“Kids and Noncustodial Parents Get Screwed.” – Child Support Case Worker

In working to reforming our current system, I meet great people on a daily basis who see unfairness.

I am not alone in this, of course.

Today’s post is from a Division of Child Support case worker in South Dakota and has contacted me several times concerning South Dakota’s unfair custody laws. She asked to post anonymously as she believes she could lose her job if her superiors knew of her stance. So I post this, humbled she would take that risk and grateful for her insights. I believe you will be too.

This is from the front lines of child support and custody in South Dakota and neighboring states. Our anonymous writer today works with custody and child support on a daily basis.

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Here is her unedited letter:

“I am a Division of Child Support Caseworker in South Dakota. As such, I speak with other caseworkers in SD and nearly all other states in the US every day, and know there are very few options for “non-custodial” parents who are being denied equal access to their children, unless they are fortunate enough to be able to afford a long and expensive custody battle, which is extremely rare, especially in cases where the parents were never married.
While your group needs to pursue one issue at a time, your particular issue being custody and visitation arrangements after a divorce, I hope that you will also pursue shared parenting and child support arrangements for parents who were never married, as this is an issue that definitely needs to be addressed and rectified.
Before continuing, I will say that I, and all DCS caseworkers, recognize that the “non-custodial” (and we don’t like that term) parent may be the mother rather than the father. In most cases, however, the NCP is dad and the CP is mom, so please forgive my use of general terms such as “she” and “he”. I use them for the sake of simplicity, not out of a lack of respect or understanding that mothers do sometimes get the raw end of the deal, along with their children.
In every state in this country, the child support system is not only broken, but is in desperate need of repair. It is unbalanced and very often unfair. The child support calculation is based on the income of both parents, in every state, although I will admit there could be a state or two that does not do it this way and I am just not aware. In most states, if either parent is unemployed but not disabled, they are presumed to be capable of working 40 hours a week at minimum wage, so their income is imputed at $1275 per month. Following this calculation, if mom is willingly unemployed and dad is employed full time, making a mere $10 an hour, dad has a child support obligation of $357 per month for one child. (I got this number from SD’s child support calculator website and it is accurate.) Every parent, regardless of the relationship (or lack of one) that existed at the time the child was conceived, has a responsibility to provide financial support for their child. That is a fact. But, should dad, making $10 an hour really be forced to pay $357 to someone who is not willing to work? Where is mom’s responsibility in this? In these situations, mom (unless she is actually working 40 hours a week for minimum wage, which is rare), is receiving food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance, so she is sitting back, living a meager life and doing nothing to improve the lives of her children, and not having to lift a finger to do it. In the meantime, dad is working hard and still can’t afford to keep the lights on in his own home.
Most of the dads I speak to are willing to pay the child support, despite the financial stress. They understand that there is a little person out there who needs their help, and they are okay with that. In many of these cases, dad has not seen his child even once since the relationship with his child’s mother demised, and he has no recourse other than to hire a lawyer to get a visitation order. The first problem with this is that dad, making $10 an hour and paying $357 a month in child support has no money left over for to hire a lawyer. The second problem with this is that, even when he does and gets the order, mom can still deny the visitation and there will be no consequences to her for doing so. Sure, dad can take her back to court again, and the judge will tell her to behave, but if she doesn’t, nothing will happen in SD. Dad and the kids are still denied access to one another.
Approximately 2 years ago, the state of Illinois passed legislation that actually puts repercussions in place for CPs that refuse to follow the Illinois State Visitation Guidelines. If the CP denies access to the children to the NCP, her driver’s license can be restricted, and not be reinstated until she complies. What a novel idea. I am beside myself, wondering why every state has not enacted this legislation. We restrict, suspend, or revoke the driver’s licenses (and other licenses) of NCPs when they don’t pay the child support, even when they are unwillingly unemployed, yet we allow CPs to use their children as weapons against NCP, regardless of whether he is paying.
I had two office visits today, both from dads who are doing the best they can and still are being denied access to their children, simply because mom decided she doesn’t like them anymore. The first has a 5 year old daughter that he desperately wants to have a relationship with, but hasn’t been allowed to see since she was 1 year old. At least in that situation, the poor child doesn’t know what she’s missing in not being able to see her dad. The second is much more sad, and it honestly makes me very angry. Dad raised mom’s first child as his own from an infant to 4 years old. In the meantime, they had a child together. They were together for another year or two. For the next several years, dad had BOTH kids – even the one that was not his – for weekend visitation. Not enough, but at least it’s something. Then, mom decided to pull the rug out from underneath dad, with no consideration for her children. Dad has now not seen either child for a year and a half. He and mom were not married, so mom has all the power, unless he can afford an attorney, which he can not possibly afford to do.
As we sat and talked, there were several times that I could see he was struggling not to cry. Ever since mom decided (for what crazy reason no one knows) to withhold visitation, both children, and especially his biological child, have been acting out in school. They’ve been bullying other kids and being defiant to authority. His biological son was finally allowed to see his half sister (that dad had from another relationship) after being denied access to her for a long time. According to his sister, all he talked about was how much he missed his dad and how he is so happy he has all these things that his dad gave him, because it helps him remember his dad. Mom has the kid in therapy, that dad is paying for, and she is apparently oblivious to the reason why the kid needs therapy. I could tell her, but it would probably result in me being fired. Mom has 3 kids by 3 different dads and I would like to talk to her about that as well. Bottom line is mom is sitting back, collecting child support and state benefits, and not doing a damn thing to support her children, but she will be the first to call if a payment is a day late. This is just one case I am telling you about, and it’s not even the worst one; it’s just the one at the top of my mind.
The bottom line is this. We need to have state agencies that provide free services for NCPs to have fair and equal access to their children. We already have state agencies that help people who make no contribution themselves collect child support, and we are screwing kids and NCPs in the process. That is not acceptable in any state. I hope your legislature – and mine – will figure that out. Good luck and God Bless to you and your children.
All that being said, I hope all the NCPs (I really hate that term) understand that your CS case worker is not against you. We are forced to support the order, whatever that may entail. We have no power to help you with anything else, but we really would like to. God bless and God speed to you and your children.”

