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Posts tagged ‘Marriage’

The Homeless Dads: The Bad Deal Divorce

John McElhenney still tries to see the balance in his divorce decree. But after losing everything twice, he’s convinced we men need to fight for equal consideration after the marriage has ended.

empty-pockets-robbed-court-orderThe typical divorce is actually pretty painful. The standard DEAL is almost an assault to fatherhood, and we need to fight to change it. In the most common arrangement, Mom gets the kids and house, dad gets the child support payment. It’s how things used to work. But today, unfortunately, the courts still go by this structure unless there is significant fight to something difference.

There are a few problems with this pattern.

chronic-stressThe non-custodial parent is assumed to be a deadbeat when they are calling the AG’s office. You are segmented into custodial or non-custodial parent at the beginning. If you are the non-custodial parent the only reason you’d be calling is you are behind on your child support.

When we complain about unavailable dads, or dads that check-out after divorce, here are a few of the reasons why.

  1. The child support burden is a lot of money.
  2. Dads might be resentful of the “money only” role they are being put in.
  3. When dad is asked to leave the marital home they are often forced to move in with family members or friends, this is largely because of the cost of child support.
  4. In addition to $500+ per kid in child support (estimate) the dad is also asked to pay for health insurance. (Today, in my case this is an additional $1,200 per month with two kids.

burning the constitutionSo let’s see, I’ve got no home. I’m paying $1,200 a month for child support and $1,200 a month for health care. How can I afford an apartment? If I don’t have a killer job ($2,400 after tax expenses before I get a dollar for myself or my survival. Well, that’s a pretty steep hill to climb.

IF the playing field were equal, I would guess a lot more divorces would be negotiated in good faith. Today, even if you declare a collaborative divorce, the issue of money is liable to strike the dad in the pocketbook in a way the mom, to start out with, does not even have to consider. RARE is the case where the dad is given full custody and the mom pays child support.

Shouldn’t we start with 50/50 in both financial responsibility AND parenting time? This is the fight we are fighting in the courts today. I’m considering going back to court to reset the arrangement. I was attempting a collaborative divorce, but in the end I was handed this lopsided deal. I have to earn over $3,000 per month (taking taxes out BEFORE I pay the mom) before I have a chance at even putting food on the table.

baby moneyThis leaves a lot of dads as deadbeats, not because they are actually trying to shirk their responsibility, but because the mom and the court have saddled them up with so much financial liability that they cannot afford to make the payments each month. At that point the dad is subject to financial liens, foreclosure, and checking account freezes.

You know what happens when the AG’s office freezes your account?

  1. The bank charges you $57 – $150 for the freeze.
  2. The bank processes no further payments (rent, car payments, even your child support payments)
  3. You bounce checks.
  4. You’re credit get’s screwed.
  5. You end up with an additional $200 – $400 in fees.

And you know what the AG’s officer will tell you? (The Humans Of Divorce, Dear AG’s Office Special Cases Officer Mr. McK!)

indigent in AmericaFair treatment of fathers begins at the beginning of the relationship. BEFORE you have kids, you can agree to parent 50/50. If that’s the deal, you should have the discussion about if things don’t work out. (I’m not talking prenuptial, just an understanding) In my marriage we started out 50/50, but as soon as she decided she wanted a divorce (yes, it was her idea) the arrangement went to the cutting floor and I was handed the dad deal. A bad deal for everyone.

As the dad can’t afford a nice place for the kids to come visit, they want to come visit less. As mom’s house maintains some of its status and comfort (important for the kids) the dad is left in the cold to fend for himself AFTER he makes all the payments to help the mom stay in the house and live within the lifestyle the couple achieved TOGETHER. Except now it’s not together. And the cooperation you started with before you had kids, becomes a longterm ground war between “the money you owe me” and the money you can afford to pay without suing your ex.

Dad’s are just as important as moms. Even with young kids, the loss of either parent (my dad left when I was 5) is on of the most painful aspects of divorce. For the dad it is doubly devastating: the no longer have a house, and the courts and the AG’s office have now put their credit at risk, making employment and ability to pay even more difficult.

Consider the dads. If you’re a dad consider the courts and get an attorney who can show  you examples of winning in court for fair arrangements.

captiveThe money after divorce should be divided equally. Anything else puts man men at risk for debit issues, credit issues, and put them at risk of suicide and depression. Let’s put the balance back in divorce. Give both parents the benefit of the doubt. And both parents should be advocating for a 50/50 split in the same spirit they entered parenthood, with expectations of a 50/50 partnership. That partnership doesn’t end at divorce. But if we load up the man with all of the financial obligations and punish him for being late on a payment or two, we are hurting all the members of the family. The mom loses when the dad’s account is frozen. Even if the mom didn’t want it to happen. Once you’ve asked the AG’s office into your divorce, they never leave. (Inviting the Dinosaur Into Your Divorce)

We need fair divorce laws. We need courts that will listen to the needs of both parents and consider 50/50 parenting as the desired outcome. Until we stand up and fight for equality AFTER marriage we will continue to be on the losing side of the post-marriage equation.

