H.R. 1488, THE “HYDE-WOOLSEY” CHILD SUPPORT BILLJOINT STATEMENT OF
DR. RICHARD WEISS and WILLIAM WOOD
DR. RICHARD WEISS IS THE DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS COUNCIL OF ALABAMA
WILLIAM WOOD IS THE COORDINATOR FOR THE CHILDREN’S LEGAL FOUNDATION AND THE JUSTICE COALITION
H.R. 1488, THE “HYDE-WOOLSEY” CHILD SUPPORT BILL, MARCH 16, 2000
WRITTEN TESTIMONY FOR THE HUMAN RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
- Authors Note: This is one of the first well-documented challenge to the child support guidelines in the printed record. (One of the earlier well-documented challenges was done by Roger F. Gay, and is available here: Project for the Improvement of Child Support Litigation Technology.) This research (as well as the work done by Roger F. Gay) can be used by every noncustodial parent to challenge any court-imposed child support based on guidelines. This can be accomplished by a father motioning for the court to take “judicial notice” of this testimony (printed record) and concurrently presenting an affidavit with the individual realistic child support costs in that particular case. If the judge rejects this, the petitioner may appeal his ruling. Bill and I feel that most if not all cases would win on appeal, based on the precedents established in the Kumho case recently in the U.S. Supreme Court. Fathers are encouraged to use this as a resource to explain how fathers can use this printed record to rebut guidelines in their cases.
We would like to thank the Honorable Henry Hyde and the Honorable Lynn Woolsey for this opportunity to contribute written testimony to this Committee. It is an indication of the greatness of this country when our citizenry has direct input into the National Political process. Dr. Richard Weiss is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University. Richard is a non-custodial parent of two daughters, 11 and 12 years old and he has recently served on several Alabama Supreme Court Committees on Custody and Divorce. William Wood is a Business Management and Technology Consultant volunteering his time to help families and children in the State of North Carolina and around the country. William is a custodial father of an 8 year-old little girl and can appreciate Ms. Woolsey’s challenges in trying to raise children as a single parent.
As is increasingly evident today, families and relationships are fragile. We have a divorce rate surpassing 50% and many of these broken marriages include children who represent our nation’s next generation of leaders, scientists, doctors, lawyers, politicians, policemen, etc. More and more children find themselves in the midst of a money war, caught between feuding parents, feuding lawyers, and a state “Family” Court system who’s purpose is the division of property, apportioning “visitation”, awarding child support, and dissolving their parent’s marriage.
Child support compliance is a 50 state plague on the United States of America with 55,000 ENFORCEMENT AGENTS. I would like to reiterate, that is 55,000 ENFORCEMENT AGENTS which does not include the police officers involved with jailing “deadbeat dads”, judges, advocates, administrative personnel processing claims, OCSE staff and expenses, attorneys, (at a rough average of some $185 an hour), and other ancillary individuals and costs.
Let’s consider that number for just a moment: 55,000 ENFORCEMENT AGENTS each at an estimated average salary of $25,000 a year is approximately 1.375 BILLION DOLLARS a year in just ENFORCEMENT AGENT wages alone, excluding associated fees such as jails, courts, administrators, computer systems, lawyers, judges, and other ancillary costs associated with tracking down “deadbeat dads”. Child Support collections in the United States have become BIG BUSINESS represented by special interest lobby groups offering testimony to this US House Committee. Child Support Collections in the United States has become a new millennium FEDERALLY FUNDED GROWTH INDUSTRY.
The entire industry relies on junk data and junk statistics inflated by half-truths and deceptions. These are designed to perpetuate the “deadbeat dad” myth in spite of considerable evidence that indicates more fathers are instead just “deadbroke”*fn1.
This new growth industry constantly needs more destroyed families and children to harvest more “deadbeats” to flourish. This divorce industry seems to have now leveled off at ~50% of BROKEN FAMILIES to plunder, creating a pervasive need to recruit more “deadbeats”. As a result, further distortions, fabrications, half-truths, and increasingly harsher draconian measures have been instituted to ensure greater levels of “non-compliance”. The more COLLECTIONS, the fatter the “bonus check” from the Federal Government to the states and other vested interests in this new growth industry. The entire domain of Child Support Enforcement has become a haven for Junk Science by those with an interest in the destruction of the family and obsessive collection of Child Support checks.
Junk Science and Junk Data have been used to manipulate the entire lawmaking process. Peter Huber coined the phrase “junk science” to refer to questionable expert testimony in the courtroom. [fn28] “Junk science,” Huber writes, “is the mirror image of real science, with much of the same form but none of the substance.” [fn29] He complains that courts permit “self-styled scientists” to engage in “pseudoscientific speculation.” [fn30] A central issue in the junk science debate is the admissibility of expert opinion in the adjudicative process. [fn31]”*fn2 Though this quote deals with the courts, the entire legal process, including legislative hearings have been virtually hijacked by self-serving special interests who pretend to “protect children” but do not care what destructive side effects their advocacy may have on those children.
