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Bystander,<BR>I'm really sorry but deadbeat dads are not a myth. Please get in touch with your local child advocates office and ask them. Go to shelters and ask these women about it.<P>Can you tell me which social class you're looking into when you say that most women get a financial windfall in a divorce? Please explain how a woman who divorces her H who only makes, let's say, $30,000 a year can gain an enormous amount of money? <P>Oh, and for the record, I don't buy cocaine, clothes for another man, and I don't spend a dime on myself unless it's for food or utilities. My H has put me in the situation where I'm forced to sign up for public assistance until I can go to work. So I would have no problem showing my expenses to any judge. I offered to do that. And no I didn't cheat on my monthly expense worksheet either. I kept the #'s as low as possible, because I didn't want to look like I was trying to be unreasonable.

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Bystander,<P>I clicked on the link and read the review. According to the review, the info was based on the study of 1,000 families in Arizona. I'm in WV and I know for a fact, (not just because of my situation), that dead beat dad's do exist. <P>I want to clarify this. I know that there are also deadbeat mom's. I wanted to make sure that point was made. Don't want the men thinking I'm bashing them.<p>[This message has been edited by Mitzi (edited March 13, 2000).]

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<BR>Mitzi,<P>Your case notwithstanding, take a couple who makes exactly the same amount of money, say $50,000 per year each. Lets say that they can both arrange their schedules to take the children exactly 50% of the time. Lets say that they live in an apartment, and an exact duplicate of this apartment is next door.<P>Even though they could share all expenses exactly 50%, the way the current laws are set up, if one parent is declared "custodial," they will receive a child support amount that (by definition) is in excess of what's needed. That's wrong.<P>As for Braver's study, you're right its based only in Arizona. Its the best study to date, though. Do some "deadbeat dads" exist? Of course, and perhaps you're hapless enough to be associated with one. Just as there are men hapless enough to be associated with women who unilaterally use the divorce courts and custody courts for financial gain. I can change the latter, and my solution would help address the former. Its not a pancea, but then again, there are really few panaceas in life anyhow.<P>Really, what's your complaint with my postings? That I'm willing to say that the system unfairly benefits women, and that some women might (just might) use the system for financial gain? Are you upset that I'm working for genuine equality? I really draw fire here, and I'm curious as to why.<P>Btw, I'm going to be offline until tomorrow, but I'll check back. So "fire away" for awhile [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Bystander

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Like I said, someone who put their OWN statistics to sell a book for their subject/book and you bought it HOOK, LINE AND SINKER, since you needed to believe SOMETHING. PUHLEASE! NEXT!

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Bystander,<BR>Your ideas ingeneral do not bother me. What does bother me though is that you make too many generalizations. It's almost as if you're saying all women who get child support buy drugs and don't take care of the kids. And that only women would file for divorce for financial gain. If women could do that, what about the men whose spouses happen to make a lot more money than they?<P>I admit, right now, I easily get offended by some comments. But just for the sake of the feelings of some of the women here who genuinely didn't want a divorce, but had to file for protection, try wording things a little differently. Please don't lump all women into one category. I am gaining nothing financially. I am losing a marriage. The money doesn't mean **** to me.

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I'll have to way in here as I guess I'm one of the few males that is receiving child support.<P>I guess Ohio is different than most states, in that they determine child support by the amount you finacially contribute to the marriage. My wife contributed roughly 35% to our income, so on a chart they looked up our gross income and then went over to two children and came up with a figure of what is spent on two children and then awarded me 35% of that.<P>What bothers me is that, while she was "only" responsible for 35% of the income and thence only 35% for the child support, she is entitled to 50% of the house and my pension. To me it would seem fair that it should be either 35 or 50% percent across the board.<P>MY lawyer even disagrees with that. He believes that this is an equiptable solution.<P>As for why more women are walking away. It is a societal change. Woman were always pretty much raised to be homemakers. But society looks at homemakers as not contributing to society so there is pressure for them to enter the workforce. As the become acustomed to having the career they start learning male traits, aggressiveness, ego gratification, etc. BUt they still have the maternal instincts that take over when they get home. They want to have children and take care of them and take care of the home and family.<P>However societal roles haven't changed for men. Basically, men are still pretty much expected to be the major bread winner. The only other job is too mow the grass and make house repairs.<P>Where has anyone ever seen any adds that hint that to be a real man you have to help with housework. Usually men who do are the brunt of jokes.<P>Meanwhile the women are working and are still expected to do all the housework, and then see the man come home and sit down and for the most part not help(I'm generalizing here), that is wehn the resentment builds. When the bring it up, the man usually hears it as nagging, and then withdraws, and she then feels rejected/abandoned. This then either leads to an affair or walking away.<P><BR>Also with more woman working better jobs, there is not the financial incentive to stay home, lots of woman can afford to be on their own.<P><BR>I got this info from a book called "What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know" the author is the same one who wrote, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus."