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Obama: Church Shouldn’t Focus on Protecting the Unborn & Marriage

by Barry Silver

666 the prezA couple of weeks ago President Obama took part in a panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University where he launched into an attack on the focus of the Christian church in America. I’m not certain what makes him an expert exactly. I know he claims to be a constitutional law attorney. Funny though, the prez and the first lady were both attorneys, disbarred by the State of Illinois. Why is an attorney disbarred? An attorney is disbarred because of conduct unbecoming. It’s like being a soldier and being dishonorably discharged.

obsequious moderatorThe prez said that his comments were based on his “own Christian faith.” The panel was moderated by a famous Washington liberal, so the panel gravitated to praising the left while attacking the right when it comes to poverty. No discussion was made about the disparity in charitable giving between red and blue states, but simply to the fact that conservatives didn’t believe the government should be used for charity, while the left believes the government should be the main source of charity. Obama criticized churches for how they engage politically, focusing on “divisive issues” such as protecting life and preserving marriage.

“The president argued last week that churches would gain more followers if they embraced the “powerful” idea of helping those in poverty. “I think it would be powerful for our faith-based organizations to speak out on [poverty] in a more forceful fashion,” he said.

The president also said that advocating the redistribution of wealth is “vital to following what Jesus Christ, our Savior, talked about.”

More often, he engaged in double-speak like this:

“When it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what’s the defining issue, when you’re talking in your congregations, what’s the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, [poverty] is oftentimes viewed as a nice to have, relative to an issue like abortion.”

homelessThe ignorance of the president knows few bounds. To imply that ending poverty should be of greater concern to Christians than ending the holocaust of innocent lives through the eugenics of abortion is repulsive. All you hear liberals talk about is human rights until it comes down to actually considering what those rights are. Essentially, the unborn have no rights because they don’t have the capacity to vote.

burningrightsinternetMen don’t have rights either. They can vote, but they’ve been emasculated unless they want to tow the Washington line. The state can rob and plunder anyway it pleases. It sees itself as Robin Hood, especially as the champion of the children that it wants to own. It does this fully through single mothers. It champions the Bradley Amendment. It robs from parents and tolerates the church – for now. Government wants your faith. The church is simply poor competition. By deduction, Christians are pains in the arses to compete with the state in any way. Prez knows best.

dad-slaveryAs far as same-sex marriage goes, homosexuality is just another sin, conveniently listed among those sins, of which Yahweh says that no man or woman will enter His Kingdom. Many churches are already on a wide road to destruction according to scripture, but that’s another topic beyond the stupidity and corruptibility of American leaders and obsequious stone-headed church leaders. What a real Christian would best do isn’t covered much in public.

Man Forced to Pay Child Support for Kid Who Isn’t Even His

by Linda Fogarty

black-dadThere are a lot of good guys out there. Men who will step up to the plate and treat children who aren’t theirs as if they are their own. But, as one dad from North Carolina is learning after being told he has to pay child support for a child he didn’t father, some will take advantage of kindness.

Allow me to explain this somewhat complicated story. Randall Smith met, fell in love with, and married a woman shortly after he was hospitalized with lymphoma. Not long after their wedding, she came to him with some happy news—she was pregnant—hip-hip hurray, right?

Eh, not so fast. Smith had a vasectomy years before her announcement. We all know what that means, right?

Shocked beyond belief, we’re sure, Smith made an appointment with his urologist, who confirmed that he didn’t actually have sperm.

dollar bondageInstead of high-tailing it out of his marriage, he stuck around and showed he was more committed to his wife than most would have been if they were in this same position. He promised to raise the child as if he were his own, but says he also made it clear that if they ever split, her son would be her responsibility and he wouldn’t have to pay child support.

Seems fair, doesn’t it? After cheating on him, which I realize is only an assumption since he has yet to get a DNA test (say what?! I know), I would consider her pretty darn lucky to get a second chance with a man who was also willing to be a father figure to her son.

kangaroo courtI think you know where I’m going with this. They eventually broke up and the woman wants him to pay child support. Not only is Smith angry because he says he isn’t the father and they had an agreement (which, unfortunately, wasn’t in writing and signed by attorneys), but also because his injury left him disabled and $7,000 in arrears.

The biggest problem here is that Smith didn’t get a DNA test as soon as his wife’s son was born. He now has to scramble to get one in a certain amount of time for the court to even consider exonerating him from paying child support. What was he thinking?! Is he really that trusting that he assumed he could have faith in his wife’s word? Maybe he didn’t want to put the child through the trauma of a DNA test?

DNA-testThis is such a sad story. Any man who is kind enough to take care of a child who isn’t his deserves better than this—especially when there are many biological dads who aren’t acting responsibly and feel they are within their right to walk away when the duties of parenthood get in their way.

Do you think this man should be forced to pay child support?

overthrow

Divorced from Reality: Government Wants to End Your Marriage

“We’re from the Government, and We’re Here to End Your Marriage.”
by Stephen Baskerville

computer familyThe decline of the family has now reached critical and truly dangerous proportions. Family breakdown touches virtually every family and every American. It is not only the major source of social instability in the Western world today but also seriously threatens civic freedom and constitutional government.

G. K. Chesterton once observed that the family serves as the principal check on government power, and he suggested that someday the family and the state would confront one another. That day has arrived.

Chesterton was writing about divorce, and despite extensive public attention to almost every other threat to the family, divorce remains the most direct and serious. Michael McManus of Marriage Savers writes that “divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today’s challenge by gays.”

