Fathers Have No Rights

A Lost Son, And Nothing Can Be Done

I wish to engage the bloggers and readers and seek their opinion regarding the lack of support for men’s rights as it pertains to child support and parental rights.

Let me first relate a situation of one of my family members. He has a lovely son by a former girlfriend, the relationship did not last as there were trust issues his part regarding an affair she had when he went oversea. This man gave his son everything he needed, paid all medical bills etc. He met a young lady about two years after the birth of his son, they hit it off and decided to get married. Almost immediately upon making that decision, he was hit with a summons to court for child support.  He related that during that court meeting the magistrate sympathised with him after hearing what the child’s mother was demanding, he was however told that once an application for maintenance was made, the court was obligated to act upon it. He offered to pay maintenance of $350.00 per month, and has done so until this day.

The Child is now 14 years old and was (note I said was) at a very good secondary school. During the Christmas break of 2007, the child’s mother told the father she was going away for the holiday and would take the child with her, no problem. The child was to return to commence the 2008 start of school.

After numerous calls and visits to the house, the father could not locate the child. Eventually he decided to visit the school, only to learn that the child had not returned to school and was not even on the register. Two months later, he received a call from mother inquiring about child support since she had made arrangement with someone to collect from the court. When questioned about taking the child she said she thought she had told him. Imagine that.

To this day after numerous inquiries to lawyers and magistrates, there is no recourse he can take regarding his parental rights, he even inquired whether he should discontinue child support, since the child was not even in the island, but was advised if he stopped he could face action by the courts.

What rights does this man have, or other men who have similar situations? The court system cannot just favour the woman. I recognise that there are fathers who run from their responsibility, by all means deal with them, but on the other hand don’t allow the mothers to get away with injustices against the fathers. The system has to be fair.

BFP Reader “Bajejun”

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43 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

43 responses to “Fathers Have No Rights

  1. J

    If this father knows where his child is living he should hire an attorney in that jurisdiction and seek custody and/or visitation.

    He should continue paying child support because the child is still his child and the child’s physical/financial needs still have to be provided for by BOTH of his parents.

    The mother should have told him that she planned to migrate with the child.

    The 14 year old child should have told his father that he was planning to migrate or had migrated. I wonder if the father has or has had any relationship with his child apart from a financial one. Was the child welcome at the home of his father and stepmother in the 12 years since the parents disagree? Was he a frequent and welcome visitor at his father’s home? Was he a frequent and welcome visitor in the homes of his father’s parents, siblings? and other relatives?

    Perhaps the mother did not inform the father that he planned to migrate because she feared that he would prevent her from taking the child with her. Perhaps the son did not tell his own father for the same reason. Maybe the 14 year old boy wanted to migrate.

    In a place like Barbados with a high rate of migration there is bound to be conflict between what is best for the father, for the mother, for the child. The father himself lived overseas in his youth, so he cannot rightly expect that the mother and child will stick to this rock like a couple of barnacles.

    This is life.

    S**t happens.

    ****************************

    BFP says,

    Actually, many jurisdictions have rules against one parent “kidnapping” the child to another country without either the permission of the other parent or due process in a court with a judge’s order.

    Had the father done the same thing J., you would be screaming for his arrest.

    And modern women wonder why there is a shortage of men willing to commit to a relationship? You see, a woman doesn’t have to really “commit” to a relationship, but right now with the way of law and society, when a man commits to a relationship he usually commits his home, his pension and a good portion of his income for the rest of his life – while having zero rights to his children.

    In the old days, we called it slavery.

  2. J

    “the relationship did not last as there were trust issues his part regarding an affair she had when he went oversea”

    Did the young father have affairs too when he lived overseas, or was he CELIBATE while living overseas?

    Since he could not have witnessed his girlfriend’s Barbados affair while he was living overseas, who then told him about the affair? And why?

    If his family of friends told him about her affair (while perhaps concealing his) why is anybody surprised that trust broke down all around?

  3. Anon

    You are writing as though this case is something unique.

    This and other things happen to men everyday day in Barbados. Don’t expect any help from lawyers or the Courts of Barbados.

    Grin and bear it.

  4. BFP

    BFP says,

    Actually, many jurisdictions have rules against one parent “kidnapping” the child to another country without either the permission of the other parent or due process in a court with a judge’s order.

