Divorce happens and it isn’t just between two adults, but it includes kids as well. One the biggest issues for a divorcing family is child support. New York mom, Kimberly Seals Allers, wrote about how she forgave her ex-husband of $38,750 in child support that was due to her. The judge told her it was a first and her friends were completely surprised.
Allers writes about how many times fathers are reduced to a number and what they pay for their children. She didn’t want her children to see their father like that. However, when he couldn’t pay he did more, and that was good enough for her.
“So when our children were young, after our separation and early in our divorce, I negotiated new currencies such as additional time when I needed child care, meal preparation, haircuts and even helping with home repairs, instead of acting as if a cash payment was all he had to offer our children. The look on their faces when he came to pick them up was more than worth it.”
However, he lives in England and when their daughter wanted him to come to her middle school graduation, he couldn’t because of warrants for his arrest. Because he owed money in child support, he could be arrested if he came back to the US. Allers knew what he owed and she wasn’t actively seeking the money so she petitioned to have it forgiven.
She made a point that her ex-husband was unable to pay, not unwilling to pay. There are probably many other dads out there who are in the same situation. Yes, there are good dads who are trying to remain active and involved with their kids. Yes, there are bad dads who fail to pay, fail to spend time with kids, and essentially give up their family.
However, for dads who try, but can’t always pay, is jail the right answer? If a dad is willing to be present and active is it always the best idea to arrest them, risking the chance they lose their job?