Most Americans would be deeply shocked if they knew what goes on today under the name of divorce. Indeed, many are devastated to discover that they can be forced into divorce by procedures entirely beyond their control. Divorce licenses unprecedented government intrusion into family life, including the power to sunder families, seize children, loot family wealth, and incarcerate parents without trial. Comprised of family courts and vast, federally funded social services bureaucracies that wield what amount to police powers, the divorce machinery has become the most predatory and repressive sector of government ever created in the United States and is today’s greatest threat to constitutional freedom.

Unilateral Divorce

burning the constitutionSome four decades ago, while few were paying attention, the Western world embarked on the boldest social experiment in its history. With no public discussion of the possible consequences, laws were enacted in virtually every jurisdiction that effectively ended marriage as a legal contract. Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family. The government can now, at the request of one spouse, simply dissolve a marriage over the objection of the other. Maggie Gallagher aptly titled her 1996 book The Abolition of Marriage.

This startling fact has been ignored by politicians, journalists, academics, and even family advocates. “Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue,” wrote Gallagher. “The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda.” No American politician of national stature has ever challenged involuntary divorce. “Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative,” observes Barbara Whitehead in The Divorce Culture. “Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership.”

In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, “I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce.” The exception proves the rule. When Pope John Paul II criticized divorce in 2002, he was roundly attacked from the right as well as the left.

The full implications of the “no-fault” revolution have never been publicly debated. “The divorce laws . . . were reformed by unrepresentative groups with very particular agendas of their own and which were not in step with public opinion,” writes Melanie Phillips in The Sex-Change Society. “Public attitudes were gradually dragged along behind laws that were generally understood at the time to mean something very different from what they subsequently came to represent.”

Today’s disputes over marriage in fact have their origin in this one. Demands to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples are inconceivable apart from the redefinition of marriage already effected by heterosexuals through divorce. Though gays cite the very desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, activist Andrew Sullivan acknowledges that that desire has arisen only because of the promiscuity permitted in modern marriage. “The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50 percent divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” he points out. “All homosexuals are saying . . . is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is . . . a denial of basic civil equality” (emphasis added). Gays do not want traditional monogamous marriage, only the version debased by divorce.

Contrary to common assumptions, divorce today seldom involves two people mutually deciding to part ways. According to Frank Furstenberg and Andrew Cherlin in Divided Families, 80 percent of divorces are unilateral, that is, over the objection of one spouse. Patricia Morgan of London’s Civitas think tank reports that in over half of divorces, there was no recollection of major conflict before the separation.

Under “no-fault,” or what some call “unilateral,” divorce—a legal regime that expunged all considerations of justice from the procedure—divorce becomes a sudden power grab by one spouse, assisted by an army of judicial hangers-on who reward belligerence and profit from the ensuing litigation: judges, lawyers, psychotherapists, counselors, mediators, custody evaluators, social workers, and more.

If marriage is not wholly a private affair, as today’s marriage advocates insist, involuntary divorce by its nature requires constant government supervision over family life. Far more than marriage, divorce mobilizes and expands government power. Marriage creates a private household, which may or may not necessitate signing some legal documents. Divorce dissolves a private household, usually against the wishes of one spouse. It inevitably involves state functionaries—including police and jails—to enforce the divorce and the post-marriage order.

Almost invariably, the involuntarily divorced spouse will want and expect to continue enjoying the protections and prerogatives of private life: the right to live in the common home, to possess the common property, or—most vexing of all—to parent the common children. These claims must be terminated, using the penal system if necessary.

Onerous Implications

consentFew stopped to consider the implications of laws that shifted the breakup of private households from a voluntary to an involuntary process. Unilateral divorce inescapably involves government agents forcibly removing legally innocent people from their homes, seizing their property, and separating them from their children. It inherently abrogates not only the inviolability of marriage but the very concept of private life.

By far the most serious consequences involve children, who have become the principal weapons of the divorce machinery. Invariably the first action of a divorce court, once a divorce is filed, is to separate the children from one of their parents, usually the father. Until this happens, no one in the machinery acquires any power or earnings. The first principle and first action of divorce court therefore: Remove the father.

This happens even if the father is innocent of any legal wrongdoing and is simply sitting in his own home minding his own business. The state seizes control of his children with no burden of proof to justify why. The burden of proof (and the financial burden) falls on the father to demonstrate why they should be returned.

Though obfuscated with legal jargon (losing “custody”), what this means is that a legally unimpeachable parent can suddenly be arrested for seeing his own children without government authorization. Following from this, he can be arrested for failure or inability to conform to a variety of additional judicial directives that apply to no one but him. He can be arrested for domestic violence or child abuse, even if no evidence is presented that he has committed any. He can be arrested for not paying child support, even if the amount exceeds his means (and which may amount to most of his salary). He can even be arrested for not paying an attorney or a psychotherapist he has not hired.

The New York Times has reported on how easily “the divorce court leads to a jail cell.” Take the case of Marvin Singer, who was jailed without trial for not paying an attorney he never hired $100,000—only half of what the court claimed he “owes.” In Virginia, one father was ordered to pay two years’ worth of his salary to a lawyer he also did not hire for a divorce he did not request. Once arrested, the father is summarily jailed. There is no formal charge, no jury, and no trial.

Family court judges’ contempt for both fathers and constitutional rights was openly expressed by New Jersey municipal court judge Richard Russell: “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating,” he told his colleagues at a judges’ training seminar in 1994. “Throw him out on the street. . . . We don’t have to worry about the rights.”

