For all the dads not living with their children

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

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Most child support debt is owed by parents who cannot pay

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.

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