NC Fathers Rights

WFMY News 2 (Greensboro) Reporter Morgan Hightower, You Listening?

Morgan Hightower at WFMY News 2 in Greensboro NCMorgan Hightower is a News Reporter with WFMY News 2 based out of Greensboro NC who recently solicited Facebook comments from the public regarding questions they would like to see her ask sitting Governor Pat McCrory during an interview he agreed to with her. In looking at the comments, I saw no less than 15 questions from supporters of NC Fathers asking about family law reform and equally shared parenting. In viewing the interview with the Governor, Morgan Hightower decided that none of the questions you posted on the WFMY News 2 Facebook site would be asked of the Governor. Fair enough, I don’t think anyone expected that all comments submitted would get answered and there were probably other comments that Mrs. Hightower and WFMY News 2 didn’t get to ask. Nonetheless, we feel that it is time that the mainstream media starts to hear from NC Non-Custodial parents, step-parents, grandparents, and other family members that make up an overwhelming numbers of voters and media consumers in the State of North Carolina because the issues are very important and hurting upwards of 5.5 million families and children. With this in mind, we wanted to create this blog and ask NC Fathers supporters to pose comments to WFMY News 2 and Reporter Morgan Hightower regarding what you have experienced in the family courts and then we will share this blog with her on Twitter and others sites and perhaps she will keep an open mind and do some research on them and get in contact with us about a story. If any reporter at WFMY News 2 wants to contact us, they can do so on our FACEBOOK PAGE or via this CONTACT FORM. If you are a consumer of media in Greensboro NC and a non-custodial parent or extended family member then we strongly encourage you to submit comments.

Reporter Morgan Hightower

In the section below, we are going to post our own comments to Morgan Hightower and WFMY News 2 regarding issues we think are at the top tier of issues that are extremely dangerous and leading to serious conflict, domestic violence, and murder/suicides since they that are related to the NC Family Courts. We also want to caution Mrs. Hightower that our organization is not a Father’s Rights group or Men’s Rights advocacy group. We advocate for any parents (Mothers, Fathers, and extended families) and their extended family who have been marginalized as a 4 day a month visitor to their children, and who pays money to a federal enforcement agency to support their kids instead of being allowed to directly support their kids as an equal parent with equal access.

In August of 2013, NC Fathers asked Morgan Hightower and WFMY News 2 to investigate this. Anyone want to bet that this data does not fit in with the politics of this News organization, but all too well fits in when it’s a Man committing Domestic Violence?

Reporter

Issues Morgan Hightower and WFMY News 2 in Greensboro NC Should Consider When Thinking About Family Court Reform