The Hague Convention on Recognition and Enforcement created an international cooperative in the enforcement of child support orders in 1973. “Coincidentally,” in 1974 Senator Russell Long came to the conclusion that there was a connection between “fathers who abandon their children” and a growth in Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). With no study and no basis for this conclusion, his efforts led to the original federal child support and paternity legislation enacted in January 1975 *fn3. The new agency’s purpose was to collect Child Support from those fathers whose children were on welfare. This was done to try to reduce welfare expenditures by funding states through their legislatures if those states would create guidelines. These “guidelines” replaced legal due process procedures for determining the actual cost of raising a child.
A landmark case occurred in the Oregon Supreme Court in 1981 that substantively explained child support doctrine *fn4. This case found that the welfare formula for Child Support Collections did not apply to cases outside of the welfare system and required a special burden of ascertaining financial details appropriate for the support of children.
It frustrated the Courts to deal with the details of determining actual needs based on gross and net income, property values, forms of compensation, and then attempting to equitably apportion them because these cases were often appealable *fn5. From this original evidentiary based “rebuttable presumption” of actual costs and needs, we moved to more uniform “guidelines” presenting a facade of a rebuttable presumption (45 CFR 302) but whose outcome often prevents appeals. Today, appeals are difficult because the defining facts and specific data for the guidelines are unknown and have never been published. Therefore, the “rebuttable presumption” is only a concoction fabricated by the states to meet Federal requirements. There are, in fact, no actual costs or data available to rebut.
All of these guideline problems make the “rebuttable presumption” mandated by the Federal Government (under 45 CFR 302) a useless facade. The PSI guidelines and Income Shares exacerbate this problem by failing to meet the Federal requirement of “the most recent economic data on child rearing costs…” required for the stipulated quadrennial state reviews.
One pending case in Alabama challenges the rebuttable presumption of the child support guidelines. *fn6 There is a related follow up case to this that seeks to force the Courts to abide by their own contracts with Child Support awards. *fn7
The State of Kansas has filed a Federal Appeals case against the United States Government *fn8 and stated in opening arguments on January 20, 2000 in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that current Child Support guidelines are “unconstitutionally coercive”.
A Michigan attorney has successfully challenged the constitutionality of some of the Child Support Enforcement practices in the State of Michigan *fn9. Based on this initial victory about the UNCONSTITUTIONAL nature of Michigan’s practices, another Class Action has been filed representing the 2,000,000 obligors (predominantly fathers) in the state *fn10. The Michigan papers are beginning to recognize the Courts and the Child Support “system” are out of control *fn11.
In a March 1, 2000 Louisiana appeals case, the lower Court engaged in blatant, capricious, and malicious gender bias *fn12. The husband and wife had similar seasonal jobs. The husband’s wages were imputed with low points of the seasonal job ignored, and the wife’s wages were treated differently. The lower court’s ruling was reversed on appeal. In a March 7, 2000 Minnesota appeals case *fn13, the lower court refused to correct imputed income and it too was reversed on appeal. An Ohio court of appeals remanded a case back to the lower court *fn14 on March 6, 2000 for reconsideration because Tax adjustments for the obligor were not appropriately factored into the guidelines and should have been considered as part of the “rebuttable” presumption.
These are just a few of the cases heard within the last couple of months. The fact that such cases have been routinely overturned on appeal demonstrates not only that the “guidelines” are faulty but also that lower courts are reluctant to consider reasonable “rebuttals” to the guidelines. These “guidelines” have in fact become rigid de facto laws.
JUNK SCIENCE – DISTORTIONS, DECEPTIONS, DATA MANIPULATIONS, AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS
Census Bureau data from 1989 indicated that 75 percent of all child support owed is paid *fn15, and showed that the TOTAL amount of Child Support owed was 14.8 BILLION dollars. Of that amount, 11.1 BILLION had been paid (7.6 BILLION was paid in full, and 3.5 BILLION was partially paid). According to a 1992 report by the Government Accounting Office, Child Support non-payment is NOT by choice. This report showed that 66% of the fathers were not able to pay, 5% were unable to be located, and 29% were classified as other *fn16.
Analysis of methodology used by the Census Bureau Child Support to compile data is even more disturbing. Dan Weinberg, who heads the census division that collects Child Support data, has stated that this data is based solely on the custodial mother’s recollection, and there is no cross-check or verification with the non-custodial parent OR any requirement for documentation *fn17. This statement was made on the ABC 20/20 program on January 7, 2000, where it was concluded that “deadbeat dads” are actually “deadbroke dads”. Let’s reiterate, the Census Bureau data is based solely on the custodial mother’s memory, influenced by her personal bias or anger, and with NO verification to support the claims.
