Non-Custodial Fathers

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Proposal for Joint Resolution for Family Law Reform
Proposal for Joint Resolution for Family Law Reform magnify
The family court as a whole is in dire need of reform. We as a nation need to join together and stop the destruction of our families, alienation of our children, and promoting a combative nature between divorcing parents. Please call and email your elected officials and let them know where you stand on this issue. Mothers don't let your sons become a static! Please feel free to use this letter,but please sign and date it. This letter can also be found at http://ancpr.org/testresolution.htm

As a constituent, I respectfully request that you sponsor the following Joint Resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

The current state of the law regarding divorce and custody of minor children is in fact implemented in a fashion that leads to constitutionally-prohibited violations of the rights of both children and parents within the United States in the aggregate, as the current code:

Removes children from parent's direct care and control.

Impermissibly denies children the right to the direct care, custody, and love of their natural parents in most cases without a finding of predicate harm.

Impermissibly denies parents the right to make decisions about expenditures that further the interests of their children and transfers that control to another through the enactment and enforcement of the current "child support" laws within the several states.

Operates in a manner that is biased against men as a gender in violation of the Constitutional requirement for equal protection under the law.

Impermissibly violates a citizen's right to due process by assuming that allegations of criminal conduct such as physical and sexual abuse are proven prior to trial, and exacts punishment for alleged offenses which have not been proven.

Impermissibly violates citizen's rights to due process of law by assigning increased obligations and oversight to divorced parties which do not exist for married parties, or those who adopt children in an unmarried state, in the care and raising of this nation's children.

Current research documents that children are less likely to do well in single-parent, mother-headed homes. Such children are more likely to have serious psychological problems, drop out of school, become involved in serious felonies before the age of 18, give birth out of wedlock, run away from home and quit school prior to graduation. All of these problems have been directly tied to the incidence of family breakup. Further, it is documented fact that women initiate nearly 75% of divorces, and that as many as 7 out of 10 are initiated against the expressed desires of their husbands.

As such it is the duty of the several state legislatures and Congress to discourage the destruction of families in the first place, and where such a result cannot be avoided, attempt to mitigate the damage to our children to the fullest extent possible.

To meet our duty of responsibility under the law for all parties with regards to the children of this nation we therefore must:

Recognize that the current custody decisions handed down by the legal system do not grant custody - they remove custody from one or both parents. Since this results in the denial of one or both parent's civil rights and the civil rights of the children involved, such an adjudication is only permissible where criminal standards of proof can be cited. It is legally impermissible under the Constitution to remove an individual's civil rights without prior adjudication that a violation of the law has first taken place.

Remove the financial incentives that currently exist for initiation of divorce.

Remove the ability of either parent to be ejected from their home and their children's lives for any period of time without clear and convincing proof that this removal of a parent's rights is necessary to protect the children involved.

Require couples contemplating marriage to have a full understanding of the consequences of divorce, including the consequences for any children they may produce.

Seek to reduce conflict post-divorce by requiring divorcing couples to truly act in the best interest of their children. In short, this means removing the ability of one parent to effectively render the other a "visitor" or "uncle" to their children for either personal or financial reasons.

THE FOLLOWING LEGISLATION IS HEREBY PROPOSED IN ANY SUIT AT LAW WHERE DIVORCE, CUSTODY OR CHILD SUPPORT IS AT ISSUE:

SECTION A - CUSTODY

All biological parents are presumed equal under the law and shall have the right to be treated equally at the bar. It is hereby declared that children have the fundamental right to direct care and interaction of both biological or adoptive parents, and that parents have the fundamental right to equal parenting time, parental oversight, and direct care of their children. Such rights are declared and understood to be a fundamental liberty interest which governments may not intrude upon without first showing a compelling interest and/or predicate harm to the specific children involved.

In recognition of the fundamental rights set forth in Section A.1, joint legal and residential custody shall be presumptive, with an approximately 50/50 parenting time division. The court shall direct the parents to develop a parenting plan implementing this provision prior to trial, and shall impose such a plan should the parents be unable to agree between themselves.

Any court ordering a deviation from the above presumption must document those deviations in the judgment or order(s) establishing the deviation under one of the following permitted exceptions:

The parents have privately agreed in a valid prenuptial, postnuptual, or other contractual document to a different custody arrangement under the provisions of Section A.4, and such agreement has been found to be in the best interests of the children.

One or both parents has been found guilty, under criminal standards of proof, of a violation of the law which bears directly on the care and custody of the child or children involved, and for which the appropriate criminal penalty and rehabilitation proscribed at law have not been completed.

Interim orders may proceed on the basis of an allegation of criminal conduct material to custody provided that an arraignment on the predicate charge or charges has taken place and with the provision that should the predicate charge be dismissed, or the defendant found not guilty, that this exception shall be immediately extinguished and the interim order shall be immediately re-heard as an emergency matter.

A parent is found to be unfit for joint custody due to a current condition of mental illness, substance or alcohol abuse, mental disorder or physical incapacity.

One or both parents have abandoned the children and their domicile, or have announced their intention, in a verified pleading or personal court appearance, to do so following the entry of the judgment contemplated by the court.

The courts shall recognize and give full faith and credit to all private agreements between the parties concerning child custody, support, and related matters, regardless of when said agreements are made (prenuptial, postnuptual, pre or post-conception) unless it finds that (1) the agreement is unconscionable, (2) that implementation would likely lead to the neglect of the child or children involved, or (3) is contrary to the public interest as expressed in Section A or B of this legislation. All such claimed agreements must be in written form. Should the court find such an agreement invalid it may impose the standard shared parenting time division as defined herein, but may not impose sole custody unless a deviation is permitted under Section A.3.

The word "visitation" shall be replaced with "parenting time" in all related and relevant sections of law.

No parent may violate the civil rights of the other to be an involved parent, or of the child to a full, continuing, custodial relationship with either parent by removing, or attempting to remove, the child or children from the metropolitan area where they reside at the time the parents separated or, in the case of unmarried couples, when the child or children were born. No parent may remove the child or children from the school district in which they are currently attending school, or the district where the child or children have attended school within the previous 180 days, without the written consent of the other parent. Any attempt to do so shall be treated as a willful abandonment of joint parenting under Section A.3 by the parent attempting removal and sole custody shall be awarded on a permanent basis to the other parent.

A parent who constructively interferes with a custody order such that the other parent is substantially deprived of their parenting time more than once in a calendar year, or more than three times in three years, shall be presumed to have abandoned joint parenting under Section A.3 and sole custody shall be awarded on a permanent basis to the other parent.

All existing custody and support orders may be re-litigated on an expedited basis under this section, provided that the parties reside in the same metropolitan area. All existing custody agreements with a differential in parenting time shall be presumptively invalid if entered into prior to the effective date of this legislation. A parent seeking to modify sole custody to joint residential custody under the presumptions of this section, and who does not reside in the same locale as the other parent and child, shall be required to first establish domicile in the locale where the other parent and child reside. An injunction shall issue upon the filing of a petition for modification enjoining the custodial parent from relocating during the pendancy of the case in these circumstances.

All attorneys of record shall be required to inform their clients prior to retention of the provisions of this section, including the penalties for interference with custody or attempted removal of the children from the metropolitan area or school district. Pro-se litigants shall file a notarized statement with their initial petition or response denoting their understanding of same, or shall be sworn in and enter into the record their recognition and understanding of these provisions upon initial appearance.

SECTION B - CHILD SUPPORT:

All joint residential custody arrangements adjudicated under Section A shall not contain a child support award for ordinary, customary, and routine living expenses, as both parents are presumed to be sharing said expenses in an equitable manner via their shared parenting agreement.

