Lis and the Single Girl: Some Dads Are Anything But Deadbeat

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Single and fabulous? Well then this is the column for you!

Ever wish you had your own personal Carrie Bradshaw to answer your questions — not just about what to do if your boyfriend dumps you via text message — but serious issues that confront us? This special daily edition of “Lis on Law” will address topics that single women are faced with and that everybody wonders about — but no one has time to figure out.

Between work, working out, dating and maintaining a social life, it’s tough to find time to do much else. So, read up and prepare to be fully armed for brunch this weekend with your friends with some super conversation topics! Your pals will be amazed!

* Scroll to the bottom for disclaimer information

After our column last week on deadbeat dads we got a ton of letters from our male readers who have been anything but deadbeats. So this is a shout out to them.

To all single fathers out there raising children without support from the child’s mom, I did not mean to imply that all divorced fathers are deadbeats. Far from it, in fact! I was simply giving advice to the women who happen to be dealing with those who are. To clarify, as of the 2002 census data figures, some 674,000 divorced moms are required to pay child support … and 385,000 of them actually pay all or some of that support. That leaves some 289,000 "deadbeat" mothers out there. This is rarely reported in the media.

Sixty-eight percent of divorced dads do pay some or all of their child support, again, according to 2002 census data figures). But the problem of deadbeat dads is still significant because many more men than women owe child support. Data shows that only 4.3 million moms out of 6.3 million moms owed are actually paid, leaving a startling two million deadbeat dads out there. Because of these overwhelming numbers deadbeat dads have been put in the spotlight more than deadbeat moms. I’m not claiming women should receive any preferential treatment from the legal system — being a single father is just as hard as being a single mother. But money missing from child support hurts the child more than either parent!

And remember, whether you are a mom or dad, try to shield your child from the reality of a non-paying parent. Turning one parent into the villain will only stress your child, not get you your support payment.

Bottom line — no matter which parent is defaulting on payments, tell it to a judge, not your child. Always think of the best interest of your child.

• Have a question for Lis? E-mail her and check back tomorrow for another edition of "Lis and the Single Girl."

• CLICK HERE for yesterday's entry!


• Child support

• The Office of Child Support Enforcement

• Moms Can Be Deadbeats Too

• Family Law, 2nd edition; Harris, & Teitelbaum (Aspen)

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The information contained in this Web site feature entitled “LIS ON LAW,” is provided as a service to visitors of, and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship. FOX NEWS NETWORK, LLC makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site feature and its associated sites. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of your own counsel.

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Lis Wiehl joined FOX News Channel as a legal analyst in October 2001. She is currently a professor of law at the New York Law School. Wiehl received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1983 and received her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland in 1985. In addition, she earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1987. Lis is also the author of The 51% Minority — How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It. (Watch the Video) To read the rest of Lis's bio, click here.