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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
Posts: 2563
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:20 am 
 

News of the fucked up.


So, last night my wife and I were trying to watch Death Proof, and we had our balcony door wide open because it's warming up around here finally. Then all of a sudden, we hear this psychotic black woman (and if you think all races sound the same, you need to get your head out of your ass) screaming and crying and throwing a tantrum like, well, like my 4-year-old at his worst.

So, we're both looking at each other saying, "man, what the fuck?" I said, "yell shut the fuck up at her." My wife looked through the boards on the balcony and said the woman was laying down screaming and crying and bouncing around on the deck right above ours. My wife says, "I think something's wrong. Maybe I should call the police."

At this point, several people had gathered outside to stare at the crazy crying woman and, as it turned out, someone had already called the police. Finally, we learned after the on-site site caretaker got into her apartment that, apparently, her baby's Dad forced her out onto the balcony and locked her out and ran off with the baby.

So, how about that? I was mere feet away from a kidnapping last night.

Then the police showed up, they calmed down the hysterical woman, and we heard nothing more and finished watching Death Proof which has one of the best car chases I've ever seen in a movie.


Now, I sympathize with the woman, of course, because nothing in this world is really worse than something awful happening to your child. But at the same time, I can't help but think that this could very, very likely be yet another horrible side-effect of the backwards and crooked Family Court System in this fucking country. Fathers are stripped of rights, families are mistreated, children are ignored all to focus entirely on giving supreme power to single mothers and child support.

After dealing with these courts myself, I know that all they do is push people, especially fathers, to the brink of self-destruction while doing nothing to actually benefit children. Honestly, how is disallowing parental rights while bankrupting fathers beneficial to a child?



I reluctantly put this in The Symposium because it's a bigger issue than just a kidnapping upstairs (Mods of course, can move it to the Tavern if it turns too low-brow). Fathers don't just kidnap their kids. I'm a father and we don't think like that until something else ruins everything. We, the real fathers, the good ones, love our kids and only want the best for them. Go back in time 5 or 6 years and the idea of grabbing my kid and running off to another country would be beyond unthinkable--absurd. After dealing with the Family Court System in this fucking country, I found myself thinking about which Caribbean Island Nations have no extradition treaty with America. Thoughts of selling my organs so I can live comfortably because child support = father bankruptcy. Money was so bad because of this, I had to join the damn Army to get back on track--and we're still not quite there yet.

This shit is a big deal and in 2010 when I get back from Iraq, I'm seriously--very seriously considering entering politics in order to destroy the system from within so I can rebuild the family court system from scratch. Goddammit, if a father is there for a child's birth, and he signs the birth certificate, he should be automatically granted all the same legal and physical rights as the mother, marriage or no. If a single mother wants to collect child support, she should have to spend her own fucking money to have paternity tests done first, especially if there is no father's signature on the birth certificate. And unwed fathers should have every right to "abort" a child as an unwed mother. By "abort" I mean of rights and responsibilities (including child support), not life since the baby is not in his body.

The system is backwards. It is not set up to make families stronger or to benefit children. It is focused only on two things, keeping mothers unwed and child support high. And despite the awfulness of a child being kidnapped mere feet above my own head while I watched a movie, I just can't help but think, "Somebody, or something forced that father's hand." And based on my own experiences, and those of others I've learned of, that blame is all-too-easily placed on the family court system. They are, after all, the reason those horrible thoughts found they're way into my own head. At least I never acted on them.





For reference to anyone confused, I am married, but not to my kid's mother. He was born out of wedlock, named for a god, and just plain awesome. I pay a ridiculous $600 a month in child support for a kid I see regularly, and over whom I do have shared legal rights. However, I had to fight for those rights where they were just granted to his mother. I was there for his birth and I named him and I signed his birth certificate. I was the first person to bathe him and stick a diaper to his rump and the first to really hold him. Little bugger lifted his head to look at me on the day of his birth (shares his astrological sign with Dave Mustaine, he does).

I have a large bill that is currently resting in collections for the lawyers I used to get my shared legal custody. Since they couldn't get me shared physical custody--and actually told me not to try--I still pay child support and can't afford to pay them. It's a tough call on this as to whether the laywer or the courts failed me here, but I'd say it's probably about 20% lawyer, 80% court. They (the court assholes) actually told me that they didn't feel I made enough money to raise my son. You have no idea how hard it is to hold myself back from pounding on the table and yelling, "I'D MAKE PLENTY OF MONEY TO RAISE HIM IF I DIDN'T FUCKING PAY CHILD SUPPORT YOU DOLT!"

Also, at the time the child support was started, it was about $550/month at a time when my average monthly income was, believe it or not, only about $1200. When my boy's Mom told me she was pregnant, I didn't run or freak out (I did panic privately, though, who wouldn't?), and I said we'd work it out. She went nuts, she left me, and she tried to put him up for adoption. I didn't want to just abandon him. I felt that, while it was an accident born (no pun intended) of irresponsibility, I was still doing all the right things--the responsible things--when it came to taking care of him and raising him and I was still screwed, mistreated, and forced further into poverty.


Should we help single mothers? Sure, but it shouldn't be total welfare. And more importantly, it shouldn't be at the cost of the child's well-being or the father's either. Currently, however, that's exactly how it is. Fathers shouldn't have to fight for the same rights simply granted to mothers. Child support should be harder to get, overall lower, and more strictly regulated (for instance, the recipient shouldn't be allowed to purchase anything like alcohol or cigarettes with the money). The mother and father should have to work equally on rasing the child, but the way the system is set up, it doesn't inspire anything remotely that positive. And people dismiss this shit all-too-easily. In the end, this isn't about money or single motherhood. It's about the fact that nothing, nothing the family court system does in any way benefits children or families. And that's pretty fucked up. It's called the "Family Court System," it should be there to help families.
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Last edited by Resident_Hazard on Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DanFuckingLucas
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:37 am 
 

I don't know how the Family Court System works over there, but the legal systems being arse isn't just an American thing - here, the Crown Prosecution Service is a complete joke, too, though you only really find it out if you're the victim it seems. Here it seems more intent on keeping repeat violent offenders on the streets and putting tax evaders inside - you can kick somebody's head in, that's fine with us as long as you remember not to lie on your tax assessment, else you might go to jail!.

Me, bitter? Whatever gives you that idea?
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:44 am 
 

DanFuckingLucas wrote:
I don't know how the Family Court System works over there, but the legal systems being arse isn't just an American thing - here, the Crown Prosecution Service is a complete joke, too, though you only really find it out if you're the victim it seems. Here it seems more intent on keeping repeat violent offenders on the streets and putting tax evaders inside - you can kick somebody's head in, that's fine with us as long as you remember not to lie on your tax assessment, else you might go to jail!.

Me, bitter? Whatever gives you that idea?



High level sex offenders, people who admit that they'll continue their evil ways once out of prison, are routinely released from the Minnesota prisons.


Politicians should be forced to live in the communities they fuck up. I don't think any of them ever think to themselves, "I may have to live in the mess I made when I'm no longer in office." Or they're too fucking rich to care.
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DanFuckingLucas
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:58 am 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:
DanFuckingLucas wrote:
I don't know how the Family Court System works over there, but the legal systems being arse isn't just an American thing - here, the Crown Prosecution Service is a complete joke, too, though you only really find it out if you're the victim it seems. Here it seems more intent on keeping repeat violent offenders on the streets and putting tax evaders inside - you can kick somebody's head in, that's fine with us as long as you remember not to lie on your tax assessment, else you might go to jail!.

