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Posts tagged ‘District Attorney’

Tennessee Struggles With Child Support Debt

justice and moneyMothers who make no effort to identify father of their children could have a cap on the number of years in which they can go back and seek child support.

“We’re asking the legislature to consider allowing a law that says you can’t go back any more than five years,” 9th Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.

Johnson said his office collected $8.173 million in child support during the 2014-15 fiscal year and led the state in establishing orders in cases.

An inability to pay is a problem many defendants run into, according to Johnson.

“What’s happening is these dads, usually dads, sometimes mothers, owe tens of thousands of dollars in child support going back 18 years at some point,” Johnson said. “They’ll never get it paid.”

To convey his point, Johnson’s office looked at the number of inmates in the Roane County Jail with child support issues as of Dec. 1.

Two were in custody on a child support hold only, and another 10 were in jail with criminal and child support holds.

The total child support arrearages for those 12 inmates was $343,210.54.

“Right now, you place a child support amount from birth until 18,” Johnson said. “In a lot of cases, most of these are not typically just people coming out of divorce with kids. They are people who have had kids out of wedlock, which is a common thing.”

Johnson’s office handles cases free of charge in Magistrate Charles Crass’ court for custodial parents who have either a divorce decree or court order requiring someone to pay child support.

“The court and the state can’t relieve you of paying the child support,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be there forever. Judge Crass just can’t say well that’s OK, don’t worry about that $20,000.”

A law that puts a cap on the number of years a person can go back to seek child support could force parents to take advantage of their rights sooner.

“You’ve got to immediately file something for paternity and get that going and get that person identified,” Johnson said. “You can’t wait until right before the child is about to turn 18 and go back and say, ‘hey, John Doe, you’re the father of my child, let’s have a DNA test and prove it, and now you’re owing 18 years of child support you didn’t know about’.”

The next session of the Tennessee General Assembly starts in January.

“That’s something the legislature is going to look at,” Johnson said.

If that happens, Johnson said it could also cause the legislature to look at some of the problems the court system is having with defendants who can’t pay their fines and court costs in criminal cases.

original article at Roane County News

While states struggle with their child support issues, the federal government takes support from any available source, including social security and tax offices. Men continue to be cut down by unconstitutional and cruel law like the Bradley Amendment, which prohibits any retroactive change in child support.

Single Mothers Often the Chief Child Abuser

by Jim Hays

stress single motherNY District Attorney Kate Hogan states, “Often, the most serious cases occur at the hands of men who have no biological and emotional connection to a child, many times the child’s mother’s boyfriend.”

Unfortunately, this quote is taken out of context, for it fails to identify who abuses and neglects children most, the family makeup and relationship to the child, and how these children end up under the hand of the single mother and mother’s boyfriend. So let’s look at the whole story.

The 2010 Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4) once again shows the greatest incidence of child abuse and neglect is perpetrated by “single” mothers (not living with the biological father), followed by abuse and neglect caused by live-in boyfriends.

The NIS-4 executive summary states “Children living with their married biological parents universally had the lowest rate, whereas those living with a single parent who had a cohabiting partner in the household had the highest rate in all maltreatment categories.”

While the study speaks of single parents, we have a default mother custody rate of more than 85 percent in our family courts in this nation, including here in New York state. So it is single-mother homes with a live-in boyfriend where we have the highest threat of abuse and neglect for children.

Before we can blame the sex of the parent in these single-parent homes, we need to look at how we got so many single mothers with boyfriend homes in the first place. And here, the fact of the matter is that it is the biases of Family Court judges to award sole custody to the mother in more than 85 percent of cases, which removes the parental rights of the father without cause, limits the fathers access to minimal times, and provides no enforcement for interference with the father’s access to his children by the mother or others.

The No. 1 reason a father doesn’t spend more time with his children is the limitations of a court order. No. 2 two is prevention of access by the mother, 50 percent of whom admit to interfering with the father’s access with impunity. This is combined with a system that ignores and dismisses the complaints of a father about abuse or neglect of his child as vindictive before a proper investigation of the facts.

If we look at the best situation for children, we see that not only do children having married biological parents in the home have the lowest abuse and neglect rates, this is followed by unmarried biological parents and then children with biological parents living apart but involved (caparisoning or shared parenting).

Inversely, single mother with mother’s boyfriends and then single-parent homes have the most abuse and neglect of children.

So it is easy to see that in speaking about healthy outcomes of children, DA Hogan is off the mark.

If she wants to do something to protect children, she and her fellow DAs could enforce violations of custody orders just like protection orders and child support orders, with criminal charges for blatant violators.

Then, I suggest she get the book written by the late David Levy of the Children’s Rights Council which summed up the solution to negative child outcomes in the title: “The Best Parent is BOTH Parents.”

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