In 1992 custodial mother SELF REPORTED figures didn’t quite fit the expected “deadbeat dad” outcomes *fn18 indicating that 66% of non-support by fathers was from inability to pay. In fact, the rate of child support noncompliance by non-custodial MOTHERS is greater than that of non-custodial fathers *fn19 yet there are no slogans about “deadbeat moms” or social ostracism.
License revocations, property liens, contempt jailing, and referrals to the US Attorney General enacted under Federal authority are not generating significantly more collections. This indicates that many targeted fathers are just “deadbroke”. Simple logic dictates that revoking a license will likely result in the inability to work and therefore exacerbate the problem.
“The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has nearly a $4 BILLION annual Budget. Of the $12 billion CS arrearages, about three-fourths of them are categorized as “uncollectable” – this is largely due to unemployment.” *fn20
Reviewing testimony before this committee, we are now supposed to believe that some 50 BILLION dollars in Child Support is owed. That would be over 3 times the amount owed just over 10 years ago, based on inaccurate, unverified, and likely inflated numbers (see *fn17). This assumption would require us to believe that any one or all of the factors underlying Child Support collections have increased by over 3 times as well: salaries have increased 3 times, divorce rates have skyrocketed 3 times, “awards” have increased 3 times, or any combination, resulting in 3 times the problem. This 50 BILLION dollar figure professed by Nick Young, Geraldine Johnson, and others testifying before this committee defies logic *fn21. Those with the most to gain by this system perpetuate this 50 BILLION dollar junk data figure.
US Census Bureau data indicates there are ~11.6 million custodial mothers (85% of all custody awards) collecting support. It seems a fair assumption that there are ~11.6 million Child Support obligors for an average ARREARAGE of ~$4,310. If this figure were in fact accurate, this would indicate that there are nearly 11 million obligors who are within a couple of support payments (the $5,000 threshold) of incarceration *fn22. With the number of states that engage in mandatory pay check withholding, this shows that either the 50 BILLION figure is false, child support “awards” are too high, or most likely, both. Will America soon require a massive penal system to house all these poor fathers?
“The Bureau of the Census reported on child support payments in the spring of 1995*fn23. According to that report, the so-called “deadbeat dads” are few and far between in the population of fathers with legitimate child support orders *fn24. Comments on child support compliance often focus on the estimate that only about 66% of the child support that has been awarded is paid. This does not consider the fact that more than 14% of the amount under study had been recently awarded and was not yet due. Considering custodial parent reporting bias and adjusting for awards not yet due brings us closer in line with the information provided by Braver et al. *fn25 as well as information collected by commissioners in the states. Approximately 80% of the total amount of child support awarded in the U.S. historically has been paid each year. The compliance rate was not significantly affected by reforms.” *fn26 This indicates that special interests are manufacturing a problem when none exists.
The Honorable Lynn Woolsey has stated “there were child support enforcement reform laws in 1984, 1988, 1993, and 1996. None of them resulted in any significant improvements in the rate of child support collections.” *fn27 The data would seem to indicate this is because the numbers used by those with a financial stake in Child Support Enforcement are false or misleading, and that most of the non-support is from inability to pay. To wit, a mandatory withholding experiment conducted in 10 Wisconsin counties yielded only a 2.89% increase in compliance, INDICATING THOSE WHO COULD PAY WERE PAYING! *fn28
Child Support enforcement has criminalized Fatherhood. *fn29 Yet it is interesting that there is little or no information about bad mothers. If this were truly about children, there would be more public vilification of mothers based on the high rates of child abuse perpetrated solely by mothers *fn30. The lack of concern about children’s health, safety, and welfare, coupled with the insatiable lust of the divorce industry for the FATHER’S PAYCHECK exposes the financial motivation of the entire system. Considering the US historically has had one of the highest, if not the highest, compliance rates with child support orders in the world *fn31, it is apparent that this system LIES about “child” support while simultaneously neglecting the welfare of children.
Robert Williams, the father of the Income Shares model, worked as a consultant with the US Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Child Support Enforcement from 1983-1990. In 1984 he started Policy Studies, Inc. In 1987 he developed and introduced the “Income Shares” model now used by over 30 states. Williams currently consults states in Child Support guidelines while owning and operating his child support collection service with some 500 employees creating a direct conflict of interests *fn32. In the Mid 80’s, under the “guise” of a need to raise child support, a 250-350% increase was suggested without specifically focusing on the child. The name of the report itself betrays the unstated motive to include Alimony or Spousal support under the pretense of increasing basic child support needs: 350%: Estimates of National Child Support Collections Potential and the Income Security of Female-Headed Families*fn33[emphasis added].