Me, bitter? Whatever gives you that idea?


High level sex offenders, people who admit that they'll continue their evil ways once out of prison, are routinely released from the Minnesota prisons.

Politicians should be forced to live in the communities they fuck up. I don't think any of them ever think to themselves, "I may have to live in the mess I made when I'm no longer in office." Or they're too fucking rich to care.


Local MPs tend to be good, because they live in the communities they represent, but the things they want are roundly ignored when asked for at a higher level. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) get a lot of flak for being a bit shit - the law itself is a good idea but it's inherently flawed. These things are passed to prevent certain offenders entering certain areas of towns and cities, and if you see them you phone the police and they arrest them for breaking the ASBO. But here's the problem - it's a breach of their rights or some other such shit for it to be broadcast that they have an ASBO against their name - meaning that we can't know if they do have one, thus meaning we CAN'T phone the police and report the offense! Don't get me wrong, the West Midlands Police are fucking great - they do their job and they do it well, they take pride in their job and truly want to help people, but when the legal system is working so hard to undo their good work it all becomes a joke - it's just that the only ones laughing are the offenders, and certainly not us, the victims of crime. That said, in my area now, there are erm... rumoured... to have been instances of vigilante actions, and around the same time, the families causing the crime have become quiet.
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:30 am 
 

DanFuckingLucas wrote:

Local MPs tend to be good, because they live in the communities they represent, but the things they want are roundly ignored when asked for at a higher level. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) get a lot of flak for being a bit shit - the law itself is a good idea but it's inherently flawed. These things are passed to prevent certain offenders entering certain areas of towns and cities, and if you see them you phone the police and they arrest them for breaking the ASBO. But here's the problem - it's a breach of their rights or some other such shit for it to be broadcast that they have an ASBO against their name - meaning that we can't know if they do have one, thus meaning we CAN'T phone the police and report the offense! Don't get me wrong, the West Midlands Police are fucking great - they do their job and they do it well, they take pride in their job and truly want to help people, but when the legal system is working so hard to undo their good work it all becomes a joke - it's just that the only ones laughing are the offenders, and certainly not us, the victims of crime. That said, in my area now, there are erm... rumoured... to have been instances of vigilante actions, and around the same time, the families causing the crime have become quiet.


Sometimes it's hard to see any good coming from politics. I now understand why those closed-off militias hunkered down in Montana (and the like) want to overthrow the government. The higher up you go, the more removed from society you are and the more blind you get. No rational human being would want to waste time and money trying to sign in a law that fines children for buying a video game that they are too young to play. But our local politicians (Minnesota) are once again trying to do it. They think this will be a healthy thing for families--fining children for buying video games. What actually would be healthy for families would be to allow them to actually be families and allowing them to live comfortably. The massive gas tax or local Republicans instuted recently won't do that, one wonders what the fuck they were thinking since everyone knows there's a recession looming just ahead. "Let's make people more poor. That'll surely stimulate the economy."


My wife and I were driving around looking at houses as we're thinking about buying, and I can't even describe the overwhelming depression we both felt at the end of those days. I swear, there is not a single residential city block in the Twin Cities that does not have a house sitting there for sale, or worse (and seemingly more common), a formerly nice house boarded up, vacant, and foreclosed upon.
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DanFuckingLucas
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:14 pm 
 

Indeed. We're currently heading the same way - the pound is down against other currencies, and low grain harvests the last two years have seen pretty much everything increase in price - bread, milk, eggs, meat, pasta and so on. Eggs have doubled in price in the last 8 months. With problems of overpopulation in China and India, and low harvests in Egypt, rice exports in those countries are low, so prices are going up. Brent crude was up the other day to $112 per barrel.
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Resident_Hazard
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:21 pm 
 

DanFuckingLucas wrote:
Indeed. We're currently heading the same way - the pound is down against other currencies, and low grain harvests the last two years have seen pretty much everything increase in price - bread, milk, eggs, meat, pasta and so on. Eggs have doubled in price in the last 8 months. With problems of overpopulation in China and India, and low harvests in Egypt, rice exports in those countries are low, so prices are going up. Brent crude was up the other day to $112 per barrel.


Damn, that is exactly what we're seeing. Literally, milk, bread, eggs, pasta all went up. Gas went way up. In a week it went from $2.98 to $3.45 and has hardly fluctuated at all. Most of our Iraq war money seems to be coming from China. I joke about how they'll be able to do a "corporate takeover" of America soon, but it's hard to ignore the fact that they just might be able to.



Ah nuts. Derailed my own thread.
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DanFuckingLucas
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:29 pm 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:
DanFuckingLucas wrote:
Indeed. We're currently heading the same way - the pound is down against other currencies, and low grain harvests the last two years have seen pretty much everything increase in price - bread, milk, eggs, meat, pasta and so on. Eggs have doubled in price in the last 8 months. With problems of overpopulation in China and India, and low harvests in Egypt, rice exports in those countries are low, so prices are going up. Brent crude was up the other day to $112 per barrel.


Damn, that is exactly what we're seeing. Literally, milk, bread, eggs, pasta all went up. Gas went way up. In a week it went from $2.98 to $3.45 and has hardly fluctuated at all. Most of our Iraq war money seems to be coming from China. I joke about how they'll be able to do a "corporate takeover" of America soon, but it's hard to ignore the fact that they just might be able to.



Ah nuts. Derailed my own thread.


At least it's derailed by Symposium-worthy talk - and I don't think it really matters as we're the only ones talking in this thread. But yeah, around where I'm currently studying is the cheapest in the country for petrol, and that's £1.03 a litre at it's cheapest, with diesel - the once cheaper equivalent being £1.09 per litre. It's balls, man. That said, with drastically increasing fuel prices, maybe over there you guy's'll start switching to more environmentally friendly transport? Personally, I favour public transport, but why would people use it in this country at least? It's a) very expensive and b) really awful quality.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:08 pm 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:
But at the same time, I can't help but think that this could very, very likely be yet another horrible side-effect of the backwards and crooked Family Court System in this fucking country. Fathers are stripped of rights, families are mistreated, children are ignored all to focus entirely on giving supreme power to single mothers and child support.

[...]

Fathers don't just kidnap their kids. I'm a father and we don't think like that until something else ruins everything.

Jumping to conclusions and making assumptions, are we? Hey, if I can apply my own characteristics to all women, then I'll say that your woman didn't really rip you off with child support and it was something else, since women don't think like that - I know, I'm a woman!

Quote:
We, the real fathers, the good ones, love our kids and only want the best for them.

Sure. What makes you think the man upstairs was a "real good loving" father?
Now I know you didn't want to focus on that story, but I really can't let such huge leaps of logic alone.

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BeforeGod
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:25 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Quote:
We, the real fathers, the good ones, love our kids and only want the best for them.

Sure. What makes you think the man upstairs was a "real good loving" father?
Now I know you didn't want to focus on that story, but I really can't let such huge leaps of logic alone.