The Court may order support to be paid in the form of a qualified medical support order for the specific purpose of maintaining health insurance and providing for the payment of uninsured medical costs of the child or children. The actual cost of necessary health care shall be allocated equally to the parents.

A private support agreement, entered into by the parents as part of a variance of the presumptive nature of shared custody, shall be ratified and enforced by the Court unless the trial court finds that it is unconscionable, is likely to lead to the neglect of the child or children involved, or is in violation of the terms of this section of the law. Should the Court so find both custody and child support shall be set aside and remanded for renegotiation by the parties.

All private support agreements shall terminate automatically by statute upon emancipation of the child or children involved, except that a private agreement allocating the cost of post-secondary education beyond the age of majority is permitted.

All private support agreements shall include the terms and conditions upon which they may be re-negotiated or modified. No agreement may be accepted by the court which attempts to deny re-negotiation or modification upon a substantive change in the custody of the children or the earnings of either parent.

A private support agreement is inextricably tied to the residential status of the child or children involved. Should such an agreement's re-negotiation fail under Section B.5, the parties may re-litigate the full custody and support matter under the presumptions of both Section A and B of this legislation and both sections of the previous agreement (bearing on custody and support) shall be void.

In the event that support is ordered by the Court due to a Section A.3 exception to joint residential custody in a nonconsensual format (due to abandonment, incapacity, or conviction for a related criminal offense) the Court shall assess support against any absent parent (either or both) in an amount not to exceed the following percentages of net income for the number of children covered: (1) - 20%, (2) - 25%, (3) - 32%, (4) - 40%, (5) - 45%, (6 or more) - 50%. "Net income" is defined as the income from all sources less Federal, FICA and State income tax, mandatory retirement contributions, union dues, health insurance premiums, prior obligations of support or maintenance (including alimony in the instant case) and expenditures for repayment of debts or expenses that represent reasonable and necessary expenses for the production of income, preservation of life or health and reasonable direct expenditures for the child or other parent. The amount of support shall be stated in all such cases in dollars.

A rebuttable presumption exists that parents who are assessed support will comply with said orders. Only upon conviction for civil or criminal contempt of court in regards to compliance with such orders of support shall the court be authorized to attach, seize, or otherwise encumber any parent's assets (such as through wage garnishment, seizure of income tax refunds, or other process usually reserved for the enforcement of orders in contempt).

The state shall petition the Federal Government to permit and enforce the split of the dependent income tax deduction for all parents, and request that all parents who have and obtain joint custody under Section A be qualified for this tax relief. Until such relief is granted, all existing and new divorce decrees shall specify that the deduction shall be taken on alternative years by each parent, and that both parents will cooperate in signing the appropriate IRS forms to effect this deduction transfer.

No parent may be forced to pay child support beyond the point at which their children achieve the age of majority or emancipate themselves , including but not limited to post-secondary educational expenses.

If support is assessed under section B.7 both parents shall have a right of audit which may be exercised not more than once per calendar year. In such an audit the trustee for the child shall produce documentation sufficient to substantiate that the support ordered and paid was actually used only for the benefit of the child. The following determinations shall apply to said audits:

Support shall be deemed "paid" if evidence of either (1) withholding from wages, or (2) encashment of privately delivered funds (ie: cancelled checks or bank statements documenting same) is produced.

A portion of rent, mortgage, and utility costs shall be permitted only if the parent receiving the support has sole legal and physical custody of the child or children involved, with the other parent having the child or children in his or her care less than 20% of the time. If this inclusion is allowed it shall be determined as the incremental expense for the child or children in the household, measured by the actual incremental expense. For example, if two children share a bedroom, then the increment for rent shall be the incremental rent required over a comparable home (house or apartment) with one fewer bedroom. Real estate agents may be employed by the auditor as an expert witness to document reasonable incremental mortgage or rent payments in the area in which the child or children reside. Incremental utility use, exclusive of telephone, shall be rated at 15% per child with a cap at 50% of the utilities consumed. Telephone costs beyond basic line expense (ie: usage charges, long-distance, cellular or pager service, etc.) are disallowed.

Food and other direct consumables shall be ratably apportioned over the number of persons in the household.

The recipient of support is required to produce documentary evidence of the expenses claimed to be for the benefit of the child where such expenses are variable (ie: grocery register tapes, clothing, etc)

Other direct expenses made only on behalf of the child for reasonable, ordinary and customary needs, exclusive of gifts, shall be permitted in the computation of actual expenses.

Excluded from consideration shall be luxury or "designer" items of any kind, private or parochial school tuition, fees, or expenses, charitable contributions made on behalf of the child, elective transportation expenses (ie: automobile insurance, costs or payments for a vehicle driven by the child), voluntary expenses (eg: daycare expenses where the parent is not actually working, or is employed at a wage less than the cost of said daycare during the hours the child is in daycare) elective medical procedures and any expense otherwise separately paid (eg: health insurance, where a qualified medical child support order is in effect)

The audit shall be performed in the offices of a certified public accountant (CPA), appointed under court direction, who shall render a written opinion to the court under this section as to the actual amount of money spent on the child or children under the definitions of this section. Included in this report shall be the amount and percentage of total expenditures for each major category of expense (ie; housing, food, clothing, school supplies, etc.) The CPA shall also render an opinion on the cooperation of the parties with the process and quality of documentation produced.

The court shall then determine the reasonableness of the support award and any required adjustments as follows:

Willful failure to cooperate with the CPA or audit procedure shall be conclusive evidence of malfeasance on the part of the non-cooperative party and shall be an act of criminal contempt.

The court shall order the disclosure of both party's net income. Except for good cause shown, copies of the party's federal and state tax returns shall be determinative of net income. Either party shall have their income imputed by the court should it determine that a party is attempting to "hide" income or voluntarily evade their financial obligations.

The recipient of support is required to document that they are "matching" the received child support in ratable proportion to their income. This shall be determined by increasing the amount of support paid by the percentage of net income that the recipient has in comparison to the payor of support. For example, if the recipient has 50% of the net income of the payor, then the paid support amount shall be increased by 50%. If the recipient has 100% of the net income of the payor then the paid support amount shall be increased by 100% (twice the base value). This value shall be called "ANC", or "amount necessary for the children".

Should the court find that the amount spend on the child or children, per the audit opinion, falls within the range of 80% to 120% of the ANC, it shall take no action on the results of the audit and the costs of same shall be split equally between the parties.

Should the audit find that the amount spend on the child or children was less than 80% of the ANC the court shall order the amount of child support to be reduced for a period of 12 months by an amount such that that the paid-but-not-spent amount is recovered by the non-custodial parent over that 12 month period. Should this modification result in an order for less than zero dollars said time period shall be extended until the overpayment is fully refunded. At the end of this time period the order for support shall be issued to self-modify to an amount that shall prevent overpayment in the future. The court shall also order the recipient of support to pay all costs of the audit and court proceedings incident to the audit.

Should the audit find that the amount spent on the child was more than 120% of the ANC the court shall order an increase up to but not beyond the guideline amounts in this section sufficient to recover the underpayment within 12 months. If the modification would exceed statuatory guidelines then the amount of time said increase shall remain valid may be extended beyond 12 months as necessary. The court shall also order the payor of support to pay all costs of the audit and court proceedings incident to the audit.

All existing support orders shall be brought into compliance with these guidelines and rules upon petition to the court, or within two calendar years, which ever first occurs. An existing order or agreement made prior to the effective date of this legislation is presumptively void upon petition to the court by the payor of said agreement or order.

SECTION C - ABUSE AND NEGLECT ALLEGATIONS

No allegation of abuse in a divorce or custody case shall be given judicial notice except as provided for in Section A.3, and no order of protection may issue that impairs either parent's custody of the child or children involved unless the standards indicated in Section A.3 are met.