    Had the father done the same thing J., you would be screaming for his arrest.

    And modern women wonder why there is a shortage of men willing to commit to a relationship? You see, a woman doesn’t have to really “commit” to a relationship, but right now with the way of law and society, when a man commits to a relationship he usually commits his home, his pension and a good portion of his income for the rest of his life – while having zero rights to his children.

    In the old days, we called it slavery.

  5. Anon

    My advice to him is to stop paying child support and force the issue.

  6. political whoredom

    get a good family lawyer

  7. Fool me once

    Ever hear of condoms? Don’t wear one man could be paying out for life and not ever see his child. Just the way it is.

  8. bajejun

    @J

    let me enlighten you a bit.
    The relationship between father and child was good,the amount of money paid to the court was not the suggestion of the court but the father, actually the migistrate at the time commented it was very generous. he visited the house as often as his mother would permit, though she would never let him sleep over, you must remember this maintenance order came about solely because this man decided to marry another.
    Living overseas was for 6 months during which he returned on weekends when permitted by the company. During on of these visits, he learned of the man, who was actually introduced to him by her as her cousin. Her mother actually confirmed that this was not so. According to him there were no affairs, whilst overseas. You however missed the point. A mother can just one day go to a court and have maintenance orders issued on a man whether or not that order is due to the welfare of the child or her way of getting back at the father. Unfortunately once a man has been placed before the court for child support society deems him a no good father, but is this always the case, how many times is this done due to a vindictive woman. we would never know , because once that maintenance order has been sought it is granted regardless of the evidence, men have no defence.
    Secondly the mother can then remove that child out of the country without the fathers knowledge, yet if that father s attempts to stop payment he can find himself before the court facing possible jail time. I challenge you or any other to show me where the rights of the father is being protected here.

  9. bajejun

    @ political whoredom

    thanks, he tried that, I actually suggested one, he went to two, the first sought to give her personal opinion without even a legal opinion, the second said there is not much can be done, except tracking her down overseas, sending her a letter, and hoping she responds.

  10. J

    Surprise, surprise BFP.

    J NEVER screams.

    J doesn’t believe in having fathers arrested for non-payment of child support so don’t put words in my mouth. I am quite capable of thinking. speaking, writing for myself.

    Note that my first recommendation is that the father hire a lawyer and seek custody/visitation in the jurisdiction in which the child is now living.

    Bottom line. J believes in good parenting.

  11. J

    And BFP

    When a woman gives birth to the best of my knowlege she committs to a relationship which lasts at least 18 years and in most cases lasts for a lifetime.

    So I don’t know what you talking about women not having to committ to a relationship.

    What do you think most mothers are if not fully committed.

    Actually some are so committed they should be committed (to Black Rock)

  12. J

    The father has to hire a lawyer in the child’s current jurisdiction.

    A Barbados lawyer or court order may not be valid overseas.

    If we want Barbados court orders to be recognized overseas we have to put some pressure on our politicians to make it happen. The last time I checked MOST OF THE POLITICIANS ARE STILL MEN. It is possible for our politicians to work out reciprocal agreements with regards to child custody/maintainance etc. with overseas jurisdictions but it will call for some WORK. The MEN of Barbados must ask the MEN in the big house at the top of Broad Street to get to WORK on this matter.

    No point crying, it calls for hard work.

    That said I am sorry for the father and for the child.

  13. Real Ting

    The funny thing is if a person is filing for status for a child in the US or immigrating with a child they have to have written indication from the other parent that there is no objection. maybe other countries are not so stringent.

  14. Bush tea

    …In this situation, Bush tea would give thanks and prayers to God;
    1) …. that I did not marry that woman;
    2) ..that she is out of my life – hopefully for ever…

    I would concentrate on my life with my wife and even forget the 14 year old- “almost a man” (…who may not even be my son – the way it appears…)

    People always get exactly what they deserve, unless she changes, she will be even more miserable wherever she happens to be now….
    I would pray that she changes her attitude and finds a happy life with her son.

    What lawyer what?!? (especially a ‘she?’) …keep yuh money, pay the $350 a few more years, and give thanks my brother !!!!

