How To Get Back At A “Deadbeat” Dad

Wondering how to get back at your deadbeat dad? Getting back at deadbeat dads can be in the form of:

  • Setting boundaries to protect your child.
  • Learning all about the legal options open to you.
  • Document any and all interactions.
  • Confront him but do not bad-mouth him to your kid.
  • Go on with your life and be realistic about him coming back.

As a father, you need to be involved in your children’s lives more than just extending financial support. You also have to pay the emotional currency. The right to fatherhood is a ride that comes with a lot of responsibility that some people could not be bothered with. This leads to there being a burden placed on the remaining spouse to protect their children from an unreliable man, but how to do this?

It requires a lot of knowledge, patience, and a realistic view in order to deal with a deadbeat dad. You do not want to alienate the child from their father by bad-mouthing them. Sometimes his view and perception can be changed, and other times it is better to utilize the law to help you deal with him.

Daughter holding teddy bear while looking at her drunk deadbeat dad passed out on floor

Related Reading: 6 Ways to Ignore Your Dad

Although child support can be seen as the mother being vindictive, and in some cases, it may be, in most cases, the mother needs financial support in order to make sure that their child is safe and healthy.

Make sure to demand the money from the deadbeat father and track any documentation used to reach out for child support in case he refuses, and you have to take him to court. Your children are entitled to financial support, and you’ll be letting the court do all the talking for you.

Be clear about what you need and when they still resist, serve them the papers and move on. Make sure to separate your feelings from this and treat it as a business transaction so that your judgment is not clouded.

Call Him Out on His Actions and Confront Him

Communication is important in order to find out the intentions of your partner. Often you may let things slide, believing that it is just a phase or that things will change, but it is important to confront him and question his actions.

This way, you will know where you and your child/children stand. If he is incompetent, let him know. It may make him change his behavior.

Move On With Your Life and Forgive Yourself

Learn to forgive yourself and don’t blame yourself for having made a mistake by picking him as a partner to father your child. Focus on you and your child and making your life better. Going on with your life will be the best way to get back at him because it will prove that you aren’t stuck on him and do not need him. Limit the contact that you have with him.

Once you have let the court deal with him, learn not to depend on him and begin to set yourself up for success. Get together with other single moms and create a group where you can all support yourself so that you can have that help when you might need a babysitter so that you don’t constantly go back to asking the deadbeat father for help.

What Makes a Dad a Deadbeat?

Being able to predict the future would come in handy in situations like this. However, as that is not a possibility, the next best thing is to know what signs to recognize if a man is not a father figure and strong provider.

  • Any promises that he makes he finds hard to keep. He may promise to take the child out for their birthday but then come up with an excuse at the last minute. Sure, the excuse could be valid, but if he regularly bails at the last minute, then the pattern tells you exactly what you can expect in the future.
  • He never feels like he is in the wrong and refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. It is possible that he has been enabled all his life by those around him, and so he has never had to be responsible and won’t start now.
  • He is adept at avoiding answering important questions and manipulating you and your feelings to suit any situation to his liking.

Do Deadbeat Dads Have Rights to Their Children?

Yes, even as a non-custodial parent, a deadbeat dad can still have a right to decide their child’s major life decisions such as the kind of schooling they get, etc. Unless ordered by the court, the mother cannot keep the father from seeing their child as they can get in trouble with the law.

Related Reading: Removing Your Father’s Name From Your Birth Certificate

The Mother Gets to Call the Shots

As the mother, you get to call the shots and decide if he is sincere about wanting to be involved in the kid’s life and to do the right thing. You assess and decide if he is ready to be the father that the children need. Should you find him lacking, you have an obligation to say no.

A deadbeat dad may have the right to be a part of the children’s lives, but you can say no to his inconsistent demands of picking up his child whenever he pleases or only showing up for a couple of days and then disappearing again for a couple of months.

As much as it is your obligation to create a path for him should he prove to want to be responsible, you set the terms and create an environment that you feel will work best for your children, not what is convenient for him.

Continue Reading: Bad Fathers: 9 Signs of Toxic Dads That Hurt Kids


At the end of the day, it’s not about one bad person or the other; it’s what’s best for the kids. Seeking revenge instead of letting go and moving on would be detrimental to you and your children. You would be giving him power over you, and that is something that you do not want.

Skip to content