The upfront article in today's newspaper is about errant dads who do not pay up. When it comes to issues like this, you can trust Blur Ting to speak up.
A divorcee who started a support group for divorced men and women said, "Out of 10 women I meet, 5 or 6 would have an ex who is not paying the full maintenance, or worse, has disappeared."
Why am I not surprised? I'm in the same boat but I had already seen it coming. Most marriages break up as a last resort because the couple simply could no longer get along. They don't feel sympathy for each other. In other words, they don't give a hoot even if they see you struggling.
Maybe because I was already mentally prepared not to expect any support and because I knew my ex so well, I decided to become financially independent to save myself from grief down the road. I knew that if I were to find employment, I wouldn't be able to earn enough to raise my kids single-handedly. The only way out for me was to start a business. At least I knew that I had more control of my destiny.
An increasing number of financially-troubled women are seeking for help from the MPs. To get a maintenance order enforced, they can go to Family Court. Unfortunately there is no instant solution. Mediations and court hearings can drag for months which explains why most neglected families do not go to court. Some are poorly informed while others are too busy working.
Like most of the neglected families, I would never think of going to Family Court. To be honest, it is a big waste of time. Which single mother would have the time on her hands and stamina for such long-drawn hearings and end up with nothing? You may even get fired if you keep taking leave to attend such hearings. It's simply impractical.
Some women remarry in the hope that this will ease their financial burden. They end up having more children with the new spouse but should the marriage fail, there will be more mouths to feed.
That has never been an option for me as well. I don't believe in burdening anyone else with the responsibility of looking after my kids and their welfare. That is why being financially independent is so important to me. If anyone should be responsible for the upbringing of the kids, it should always be the parents.
Today's article heading is right. "When errant dads don't pay up, the kids suffer". There are many divorced men out there who are irresponsible. Some remarry without providing for their first families. Others are breadwinners who have the financial means to support their families but do not give a hoot about them after a divorce.
Ultimately, the kids suffer. They feel insecure and confused, caught in the middle between two warring parents.
Sadly, apart from legal recourse, there is nothing much one can do to make a man act more responsibly.