  15. Pat

    Bush Tea,

    You are right on the button. If there was no “joint custody” order there is not a peg leg for that father to stand on.

    Bajan fathers have to be advised by their “thieving lawyers” about all the ramifications/responsiblities in these matters. Most of these lawyers have the mentality that men just want to pay the $ and abondon the child. If I were a man, and paying $ through the courts for maintenance, I would insist on shared custody, half of the vacations and permission to take said child out of the island, with firm dates for return of same. Only in Bim.

  16. J

    Bush Tea you old cynic you!!!

  17. My Brother is in the same situation, all 3 of his children were taken to the usa and he still has to pay he refused and was arrested. It’s a fact that men have no rights once the woman makes it to the courts first.

    another feather in our corrupted systems cap.

    could lawd be my mercy.

  18. I Amnomouse

    Fathers receive little support from the authorities in matters pertaining to parental rights. His role in their eyes, is to provide finacial support for the child. They say fathers should be more involved in their children lives but this is only lip service. If the mother does not want the man to have anything to do with the child, there is little the man can do.
    MESA was formed to assist men in these situations but I doubt that they have had much success.

  19. Citizen

    Only in Bim!

    So what can we really do about it?

    It’ll take courageous and caring men willing to fight.

    How do we we fight this?

  20. J

    1. Father’s should ensure that their names are on the child’s birth certificate. This better than anything else documents your relationship to the child.
    2. Father’s could ask Immigration not to issue passports to their children without the father’s signature.
    3. Father’s could ask Embassies and High Commissions not to issue visas to their children without their consent.

  21. Pat

    Fathers who support their out of wedlock children should go to the court and get an order for shared/joint custody. They have an equal right to the child as the mother. Read the Barbados Family Law Act. If shared/joint custody is not covered, then peitition your representatives to have it amended.

    This is the 21st century.

  22. eureka

    it seems to me that to force a man to commit to a child that he doesn’t know the whereabouts of is dead wrong and if that is what the law is saying it needs to be amended.

    Can’t the braindead persons who enact these laws not desist from these one-sided rules that only lead to the exploitation of the males?

    I am all for men supporting their children but not buying a pig in a bag. If the child died sometime after he/she was taken from the area; how would the father know that such was the case and that support for same should be stopped?

    It is patently clear that the actions of the mother were filled with spite and malice and I hope she realizes that she is doing far more harm to that boy than good. He is going to grow into a man one day and when he finds out the truth, she is the one going to be in trouble.

    More than ever, we need to teach our children to love instead of to hate because at the end of the day hate destroys the hater not the hated. To the man afflicted by this situation, I say to you, keep the faith. The tables are going to turn one day and she is the one that’s going to be worse off.

  23. Underdog

    Can’t the father bring kidnapping charges against this woman? She took his child, for heaven’s sake!

  24. queenam

    why stop supporting the child? he needs to eat. just because you cannot see him does not change the fact that you are partially responsible for his welfare. you should have been committed to the relationship from day one. i guess she knew that you would have tried to stop her on her way to trying to make a better life for herself. also $350 a month for a 14 year old is totally ridiculous. treasure the memories. when he becomes a man, he would then be in a position to tell you that the money hardly did anything for him.

  25. JB

    I have read the comments of others, but they have not consider that the child had not been told that they we migrating instead only told that they were going on a holiday. Does the family not have an email address of the child I am sure that the boy have friends in school who probably contact him via email.

  26. bajan

    In my case, the mother of my eight year old daughter was complaining that the $600.00 a month which she received from me was not enough. So I chose to do the shopping so I could see how far the money would stretch. I only managed to do the shopping once, since then my daughter’s mother has refused to allow me to do any shopping for our child by not providing me with a list of things to be bought, she even went as far as to tell not to buy anything and deliver to her home for our child. Here is my question, what difference is it who dose the shopping? I would like to think that it does not matter so long as the child has what she needs at any given time.
    Her reason for acting this way is because as she puts it,” I am the child’s mother and no one knows better that me what our daughter needs”
    What can i do about this matter?

