Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

2009 Shows

 
Are deadbeat dads actually dead broke dads? As the American economy struggles, men comprise 82 percent of the recent layoffs. In child support cases, are men and women treated equally in the courts or are these laws out of touch with today's economy? Bill says he could be forced to be a deadbeat dad. He wants to leave his current high-paying job to become a teacher and spend more time with his children, but worries he won't be able to pay his current child support payments. Would it be fair to consider sending him to jail for trying to be a better father? Next, former NBA star Jason Caffey used to make $5 million a year but says he now has trouble paying the amount of child support he owes for his 10 children. He allegedly owes hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there's an order out for his arrest. Why does Jason say he has been treated unfairly? An attorney for one of the women makes Jason an offer. Will he accept the deal? Then, Bret and Jennifer say they struggle to keep up with the child support payments owed to his ex-wife. Jennifer says her family is suffering. Mel Feit, director of the National Center for Men and Lis Wiehl, legal analyst and author, weigh in on these stories and engage in a heated debate. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: ambercardoza on Mar 5, 2011, 2:51PM
I am so tired of women having all the rights when it comes to reproduction and no consequences! Women ha
 
Replied By: jacquelinebell on Apr 13, 2010, 10:34AM
There's a new book that has just been released about a so called 'deadbeat dad' and his experiences with the American justice system.  It's based on a true story and it really highlights the injustice of the american legal system.  It's called 'A British NIgerian deadbeat in Cincinnati' and it's a true story based on a journalist who lives in the UK who goes to the states for an interview with CNN and is basically arrested getting off the plane and thrown in jail for being a so called 'deadbeat dad'.  He was apparently owing over $100,000 in childcare payments. An amount he was completely unaware of.  The woman involved had told so many lies to the courts in the US and they believed her. It cost him a job of a lifetime with CNN. His book tells of the many stories that he discovers while in jail.  It's an eye opener that's for sure.    
 
Replied By: alyssamg on Feb 18, 2010, 11:53AM - In reply to jandsmom
If only people would realize that FORCING someone to pay child support actually hurts the child more!!
People are money hungry though and will always take a paycheck over what will ultimately hurt their child more. Pure selfishness if you ask me!
 
Replied By: dontplayme on Dec 10, 2009, 7:43AM
I have read about thirty minutes worth of text about how the Child Support Agency's are abusing the system in such a way that it should be a reported as a felony crime. No one is policing what each state does to collect support and when you try to prove that their tactics are as outdated as the dinasaurs that no one seems to mind other than the injured victims of this outrageous act. I think we just need to go back in time when men were men and women were women. As a boy we were always brought up to think that when you become a man it was your job to take care of the woman or family in general. I agree this was a good thing 50 years ago but today in 2009 women have made so many advances and are just as capable as men today that I cannot see one women stating that things are not equal between men and women because if this was true these women would be blowing up all these blogs with denial and excuses. It took two grown consenting adults to have a child  whether it be by accident or planned the bottom line is that when it comes down to how much has to be paid it usually means how much the man has to pay. If this were me i would just as well sit in jail and let all you money hungry  mothers look for another victim to prey on and let the rest of the tax payers feed me my 3 hot meals  for the rest of my life. There is no way in hell that if I got charged and put in jail  for falling behind in support that I would come out of jail without a license for two years, a felony record, and new interest on my support for being in the arrears. You used to be able to pay your debt to society by serving now you are keeping the arrears and charging more interest. What person with common sense would want to leave jail just to know they would be back in 6 months. Somebody said it before, the only way this gets fixed is for legislation to change the laws and make women as responsible for their actions in a child being born or build more jails because if this law doesn't change here soon then prepare to build new prisons. I would practice saying how would you like your license plate made.
 
Replied By: jiliana on Sep 22, 2009, 11:02AM
I live in Sweden and i like to see Dr Phil's show.
But sometimes I really don't understand how Americans looks their way of life.
I'm a Latino woman living in Sweden. I have 4 children and I'm married to the father of my children.
I think Americans always talk about what the father's responsibility - money responsability.
How about the mother's money responsibility? dosent a woman have to contribute to the children's economy?. Its the man always responsable for the women choice to be a stay home mum?.
 