The issuance of an "ex-parte" order shall be denied unless it is accompanied by the filing of a criminal complaint and arrest of the suspect contemporary with the requested "ex-parte" order of protection. Dismissal or acquittal of the predicate charge(s) involved shall operate to immediately extinguish the order of protection and any temporary or permanent sole custody award as provided for in Section A.3.

A person bringing a false petition before a court, or making a false statement under oath, for the purpose of obtaining such a protective order shall be tried in accordance with the laws of the state in question for Perjury, and upon conviction shall suffer the penalties prescribed at law. Indictment, prosecution and conviction for such an offense shall be deemed a criminal offense relevant to the care and custody of the child or children at issue, and shall operate as constructive and permanent abandonment of joint custody under Section A.3.

A person bringing a petition for an ex-parte protective order before the court which is found to be insufficient, that is withdrawn, or where the defendant is acquitted or the charges are dismissed, shall be subject to civil suit at law for damages suffered by the defendant, including intentional infliction of emotional distress, false arrest and punitive damages if the respondent has been denied access to his or her children during the interim period. The accused parent may also bring an action for damages, including both emotional distress and punitive damages, on behalf of the minor child or children involved, and shall be deemed the custodian of any funds recovered under such an action for the benefit of the minor children so harmed.

Attorneys at bar for litigants in custody, divorce and support matters are required to inform their clients of the consequences of false or unsubstantiated pleadings under this section, including possible criminal and civil penalties along with the permanent loss of custody. All litigants shall provide their signature acknowledging this legislation as part of their retention agreements. Pro-se litigants shall be required to submit a notarized statement containing this section verbatim and their knowledge, acceptance and understanding of same.

SECTION D - FEE REQUESTS

No such request may be heard or granted (even on an interim basis) on a non-evidentiary basis, as doing so violates the respondent's right to due process of law and is contrary to settlement interests thereafter; thereby being presumptively in violation of the civil rights of the litigants and/or children involved.

Sufficient defenses to an attempted fee recovery petition shall include any of the following, individually or in combination. Should the court find that any of the below defenses apply it shall deny the fee petition:

That the fees were incurred to pursue non-responsive or inappropriate avenues of litigation, including but not limited to "fishing expeditions" during discovery.

That the fees were incurred in an attempt to violate the presumptive nature of custody in a divorce or custody proceeding as defined in this legislation, except where a valid exception under Section A.3 is proven at trial or by agreement of the parties. Should such an allegation be raised an interim order may be assessed. If the person bringing the fee petition does not prevail in the Section A.3 exception for any reason (including settlement) the fees assessed shall be remitted back to the payer along with interest from the date of payment at a rate three percentage points above the published prime lending rate in the locale where the action was heard.

That the petitioner had, under their control or ownership, sufficient assets or money to fund the litigation they pursued at or prior to the litigation's inception, and disposed of those assets or funds for other than necessary living expenses.

That the petitioner took any other action to prejudice their own earnings capacity and/or financial position that had a material impact upon their ability to afford said fees, including but not limited to charitable contributions, voluntarily leaving employment, being terminated from their employment for cause or transferring assets under their control to others.

Discovery shall be permitted prior to the hearing for any such petition to the extent necessary to prove or disprove any of the above sufficient defenses in D.2 above.

A person bringing a fee recovery petition that is denied under these provisions for any of the defenses in D.2 above shall pay the litigation costs incurred by both parties in pursuit and defense of the fee petition, including all discovery related costs.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

<>The Fathers War - They serve their country and lose their children
Posted in News by ANCPR on the October 18th, 2005

The Fathers’ War
By Stephen Baskerville

While our country focuses on the war abroad, many of our soldiers fight personal battles here at home—or more accurately, can’t fight. They are losing their families and getting little help from an administration that claims to “support the troops” while doing nothing to protect the parental rights of the fathers it sent into combat.

All the services are facing a severe drop in recruitment, and additional recruiters, stepped-up advertising, and bigger bonuses have not reversed the trend. The media points to the war itself, but the shortfall also coincides with a dramatic rise in military divorces, which the Army reports have nearly doubled since 2001. “We’ve seen nothing like this before,” says Col. Glen Bloomstrom, a chaplain who oversees family-support programs. “It indicates the amount of stress on couples, on families, as the Army conducts the global war on terrorism.”

It indicates much more than stress. “There most certainly is a relationship between current recruiting problems and an increase in military divorces,” says Capt. Gene Thomas Gomulka, a retired Navy chaplain and writer on military marriage.

Muffled by feminist orthodoxy, the Army and media are not disclosing the facts behind these divorces or publicizing the threat they pose to preparedness. The important points are these: the divorces are almost all initiated by wives, the servicemen usually lose their children—which for many is their main incentive for serving their country—and finally, they often become liable to criminal prosecution for child support that is impossible for them to pay.

Laws protecting active-duty servicemen against legal actions are ignored by family courts. Deployed servicemen have virtually no protection against unilaterally initiated divorce proceedings that permanently separate them from their children without any show of wrongdoing. Child kidnapping laws likewise do not protect them from having their children relocated, even to foreign countries, while they cannot be present to defend their parental rights. When they return, they have no necessary right to see their children—and can be arrested for trying to do so—who often join the ranks of the permanently fatherless.

The Lansing State Journal recently reported on Joe McNeilly, a National Guardsman who “would still have his son if he hadn’t been deployed,” according to Maj. Dawn Dancer, public-affairs officer for the Michigan National Guard. Invoking the correct legal buzzwords, the mother and her lawyer claimed he lost custody not because of his deployment but because of his “parenting skills.” Yet his parenting skills were clearly defined in terms of his deployment. The court attested that it stripped him of custody because his wife was the “day-to-day caretaker and decision maker in the child’s life” while McNeilly was deployed. His alleged parental deficiencies also proceeded apparently from his duties as a soldier. “My client is making sure to turn off the TV when the news reports deaths in Iraq,” the mother’s lawyer said, “and (McNeilly) was engaging in behaviors that brought fear.” In other words, he was fighting a war.

Even more astounding, vicariously divorced servicemen can be criminally prosecuted for child-support arrearages that are almost impossible not to accrue while they are on duty. Reservists are hit particularly hard because their child-support burdens are based on their civilian pay and do not decrease when their income decreases. Because reservists are often mobilized with little notice, few get modifications before they leave, and modifications are almost never granted anyway. They cannot get relief when they return because federal law prohibits retroactive reductions for any reason. Once arrearages reach $5,000, the soldier becomes a felon and subject to imprisonment.

Further, states assess interest and penalties on arrearages, which may accrue because of human or computer errors. These too cannot be forgiven, so parents who fall behind for reasons beyond their control can never have these debts erased. Because state agencies are federally subsidized based on how much they collect, they have a powerful incentive not to reduce burdens, to extract every penny they can find, and to make “errors.”

Deployed soldiers are also targeted by women who falsely designate them as the fathers of their newborns. “The military provides a steady, easily garnished income as well as medical care,” says Carnell Smith of Citizens Against Paternity Fraud. It is difficult to contest paternity while fighting a war thousands of miles away.

Spouses have other financial incentives to divorce military personnel. A serviceman must complete 20 years of active service to qualify for retirement pay. A woman married to the man for one day may claim a portion of the pension for life, without regard to fault or need, simply by filing for divorce. As David Usher points out in Men’s News Daily, there is no limit on how many times a woman can do this. (Men have done it too.)