Generated Hysteria

unconstitutional law must goWhy do we hear almost nothing about this? Aside from media that sympathize with the divorce revolution, the multi-billion-dollar divorce industry also commands a huge government-funded propaganda machine that has distorted our view of what is happening.

The growth of the divorce machinery during the 1970s and 1980s did not follow but preceded (in other words, it generated) a series of hysterias against parents—especially fathers—so hideous and inflammatory that no one, left or right, dared question them or defend those accused: child abuse and molestation, wife-beating, and nonpayment of “child support.” Each of these hysterias has been propagated largely by feminists, bar associations, and social work bureaucracies, whose federal funding is generously shared with state and local law-enforcement officials.

The parent on the receiving end of such accusations—even in the absence of any formal charge, evidence, or conviction—not only loses his children summarily and often permanently; he also finds himself abandoned by friends and family members, parishioners and pastors, co-workers and employers (and he may well lose his job)—all terrified to be associated with an accused “pedophile,” “batterer,” or “deadbeat dad.”

It is not clear that these nefarious figures are other than bogeymen created by divorce interests, well aware that not only the public generally but conservatives and family advocates in particular are a soft touch when it comes to anything concerning irresponsible behavior or sexual perversion.

Christians are especially vulnerable to credulity about such accusations, because they are disposed to see moral breakdown behind social ills. Moral breakdown certainly does lie behind the divorce epidemic (of which more shortly), but it is far deeper than anything addressed by cheap witch-hunts against government-designated malefactors.

hillary-clintonIt is also largely credulity and fear that leads Congress by overwhelming majorities to appropriate billions for anti-family programs in response to these hysterias. The massive federal funds devoted to domestic violence, child abuse, and child-support enforcement are little more than what Phyllis Schlafly calls “feminist pork,” taxpayer subsidies on family dissolution that also trample due process protections. Family law may technically be the purview of states, but it is driven by federal policies and funded by a Congress fearful of accusations that it is not doing enough against pedophiles, batterers, and deadbeats.

In fact, each of these figures is largely a hoax, a creation of feminist ideology disseminated at taxpayers’ expense and unchallenged by journalists, academics, civil libertarians, and family advocates who are either unaware of the reality or cowed into silence. Indeed, so diabolical are these hysterias that some family advocates simply accept them as additional evidence of the family crisis.

But while sensational examples can be found of anything, there is simply no evidence that the family and fatherhood crisis is caused primarily or even significantly by fathers abandoning their families, beating their wives, and molesting their children. Irrefutable evidence indicates that it is driven almost entirely by divorce courts forcibly separating parents from their children and using these false accusations as a rationalization.

Divorce Gamesmanship

clintonsDuring the 1980s and 1990s, waves of child abuse hysteria swept America and other countries. Sensational cases in Washington state, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ontario, Saskatchewan, the north of England, and more recently France resulted in torn-apart families, blatantly unjust prison sentences, and ruined lives, while the media and civil libertarians looked the other way.

Today it is not clear that we have learned anything from these miscarriages of justice. If anything, the hysteria has been institutionalized in the divorce courts, where false allegations have become routine.

What is ironic about these witch-hunts is the fact that it is easily demonstrable that the child abuse epidemic—which is very real—is almost entirely the creation of feminism and the welfare bureaucracies themselves. It is well established by scholars that an intact family is the safest place for women and children and that very little abuse takes place in married families. Child abuse overwhelmingly occurs in single-parent homes, homes from which the father has been removed. Domestic violence, too, is far more likely during or after the breakup of a marriage than among married couples.

Yet patently false accusations of both child abuse and domestic violence are rampant in divorce courts, almost always for purposes of breaking up families, securing child custody, and eliminating fathers. “With child abuse and spouse abuse you don’t have to prove anything,” the leader of a legal seminar tells divorcing mothers, according to the Chicago Tribune. “You just have to accuse.”

arrestAmong scholars and legal practitioners it is common knowledge that patently trumped-up accusations are routinely used, and virtually never punished, in divorce and custody proceedings. Elaine Epstein, president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, writes that “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in custody cases. The Illinois Bar Journal describes how abuse accusations readily “become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” The UMKC Law Review reports on a survey of judges and attorneys revealing that disregard for due process and allegations of domestic violence are used as a “litigation strategy.” In the Yale Law Review, Jeannie Suk calls domestic violence accusations a system of “state-imposed de facto divorce” and documents how courts use unsupported accusations to justify evicting Americans from their homes and children.

The multi-billion dollar abuse industry has become “an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice” writes David Heleniak in the Rutgers Law Review. Domestic violence has become “a backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,” write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in the scholarly journal Aggression and Violent Behavior. “No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice.”

Feminists confess as much in their vociferous opposition to divorce reform. A special issue of the feminist magazine Mother Jones in 2005 ostensibly devoted to domestic violence focuses largely on securing child custody.

Both child abuse and domestic violence have no precise definitions. Legally they are not adjudicated as violent assault, and accused parents do not enjoy the constitutional protections of criminal defendants. Allegations are “confirmed” not by jury trials but by judges or social workers. Domestic violence is any conflict within an “intimate relationship” and need not be actually violent or even physical. Official definitions include “extreme jealousy and possessiveness,” “name calling and constant criticizing,” and “ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing the victim’s needs.”