Replied By: rck_family on Jul 30, 2009, 8:48PM - In reply to wintrywood
Why should a person be punished for moving on with life?  I'm on my 2nd marriage. My first marriage didn't work out we were both unhappy and it was becoming an unsuitable environment for our children to be raised in, so I left and got remarried. My ex- husband has moved on and has been in different relationships. With my new husband, He has no choice but to work as a long haul truck driver  to make his child support payments of $600 for just one child and to make ends meet and he is only home every 2nd weekend for 1-2 days. My Husband should have the right to move on and be happy just as much as myself or his ex-girlfriend. The fact that we have children in our current relationship should be considered just as relevant as the child from the previous relationship. It should go by what each parents current circumstances are and not what the judge thinks should be relevant or irrelevant. All the children are affected by what goes on in the courts how can  that be considered irrelevant? My two children love their step dad, and they don't understand why their dad can't be home with them every day. Why should a parents decision to bring more children into a loving home and try to bring about a sense of normalcy in a person's life be dictated and planned around what the courts consider justice. IT's SIMPLY NOT FAIR AND THINGS NEED TO CHANGE!!
 
Replied By: rck_family on Jul 30, 2009, 7:48PM
I have two children from a previous marriage, a son who is 5 years old and a daughter who is 3 years old. I am currently married to a wonderful man who has a 5 year old daughter.
From seeing the issues that my husband goes through with his ex-girlfriend concerning his daughter I can vouch that not all dads are dead beats and that a vast majority of them do care about their children and do make an effort to see their kids and to try to make a good life for their children.  And I honestly believe men are dealt an unfair hand by the courts and the child maintenance act. my husband's ex-girlfriend has 3 children from 3 different fathers. When she was 2 months pregnant with my husband's child, she up and left him. For the last 6 years he has been fighting for the right to be in his child's life and has fought hard for his visitation rights. He has always paid his child support by the end of each month but for his ex that wasn't good enough because her car payments came out on the first of every month and so therefore, she got child maintenance to garnish his wages just so that it suits her bill payments. This woman has never worked, she lives off her children's child support and her child tax credit. 
My husband works as a long haul truck driver just to pay his child support and to make ends meet. My husband is only home every second weekend so that he can pick up his daughter for that weekend. The way he is working I'm afraid he is going to end up burning himself out.
Last year his ex-girlfriend ended up moving 3.5 hours away to go live with her boyfriend.  she only gave him 2 weeks notice of her moving and when he asked her about meeting arrangements for picking up and dropping off their daughter she said they would work it out. He soon realized that she expected him to do all the driving. And when he took it to court the judge made the decision that she only had to drive her out to us once every 2 months. And he is getting no compensation for his travelling expenses. That is a 7 hour trip to her place and back to our home. And for his 5 year old daughter that is too long of a trip. By the time we pick her up and bring her home she is too tired to do much of anything. and our first day with her is mostly used up with all the travelling. and on top of that he has to provide his own clothes and necessities for his daughter while she is staying with us. she won't provide anything besides what she is wearing the day he picks her up.
My children look up to my husband as their father. He has been in their lives since my daughter was 10 months old. And he loves my children and cares for them like they are his own flesh and blood. And yet because of the child support payments and the way his ex and the courts have set up his visitation rights he can't afford to be home with us every night like a normal family can.  We don't have extra money to go out for supper or go see a movie or do anything.  When we have his daughter we can't always buy her the things she wants or do the things that we would like to do when our little family is all together.
I wish the courts would start to help a father  receive his right to be in their children's lives instead of punishing them for it. and to start recognizing the fact that it's not always the father that is the bad guy in this whole thing but that the women are starting to play a negative role and are becoming more and more greedy. This is no longer the early days where the women were victims and left alone to raise our children. We now have the power and unfortunately we are using it for our advantage instead of what is right for the children's sake.  And I honestly do believe that no matter what the circumstances are a child needs both parents in their life, and each parents must make sacrifices to ensure that that need is met.  Things need to change so that everything is equal for BOTH the mother AND the father.
 
Replied By: jandsmom on Jun 20, 2009, 5:27AM - In reply to stanholio
Sam's lucky the boy he is paying for is not in his life.  The kid is probably just like the mother.  Sam seems to have a strong believe in what is right and wrong.  Being with the kid would disgust him.

Sam you are blessed to have 2 children to love and who will love you.
 
Replied By: stanholio on May 22, 2009, 7:23AM
This story is factual and true to the best of my knowledge. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (the truly innocent). 

   This is the story of someone who is NOT a criminal/ bad parent/ bum/ lazy/ rich/ or insane person.  This is the story of a person caught in a corrupt legal system that seemingly is out for blood and money regardless of whom it hurts. 

 

              In 1990 Sam decided to join the United States Air Force at the age of 23.  Going to college was getting expensive and his parents did not support him going to school, so he enlisted.  Then went thru the usual military boot camp and training then off to his first base in North Dakota.  While not his first choice being from Florida it was a challenge to live in a frozen barren land and he was up to the challenge. 