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15 thoughts on ““Kids and Noncustodial Parents Get Screwed.” – Child Support Case Worker

  1. james

    You may not be against dads, but here in NM. I have been asked to leave the Csed office more than once, just because I asked to see my file and examine their calculations of how my child support was calculated. So not getting to see your kids is the worst, but being put into such a deceitful debt is even worse!

    Reply
    1. Christine R

      You should add this to some parental alienation sites as well. Im just a foster parent fighting to get our foster daughter back but I agree with you. Thing is its going to take more people to get this done. All parents should join these causes because you just don’t know what happens down the road AND with the government running our childrens lives well it sucks. I am not against moms or dads I am against bad parents but I think some of them can be rehabilitated. Not all but some. SOrry Im off the topic a bit, but keep doing what your doing and let me know if I can do anything!

      Reply
  2. itsallaboutthekidsincanada

    What also sucks, is the fact that the CP don’t have to prove income, so if they have more money the NCP still pays the same if he can afford it or not.
    And once they start having more custody than the other qualified parent, the tables turn for the worst with alienation, and custody rights start to dissolve real fast.
    The worst part is who has the most money usually wins, with gifts and more toys and a lawyer ?

    Reply
    1. Benny

      Boy is that the truth! I actually heard my ex’s Atty say “you wouldn’t get as much in child support if you don’t quit letting the kids go to his house.” Next hearing due to parental alienation I was put on max child support! The judge didn’t care she wasn’t following our set visitation. He didn’t care we had 50/50 custody!! He even made my child support retro-active for two years and I ended up 30k in arrears! So yes, I know and feel everyone’s pain, but two years ago I got smart! Oh yes I did!!

      Reply
  3. Benny

    Boy is that the truth! I actually heard my ex’s Atty say “you wouldn’t get as much in child support if you don’t quit letting the kids go to his house.” Next hearing due to parental alienation I was put on max child support! The judge didn’t care she wasn’t following our set visitation. He didn’t care we had 50/50 custody!! He even made my child support retro-active for two years and I ended up 30k in arrears! So yes, I know and feel everyone’s pain, but two years ago I got smart!

    Reply
  4. Saving MyDaughter

    Here in Massachusetts, the DOR Agents will openly tell Moms, (Always moms, they will not represent male custodial parents)
    “Since the new (2009) child support calculation takes visitation time into account, every visit is going to cost you money.
    Don’t worry, there is no penalty for violating a visitation court order.”!