None of this is hypothetical. Many veterans face such hardships now:

• “Gary,” an 18-year veteran with an unblemished military and civilian record, was stripped of his child by a California court while deployed in Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL, according to Fox News. Columnist Glenn Sacks reports that he is now being bankrupted by child support and legal fees.

• Bobby Sherrill, a father of two from Parkton, North Carolina, was held hostage in Iraq for nearly five months. The night he returned from the Persian Gulf he was arrested for failing to pay $1,425 in child support while captive.

• While serving in Iraq, Taron James was ordered to pay support for a child he knew could not be his, and DNA tests confirmed his claim. The district attorney and Los Angeles County Child Support Services nevertheless seized his tax refund annually, blocked him from renewing his notary-public license—which caused him to lose his job—ruined his credit, blocked him from obtaining a passport, and forced him to drop out of college.

These are not aberrations. They proceed from the ideologically and bureaucratically driven logic of the custody-support industry, which depends for its justification on removing children and criminalizing the fathers.

The Army’s response has been to spend millions on therapeutic gimmicks in a futile effort to reduce the divorces: counseling services, support groups, romantic getaways, even advice to single soldiers on how to pick partners wisely.

“Our hope is to change the culture,” says Bloomstrom, who also adopts civilian-sector jargon. “Initially there’s a stigma about any program to do with relationships. We need to teach that there’s nothing wrong with preventive maintenance for marriage.”

The Army is burying its head in the sand. We can only hope that communications workshops and cultural understanding are not the approach they take to opponents in the field. They do so in this case because the threat is not Islamic radicals but feminist radicals.

Those affected see through the obfuscation. “This is outrageous,” said Kathy Moakler, deputy director of government relations of the National Military Family Association. “It’s a scary precedent to set, charging the parent with abandonment because he was deployed.”

Obviously these men have not abandoned their children. Yet what justifies criminal penalties, if it is not to catch those who have? If these fathers are being stripped of their children and criminalized through no fault of their own, why should we assume that others are being treated any less unjustly? This points to the larger issue, since the obvious injustices to soldiers, sailors, and airmen are simply the logical next step from what has been inflicted on others for years. The dysfunctional effects on military efficiency are also paralleled elsewhere in society.

The flight of men from the military strikingly parallels the flight of men from marriage, with its attendant drop in birth rates, that has come to preoccupy policymakers up to the level of president. Men are staying away from both institutions for the same reasons: for many they have become a ticket to jail.

The National Marriage Project at Rutgers University reports a continued drop in the marriage rate. They too ignore the criminal penalties that men can incur when they marry, instead urging therapy and formulaically excoriating men for their lack of “commitment.” Citing the Rutgers study, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Wade Horn promotes federal marriage programs inculcating “conflict-resolution skills.”

Men do not risk their lives, fight, and die for a country that is an abstraction. They fight and die for their families and homes and freedom, all of which are being taken away by the courts. “Sometimes I wonder what I risked my life for [in Afghanistan],” “Gary” tells Sacks. “I went to fight for freedom but what freedom and what rights mean anything if a man doesn’t have the right to be a father to his own child?”

Gordon Dollar was a reservist for 16 years in the National Guard and Naval Reserves. “I have friends that are very motivated and dedicated people, Frogmen/SEALS, Green Berets, and Rangers, and they were getting out too,” he tells Usher. “I think people who served this country are feeling betrayed by it, and see no point in serving it.”

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has just signed legislation protecting military personnel in custody and child-support cases. Missouri is the only other state to protect reservists on active duty by requiring automatic adjustments in their child support. More states need to act.

Federally, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which protects deployed military persons from other civil suits, should be amended to include specifically the actions of divorce courts and child-support bureaucracies. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, designed to prevent parental kidnappings, could also be modified to protect service personnel whose children are snatched away. Finally, Congress should repeal the infamous Bradley Amendment, so that judges can exercise reasonable discretion to modify child-support debts downward as well as upward in cases in patent injustice.

It is ironic that, as we defend a questionable military policy with patriotic appeals to support the troops who must execute it, we allow the breakdown of traditional morality and the erosion of ancient legal protections for the family to ruin those same troops once they return home. This undermines not only the military, of course, but also the patriotic appeals. But even more, in the long run it also undermines our national defense. It would be difficult to find a single policy that so simultaneously weakens the nation within and without.

What we are seeing here is only one vindication of now forgotten prophecies from critics like G.K. Chesterton that easy divorce would destroy not only the family but civilization itself. Yet as the prediction is fulfilled before our eyes, our leaders obfuscate it with clichés and psychobabble.

The much-belabored parallel with Rome is irresistible. External threats are successfully withstood until the internal moral decay that accompanies the breakdown of republican freedom and virtue. For Islamists who regard the West as a morally and sexually decadent culture, the prospect must be encouraging.
____________________________________________

Stephen Baskerville is a political scientist and president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children

October 24, 2005 Issue

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Amber Frey Sued By Ex-Boyfriend

Over Child Support Payments

Posted in News by ANCPR on the October 11th, 2005
http://ancpr.com

KTVU.com - News - Amber Frey Sued By Ex-Boyfriend Over Child Support Payments
FRESNO — The former mistress of convicted killer Scott Peterson is facing a lawsuit by an ex-boyfriend looking to get back nearly four years of child support payments.

Anthony Flores, 29, filed a lawsuit against Amber Frey, 27, on Wednesday after years of thinking he was the father of her first child. The lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount of money but says Flores was ordered to pay $567 per month in child support in September 2001.

Flores said Frey filed court documents in 2001 indicating he was the only possible father of her daughter, reported a Fresno television station.

Flores, a Fresno hairstylist, found out that was not true last month after a paternity test.

“Given the Scott Peterson case, the timing of everything … I have a lot of questions, and so does Anthony, as to why it’s taken four years to come to this,” said Warren Paboojian, Flores’ attorney.

Frey could not be reached for comment. Her attorney, Gloria Allred, read from a statement on Friday saying Frey “will vigorously defend against any claims that Anthony makes and she expects to be fully vindicated.”

Flores also said Frey defamed him in the book she wrote detailing her role in the Peterson case, and names her publishers in suit.

3 Responses to 'Amber Frey Sued By Ex-Boyfriend Over Child Support Payments'

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  1. Zorro said,

    on October 11th, 2005 at 9:15 am

    Although Scott Petterson was “in my opinion” a good poster boy for pro death penalty— How many men will Frey use to get rich ! What a whore…….


  2. on October 11th, 2005 at 12:32 pm

    I’d sue her for everything she has. Especially now since she has book deals. They need to make women accountable in every way for being innacurate and deceptive. It’s the Judges in this country that need to be taken down as well. They’re among those that turn blind eyes to deceptive practice and fraud. they’re aiding and abetting them.

  3. ericatruth said,

    on October 11th, 2005 at 2:55 pm

    yes. take down the judges with the freys….the whole damn system is corrupt.

Daughter sues for child support

Posted in News by ANCPR on the October 11th, 2005

Newsday.com: Daughter sues for child support
BY ANN GIVENS
STAFF WRITER

October 12, 2005

The day after Maria Guevara turned 18, she packed her bags and moved out of her mother’s Floral Park home.

She had a strained relationship with her father, who she said physically abused her when she was younger — a charge he denies — and she said her mother was too strict, setting an early curfew and denying her money for restaurants and fashionable clothes.

But after she moved into a friend’s basement in Bellerose Terrace in March, Guevara did something her mother didn’t see coming: She sued her parents for child support in Nassau Family Court.

“I didn’t get along with my mother, so I decided to move out and get my own place,” said Guevara. “I love my mom, but I wasn’t feeling right living there.”

Between the ages of 18 and 21, young people fall into a special category in New York state: They’re old enough to move out of their parents’ house, but young enough to be supported by them in most cases, legal experts said.

