In family court, poor families are undermined by a system that is supposed to strengthen families and protect children. In fact, for poor people, an encounter with the family courts often leads to an encounter with the criminal justice system. Such families make many trips to the courthouse, where fathers especially face difficulties. More dead broke than deadbeats, fathers are squeezed for support that they are often unable to pay. And, when the support goes unpaid, the parties are summoned to court for enforcement proceedings in which a range of sanctions, including incarceration, may be imposed.