Oh come on now. Please point out where he said that he thought the dad was a "'real good loving' father." He was merely saying that he understood what may have driven him to do what he did. He was trying to prevent people from jumping to conclusions and to consider other motives. You must really have it in for Resident_Hazard to go for such a strawman right off the bat. Maybe there's some back story to this topic for you, but that sort of combativeness (at least in isolation) is not conducive to effective Symposium level discussion.

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Osmium
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:47 pm 
 

Given the context, which was more laced with emotion than I usually prefer posts to be, Resident Hazard's comments don't seem too bizarre. Now, I understand that you, RH, are indeed a loving and capable father. Having the patience for taking care of children while working your ass off to make a living is admirable. However, this particular snippet ventures a bit too far into its implications:

Quote:
Fathers are stripped of rights, families are mistreated, children are ignored all to focus entirely on giving supreme power to single mothers and child support.


Surely, you're not implying that this is all that occurs. What about the various drug dealers, child/wife beaters, and negligent assholes out there? It's very unfortunate when a man who would otherwise be an effective father has his child removed from him (or returned at back-breaking costs), but surely this Family Court System has also saved many women and children. I am not aware of any statistics on this (for example, any variable that demonstrates a chronic disability on the father's part, such as abuse or drug addiction). If anyone has some, do post.

Quote:
If a single mother wants to collect child support, she should have to spend her own fucking money to have paternity tests done first, especially if there is no father's signature on the birth certificate. And unwed fathers should have every right to "abort" a child as an unwed mother. By "abort" I mean of rights and responsibilities (including child support), not life since the baby is not in his body.


Is a male supposed to pay for the paternity tests currently? Is he assumed to be the father based on the testimony of the mother?

Also, please explain what you mean by the second part of this statement.

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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:24 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Resident_Hazard wrote:
But at the same time, I can't help but think that this could very, very likely be yet another horrible side-effect of the backwards and crooked Family Court System in this fucking country. Fathers are stripped of rights, families are mistreated, children are ignored all to focus entirely on giving supreme power to single mothers and child support.

[...]

Fathers don't just kidnap their kids. I'm a father and we don't think like that until something else ruins everything.

Jumping to conclusions and making assumptions, are we? Hey, if I can apply my own characteristics to all women, then I'll say that your woman didn't really rip you off with child support and it was something else, since women don't think like that - I know, I'm a woman!

Quote:
We, the real fathers, the good ones, love our kids and only want the best for them.

Sure. What makes you think the man upstairs was a "real good loving" father?
Now I know you didn't want to focus on that story, but I really can't let such huge leaps of logic alone.


My kid's Mom didn't really rip me off for child support, the court system did. I never said she ripped me off. Granted, she's pretty greedy, but the amount of child support I'm paying wasn't up to her. And I did the right thing. I went to court, I spoke with her, and I didn't run off to make a new life for myself to get away from child support and responsibility. But I had a shitty lawyer who completely failed to defend me and nobody even cared that I couldn't pay my bills--except for my wife and I who were the ones left to suffer. Incidentially, that lawyer sucked so fucking bad that they sent us someone else's bill in the mail and we never paid his stupid fucking ass.


Now, there's no guarantee that the father that took his own kid is a guaranteed good daddy. I never said that either. But from my own experiences, it generally takes being pushed around and mistreated by the courts to get to this point.


It almost sounds like you interpreted my post as "single mommy bashing" which it is not. The fact is that single mom's get breaks far, far, far more often than single fathers. Fathers do get the shaft in this stuff, but not just fathers, but families and children as well. It's not the fault of the single mothers, it's the fault of the court system for focusing on all the wrong points of what makes a family. Not all single moms are bad, but at the same time, not all fathers are either. The court system does not view us equally. And this is one of my points.


If a guy does nothing more than plant his seed and run off, isn't there for the birth, and isn't there for the baby, then he's a sack of shit. If he doesn't want to pay child support, then he should at least step up and sign away his rights. Then he can vanish back to being a piece of shit. Children born out of wedlock are more often than not the product of two people being irresponsible. Afterwards, the mother is rewarded and the father, even the ones who do everything they should do, are punished. The system is so one-sided (in favor of the mother) that it alienates fathers. All the while children are ignored.


One of my wife's relatives now has his teenage daughter living with him. She refuses to live with her slutty (former stripper) mother because it makes her miserable. But her father is still paying child support--even though the girl is living with him. Now, he could go back to court and get that fixed, but he just doesn't feel like doing it. He's been screwed over by the system enough times that he's lost any hope of trying to get anything good out of it. On top of which, under Minnesota law, even if the child says where he or she wants to live, they actually don't care. They could just force her back into her Mother's house again to keep her Dad paying child support. They don't care what the child, in this case a teenager, actually wants.
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:45 am 
 

Osmium wrote:
Given the context, which was more laced with emotion than I usually prefer posts to be, Resident Hazard's comments don't seem too bizarre. Now, I understand that you, RH, are indeed a loving and capable father. Having the patience for taking care of children while working your ass off to make a living is admirable. However, this particular snippet ventures a bit too far into its implications:

Quote:
Fathers are stripped of rights, families are mistreated, children are ignored all to focus entirely on giving supreme power to single mothers and child support.


Surely, you're not implying that this is all that occurs. What about the various drug dealers, child/wife beaters, and negligent assholes out there? It's very unfortunate when a man who would otherwise be an effective father has his child removed from him (or returned at back-breaking costs), but surely this Family Court System has also saved many women and children. I am not aware of any statistics on this (for example, any variable that demonstrates a chronic disability on the father's part, such as abuse or drug addiction). If anyone has some, do post.

Quote:
If a single mother wants to collect child support, she should have to spend her own fucking money to have paternity tests done first, especially if there is no father's signature on the birth certificate. And unwed fathers should have every right to "abort" a child as an unwed mother. By "abort" I mean of rights and responsibilities (including child support), not life since the baby is not in his body.


Is a male supposed to pay for the paternity tests currently? Is he assumed to be the father based on the testimony of the mother?

Also, please explain what you mean by the second part of this statement.



Starting from the bottom: To be honest, I'm not sure how paternity tests are handled since I didn't have to do that myself. I never denied my kid, so we avoided that route.


There was a law being pushed at one point to allow fathers the right to "abort" their kids, and I want to say it was in Michigan. It was about three years ago. The father "abortion" was essentially the complete giving up of rights over a child. That does mean that he doesn't accept responsibility or pay child support, but it also means that he'll never see his own kid. I'm not sure what ever happened with it.


Things in the American Family Court System are very one-sided. When I wanted to get shared physical custody of my boy, we ended up going to mediators who are two worthless people who essentially tell you if you have any chance at all in doing anything in court. In part to finish things without wasting court time and in part to get them done faster. They had two reasons for me not getting shared physical custody: My financial situation and, believe it or not, the word of my kid's mother. Well, of course she's not going to want joint physical custody, because that means she loses child support and I'd have the money to raise him if, that's right, I didn't pay child support.


In many cases, a father's rights can be denied just by the word of the mother. A mother practically needs to be caught snorting coke of a hobo's ass while her baby cries for milk to be considered "maybe not a good parental figure." That's an exaggeration of course, but sadly, it feels like that's not far from the truth.


Men and women are effectively equal, right? Bear with me on this, but if 40% of men make for unfit fathers, then why not 40% of women? Just because the baby came out of a person doesn't mean they're better suited to raise a child. That's the folly of the system. This belief that one sex is better suited to raising a child. I may not be able to breast feed a baby, but I can still feed him proper formula. I may have had my son overall less time than his mother, but there's no doubt in my mind I've spent more time playing with him. She's not the kind of person to climb into a huge rope jungle gym to roll around with him. Hell, I did that last Saturday. It was finally nice out.