  27. I Amnomouse

    Women love to exaggerate and this is why they will not allow the father to do the shopping for the child.
    I think $600.00 is adequate to support one child for a month, if the child has no special needs and the mother is not unemployed.
    The problem however is; the money that is supposed to support the child, also has to pay the light, telephone, water, internet, hairdresser and nail artist bills etc.
    I used to give my child’s mother $200.00 weekly, recent cicumstances have forced me to reduce it by $50.oo and she is now complaining.
    Could such a small reduction be as devastating as she claims it is?

    @ bajan
    Remind her that some women have three and four children and have to make do with far less and they also have to go up Ch.Ch. and wait until a clerk feels like paying out the money. A lot of women would be willing to trade positions with her.

  28. Avatar Gurl

    Damn….

    After hearing this, it shames me to be a woman now, especially with all the stunts they pull.

    In all honesty, as a woman, I would prefer that that the father of my child will be in my child’s life. I would ben over backwards to work with the father to see that this happens. If he wants nothing to do with the child, then it is HE that will pay in the long run. But if he wants to shop for my child, by all means do that! I’ll give you a list of everything that he needs and I’ll pitch in too! Of course my relationship with the father will be friendly enough to ensure that the child will not be abandoned. I always like to be at least friendly with my exes, because it’s the right thing to do. Regardless of whose fault it is, if there was any.

    It’s a downright shame that certain women and men would pull this crap on each other. Makes me ashamed to call myself human.

  29. bajan

    Seeing that the mother of my child is not willing to cooperate by providing a list of needed items for our child, I am considering opening an account in my daughter’s name where I can deposit the money as oppose to handing over cash to her mother. My question is, can this be considered as child support? I will not giving her mother any money and she will not have access to the account.

  30. I Amnomouse

    If the mother does not have access to the account and you are not providing food, clothing and shelter for the child, then this cannot be considered as support.
    Ignore the mother complaints and give her the $600.oo in cash or by cheque, if you want to keep a record to show that you have financially supported your daughter.
    If she refuses to accept the money then you can put it in the account.

  31. bajan

    i have an email from her saying she the following “as i said before please refrain from asking me about a list because none will be coming and don’t waste your money buying anything for ******, because she has everything she needs.”

  32. Perpetual

    Thanks to all for their insightful comments and input on this matter – I hereby find myself in a similiar situation.

    My daughter is almost two years old and I’ve been there supporting her from day one, however, I moved to St. Lucia where I’m currently residing and that’s where the trouble is. The relationship broke down even before my daughter was born and I’ve constantly resisted her attempts to get back together – my daughter welfare is my primary and only concern! I’m now trying to get her to have me collect my daughter and bring her over to St. Lucia since I’ll be on two weeks vacation and she isn’t agreeing to it.

    It seems that I’ll have to go to the courts to get an order by filing a joint custody suit against her.

    Can anyone say if there’s any law that would prevent me from getting a court order that I can take her overseas and return at specified dates? Is me not being a Bajan a factor in this decision?

    I really would appreciate any and all feedback on this.

  33. Just Waiting

    “Fathers Have No Rights”
    This is not just a title, it is a fact of life in Barbados. There is a law that states that both parents of a minor consent, in order for a minor to get a passport. The reality is that mothers apply for passports for children without the consent of the fathers. The passports are granted, visas obtained and the children leave Barbados and the father is the last person know.

    You can try to get joint custody of your daughter or do like most men when faced with similar situations; forget about it and move on.

  34. J

    Perpetual wrote: “The relationship broke down even before my daughter was born and I’ve constantly resisted her attempts to get back together – my daughter welfare is my primary and only concern!”

    The best thing you can do for your daughter is to love, marry, and live peaceably with her mother.

    Since the woman who is raising your child wants to reconcile with you then it would be in your daughter’s best interest to reconcile.

    Do NOT let your friends mislead you into believing that your child will not be harmed by spending 50 weeks a year apart from either parent.

  35. Mr. C

    @ J:

    I’m not a believer in “doing it for the child…” because what if you’re not happy in the relationship, should you subject yourself to constant misery?

    We’ve both moved on with her life, but yet there’s an undying need on her part to get back together, for me there’s just too much history and stuff to look past.

    I know the time away from her will have an impact, but I just have to try to minimize that impact while maximising each chance we get to be together.

    Does anyone know a good lawyer that can be recommended, should it have to go the direction of joint-custody?

    Thanks.