  • Morgan Hightower should know that per NC law, when two parents separate from a marriage or relationship, the law is very clear that unless there is a custody order, one parent can keep the children away from the other parent completely and even move across the country (sometimes Internationally) to start a new life. It is then up to the alienated parent to secure a lawyer that usually starts at roughly $20,000+ to initiate a court action. For many North Carolina parents, finding that money is impossible due to poverty and they (and the entire extended family) are forced into the position of never seeing their children again. For those that are able to obtain this money, by the time the alienated parents finds the other parent, hires an attorney in that jurisdiction, and gets a court hearing, it can take up to a year to do all this. By this time, Judges decide that since a year has elapsed, the alienating parent has established consistency and allows things to stay put. In short, whichever parent can get their hands on a child(ren) just before separation can alienate a child from another parent LEGALLY and force the other parent into a pay wall if they ever hope to see the children again. We believe the anxiety, fear, anger, depression, and turmoil of this common event hurts many kids and leads to domestic violence and/or murder/suicides. On just this issue ALONE, we believe WFMY News 2 has ample information to consider running a story on this.
  • If WFMY News 2 reporter Morgan Hightower decides to do a news story on this issue, it is likely she will talk with several family law attorneys in Greensboro NC to get their side of the story and we already know what she will be told. She will be told that equally shared parenting puts two parents (who are likely in conflict) together more often and this will lead to increased domestic violence and murder/suicides. Our take on this has two parts: 1) What if the parent who has custody is creating conflict and the non-custodial parent is not? Hasn’t the custodial parent just created something that is keeping the non-custodial parent from equal parentage and access to his/her kids? 2) If anyone at WFMY News 2 thinks that after a divorce and spending $20,000 in a custody battle to only lose and either see their children four days a month or summers when a Judge allowed the custodial parent to move 6 days away is somehow going to lessen conflict, then we have a problem. This combined with bullet number one above explodes the potential for domestic violence and murder/suicides.
  • There is no doubt that Morgan Hightower or another reporter at WFMY News 2 has done a story on deadbeat dads, but we suspect that ALL of these reporters didn’t have the whole story on WHY Fathers get into a position to not pay child support. Here is more information to consider. The entire family court process is built around one parent winning custody and control of a child(ren), while the other parent loses and becomes non-custodial. This setup starts a massive war between parents for 18 years who do and say the most insane things about the other parent in hopes of discrediting him/her so that one can win custody. On just this alone, we suspect domestic violence is very much a reality. But you also have to remember that the custodial parent also get housing assistance, educational assistance, job assistance, daycare assistance, medical assistance, financial assistance, and tax incentives to make ends meet while non-custodial parents who have financial problems go to jail. We think it makes more sense to empower both parents, but apparently legislators and Judges disagree.
  • Morgan Hightower and WFMY News 2 reporters needs to learn about the Social Security Act, Title IV, Part D, Section 458 which is basically federal legislation that defines child support enforcement. According to this act, for every one dollar collected in child support by the State, the federal government will give back between 66 cents to one dollar that can then be used to replenish Welfare money at social services in North Carolina. Therefore, the State of North Carolina has an incentive for one parent paying larger and larger sums of child support as a marginalized parent which triggers greater federal money for needed State programs. Of course, with equally shared parenting, there would be less child support payed which would trigger less federal money and put the State of NC in a position to not be able to keep up with growing Welfare expenditures. Therefore, we believe that or family law system has been setup to make sure the State of NC has Welfare money on hand and is done on the back of the non-custodial family/child relationship.
  • Morgan Hightower and WFMY News 2 reporters needs to know that the average custody battle in NC starts out at roughly $20,000 PER PARENT and the national average is that parents will fight two of these battles in 18 years for a total of $80,000. When you add in minor skirmishes over contempt violations, child support, and other matters, this figures jumps to well over $100,000. This is a tremendous amount of money in lawyers pocket from just one family. So our question to Morgan Hightower is, would she rather see this money in lawyers pockets or in parents pockets who can help their children go to college, buy a home, start a business, or get needed medical care?
  • NC Fathers has NO doubt that WFMY News 2 reporters have done considerable stories on Domestic Violence which is a very serious problem in North Carolina. However, there are things happening in the family courts that are beginning to cast a shadow of doubt on ALL domestic violence matters which is beyond dangerous. As stated earlier, parents who want to win custody have an incentive to make a false allegation of domestic violence because it is the perfect tactical weapon to put the other parent in a real tough situation to either win custody or any visitation with his children assuming he can even pay for a custody lawyer after spending all his money on a criminal lawyer on the violence charge. Many people are under the misunderstanding that this cannot happen, because without evidence of domestic violence or witness to alleged violence, a matter can never come to fruition. This is most certainly wrong and we point that out quite clearly in how it happens. As this happens more and more, this shadow of doubt is going to hurt many Men and Women who are actual victims of Domestic Violence. And, The Jodi Arias case just underscores how easy it is to do. It should also be noted that this video is Father centric, but in reality any gender is capable of doing this and it happens in 90% of child custody matters.

Another video to underscore this problem of weaponizing false allegations.

So with just the information above, there is clearly enough conflict and dangerous issues that currently exists in the NC Family Courts to dispel lawyers, Judges, and the NC Bar Association assertion that we have a good system.

Our belief is that when the courts are equalized and there IS NOTHING TO FIGHT OVER, and when Judges tell parents the future with their children is dependent on both parents working hard to put differences aside and work with (as opposed to against) the other parent then everything above will be minimized and this is the message we want Morgan Hightower and WFMY News 2 to understand.

Now it’s your turn to post comments to Morgan Hightower using the comment system below. Simply put your name or initials in the field below, a email address (not shown once you post), and write out a RESPECTFUL comment about some issues with the NC Family Courts that you have experienced as non-custodial families. If you are open to WFMY News 2 contacting you about the information in your comment in case they do a story on this, please indicate it in your comment and we will send your name and email address to Mrs. Hightower. However, please do not put your email directly in your comments. Lastly, we strongly encourage you to share this article on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin to bring about greater knowledge to the issues we just discussed.