    Reply
  5. Let's Get Honest

    I came here following someone who reblogged a recent post about “Nation’s Top Custody Experts” My postw as not primarily about the NCADV (though it menmtioned it probably) but about the Battered Mother’s Custody Conference and how they opted to withhold critical information about the HHS role in the state custody court business.

    I see from the facebook “South Dakota” (About link) that the Fathers and Families Coalition is showing. If you want to learn some more about this whole area, visit my blog. I look up tax returns, corporate filings, and a lot more on both sides of the fence (NCADV and Fatherhood). This particular group is soaking up public funding from HHS and runs conferences on how to get grants to increase fatherhood. Child Support Professionals (Vicky Turetsky comes to mind) are all over the field. Anyone who starts looking things up — namely, whether or not a given organization is complying with the laws of the state and country it’s in (and in this country, if you’re tax-exempt and getting millions, or thousands — you are supposed to file. If you are a judge, moreover, you are supposed to tell the truth about your business interests on conflict of interest statements, ha, ha, ha.).

    I see a comment about Freud also. Freud in 1895 made a statement to his peers about the source of a lot of the mental illnesses among his patients, and he linked it directly to violent sexual assaults upon them, while young (boy or girl), often from their fathers (it appears this may have included Freud). His peers, naturally, froze him out on what was euphemistically called “the seduction theory.” (i.e., the little ones seduced their adult rapists). I was startled to hear that a Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (approx. spelling) who actually had access to the archives, discovered ca. 1980s that in the origins of psychoanalysis (essentially Freud’s letters, edited mid-1950s’ including by his daughter, Anna Freud), a lot of censorship of Freud’s response to having been “excommunicated” for bringing up the topic had affected him in later decades. Anyhow, I have a post on that. Normally I don’t go there -but the point is, all you great Dads out there — not all of you are so great as you think and in THOSE situations, The Best Parent is NOT “both parents.” And if this becomes the presumption, and law, then it’s going to be a very rough day for one parent to have any say over whether or not they can protect minor children from molestation, or themselves from being also harmed. I.e., the two big issues tend to be the hot topics: Domestic Violence and/or Child Abuse.

    On these two matters, those who set up the family and conciliation courts for their own profits, have been morre than kind to wife-beaters and child abusers. Men not iin theese categorriees (keystroke ddelay iss caussinng letterr doubbles, sorry) can commplaiin to managemeent. Stop thee moneylauundderrinng annd llearn to identify wheerre and how it happens. Thaat means takee timmee to study.

    I am a formerly battered mother; that’s why we separated. After I did so, protection was removed, specifically because of the influence of fatherhood funding on the local court system, and throughout the child support system. The Child Support System is favoring the worst sort of fathers, and punishing the honorable fathers (and mothers). It is able to do so because of the huge clout of federal money on state budgets (HHS under which is OCSE). However, this isn’t my fault as a mother. People need to learn how to tell who’s telling the truth. I choose to look at the systems in hope of a common ground. Common ground which puts my, or my kids’ lives (or others’) at risk is not Common Ground.

    ====
    This post is hearsay evidence from (allegedly) a child support worker in an unidentified state bordering south dakota. How is that going to provide any reasonable discussion of FACTS? Most anecdotal evidence from bloggers is the same — anecdotal!

    ====In the first two paragraphs of the “unedited letter” from an unidentified speaker, I already know this person is lying, in the form of withholding. Since 1996 $10 million a year has been put out of Access/Visitation grants to increase noncustodial parenting time by way of setting up programs for it, including mediation, supervised visitation, and more. moreover, the fatherhood programming, which INCLUDES taking welfare money to reach out (through OCSE offices often) even to men currently in prison, to modify their custody and visitation orders and become more involved fathers — is in the hundreds of millions. No U.S. President would probably get eleected without supporting this. GWBush did. For that matter, Clinton helped get it started. Obama has. If it’s not working for you, complain to the leaders of the movement. Why not start with Jeffrey Leving, Esq.?

    Anyhow, I don’t facebook, I write on the blogs and comment where I might be able to help (see for an example, Carverr County corruption blogspot; talk inn detail, provvidde prooff, not jusst hearsay. EDleevatte the dialogue.

