The Politics of Child Support in America

By Jocelyn Elise Crowley | Go to book overview

6
Women Leaders as Challenger Entrepreneurs

The letters were stacked high in her office that January in 1984. Each was different, yet, in many ways, each was the same. It almost did not matter which ones she chose to bring with her and quote as she faced the Senate's Committee on Finance later that month.

I called my Senator to ask for help. His secretary told me that the best thing to do was to sell my house and go on welfare. She said that the Senators get lots of letters from women who can't get their husbands to pay support, and that all they could tell them to do was to keep going through the legal system or just to go on welfare and let the State take care of it.–An Indiana Mother

Because of his lack of support, I have had to borrow money and feed my children out of the food banks. I have tried to go through consumer credit, and they stated they don't know how I have existed this long.–AWashington Mother

My ex-husband is an entertainer in a known group. This group has done extensive travel in the United States, overseas, and has even sung at the White House in Washington for the President. And yet, no one can get him to pay support for his child.–A North Carolina Mother

I have written to our Attorney General, prosecuting attorney, Citizens Complaints, and the judge who has had us in court several times. So far it hasn't done anything. Right now, my ex has arrearages in child support up to $16,000. I don't believe the State would allow this to happen if I was that far behind in taxes; I wouldn't have a home.–A Missouri Mother

I was quite young when my divorce was granted, and I just assumed that when problems with child support payments arose that some legal process would intervene and enforce the original court order. However, my frustration quickly turned into an agonizing obsession. This attitude and indifference of the people in charge of local programs is shocking. Their collective opinions are: “If you are getting anything, feel lucky.” Well, I don't. Through all of this procrastination, my son

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