When he was first learning to talk, she would try to get him to say "i love you Mommy" by going, "can you say, 'I love you Mommy?' Say, 'I love you Mommy!'" You know I got him to say "I love you, Daddy" with no problem, because I told him I loved him first. My kid's Mom is not the most emotionally stable person as she is bi-polar and has post-traumatic stress disorder. I once saw her look at our kid with emotionless, glazed over eyes when he was still a crawling human noob.

She complained once that he never smiled for her when he always smiled for me (less than a year old). I said, "you need to smile at him first." Her response was "I don't smile." Now, to be fair, she does smile, but she's got some emotional problems. None of this is important when it comes to parental custody. Nobody cares that I play with my kid or that I was giving him proper attention. I'm not saying I'm the best father ever because there are times when he's pushed my buttons and I've reacted poorly, but I do know how to love him and keep him safe and happy.



I won't disregard the fact that, on some cases, the family court system has miracuously worked for some people. Keeping abusive or dangerous people away, that kind of thing. But that doesn't change the fact that it's still one-sided and focused on the wrong things. I don't think single motherhood or child support should be more important than family or the actual child. Child support money is not tracked, they don't make sure it's being spent on the child. They take the money from the non-custodial parent then stop giving a shit. It's very, very half-assed.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:24 pm 
 

BeforeGod wrote:
Oh come on now. Please point out where he said that he thought the dad was a "'real good loving' father." He was merely saying that he understood what may have driven him to do what he did.

Which is pretty much an assumption that the guy was deep down a good guy and decent father - just one who had been pushed too far. I didn't say he SAID he was a good father, only that he implied it by making a connection between those fathers and the man in the story: in other words, I said he was jumping to conclusions.

Quote:
He was trying to prevent people from jumping to conclusions and to consider other motives.

Could be. I still saw some dubious logic in his thought processes, such as "I'm a father, I know fathers don't think that way".

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You must really have it in for Resident_Hazard

Ad hominem, poisoning the well? I'm not sure which fallacy that was, but it's definitely one of them. :P Perhaps, every time you disagree with me or anyone else, I'll whine that you "have it in for me".

Quote:
to go for such a strawman right off the bat. Maybe there's some back story to this topic for you, but that sort of combativeness (at least in isolation) is not conducive to effective Symposium level discussion.

Now you're just making shit up. I pointed out a flaw in his logic, and suddenly I'm being "combative"? You must be kidding me, there was nothing remotely hostile in my post (and R_H didn't take any offense either). And considering you are the one who is attacking my character here by alluding to some sort of past history, your statement is more ironic than anything else.

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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:32 pm 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:
My kid's Mom didn't really rip me off for child support, the court system did. I never said she ripped me off.

Fair enough, but keep in mind that it was a throwaway statement to exemplify what I saw as an error in your reasoning, and not that it was meant to have factual basis.

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Now, there's no guarantee that the father that took his own kid is a guaranteed good daddy. I never said that either. But from my own experiences, it generally takes being pushed around and mistreated by the courts to get to this point.

That's the last part I was objecting to. Your experience is mere anecdote, which does not carry that much weight I'm afraid (that said, I'm still sorry that you got the shaft, and I do realise that it happens - I'm just not so certain on the frequency, not without more conclusive evidence), and your reasoning was, "I'm a father, and we fathers don't think like that". This is a highly fallacious argument and I hope you realise that.

Quote:
The court system does not view us equally. And this is one of my points.

This is true. But do you understand why it's actually impossible to view the two equally? The reason is simply biological.
Of course that doesn't mean that it should be completely skewed, and it does seem to have some loopholes that could be fixed or improved. But I don't think it's possible to make it equal at all, not without penalising the child. I can elaborate on that if you care.

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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:43 pm 
 

I may have phrased my point in a somewhat cloudy manner:


About the guy that essentially kidnapped his own kid: There's no proof that he's a good Dad or a bad one. At one time, I would've been, "oh my god, that's fucking horrible. Who would just do that?"

But--

After my personal dealings with the Family Court System, in my state and country, I can understand how he may have been pushed to do it. I can understand how he may feel like he's out of options and that this is his only way to see his kid. Because I've been in a similar boat. And my wife and I know of, and know personally, people who have just been given rotten deals time and time again.


For instance, there are new laws in Minnesota covering child support. Now, finally they take into account the incomes of both parents (used to be just the non-custodial parent). I could refile my paperwork and possibly end up paying lower child support. Am I going to do it? Oh, I was gung-ho for it last year, but now I'm flat-out afraid to. When I made only $1200 a month, they took $550~$570 of it for child support. I make twice that now, but my child support payments are about the same (about $600 based on increases in cost of living and that kind of crap). So I'm finally making money where I can live comfortably again. I'm fucking afraid to go back to court because what do I know? They might screw me over and make me pay more money instead of less. I could end up in the same near-bankruptcy hellhole I was three years ago. A lot of things are different about our situation, but I don't have the faith in the system that they'll work out fairly for me.
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:09 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Resident_Hazard wrote:
My kid's Mom didn't really rip me off for child support, the court system did. I never said she ripped me off.

Fair enough, but keep in mind that it was a throwaway statement to exemplify what I saw as an error in your reasoning, and not that it was meant to have factual basis.

Quote:
Now, there's no guarantee that the father that took his own kid is a guaranteed good daddy. I never said that either. But from my own experiences, it generally takes being pushed around and mistreated by the courts to get to this point.

That's the last part I was objecting to. Your experience is mere anecdote, which does not carry that much weight I'm afraid (that said, I'm still sorry that you got the shaft, and I do realise that it happens - I'm just not so certain on the frequency, not without more conclusive evidence), and your reasoning was, "I'm a father, and we fathers don't think like that". This is a highly fallacious argument and I hope you realise that.

Quote:
The court system does not view us equally. And this is one of my points.

This is true. But do you understand why it's actually impossible to view the two equally? The reason is simply biological.
Of course that doesn't mean that it should be completely skewed, and it does seem to have some loopholes that could be fixed or improved. But I don't think it's possible to make it equal at all, not without penalising the child. I can elaborate on that if you care.



I can see the loophole in the statement about fathers. Nothing I write is ever 100%. Folly is bound to happen from time to time.


I don't think a biological difference is a fair measure of who would be a better parent. After all, as I illustrated, I've always had a stronger emotional connection with my boy. My patience isn't always perfect (hell, when you're a parent, kids make it a hobby to see how much you can take), but I don't play the role of 1950's Dad where boys shouldn't cry and emotion is better left to girls and that junior should follow in father's footsteps and he'd better join the football team. As long as he treats people well, thinks logically for himself, and works to further any talents he has (so far, it looks like video games), I'll be happy for him.

I think the old view is that mothers nurture and love, and fathers guide and discipline. That view is as old as the 50's Nuclear Family view, and just as obsolete. Not that I wouldn't love to have a nice suburban house with my perfect family and white picket fence* and all, but if an old dreamer like me can admit to the obsolesence, then it must be time to move on. Parents can't play roles anymore. We have to cover all bases. I need to love and nurture my kid while guiding him and disciplining him when he steps on the cat or throws a tantrum. Honestly, I would never have a problem being a stay-at-home Dad.