  36. J

    Dear Bajan:

    I think that you are being petty.

    A shopping list for a child changes from day to day and from month to month and from year to year. I think that you should pay up the $600 AND shut up.

    Here are some of the costs of child raising from someone who knows.

    Daycare expenses for a preschooler is $50 or more per week. Formula is $15 per can and a child needs 8 to 10 of those per month, diapers are about 50 cents per diaper and a child needs 100 to 150 per month for a minimum of 2 years. Doctor’s visits or the cost of health insurance has some cost attached, let’s say $30 per month, add to this the cost of clothing shelter, utilities etc as outlined below.

    Let us suppose that your child is older and needs
    $180 for a pair of running shoes because he/she child runs for his school, and may even make the Olympics in 2012; lets suppose that while shopping for the shoes the child became hungry and bought a wrap (sandwich) which costs $9 and a drink for $2. Bus-fare to and from the shopping trip is $3. Let us suppose that your child entered the “Run for Life” race on Sunday; bus-fare to/from the race $6. say your child is studying art at school and needs $40 for stationery and art supplies. Suppose your child has asthma doctor’s visits are $80 each time and asthmatic children require frequent visits.

    Let us suppose the child uses the internet everyday, so let us put $25 per month for internet use, the child uses about $35 per month in electricity, of $6 per month for water, $6 per month for cooking gas, the child lives in a house the mortgage payment is $1,000 per month put part of that to your child’s account, maybe $300 per month for shelter allowance for your child, or maybe the mother is renting a cheap place or living home at her parents (not yours) still there is a cost attached to sheltering your child, let’s say $150 then per month then (’cause remember even the most recent Guyanese immigrant pays more than $150 per month for shelter) Your child has his/her own well furnished bedroom remember. Let us allow $15 per month for property tax and $20 per month for house insurance (remember your child will inherit part or all of the house when the mother dies, remember also that in case of fire or flood or hurricane you do not want your child sleeping in the road so pay your child’s part of the insurance) the child eats and needs cleaning supplies, detergent, soap, maybe sanitary napkins, toothpaste. deodorant etc. let’s say the cost of things from the supermarket is $300 per month. Let us say that the child went to two overseas language learning or athletic events in his school career and that each cost between $1,000 and $2,000. Suppose the child goes to church most Sundays and needs to give something for the work of the church and the Lord. The child needs a little academic help so lessons every week for X number of years is $20 to $30 per week. Let’s suppose that the child has 2 or more years of music, dance or swimming lessons, at a cost of $10 to $40 per lesson. Let’s us suppose the child is a member of the Scouts/Guides and needs to get sleeping bags, pay camp fees etc. Back to school supplies every September is $1,500. Let us add here the cost of grooming and clothing. A haircut for a boy at least once a month is $15, a hairdo for a girl at least once a month is $50 or more. Clothing including shoes for school, soft shoes for games/athletics, church shoes, fair/party/cinema shoes will be a minimum of $400 per year for footwear. Add something for dresses, jeans, t-shirts and other casual clothes and a little extra for good church clothes. Add a little something for recreation, fairs, cinema, picnics etc.

    Now let us consider the older child who needs driving lessons, let us say 20 lessons at $50 per lesson. Let us suppose a child who is at university at home the minimum fee is $700 and books about another $700. Let us say the child is at UWI, St. Augustine or Mona and needs an air ticket there every September and one home for Christmas and one back in January and one home in June. Four tickets x $500 for St. Augustine. Four tickets x $900 for Mona. Let us suppose that you are a nice dad and decide to help with post graduate education overseas add a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum $400,000 if you are a daddy who likes to say to the fellows that you give your children “everything they want” Now let us suppose that your little Johnny or Susie is all grown up and you decide to put in one quarter of what it costs for a nice family wedding, you want to invite your parents, brothers, sisters and the boys let’s call that $3,000. Let us say that you add one final gift. Your grown up son or daughter wants to buy a houses-pot because you ain’t got no family land ’cause your own daddy didn’t think to help you out that way. Let say you give your little Johnny or Susie a 10% down payment on an average lot. that will be about $6,000 to $10,000.

    Let us say that you pay half of the above expenses and the mother chips in the other half.