Maria says that’s only fair. She wants to go to college and is not yet in a position to support herself. But in interviews and court documents, her divorced parents said they should not have to pay the bills for a daughter who will not live by their rules.

“It’s ironic for a person to act like an adult, live like an adult and yet not want to have the responsibilities of an adult,” said Sean Sabeti of Jericho, the attorney who represents Maria’s mother, Gina Ubillus of Floral Park. “Imagine how many other 18-year-olds are going to say, ‘Wait. I can move out and still get child support.’”

Maria’s case against her father, Marcos Guevara of Astoria, is pending before Support Magistrate Penelope Beck Kahn. Maria’s case against her mother was dismissed last month, four months after it was filed. Sabeti said he had asked for the dismissal on the grounds that Ubillus, who does not work, was not in a position to support Maria, while Maria was.

Maria retains the right to resubmit the petition.

Maria’s lawyer, Jeffrey Trimarchi of Manhattan, declined to comment. Her father’s lawyer, Joseph Kasper of Queens, did not return calls seeking comment.

A number of cases similar to Maria’s have been filed in New York over the years, some decided in favor of the child, others for the parents, experts said.

Lewis Silverman, director of the Family Law Clinic at Touro Law Center in Huntington, said he could not remember a case where parents whose rules were considered reasonable were made to pay child support. In one case, parents who were trying to make their pregnant daughter have an abortion had to pay child support because that was deemed unreasonable, Silverman said.

The strength of a child’s arguments depends on the reasons they aren’t able to get along with their parents and their ability to live independently, among other things, legal experts said. Eighteen-year-olds who marry, join the military or work full-time are generally not awarded child support, Silverman said.

But Maria, who just started her first year at Nassau Community College, argues that her parents should pay for school. She works part-time as a teacher’s aide at the John Lewis Childs School in Floral Park, but three hours a day at $12 an hour doesn’t pay for her living expenses and tuition, she said.

“I’m 18, but I still need support,” she said. “I’m going to college. I don’t have time to be working full-time. It’s hard for me.”

A judge will also look at the reasons for a rift between a child and parent, said Barbara Kopman of Hicksville, an attorney specializing in family law.

Maria said she left her father’s house at about 13 because he physically abused her, a charge he denied in court documents. She said her mother gave her food and clothing but made her come home by 6 or 7 every night and pay for all nonessentials such as restaurant meals and extra clothing.

Gina Ubillus, who is still caring for Maria’s younger brother, 16, is hurt by the notion that she wasn’t a good mother.

“I feel betrayed. I did all I could for her and my son,” she said. “It’s so unfair. Just because she wants her freedom, she’s abusing the system.”

6 Responses to 'Daughter sues for child support'

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  1. on October 12th, 2005 at 2:47 am

    When your 18 years old, you’re legally an adult. It’s just a little girl trying to play the system. God help the man who ends up marrying her. She’s already child support happy and doesn’t have any kids.

  2. Randy said,

    on October 12th, 2005 at 3:56 am

    Ditto…

    Randy

  3. griffitg said,

    on October 12th, 2005 at 4:14 am

    Let’s see how many laws get change when the mothers that have been collecting for years have to now pay themselves because the kids want someof the booty they’ve enjoyed, but for their own enjoyment.

  4. mikevac said,

    on October 12th, 2005 at 4:48 am

    Ahh, the entitlement industry. Start them young, keep them forever… Next, she’ll get pregnant and try to collect child support from the 5 or so men she knows.

  5. GramsB said,

    on October 12th, 2005 at 5:27 am

    What in the world…? Poor thing…she’s upset because her parents - the people she can’t get along with - will not support her in the lifestyle she’s hoping to be accustomed? What if she had no parents? I know plenty of young people (women and men) who, by the time they were 16 yrs. old, or so, that realized there just wasn’t any money for them to go to school. They worked hard to get scholarships, got part-time jobs and saved, took the credit hours they could afford, and spent years getting just an associates degree. Why can’t little-miss-spoiled do that? I’ve also known unmarried teen-aged parents who have done it.
    Typical for the majority of people today who believe everyone owes them everything, and they, in turn, are responsible for nothing.
    She’ll probably end up directing the CSE office, be the director of a (cough-cough) battered womens’ shelter, or - Worse yet! - work for the state prosecuting attorney’s office!

  6. FORMYCHILD said,

    on October 12th, 2005 at 8:21 am

    It’s sad to see that the child you bring into the world, raise, and care for the best that you can….reduces you to a “ATM” cash machine.

    It appears that Maria want crops without plowing, freedom without the cost, and want success without the struggle.

    Since Maria did not learn from her parents that….you may not get all that you pay for in this world…but YOU [Maria] must certainly pay for all that you get, she will soon find that out from the “friend” whose basement she moved into….when the “friend” decides to go up on her rent, get tried of her eating her food, no longer considers her to be a “friend’, starts complaining about the phone bill, or finds someone else that can pay more for the space Maria occupies.

    The “taught lessons” Maria’s parents tried to give her about sacrificing for your childre, doing the best that you can, and how to make it on what you have in this world….Maria will experience the “bought lessons” from the real world “school of hard knots” when reality hits her and she realizes “There No Place Like Home” and then remembers that she does not have one to go back too anymore.

    The parents of this “bad seed” should not give her one red cent! If Maria wants to live the life of “Riley” don’t want to work for it or pay for it…like the rest of the adults in this world….then she needs to go find “Riley” and see if he will pay for it.

    Maria’s parents job is “DONE!” They have paid their water bill. Maria needs to get her own life….and PAY FOR IT TOO!

    Maria will find out soon enough that as a real “Adult” in this life….it’s all about the Benjamins$$$…not what Maria wants and can’t pay for!

    Nuff Said!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Child support to fall for many Pa. parents

Posted in Courts and Legislatures by ANCPR on the October 10th, 2005

Child support to fall for many Pa. parents
New guidelines mean up to 30 percent decrease for some
Monday, October 10, 2005

By Mike Bucsko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Come late January, parents who receive child support may find less money in their monthly support checks.

That’s because the state Supreme Court recently adopted new child support guidelines that decrease the support obligation for the majority of parents, especially those in the upper income levels.

The effect will be significant for some parents, with decreases of as much as 30 percent.

For example, under the old guidelines, the support obligation for parents with two children and a combined monthly income of $10,000 was $2,312. The support obligation under the new guidelines is $1,840, a difference of $472.

“I actually think it’s going to have a pretty dramatic negative impact on a lot of households,” said family lawyer Mary Sue Ramsden, of the Downtown law firm Raphael Ramsden Behers. “In some cases, it may just be a couple hundred dollars, but there are people out there for whom a couple hundred dollars would make a big difference.”

The new guidelines were adopted by the Supreme Court on Sept. 27 and will take effect Jan. 27.

In addition to the decrease, the Supreme Court adopted another significant change in the guidelines that will raise the income threshold on the guideline grid from $15,000 to $20,000. The increase will add predictability to the support formula because more parents will be able to use the grid in their support obligation calculation, Ms. Ramsden said.

Previously, parents with monthly incomes of more than $15,000 had to use a cumbersome and time-consuming calculation called a Melzer analysis. After January, the Melzer analysis will be used for parents with monthly incomes of more than $20,000.

Federal law requires Pennsylvania and other states to review the support guidelines every four years. That process in Pennsylvania began in early 2003 with an examination of the guidelines by the Supreme Court’s Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee.

The court adopted the committee’s guidelines, which also included several other changes, about two weeks ago after a lengthy comment period.

The general assumption underlying the guideline calculations is that children of separated or divorced parents should receive the same amount of economic support as if the parents lived together, called the Income Shares Model.