At about this same time (mid 80’s), women’s groups rallied around Lenore Weitzman’s statistically flawed “73%” study in a frenzied attempt to gain alimony. This “study” with its erroneous math and questionable methods, helped disproportionately increase child support payments for the custodial parent–, ~90% of whom are mothers *fn34. This egregiously flawed data has been used in discussing child support reforms. Typically, income differences between men and women are used as an excuse for the need to increase child support. This “logic” is a direct appeal to include some form of spousal support or alimony in the “child” support calculation. Williams “model” then accepted presumed “increases” in his 1987 report.
Williams widely used Incomes Shares model is not based on separated or divorced household expenses for children, and it arbitrarily under-accounts for shared parenting time *fn35. Standard of living adjustments aren’t properly factored; Williams simply raises the numeric tables arbitrarily producing results so high that they often grossly inflate “child support” to include alimony *fn36 (more junk “science”). Apportioning support based on time with each parent has been suggested and some judges and lawyers openly oppose these equitable determinations factoring the amount of time with each parent in child support amounts *fn37.
Williams (the owner of PSI) regularly advocates increasing Child Support awards with little or no credit for time with the non-custodial parent. This creates a hardship on non-custodial parents (generally fathers) struggling to remain involved with their children. This also increases the pool of potential child support obligation owed, and increased arrearage for the non-custodial father’s collection division to exploit for their personal financial gain.
“Economic analysis comparing pre and post divorce standard of living is highly speculative, is based on unsubstantiated assumptions about family spending patterns, and leaves out many important considerations that would tend to show that post-divorce standard of living is more nearly equal among the households of split parents.*fn38”
Williams underlying data is flawed in its “economic” studies and information that are in fact based on non-like groups of intact families to arrive at major “statistical” conclusions *fn39 (i.e. junk science) “. . . the presumption that underlies the focus of much of the empirical research and policy debate on income distribution [within households] seems born of ignorance and is supported by neither theory nor fact.”*fn40.
Williams’ company, PSI, uses data erroneously based on the study of costs of raising children in INTACT households *fn41. PSI data relied partially on the Rothbarth estimator which concludes family well-being depends on the amount the family spends on alcohol and tobacco! *fn42. The Williams PSI “income shares” model also relies on the Engle estimator which is based on century-old findings of an economist, Ernst Engle. The premise appears valid at first and then Williams (PSI) extrapolates completely unrelated data from this study which dramatically inflates guideline numbers*fn43. Gross Income versus Net Income as well as Day care and Medical costs are estimated with no proper basis. The underlying data is erroneous and not disclosed. Most states using the Williams model also add additional amounts as separate and distinct items for daycare, health insurance, and medical expenses, yet PSI did not parse those items from the expenditures for children and are at least partially included in the base “guidelines” creating double allocations for obligors *fn44 (all junk “science”).
Some states allow for “child support” to continue AFTER a “child” is 18 and even living away from home. This comes in the form of post-secondary support for college. If a “child” is over 18, and no longer living at home, and the check is still drafted to the custodial parent and NOT the child, how can this be called “child support”?. Though supporting children through college is important, this additional burden is clearly little more than Alimony or spousal support. Ten states allow this, 11 states have restrictions, 7 are silent on the issue, and the remainder forbid it through statute or case law *fn45. Also, there is no accountability to the obligor for a “child” in college getting grants, loans, or other public assistance from the government.
“Robert W. Braid, an accounting, finance and economics professor, performed a detailed cost analysis in his own case in New Jersey *fn46. Based on a comprehensive cost and cash flow analysis, he calculated that he should pay approximately $180 per month to the mother in addition to sharing the direct costs of education for one child in college. Based on the established New Jersey formula, he was ordered to pay $903 per month, plus half his daughter’s college expenses. Mr. Braid found that the judges decision implied that it ‘must cost $21,672 a year in after tax money to support one child at home full-time (excluding any medical expense and any money the father spends on vacations, entertainment and hobbies with the boy), and one child spending about 25% of her time at home and the rest in college.’ ”
For example, using NY income numbers shows how child support impoverishes the obligor. A non-custodial parent (father ~90% of the time), earning $55,000 per year pays child support for 2 children and ends up with an income of only $14,000. The mother, earning $26,000 per year, ends up having a disposable income of over $44,000. Tax cost of all this to American Taxpayers? Over $22 Billion! *fn47. The cost to the obligor is virtual financial oblivion so severe that the obligor can rarely even afford an appropriate residence for maintaining a relationship with HIS children (predominantly fathers). These poor, but carefully manufactured living conditions through financial destitution are often the basis for the Courts restricting or removing even more of the father’s relationship with the child.
Requirements do not exist for child support recipients to provide proof that the money was being spent in support of the children. This is clearly an “open door” to use this money for virtually any non-child related wish the custodial parent may have (alimony). The lack of accountability is violative of supporting children and promotes personal use of the “award” by the recipients *fn48.
