Deadbeat culture is a complex set of beliefs that emboldens and supports fathers who withhold child support payments from their children. It is a culture in a society where it is okay for a man to put his interests above those of his children.
In Deadbeat culture, the primary parent, usually the mother, compensates for what the other parent doesn’t pay, regardless of whether the non-payor has an inability to pay or if they are simply unwilling to support their children. A continuum that ranges from regular everyday sacrifices to being financially unsound during retirement years because of the inability to save and provide for herself is established by the mother.
What Deadbeat Culture Looks Like
Deadbeat culture condones financial abuse and terrorism against women and children as the norm. In Deadbeat culture, it is assumed that non-payment of child support is a part of life when you are not raising your child with their other parent.
Following a breakup, fathers are free to move on with their lives while mothers will raise the children and absorb whatever financial shortcomings the father presents. #Deadbeatculture insists it is inevitable that when a relationship ends, financial support for the children may not be guaranteed. This is #deadbeatculture and it is pervasive in U.S. society. However, what our society accepts as inevitable is, in fact, the expression of our values and attitudes and they can change.
Why Has Deadbeat Culture Continued to Grow?
The support of nonpayment of child support is pervasive and normalized due to attitudes about gender, systematic patriarchy, and misogyny. Behaviors commonly associated with Deadbeat culture include woman shaming, including but not limited to blaming the woman for “getting herself into such a predicament,” referring to her as a golddigger for insisting that the children are supported, referring to women in general disparaging ways as an explanation and reason for non-support (as if women somehow spontaneously impregnate themselves).
It assumes that all women seeking and enforcing child support orders are unwed mothers, poor, unemployed, or attempting to live off of child support payments. Somehow, these perceptions make them and their children less entitled to court-ordered child support.
It also suggests that women should work multiple jobs if they have to in order to support their children alone, instead of insisting that fathers pay their court-ordered share. This allows usage of excuses such as “I can’t find a job,” “I have to support myself first,” and “the mother does not allow me access to my child,” to stand as real and valid reasons for non-support. Mothers do not have the opportunity to say “I have an inability to buy food.” Custodial mothers – poor, middle-class, and wealthy must find a way to feed their children, and deadbeats should too. Deadbeat culture is not socioeconomic.
How Deadbeats Avoid Paying
Deadbeat culture also occurs when a parent has a well-paying job, especially when he self-reports his income to the IRS. Child support evaders (read about finding child support evaders here) frequently choose to report less than they earn, and often they have people who are willing to shield him from his payments by placing assets in their name or the name of a corporation. What’s more, is that they are perfectly fine with it.
Deadbeat culture supports the non-paying parent’s needs over the needs of the children. It is often correlated with other social factors and behaviors. Narcissism, physical, mental, and emotional abusive personality traits and disorders, emotional immaturity, and misogyny are some.
Simone Spence is not a lawyer and she does not provide legal or tax advice. She was a child support collections consultant for over 20 years and has written three highly regarded child support collection books. She developed the collections platform “Athena.”
In general, only a licensed attorney can give legal advice, but there is a distinction between “legal advice” and “legal information.” Any non-lawyer can simply recite laws, but it is illegal for a non-lawyer or unlicensed attorney to offer legal advice.
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