Some of the dumbest people around

Some of the dumbest people around

About once a week I get a call from a mother who is trying to collect child support from their baby Daddy and has a problem they don’t know how to solve.  In an attempt to avoid paying child support at all the father (and in 11+ years of helping people find the right lawyer for their case, I’ve never seen a mom do this) decides to outsmart the system and quit their job.

The reasoning in their mind is usually that they’d rather not work at all than give the woman that scorned them any money at all.  This is stupid on so many levels.  Let’s see how many we can come up with.

  1. It doesn’t get them out of having to pay child support.  It just means they’ll run up a big bill with interest and that if they don’t catch up eventually they will lose their drivers license and passport and possibly will go to jail.
  2. They still have to support themselves and while some of them work cash jobs or deal drugs, many are begging family members to take them in and support them.  So while it might feel good to stick it to their ex, the thrill probably goes away when you are 40 and living in your parents basement.
  3. They are probably going to be dragged back in to court and piss off the Judge.  If they want anything else out of the case like visitation, if the Judge thinks they purposely quit or got fired, they will likely hammer them on the other issues.
  4. Also if they go to court and lose they’d have to pay the attorney fees of their ex.
  5. What a crappy message it sends to the kids.  If you have any desire of being a positive role model to your children this isn’t the way to go.
  6. Without money coming in for yourself, you are going to go in to a big debt.  As the debt grows along with the child support bill, it’s almost impossible to get out of it.  I know some guys in their 50’s who are now working an honest job, but go home with almost nothing every week because they have a back support bill of over 100k.
  7. There is no statute of limitations for collecting child support in Illinois.  It’s not as if you can try to be a low life until the kid is 18 and then say to yourself that you made it.  This will follow you around for the rest of your life.
  8. If the Judge believes that you were legitimately let go from a job, he/she can lower your future support, but it won’t change what you owe retroactively.  Also, Judges have seen every trick in the book and will know if you really quit.
  9. Some of these guys work cash jobs and have it brought out in family law court which leads to tax law problems.  Basically there life becomes a legal whack a mole.

This list could certainly go on.  To me, I don’t get how you could have so little pride in yourself that you would do this, but it really does happen all of the time and it almost never works. 

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  • good article. Unfortunately I know people like this

  • This might happen less frequently if Illinois guidelines took both parents' incomes into account when setting a figure for child support. Just speculating.

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