The changes to the economic support calculations were based partly on a national study of the costs of raising children by David M. Betson, an economics professor at Notre Dame. The state also used Mr. Betson’s research, developed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and used by two-thirds of the states, for the previous review in 1999.

When Mr. Betson updated his research four years ago, the cost of child-rearing expenses decreased, said Robert Capristo, the Pittsburgh family lawyer who chaired the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee. The 2001 figures in Mr. Betson’s study were updated in 2003 to reflect cost-of-living increases, and those figures were used by the committee.

“I guess the percentage of the budget of families has gone down in recent years, common expenses, housing, for example,” Mr. Capristo said. “It’s all based on statistics.”

Mr. Betson’s calculations decreased and caused the committee to recommend commensurate changes to the support guidelines grid. But the costs of daily life for most parents will not decrease when their support payments are reduced.

“The reasoning behind the change is that the last time we did this we were basing this on data that was accurate at that time, and life changed since then,” said family lawyer Carol Mills McCarthy, whose office is Downtown.

“You have to have guidelines that are supported by data, and this is the data. It’s absolutely correct that your expenses didn’t go down. It doesn’t cost less between December of ‘05 and January of ‘06 [when the new guidelines take effect].”

Some lawyers are skeptical of the Betson research because of the dramatic downward adjustment in the support guidelines at some income levels.

“Either the old guidelines are right or the new guidelines are right, but there needs to be an explanation which,” said lawyer Catherine McFadden, of the Philadelphia office of Schader Harrison Segal and Lewis, who wrote an article on the guideline changes last year for the Pennsylvania Family Lawyer and has written extensively about child support and other family law issues.

But since the Supreme Court adopted the committee’s recommendations, the guidelines are here to stay for at least the next four or five years.

It could have been worse, family lawyers said.

The court rejected a more sweeping committee recommendation that would have dramatically altered the support formula based on the amount of time parents spend with their children. The proposal would have required calculations as small as four hours and could have reduced the support obligation of some parents by as much as 97 percent.

The proposal was opposed by many bar associations, including Allegheny County.

“It would have been a nightmare,” said Ms. Ramsden, secretary of the bar association’s Family Law Section.

——————————————————————————–
(Mike Bucsko can be reached at mbucsko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1732.)

The Rise of Big Sister-ism

Posted in News by ANCPR on the October 4th, 2005

TheRealityCheck.Org Guest Writer
by Carey Roberts

I have seen their shell-shocked eyes and unbelieving expressions.

Men saddled with crushing child support obligations, forced to live on scraps or else fall into a desperate sea of mounting debt. A few of them are white-collar guys who once held respectable jobs and lived in comfortable houses.

Time marches forward, and the cases only become more bizarre.

Steve Barreras paid $20,000 to support his daughter, a girl he had never met. In fact, she didn’t even exist. His ex-wife Viola Trevino took another family’s daughter to court and claimed the child as hers. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has now ordered an investigation.

In Michigan, Terrace Hale had $300 garnished from each paycheck for three years. The money went to support a woman he’s never met to raise a child he’s never fathered. Now, Marilyn Stephen, director of the Michigan Office of Child Support, refuses to give Mr. Hale’s money back.

Then there are those cases of adolescent boys who were victimized twice. First by their adult female rapists, and then by an inflexible child support system that came knocking [www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2004/0310roberts

.html].

The voice of justice and outrage asks, How could this happen in America?

The answer can be found in our nation’s 30-year crusade to extract child support payments from mostly minority, low-income fathers, men who now bear the contemptuous epithet, “Deadbeat Dads.”

Last year professor Stephen Baskerville of Howard University probed the allegations that have been leveled against these “deadbeats.” His must-read article, “Is There Really a Fatherhood Crisis?,” reached some surprising conclusions [www.independent.org/tii/ media/pdf/tir_08_4_baskerville.pdf]:

Charge #1: Most marriages break up because fathers “have chosen to abandon their children,” as president Bill Clinton once put it.

Not true. Margaret Brinig and Douglas Allen found that women file for divorce in 70% of cases. Likewise, Arizona State University psychologist Sanford Braver reports in his book Divorced Dads that two out of three divorces are initiated by women.

Charge #2: When women do leave the marriage, it’s to escape domestic violence and abuse.

False. The number one reason cited by divorcing moms, according to Braver, is “not feeling loved or appreciated,” and not anything to do with violence.

Charge #3: Dads don’t pay their child support because they don’t care about their kids.

Absurd. A 1998 Rutgers and University of Texas study concluded: “many of the absent fathers who state leaders want to track down and force to pay child support are so destitute that their lives focus on finding the next job, next meal, or next night’s shelter.” The problem is not dads who are dead-beats, the problem is men who are dead-broke.

Charge #4: Kids don’t really need their dads, anyway.

Absolutely false. This is the most scurrilous myth of all, because the truth is the polar opposite, and the harmful effects on children are so great. “Virtually every major social pathology has been linked to fatherless children: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, unwed pregnancy, suicide, and psychological disorders,” notes Baskerville.

It is no coincidence that all four of these myths place fathers in a bad light. And that suits the Divorce Industry – that veritable army of lawyers, family court judges, custody evaluators, and child support enforcers — just fine.

These myths have become so ingrained in our thinking that basic Constitutional protections are being casually tossed aside. One brief on child support from the Left-leaning National Conference of State Legislatures made this stunning recommendation: “The burden of proof may be shifted to the defendant,” which of course means, “Fathers can be assumed to be guilty until proven innocent.”

Of course, it’s divorce that triggers the monstrous child support machinery to lurch into motion. The rise of no-fault, unilateral divorce does not trouble the Sisterhood. In fact, they welcome it.

Over the past 50 years, the National Association of Women Lawyers has spearheaded the adoption of no-fault divorce legislation throughout the country, laws that made marital dissolution that much easier. The NAWL now notes with satisfaction, “the ideal of no-fault divorce became the guiding principle for reform of divorce laws in the majority of states.”

A growing divorce rate. Disenfranchised dads. Children lacking paternal guidance and protection. An ever-expanding child support apparatus. Careless disregard of Constitutional protections. A growing totalitarian mindset.

That’s the Matriarchy at work.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

To All Non-Custodial Fathers;


Are you having trouble paying your child support? Are you behind because its too high? Are your child support payments making it difficult to support your new family? Is the
Child Support Enforcement after you for back child support or AFDC welfare repayments? Have your wages been garnished? Has your driver’s license or passport been suspended? Is the caseworker giving you the run-around? Has a warrant been issued for your arrest? Your nightmare is over! We can and will help you.

We are an organization dedicated to helping fathers receive reasonable child support orders based upon their current income and their necessary expenses to live. We fight for your rights!

Our staff is experienced with the court system and family law. We can help you to reduce unjust child support orders, and we will assist you if your Ex-wife/Ex-girlfriend is seeking an unreasonable increase in your current child support payments.

We have the same child support computer program that the judge uses. We can approximate the actual amount of child support you will be obligated to pay before you even step into court.

Our offices deal directly with the Child Support Enforcement, in all states, and we can assist you in all areas of their enforcement, including back child support. We can help you to obtain an audit of your account to determine the actual amount due, plus interest thereon, and to arrange a reasonable repayment plan.

We can also reduce wage garnishments, assist you in keeping your driver's or business license, or a release of your driver’s license if it has already been suspended.

Remember, CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT is the government’s collection agency, you need to address the problem, your name is in their computer.

We at Fathers Child Support Helpline urge you to contact us today.

