Make the Jerk Pay: Tracking down a Deadbeat Dad/And Getting Child Supportby Louis J. Rose, Fred W. Lindecke (Editor), Roy Malone
It's a national scandal that millions of fathers don't pay and get away with it. Their ex-wives and children often end up on welfare at taxpayers' expense.
This book takes a hard look at the reasons why the government bureaucracy has failed as the nation's bill collector for child support....and how families get their money in only about one in five cases.
It's a national scandal that millions of fathers don't pay and get away with it. Their ex-wives and children often end up on welfare at taxpayers' expense. Nationally, $50 billion is owed in back support.
This book is valuable to single parents who need help in getting the child support they are entitled to. It offers help on how to obtain support, so that your family won't end up victims of a deadbeat dad, or in some cases, a deadbeat mom. The book is also meant for grandparents, who often must help support their daughter's children.
Make The Jerk Pay goes beyond just explaining how to use the child support enforcement system. It tells how you can track down a missing spouse by using your own skills and available public records and the Internet. Beyond that, you will learn how to do some sleuthing to uncover money, property and other assets of the deadbeat.
Men may take offense at the book's title. But we consider it justified because nine out of ten deadbeats are men. For the custodial fathers trying to collect from deadbeat moms, this book is for you too.
Many men don't want the responsibility of being a father, so they end up divorcing their children as well as their wives. They run off, often moving from state to state. Some create new identities for themselves by changing their names and getting new Social Security numbers, new credit cards and driver's licenses.
They go to great lengths to conceal their assets from the families they abandon, sometimes putting property in the names of others. Many arrange to be paid under the table so their earnings cannot be traced or attached. Often they will flout court orders to pay child support-knowing they're likely to get away with it. The tactics of deadbeat dads add up to a nightmare, financially and emotionally, for the mothers and children. Too often the mothers are left to fend for themselves at a time when they are least able to cope.
Many women will not even seek child support. They may fear hostility from their ex-husbands, or feel that asking for child support is like asking for a handout. Others shy away because they fear it will be costly, time-consuming and too much of a hassle to deal with the bureaucratic child support system. If you are such a victim, you may feel abandoned and cheated. That's natural. Some women strike back by denying visitation rights to the father. That's a mistake. It hurts the child and gives the absent father an excuse for not paying child support.
But you need not feel that you are powerless. There are laws and state and county agencies which are supposed to help you. It's the responsibility of prosecutors and judges to aid you in getting support orders and enforcing them. You can turn to support groups whose members know exactly what you are going through and can help you cope with the system.
In the end, it's up to you to help find him and make him pay. Because you have the most at stake, you may have to become a squeaky wheel and pester child support officials to get your case moving.
There are countless mothers who have made the system work for them. You will read vignettes about some of those women and how they triumphed, often by the force of their will.
About the Author:
Co-authors Lou Rose and Roy Malone are retired investigative reporters at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who have won awards for stories involving public corruption and social issues.
- Albion Press MO
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.02(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.56(d)
Read an Excerpt
Why Would A Father Turn His Back On His Child?
There's no single reason. Many men don't know what it means to be a good father because their own fathers-if they even knew them-treated them shabbily and were poor role models. Some men never really develop any relationship with their children, so they don't feel guilty about not supporting them.
Jealously may prompt a father to refuse to make payments when his ex-wife lets a boyfriend move in with her and the children. He resents the man having sex with his former mate while he feels he is subsidizing them. Even if the woman is merely dating another man, the father oftens seeks revenge by not paying.
Some Dads Simply Can't Pay
Most men can pay more in child support than they are required to, studies show. But there are many fathers who simply cannot afford it, because they either are unemployed or earn so little.
These fathers seldom fit the stereotype of the "deadbeat dad" who enjoys an affluent lifestyle while their former families struggle to get by. Many are poorly educated, lack job skills, or can't work because they are ill or disabled. Their work history may be so erratic that they can't qualify for jobs that pay enough to support themselves and their children. Frequently, they need help in finding work.
Our Definition Of A Deadbeat
We use the term "Deadbeat Dad" to describe a father who can afford to pay child support, but won't. We don't apologize for calling fathers deadbeats for abandoning their children financially and emotionally. It so happens that about 90 percent of deadbeat parents are men. Working fathers, and even mothers, who purposely shirk their duty should be ashamed to go bed each night without first assuring that their children have adequate food, clothing, shelter and care that day. Calling such a person a deadbeat may be too charitable. Jerk would be better.
Let's Not Keep Dads From Kids
We agree with many men who complain it's unfair for a mother to get child support and deny the father visitation rights. If judges can enforce court-ordered support payments, they should also enforce visitation rights spelled out in court orders. How can a father be a real father without seeing his children? A mother who hurts her kids by keeping them from having contact with their father is also a jerk.
So He's Flown The Coop
If he's gone, you'll have to help the CSE agency locate him. You may wind up having to do the job yourself.
That's what this part of the book is about-tracking him down.. It may require an extra effort to get your case moving. It's important to deal with CSE workers in a positive way. Avoid criticizing them without real cause. You want their cooperation, not their anger. Let them know how urgently your children need help. Show them pictures of your children and also of the non-paying dad.
Find Him Yourself
You may be unhappy with the agency's efforts to find your child's father-and fear your case will be among the 80 percent in which support goes uncollected. But don't give up. You can find him on your own. It will take determination, hard work, a search plan, help from others, your own knowledge, memory, imagination, and a little luck. It could be a long-term project.
Think about recruiting a relative or friend to help in the search and reach your goal. Another person could do some of the research and legwork and may have good ideas and contacts. Also important is the support a helper can provide in keeping your morale up. You'll be less likely to quit.
Keep a special section in your notebook for the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of sources who have helped you, or might be able to. List social workers you talked to, law enforcement contacts and court clerks-almost any employee could become your ally.
Things Only You Know
You know things about your quarry that a seasoned detective would love to know: his character, organizations he belongs to, his work history, hobbies, skills, education, experience, habits, past friends, relatives, and his preferences, whether it be in foods, sports, sex or climate.
In one section, jot down his vital statistics-date and place of birth, Social Security number, parents, and his children and their ages. Write down a physical description of him that includes not only his height, weight, color of hair and eyes, but any special markings such as tattoos or scars from injuries. Does he wear eyeglasses or contact lenses?
You might never use this information, but it could become valuable in helping law authorities identifying him if he denies who he is. Get a copy of his most recent driver's license, with his photo. While you're at it, collect other pictures of him and make copies that you can distribute during your search.
Uncovering His assets
We have grouped assets into six categories:
- Land and Property
- Bank Accounts, Investments and Securities
- Cars, Boats, and Planes
- Jewelry, Furnishings, Other Personal Property
- Ownership in Businesses
- Income and Earnings
How To Make Him Pay
Here are some of the things you or the CSE agency can do. Get his credit and financial data. Have his wages withheld. Dog him if he works for cash. Slap a lien on him. Seize his assets. Hire a private collector. Threaten prosecution. Report his child support debt to credit bureaus. Yank his professional license, if he has one. If he dies, get what's left.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Rose and Malone give us great, easily usable guidelines for tracking down anybody. These authors know their stuff. From schools to property to driving records to work records, we all leave tracks. Now we know how to make those tracks work for us! Deadbeat parents, look out now.
Very disappointing palaver...you would expect some new things are in here..but it's the same old thing. You'd be better off just hiring Jerry Springer's staff.