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Does a dead beat dad have the right to see his children?
Family & Parenting / 2:34 PM - Tuesday November 24, 2009

does a dead beat dad have the right to see his children?

'My x hasnt paid child support for the last 6 yrs except once i got fifty dollars. He already got his liscence took away about r yrs ago over it but i dont have the heart to send him to jail over it because it doesn't seem like the christian thing to do. I have still been taking the boys to see him since they were babies about once every 2 months or so for a short visit. I got remarried a couple years ago and my husband has been the one to help support them and raise them. He is fed up over their dad not ever helping to pay child support and has said no more visits until he starts paying and (actually he keeps asking why he hasn't gone to jail over it yet but it is because i havent pushed for it) the boys like to visit their dad and that side of their family, and their dad and that side of the family like to see them. ~I feel like I should obey my husband on this because he is the one that is here for the boys but I also feel that it would be kind of wrong to keep the boys and their dad from seeing each other. What do u think?

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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This sucks. I see both sides to this. Obviously the "father" isn't much of one but he is their father. I can see why your husband is upset and feels how he does about it. Maybe you should tell the father that you will be forced to do this and see if it gets you anywhere.

- Response by newnumbersguy32, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Financial / Banking

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I am not sure which state you live in but without an order from a court the spells out the fact that he owes support and must pay, then he won't and does not have to. I just re-read and see that you mention that his license was taken away over it. How is that or why?

Anyway, its your call but your husband/children's stepfather is becomming resentful of footing the bill while the deadbeat still gets to reap the benefits of knowing and visiting his children.

It is not wrong to keep the boys away from him. Just because they like him does not mean he is a good influence in their lives. If he wants to see them, he should accept his responsiblity and pay the support or only be allowed to visit on your (and your husbands) terms.

I don't think it is right for a dad to not put forth any effort in the raising of the kids which includes support.

I think instead of you doing all of the leg work in making sure the boys have a relationship with deadbeat, make deadbeat do it. If he wants to visit, then he should call your house and schedule it. He should come see them, not you calling him and taking the kids over there.

- Response by boggob, A Guy Critical, Male, 29-35, Political / Government

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Under the law, child support is completely separate issue from visitation. You cannot withhold visitation because he doesn't pay support. The only valid reason for blocking visitation is if he is abusive in some way to your children.

- Response by watbuttondoipush, An Alternative Girl, Female, 36-45, Financial / Banking

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Your new husband is wrong.
I know that dead beat ex Should pay, but your new husband needs to keep his nose out of it. Get a lawyer. The ex needs to get in gear. If he cant pay his support, why isnt he being garnished? The kids need a dad, but the ex needs to pay for his own kids.

- Response by roaminginsomniac, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Law Enforcement

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Under the law, depending on your divorce papers saying different, he can see the children no matter what other than abuse. However, if he hasn't paid in 6 years, why isn't he in jail? The law doesn't normally care what you want, if you have a child support order and he isn't paying, they put him in jail anyway. But, I don't know where you live.

- Response by phoenixbandit, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Columbus, Law Enforcement

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He doesn't deserve it, I suppose, but you could relent and allow more visitation(s). It could come in handy if in the event you and your current husband would like to take (in the not too far distant future), a vacation without kids.

At a time like that, you'd find out if he has any sense of responsibility and whatever trust issues you might have. After all, he may have parents who didn't deserve this...and would like to see them.

Your judgment on this matter, of course, could be much better than mine.

- Response by pushkins, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Miami, Who Cares?

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Your husband is wrong unfortunately. He's probably frustrated but child support is more than money. If he's a good dad and spends time with them and they love him and his family, it's only going to hurt them to take them out of his life.

He's a deadbeat in the financial sense and that's not right. In no way am I saying it is. BUT this is not about the Adults opinions--it's about the Children. They know nothing of $$. They just know that he's their Father and they love him. When they grow up, they'll know who did what for them in the material sense & I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

I get the Christian mindset with reference to Household order BUT your children were before your Marriage so the order is different. It's not to say you should disrespect your Husband but he definitely is the third party in this case. Those kids will resent him so badly (and you) that the house will be in an uproar for years to come.

The fix here is not to punish the kids--it's to be more aggressive in pursuing financial support from him. You don't want it to get ugly but you can't be so passive about it. Talk to him and let him know you will be taking more action if he doesn't start paying on his own accord by end of January. Talk to your Husband and let him know there's bad repercussions of taking kids from their Father and that you have a plan of action. Be prepared to follow through. Don't wuss out. Their Father hasn't been pressured so apparently he's not motivated but if you put the pressure on him, risk him going to jail (his own fault, not yours & much more explainable to the kids) perhaps he'll pay.

Good luck!