E-mail us at!

info@childsupport.cc

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Please all non custodial fathers in Florida please read this
and check out this website!
http://www.themenscenter.com/
National/national06.htm


Child Support at a Crossroads:

When the Real World Intrudes Upon Academics and Advocates

RONALD K. HENRY*

"The time has come for someone to speak in defense of ‘dead-beat dads.’ Divorced or separated parents who do not pay support have been taking a beating from everyone, including the President.

1 have seen some parents who refuse to pay child support even though they have plenty of money to do so. . . . However, I have seen far more parents who are ordered to pay child support who pay some support but not all they are ordered to pay. Many of these parents are engaged in a financial struggle that they cannot win. These are the working poor."

-Hon. Anne Kass. Presiding Family Judge,

Albuquerque, New Mexico, District Court [1]

*Ronald K Henry is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, LLP.

I. Introduction

Because I am married (with children) and never divorced, I am often asked why I chose child custody and child support policy as the focus of my work. The answer is twofold. As a researcher, I see everywhere the consequences of family breakdown and, particularly, of father absence. As a husband, I see my wife and her father struggling even now, forty-five years after the divorce, to re-establish the normal father-daughter relationship that I take for granted with my own three girls. For our country and our children, we must do better.

The stereotype of the "deadbeat dad" is the wealthy surgeon who abandoned his children in poverty to squire his new trophy wife around in a shiny red Porsche. If the stereotype is true, we should be able to see it in the "Most Wanted" lists put out by the various states. [2] For example, the first alphabetically on Indiana's list [3] are the following:

Table 1

Name Amount of Arrearage Occupation Status




Crank, Donald Ray $34,465 Construction/Carpenter Found
Dampier, James Earl $43,083 Tool and Die Worker Found
Garner, Clifford E. $22,294 Construction Found
Hinton, Timothy Dion $49,882 Welder/Boilermaker Found
Hoover, Charles Walter $12,491 Construction/Watchman Found
Horn, James I. $31,435 Worked in a Sawmill Missing

Where are the doctors, the lawyers, and the investment bankers? Every one of the sixteen names on the Indiana list is an economically marginal blue-collar or occasional worker. We can't know from the "Most Wanted" list alone whether these were good people or bad people, but a few things are clean It is most unlikely that any of them was ever able to afford significant assistance from a lawyer in establishing or modifying their child support obligation. All have hopelessly high arrearages in relation to their economic circumstances. The Indiana list is in no way anomalous. Other state lists are similarly loaded with low-income obligors. [4]

What happens after one of these "Most Wanted" blue-collar workers is found? Only on rare occasions does the bureaucracy report upon the limits of its success in shaking such towering money trees, as these Virginia obligors report:

Frankie L. Adams: Mr. Adams is out of jail and making payments; however, he is unemployed.

Robert Mountcastle Flannery: The judge ordered a wage withholding for $100 a month on Mr. Flannery's SSA benefits. The first $100 payment was received in August.

Ferman LaMont Peyton: Mr. Peyton was located in Dublin, Virginia, after making application to receive food stamps. [5]

Regardless of the form of coercion attempted, we are never going to pull large amounts of money out of the unemployed, the disabled, and food stamp recipients. The question is whether these are anomalous cases or part of a systemic problem of imposing unsustainable burdens on child support obligors.

The available evidence indicates that there is a systemic problem in which existing child support guidelines overburden obligors. For example, the State of Florida found that traditional means of collection were unsuccessful and hired two private contractors, Lockheed Martin IMS and Maximus, Inc., to pursue nearly 200,000 "deadbeats." Lock-heed was assigned 101 ,325 cases of which it closed 37,270. Over fourteen months, Lockheed was paid $2.2 million and "managed to collect $137,839 in child support payments." Maximus was assigned 89,560 cases of which it closed 46,692. Maximus was paid $2.25 million and "got 12 deadbeats to cough up $5,867."[6] According to one news story: "What Maximus and Lockheed Martin learned in the process of tracking down non-paying parents is that most who don't make child support payments are, in a word, broke. You can't give what you don't have." [7]

Similarly, when the state of Maryland decided to get tough with "deadbeat dads" by suspending 9,000 driver's licenses, only about 800 were able to make sufficient progress on their arrearages to get their licenses restored. In modern America, the ability to drive a car to work, to the grocery store, to just about anywhere, is an indispensable part of simple survival. There were not many trophy wives or shiny red Porsches among the 91 percent who were unable to make sufficient payments simply to regain the freedom to drive.

Professional research into the status of' child support obligors is just now beginning to receive funding. Elsewhere in this issue, Professor Sanford Braver reports on some of his research. Similarly, the team of Laura Lein (University of Texas) and Katherine Edini (Rutgers University) recently found:

Many of the absent fathers who state leaders want to track down and force to pay child support are so destitute that their lives focus on finding the next job, next meal or next night's shelter . . . . The initial findings are sobering, filled with descriptions of life in the streets or cheap motels, rummaging for food as restaurants are closing and seeking shelter, often a week or a day at a time.

. . .

What we are finding with the men is that in lots of different areas, there are pressures, in terms of their housing, in terms of their job stability, in terms of trying to be a father, in terms of education and health. There are problems in every domain. [9]

Evidence has been building over the past decade that the obligations imposed on noncustodial parents are unsustainable but, for many of those years, little notice was paid. For example, in 1991, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) touted a program under which obligors were rounded up and told that they could either go to jail or charge their arrearages on their credit cards. The description of the program made no mention of the constitutionality of debtors' prison or the morality of driving people into 18 percent revolving credit card debt to pay obligations that supposedly had been established on the basis of ability to pay. The description merely noted that the success of the program in pilot studies was limited because "the majority of obligors-most of them from non-AFDC families" -were already so poor that they "had neither charge cards nor checking accounts." [10]

The most widely cited claims about child support noncompliance are those derived from U.S. Bureau of the Census surveys. These figures purport to show that approximately 50 percent of child support orders are paid in full, approximately 25 percent are paid in part, and approximately 25 percent are unpaid. These figures are given as the principal justification for the punitive child support measures undertaken by the federal and state governments during the past decade. The problem is that the cited figures do not accurately reflect the reality of child support compliance and utilized a methodology that would receive no credence in any other setting.

The Census Bureau asked only the custodial mothers whether payment was received. It did not compare those responses with noncustodial reports of how much was paid or with court records of how much was owed. The Census Bureau also failed to quantify or correct the under-reporting of the amount of child support actually received by surveyed welfare recipients who feared a risk of benefit reduction or termination if they disclosed the receipt of more than thc $50 disregard amount in child support cases In other contexts the Department of Health and Human Services has admitted that welfare recipients typically understate their income in federal surveys. [11] Finally, the survey lumped together as "partial compliance" all situations where the delinquency was as little as the late payment of a single installment and counted as "non-compliance" all cases where the obligor was unemployed, disabled, imprisoned, or even dead-the ultimate "deadbeats." In a 1992 study, the General Accounting Office reviewed the Census Bureau data and reported that, when custodial mothers were asked tile reasons why they had not received child support payments, 66 percent of the mothers themselves (in both in-state and interstate cases) gave the reason as "father unable to pay." [12]

Whenever the exaggerations of the child support lobby are exposed, the ready response is that critics must surely admit that at least some child support is not paid. True enough, but this response invariably begs the question of why some child support payments are not made. The enforcement of child support is already the most onerous form of debt collection practiced in the United States. Tax returns are intercepted, credit reporting services are notified, multi-billion dollar bureaucracies are fed, and obligors are even jailed. If compliance is still inadequate despite the efforts of this massive enforcement apparatus, society must begin looking at the question of why?

Senior officials of the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) of HHS acknowledge that very little data exists on why child support payments are not made and that even this small body of data is not publicized. [13] The United States spends over $3 billion annually on child support enforcement, yet the government has had no meaningful understanding of how many nonpaying obligors unemployed, disabled, supporting second families, or engaged in civil disobedience because they have been unable to see their children.

