Edited by William S. Comanor
William S. Comanor This book originated with the complaints that have appeared in both the popular press and the academic literature as to the conduct of divorced and separated fathers. In the absence of marriage ties, these reports have suggested that many fathers have little interest or concern for their children. Many are even unwilling to make any ﬁnancial provision for them. They are labelled ‘Deadbeat Dads’, and regarded as the worst type of villain. While they may not have physically harmed their children, you would never know that from the vitriolic tone of the published reports. The evidence of this behaviour was well documented. Government statistics showed that most single mothers received no child support whatsoever from the fathers of their children. This absence was particularly common among never-married mothers, who are an increasingly high proportion of the total. Even among formerly married mothers, fewer than half received any support at all. Absent, non-paying fathers were an important social problem. While one could not refute the statistical evidence, the conventional explanation seemed incomplete. If married fathers were concerned for their children, what explains the dramatic shift in their attitudes when marriage ties are broken? One answer, of course, is that most fathers did not really care about their children when married, and that this lack of concern simply becomes more apparent in the absence of marriage. But that explanation was not consistent with much of what I saw. Could there be another, more subtle explanation? The attack on Deadbeat...