dad share the child equally, and the mom chooses not to work, the mom is entitled child support from dad.
That’s right, folks — in a situation where the child responsibilities are split equally, the lesser earner needs to be covered by the bigger earner. And if the mom chooses not to work, even though she has a couple advanced degrees and a history of 6-figure incomes, that’s fine. Dad has to pay child support.
So, if mom is the deadbeat sort, the kind that would walk out on her children in the first place, it’s in her best interest to not work, and fleece her ex-husband.
The Law Stands By Her on This.
I am a lover of men, and a lover of women. I love people who parent their kids and enjoy their work. I believe in the dignity of work, and that people feel better about themselves when they’ve found something to do with their skills and talents.
I however, cannot continue to stand by and watch the trend of deadbeat moms extorting their ex’s just because they can. Very few people stand up on behalf of high earning men these days, but that doesn’t mean they should continue to be exploited because of outdated laws.
My evidence is personal and anecdotal, but it’s a trend I’m seeing more of and it’s very real. The courts are biased and dads are afraid: one wrong step and they might have their children taken away. Better to appease the ex than stand up for what’s right.
Divorce is painful. However, it doesn’t have to be completely unfair for the individual who is gainfully employed, just because their ex chooses not to work.
The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one: let’s not let this issue go unnoticed; let’s not let these dads who are trying to do the right thing continue to be punished. Is this a trend you’re seeing too?