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Children not better off when delinquent father jailed- Doug Wheatley

According to talk show host Doug Wheatley, children are no better off when fathers are jailed for being delinquent on their child support payment. Photo: VINO/File
A Virgin Islands resident said he does not believe in jailing a man for child support, ‘because you lock him up, he still has to pay the child support anyway.’ Photo: VINO/File
A Virgin Islands resident said he does not believe in jailing a man for child support, ‘because you lock him up, he still has to pay the child support anyway.’ Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- There have been mixed reactions over an alleged situation where a relative of a man, who is said to have fallen on the other side of the law for owing several thousands in child support, received the “all or nothing” response when he showed up to the authorities with $2,500 on the man’s behalf.

The alleged matter was brought to the public by the host of the 3D Show on 780 AM ZBVI, Doug Wheatley, on Friday January 27, 2017.

According to Mr Wheatley, a gentleman approached him a few days ago with tears in his eyes speaking on the “unfairness of how the government was dealing with persons whose fathers were delinquent in their child support”.

“I spoke about this last week when a lady approached me about it with tears in her eyes as well, but this week it was a gentleman, and basically this is what he said, he has a relative who is delinquent and he is delinquent in the tune of several thousand dollars and he was working. And he was picked up from his work and he was taken to court and from court, he was sent up to Balsam Ghut [Her Majesty’s Prison].”

Children not better off

The programme host argued that the children are not better off because of this.

“Now he was taken from working, and he is put in a place where he is not working and making an income,” he argued, “and of course this child is no better off today than he was yesterday.”

He continued, “But the father on his own volition decided, well, I would have to help this relative of mine and so he put together about $2,500 to see if he could pay…and if that would help the situation and the relative could be released and he could work and make money and get back up to speed on the remainder. And when he offered to pay this 2,500 the powers that be told him it is all or nothing.”

Sad situation

“This was very sad for the gentleman and he came to me and he expressed this: Why not accept the 2,500 that I am giving you? Release the young man, allow him to get a job, and we will monitor him and see that he comes up with the other $2,500 or whatever the balance is, but in fact, according to this individual, they were turned down.”

“That was not a good thing,” Wheatley surmised.

The situation of jailing delinquent fathers has been a hot topic of debate in several quarters. Family Support Network (FSN) Director Dr Sylvia M. Simmonds believes that there should be a system where these fathers’ paychecks are monitored, with their child maintenance coming out before he receives pay. She has pointed out in the past that this is one of the suggestions that could actually work.

Virgin Islands News Online sought out two other men to find out just what they thought of the dilemma.

The men preferred to remain unknown since they said they did not want the story to be about them but rather on the situation at hand.

Not in support of jail time

“Honestly speaking, I don’t believe in jailing a man for child support, because you lock him up, he still has to pay the child support anyway. But if somebody made a collective effort, they should give the man a chance, let him come out and do what he got to do,” the first man we interviewed said.

Give him a work release to pay back

“If he is in jail, give him a work release, let him come out and work when he make the money, let him come out of jail.”

He said in his opinion many men wilfully neglect their children because of one reason or the other, including not having sexual intercourse with the mother anymore.

“You have children, you have responsibilities, deal with your responsibilities.”

Interviewee number two said there has to be a valid reason behind men was defaulting in payments in the first place.

“Sometimes men just fall short, but some women just end up spending your money and doing nonsense and forget about the children. There has to be a reason behind that, either he thinks the child is not his or the woman did him wrong, but at the end of the day, you are hurting the child than you are hurting the mother.”

16 Responses to “Children not better off when delinquent father jailed- Doug Wheatley”

  • cay (30/01/2017, 10:51) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    But there is no dam jobs
  • Myo (30/01/2017, 11:14) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    I think it's wrong to lock them up and then when released they still have to pay the money. It's like they are being punished twice. Yes, some are willfull with not paying but locking up us not solving this problem. If a man owed 5,000 and has 2,500 to pay I don't see why the court would not bend and accept this money. At least he's trying now. This whole system needs to be re-vamped. I agree with Doug, let them out on work release snd have their pay go straight to the court in support of their child or children. Locking them up without an alternative makes no sense. And if a man is not wirking, what is he to do? Steal and then end up in a worst faith in prison?
    • Oh Please (30/01/2017, 22:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      he had no call owing so much that means he wasnt paying a long time and he figure he got away. Not sorry one bit. Lock them up yes..let them think about doing better. they too badmind.
  • A Mother (30/01/2017, 12:42) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    So Doug, this is my story. My ex husband have a job and he is still not paying support to his son. I am not a greedy person, I ask my ex to give me $50.00 per week and he refuse to do so.
    I don't bother him anymore for anything. One day the son that he refuse to support is going to be the one that the father is going to call to on for something.
  • Wicked (30/01/2017, 12:47) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wuthless fathers, support ya children dem. jah jah gonna beat ya
    • @ Wicked (30/01/2017, 20:11) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      If you think these one sided laws are sane, I really pity you!!!!!!!!
  • teary I (30/01/2017, 12:48) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    nuff tears in dem eys man...croc a dile tears? Ayo stop crying and pay child support
  • Yes (30/01/2017, 13:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Check close to home first
  • please (30/01/2017, 15:17) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lock their deadbeat behinds up. They don't want to support their own but, you see them up and down driving nice cars and spending on themselves. I am for locking them up, taking their cars, taking their passports, garnishing their earnings if they are working ETC... They don't want to support their kids and when the kids are grown and they become a Doctor, Lawyer ETC... Then the deadbeats want to come around about that is their child. That is when you give the deadbeats a swift kick down a flight of stairs like I did to my sons father when I was living in the States.
  • Xxx (30/01/2017, 20:59) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    A lot of men who break up with the child/children mother's would not support the child/children because the women don't want to give the men sex anymore. When you see men suffering in their older years, it is because they deny their children needs.
  • value (30/01/2017, 22:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am not sympathetic to this situation. why owe and you can pay. not paying it makes it add up and for how little these men pay in the BVI is a insult. I blame the court. Why is this man and many others allowed to owe so much money. Why isnt there a system in place to check when these deadbeats not paying. I dnt understand why these men crying fowl when the police hold them and they flaunting big ride etc and always off island. They are wilfull. Lock them up yes.
  • Really? (31/01/2017, 03:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Delinquent fathers don't often give much thought to their spawn produced from 20 minutes of pleasure.
  • Send (31/01/2017, 05:58) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lock all the deadbeat fathers up who refuse to pay child support.
  • Love (31/01/2017, 09:50) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    there are also dead beat mothers who taking the children money and minding there men
  • time (31/01/2017, 14:54) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    If you fall behind 6 months - they should castrate. I swear every man on this island would be up to date!
  • (01/02/2017, 03:51) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thing is when they don't support the child/children and the mother becomes involved again he (the biological) vex that another man taking care of his child/children and want to start strife. But as one blogger truly said WHEN THOSE SAME CHILDREN BECOME GROWN HE (the biological) WANT TO SHOW UP AND BRAG. Won't brag with mine that's for damn sure. Don't want to give my child you could keep that shit. My child WILL SURVIVE without you. Trust me on that

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