Demographically, the active proponents for shared parenting, with few exceptions, are divorced, middle class white males who claim that they have been “relegated” to being visitors in their kids lives and have no opportunity to engage in the decision-making process for their children’s welfare. Demographics aside, these are also men who are typically unable to communicate with their former spouses or partners in a meaningful manner, or to work together. Invariably, they will all blame their former spouses or partners for the problems. They will typically blame the divorce on their former spouses, accepting no responsibility. Most will claim that they never saw the divorce coming. Most will also argue that the “no fault” divorce laws are at fault. Some will claim that their former spouses or partners deny them visitation or access to their children. Some also are delinquent in their child support -- through no fault of their own of course. Some have been to jail for child support, domestic violence (which they deny engaging in) or for violating restraining orders (which they claim were unlawfully obtained or are based entirely on lies.)
From a practical standpoint, their marriages and relationships were dysfunctional. The relationships remain dysfunctional. The stories they tell are all one sided. There is no reasonable way to get the “other side” of the story from their ex.
The show Deadbeat Dads will show men behaving badly. This goes against the image that the deadbeat apologists are trying to portray. They want to portray men as being marginalized by society, the victims of feminism, and victims in all senses of the word. Sacks, on his blog, will quickly publish stories about men being marginalized and women who kill or abuse their children. Yet, the large numbers of men who kill their children and families are rarely addressed unless a victim slant to the story can be spun, usually based on speculation.
The numbers of men who do not willingly or voluntarily pay child support to their ex-wives or partners is staggering. The deadbeat apologists attempt to spin the story to be one of an unfair child support system that is beating up on men who are living in poverty. They vehemently denounce suggestions that a man should find an extra source of income, or lower his standard of living so that he can at least pay something in child support.
Men who could pay something in child support but do not are, in a simple term, dysfunctional. The reason that they do not pay even something can be attributed to their intense dislike of their former spouses or partners. If they will not do even that, it makes it very hard for Sacks and the other deadbeat apologists to argue that they would be good candidates to share custody of their children with their former spouse.
The facts are very simple. Deadbeat Dads will be portraying men who have wholly failed to willingly provide any financial support for their children for a number of years. They have dropped out of the lives of their children. They will all claim to be victims of any number of different circumstances, all of which they could have done something about, but didn’t. They will experience the full force and effect of the laws that have been written to protect children from selfish and dysfunctional men, and appropriately so.
The deadbeat apologists are claiming that these men are victims, and deserve to be portrayed to the public and the world as fine, upstanding individuals who have run into a few problems here and there. To portray them as anything but victims would harm the efforts to convince legislators that shared parenting is a good, wholesome plan that will benefit children.
The deadbeat apologists are correct in one thing. These deadbeats are victims. They are victims of their own selfishness, greed, stupidity, and dysfunctional behavior.