- Response by thottienc, A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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if your husband doesn't want to them to see their real dad because of money and its not because its in the kids best interest for safety or abuse issues, then this is wrong. Your husband obviously new about this dead beat dad and money problems before he married you. Your ex needs to pay up!!! however, IT IS unfair to your husband that your not stepping up to the plate and atleast trying to get money from your ex.

The kids should be never be used as a bargaining tool. this is between you, your ex and your husband and it needs to go back to court.

- Response by A Player, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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The children have a right to see their father. Its not about the money.

- Response by greenwind, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, Construction

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Your children have a right to have a relationship with their father. Child support and visitation are two separate issues, actually they are two separate court orders. If your husband has visitation rights then by law he has a right to see his children regardless if he pays child support or not.

I think it's kinda shitty that he doesn't pay child support, but the fact that he still wants a relationship with his children needs to be looked at in a positive light. He could of all but abandoned them, or told you now that you are remarried it's your husband's responsibility to be their dad. Unless he is a danger to your children then I think it's important to continue to foster this relationship.

Your husband knew when he met you and married you that your ex was a deadbeat. He went into this marriage fully aware of what the situation was. Sure it pisses him off, but it's not his place to keep your kids from their father just because he is now resentful of the fact that he is providing for them.

- Response by kdtxchic30, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Your new hubby needs to back out of the situation completely. He is not your master either and so the "obey him" part is totally bogus. it is a difficult position for him as the "acting support", but he still needs to relax and let you deal with it.
As for the bio dad/money issue, turn it over to the support court and let them deal with him. If he is working, there is a good chance they will be able to put a bit of fear in him by taking a percentage of his wages for you. As to the visitation - why do you transport? If its only for a few hours every couple of months, why cant he make arrangements to come to them? To me it sounds like while using your "Christian mind" to validate things, you are the one getting walked on trying to please everybody.

- Response by singledad281, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Houston, Hospitality

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I am in a similar position as new guy actually thinks I am being too 'nice' because my children haven't seen their father in over 6 years and even then, their father never has more than a few minutes to spend with them because he doesn't want to cause problems between him and his girlfriend...I honestly believe that if he made the effort to see them and actually showed me that he wants to see them, I wouldn't hold the children back from seeing him because I 'want' them to know their father and know that he loves them...BUT he hasn't done anything like this and even when I would drive them to his parents' house to visit, he always made excuses and his parents would end up visiting with them...I think that if your childrens' father wants to see them, you should let them because no matter how much you want to avoid them being hurt by him, the fact of the matter is that they will be affected in some way and may possibly blame themselves if they can't see their father...I can understand how you must be feeling but you have to admit, that no matter what, children do need their father and if he's making an effort to see them, maybe he should be allowed to...realize that this would be good for the children, even though it's not something you feel should happen...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

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You don't want to build up any bitterness in your boys if they feel they are missing out seeing their Dad.

I think you've already said in not sending your ex to jail over the child support there is not bitterness.

- Response by hands, A Creative, Male, 46-55, Hong Kong, Who Cares?

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The answer in most states is "yes". If the court granted the father visitation rights and you keep the children from seeing their father you can go to jail, if he takes you to court over it.

Each offense (failure to pay child support and failure to allow the visitation) is a separate legal matter and violation of one does not allow the other.

His failure to pay the child support is a separate offense, on his part, and if you take him to court he would be required to pay the child support. He could possibly go to jail for his offense.

I saw this exact situation in a state I lived in and the court required the mother to allow the father to see the children. It was not my situation but I was in the court room when it was heard by the court.

Your current husband would be getting you in trouble if he required you to keep the children from seeing their father. He could actually go to jail himself for stopping the children from seeing their father. You also risk your children turning on you and having resentment against you for keeping them from seeing their father

I think you are doing the right thing in allowing your boys to see their father. You need to talk to you ex-husband about his not paying the child support.

- Response by An Intellectual Guy, Male, 66 or older, Retired

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I think you should start legal proceedings not to jail him but to start getting some financial support from him if he works, if he doesn't you can get some legal advice on child maintenance or get free advice from your city centre and then you can make your mind up. No one wants to cause 'unnessacery' trouble but you are entitled to support whether he has access to his kids or not.

Once every 2 months will not break anyones heart I don't think, you seem like good parents so it's all the more reason to be firm but fair and get whats owed.

- Response by anything08, A Thinker, Female, 29-35

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I think your children have a right to have a relationship with their father, and if he's willing to be an active parent then I don't think you should deny your children that.

That said, you have a right to limit your contact with him and the inconvenience his visits cause you. You have a right to make him pick your children up at a location and time which is convenient for you, and to have his visits not cause you undue stress. Some people send the children out to the car (or park or whatever the pick up location is) so they don't have to talk to the ex, which given some tense situations is likely for the best. I would advise that you limit contact between your ex and your new husband, and limit when he can call your home if it means he'll interfere with your relationship with your new husband. You can have him call only when the kids will be home.