For such “crimes” fathers lose their children and can be jailed. “Protective orders” separating parents from their children are readily issued during divorce proceedings, usually without any evidence of wrongdoing. “Restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply,” and “the facts have become irrelevant,” writes Epstein. “In virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had.”

Cycle of Abuse

stressed single motherTrumped-up accusations are thus used to create precisely the single-parent homes in which actual abuse is most likely to occur. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Children of single parents had a 77% greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse, an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect, and an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury or harm from abuse or neglect than children living with both parents.” Britain’s Family Education Trust reports that children are up to 33 times more likely to be abused in a single-parent home than in an intact family.

The principal impediment to child abuse is thus precisely the figure whom the welfare and divorce bureaucracies are intent on removing: the father. “The presence of the father . . . placed the child at lesser risk for child sexual abuse,” concludes a 2000 study published in Adolescent and Family Health. “The protective effect from the father’s presence in most households was sufficiently strong to offset the risk incurred by the few paternal perpetrators.” In fact, the risk of “paternal perpetrators” is miniscule, since a tiny proportion of sexual abuse (which is far less common than physical abuse) is committed by natural fathers, though government statistics lump them in with boyfriends and stepfathers to make it appear that incest is widespread.

Despite the innuendos of child abuse advocates, it is not married fathers but single mothers who are most likely to injure or kill their children. “Contrary to public perception,” write Patrick Fagan and Dorothy Hanks of the Heritage Foundation, “research shows that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that child’s mother, not a male in the household.” Mothers accounted for 55 percent of all child murders according to a Justice Department report. HHS itself found that women aged 20 to 49 are almost twice as likely as men to be perpetrators of child maltreatment: “almost two-thirds were females.” Given that “male” perpetrators are not usually fathers but boyfriends or stepfathers, fathers emerge as by far the least likely child abusers.

stress single motherYet government logic is marvelously self-justifying and self-perpetuating, since by eliminating the father, officials can present themselves as the solution to the problem they have created. The more child abuse there is—whether by single mothers, boyfriends, or even (as is often the case) by social workers and bureaucrats themselves—the more the proffered solution is to further expand the child abuse bureaucracy.

Waxing indignant about a string of child deaths at the hands of social workers in the District of Columbia, federal judges and the Washington Post found solace in the D.C. government’s solution: to hire more social workers (and lawyers too, for some unspecified reason). “Olivia Golden, the Child and Family Services’ latest director . . . will use her increased budget to recruit more social workers and double the number of lawyers.” Children die at the hands of social workers, so we must hire more social workers.

Likewise, it is difficult to believe that judges are not aware that the most dangerous environment for children is precisely the single-parent homes they themselves create when they remove fathers in custody proceedings. Yet they have no hesitation in removing them, secure in the knowledge that they will never be held accountable for any harm that may come to the children. On the contrary, if they do not remove the fathers, they may be punished by the bar associations and social work bureaucracies whose funding depends on a constant supply of abused children.

A commonplace of political science is that bureaucracies relentlessly expand, often by creating the very problem they exist to address. Appalling as it sounds, the conclusion is inescapable that we have created a massive army of officials with a vested interest in child abuse.

Trafficking in Children

father-child-in-prisonThe child abuse industry also demonstrates how one threat to the family creates another. Just as the divorce revolution eventually led to the demand for same-sex “marriage,” the child abuse deception has led to demands for parenting by same-sex couples.

Most discussion of homosexual parenting has centered on questions of children’s welfare versus the rights of homosexuals. Few have questioned the politics whereby prospective homosexual parents obtain the children they wish to parent. Granting same-sex couples the right to raise children means, by definition, giving at least one of the partners the right to raise someone else’s children, and the question arises whether the original parent or parents ever agreed to part with them or did something to warrant losing them.

Current laws governing divorce, domestic violence, and child abuse render this question open. The explosion in foster care based on the assumed but unexamined need to find permanent homes for allegedly abused children has provided perhaps the strongest argument in favor of same-sex “marriage” and homosexual parenting. Yet the politics of child abuse and divorce indicate that this assumption is not necessarily valid.

The government-generated child abuse epidemic and the mushrooming foster care business that it feeds have allowed government agencies to operate what amounts to trafficking in children. A San Diego grand jury reports “a widely held perception within the community and even within some areas of the Department [of Social Services] that the Department is in the ‘baby brokering’ business.”

Introducing same-sex “marriage” and adoption into this political dynamic could dramatically increase the demand for children to adopt, thus intensifying pressure on social service agencies and biological parents to supply such children. While sperm donors and surrogate mothers supply some children for homosexual parents, most have been taken from their natural parents because of divorce, unwed parenting, child abuse accusations, or connected reasons.

Massachusetts Senator Therese Murray, claiming that 40 percent of the state’s adoptions have gone to gay and lesbian couples, rationalizes the practice by invoking “children who have been neglected, abandoned, abused by their own families.” But it is far from evident that these children are in fact victims of their own parents. What seems inescapable is that homosexual parenting has arisen as the direct and perhaps inevitable consequence of government officials getting into the business—which began largely with divorce—of distributing other people’s children.

Child-Support Racket

mob-rule-child-support-governmentThe “deadbeat dad” is another figure largely manufactured by the divorce machinery. He is far less likely to have deliberately abandoned offspring he callously sired than to be an involuntarily divorced father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham writes in From Courtship to Courtroom, “forced to finance the filching of his own children.”

