“Deadbeat dads” are back in the British news (Independent, 12/13/18). Oh, the article avoids the term, but the message is the same – fathers don’t care about their kids, so, when Mom divorces Dad, Dad doesn’t want to pay. We could write the narrative in our sleep. Needless to say, the article is all of a piece with a thousand others. Like many of them though, it inadvertently reveals facts about the child support system some would prefer to remain unknown.
It seems that many divorced and separated fathers in the U.K. don’t pay child support or, if they do, don’t pay much. Or at least that’s what the mothers of their children say. In keeping with the genre, the survey to which it refers makes no mention of fathers, what their feelings are about the child custody and support systems or indeed anything related to fathers. Nor does it inquire into non-custodial mothers’ rates of child support. If the mothers think fathers are anything but walking wallets, there’s no indication of it in the article.