The press is also starting to understand that the whole “child support” shell game is about alimony or spousal support. ABC Market Watch recently did an article defining this as plainly biased against men and is by design to “hide” alimony *fn49. The errors and additional expenses included in the “guidelines” support the claim that there is much more than just child support included in the “award”.
A fully informed challenge of the current Support “Guidelines” in effect in most states would not likely stand the reliability, validity, and methodology standards erected by the US Supreme Court for “expert” testimony. These more stringent standards recently imposed by the Kumho case were designed by the justices to create an affirmative responsibility by lower courts to invalidate the junk science that permeates the courts and legal system today. The Supreme Court, in a rare move declared that admitting unreliable, questionable, or invalid data was an ABUSE OF JUDICIAL DISCRETION *fn50. Robert Williams and his “Income Shares” model would likely not fare well in a direct, substantive, and well-prepared court challenge.
It is finally becoming widely understood that father absence is one of the most destructive forces to children in our society –; fatherless homes account for 63% of youth suicides, 90% of all homeless and runaway children, *fn51 85% of all children exhibiting behavioral disorders, *fn52 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger,*fn53 71% of all high school dropouts, *fn54 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers, *fn55 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions, *fn56 and 85% of prison youths. *fn57
Contrast this with 37.9% of fathers have no access/visitation rights *fn58. Non-compliance with court ordered visitation by custodial mothers prevents 77% of non-custodial fathers from being able to “visit” their children *fn59. Non-compliance with court ordered visitation is three times the problem of non-compliance with court ordered child support and impacts the children of divorce even more. 40% of custodial mother SELF-REPORTS indicate they interfered with the father’s visitation to “punish” them, *fn60 ~50% see no value in the father’s involvement with the child, *fn61 and many use the children to retaliate against the father for their own ongoing personal problems. *fn62
The court system does not enforce orders for “visitation” but jails for non-compliance with a “child” support order. This is a clear indication that the whole DIVORCE INDUSTRY is about money and that children are just “poker chips” in this high stakes “game”. Their destruction is just “collateral damage” for the marriage hating special interests pushing their junk data.
The entire arena of Family Law has become a domain of Constitutional violations and usurpation of civil rights. What a normal person would consider a Debtor’s Prison has been instituted. To usurp the Constitution, the courts have “legislated” a perversion of the law declaring “contempt” as the new Debtor’s Prison Mantra deceptively asserting it is not a debtor’s prison because jailing for contempt can be remedied upon clearing the contempt charge (i.e. paying the DEBT! aka Debtor’s Prison). One man who earns $70 a week as a street musician is in jail now and will NOT be allowed to get out unless he can come up with $28,000 *fn63. After all, the courts have REFUSED to allow visitation with his son for the last 6 years but DEMAND his money… Similar situations abound with the cost of the jail cell, incarceration, court time, and other fees associated for those who obviously CAN’T pay make for the state sponsored destruction and eradication of fatherhood.
A California appeals court also declared that some Child Support incarcerations were a violation of the 13th Amendment for involuntary servitude *fn64. Federal enforcement of Child Support through the IRS, as proposed in H.R. 1488, is arguably unconstitutional by forcing the states to comply with Title IV-D *fn65. The United States Supreme Court stated *fn66, “Congress is without power to enlist state cooperation in a joint federal-state program by legislation which authorizes the States to violate the Equal Protection Clause.” and “[W]hile the Fifth Amendment contains no equal protection clause, it does forbid discrimination that is ‘so unjustified as to be violative of due process.’ ”
Nearly every state has legislation to seize bank accounts and real property without a court order (for “child” support) eliminating due process without a sworn statement that the money is owed. In child support politics, the Constitution has become passé and encumbers or impedes the cash machine that has been created. In this entire domain of “Family Law” the Constitution as we know it has ceased to exist. “State judges, as well as federal, have the responsibility to respect and protect persons from violations of federal constitutional rights.” *fn67 This responsibility has been abandoned to pursue Title-IV funding for the states.
State and Federal Governments now expend HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars each year to support the marriage and family destruction INDUSTRY with little to promote or support marriage and families. There is some indication that the press is starting to take note of Child Support and the Multi-BILLION dollar Divorce INDUSTRY that destroys families and thwarts the Constitution *fn68. Many “deadbeat” dads are just plain “deadbroke”. They are humiliated and bankrupted by a system that hides “alimony” in child support payments designed to support single mothers and their children *fn69 making it “profitable” for women to divorce. Under Child Support Enforcement efforts, draconian measures including “badges of infamy” like the fabled “scarlet letter” have been instituted in the form of jack boots for cars. In a Washington Times article, Nick Young has STATED the intent of such measures is humiliation *fn70.