I hate getting up early for work anyway.


As far as I'm concerned, this kind of sexual stereotyping is really no different from regular old-fashioned sexism. I can love and nurture my boy as well as his Mom is not better at times. And at the same time, I can still punish him for gross misdeeds and have talks with him for minor infractions. I can get all the right foods that he needs and take care of him just as I can still take him to his first concert to see Alice Cooper in the park when he was two years old.**

This isn't to say that he only needs one parent. In a perfect world, children should have both a mother and a father. Based on a purely custodial stance (who the child should live with), gender of the parent shouldn't be a factor.






*I keep joking with my wife that when we get a house that I'm painting it black, so this is used partially as a metaphor.
**Actually took my son to an Alice Cooper concert when he was 2. It was out in a park for the Taste of Minnesota festival, so crowding and smoke from people indoors wasn't a threat to him. But is sure was hot out.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:06 pm 
 

Hold on, when I mentioned biological difference, it was in no way connected to "who could be a better parent". I'm not sure where you got that notion from, though I might have been vague, but trust me, that's completely NOT what I meant.

More later, I'm at work.

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Shadoeking
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:22 pm 
 

I'm a lawyer, what are the major questions here? I will try to answer the questions as well as I can.

A couple that I have seen repeatedly are in relation to paternity tests and child support.

Paternity tests do have to be paid by the father challenging them. Unfortunately they are quite expensive and it would be far easier for the presumed father to admit to paternity unless there is a solid basis for believing he is not the father.

As for child support, every state has certain guidelines that they follow to determine what it will be. Usually this is determined by comparing the relative salaries of the mother and the father. If there is no agreement between the parties, the court will do its own calculation using those numbers.

With regard to physical custody, very few courts will split the custody of a very young child. The only time I have seen this is in cases where both parents agree to it and the child is old enough to understand what is going on. It is important for a young child to have some sort of structure and splitting physical custody detracts from this. The child is unsure where home truly is. To go further, oftentimes the mother will get the physical custody because the child is bonded more towards her than the father. This is not always the case, I do have one male client who has been granted full physical custody of his child, but it does happen more often than not. The standard to follow is the best interests of the child. Courts do make an effort to do this, but it is obviously not perfect. However it is often difficult to make such a decision without full possession of the facts. This is where the parents come in, they have to be willing to spend the money it will take to get an additional party (guardian ad litem or visitor) to look into the situation and make a determination. Oftentimes parents simply do not have that kind of money.

My point is this: unfortunately the legal system is expensive and that is not necessarily fair to everyone all of the time. As a lawyer, I am often handcuffed by my client's inability to pay me to do the things I need to do to win their case. It would be great if I could do things for free, but I can't because this is my livelihood.

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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:22 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Hold on, when I mentioned biological difference, it was in no way connected to "who could be a better parent". I'm not sure where you got that notion from, though I might have been vague, but trust me, that's completely NOT what I meant.

More later, I'm at work.



I'll sit here and click Refresh until then.

Oh no, wait. Maybe I should do my work.
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josephus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:34 pm 
 

Shadoeking wrote:
Paternity tests do have to be paid by the father challenging them. Unfortunately they are quite expensive and it would be far easier for the presumed father to admit to paternity unless there is a solid basis for believing he is not the father.
Wait a second, I just need to get you or anyone else to clarify something for me. Are you saying that in the United States, if any woman were to accuse me of being the father of her child, then I would have to prove otherwise, and pay for the test? I am sure I am just confused here, as that can't be right. Is it only applicable to men who are actively denying paternity?
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:23 pm 
 

Resident, intriguing story. I read through this entire thread, something I rarely do. These are important objurgations of the US Court system in regard to child welfare and such, especially since we are, I feel, seeing a dissolution in the traditional family structure. I think we will see even more family disintegration in the near future as these more modern generations grow up irresponsibly - we all know and see it happening already.

I think your reservations towards the skewed view of men in these situations are completely valid. I myself have never gone through a situation such as yours but I can see your logic. The court fails to recognize that women and men are equal and therefore there are, or should be, equal amounts of men and women who make good and bad parents. I tried to do a database search for statistics using my school's library scholarly search but I didn't find anything about these statistics. I did find this on the US.Census website:

"While 6.2 million custodial parents had awards for child support, only 5.3 million of them were supposed to receive payments in 1991 - about 4.9 million women and 0.4 million men."

4.9 Million women were supposed to receive child support payments. On the opposite spectrum, only 0.4 million men were supposed to receive these payments. These stats are from 1991 though I doubt that they could have changed a whole lot since then. In fact, the divorce rate has increased so I would expect there to be a larger difference in these statistics.
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Deucalion
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:45 pm 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:

One of my wife's relatives now has his teenage daughter living with him. She refuses to live with her slutty (former stripper) mother because it makes her miserable. But her father is still paying child support--even though the girl is living with him. Now, he could go back to court and get that fixed, but he just doesn't feel like doing it. He's been screwed over by the system enough times that he's lost any hope of trying to get anything good out of it. On top of which, under Minnesota law, even if the child says where he or she wants to live, they actually don't care. They could just force her back into her Mother's house again to keep her Dad paying child support. They don't care what the child, in this case a teenager, actually wants.


The mother shouldn't be getting child support. She should be getting no money whatsoever. She's obviously not spending it on the child, so she shouldn't get it.

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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:50 pm 
 

Deucalion wrote:
Resident_Hazard wrote:

One of my wife's relatives now has his teenage daughter living with him. She refuses to live with her slutty (former stripper) mother because it makes her miserable. But her father is still paying child support--even though the girl is living with him. Now, he could go back to court and get that fixed, but he just doesn't feel like doing it. He's been screwed over by the system enough times that he's lost any hope of trying to get anything good out of it. On top of which, under Minnesota law, even if the child says where he or she wants to live, they actually don't care. They could just force her back into her Mother's house again to keep her Dad paying child support. They don't care what the child, in this case a teenager, actually wants.


The mother shouldn't be getting child support. She should be getting no money whatsoever. She's obviously not spending it on the child, so she shouldn't get it.


Yeah I meant to mention how ludicrous this is. I can't believe this is escaping the welfare officials.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:04 am 
 

To clarify what I meant by biological inequity: I am referring to the inherent inequality when the two parents disagree in regards to a pregnancy. If there is disagreement, the possibilities are either that the woman wants the child but the father doesn't, or that the father wants the child and the mother doesn't. Except for the staunchest conservatives, most people (at least here) would agree that the woman cannot be forced to keep the child if she cannot/does not want to, so they would agree that while it sucks for the man, the woman has the final choice if she wants to abort or put the child up for adoption.
But in the other case, some would say that if the man does not want the child and the woman does, he should not be forced to pay child support. Seems fair, right? But that's a problem, because it (in theory, mind you) deprives the child of financial support. I also imagine there would be many more deadbeat dads if they could just say "meh, I don't want the kid anyway". Both people are responsible for the pregnancy (assuming there was no trickery on the woman's part), but in one case, the woman has an extra option (and spare me the "getting an abortion is running away from responsibilities", unless it's abused it can be quite the responsible choice). And this is inherently unequal, but comes from the fact that the woman is the one who has to carry the fetus in her body. (And not because of some thought that mothers are inherently "better parents" than fathers!)

