Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Most Wanted Deadbeat Parents

The Americans seem full of ideas about how child support may be recovered. The latest, coming from a mother of triplets who has spent eleven years battling to get child support from their father, is to make a television programme aimed at 'deadbeat' parents. The programme Most Wanted Deadbeat Parents "will be presented in a 1-hour television format in which four (4) of the most serious deadbeat offenders are profiled on-camera using photo’s, court records, interviews with acquaintances and victims and information obtained through public records in an attempt to narrow the geographic area in which the offender was last known to frequent and then bring in local law enforcement agencies. When possible, a MWDBP camera crew will be on-site when “deadbeats” located due to “tips” from television program viewers are apprehended by local law enforcement agencies".

According to this report, the programme is not looking to target parents who genuinely cannot afford to pay child support, but rather those who can afford it but choose not to pay. The idea behind the programme seems to be twofold. Firstly, "through the help of the general viewing public, locate serious “deadbeat” offenders and through local law enforcement agencies, bring them before the courts where they can". Secondly, to encourage 'deadbeats' to pay up, rather than face being shamed on television.

I'm sure that there may be some on this side of the Atlantic who would be horrified by this idea, but is it really any different from those TV programmes we watch that 'expose' other types of wrongdoing?

6 comments:

  1. American tv has always been crap. Hence why they copy our format and programmes at the moment.

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  2. Perhaps on this occasion we should follow their idea?

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  3. No. Single Mums are their through fault of their own.

    There's a broad brush one size fits all rule as ridiculous as the CSA formula for you.

    Deadbeat Dads v Single Mums mud wrestling might be more interested in.

    Did mean it about the single Mums just saying that should go back to courts as CSA idea is bringing governments into disrepute.

    There are many shades of grey between black and white. I prefer the Danish model. And Danish models indeed ;-).

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  4. I was disappointed that you did not put my last comment up.

    The point being that you miss is that relegating the father to the role of child maintenance provider is undermining the development of children by encouraging fatherlessness.

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  5. Your comment is now up - I saw it, but got sidetracked before publishing it.

    The story in this post is not about 'Deadbeat Dads v Single Mums'. Mothers as well as fathers can be 'deadbeat parents', as the woman behind the programme referred to in the post made quite clear, in the report to which I linked.

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  6. My english was appauling, has been a very difficult week and it wasn't as good as I thought it was.

    To be more articulate, Government doesn't tell parents when they are together how much to spend on their children, so doing so when they part is discriminatory. Also the broad brush thing means second families and rich new partners are not considered when perhaps they should be.

    Also, I did not mean that comment about single Mums. I have met some fine ones.

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