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Bystander<BR>I suspect as in my case that many "women" file over men, because they are forced to due to financial reasons. If she is a stay at home Mom, and the H walks away. What do you suspect she do? Wait until she is evicted from her home, or the children have nothing to eat before she tries to get the court system involved. I too did not want to file, felt I had no choice since H wanted a Divorce, but didn't want or couldn't make that move himself, and yet still did not send any support. Remember we are dealing with very wild emtions from both partners and sometimes we all do things without thinking of the conquences. <BR>If there was a way to get temporary support until we could think clearer, I myself would have waited. I had nightmares of being evicted, children not having anything to eat,<BR>Yes I depended on my H's income, we made that decision for me to stay home, and then when I became disabled I knew I would not be able to return to the work force. <BR>There are many I've talked with (women) that share how they would have stayed and not filed if they could have. Do you "men' tell each other the same thing or just say you're glad the B----is out of your life?.( Even if she was the best thing in your life....)<BR>Again if I felt I had a choice I would not have made that choice. I'd still be waiting , instead of now moving on the best way I can.

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THANK YOU !!!!!! THANK YOU BOB..!!!<P>(((((((((((((((RWD))))))))))))))<P>I still am at a loss to explain how a simple question got to be this big a thing, and how suddenly it's about child support and custody, and who does what with whose money....<P>to me, women walk away when they are unhappy...they then generally stay away. I don't purport to know why, but if I had tried and tried, had no success with the marriage, I probably wouldn't look back either...there is only so much you can give while feeling as if you are not receiving...<P>Dylan

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Interesting topic and loaded with responses! I can tell you from my personal experience that my soon to be X has the house, primary custody of our kids, and he is still required by the courts to pay me not only spousal support, but child support as well. He's paying upwards of $2000.00 per month to me. I bet he didn't think that he'd be paying child support when he has the primary responsibility for the kids. This is mean to say, but somehow this is retribution for him cheating on me.

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Quite the post,and all in one day.I'm staying out of the child support issue even though my sister has to fight to get it sometimes.I did read somewhere that men will stay in a somewhat undesirable marriage,and still be content,whereas a lot(not all)of women won't stay in an unhappy marriage at all.Maybe it's an emotional thing.I realize that probably some women run away because their H has been cheating on them,and won't stop.But I do seem to know a lot of men(my neighbor,my doctor,my cousin,my broker,and several co-workers)whose wifes just up and left without a warning.Usually for another man or co-worker who convinced them that they could make them happier.Another issue some friends and I discussed was the media.What do men usually watch on TV?Football,baseball,wrestling,Rambo,Die Hard,etc.What do women(again,not all) usually watch(including my W).Soap operas,romantic comedies,romance movies,etc.How about magazines?Men read Popular Mechanics,Yachting,Golf,Car Craft,perhaps Playboy.Women(my W,and my friends W's)read People Magazine,Redbook,Cosmopolitan;usually magazines that deal with relationships.I've read the covers of these while waiting in line,such as:"Are you getting enough quality sex?","Are you compatable with your husband?",or"My affair,and why I did it"(I kid you not on that one).I just wonder if articles like these get women thinking too much about their marriage,and if it's fulfilling enough for them.While the men are reading about the latest sportscar or golfclub,women are filling out a survey to see if all their"needs"are being met.I'm probably going to get flamed for some of this,but I believe I've made some valid points to consider.Ladies,please don't slap me too hard! --Murph

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Howdy,<P>My XW cheated last year, we have joint custody. She lives in subsidized housing ($160 a month). I have kids majority of time; I pay $60 a week for 2 kids. Reason: Income discrepancy (sp?), since I make more, it's "not fair", so even though we share all of the responsibility and I still must take care of the things that demand attention (hair cuts, witer coats, swim class, etc.), I'll pay because I am evil because I work hard and produce more. <P>One thing that I have noticed with many WAW is the claiming of "victim status", even though the true damage exists in the act. I guess I had the audacity to be flawed (so she says), I was punished for it. Gee, in my case I was unhappy in our marriage too, but I kept my fly zipped and kept trying. <P>What bugs me about society in some circles, I am the one who blew it. That what bubbles the anger to the surface for me. The tender compassion that is bestowed on a poor single mom (by her own hand); "There must be a monster behind this... THE HUSBAND!" [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] They are correct, there is a monster but it isn't me, it's infidelity. Hey, that rhymed! I'm starting to sound like Jesse Jackson [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] ! NOT!<P>Heck my 2 cents...<BR>Eric

