Custodial mother needs help

The names (except mine) shown in the following are not the real names of the parties, to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Hello Mary,

You raised a number of points that call into question Canadian rules and practices pertaining to child support due to someone like you, someone who appears to be a citizen or resident of Canada.

Firstly, I don’t know whether you are in fact residing in Quebec.  That makes it impossible for me to direct you to an organization that may be able to help you or to direct you to someone else who can do so.

If you wish to spare yourself the reading of all I stated, the most important aspect of your complaints is that you did not specify what you need help with.  The unmentioned solution to all of your problems is quite simple and obvious: apply in the court to have it grant fully shared custody to the father of your children.  In addition, you should perhaps objectively examine whether there was an equitable sharing of all of the marital assets in your case and determine whether some of the assets you received should not in all honesty be transferred to your ex.

You raised many concerns.  It will be easier for me to answer each of those by inserting my responses between the lines of your message — which I will now do.

On 11/09/2010 6:27 AM, Mary More wrote:

Subject: deadbeat dads.

The header of your e-mail messages identified the subject as being that you need my help, but, as your message shows, that is not truly what your message is all about.

I am writing to you for assistance in a matter that relates to my children.  I am a single mother of two teenage daughters that I am in custody of.   I have been separated form my husband for the past 5 years and am now divorced.  During this time I have not received any financial support from him in order to help provide for his two girls.

I am not able to direct you to a source of help because you did not tell me which Province you are located in.  I could look that up but would have no guarantee that I would be right.  You are in a better position to determine and identify that.

Why is Canada letting dead beat dads walk freely without having any consequences for their actions.

Perhaps the father of your children is a dead-beat dad, but I would leave the determining of that to the courts.  Even the worst judge would make at least a pretense of listening to both sides of a dispute before he decides where between the two sides the truth may is.  I have not heard anything from the other side in the argument.

The fact that you label your ex-husband a dead-beat dad does not look well.  Did he leave on his own volition, or did you kick him out?

That you allege that Canada has a policy of “letting dead beat dads walk freely without having any consequences for their actions” does not look good either.  The reality of that is that your accusation is not founded on facts.  The statistics on that do not support your accusation.  Moreover, my experiences as someone who has been active for decades in the field of child-support issues don’t support your accusation either.

The reality of those circumstances is that non-custodial fathers are more like than separated non-custodial mothers to pay child support, to pay much more child support and far less likely to default on such payments.  Furthermore, such fathers who default on child-support payments are far more likely than defaulting mothers to be prosecuted and to have to cope with and suffer from draconian enforcement measures.

Is it fair that one parent can walkout without taking any responsibilities providing for his kids?  Is it fair that all the burden of raising kids falls on one parent?

Court hearings ostensibly determine what is fair in such matters.  Unfortunately, such court hearings are seldom fair to fathers.  In the vast majority of divorces the courts grant women the kids, car, cash and castle and send the father packing, often with nothing more than a set of underwear, a toothbrush and a razor.

In the United States many deadbeat dads have their passport revoked, have their driver’s license suspended……. Why doesn’t Canada take drastic measures when it comes to deadbeat dads.

You correctly deem the common practice of depriving fathers who default on child support to be drastic, which of course it is.  How do you figure anyone is more likely to be able to make child-support payments when his constitutional right to free movement has been restricted?  Someone without a driver’s licence is not likely to be able to acquire any jobs that require a valid driver’s licence.  Moreover, he quite likely will be severely handicapped in travelling to a job for which he does not even require a driver’s licence but cannot travel to when no public transportation is available to help him get there.

Moreover, it is not only driver’s licences and passports of fathers defaulting with child support payments that are suspended,  All government-issued licences of defaulting fathers are suspended, which of course severely curtails their ability to earn a living.  Do you feel that those suspensions can possibly be any good for the affected children?

Jake Eke is in a new relationship with a divorced woman Liz Tryhard that has two kids, he is leading a normal life and supports her  kids and helps her renovate the house…..Doesn’t his own kids deserve a dad? Why can’t he help support his own kids? Doesn’t his kids have rights? Is it fair that he has neglected his own kids?

I assume, although you do not directly or indirectly state so, that Jake Eke is the father of the children you had with him.

You sure checked him out good, right?  Is it a criminal offence for him to have entered a relationship with a divorced woman who has children?

I wonder whether he thinks that he is living a normal life.  Is it normal for all men to form relationships with divorced women who have children by other men, after their ex-wives most likely kicked them out?

You told me that he can’t support his own kids because he is considered to be disabled.  If you feel that to be a false and fraudulent claim, telling me about it will not do you or anyone else much good.  Tell the judge in your case.  As they say, you will have to prove that in a court of law.

1) Mr. Eke has declared that he is sick and unable to provide.  If that is the case why isn’t he forced to fill up disability papers and get help from the government .

It is a little inconsistent on your part to call him first a dead beat dad and then to call him Mr.  Do you always do that so as to make sure that the recipients of your complaints about him are first put into the right frame of mind?

I do not know where Mr. Eke lives or whether it is possible for him to make false claims where he lives about disabilities that prevent him from earning a living.  If you are sure that he has engaged in an act of defrauding his government, you should perhaps consider pursuing criminal charges.