Child support is plagued by the same contradictions as child custody. Like custody, it is awarded ostensibly without reference to “fault,” and yet nonpayment brings swift and severe punishments. Contrary to popular belief, child support today has nothing to do with fathers abandoning their children, reneging on their marital vows, or even agreeing to divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those divorced against their will who lose their children through no legal fault or agreement of their own. It is an entitlement for all single mothers, in other words, regardless of their behavior.

Originally justified as a method of recovering welfare costs, child support has been transformed into a massive federal subsidy on middle-class divorce. No-fault divorce allowed a mother to divorce her husband for any reason or no reason and to take the children with her. Child support took the process a step further by allowing the divorcing mother to use the now-fatherless children to claim her husband’s income—also regardless of any fault on her part (or lack of fault on his) in abrogating the marriage agreement.

By glancing at a child-support schedule, a mother can determine exactly how large a tax-free windfall she can force her husband to pay her simply by divorcing, money she may spend however she wishes with no accounting requirement. It is collected at gunpoint if necessary, and nonpayment means incarceration without trial.

child support loaded gunLike the welfare it was supposed to replace, child support finances family dissolution by paying mothers to divorce. Economist Robert Willis calculates that child-support levels vastly exceeding the cost of raising children create “an incentive for divorce by the custodial mother.” His analysis indicates that only one-fifth to one-third of child-support payments are actually used for the children; the rest is profit for the custodial parent. Kimberly Folse and Hugo Varela-Alvarez write in the Journal of Socio-Economics that child support serves as an “economic incentive for middle-class women to seek divorce.”

Mothers are not the only ones who can profit by creating fatherless children. Governments also generate revenue from child support. State governments receive federal funds for every child-support dollar collected—money they can add to their general funds and use for any purpose they choose. This gives states a financial incentive to create as many single-parent households as possible by encouraging middle-class divorce. While very little child support—or government revenue—is generated from the impecunious young unmarried fathers for whom the program was ostensibly created, involuntarily divorced middle-class fathers have deeper pockets to loot.

dollar bondageThis is why state governments set child support at onerous levels. Not only does it immediately maximize their own revenues; by encouraging middle-class women to divorce, governments increase the number of fathers sending dollars through their systems, thus generating more revenue. Federal taxpayers (who were supposed to save money) subsidize this family destruction scheme with about $3 billion annually. “Child support guidelines currently in use typically generate awards that are much higher than would be the case if based on economically sound cost concepts,” writes Mark Rogers, an economist who served on the Georgia Commission on Child Support. Rogers charges that guidelines result in “excessive burdens” based on a “flawed economic foundation.” The Urban Institute reports that arrearages accrue because “orders are set too high relative to ability to pay.” Federal officials have admitted that the more than $90 billion in arrearages they claimed as of 2004 were based on awards that were beyond the parents’ ability to pay.

All this marks a new stage in the evolution of the welfare state: from distributing largesse to raising revenue and, from there, to law enforcement. The result is a self-financing machine, generating profits and expanding the size and scope of government—all by generating single-parent homes and fatherless children. Government has created a perpetual growth machine for destroying families, seizing children from legally blameless parents, and incarcerating parents without trial.

Responsibility of Churches

empty-pockets-robbed-court-orderWhile many factors have contributed to this truly diabolical, bureaucratic onslaught against the family, we might begin by looking within. The churches’ failure or refusal to intervene in the marriages they consecrated and to exert moral pressure on misbehaving spouses (perhaps out of fear of appearing “judgmental”) left a vacuum that has been filled by the state. Clergy, parishioners, and extended families have been replaced by lawyers, judges, forensic psychotherapists, social workers, and plainclothes police.

Family integrity will be restored only when families are de-politicized and protected from government invasion. This will demand morally vigorous congregations that are willing to take marriage out of the hands of the state by intervening in the marriages they are called upon to witness and consecrate and by resisting the power of the state to move in. This is the logic behind the group Marriage Savers, and it can restore the churches’ authority even among those who previously viewed a church’s role in their marriage as largely ceremonial.

No greater challenge confronts the churches—nor any greater opportunity to reverse the mass exodus—than to defend their own marriage ordinance against this attack from the government. Churches readily and rightly mobilize politically against moral evils like abortion and same-sex “marriage,” in which they are not required to participate. Even more are they primary stakeholders in involuntary divorce, which allows the state to desecrate and nullify their own ministry.

As an Anglican, I am acutely aware of how far modernity was ushered in not only through divorce, but through divorce processes that served the all-encompassing claims of the emerging state leviathan. Politically, this might be seen as the “original sin” of modern man. We all need to atone.

from Touchstone Magazine

Fair Child Support: The Audacity of Hope

Not a few of us have come to personally wonder, even mourn the loss of our true national identity. The personal identity of Americans is even more challenged. We have come to a place of oppression and circumstances over which we have no control, but we are going to have it all rubbed in our faces by oppressive law and unfettered government application. Mistakes aren’t permitted unless you have influence and a hefty bank account. Justice is bought and sold like a revel at Bourbon Street. It’s cheapened the nation and weakened the fabric of society instead of strengthening it. We are a nation that encourages vile and predatory behaviors which reject the core of what builds and strengthens the strong nations of the past for the rhetoric of despots that seek to wield unlimited power.