    Reply
    1. Tracy Foraker

      Sorry, but I totally believe what this person is quoting!!! I am the wife of a man who is being ripped to shreds by the family court system in Ohio!!! Child support keeps increasing every the mother asks for a new review! She makes $5000.00 a year more than my husband yet his support still increases!! He is ordered to pay health insurance yet his support still increases!!! He has no damn take home money on his check to live!!! AND, THIS ALL GOES ON EVEN THOUGH THE CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY KNOWS DAMN WELL THE MOTHER HAS ALLOWED THE FATHER TO SEE HIS SON IN 4 YEARS!!!!!! What the hell is wrong with this picture!! He has no money to take her back to court to fight for his rights anymore because we exhausted all of our savings for her to get a slap on the wrist & then turn around and deny visits again!!!!!! SORRY, BUT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!! NO VISITS ——- NO MONEY!!!! THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE!!!!

      Reply
  6. Let's Get Honest

    To: Parenting Together Living Apart:
    Please consider posting this FYI — but as I already have a piece of hate-comment at my other blog (probably from the same source, generally no one bothers) — I’m not holding my breath.

    I call your bluff on there being no programs to help fathers and to increase NCP access around — by naming them.  If these programs are not working for good honest Dads, then they are who you should contact — and spare your breath insulting women as a whole, mothers as a whole, and particularly  people leaving abuse as a whole.  The fatherhood industry is itself an insult; it is based on favoritism based on birth gender — something no person controls before their birth.  It’s budget parts were passed by a Congress which is overwhelmingly male, and white.   In an effort to divide minorities, the gender divide was real handy.  It’s all about divide, conquer, and then steal from.  The platform from which it’s done is the tax base (centralized wealth) which was put in place before most of us were born.  So quit hating the other gender (I don’t!), and start looking at the economics.

    I am providing links to some tools that may help people.  These tools are FOR fathers, not against them, and it’s pretty generous on my part to bring it up, after the first round of hate-talk.

    It’s up to you whether or not you want to make sure they don’t get information; if they don’t get it here, people with an honest hunger for truth will find it eventually.  

    _____________

    ===
    The system involves both men and women, both men and women are going to have to come to some sort of dialogue on the system based on more than anger, rumor, and hearsay.  

    There is a way to do this, and there are people doing it.  Men and women who may get tired of the bitterness can at least take a look at some of the details.  Here’s a great start — understand welfare reform, and how that affected the child support and parenting sector.  

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-stevenson/top-5-hhs-programs-endang_b_1511613.html
    “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program it created ~ ~ ~transformed welfare policy by drastically reducing and shifting federal assistance away from the homes of mothers and children and into the homes of violent offenders.~ ~ ~ In an article entitled “How Federal Welfare Funding Drives Judicial Discretion in Child-Custody Determinations and Domestic Relations Matters” *******fathers and rights activists Lary Holland and Jason Bottomsly explain ****  that this policy has backfired because the incentives are structured so that the state will only benefit if children are removed from loving homes:”

    I actually look up program funding, and am starting to see the money laundering aspect, and anyone with some patience can do this.  It’s possible to see how the gender wars are being played on both sides to keep cases in court and bring profits to court-contracted nonprofits which JUDGES and ATTORNEYS set up specifically.

    5 minutes of South Dakota Lookups Show lots of fatherhood programs, including helping with prisoner re-entry, and linking that to HHS funding. In other words, Anne Stevenson said it right — some of this money is going to violent offenders to help put them back with their families:

    http://www.lsssd.org/family_services/fatherhood/index.html
    “Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90F00002.”

    Here’s that grant, to “Lutheran Social Services” for 2011 & 2012 (taggs.hhs.gov, people can search).  

    Program Office Grantee Name City Award Number Award Title Budget Year Action Issue Date CFDA Number Principal Investigator DUNS Number Sum of Actions
    OFA LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES OF SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS 90FO0002 FATHERHOOD AND FAMILIES 1 09/28/2011 93086 Mel Harrington 042374876 $ 1,229,141 
    OFA LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES OF SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS 90FO0002 FATHERHOOD AND FAMILIES 2 09/27/2012 93086 MEL HARRINGTON 042374876 $ 1,229,141 

    Here is a listing of a whole array of services to South Dakota from the national responsible fatherhood clearinghouse, aka “fatherhood.gov”:  http://fatherhood.gov/sites/default/files/stateProfiles/South-Dakota_NRFC_State_Profile.pdf.  

    There is no “motherhood.gov; as such fathers are a special interest group at the federal level.  When it comes to women, it’s preventing violence against us (VAWA) and is NOT specific to mothers.  Both industries do similar activities, “technical assistance and training” at public expense.