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bystander:<P><B>"Deadbeat dads" are largely a myth: </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>life has been a battle for the those of us who lived the "myth"<P>do you have any idea how many children today are living substandard lives because of deadbeat dads? (to be fair about it, there are deadbeat moms too)<P>check out some of the lawyers offices, look at the high piles of files at the legal aid offices, go to any court house in America and look at the backlog of cases where the children are not receiving the support that was court ordered. <P>I spent YEARS fighting the system trying to force the childrens father to live up to his responsibility to support his children. <P>I met women that were living on welfare and food stamps, women who slept in "safe houses" because they couldn't afford to pay rent AND babysitters on a minimum wage job.<P>maybe there are a few cases of over compensation on the records. maybe there are a few women who divorce to gain money.<P>If they exist, they are a very tiny minority. <P>My X was never placed in jail for failure to support. Just the opposite! He lived in Arkansas when Clinton was govenor. <P>When I filed to garnish his wages for back support he "explained" to his boss that I was "the wicked witch of the west". <P>Guess what... they didn't with hold a penny out of his pay for his children. <P>All he had to do was cry to the boss and the children continue to go without the court ordered support! <P>I raised my children the best I could. I worked in a Levis factory sewing fancy jeans that my X bought for his step children! <P>YES, I'M BITTER ABOUT IT. <P>my children are grown now and have children of their own and I still get mad when I hear about how many children are living in slums when they should have a better life.<P>I've discovered that back child support never goes away. The interest is like the energizer bunny, it keeps going and going ....<P>When the deadbeat dies, I can step in and claim his estate to recoup the $185,000.00 that he owes me! <P>I'll do it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<P>ok, I'll step down off my soapbox now... [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Keo<BR>

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Being a PhD student, I'm well acquainted with the methods people use to massage data to make it look more attractive or fit their theory. I DO base my judgements on what I observe in my everyday life, because at least I know where the data is coming from :-)<P>No, not all of my friends are college educated. I also do volunteer work at an inner-city elementary school in Atlanta, not Phoenix, or some cush metropolis like that. Deadbeat dads are still a HUGE majority. <P>It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that (most of the time), whomever stays home with the kids all day is most likely the one who is better at parenting them. Just like the woman probably wouldn't be as good economically. So, until guys start doing BOTH (i.e working and providing the majority of childcare), like many,many women do everyday, then things won't change. Tough! <P>Ya know, I push a pretty hard line with the women too. I tell women they have to be self-sufficient in case hubby decides to run off. I'd tell the hubby he needs to be very involved in the children's activities and be able to prove it. If hubby is so work-oriented that he hardly knows his kids, well, it is his own fault if he is now a cash-cow.

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I, for one, will NEVER allow myself to be financially dependent on a man. And I would NEVER expect more child support than what is fair to provide for my child's needs. But even if I could afford all of my child's expenses on my own, I would expect SOMETHING from his father.<P><BR>RWD - I think you hit the nail on the head with the reason why so many women become unhappy in their marriages and leave.<BR>

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I haven't read through every single post to this thread, so I don't know if this has been addressed already or not.<P>The definition of a "walk away wife" is not simply a woman who leaves. A walk away wife has spent a good amount of time expressing to her husband what her needs and wants are out of the marriage. When it becomes clear to her that the husband is not really listening, she withdraws. Husband then thinks "great, things must be better, she is not nagging me anymore." He doesn't change, and she begins to plan her escape. When she does leave, husband is shocked.<P>In earlier days, when divorce was not as easy for a woman to "live with", a woman in this situation would stay, remain withdrawn and the marriage would become dull and sterile. Now that divorce is easier for women to survive, they leave.<P>This is not to say that I believe it is right for woman to walk away - but I think it is important to clarify that a WAW doesn't just up and leave on a whim one day - there IS a period of time that they try to communicate their unhappiness to their spouses. And a Walk Away Wife DOES think her "escape" through.<P>As for the entire alimony/support issue, I have to say that I don't know any women whose husbands have left them and who are rolling in dough. My sister's ex has had little to do with his son since the child was 3 years old - imagine what it must be like for him to know that his own father wants nothing to do with him and actually moved to the "deadbeat dads" haven state to avoid paying his child support. And, in my own case, I had my household income slashed in half while my living expenses remained the same. My credit is shot - and it is not through anything I did to myself... it is all due to the fact that my husband decided that "having fun" must take precendence over honoring committment.<P>I guess I'm not too objective on this particular topic...<P>------------------<BR>terri<BR>I believe in miracles...<P><BR>

