[Editor: The following comment, posted by walking in hell, is an example of what can happen in a "no-fault" divorce. It isn't the most likely outcome, but a considerable number of divorces do end this way, so whether the story is real or not it is accurate depiction of many men's lives.]
A life not worth living
It has been seven years since my wife move 500 miles away with my almost three year old son one day when I was at work; and my 500 mile trips to try to reconcile our family eventually proved futile.
Our marriage lasted almost ten years. We waited seven years to have our first child. Our son was completely planned and welcomed. I was a doting and loving father and I spent every day and weekend with my son.
After the divorce, the courts allowed me to see my son two weekends per month from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I was allowed one phone call per week. The courts allowed his mother to keep him 500 miles away; I had to travel 500 miles to see him. I was ordered to pay his mother $1500 per month. No consideration was taken for my travel expenses.
Most importantly, no consideration was given for my son’s rights to have his father in his life the same amount of time as before. Not three weekends per month, but every day and night and weekend. I was a very affectionate, loving and responsible father and absolutely doted over my son. I was stripped of my fathership and made a visitor in his life.
Within four months my son behaved like a stranger to me. Within six months he was actively hostile towards me. After traveling 500 miles to see him, his mother would not show up with him. His mother was alienating him from me. Within seven months I lost my job. After being a victim of a terrible wife and a corrupt court system, I realized the situation was hopeless; I walked away.
Even though she destroyed 70 percent of the relationship between my son and I, I am the one being blamed for abandonment.
I thought I could begin a new life; but seven years later the pain remains. My pain over missing my son; the pain over how my son must feel; the pain over the disadvantages that my son has. Pain over a career that has been trashed. Pain over huge child support debts that can never be repaid. Pain over a life where I will never be able to have any sort of financial security or retirement. Pain over the fact that I will never know my grandchildren. Pain over excruciating loneliness.
The worst times are weekends and holidays. Weekends and holidays were mine and my son’s best times together. When I see fathers with sons I feel an overwhelming sadness: a sadness of what has been lost; what is not; and what could have been.
Also I am permanently changed. No amount of therapy, psychotropic drugs, or a new woman and child can remove the hollowness inside me. I notice the effect when I am around people. I used to be happy and fulfilled; now I am empty and depressed, and people notice it and they don’t want to be around me. It is impossible for me to smile and I get no pleasure from anything; not even eating. I have no present and no future.
Am I a loser? I was an example of someone who raised themselves from nothing to something though hard work. I put myself through college; earned a scholarship, and worked many crappy jobs before I finally landed a good one. Through thrift, I managed to save a tidy nest egg. I never had any problems with the law. But because my wife became unhappily married, I am made to be a criminal, even though I tried to keep the marriage together.
Now I don’t have a car, I don’t have a drivers license, I don’t have a girl friend, and I live in a small and shitty room. I earn a fifth of what I earned before. I have a very difficult time holding a job because of depression.
I am a Christian; so I am afraid of committing suicide. Nevertheless, I often research suicide to see if there is some justification for it; some way to do it, without going to hell. I want out of my life; I would not want to wish my life on my worst enemy. It is a life that is not worth living.
I pray every day for some guidance and purpose of what I am supposed to do; I don’t get any answers.
Where did I go wrong? Was it the wrong choice of a woman? My wife was very religious and a virgin when we met. She never smoked a cigarette or drank alcohol in her life. She was the most family-oriented person I had ever met. I would never have thought she would have chosen divorce. And if she chose divorce, I would have thought she would have wanted a father in her son’s life. But she changed. Why did she change? I don’t know, but I think because of cultural influences.
Why do I write this? For pity? No. I write this to give young men an idea of what they are facing when they father children in the USA or any other country that imitates the USA court system. When the divorce happens, and it is more likely to happen then not, you will be destroyed emotionally and financially. Your children will suffer. The more responsible, the more loving, the more family-oriented you are, the more you will be destroyed.
Marriage and family is sacred and the greatest gift a man can have. Unfortunately, in the USA, marriage and family have been perverted beyond repair.
For young men, the worst thing you could do is to have children in the USA. For parents of boys, the worst thing you could do is to pressure your sons into having children in the USA. Don’t think it cannot happen to you or your sons.
Is there a solution? Yes. Emigration. Make your money in the states and emigrate out when you are financially able. Then marry and have children in a family-friendly nation and a nation with fairer divorce laws. This is a solution that won’t completely remove the risk of divorce; but will reduce it.
As a man in the USA you have nothing to look forward to. Only the ignorant or the masochistic would think of fathering children there. In the USA fathers are like tightrope walkers without netting. Don’t do it.
You have been warned by someone wandering in hell who lives a life not worth living.
Information and statistics:
States get matching funds from the federal government for every support order they issue; therefore there is an built-in economic incentive against family reconciliation and against shared custody and an economic incentive for sole physical custody.
Presumption of guilt is on the man. If the woman makes any type of emotional or physical abuse claim, the man will be removed from his home and children.
Nine out of ten times the children are given to the woman, no matter how good the man is.
If you fall behind in child support $2500, your passport is denied.
If you fall behind in child support $2500, you drivers license is revoked.
If you are behind and miss payments, you can go to jail for contempt of court.
If you have a history of falling behind on payments, you can be placed in prison.
Because you are in jail does not mean child support payments stop; on the contrary, child support payments continue and arrears continue to build.
In many states, interest is added to arrears at the rate of 10 percent per year.
If you lose your job and get a lesser paying job, the child support agencies will do their best to try to keep the payments the same.
Employers frown on wage garnishment; it is more work for them and they are less likely to hire a divorced man and more likely to exploit one because they know he is desperate.
As your children are stripped away from you and the relationship severed, you will be accused of abandoning your children.
If you have arrears, a child support lien will be placed on your credit report which comes up on background checks rendering you much less employable.
Any type of depression or despondency is used against the man to further remove him from his children, causing yet more depression and despondency.
Non-custodial parents (men) are around three times as likely to commit suicide then the rest of the population.
Men are not entitled to a lawyer in a failure to pay child support court hearing.
50,000 men are in jail or prison every day for child support arrears.
Ever wonder why there are so many homeless men? Do your own street interviews. Ask random homeless men if they ever went through a divorce or the child support system.
A man with children in the USA is like a tightrope walker without netting: the risk-reward profile is life or death.
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