I married a 30 something year old woman 15 years ago. After 12 years of marriage and 3 children, she left. When she left, she left with half my assets (I say mine because she contributed very little to paying for these assets). She left with more than half my income (it depends on the month since I am self employed but in some months it is definitely more than half and in fact it can approach more than 100% in bad months but admittedly in good months it can be less than half). She left me with huge debts including the $35,000 car she convinced me to buy her just months before she left. Yes, she left with her drug dealer boyfriend. Yes, she had me arrested twice and tried more times. The first time was nothing more than an argument over her staying out until 3:00 a.m. in the morning repeatedly. The second was nothing at all -- just a setup and a lie. The courts and the police always took her side. In fact, the court would not even set hearings for me. They gave her hearings on a moments notice and when I couldn't attend due to hard conflict the Court didn't care.
I am luckier than many. My youngest child was six when this happened. My oldest was 11. This means I had firmly established relationships with them. Despite her efforts to replace drug dealer for me as their father, they stood by me and our relationship is strong. She has given up on that (and drug dealer is gone). I see so many fathers who get the boot when their child is still an infant. These fathers have not a chance. I am very lucky because her parents are decent with me and help me with the children. I finally got the Court to allow me to pick up and return the children at her parent's house, so I no longer fear arrest when I go pick up the children. Now, I see the children without significant problem except sometimes I don't see them at all like this weekend because I am broke. it costs a lot of money to pickup the children, entertain them, and feed them. I am broke. Last week I paid virtually every dime I had in child support. I still have a $550 car payment I need to pay for her. If I miss either of these payments, needless to say, there will be hell to pay.
I just learned that the Congress in its endless attack on divorced fathers has said a man cannot file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if he is behind on his child support. Congress seems to want to drive men into the ground. If he gets financially behind, he just loses his car and house without the benefit of Chapter 13 to catch up because after all he is a deadbeat dad. Is Congress fighting deadbeat dads or creating them?
My point of course is that any man with half a brain must be leery of "commiting" and having babies with any woman especially a woman he meets at this age (as opposed to say a woman he met in highschool and has known and trusted for years) who is looking not only for a sperm but a bank account to fund her babies. I love my children and it will be worth it (even 12 years of virtually slavery and literally terror -- continuous fear of jail). I would do it again knowing them as I do. However, before knowing them, in other words before they were born, I doubt I would undertake this journey again. It is just too dangerous.
This writer I think is wrong. It is not immaturity or selfishness. It is self defense. Fatherhood is a raw deal. Men want to have families. Always have and always will. However, the present legal framework is just a raw deal. You do nothing wrong (other than not being sensitive, exciting, etc. enough) and the mother can take your income, your children, your security, and even your dignity. It is one thing to support your children in your household where you can economize and adjust to life's ups and downs. It is another thing to have to make X dollars each month or go to jail. It is a big difference. Further, people are not motivated well by threats. They are much better motivated by rewards. No one ever say thanks for a child support check. After wall, you are just doing it because you were forced to. Right? They just say go to jail if you fail.
In my area, it seems most fathers are teenagers (and most mothers). These "children" have babies like crazy. Many of these mothers I think seek food stamps and welfare and what not. These fathers I think primarily sought sex. They will pay for it for at least 18 years. Some will pay for it with their freedom. I think once a level of maturity arises and the system has been learned the men avoid children. The 18 year olds als have this "it won't happen to me" attitude that disappears with age.
Anyway, what the writer describes (reluctance to commit and become a father) will continue and get worse until society stops attacking fathers. This means primarily not stripping fathers of all their rights "without fault" and it means not raping them financially. It seems to me if the laws were more even handed there would be a lot less divorce.
My proposal would be take the time between divorce and the children reaching 18 (the youngest child) and divide this in half. She is the primary residence half this time and he is the other half. The dice are rolled to see who gets the children for the first half.
Do to her exactly what is done to him when she is not the primary residence. Take her income. Put her in jail if she doesn't or can't pay. I think this would put a stop to a lot of divorces if women realized that this could happen to them (instead of automatically to him). Stop the domestic violence crap (unless there is real evidence of real vioence -- all the bullshit accusations of domestic violence should be ignored).
He isn't mature or stabile enough? Well, if he had his income back and had his family back, he would be lot different. Taking away his income and family and threatening him with jail is a good way to take him down. If he has these things back, he will come back up.
This would be really good for children. It would be good for fathers. Ultimately, it would be good for women. More marriages would surive. Women will think twice before they play the child support lottery and run off with the milkman (or whoever). Men will "commit" more freely.