    Let us suppose that the mother spends far more of her time doing hands-on care for your child, that is feeding, bathing, dressing, hair grooming, giving medicine, taking to the beach, to church, playing with, taking to daycare, lessons etc. This frees you up so that you have more time for work, study or recreation, BUT it means that the mother has less time for her own work, study and recreation, let us say that in acknowledgment of this you give her a little something for herself.

    Now add it all up and tell me if you really believe that $6oo per month is too much money for your child’s needs.

    .

  37. J

    Dear C:

    I seriously think that you should see a well qualified family counselor before you see a lawyer. A good counselor can help you BOTH to get past “the stuff” and put the “history” in the past where all history belongs.

    I am not suggesting that you live together miserably. However I am suggesting that you BOTH can LEARN how to live together happily.

    It seems to me that once lawyers are let into family matters involving children the naturally adversarial way of the law runs counter to the cooperation that is needed for successful child raising.

    Take note that all the best family lawyers who are currently raising children or who have successfully raised children are themselves married and that they stay married.

    But they are happy to to do what ever you want – even if it is not in your child’s best interest – for a nice fee.

    themselves

  38. Mr. C

    J:

    I agree completely with you and I’ve tried to resolve the situation amicably, however, the mom thinks me spending time with my daughter is a favour she’s granting me as opposed to my right as a dad – a father is just a sperm donor – time bonding is an entitlement as a dad!

    I’ve given her a chance to work out a compromise without having to resort to the courts, but it seems like that’s the only way to go to get a favorable result now.

    Where would you recommend to look for a counsellor?

    Thanks.

  39. frustrated

    and i was beginning to believe that only me knew about that type of problem , this is the same system that we respect and honor but is encourages these type of things and the courts do nothing about it , order or not these women just do as they like and nothing happens let a man miss a few payments and he feels the full warth of the law , the funny thing about this situation is that most of the time it is a man that gives advise to these same women .

  40. gave up

    I do not have custody, i am a paycheck to my x. I love my children and they love me. When any medical emergency comes along with my children im asked to pay but not allowed to be there because my ex says no. I give up, i have spent everything i own on lawyers. Ive lost my job, my home, my car, and my license. I now live with the only women who understands what true love is, My Mom. Stories i could tell would not be believed. I give up. I give up. I give up.I can only stand by and wait for a call telling me i can see the kids because she has something to do. I give up, I give up, i give up and so should you. When my children are old enough they will find me. My oldest does now and one younger who is so despondent with life she threatened suicide at school and was committed today . The only reason i knew about the incident, was the oldest called and told me against her mothers wishes. I called the school to inform them politely i was on my way to my daughters side. I raced in the car to my daughter where upon arrival i was detained by no less than 10 officers who informed i have no custody rights and the school was in lock down and i was detained in a room till all students left the premises, of course where i could hear my daughter screaming for her father. I was then released and told to contact a lawyer. I was frisked, embarrassed, humiliated, but most of all brokenhearted, i am only a check. This happened 2 hours ago and i do not know where my baby is. If i find her , i will only be arrested . I will sit here and cry and cry. I am not a father, i am a check. I give up, I give up, I give up. I have no more money for lawyers, i am a blank check. I hope my 13 year old makes it to 18. Then maybe i wont be a check anymore. I tell you it is a lost cause for fathers. There are no such things as fathers rights. Once you learn that, you can only pray your children will come to you when they get older. I give up, I give up, I give up!

  41. BFP

    Hello gave up,

    God bless you brother. I understand more than I can tell you. been there. done that.

    good luck and just live day by day as best as you can. try to have a good morning and then try to have a good afternoon. you must be strong.

    george

  42. swww

    i want custody of i children what should i do

  43. 98

    i am a good father to my child my child mother was put out when she was 17 we live together for over ah year my chiild is 5 months me and she get way when i found out she was horning me now i cant see my child and people from out by she calling telling me y i dont take my child from she she ill treating the lil boy nutting int gone court yet but the same family that put she out paying lawyer too send letters to me saying i cant see my child i kno she dont really care about that child but them doing this to spite me all i want is too b able to see my child i int want nutting go threw court because i dont want my child going threw this foolishness that call law but if it come to that i would persue only for visitation but to all men if u love your child withing your self fight for your children and in the and the child will love u