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<B>WOW! What a heated debate!</B><P>Since I just came across this topic, it's tough to throw myself into the argument. So, I just thought I'd stick to the subject of why women seem to have an easier time leaving the marriage.<P>I am taking a course in marriage and family this semester, and just last night I came across the following information. It was under the discussion of breaking up.<P><I>Research has suggested that men tend to fall in love more readily than women, and <B>women tend to fall out of love more readily than men.</B> Social scientists suggest two possible explanations for women initiating breakups more often.<P>First, a married woman's income and status are far more dependent on her husband than his on her. Consequently, women must be especially discriminating, whereas men can afford to be romantic. <P>Second, women are more sensitive than men to the quality of interpersonal relationships. Hence, their standards for developing love may be higher than men's. A woman may experience lack of rapport or self-revelation in a relationship, for example, while the man does not. As a result, women may evaluate and reevaluate their relationships more often.</I><P>Well, just thought I'd pass that information along. I've recently learned that it's better to keep away from the heated issues here. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] <BR><P>------------------<BR>The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.<BR>Helen Keller<BR>

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Well, my staying away didn't last too long. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I just wanted to share my personal experience with child support and alimony. My parents divorced when I was 13 (17 years ago). My father was ordered to pay a fairly large sum of money. With alimony, it totaled $2000 a month. Unfortunately, my mother had to have his wages garnished in order to get her money. <P>Once my father was pushed to live a much lower standard than he was accustomed to, he started to resent me for it. Like it was my fault! How can someone get angry with having to own up to their responsibility? It's beyond me! I ended up losing my father emotionally, when I had been a daddy's girl my entire life. Talk about devestation! That money didn't mean anything to me, at least in retrospect. <B>I would rather have been poor than not have my father's love.</B><P>As far as my mother and what she did with her money. She spent most of it to pay the bills and the remaining of it trying to ease my pain (as in buying things for me, didn't work!). Sad, but true. She never spent any on herself. She was just trying to make up for a relatively absent father, and the pain this can cause an adolescent girl. She was awarded $900 of lifetime alimony. After all, it wasn't her fault that after 18 years, he decided that he didn't want to be married anymore! She could have taken advantage of that. But, you know what she did? She settled with him a few years later for what amounted to about 18 months worth of alimony. She stopped taking his money because she felt guilty. <P>No, it's not about money. It's about responsibility. So, even when dads do pay, the children can often suffer. At least I did. I'd rather have my father's love any day of the week! Unfortunately, many children suffer with having to worry about where their next meal is coming from. They are the innocent victims here and nobody has a right to say they should live different than what they're accustomed to. Especially when it means the difference between eating and starving!<P>------------------<BR>The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.<BR>Helen Keller<BR>

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In my opinon, this is one of the few times a question was answered based on facts rather than opinion. Of course there's always exceptions but Terri is telling the facts.<P>Terri said:<P> "The definition of a "walk away wife" is not simply a woman who leaves. A walk away wife has spent a good amount of time expressing to her husband what her needs and wants are out of the marriage. When it becomes clear to her that the husband is not really listening, she withdraws. Husband then thinks "great, things must be better, she is not nagging me anymore." He doesn't change, and she begins to plan her escape. When she does leave, husband is shocked.'<BR>-----------------<P>If the wife is filling her husband's sexual needs, (his #1 need), then he could stay in the marriage a lot longer before he realizes he's not happy or feels he wants out. <P>When the wife's emotional needs (her #1 need) aren't met, having sex isn't satisfying enough to stay in the marriage. Unless emotional needs are met, then the sex is Just Sex for her. <BR>Women can have sex just for sex with anyone. Women don't put a high enough value on sex to stick around for that alone. In fact, if the wife's needs AREN'T being met and the husband's are having sex with them, then the husbands should be doing the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. (JOKING! Don't get all bent out of shape!)<P>When men screw around on the side they don't have to feel emotionally committed to an OW. <P>When women screw around on their husbands most often it's because an emotional bond has developed. <P>Women could leave if they were only having an EA with OM. I doubt any man out there would leave for a woman because he was just having a great emotional relationship with her. LOL<P>Men that leave for that sexual attention and fullfillment, they end up seeing that women are women. They realize that the OW eventually has the same emotional needs their wife had. The honeymoon is over and then what? If they are going to fill emotional needs for a woman, they might as well do it for their wife and be able to live under the same roof with your children and not have to pay out the support. <P>Women aren't going to leave for sexual attention. If they are leaving for sex it's because along with that sex, there are very fullfilling emotional needs being met. When women get that from their OM, there's no turning back. Unless......the OM slacks off with satisfying emotional needs once he marries her. Maybe this happens more times than not, which would account for the high failure statistics on 2nd marriages.<BR>