That's why I think the system can never be completely equal. That said, I don't think it means that the system should be completely skewed in favour of women, meaning that the courts should be more sensible in regards to the amount paid by the fathers, and there should be a system to check that this money is really going to the raising of the child and not to the woman's self-interests. Also it should take into consideration not only the man's income, but also the woman's (I don't know if it does already), since if she's well-off she doesn't need as much aid, and also the cost of living, not to mention the fact that income can drastically change due to job loss or new unexpected financial burdens (such as medical costs which seem to go to staggeringly high amounts in the USA). From what I gather, there are many loopholes in the American system that don't take these things into consideration.

I hope I'm being clearer now. I think Shadoeking's post was interesting insight, too. And yes, I don't think anyone would disagree with the fact that the mother in the example above shouldn't be getting a cent. This is outrageous.

josephus wrote:
Wait a second, I just need to get you or anyone else to clarify something for me. Are you saying that in the United States, if any woman were to accuse me of being the father of her child, then I would have to prove otherwise, and pay for the test? I am sure I am just confused here, as that can't be right. Is it only applicable to men who are actively denying paternity?

I would assume that it only applies to men who had a conjugal relationship with the woman. If a random woman accused you of being the father, I'm pretty sure the burden of proof would be on her (e.g. she'd have to pay). Otherwise it makes no sense.

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Shadoeking
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:16 pm 
 

josephus wrote:
Shadoeking wrote:
Paternity tests do have to be paid by the father challenging them. Unfortunately they are quite expensive and it would be far easier for the presumed father to admit to paternity unless there is a solid basis for believing he is not the father.
Wait a second, I just need to get you or anyone else to clarify something for me. Are you saying that in the United States, if any woman were to accuse me of being the father of her child, then I would have to prove otherwise, and pay for the test? I am sure I am just confused here, as that can't be right. Is it only applicable to men who are actively denying paternity?


She would have to have some evidence that the man in question is the father. In cases where the mother is seeking paternity, then she would probably have to pay, if the man is denying it. However, in some cases, the State brings the action. If the man denies and there is evidence that he is the father, then he does have to pay to disprove it. I should have been a little more clear. I have not so far had a client do a paternity test because I haven't had a case where the man denied paternity.

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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:47 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
To clarify what I meant by biological inequity: I am referring to the inherent inequality when the two parents disagree in regards to a pregnancy. If there is disagreement, the possibilities are either that the woman wants the child but the father doesn't, or that the father wants the child and the mother doesn't. Except for the staunchest conservatives, most people (at least here) would agree that the woman cannot be forced to keep the child if she cannot/does not want to, so they would agree that while it sucks for the man, the woman has the final choice if she wants to abort or put the child up for adoption.
But in the other case, some would say that if the man does not want the child and the woman does, he should not be forced to pay child support. Seems fair, right? But that's a problem, because it (in theory, mind you) deprives the child of financial support. I also imagine there would be many more deadbeat dads if they could just say "meh, I don't want the kid anyway". Both people are responsible for the pregnancy (assuming there was no trickery on the woman's part), but in one case, the woman has an extra option (and spare me the "getting an abortion is running away from responsibilities", unless it's abused it can be quite the responsible choice). And this is inherently unequal, but comes from the fact that the woman is the one who has to carry the fetus in her body. (And not because of some thought that mothers are inherently "better parents" than fathers!)

That's why I think the system can never be completely equal. That said, I don't think it means that the system should be completely skewed in favour of women, meaning that the courts should be more sensible in regards to the amount paid by the fathers, and there should be a system to check that this money is really going to the raising of the child and not to the woman's self-interests. Also it should take into consideration not only the man's income, but also the woman's (I don't know if it does already), since if she's well-off she doesn't need as much aid, and also the cost of living, not to mention the fact that income can drastically change due to job loss or new unexpected financial burdens (such as medical costs which seem to go to staggeringly high amounts in the USA). From what I gather, there are many loopholes in the American system that don't take these things into consideration.

I hope I'm being clearer now. I think Shadoeking's post was interesting insight, too. And yes, I don't think anyone would disagree with the fact that the mother in the example above shouldn't be getting a cent. This is outrageous.

josephus wrote:
Wait a second, I just need to get you or anyone else to clarify something for me. Are you saying that in the United States, if any woman were to accuse me of being the father of her child, then I would have to prove otherwise, and pay for the test? I am sure I am just confused here, as that can't be right. Is it only applicable to men who are actively denying paternity?

I would assume that it only applies to men who had a conjugal relationship with the woman. If a random woman accused you of being the father, I'm pretty sure the burden of proof would be on her (e.g. she'd have to pay). Otherwise it makes no sense.


Okay, I see what you were getting at.

Abortion is too touchy an issue for this thread anyway, and for our kid that was never an option. Adoption was. We even interviewed two couples with the potential to take him a la the movie Juno. It was (almost literally) the 11th hour when I started looking anywhere, starting with my parents, for help because I felt like it was abandonment of my boy and I just didn't want to give up on him. His Mom tells it differently, of course, but it was me that first went begging for help anywhere it could be found. By "11th hour," I mean I broke down literally about a week before he was scheduled to be born. I hope the couple that was looking eventually got a baby, though. They were really cool people, and believe it or not, had planned to name my boy after Johnny Rotten.


There is a site dedicated to posting statistics in these categories, and it's the Mad Men United. Just Google them. The organization is dedicated to helping fathers in what little ways they can and providing statistics. Now, the site clearly has an agenda, and while it's a good site with decent research, some may debate the statistics they've collected. Unfortunately, it's about the only place to actually get some of these statistics.
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:56 pm 
 

Sorry for the double post, but I didn't want to clutter my last post with this, which I felt like bringing up.


For "fun", here's another dreadful story about the child support system gone awry:

This is another one related in some way to my wife, it may be hard to follow, but I'll try to keep it clear. It's her friend's sister, as I recall. There was this couple in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities. They were married and had two kids, we'll call them Fred and Lucy. Both of them were cheating on each other. Eventually, they got a divorce and both married their affair lovers.


Fred is married to the woman who is my wife's friend's sister. That's where the link to my wife comes in. It's the 7 degrees of seperation deal, but it's a true story.


Anyway, Lucy got custody of the two kids she had with Fred. Fred had two more kids with his new wife. Lucy married a pretty well-to-do (rich) guy. He makes so much money that she doesn't work. She's a housewife, essentially. Fred married someone who's pretty much equal to himself.


Fred pays child support to Lucy for his two kids from that union, both of whom he sees regularly. The child support was something like $800 a month. Well, Fred and his new wife only make enough money to scrape by, essentially. With the child support payment, it's much worse. They live in a three-bedroom apartment. Lucy, with her new husband, lives in a large house.


Because everyone was remarried, Fred decided to get the child support changed because, after all, everyone's married, he sees his kids, Lucy lives a very cushy life. The child support was changed. Now it's something like $1100 per month. Yes, it went way up. The court said that, "oh, Lucy doesn't work. She'll need even more money." Lucy backed this up by saying, "my kids are used to nicer things now, and we need more money to continue giving them those things."


