For all the dads out there and with credit to author William C. Klatt (live away dads)
And please remember that being a father is not something you are. It is something you do.
A pledge to myself
I will lose a battle to win a “war”
I will focus my efforts inward towards what I can control. Myself
I will look at my behavior more and at others less
I will learn when to push and when to let go
I will remind myself I am in this for the long term
I will not allow my children to hear me speak ill of anyone
I will encourage my children to maintain healthy relationships with all their family members
I will rise above any and all negativity and treat my children’s mother with respect
I will provide for my children and view support payments as one way to do so
I will put my children’s needs ahead of my own
I will understand that it is not “my” time but my children’s time
I am not a victim
I will learn how to express anger and thrive on the energy from the growth beyond it
I will learn how to be comfortable in talking about myself
I will respect the needs and importance of all people
I will tell the stories of my past while embracing the opportunity to rewrite my future
The following excerpts are from Vicki Turetsky, Federal Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement:
“Most child support debt is owed by parents who do not have sufficient income to fully pay their child support orders. Most debt is held by parents with less than $10,000 in reported income. An Urban Institute study of California child support arrears found that:
- 80 percent of unpaid child support debt is owed by parents with less than $15,000 net income.
- Over half of the arrears are owed by debtors with less than $10,000 income but more than $20,000 in debt.
- Only 1 percent of child support debtors have net incomes over $50,000.
- 70 percent of the arrears are owed to the government—to repay welfare costs—rather than to families.
- 27 percent of the debt is unpaid interest.
Conclusion: The actual choice facing policymakers is between chasing after nonexistent or sporadic payments now and developing the potential for steady support over the long haul.”
Source: pages 3 and 4 of “Staying in Jobs and Out of the Underground: Child Support Policies that Encourage Legitimate Work” by Vicki Turetsky, Center for Law and Social policy (CLASP) Child Support Series March 2007, Brief No. 2.