Family Courthouses in America, in practice, have become Family slaughterhouses. Families, children, and our futures are being plundered through the use of junk science represented as ‘”gold standards.” Destroying families and children in America has become BIG BUSINESS… A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. The deadbeat dad myth, is just that, a myth. Fathers want accountability and equity in a system that is both unconstitutional and out of control *fn71.
Fathers are being destroyed by a system that seeks to squeeze every ounce of money possible before discarding them, with abject disdain for fathers and their essential roles as anurturing parents, protectors, role models, and caretakers of their children. A father in Canada (a country with similar custody policies and child support “guidelines” as the US) recently killed himself after being ordered to pay TWICE his income in support payments *fn72. With the current junk rhetoric like the unsubstantiated 50 BILLION dollars arrearage amounts (not based on ANY FACTUAL STUDY, i.e. junk data), we are not far from this kind of tragedy being commonplace in America *fn73. This destructive DIVORCE INDUSTRY must be dismantled.
Robert Williams involvement with Child Support Guideline creation through PSI, and his Child Support Collections business creates a conflict of interest and an inherent need for his “junk science” to manufacture more “deadbeats”. US citizens, as well as Federal and State governments should DEMAND A FULL REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL PUBLIC FUNDS that his Child Support Collections business has received for its destruction of families.
The IRS does not have a stellar reputation for resolving financial issues while observing the rights of the citizenry and the Child Support Guidelines are a mess. Giving them to the IRS to enforce with its dubious reputation would likely create even more of a mess*fn74. To resolve some of this mess and qualify for Federal Funds, the states must be required by the Federal Government to define what the child support presumptions are and then assign appropriate values to each of those presumptions to make them truly rebuttable.
The Federal Government MUST get involved, but not through Child Support Collections via the IRS. Rather, the government must now demand Justice and Equity in the state “Family” Courts, and promote the preservation of intact families by protecting the rights of children to be raised and supported—both financially and emotionally–, by BOTH parents, even after divorce. Federally subsidized collection agencies need to stop taking from the children what their RHETORIC pretends to protect *fn75.
The social fabric of society is built upon the strength of its family structure. Impoverishing and vilifying parents by misguided and flawed mercenary practices of government, joined at the hip to a multi-billion dollar divorce industry, is rapidly exsanguinating and killing the American family.
Restore Constitutional protections to the “Family Court” process. It’s time to look past the marriage and family hating special interests, marriage hating gender politics, and the bureaucracies. Look to the families and children of America, or tomorrow there may not be an America.
- *fn1 BAD DADS [Dead beat vs. Dead broke dads], ABC News program 20/20, John Stossel and Barbara Walters, January 7, 2000.
- *fn2 Partially Quoted from 72 N.C. L. Rev. 91 at 97; “[FN28] PETER HUBER, GALILEO’S REVENGE: JUNK SCIENCE IN THE COURTROOM 2 (1991); [FN29]. Id.; [FN30]. Id. at 3. Huber notes that “[t]he best test of certainty we have is good science–the science of publication, replication, and verification, the science of consensus and peer review.” Id. at 228.; [FN31]. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical Inc., 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993), the Court dealt with the admissibility of expert testimony about scientific evidence…”
- *fn3 The Child Support Guideline Problem, Roger F. Gay, MSc and Gregory J. Palumbo, Ph.D., May 6, 1998
- *fn4 In the Marriage of Smith, Or 626 P2d 342 (1981).
- *fn5 Silvia v. Silvia, 400 N.E.2d 1330
- *fn6 Blackston v. Alabama, 30 F.3d 117. (11th Cir. 1994);
- *fn7 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Case # 99-A-295-N
- *fn8 State fighting feds in appeals court, The Topeka Capital-Journal, Robert Boczkiewicz, January 22, 2000
- *fn9 Tindall v. Wayne County Friend of the Court, 98-CV-73896-DT, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division; 9/30/99
- *fn10 Child Support Collection Leads Divorced Fathers to Sue the State of Michigan, Current Events in Law – Online Section, Paul Reed, January 26, 2000
- *fn11 Michigan Court out of Control, Wayne County FOC & Circuit Court Accused of Fraud and Abuse, Sierra Times Exclusive, Franklin Frith, February 9, 2000
- *fn12 Otterstatter v. Otterstatter, No. 99-1481 (Louisiana Court of Appeals)
- *fn13 Behnke v. Green-Behnke, No. C7-99-820 (Minnesota Court of Appeals)
- *fn14 Topp v. Topp, No. 1999CA0243 (Ohio Court of Appeals, District 5): Relying on Singer v. Dickinson, 63 Ohio St. 3d 408 (1992)
- *fn15 Current Population Reports, Series P-23, No 173, 1989
- *fn16 GAO/HRD-92-39FS, January 9, 1992; page 19
- *fn17 BAD DADS [Dead beat vs. Dead broke dads], ABC News program 20/20, John Stossel and Barbara Walters, January 7, 2000.