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Hi, <P>Lots of replies here and I did not get a chance to read them all but it sounds like it is ending up talking about divorces.<P>I will reply to original question first. I think that it is true that when women stray it is much easier for them not to return. I really don't know why. Maybe because they felt neglected by h throughout marriage and do not feel guilty. When men leave their wives they might start thinking about how good home was compared to what kind of attention they get at OW's home. Also, many women tend to be more of the "romantic" type and getting back to reality might be hard for them. I have an online friend who all of the sudden got up and left her husband of 24 years for some man she met online. She went to visit other man out of state and never looked back, she stayed with OM. I could not believe that people could do this, but it happens.<P>About divorces and who should get what, I believe that if a woman walks out on her husband due to affair that they should not expect big payments from the hard working husband who supported and loved them through the years. Heck! she has this OM now! Now if a H leaves a dependent wife he should pay through the nose to make sure his wife and children will thrive. I also think that marriage counseling should be mandatory when a divorce is started. In today's world with the internet and everything it's just too darn easy for many to stray. I live in a no-fault state, this is not good. I have no recourse if he files. What ever he wants he gets no matter what caused the rift.<P>I think it's about time that the divorce laws are changed to make it tougher to get one. It's just too easy nowadays and that is sad. I have thought of writing my state congress people to suggest something be done about the state of marriage and divorce today.<P>Thanks, Pam<p>[This message has been edited by Pinky (edited March 14, 2000).]

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DT,<P>I would buy your arguement, but I find it hard to believe that women fill men's needs while men don't fill women's needs. Certainly, not by the margins the statistics suggest.<P>This is particularly true, since if you talk to most married men, the sexual needs are rarely met, especially after children come into the equation. <P>Yet, there is this hugh disparity between who files.<P>I would guess there is more to it than just needs and who wants out of the marriage. My suspicion that some of the old attitudes still exist. In time past before no fault divorces, the honorable thing for a man to do was allow the wife to file for divorce even if she was the one that strayed. Second, there is the wife that files although the husband has strayed but won't file for divorce.<P>This latter one brings back the arguement that economics enters the decision. If men are going to lose the house, the kids, the money, AND the wife, they are more inclined not to ask for divorce even if they are the once that are cheating or not having their needs met. If the wife, knows that she will get the kids, the house, and some measure of economic security, then she has less to lose by getting rid of wayward H.<P>Now if the wife is cheating, not meeting needs, etc. the H still stands to lose the house, the kids, the money and the Wife they did not want to lose. While the wife will in all likely keep the house, the kids, the money, the OM, and get rid of the H, she wanted to get rid of.<P>So the economics is not why women are filing for divorce per se, but rather that given that both sides lose the wife loses relatively less: especially the most valuable of all things the kids. <P>So given that the marriage is in trouble, the bias is for the women to have relatively less to lose than the man. And the money is not as major as the kids.<P>So to my mind, the disordinate number of women filing represents some old traditional thinking about the honorable thing to do. Some modern realities about the children and about money and the ability to earn it. But probably not who wants out of the marriage more often. <P>Women are fully into the workforce now. <BR>However, the filing rate is not really about greed because, unless there are pay raises for those getting divorces, all parties lose. It is just who gets to keep the most valuable thing in the family, the children.<P>My suspicion is that it is roughly 50/50 for wanting out of the marriage. This is different than determining who filed for the divorce.<P>By the way, in the very old days, the children were most often awarded to the H not the W, because the H could afford to raise them. So the pendulum does swing. <P>Couldn't stay out of this either [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>JL<p>[This message has been edited by Just Learning (edited March 14, 2000).]

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