Fred and his new wife, with their two new kids still live in a small three-bedroom apartment and barely make ends meet. Both of them work, and Fred's new wife, (my wife's friend's sister) has had to borrow money from my wife's friend to get by. Fred's new family has to live on near-poverty income just because the Family Court System decided he should pay even more money for children that he sees regularly. Meanwhile, completely skewed away from equality, Lucy lives very comfortably in a large house as her new husband makes enough money to support all of them without the free $1100 she gets per month.


How many different bad things can you imagine coming from this?




There was another story, and my second story from Michigan, where a guy was forced to pay child support for a kid that wasn't even his. His wife cheated on him and got pregnant by the other man. Then they got a divorce. The courts ordered him to pay child support because the child was born in his marriage with his wife. In the court system, that baby is automatically his, even if he is not biologically related--which he isn't. In this case, the wife (ex-wife now) actually sided with him trying to help telling the courts that he was not the father. The courts referred them back to the fact they were married and "ergo, it's your kid, dude."



I wish I could dig up links for some of these, but the one is a story recounted by my wife and this last Michigan one is two years old at least. It's no wonder kids in America are so fucked up these days.
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josephus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:32 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
I would assume that it only applies to men who had a conjugal relationship with the woman. If a random woman accused you of being the father, I'm pretty sure the burden of proof would be on her (e.g. she'd have to pay). Otherwise it makes no sense.
Right, got it.
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Muftobration
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:07 am 
 

I would write a much longer post than this, but it's really late and I want to go to sleep.

When I was around eight years old, my parents brought me, my six year old brother, and my ten year old sister into their room and told us that they were getting a divorce. Those were some difficult words to hear at only eight years old, but I didn't really understand the implications of what was about to happen. My parents had separated twice before, but this was the real deal.

There was no real difference in the way my parents parented. My mother was a seamstress and made about the same income as my father, who owned an auto repair shop. They were both around a good amount, took equal responsibility in raising us, and were generally loving parents. Of course, when it came time for court, my father got the short end of the stick. It was decided that we (my siblings and I) would spend the weekdays with our mother and the weekends with our father. That means one night with the father, six with the mother. On top of that, he has to pay child support.

My father lived in a lot of different places around our home town, just so he could continue to see us every weekend. He lived in an apartment that he could just barely afford, a rented house, and was allowed to stay in the house of a friend of his who had just moved and not yet sold the old house yet (so that was a freebie). Recently he told me that he got as close as a person can get to homelessness without actually getting there.

This was not a case of a bad father being separated from his kids for their own good. This was a case of a good father and a good mother who decided that they were not compatible and, therefore, got a divorce. It was not at all messy. I can remember my father being around equally as much as my mother. When he was not home, it was because he was out running his shop from early in the morning until late at night for no other reason than that he loved his family and wanted the best for them.

The most fair and equitable solution would have been an equal amount of visiting time for both parents and no payments from one to the other. Both of my parents lived in my home town, where I went to school. There is absolutely no reason why we should have seen one more often than the other.

I remember one time when my brother, my sister, my mom, and my mom's boyfriend went out to see a movie on a night when my father was supposed to be picking us up. When we got back, he was waiting at the house. He just got us in his car and started driving away, and then started crying. I'll never forget it because it was one of the few times that I've seen my father cry. Here was a man - a good father - who was driven to dire straights by a system that didn't give a fuck.

The system defaulted to assuming that the mother was more worthy. I love my mother, and this is not at all in any way against her. I'm speaking generally. The court did not know either of my parents personally. Logically, they must have had to get personal information about my parents from my parents. The information my parents provided was non-accusatory and peaceful. The end result was that my father got shafted. I can only conclude - from this and other cases (like my best friend) - that the system is unjustly skewed in favor of the mother from the start. It does not look at each case on a case by case basis (take a case on a case by case basis? why would you do such a sensible thing?!). It is assumed that because some of the time the father is at fault for the breakup, that should be the default view.

Quite simply, the current system defies logic. It infuriates me.

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Prodd
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:15 am
Posts: 147
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:03 am 
 

Wow. Read through the entire thread.

The first time I got to hear first hand about American laws affecting the average citizen's life, was when this guy had come down to India on vacation. He was 40 or so. He smoked weed with us, and apparently he'd never had it before. He pretty much ended up crying and telling us a story quite similar to Resident Hazard's. We were all quite surprised and didn't know how to react because everything can be arranged here in India, laws can be ignored, papers can disappear from government offices for a minimal amount of money or a couple of phone calls. This country is shit corrupt and filled with scum, but then any sort of work gets done. I used to think it sucked that you needed money for solutions, but now I'm glad that there's a solution at the end of the day, at least.

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Osmium
The Hateful Raven

Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 2:18 am
Posts: 2521
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:21 pm 
 

Link

Quote:
MILLVILLE - After a 15-year wait and at least $10,000 in child-support payments, Mark Spaid was thrilled to be going in for a DNA test.

In 1992, Pennsylvania courts declared him the legal father of his wife's infant daughter even though he knew he was sterile, having had a vasectomy more than two years before the birth.

To the legal system, Spaid's inability to father children meant little when it came to determining who should be responsible for the child's care. In Pennsylvania, like most states, a "presumption of paternity" trumps everything.

The doctrine, with roots in English common law, assumes a husband is the legal father of any child born during his marriage. It's designed to preserve marriage and make sure children's financial and emotional needs are provided for.

But it has also embittered untold numbers of men across the nation who are required to support kids fathered by other men.

Spaid, a laborer, was unaware of the presumption when he asked the court for a paternity test in 1992. So he was floored when Luzerne County Judge Chester Muroski denied his request and ordered him to pay his ex-wife $20 a week in child support - an amount that would eventually rise to $71, or more than half his take-home pay.

He implored the judge to reconsider. He wrote to every politician he could think of, begging for a change in Pennsylvania law to make it easier to contest paternity. And he publicized his battle.


I recommend that everyone reads the rest of the article in the link. It's pretty disturbing.

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EpicTightPants
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:59 am
Posts: 10
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:23 pm 
 

My brother is going through something similar. He and his college girlfriend have a baby boy together (hardly a baby now, he's almost three and a half). They live in different parts of Canada.. a good three provinces apart. She was continuously threatening to move even further away, so he got himself a lawyer so as to set his rights in stone and assure himself that he would always have access to his son. The lawyer clearly favoured mothers in these situations.

He is now paying very near the same amount you are paying. He has six days a month of visitation which he can't afford to do because he also has a wife and baby girl out here to support, on top of regular living expenses, and child support. His ex does everything in her power to make things even harder on him and it breaks my heart to see. I'm quite certain she is poisoning my nephews mind against his father. When a three year old tells me he won't talk to daddy on the phone because "mommy said not to", it clearly draws me to that conclusion.

There ARE a lot of deadbeat dads out there. There are also some pretty rotten mothers. I am so sick and tired of seeing the good and bad dads all grouped into one category and treated the same. God knows, if my husband and I split up, I would never let my personal issues with him get in the way of his relationship with his son. I would try to be as fair as possible because regardless of how I feel, he is a VERY good father. The most important person in a child's life is their same sex parent. I wish the courts would see that too.

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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
Posts: 2563
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:22 am 
 

EpicTightPants wrote:
My brother is going through something similar. He and his college girlfriend have a baby boy together (hardly a baby now, he's almost three and a half). They live in different parts of Canada.. a good three provinces apart. She was continuously threatening to move even further away, so he got himself a lawyer so as to set his rights in stone and assure himself that he would always have access to his son. The lawyer clearly favoured mothers in these situations.