But …social conservatives…want a return to a bygone era, in which sexuality outside of marriage was subject to both punishment and shame, obtaining a divorce was far more difficult, and marriage offered not merely personal fulfillment but also well-defined social roles for men and for women. In their view, any government policy that appears to reward or even express neutrality toward what they consider to be immoral behavior whether providing birth control to young people, abortion services to women, welfare support for unwed mothers, or legal recognition of same-sex unions-inherently devalues the marital bond. Such policies take us one step closer, the argument goes, to a brave new world in which gender differences have been erased, sex is purely recreational, marriage is disposable, motherhood is an inconvenience, and civilization itself rests on shifting sands.

In this missive posted in his book Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama pretends to be reasonable by acknowledging the feelings of the opposition. He spends a chapter acknowledging the beauty of the Constitution, while dismissing it for something better, likely because of his status as a attorney that specializes in constitutional law. Instead, he talks around it as if to say, the Constitution is nice to study and a great document to thump on when you want to make a point, but it is a quaint tool of the past. Too bad the nation didn’t read his books before they voted him into office, not that it really matters anyway. John McCain, with ties to banking fraud, wasn’t a better choice, just a different one. Presidents have become cheerleaders of what sounds good while allowing Congress to pass predatory legislation without so much as a wimper. They have become complicit with the criminals that pretend to protect the nation.

Many politicians say that they see life as an issue of sexual behavior instead of the ability to maintain relationships, which government is loathe to do. It reinforces the negative instead of the good. It lies and distorts for the powerful and well-to-do. It favors mothers over fathers based on the timeworn models that it seeks to reject through the politics of empowerment. It has transferred this evil to divorced or rejected non-custodial parents. They are simply work horses that will sustain the children of the state as the elite look after their own interests.

“But all in all, I have little sympathy for those who would enlist the government in the task of enforcing sexual morality. Like most Americans, I consider decisions about sex, marriage, divorce, and childbearing to be highly personal-at the very core of our system of individual liberty. Where such personal decisions raise the prospect of significant harm to others-as is true with child abuse, incest, bigamy, domestic violence, or failure to pay child support-society has a right and duty to step in. (Those who believe in the personhood of the fetus would put abortion in this category.) Beyond that, I have no interest in seeing the president, Congress, or a government bureaucracy regulating what goes on in America’s bedrooms.

Moreover, I don’t believe we strengthen the family by bullying or coercing people into the relationships we think are best for them-or by punishing those who fail to meet our standards of sexual propriety. I want to encourage young people to show more reverence toward sex and intimacy, and I applaud parents, congregations, and community programs that transmit that message. But I’m not willing to consign a teenage girl to a lifetime of struggle because of lack of access to birth control. I want couples to understand the value of commitment and the sacrifices marriage entails. But I’m not willing to use the force of law to keep couples together regardless of their personal circumstances.” – (Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama, page 335)

No Mr. Obama, instead we bully them after the fact with law that only the most wealthy can manage. In the article “Deviance and Society in Child Support Law,” I detail how behavior has been stigmatized and grouped into types of addicted behavior. Politics ignores the truth about its’ role in the process as it seeks the “common good,” pretending to be above all matters of humanity. It treats single mothers and their children as wards of the state and celebrates its’ role in the matter. It treats fathers as workhorses, slaves which must forever pay for the mistakes of the relationship without due process and the standards that built the nation. Remember that these standards only apply to criminal law. The possibility of innocence only applies to criminals, but not to the non-custodial parent of children that the  government owns.

Family law has carefully been maintained as civil law, the law of lying ex-spouses and courthouse escapades, even though the non-custodial behavior has been criminalized in a world without the assurance of justice on any level. Judges can’t stand the irreverent carping of the ‘human trash’ they serve. Government has sanctioned the same predatory behavior in families and relationships that it holds as precious in its worldview of control. Manipulation has become the reality of all relationships, while soft words such a diversity and peace are espoused. They sell the virtues of sacrifice without possessing that virtue. Diversity and peace are the watchwords of society, as that society is gripped by social engineers that claim “common good.” We don’t need society. Government is the holder of punishment and shame.

You know the solution. Be a good slave, stay employed at all costs in the name of fear and don’t make waves- or face the consequences. Economics don’t matter, nor does unemployment. Good men and women know what they have to do. Playing into the system isn’t necessarily the best answer. Otherwise, there isn’t even the audacity of hope, the kind of hope that President Obama claims to live by.

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Separation or Divorce? Protect Your Assets

Although statistics vary, many sources say nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. The physical transition through separation and divorce can be daunting. Physical aspects of your life will inevitably be affected, including insurance. You can bet that if your other half starts hanging the threat of divorce over your head, you should start planning ahead instead of waiting until the last moment.

Divorce can easily have a serious impact on credit standing, both in terms of dividing joint debt that exists at the time of the divorce and the expenses that come with starting new. Couples need to decide who gets which car. If there is a change in the ownership of a car, this means transferring the required documents as well as changing the insurance policy immediately. Don’t settle for continuing to use the same insurance agent as your soon-to-be-ex. It is better to change insurance companies to prohibit tinkering with your account from the other side. Removing a former spouse from the car and any insurance is essential for your own protection. You do not want your coverage canceled due to lack of payment.

