By Stephen BaskervilleWelfare reform in the United States has shifted the role of welfare agencies from distributing money to collecting it—not from taxpayers but from divorced fathers. Despite the stereotype of the “deadbeat dad” as a wealthy playboy squiring around his new trophy wife in a bright red Porsche, federal officials have acknowledged that most unpaid child support is uncollectible because it is owed by fathers who are as poor as or poorer than the mothers and children.
Articles from December 2007
No other topics I write about so consistently provoke passionate personal response as those dealing with systemic discrimination against men. When, for example, I point out double standards for boys and girls in the health care system, or expose the use of bogus statistics around domestic violence, my inbox fills with male gratitude simply for acknowledging an obvious fact: Our culture is profoundly misandric. Of the myriad forms of discrimination men cite, one looms over the rest: The egregious treatment meted out to fathers in the throes of contested child custody following the “no-fault” divorces most of them did not initiate or desire. My files bulge with stories of disenfranchised fathers ripped from their children’s arms and lives. They have lost their homes, their careers, fortunes, friends and reputations, often on the basis of false allegations of abuse (for which their female accusers are virtually never punished). I wouldn’t mention such anecdotal evidence, if the anguish in these testimonials didn’t jibe with objective data confirming the shameful gender bias that dominates the family law system. (more…)
New research suggests divorce negatively impacts environment
By Trevor Stokes,
If people who are divorced want to reduce their environmental impact, a new study has one suggestion: fall back in love.
The research quantified how electricity and water use increased when households split up and housed fewer people.
The connection between divorce and environmental impact initially surprise many environmentalists.
“People’s first reaction to this research is surprise, and then it seems simple,” said Jianguo Liu, lead author of the research and Rachel Carson Chair in Ecological Sustainability at Michigan State University.
“Our challenges were to connect the dots and quantify their relationships,” Liu said. “People have been talking about how to protect the environment and combat climate change, but divorce is an overlooked factor that needs to be considered.”
Highlights from the study, published Monday in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, include: (more…)
In the November 2007 issue of the Illinois Bar Journal, Scott A. Lerner, Esq., takes a critical look at the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (DVA) in his article “Sword or Shield: Combating Orders-of-Protection Abuse in Divorce” ( http://www.isba.org/IBJ/nov07lj/590%20Family%20Law.htm).
“There’s no question that victims need protection from abusers,” he writes. “But not all parties to divorce are above using OPs [orders-of-protection] not for their intended purpose but solely to gain advantage in a dissolution.” And “the greatest potential for abuse of the system,” in Lerner’s opinion, “is in visitation.”
As Lerner points out, “It is far easier to restrict visitation via an order of protection then by seeking the same relief under the IMDMA [the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act]. Under the IMDMA, ‘A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.’” (more…)
Lesbians’ sperm donor must pay child support | the Daily Mail
By ANDREW LEVY
Andy Bathie says he cannot afford to have a family with his wife because of support payments for the children he fathered as a sperm donor.
When a lesbian couple asked Andy Bathie for a sperm donation, they assured him that would be the end of his parental duties.
But the women have since separated – and he is being ordered to pay for their children’s upbringing.
More than £5,000 a year is now being docked from the 37-year-old fireman’s salary by the Child Support Agency to support Sharon and Terri Arnold’s two young children.
Mr Bathie has met the four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy just a handful of times.
The financial strain means he and his wife cannot afford to start a family of their own.
He said yesterday: “It was a very expensive favour, considering I am going to be paying until the children are 18.”
His position is particularly galling because Sharon Arnold – who is not the children’s biological mother – has no legal responsibility towards them, according to fertility law expert Natalie Gamble.
“The law is struggling to keep up with these modern scenarios,” she said.
“Until things go wrong it’s difficult to say how the law applies.”
Mr Bathie, from Enfield, North London, said: “Sharon and Terri had been together for two or three years when they decided they wanted kids and asked friends to help.” (more…)
Note: It’s really amazing how our so-called system of justice works. What’s really interesting here is the the mother’s lawyer is the very person wrongfully convicted the man of rape 18 years ago! First she sends him to prison, more than likely using some kind of railroading, and then when he gets out, she’s after him again to pay child support for the time he was in prison. Better yet, the son, now 18, is living with the man now. Another thing to notice is the woman’s argument, that if he had not been in prison, he would have been required to participate in the upbringing of the boy. Jesus! Have you ever heard a man complain about the effort or expense of raising a child? Never. It is only mothers who moan about how raising a child is so much work and so expensive.
Judge will rule on Dail support lawsuit
Much to Dwayne Dail’s chagrin, no decision was rendered Wednesday on his request to dismiss his former girlfriend’s child support suit.
“I’m mad. This is exactly what’s wrong with the court system,” he exclaimed before storming out of the courthouse after the hearing, angry at the proceedings and how he felt he was portrayed by Lorraine Michaels’ attorney.
But, Judge David Brantley said that he would take the arguments of both sides into account, and indicated that a ruling would soon be forthcoming.
The hearing, which was held in Wayne County’s family courtroom Wednesday afternoon, was only the latest chapter in a story that has gone on for more than 20 years.
At issue is Ms. Michaels’ contention that Dail owes her back child support for the time she spent raising their son Christopher Michaels — time he spent being wrongly held in state prison for a 1987 rape he didn’t commit. (more…)