He is now paying very near the same amount you are paying. He has six days a month of visitation which he can't afford to do because he also has a wife and baby girl out here to support, on top of regular living expenses, and child support. His ex does everything in her power to make things even harder on him and it breaks my heart to see. I'm quite certain she is poisoning my nephews mind against his father. When a three year old tells me he won't talk to daddy on the phone because "mommy said not to", it clearly draws me to that conclusion.

There ARE a lot of deadbeat dads out there. There are also some pretty rotten mothers. I am so sick and tired of seeing the good and bad dads all grouped into one category and treated the same. God knows, if my husband and I split up, I would never let my personal issues with him get in the way of his relationship with his son. I would try to be as fair as possible because regardless of how I feel, he is a VERY good father. The most important person in a child's life is their same sex parent. I wish the courts would see that too.



My kid's Mom has used him as a weapon to hurt me on a couple occasions, and it's about the most painful thing a person can experience. I want to have more kids, but in the back of my mind, I can't help but wonder if my wife and I ended up getting a divorce one day, would I be even more screwed than I am now?


I think that in some cases, vindictive mothers end up creating dead beat Dads. The story you mentioned risks doing exactly that.
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fishman3226
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:54 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:54 pm 
 

This topic is something close to my heart.

I am a victim of the bias of family law in Australia and the evil lies and corruption of the child support agency in Australia.

I will say without a doubt that the number one thing when you are involved in this system is that as a male you are nothing but the aggressor and always start at number two. The lawyers (who profit out of it all from the govt paid legal aid) will lie and say you beat/sexually abuse your ex wife and/or children to do nothing more than get the majority of custody. They dont care about how long it takes as the woman will claim legal aid (often not having to pay a fucking red cent) and will in essence continue to fight until father runs out of money (HIS money as he often doesnt qualify for help.)

You then have the 'fun' of dealing with a govt created organisation who is completely free of audit and acts with relative impunity. They advertise for staff as a collections agency (interested in only getting as much money as possible) and there are stats showing some 75% of their staff are receiving child support (conflict of interest in addition to a vested interest.)

On average the filth as I called the child support agency will take approx 5 days to attempt to recover a debt but 9 months in adjusting an overpayment. In addition the money the filth say you owe is often spent on anything but the child (you have NO say in how it is spent - eg school or clothes - I often see ex-wife going out on the town when they come over to my place in their old and torn clothes.)

Single mum now gets financial support from the govt to survive with limit if any obligation to work (and I know how little as I work at the Aussie govts centrelink dealing with these people) - I know that with child support and govt payments a single mum can get an income equal to the a salary of some $30k without lifting a finger in a workplace. Take away fathers 'obligation' for child support and tax he is often on LESS than that and working fulltime.

I should also point out that some 90% of custody goes to the mother too. Fair? Equitable? No one can tell me that 90% of fathers are BAD. Mum can be a drug dealing whore and not an eyelid will be fluttered in giving her custody.

The number one thing people have to realise here is that when it comes down to it family law is the way it is because there is an associated industry attached. Without the conflict there would be alot of filthy lawyers and scum govt workers out of work. Add in the psychologists and so on who are 'experts' in making shit up for the courts and it is a million dollar industry.

As a victim of the whole industry (and as a man I am always perpetrated as an aggressor/wife beater/child molestor/etc so it isnt a 'big' problem in the media) I can fully understand how a man can go to the extreme of enforcing his right to see his child. Note I dont say kidnap because kidnap implies you dont want to go. If the guy is an arsehole he should get what he is due to get. If he is not (which is more likely the case) more power to him.

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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
Posts: 2563
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 10:30 am 
 

fishman3226 wrote:
This topic is something close to my heart.

I am a victim of the bias of family law in Australia and the evil lies and corruption of the child support agency in Australia.

I will say without a doubt that the number one thing when you are involved in this system is that as a male you are nothing but the aggressor and always start at number two. The lawyers (who profit out of it all from the govt paid legal aid) will lie and say you beat/sexually abuse your ex wife and/or children to do nothing more than get the majority of custody. They dont care about how long it takes as the woman will claim legal aid (often not having to pay a fucking red cent) and will in essence continue to fight until father runs out of money (HIS money as he often doesnt qualify for help.)

You then have the 'fun' of dealing with a govt created organisation who is completely free of audit and acts with relative impunity. They advertise for staff as a collections agency (interested in only getting as much money as possible) and there are stats showing some 75% of their staff are receiving child support (conflict of interest in addition to a vested interest.)

On average the filth as I called the child support agency will take approx 5 days to attempt to recover a debt but 9 months in adjusting an overpayment. In addition the money the filth say you owe is often spent on anything but the child (you have NO say in how it is spent - eg school or clothes - I often see ex-wife going out on the town when they come over to my place in their old and torn clothes.)

Single mum now gets financial support from the govt to survive with limit if any obligation to work (and I know how little as I work at the Aussie govts centrelink dealing with these people) - I know that with child support and govt payments a single mum can get an income equal to the a salary of some $30k without lifting a finger in a workplace. Take away fathers 'obligation' for child support and tax he is often on LESS than that and working fulltime.

I should also point out that some 90% of custody goes to the mother too. Fair? Equitable? No one can tell me that 90% of fathers are BAD. Mum can be a drug dealing whore and not an eyelid will be fluttered in giving her custody.

The number one thing people have to realise here is that when it comes down to it family law is the way it is because there is an associated industry attached. Without the conflict there would be alot of filthy lawyers and scum govt workers out of work. Add in the psychologists and so on who are 'experts' in making shit up for the courts and it is a million dollar industry.

As a victim of the whole industry (and as a man I am always perpetrated as an aggressor/wife beater/child molestor/etc so it isnt a 'big' problem in the media) I can fully understand how a man can go to the extreme of enforcing his right to see his child. Note I dont say kidnap because kidnap implies you dont want to go. If the guy is an arsehole he should get what he is due to get. If he is not (which is more likely the case) more power to him.



That actually sounds worse than the shit system we have in the US. My kid's Mom bought him a little kid camera that he had with him today. We'll be downloading those pictures to our computer. I got to see that my child support money was spent on a television I could never afford myself.


How often do you get to see your kids? And do you have any legal custodial rights? I went to court and got Joint Legal Custody over my kid which means that his Mom can't make any major decisions about him without my input. It also partially keeps her trapped in our state and prevents her from moving too far away if she wanted to. In essence, I'm keeping her "tied down" so that I can still see my boy.
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fishman3226
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:54 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:30 pm 
 

I see my kids once a fotnight and whenever the ex deems me worthy. I am trying to change things but of course she (with a vested financial interest) goes kicking and screaming to any mediation (if goes at all) so I have to spend what left over hard earned I have on court costs.

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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
Posts: 2563
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 10:30 am 
 

fishman3226 wrote:
I see my kids once a fotnight and whenever the ex deems me worthy. I am trying to change things but of course she (with a vested financial interest) goes kicking and screaming to any mediation (if goes at all) so I have to spend what left over hard earned I have on court costs.



That's fucking horrible. I managed to get joint legal custody of my son with set visitation. I see him every few days and every other weekend. Often times, it's most weekends. I don't mind, though, as it means more time with my kid.
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