June 10, 2021

Here's a story with all the feels. This kid's father dumped 80,000 pennies on her lawn as his final child support payment. What a guy!

I know child support's a touchy subject, and everyone has their own perspective. (Go read the comments on the YouTube video. All women are greedy monsters!) I also know men sometimes get screwed in court. But I also know from personal experience that at least some men (*cough* ex-husband *cough*) think child support of any amount is a horrible imposition and an impediment to living the wonderful new lives they plan for themselves. ("How am I supposed to have any kind of life when I'm paying you all this money? Rogaine is $75 a month!" said the man who paid $35 a week support for two kids under the age of 10.)

We went through a lengthy mediation process and, when the mediators finally agreed that he simply wasn't paying enough and could easily afford more, he got up and walked out. (He wanted my parents to buy clothes and shoes for the kids.) That's when I reluctantly took him to court.

He decided he would appeal to the judge for reducing even that small amount he was already paying "because I should be able to deduct the cost of feeding them while I have them." Uh huh.

Funny story. At the time, I worked for a local newspaper where I also wrote a political column. The judge kept saying I looked familiar, and asked if he knew me. "I don't think so, your honor," I said.

"No, I know you. You're that girl who writes that column," he said. Gulp. Game over. I'd written a column about his unsuitability for the bench, and now it was going to bite me in the ass.

But then my ex decided to open his mouth, and made his argument for why he should pay even less. The judge was not persuaded.

"You know, sir, I get fathers in here all the time, begging to be allowed more time with their children," he said. "But I believe this is the first time a father has ever come before me to ask for a rebate for time spent with their children. Increase granted," he said, slamming his gavel.

(My ex and his lawyer thought it was "obvious" I got favorable treatment because the judge knew who I was. Hah!)

Now, I obviously don't know the circumstances of this family's particular divorce. But I do know these father's actions -- the fact that he brooded over this perceived injustice for years and planned this hostile gesture toward his children's mother, and made it clear to his 18-year-old child that he thought of her only as a burden -- indicate he is a very angry person and is not enough of an adult to think about how his actions affect his daughter.

And I suspect that there is a good reason why this child has no relationship with her biological father. (I'm gonna take a wild guess that he's also a Trumper.)

Via FamilyLawNews:

“He stopped in front of the house and turned on the trailer so he’d thrown all the pennies on the grass and my mother came out and said, What are you dumping in my garden? She didn’t know who it was until he screamed, it’s your final child support, “said Sanford.

[...] With the pennies collected, Sanford and her mother decided to turn a bad situation into a positive one. Every penny of Avery’s last child support payment is donated to Safe Harbor, a domestic violence center.

[...] Avery hasn’t spoken to her father in years. She said the penny incident proves she made the tough but right decision to stay clear, and she said she was not interested in being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect her mother.

It's all very sad. Dads: Don't let your lizard brain take over, and don't use your kids to punish your ex.

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