Submitted by: Becky L. Kiely
It’s Fathers Day weekend. Where are most of the fathers this weekend? Separated from their children by divorce, wishing someone would buy them an ugly tie. Wishing they could take their child out into the backyard and toss some pitches. Wishing they could just curl up on the couch with their child and watch Dr Quinn. Wishing they could take their child into their arms and tell them how much they love them.
This is a sad statement indeed.
Because of the divorce industry easing the stigma of divorce and the child support laws making divorce a lucrative endeavor for most women, all too many men are sitting somewhere this weekend wishing for a hug from their child, unable to afford a visit, or thwarted by a vindictive ex-wife.
My husband is a wonderful man who was an exemplary father. He loved his wife and children. He worked hard to provide for his family while his wife stayed home with the children. He spent quality time with his children. One day he came home from work to find a U-Haul in the driveway loading up everything in the home he and his wife had had built. In an instant, he went from being a loving father to watching his wife drive his children away from him and moving them from NY to NC.
In the natural order of things, a divorce ensued. With the divorce came a Child Support award for his 3 children. $750. Per month. He is obligated to pay $750 per month. His ex-wife is obligated to pay nothing. She refuses to work, living off the Child Support and Social Services. My husband has NO desire to walk away from his obligation to his children. He does, however, have every desire to see his ex-wife equally responsible for the financial welfare of the children.
Due to the amount of the Child Support award, my husband cannot afford to go to NC to see the children, nor can we afford to get them up here to spend time with us. Can the monetary award make up for the lack of contact these children have with their father?
Is this fair, especially when you consider that my husband had no desire to end the marriage, had no idea that the marriage was over and he was about to lose the three people who meant the world to him, his children?
My husband is constantly treated like a criminal by the CSEU, despite fulfilling his financial obligation. Why is nothing done about his ex-wife’s interference in his relationship with his children? I will tell you why. Even if we could afford a lawyer, no court would rule in his favor. No court can force this woman to leave the room while her children talk to their father. No court can force this woman to stop grilling these children after every conversation with their father and punishing them for talking about what goes on in the home.
When are father’s going to be accorded rights? When will fathers be recognized as equal forces in their children’s lives and allowed to be involved in their lives?
We have no extra funds to save for my husband’s children’s future education. Because of my job, I can afford them 100% tuition to one of the top colleges in the country. Unfortunately, they will probably never be able to avail themselves of this benefit as the ex does not allow enough contact to make this fact known and SHE IS NOT BREAKING ANY LAWS.
I don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but I do know that something needs to be done. We need to involve fathers in their children’s lives. We need to force custodial parents to allow the non-custodial parent a voice in their children’s lives. All of the Child Support laws scream about the “welfare of the child”. Let’s really look at what’s best for the child and believe me, what’s best is not more money in Mom’s pocket.
Respectfully,Becky L. Kiely