            In 1992 he met a girl and her friends at a party on the base.  In fact there was way too much partying on the base being as there was no where to go when snowed in and freezing most of the time.  Drinking until one couldn’t move was not out of the question. The girl he met kept coming around and eventually they got drunk together one evening and went to his room where to this day he still has no complete recollection of what happened that night.    The girl came around again a few weeks later but wasn’t interested in a relationship and Sam found out she came around just to sleep with his buddies.    She eventually did not come on the base anymore and he never saw or heard from her again.

             That is until late 1994 after returning from almost 2 months of being away on Air Force assignment he found two letters in the two boxes of mail that had been saved at the base post office. One letter was dated the prior month concerning a hearing that he was suppose to attend in Fargo, ND and the other was the hearing outcome since he missed that hearing.  This outcome was: you’re now a dad and owe child support on a 2 year old boy.   What, No testing, No communication, and No contacting his superiors or the base legal office. Just filing a default judgment against him without any notification.  Sam immediately called the base legal office for an appointment and then called the North Dakota Child Support Enforcement Agency whom gave him nothing but grief and said there was nothing they can do and your pay will be garnished soon for $300.00 a month.  On a poverty level Airman’s salary of less than 14k a year this is a huge chunk of money.  He called this agency again and told them again that he was in the military and was not on the base when all of this happened nor was he afforded the ability to get a blood test to prove or disprove fatherhood.  He brought this same argument up with the base legal office that he still thinks did absolutely nothing even though they were civilian attorneys.  They may have even made the case worse.  Still not knowing if he was the father or recognizing the mothers name on the paperwork they began to garnish his paycheck without any proof of his being a father. In late 1995 he was moved (not by choice) to a base in Shreveport, LA.  Here he continued to argue and fight himself in vain.  He even tried to contact the mother in which the mother decided he needed to be punished or something and sent a fake suicide letter thru the local sheriff’s office which went to his first sergeant. The one thing she did not know was Sam was home in Florida for a whole month at Christmas and New Years.   Even though he filed charges against her nothing was done.   Now he is at his wits end with this and decides to leave the Air Force as to not keep paying child support to a crazy mother and child he does not know. If he even knows the mother. 

             In 1996 Sam gets an honorable discharge from the Air Force and moves home to Florida to begin looking for a new life, job and a place to live.  Ends up moving in with his parents until he finds a job at the Cape.  Almost a year goes by and he has moved into a rental home before the North Dakota Child Support Enforcement Agency attempts to track him down at his parent’s house.   They finally find him and serve him a local court notice to appear.  He appears and immediately complains to the local court about this case. The judge requests he transfer the case to Florida control which he does.  Again without proof of being the father he is forced to pay child support now thru Florida Child Support agency which goes to North Dakota some how.   They begin garnishing his checks again and added more money for the arrears he owes.  Now paying $350.00 per month from his pay for a child he does not know is his.  He continues the argument to no avail and is forced to pay.   Nothing changes until 2001.

            In 2001 he marries a great loving and kind woman.  She is also an attorney.  She manages to get a blood test set up and Sam takes the test (paying for it himself) and the mother and child do their part in ND.  Turns out that this mother is the girl he dated shortly and had drunken relations with under another name she had given him.  He is in fact the father of a boy whom was 2 years old when he was first notified of his existence and is now 8 years old. Still he does not know the boy or what he looks like. This continues to get under his skin and haunt him as this is exactly what his real father did to him only his real father knew he existed.   And the child support payments continue.  The case was also transferred back to North Dakota and Sam paid over $2,000.00 to pay off the arrears due.

            The unfortunate thing about Sam’s paying child support is he gets paid weekly and since he has NO control over the amount paid due to being a garnishment between North Dakota and his employer. Not enough money is paid certain months and others more than needed. The North Dakota Child Support Enforcement Dictators say they don’t but in actuality they do charge him interest on the months not paid in full. This creates arrears again.   Again the North Dakota Child Support Dictators say this does not happen.  He continues to pay until 2007.