The person who stays in the marital home after the divorce will need to make sure that the homeowners insurance is under his or her name. The person moving out must make any arrangements to purchase a new homeowners or renters policy for any new residence.

If you are the one staying in the house, it is important to review your current policy coverages to determine if they are still appropriate. Check to see whether you have actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for both the structure and the contents of the home. Your policy needs to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at today’s construction costs. Satisfying a mortgage lenders requirements protects them, but doesn’t necessarily protect you. If your home were leveled, what would it cost to replace it? If you keep the home, you bear the accountability.

In the event your belongings are stolen or destroyed by an insured disaster, an actual cash value policy pays to replace them minus a deduction for depreciation, while replacement cost pays the full amount that it would cost to replace the item today. Know your deductibles. A low deductible means higher premiums, while a large deductible can save you money on the policy, which can be useful if you are living on a smaller income.

Home inventories should always be updated. If you don’t have one, get started to protect yourself and be certain that you respect the property of your former mate. As far as insurance is concerned, be sure that you aren’t paying for coverage that you don’t need.

Married couples buy life insurance that include covering existing and anticipated debts and financial obligations as well as providing an income or inheritance. When a couple divorces, some obligations may still exist, so the issue of what to do with existing life insurance policies should always be considered during the divorce settlement.

Married couples often list each other as the primary beneficiary on life insurance policies, and should think carefully before making any changes. There may be good reasons to keep life insurance coverage on a former spouse. If one party is providing child support to the other, this may mean a loss of income to the surviving party if the non-custodial parent dies. Term life is easily canceled, but whole life maintains annuity value until it is cashed in. Getting the top dollar in child support at the cost of all else is not usually in anyone’s best interest. This is why separation needs to be a gentle and thoughtful process, despite the emotions involved. Your own best interests and the interests of your children are at stake.

Disability is always a possibility for noncustodial parents. After all, they are people, not money-making machines. Between the ages of 25 and 55, a person is more than twice as likely to become disabled through an accident or disease, as they are to die. If a former spouse becomes disabled and cannot work, payments are in danger, so it is important to safeguard against this possibility by ensuring that income is covered in an individual disability insurance policy. Once again, there is a cost to all of this, which must be considered. Remember… gentle and thoughtful to protect yourself.

A poor payment history on the part of either spouse while married can impair the ability of both parties to obtain individual credit, even after a divorce. The best way to keep your credit intact is to start making changes as soon as you have reached the decision to separate. It is particularly important to close joint accounts before divorce proceedings. A disgruntled spouse can easily reek havoc in your financial life. As long as there is an outstanding balance on a joint account, both parties are responsible for payment. Generally, any debt incurred by one spouse is also the responsibility of the other, regardless of whose name is on the account until after the divorce.

Women who drop their husband’s name and choose to use their maiden name will not erase the credit history established under their married name, since credit histories are tied to social security numbers. Each party must establish a new credit record under their own name, especially if all her previous credit was held jointly in the past. In order to expedite this process, consider turning existing joint credit cards, gas cards and retail accounts into individual accounts. Doing this will mean not having to re-establish credit after a divorce.

Alert creditors that a divorce is pending. If there is a change of address, make sure they are informed so that bills will continue to be received from all joint accounts so no late fees are incurred.

If a debt cannot be paid in full, offer to close the account by paying a smaller amount than is owed. Get a letter from the creditor that the account has been paid in full and a written promise that they will not file anything negative about the account to the credit reporting agencies.

If you are unable to pay off or come to a settlement agreement regarding the balance owed on open accounts, freeze the account in question. Once the divorce is final, the balance owed on the account can be transferred to the party the court holds responsible for the debt.

Make sure all bills are paid on time. Do not skip payments because you think it may ultimately be your former spouse’s responsibility. As long as your name remains on any particular account, by law you are responsible for payment and your credit rating will suffer. If you have a spouse that wants to hurt you through non-payment of debt, you need to be extra vigilant to protect yourself.

In the meantime, remember to write your lawmaker to repeal the Bradley Amendment. Protect your constitutional rights and the rights of others.

The Great Divorce Ban of California

A ‘grass roots’ movement is under way in California to ban divorce. The author of the petition makes it clear that his motivation is a little grandstanding, what might seem to be a ’satirical attempt’ to ban divorce in revenge for ‘the right’ to ban gay marriage in California.

According to the initiating grass roots advocate John Marcotte: “People who supported Prop 8 weren’t trying to take rights away from gays, they just wanted to protect traditional marriage. That’s why I’m confident that they will support this initiative, even though this time it will be their rights that are diminished. To not support it would be hypocritical.”

Ah, there’s the rub! This is about hypocrisy and there is plenty to go around. Perhaps nobody is more hypocritical than a married person that proposes sanctity in marriage, a religious stand or supposition. In the United States, a marriage is really a legal contract and little more. The idea of sanctity has been lost for most, a mere excuse for those in love. This secular nation is hopelessly jaded. Right?

Proposition 8 denies marriage between people of the same sex. Now proponents of this new movement want to add ban on divorce. The argument is that since California voters want to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, then that sanctity should become legal concrete. Who is to argue with them? According to the foundations of marriage, that is the grand design, a foundation of everlasting love and commitment. Today, we scoff at such things. Still, a solemn vow is a solemn vow. Right? What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The battleground between the sexes continues, even when it involves the same sex.

To find out about how the Bradley Amendment is destroying the American family, have a close look at this website.

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