    (Last I heard, Karen Artichoker (who got the Cangleska grants) were misappropriating them, and the tribal government handled the situation.  )

    In addition you can contact “Fathers and Families Coalition” (out of Arizona) as they have carved up the entire country by regions, and this organization really knows how to get their hands on federal funds to help Dads.  I see they don’t have a program in SD yet, so you can complain to management.  Here’s what they do:

    http://fathersandfamiliescoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/printprog-ffca-affiliate-dir.pdf

    Fathers and Families Coalition of America in Review

    “In 2012, we provided Continuous Program Improvement to enhance services for over 2million families; Development of Community Partnerships with over sixty (60) FFCA Affiliates(national and international); Professional Development to over 900 individuals; Program Leadership with over 4,000 hours of Continued Education extended through FFCA; Connections to Peers, Community and Leaders highlighted by FFCA featured at the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus 41st Annual Conference; and established of five (5) Regional Institutes as an accompaniment to our Annual National Fatherhood & Families Conference. Finally, we initiated the development of Vets Chat Internet Radio Show and apps for iPhone and Androids that focus on engaging fathers and families globally…and so much more to come.”

    Fathering.com has a group on South Dakota:
    http://www.fathers.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=324&Itemid=131

    “Fatherhoodfirst.org” takes money from HHS head start to help fathers develop positive relationships with their children.  It has resources for Dads. ”

    You can also talk to these guys who are (at public — HHS — expense) holding Fatherhood Summits in North Dakota — as of 2003, looks like they were at number III or so.

    http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/childfamily/headstart/docs/dfs-3-executive-summary-report.pdf
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    So if you’re feeling under-entitled and mis-appareciated because of all us supposedly “making it up” domestic violence victims, you are not without resources to do something about it.  However, FYI, I, for one, was telling the truth, and have a missing front tooth to prove it, which event was done in front of my children; a real nice guy….It takes a good amount of force to knock teeth, plural, loose and while obviously this wasn’t you, there are men who do this.

    These men are not appropriate for “equal parenting” statutes. Some of them who have gotten more than equal parenting still went on to murder (Scott DeKrai, Seal Beach, California, 2011– eight people were shot to death in or around a beauty salon, including the mother of his child.  He had 56% parenting at the time).  I believe that we should have some say in preventing such incidents, and telling the world that most women are making it up, is not going to help.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    I looked at the SD Child Support Site (took about 5 minutes to find this, a very recent hearing on the topic of child support:

    http://dss.sd.gov/childsupport/docs/12-13-2012ChildSupportCommission.PDF

    These are sources of input and learning about the thing you are complaining about.  Because I actually do some homework in this field, I see that a family law attorney representing a nonprofit (“Voices for Children”) was on the commission, AND that it hired a “Dr. Jane Venohr” as well.   

    Jane Venohr’s name is well-known in the industry (and people who follow my blog would also know) as one of the directors of Center for Policy Research in Denver, (“CPR”  http://centerpolicyresearch.org/ ).  Check out what kinds of programs they’re getting grants and contracts to study (such as fatherhood, mediation, access visitation, etc.)

    CPR is a key organization that with AFCC (co-founded by another CPR person, Jessica Pearson are heavily involved in child support and the courts.  AFCC started ca. 1963 (i.e., now in their 50th year) and CPR in the early 1980s.  Other nonprofits exist that helped set up the system.  Perhaps its time to learn about some of them?

    Links to early AFCC newsletters are on my blog.  It’s fundamental understanding — put together with also how the federal and private money works.  There’s a reason other groups don’t talk about it — they don’t respect their clients enough to teach them, plus if understood, you’d realize “who” is full of just how much “what.”
    (This is my last commment here. Have a nice day, no hard feelings).

    Reply
    1. sdkidsright Post author

      Honestly, none of your links help your good dad, works 40 hours a week, helps with child care duties, mom files for divorce. In SD this father has little time with his children, these are the cases that re most unfair. These dads should have more time with children

      Reply
  7. Crystal

    This is all true and it gets much worse. A second issue is if non custodial parent is married they want spouses income considered while non custodial(usually mom) can “play house” with any Tom dick or Harry she wants. Have the child calling that person dad use his income to live on but since they don’t or won’t get married it doesn’t count. She can get any petty little job she wants barely working at all if at all still claim benefits under the state and child support. As for licenses that only works if the person actually has one… Try a more harsh punishment like changing custody and forcing them to get a job and pay CS then you might see some straighten up! They obviously don’t care enough for their children to do the right thing.. Hit them where it hurts, their pocketbook!