            In 2007 North Dakota suddenly decides he should pay for medical insurance too. They take this from his check by going thru his company’s legal dept.  The company takes their word for it and gives them the insurance even though Sam does not have medical insurance with the company since it costs less being on his wife’s insurance. Unfortunately the insurance they have stolen from his check is useless in North Dakota.  He and his wife argue with the State of North Dakota (child support, governor  ...Etc…) about this for weeks until they finally agree to let him buy the child insurance on his own from a North Dakota agency.   This costs over $900.00 a year above and beyond the monthly child support. They still charge him interest for not paying the full amount on the short months as he gets paid weekly.  So there are still arrears and the state of Child Support dictators say there is not and it all equals out for the year, yet their own website clearly shows the interest he owes and arrears. Arguing with the heads of government or the Child Support agency on this matter is completely useless as they are too stupid to understand how this is true.  They even threatened Sam’s wife to stop bothering them. He continues to pay support and has a medical insurance policy for his son he does not know.

            In 2008, North Dakota is at it again.  Now they decide he should be paying the arrears they previously said he does not have and it equals out at the end of the year.  They change the rate from $56 a week to $69 a week to pay the arrears that don’t exist according to their own people.  Now it’s March 2008 and the Child Support Dictators strike again. Now they decide to review what Sam’s salary really is and decide he should be paying $653.00 a month instead of the $300.00 he has been paying since 1994.  More than doubling his support to a child who is now 16 years old and living in North Dakota.  Sam has two children with his wife whom are 9 months and 3 years old (he and his wife adopted the 3 year old). These two children where supposedly considered when figuring the amount he should be paying. In reality they are NOT and 1/3rd of his monthly check is now going to North Dakota.  In North Dakota whole families live on less than this in a brand new home.  Now Sam is sure he is paying for his sons Mother, her boyfriend and her new child to live happily in North Dakota without having to work for themselves and it shows on the mothers my space site. Now in 2009 they begin taking $653.00 a month by force starting in May and too add more insult to injury they back dated it to start in March 2009 so now Sam has more than $800 in arrears which puts him into DEATBEAT parent status in they eyes of a corrupt North Dakota Legal system giving too much power to the North Dakota Child Support Enforcement Agency Dictator by Mike Schwindt and his fellow liberal non-custodial parent hating staff.  And this is where poor Sam sees no end  in site and he prays that the whole state of North Dakota will flood.

 

            The story ends as Sam is forced to pay up or be threatened with jail. His only way out of this is too hide, quit his job or die.  Two of them will make more arrears and the other is final.  He has a wife and two small children and other family member who depend on him.  Being in the military and now being a military veteran does not help him. He cannot afford to hire an attorney whom will probably not be able to do anything as the Child Support Agency is more powerful than most state governments.  Sam would really like to know his oldest son, but he has NO visitation rights and does not want anything to do with the mother.

            Who are the innocents here? The innocents are the children that the Child Support Agency claims they are protecting by stating “In the Best Interest of the Children” constantly in their writings and website.  The reality of the Child Support Agency is they have driven a wedge between parents which ultimately hurts the child involved.. This wedge then extends out to both families involved damaging relationships between the parents and other children. In Sam’s case, His children now have less support than before and they will have to undergo a huge change to their daily routines.  It’s obvious that children under 5 require more support than teenagers.  So the victims in both families involved are the children.  But the Child Support Agencies all across America are given more power than the state governments and continue to reign spreading their terror on all non-custodial parents regardless if the parent has ever met the child in question.

 

There is a Revolution calling and change needs to be made in order to keep families together.   I am certain that Sam is not the only parent FORCED to be a DEAD BEAT parent.
 
Replied By: jandsmom on May 1, 2009, 12:53PM
Interesting situations: 

1.  when a woman remarries and has more children....people applaud and are excited for her
     when a man remarries and has children...he is berated along with the new wife and kids

2.  the new male spouce is not(nor should be) expected to pay or do without for the new step kid
     the new female spouce is expected to sacrifice so the new step kid has what the ex wife wants

3.  the non custodial never has a say in anything that happens to/with/for the child when the child is   not  in their care(bad idea)

Solution:  If things can not be worked out amicably(which usually is the case):

1. to obtain custody of the children, you must take full financial responcibility for them.

 or 

2. BOTH PARENTS LOSE CUSTODY, put kids in governmental care

Benifit of both:

1. no bickering about who pays for what
2. less spoiled children who get everything they want because the parent is trying to buy their love
3..children won't be pawns
4.  children won't hear how horrible the ex is
5. the non custodial won't deal with disappointments from the kids not calling/sending cards and x-mas presents,not acknowledging they exist, etc
6.  the non custodial won't be just a pay check.

If, as everyone says, they want what is best for the children, remove them from hostile environments.  Most have brought up the fact that divorce/child support is a big business.  If you know one of the 2 above solutions will happen maybe then divorced couple will work to be fair to each other and responcible parents.
 
Showing 1-10 of total 1597 Comments