It's not right that your ex isn't paying support, but I would look at why. Does he not have money, or is he wealthy and just to selfish to pay? If he's poor and isn't capable of making more money, then as long as you are able to provide for the children financially, I would try not to get too upset about it. If he's rich and selfish though, then I would seek out a court order to garnish his wages.

In the end, you have to think about what your children need. Are these visits good for them, or does it upset them?

- Response by milla, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Stick with your husband, he sounds like a decent man - you are lucky to find him. If your deadbeat ex wants to see his kids tell him to get his ass over to your house (with his wallet). period

- Response by ruffian, A Sportif, Female, 36-45

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That is so wrong, I understand he has not taken care of his responsibilities finicially but that does not mean punish him but cutting him out of his childrns life for good...your husband may think he is helping, but in the long run you are only hurting your children!
You should check out it goes more indepth about this topic and other revolving around dead beat dads and their effects.

- Response by alyrical, An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25, Student

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Your x is a great big freakin LOSER! Your new hubby is clearly a loving and patient man to have put up with this shit for so long! Unfortunately, although I completely understand his thinking, the courts do not, and you cannot withhold access because your ex is not paying support. However, you can and should send the MF to jail for it! Give him a chance to make a sincere effort.. ie. let him know you are GOING to pursue the child support, and if he wants to continue seeing his kids, he better get his miserable ass in gear and pay up, or he will be going to jail, where he will not see them at all! If he cannot be bothered, send him to jail... he IS a criminal, after all! He is STEALING food from your kids mouths and clothes off their backs by NOT paying! That is not your money, but theirs, and if you and your new husband can afford to see to the kids needs, great... then the child support should be going into trust for the kids when they are adults, so if you dont pursue it, you are LETTING SOMEONE STEAL FROM YOUR KIDS!!!
You HAVE to put the kids first! Yes, that does include how lousy they will feel if they do not see their father and his family, but that will NOT be your choice, it will be HIS. If he makes efforts to pay, then he will not go to jail and he will continue his relationship with the children.. thats all there is to it! If he does NOT pay, then he should go to jail, and your kids will learn that people MUST handle the responsibilities they choose to take on appropriately, or there are consequences. That is a HUGE and important lesson, and you must remain strong to maintain that for their sakes!
And last, but certainly NOT least, treat your new husband with the respect he deserves! He no doubt loves your children and will support them regardless... has it occurred to you that is a MASSIVE committment for him to undertake, and one that the childrens biological father cannot be bothered to deal with! You cannot withhold access to the bio father, no matter what, but what you can do is to let your husband know that his efforts and contributions are SO appreciated and recognized, that you would not interfere and protect the deadbeat bio father for failing his children!
Good luck and for goodness sake, STAY STRONG!

- Response by hollygun42, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Calgary

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i'm not sure when it became a law that the amount of money one makes determines the decency or aptitude of one's parenting skills.
being poor should not be a determining factor as to whether or not a biological parent should be able to love, care for or visit their children.
sometimes the custodial parent uses the law to extract money, sympathy and public opinion in order to get revenge on the person they felt betrayed or hurt them. the children suffer silently. think about it!

- Response by divadancer2, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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Child support and visitation are two different issues, with one involving money and the other being a part of the children's lives.

- Response by richard77, A Creative, Male, Who Cares?

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I wouldn't trust him to take them anywhere but I would still let them have short visits. He doesn't even have a car so he shouldn't be trusted to keep them alone. What if there was an emergency? Not cool. If he can't afford child support then how could he afford to feed them etc. However if you are taking them for short visits with him and they enjoy it I would keep doing it. They need to know their father unless he's abusive mentally or physically.

- Response by misskitty420, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Student

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The better question is do you kids have a right to see their Dad?
This could cause some severe abandonment issues later in life.

- Response by snwdngo, A Career Woman, Female, 29-35, Denver, Teaching

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I can understand your new husband being angry over this, but you are right - the children have every right to see their father, whether he supports them or not.

- Response by experience101, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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These are two totally separate issues. In my opinion, what is best for your children should come first. Obviously, they love their dad. Do you really want to take that away from them? Good luck.

- Response by cdmom1971, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Administrative

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I think you should file with your state's Office of Recovery Services for the court mandated child support amount. Leave it up to them to collect the amounts due and prosecute for non-payment if they feel it is warranted.

Likewise -- abide by your court ordered visitation with their father.

Him paying or not paying does not factor into the equation.

This is not for you or your husband to decide. It is clearly outlined in your divorce proceedings. If you want it changed, you must go back to court.

- Response by utahmom, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Managerial

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Unfortunately, one isasue has nothing to do with the other. Flip side? when the kid is 12 or 13, he/ she has the right to choose to see him or not.

- Response by clueless37, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Celebrity

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