    Reply
    1. Let's Get Honest

      A day-old comment (response) is still in moderation, I can see the blog is censoring; I also saw that this group was started by a group from (basically), Yankton, SD, mostly men. Enjoy your bitch-fest and the power to censor comments to make the dialogue look maybe a little more rational.

      “We want the system to change but you are off base on keeping dads out of kids lives, because all a mom has to do is yell abuse to keep daddy from kids.”

      I am not trying to “keep dads out of kids’ lives” that’s an inane statement I did not make. However, violent dads should be kept out of kids lives. “All a mom has to do is yell abuse to keep daddy from kids” is false in most states — and I’m a typical case in that. Men are being hauled out of prison for various felonies and offered help to contact their kids, at public expense.

      “Crystal” comment above ( a woman with issues against women, or a man using a woman’s name? whichever….) — what you described is exactly what my ex (who is male) did — and was able to do because this system makes money on custody battles. Whatever… Get a life…

      Reply
  8. Closer to Lucy (@ClosertoLucy)

    While I have no doubt that any abuse situation may have be horrific, we cannot make those situations apply to all men. No one is saying that in the case of abuse that the father (and let’s go ahead and add mother since we left her out) should have access that puts the child in danger. The point here was that there are a large number of CP that deny visitation to the NCP simply because they can. This is the part that’s wrong.

    Perhaps the author should have spelled it out that the CP, is paying ALL support, is not abusive, has no history of abuse, holds no malice, and makes every effort to ensure the health and wealthfare of the child but is still denied visitation because mom doesn’t like dad anymore???

    Abuse is wrong and no one wants to see an abuser get a hold of anyone’s child. But NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT ABUSE. Abuse in the context of this conversation is a completely different subject.

    Comments like Crystal’s do exist. The courts can and do ask for spousal income of the NCP and do not ask the same of the CP. It’s easy enough to look up. It’s real. The system is broken. Abuse adds another layer of wrong but please let’s not stereotype. Each case is as unique as the people in it. Stereotyping and accusations should never be part of the equation.

    Reply
  9. Wayne

    This systems been wrong forever!! This is why each and every year there is mothers with children from several different dads and there life is set because of the system! She can collect 1100(min) in child support stay at home 80% of the time and make 5 thousand a year in income, have here rent payed, all the food she and the kids can eat plus someother dude living there eating and enjoying life and heat bill payed so they can keep the heat at 75 and a/c set at 68, then file income tax return and get 7 grand back. I could go on and on with this bs but I only have 5 more years to deal with the crooked system. But have been dealing with it for 22 years and I love my children more then life itself. To the dude that wrote this system and the people that signed and agreed never lived this life. There 200000 year job left them blind and no idea what the created. Now you wonder why this world is getting dumber and dumber you can start by thanking those guys and gals. Kids have no respect anymore because its easy to collect a check and do nothing for it, there is no morals in MOST of these single family welfare living house holds. I better stop but even if you dont agree with what I have said I dont care, I have lived it, seen it and dealt with it!

    Reply
  10. Mark

    One of the most distressing things that these blogs begin to highlight is the fact that both men and women can behave poorly after a divorce. To be sure, there are abusive men out there who’s behavior should prevent them from seeing their children. On the other side, there are clearly times when women can cry wolf or manipulate the situation to their own advantage.

    Equal, or shared parenting, is about taking away leverage in these cases. The legislation being proposed before South Dakota this next year is about creating a system that encourages equal participation and responsibility from both parents. The current system is imbalanced and creates opportunities for conflict. New legislation being proposed WILL NOT apply to anyone convicted of domestic or child abuse. The new legislation does make it clear that there is a burden of proof to deny equal visitation (which there should be, anything else is a guilty until proven innocent standard).

    This is not a men’s issue. This is not a women’s issue. This is an issue of how do we create balance in our system to provide the most support for children. Both men and women have a role to play in raising their children. Neither should be denied that privilege and/or responsibility if they are a fit parent. There is a mountain of data that shows that the greater engagement from fathers, the better the child outcomes. Let’s find a way to end the power struggle. When we do that, then we will end the fighting and ugliness after a divorce. Our children will benefit from the love of two parents.

    Reply

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