Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dear Abby misses the point

Glenn Sacks complains about a Dear Abby column:
Dear Abby: My sister has five children, all younger than 18. She has full custody and receives child support every month from her ex-husband. The problem is, she has been spending that money on her boyfriends instead of her children. ...

Dear Alarmed Auntie: Your sister's behavior is not only irresponsible, ...
So we have an identifiable father (who also pays child support every month), yet while Abby does recommend "contacting" him "if possible," she seems to hold out foster care placement as an apparently better (or equally viable) option.
Sacks suggests sending a complaint to Dear Abby (daughter of the original Dear Abby).

A little-known fact is that there is nothing illegal about the mom spending all the child support money on her boyfriends. There is nothing the dad, the court, or CPS can do about that. It is a flaw in the child support law.

CPS can do something about child neglect. It would be better to address the underlying problem, which is usually the fact that the dad has been cut out of the picture. If they shared joint custody, then the mom would be a whole lot less likely to get away with being so irresponsible.

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