The demonization of noncustodial parents is used to justify all manner of inhumane treatment. Sylvia Folk, a noncustodial mother, testified before Congress that she was incarcerated for seventy-two days for nonpayment. The judge candidly acknowledged his awareness that she lacked the money to pay but vowed to, and did, hold her until the ransom was paid by her church. [14] Ms. Folk's treatment is by no means uncommon. As Family Court Judge L. Mendel Rivers, Jr., explained:

The problem is, chronic non-supporters do not have dependable jobs, nor tax refunds, nor seizeable property. That's why they are chronic. . . . As cruel as it sounds, the one remedy that almost always works is incarceration. We family court judges call it "the magic fountain." . . . Of course, there is no magic. The money is paid by his mother, or by the second wife, or by some other innocent who perhaps had to liquidate her life's savings. [15]

The theory is that child support is set to meet the child's needs within the limits of the obligor's ability to pay. When the difference between theory and reality is so great that the required revenue can only be generated through medieval kidnappings for ransom, in the style of Judge Rivers, the system must ultimately collapse of its own weight. This is exactly what is happening.

Every year the federal and state governments spend more money on child support enforcement only to report larger caseloads, backlogs, and arrearages. The collection tactics practiced for child support debt are tolerated for no other form of debt in American society, yet after every round of new coercions, we find that the problem has only worsened. We have delayed the realization that child support obligations imposed on low-income obligors are not sustainable but the truth cannot be suppressed forever. Frontline enforcement workers who begin with zeal their crusade against deadbeats end up reporting that:

I just couldn't stand what they were doing to people. I got a call from a

homeless shelter and was told that I had put a man and . . . his four

children out on the street because I had put an enforcement order. . . for

50% of his income. I was devastated. That was the beginning of the end for me, because I think that was the first time I was in touch with the ramifications of what I was doing." [16]

Way to go Minnesota!

Subject
Child Support Reform in Minnesota

Date Wed May 18 2005 09:18
Author Maury D. Beaulier
This legislative session has seen a number of bills related to family law and divorce proposed by different members of the legislature. One of the bills that seems to be gaining support is one related to child support reform in Minnesota.

Minnesota's current system for calculating child support is based on guidelines that look at the non-custodial parent's income only , multiplying that "net income" by a percentage. Generally, for one child, the percentage is 25%, for two 30%, and three 35%. The new bill with regard to child support would change that significantly. It was passed in the senate on May 17, 2005 by a 60 -2 margin but must still be ratified by the house. A companion bill has been proposed.

Under the bill, a comparative income approach is used. That means that the income of both parents would be considered when determining child support payments.

A second change is that child support would be based on "gross income" as opposed to the current method which uses "net income."

The bill also has additionally new features including:

  1. Reducing child support payments for noncustodial parents who have additional children after the divorce or separation.

  2. Create a "parental expense adjustment." If parenting time is 10 to 45 percent for the noncustodial parent, there would be a 12 percent reduction of child support. If parenting time is equal between both parents the expenses for the children would be equally shared. And if the adjusted gross incomes of both parents were also equal, then no support would be paid.

Read up! This is unacceptable!!

Subject: DEATH IS NO EXCUSE!
From: richard.donovan@runningb.com (Richard Donovan)
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 94 10:29:00 -0500

From Ken Pangborn:

In Florida, merely being dead is NO excuse for failing to meet
your child support payments! Early in October the Florida Department of
Revenue, now responsible for the enforcement of Child Support, sent
out notices to over 700,000 men demanding "IMMEDIATE" payment of child
support. Officials now admit that as many as 500,000 of those court
summons may have been in error.

Daniel Wells was one of the recipients of the summons', Wells
was killed in a traffic accident 9 years ago. But this mere fact does
not deter Florida child support officials from demanding that this
dastardly "DEADBEAT DAD" be immediately sent to prison for being in
arrears on child support for over $106,000! They demand a one year
prison sentence!

Wells isn't the only dead dad Florida officials are tracking down
to get blood from those turnips. Well they can't get blood from the
turnips, but they CAN put those turnips in jail! (Sen. Russell Long)
The vituperation against scum sucking "DEADBEAT DADS" continues to
mount, along with the politically correct fervor to FORCE payment by
any means possible! Despite his death, Florida officials expect Wells
to begin making support payments immediately or face jail. I suppose
they have new shovels to dig-up their cases with.

It is interesting that the embarrassed agency has to admit that
of the 700,000 summons sent out, 500,000 have turned out to be cases
where no support is owed. Is there any wonder how the Feminazis come
by their statistics on deadbeat dads?

I'm not too sure about anything anymore about my beloved United States of America. You've heard me rant and rave about how left out and let down I feel our goverment has been towards the have-littles and the have-nots. Now, the latest on that is the down-trodden non-custodial fathers. Check out this scenario ...

You're a man providing a good home for your wife and kids, working your ass off because that's what a real man does for his family while his wife is screwing every Tom with a Harry Dick, and then decides she would rather be single, not work and take the kids (because she doesn't want to work) and the kids would bring in money from the ex in the form of "child support". . . she make false allegations against the dad (because you live in a no-fault state, you can't bring up the fact that the wife is a skank) she takes the kids, the home, (oh yeah, I failed to mention that after he had the house built she decided she wanted a divorce and promptly kicked him out) 65% of his income, so he can't support himself, because she doesn't want him, but doesn't want anyone else to want him. And because she hasn't made him feel inadequate enough, she along with the help of her attorney (who of course he's ordered to pay for) and the "family" court system she continues to try to pluck him dry. They have been divorced SIX YEARS, and she's still sticking it to him, why? Because she CAN!!!

I had no idea this was even possible! I have no kids and no desire to even have any because I though the goverment was in my business too much already and I didn't want them to tell me how to raise my children too. I've been going on a web site at www.dadsdivorce.com to get some pointers on how to help my future husband with his on-going battle with his ex and came across some very good information and advice. THIS SITE IS EXCELLENT!!!

But I digress ... upon reading quite a few of the post and seeing what these men have gone through and continuing to go through because of vindictive, lazy, money-grubbing, greedy women (and I use that term lightly), who pimp out their children for more money to support whatever habit they have ... be it sex with the new BF, drugs (both prescription and non) home, cars, lifestyle, and leaving the child(ren) with an emotional and/or mental deficits. I understand why men go off the deep end after the "family" courts take their hard earned money (not based on what they actually make, but what they "could be making" and giving to a woman who in turn takes care of herself first) ... I can understand why he would snap, take a gun, put a bullet in her head and then turn the gun on himself. I'm not saying I condone it or even agree with it ... but I understand how it can happen.

It's just another form of slavery and extortion. There was a time when the master could beat the slave until he either broke him or killed him and I see the courts perpetuating the same in non-custodial fathers whose only crime was marrying the wrong woman ... just like the slaves only crime was being born black. How fair is that? The National Organization of Women (as well as other women's groups) have created this monster and women are paying for it by losing their lives by the very men they promised to love till the day they died. You will see more men committing suicide, murdering their ex spouse or both because they have been beaten, told they are worthless and looked on as nothing more than a wallet being sucked dry. They are not being allowed a decent income to support a life at least at poverty level, forget getting married again or having other children or any resemblence of any kind of happiness ... when there is no hope, what's the point of living? And if you're going out, why not take the cause out with you?

Wake up ladies! Look at what your petty, greedy, lazy self-serving attitude is getting you ... if your ex hasn't flipped out yet ... keep pushing him .... the clock is ticking and your time might be running out. Be fair!