Taking the Child Out of Child Support
As the nation’s leading fatherhood organization, we often receive promotional materials for books about fatherhood. It’s great to see more people writing about fatherhood, sharing inspirational stories from their own experiences, and adding to the cultural conversation about this important issue.
We recently received a postcard for a book titled, Boy, Drop That Child Support: How to Keep Your Baby Mama from Draining Your Pockets Dry
written by family law attorney Cathy Middleton. The book claims to teach men legal strategies to protect their paychecks from “greedy baby mamas who want to use your money to support their lifestyle instead of their children.”
In one statement, Ms. Middleton has managed to misrepresent the vast majority of moms and dads, and has sent a destructive message about what children need from their parents.
A couple of things kind of irked me about this. First of all, Ms. Middleton seems to think that financial provision is the only responsibility of a father, and one that should be shirked and minimized. What about a father’s responsibility to nurture his children, care for their emotional needs, and be a role model to them? Children don’t get those things from child support checks.
Ms. Middleton also seems to think that moms are selfish people who live lavishly while depriving their children of necessities. What mother spends money on designer clothing and spa treatments when her children have no food or clothes? What dad sits around trying to think of ways to make sure his children don’t have access to his money to provide for their needs? Besides, supporting her “lifestyle” is supporting the children.
Ms. Middleton has written another book called Girl, Get That Child Support: The Baby Mama's Guide to Tracking Down a Deadbeat, Finding His Cash and Making Him Pay Every Dollar He Owes You
. The book’s synopsis compares single moms’ situations to someone who gets stuck with the bill at a 5-star restaurant, “only this bill likes to eat, grow bigger every day and stick around for at least eighteen years.” Is that all children are? A big financial burden?
Our society has become increasingly child-centric in recent years, maybe too much. But Ms. Middleton missed that bandwagon. She’s taken the child out of “child support” and in the process, she makes both dads and moms look greedy, selfish, and focused on nothing but getting and keeping as much money as they can.
Maybe she has one thing right; boys
drop child support. Men
provide for their children. And the most important provision isn’t their money; it’s their time and love.