- *fn18 GAO/HRD-92-39FS, January 9, 1992; page 19
- *fn19 Bureau of the Census, Statistical brief – SB/95-16; June 1995
- *fn20 Divorced Fathers: Shattering the Myths, Sanford Braver.
- *fn21 Statement of Nick Young, Division of Child Support Enforcement; Statement of Geraldine Jensen, Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, Inc. March 16, 2000
- *fn22 3/99 U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Current Population Report (P60-196 Child Support For Custodial Mothers and Fathers: 1995), there are 11.6 Million Custodial Mothers (85%).
- *fn23 Who Receives Child Support? Bureau of the Census Statistical Brief, June 1995.
- *fn24 Although according to the data used in that report, child support had been awarded for only 56% of all separated custodial parents. Part of the lack of support orders however, can be explained by the death of an ex-spouse, agreement not requiring a court order, and other reasons. A significant part however is simply because paternity has not been established.
- *fn25 Non-Custodial Parent’s Report of Child Support Payments, Braver, Sanford, Pamela J. Fitzpatrick, and R. Curtis Bay, 1988, presented at the Symposium “Adaptation of the Non-Custodial Parent: Patterns Over Time” at the American Psychological Association Convention, Atlanta, GA, August, 1988. Compared Bureau of Census custodial parents reports (approx. 70% received) with father survey (approx. 90% paid).
- *fn26 The father of today’s child support public policy, his personal exploitation of the system, and the fallacy of his “income shares” model, James R. Johnston, August 1998.
- *fn27 Statement of Lynn Woolsey, M.C., CALIFORNIA, March 16, 2000.
- *fn28 Journal of Contemporary Policy Issues, Garfinkle and Klawitter, 1992 – after instituting mandatory wage witholding of child support in Wisconsin, 10 pilot counties collected only 2.89% more of what was owed than the ten control counties that didn’t garnish
- *fn29 Beating Up on “Deadbeat Dads”, American Spectator, Stephen Baskerville, August 20, 1999.
- *fn30 Donna Shalala, “National Child Abuse Prevention Month” and Child Maltreatment 1994: Reports from the States to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Patrick Fagan, Heritage Foundation, THE CHILD ABUSE CRISIS: THE DISINTEGRATION OF MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY, Rick Thomas, The Dirty Little Secret: Abuse in Foster Care
- *fn31 id. at footnote 25 (Non-Custodial Parent’s Report of Child Support Payments)
- *fn32 id. at footnote 25 (Non-Custodial Parent’s Report of Child Support Payments)
- *fn33 Ronald Haskins, Andrew W. Dobelstein, John S. Akin, and J. Brad Schwartz, Final Report, Office of Child Support Enforcement, April 1, 1985.
- *fn34 The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in America, Lenore Weitzman, PhD, 1985. Discredited because of simple mathematical errors in her calculations and a fatally flawed methodology. She did not admit to these mistakes for 11 years until 1996 when they were openly exposed in A re-evaluation of the economic consequences of divorce. American Sociological Review 61:528-36, Peterson, R.R. 1996. As a result of Weitzman, a huge number of states – virtually all – have upwardly revised their child support guidelines by using and citing this work.
- *fn35 The Child Support Guideline Problem, Roger F. Gay, MSc and Gregory J. Palumbo, Ph.D., May 6, 1998
- *fn36 Gay, Roger F. The Alimony Hidden in Child Support, New Scientific Proof that Many Child Support Awards are Too High, The Children’s Advocate (NJCCR, Box 316, Pluckemin, NJ 07978-0316), January, 1995, Vol. 7 No. 5.
- *fn37 Parents Get Way to Lower Child Support, Dow Jones Newswires, Greg Winter, July 28, 1999
- *fn38 Weitzman and Betson use the same approach to estimating pre- and post-divorce standard of living differences. Betson’s paper provides a short list, including items such as visitation and tax consequences that are not included in his standard of living analysis. For a critical review of Weitzman’s analysis, see the following. Abraham, Jed H., 1989, The Divorce Revolution Revisited: A Counter-Revolutionary Critique, Northern Illinois University Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, p. 47. (as quoted from New Equations for Calculating Child Support and Spousal Maintenance With Discussion on Child Support Guidelines, Roger Gay, July 20, 1994)
- *fn39 The Child Support Guideline Problem, Roger F. Gay, MSc and Gregory J. Palumbo, Ph.D., May 6, 1998
- *fn40 Allocation of Income Within the Household, Lazear, Edward P. and Robert T. Michael, University of Chicago Press, 1988.
- *fn41 May 26, 1999 Memorandum from Richard J. Byrd, P.C. to the Virginia Quadrennial Guideline Review Panel. Analysis of the PSI Study and Recommendation. (page 1 of 13) The Panel requested this law firm to review the Guidelines and offer commentary. Richard Byrd is also the Chairman of the Family Law Section of the Fairfax Bar Association.
