Midlands man fights dead-beat dad label

Washington says the court system is unfair because he says he is taking care of his daughter.

/ Sara Jane harris

Timothy Washington has hundreds of receipts and bank statements that he TMs kept to prove he is a good father.

Every month the Lugoff resident said he is required by the court to hand over $500, half of his monthly income, to the mother of his five-year old daughter.

For years Washington said he paid through the court, but stopped after the mother kept coming back to him for more.

"She would call me and tell me the lights were off or she would call me and tell me her car wouldn TMt run," said Washington.

Washington said she would ask him to pay her phone bills, water bills and electricity bills, to keep his daughter well cared for.

Washington admits he stopped writing her checks but has receipts showing he's spent far more paying her bills and supporting his daughter.

That decision sent him to jail for 38 days for failure to pay child support.

"The mother's telling them look...he hasn't given me anything...but legally I can prove I've given all I can give," said Washington.

"If that mother comes to you and says I cant pay the rent for example or they are going to cut my power can you just pay me right now, it makes sense on a logical level to go ahead and do that," said Larry Mckeown with DSS Child Support Enforcement.

Mckeown said while it makes logical sense, it doesn TMt always translate well in the family court system.

"You TMre not getting credit at the court, and you become subject to contempt," said Mckeown.

Washington says that system is unfair because he says he is taking care of his daughter.