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Men Wake up, this is you!



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 23rd 09, 05:52 AM posted to alt.child-support,alt.politics.economics,alt.politics.usa.constitution
DB[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 266
Default Men Wake up, this is you!

Courts blind to economic times!

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/o...ksed_0621.html

Layoffs, courts put some dads in jail
Sunday, June 21, 2009

This will be an exceptionally sad Father’s Day for millions of divorced and
separated fathers and the children who love them and need them. Many dads
have lost their jobs or suffered significant drops in income. Because it is
difficult for fathers to get their child support orders modified downward,
many decent, loving fathers are being jailed because they can’t keep up with
their child support obligations.

Ed O’Donnell, chairman of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law
Executive Committee, says that it “usually requires in excess of six months
before a judge will say, ‘[The job loss] is possibly a real change in
circumstances’… Six months is a long time, when you’re desperate.”

This problem is creating many outrageous, well-documented injustices.

For example, in one case highlighted by the Boston Globe, a divorced father
who worked in the real estate industry had been paying $6,000 a month in
child support, plus additional expenses such as health insurance and
tuition. When the real estate industry crashed, he fell behind and, with an
application for a downward modification still pending, was handcuffed in
court and jailed for 30 days.

The Bergen Record recently detailed the case of Peter Triantafillou, a
divorced dad who agreed to pay $5,000 a month in child support in 2006 while
earning a good income as a trader. When the economic downturn hit, he was
laid off twice and now earns only $60,000 — exactly the amount of his child
support obligation. He says:

“They had an arrest warrant on me. I had to go to jail for two days. I could
understand if I was a deadbeat dad. Or I was on the run or something. But I’m
here, picking up my kids after school. I’m involved. Just because I don’t
have that much money to pay anymore doesn’t mean I should be chastised.”

National Public Radio reported the case of a Cape Cod, Mass., father who
lost his job in January but is still required to pay $3,466 a month in child
support and 65 percent of college expenses for two of his children.
According to NPR:

“He petitioned the court to pay less child support but … had to wait two and
a half months for a hearing. Then the judge denied his request to
temporarily lower his child support payments and scheduled a trial for
July … typically, it takes six months from the time a noncustodial parent
petitions the court to pay less because of a job loss to when the court
makes a decision.”

While the vast majority of those losing jobs in the recession are men, it is
certainly true that custodial mothers are also struggling. Yet while people
may fall behind on their credit cards and their mortgages, only parents with
child-support orders risk being jailed because they can’t pay their
financial obligations.

The system’s lack of concern for fathers is evidenced by the fact that child
support officials in numerous states are telling reporters — without a trace
of irony or shame — that the best way they’ve found to collect child support
money in the recession is garnisheeing half of obligor fathers’ unemployment
checks.

Some judges tell laid-off fathers to pay the child support from their
savings. Yet most of these fathers don’t have significant savings, and the
burden often ends up falling on their elderly parents. It is common for
grandparents to use their retirement funds to pay their sons’ child support
to keep them out of jail.

Judges’ attitudes toward this is usually an unsympathetic “I don’t care
where the money comes from as long as it is paid.” Even for fathers with
some modest savings, this is wrongheaded — child support is supposed to be
based on income.

While there certainly are fathers who do not meet their responsibilities to
their children, the “deadbeat dad” issue has always been overblown. Even
before the recession, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement’s own
data showed that two-thirds of “deadbeat dads” earned poverty-level wages,
and only 4 percent earned even $40,000 a year.

For years sheriffs in many counties have marked Father’s Day by launching
“deadbeat dad” raids to nab dads who have arrest warrants. These raids —
always accompanied by lectures on “responsibility” — generally yield
strikingly little money, but they do get the sheriffs good publicity. Given
the terrible position so many fathers are in, this year’s raids will be even
more cruel.


  #2  
Old July 10th 09, 11:35 PM posted to alt.child-support
syf09
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Men Wake up, this is you!

For all in the UK;
http://www.deadbeatdadsassociation.co.uk/

"DB" wrote in message
...
Courts blind to economic times!

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/o...ksed_0621.html

Layoffs, courts put some dads in jail
Sunday, June 21, 2009

This will be an exceptionally sad Father's Day for millions of divorced
and separated fathers and the children who love them and need them. Many
dads have lost their jobs or suffered significant drops in income. Because
it is difficult for fathers to get their child support orders modified
downward, many decent, loving fathers are being jailed because they can't
keep up with their child support obligations.

Ed O'Donnell, chairman of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Family
Law Executive Committee, says that it "usually requires in excess of six
months before a judge will say, '[The job loss] is possibly a real change
in circumstances'. Six months is a long time, when you're desperate."

This problem is creating many outrageous, well-documented injustices.

For example, in one case highlighted by the Boston Globe, a divorced
father who worked in the real estate industry had been paying $6,000 a
month in child support, plus additional expenses such as health insurance
and tuition. When the real estate industry crashed, he fell behind and,
with an application for a downward modification still pending, was
handcuffed in court and jailed for 30 days.

The Bergen Record recently detailed the case of Peter Triantafillou, a
divorced dad who agreed to pay $5,000 a month in child support in 2006
while earning a good income as a trader. When the economic downturn hit,
he was laid off twice and now earns only $60,000 - exactly the amount of
his child support obligation. He says:

"They had an arrest warrant on me. I had to go to jail for two days. I
could understand if I was a deadbeat dad. Or I was on the run or
something. But I'm here, picking up my kids after school. I'm involved.
Just because I don't have that much money to pay anymore doesn't mean I
should be chastised."

National Public Radio reported the case of a Cape Cod, Mass., father who
lost his job in January but is still required to pay $3,466 a month in
child support and 65 percent of college expenses for two of his children.
According to NPR:

"He petitioned the court to pay less child support but . had to wait two
and a half months for a hearing. Then the judge denied his request to
temporarily lower his child support payments and scheduled a trial for
July . typically, it takes six months from the time a noncustodial parent
petitions the court to pay less because of a job loss to when the court
makes a decision."

While the vast majority of those losing jobs in the recession are men, it
is certainly true that custodial mothers are also struggling. Yet while
people may fall behind on their credit cards and their mortgages, only
parents with child-support orders risk being jailed because they can't pay
their financial obligations.

The system's lack of concern for fathers is evidenced by the fact that
child support officials in numerous states are telling reporters - without
a trace of irony or shame - that the best way they've found to collect
child support money in the recession is garnisheeing half of obligor
fathers' unemployment checks.

Some judges tell laid-off fathers to pay the child support from their
savings. Yet most of these fathers don't have significant savings, and the
burden often ends up falling on their elderly parents. It is common for
grandparents to use their retirement funds to pay their sons' child
support to keep them out of jail.

Judges' attitudes toward this is usually an unsympathetic "I don't care
where the money comes from as long as it is paid." Even for fathers with
some modest savings, this is wrongheaded - child support is supposed to be
based on income.

While there certainly are fathers who do not meet their responsibilities
to their children, the "deadbeat dad" issue has always been overblown.
Even before the recession, the Federal Office of Child Support
Enforcement's own data showed that two-thirds of "deadbeat dads" earned
poverty-level wages, and only 4 percent earned even $40,000 a year.

For years sheriffs in many counties have marked Father's Day by launching
"deadbeat dad" raids to nab dads who have arrest warrants. These raids -
always accompanied by lectures on "responsibility" - generally yield
strikingly little money, but they do get the sheriffs good publicity.
Given the terrible position so many fathers are in, this year's raids will
be even more cruel.



 




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