- *fn42 See Footnote 40 at page 2.
- *fn43 See Footnote 40 at page 3.
- *fn44 See Footnote 40 at pages 5-9
- *fn45 Allowed – CA, CT, IL, MS, MO, NJ, SC, TN, WA,WY; Restricted – AL, CO, IO (to age 22 only?), MD, MA, MI (to age 21 only?), MN, NY, OR (declared unconstitutional, under appeal), TX, UT; Silent – AR, HA, IN, NE, NV, NH, WV.
- *fn46 The Making of a Deadbeat Dad, Robert W. Braid, Trial Lawyer, March 1993. (as quoted from New Equations for Calculating Child Support and Spousal Maintenance With Discussion on Child Support Guidelines, Roger Gay, July 20, 1994)
- *fn47 Melanie Cummings of Children’s Rights Council, illustrative Excel Spreadsheet to show the actual and real distribution of “child” support.
- *fn48 In re Marriage of Hering, 84 Or App 360, 733 P2d 956 (1987). “the money is for the support and welfare of the children, not for the enrichment of the custodial parent.”
- *fn49 When men lose the divorce game, Courts often feel what’s his is theirs, but what’s hers is hers, Alan Feigenbaum, CBS Marketwatch, December 27, 1999
- *fn50 Kumho Tire, Inc. v. Carmichael, 119 S.Ct.1167 (1999) Justice Scalia, with whom Justice O’Connor and Justice Thomas join, concurring opinion clarified stating in part “Rather, it is discretion to choose among reasonable means of excluding expertise that is fausse and science that is junky…the Daubert factors are not holy writ, in a particular case the failure to apply one or another of them may be unreasonable, and hence an abuse of discretion.”
- *fn51 U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
- *fn52 Center for Disease Control
- *fn53 Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978
- *fn54 National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools
- *fn55 Rainbows for all God`s Children
- *fn56 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988
- *fn57 Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992
- *fn58 p.6, col.II, para. 6, lines 4 & 5, Census Bureau P-60, #173, Sept 1991
- *fn59 Visitational Interference – A National Study, Ms. J Annette Vanini, M.S.W. and Edward Nichols, M.S.W. (September 1992)
- *fn60 p. 449, col. II, lines 3-6, (citing Fulton) Frequency of visitation by Divorced Fathers; Differences in Reports by Fathers and Mothers. Sanford Braver et al, Am. J. of Orthopsychiatry, 1991.
- *fn61 Surviving the Breakup, Joan Kelly & Judith Wallerstein, p. 125
- *fn62 Journal of Marriage & the Family, Vol. 51, p. 1015, Seltzer, Shaeffer & Charing, November 1989
- *fn63 Man is jailed again in Child Support battle, The [New Jersey] Star Ledger, Timothy O’Conner, March 19, 2000.
- *fn64 LLR No. 9609060.CA Moss V. Moss, September 25, 1996
- *fn65 Blessing, Director, Arizona Department Of Economic Security v. Freestone et al. [1997, US SupCt, 95-1441]. Child Support Enforcement is not a federal right that can be used to force states to substantially comply with Title IV-D.
- *fn66 Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 22 L.Ed.2d 600, 619, 89 S.Ct. 1322 (1969) citing Katzenbach v. Morgan, 384 U.S. 641, 651, n. 10, 16 L.Ed.2d 828, 836, 89 S.Ct. 1717 (1966) et. al.
- *fn67 Goss v. State of Illinois, 312 F2d. 1279 (US App Ct, Illinois, 1963)
- *fn68 Q: Is court-ordered child support doing more harm than good? Yes: This engine of the divorce industry is destroying families and the Constitution. Insight Magazine, Stephen Baskerville, Vol. 15, No. 28 — August 2, 1999.
- *fn69 Some ‘Deadbeat’ Dads Are Dead Broke, David Crary, Associated Press, November 7, 1999
- *fn70 Pink and blue car boots shouldn’t be forced on police, Police Beat – Fred Reed, The Washington Times, Jan. 10, 2000; page C2.
- *fn71 Father’s protests deserve airing, Kathleen Parker, USA Today, November 8, 1999
- *fn72 Anti-Male Bias in Family Courts blamed for Man’s Suicide, couldn’t afford support payments, backers say, Donna Laframboise, National Post, March 23, 2000
- *fn73 Throwaway Dads, Houghton Mifflin, Ross Parke and Armin Brott, 1999.
- *fn74 Everyone Loses in the Daddy War, Wall Street Journal, Stuart Miller, May 31, 1995, page A-17.
- *fn75 More for SRS Collections but less for Children, Kansas is taking a larger percentage of the child support payments it collects – and parents are not happy about it. Wichita Eagle, Jennifer Comes Roy, January 24, 2000