2) I am well aware that Mr. Eke is working in the renovation business and gets paid cash.  He keeps claiming that he is building his cliental slowly and that business is slow……….why isn’t he forced to get another job and provide for his kids?????

It amazes me to read how much you know about the man.  Yet you fail to consider the realities of the current state of the economy.  Canada is suffering under the same depression that has the US in its grips.  There is little money available for housing construction.  There is much competition for jobs in the construction trade, and money for home renovations is even harder to come by than is the case with money for new construction jobs.

Getting paid cash for work done is what many men do who have been driven into the underground economy to be able to eke out a living.

Did you not know any of those things before you decided to kick him out?

His daughter who is 17 of age has a job as a bus girl and makes minimum wage, why can’t he work?????

Nothing wrong with that.

What is wrong with this picture??????

I don’t know. You tell me.

I am a kindergarten teacher in a private school, my pay cheque is not enough so after I am done my job at 3 everyday I continue to my second job from 4-7 and than work on weekends, if I can be responsible why can’t he????????

Is being a kindergarten teacher a well-paying job?  If not, do you have a low-paying job because you chose to have it for convenience and not for economic considerations?  Were you forced into taking your job?

If you need a better-paying job, why don’t you get one?  If you expect that the father of your children be forced into getting another job to be able to pay for his kids, why does that not apply to you?

I have to do 3 jobs, get a line of credit, take a loan from the bank refinance my mortgage, seek help from my mom who is living on her pension and be the sole provider for those girls.

So, you indicate that you like to do low-paying jobs, live on credit, and have even your mother support you.  Has your mother not done enough for you yet?

Was being the sole provider for “those girls” your choice?

You have without a doubt some serious problems with matching your income to your expenses.  From what you explained, it appears that your debts are steadily and perhaps even quickly increasing.  The first and most important objective for successful debt management is to have a lot of income left at the end of the month, rather than having a lot of month left at the end of the money.

One way by which you can make a start with that is to cut back on a few things, such as those that you expect your ex-husband to cut back on.  Cancel your subscription to cable TV, cancel your cell phone and cut out all other things that are not absolutely necessary to survival, including the use of your car (sell it) and other such luxuries.

If that is not sufficient to bring your expenses into affordable limits, consider what capital assets you can sell.  If it is cheaper to rent an apartment than to make mortgage payments, you should go for the cheaper alternative.  You have a great advantage in that respect.  No one will expect you to live in a cardboard box under a bridge.  Our society does not expect that from women, while that expectation is at times the only one left for men who have all of their licences revoked.

I did not bring these children to the world by myself,

I hope not.  That would have been a miracle.

On the other hand, it is not difficult to become a father or a mother, while to be a father or a mother is a much more difficult task.  The burden of that is much lightened by sharing it.

It is about time that the government takes action and goes after those dead beat dads who are basically getting away with murder.

The government has done quite a bit to help out women already.  Women live on average six more years (in the US) and 7.2 more years (in Canada) than men do.  Now you want to have your ex prosecuted for murder yet?

I am frustrated at the legal system in the pursuit of this basic right for child support.   I have exhausted my financial capabilities in hiring lawyers to pursue him and have contacted the child support office in Montreal who have indicated that they have no recourse because of his lack of declared income.  So far my experience has been a series of “road blocks” and I am entirely exhausted.

Sorry, but that is pretty much the way it is.  If there is no income, then there is nothing to declare or to confiscate.

It will be up to you to prove in court that his claim to be disabled is fraudulent.  However, even if you should be able to prove that, what do you expect will happen?  Should he go to jail?  Do you think that will ensure that his child support payments can be made?

My ex-spouse is a home renovator and thus much of his work is paid in cash.  The amount of declared income is unknown

You already stated all of that.

since he has not filed an income tax return in the past few years.  I am puzzled at how the governmental system has neglected to look into this case to allow a citizen to neglect his legal obligations toward his family and government.  Why don’t we have any rights?

You told me that the government already looked into his case.  The problem is that you are not happy with what the government found.  However, if you want the father of your children to go to jail, and if you are absolutely sure of your allegations about doing work for cash under the table, then talk to the government and insist they they prosecute him for defrauding the government and for income-tax evasion.  Both are crimes that would warrant incarceration, but you have to prove them in court.  If you fail to prove your case, then you are potentially liable to be convicted of slander and libel.

However, the government has done a lot for women in that respect.  Women can commit the crimes of slander and libel with impunity.

Hoping to hear from you

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, I will keep trying until my voice his heard and things will change.  It is so unfair.

Mary More

I will post your help request and my responses to Dads & Things. It is our policy to not show the real names of the warring parties in such a case.

Other than that, I tried to offer some advice where I deemed it possible and necessary to give advice.  Unfortunately, you did not actually ask for specific help, but you railed against your ex, you slandered him, you slandered the Government of the Province of Quebec, the Federal Government of Canada, all of Canadian non-custodial fathers, and you vented your frustration.

It seems that all the help you wanted was to have someone listen to you.  I have done that and hope it will make you feel better.

Regards,

Walter Schneider
Fathers for Life
Dads & Things

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