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May 24, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

26 Comments »

  1. As a woman, I suspect that Mrs. Hightower might be inclined to think along the Women’s Rights angle when considering the issues you just brought up. Here is more information for her to consider:

    North Carolina

    Roughly half of all custodial mothers today have male children who will one day be pushed to the margins of their kids lives if they experience a divorce and have children. Where do you think these non-custodial grandmothers (who will also be marginalized as well) will stand then? With Equally Shared Parenting?News

    Also, how many Women in paternal families are being hurt by this process?

    Like

    Comment by Shannon (Step-Mother) | May 24, 2013 | Reply

    • I am the wife of a wonderful father to his children. I love and enjoy being a stepmother. But I’m also a mother of a wonderful son and he is a product of divorce. He is now married to a wonderful young lady and he is a soldier in the Army in Egypt now. He is proof that a child from divorce can be a great member of this crazy world. And I would have to say its because his dad and I never ran each other through this corrupt family court system! My husband and I have great jobs but have to pinch pennies for our household and to only see my step kids 4 days a month. Due to the fact that the system and a bitter woman that was taught how to play the poor poor woman act. Her attorney taught her well and every judge bought it! When the truth is my husband pays her 2/3 of his income has paid 10,000 in attorney fees. He paid the house payment where she lived with the kids and she took him to court and wanted the money and she would pay it so the judge ordered that, well she made one payment and the house is in foreclosure and she has moved all of their martial belongings in storage and moved in with her parents. So we took her back to court and she was tapped on the back if the hand and told no no! And my husband was ordered to try to get it out of foreclosure! Well with 450.00 an month and his own rent, power and his bills how can she keep that money nothing done and him afford to pay an 900.00 house payment 6 months late? He can’t! But the family court system allowed her and other custodial parents to do this! She gets his money tax free claims them on her taxes and lives with her parents. How is that better for those kids? They can live with us an intact happy family without her money and take better care of the kids. But did I forget to mention if that was to happen the state wouldn’t get their revenue off of my husbands kids! That’s the kicker! The state wants our kids to suffer and possibly become one of the statistics! We need equal parenting and our kids I mean all kids that have to go through such a hard thing as divorce won’t have to choose between mom and dad and the family court system can’t pick and should not pick who is best for our children. I still don’t understand how a judge that never sees our children can make such a huge choice for them? Oh again it’s because the state will gain revenue! Put yourself in the shoes of a parent that gets your child ripped away because I judge says too! You had this child made the choice to raise them but a person that knows noting about your child can and will make every decision for you know because you want your children to not be subject to watch two people live together and not love each other and can’t get alone. I would rather struggle a little when it comes to money and let them see what a happy life should be! This is not a choice family court should be making for more than one simple fact these are out children and they should not be an ATM, cash cow whatever politically correct word you would like to put on it! I also forgot to mention this woman his ex also works and has her own monthly income at about $1500.00. So she gets 2/3 of my husbands income and another $1500.00 of her own. And he gets less than $500.00 a month to live on! So it is over 3000.00 a month she gets which half is tax free and my husband gets $500.00 and has to pay tax on it all! We are asking you to please do a story on this injustice! It’s not just us it is a lot of parents that want to speak out but are afraid to say seething in fear they will loose what little bit of time they do get! I am asking Morgan Hightower and WFMY News to Please please read out stories and bring awareness to this!!!! Thank you Dawn

      Like

      Comment by freidt2012 | May 26, 2013 | Reply

  2. Does WFMY News 2 realize that 40% of children born in North Carolina today come from unmarried parents which by NC law the Father has NO rights to the child and that many of these children are being adopted out without a Father even knowing he has a child and therefore never having the option to raise and support his biological child? MORE ON THIS HERE.

    Like

    Comment by Troy (Father) | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  3. I wonder if Morgan Hightower has a Son, Father, or knows any Men who are important in her life? If she has a Son, does she know that there is an organization in North Carolina who uses “patriarchy” to label Men and Boys as future domestic violence offenders and that they are able to perpetuate this agenda of gender and sexual politics tax free?

    Like

    Comment by Karen A (Mother of a Son) | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  4. I am a non-custodial father living in Greensboro NC and I am a lifelong Democratic Voter who supports this website. I hope that WFMY News will take a serious look at the problems outlined in this article and talk with organization staff about developing a story.

    Like

    Comment by Tony M | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  5. I would like for this News organization to ask the NC Judicial Standards Commission why they are open to investigate all NC Judges in all matters EXCEPT Family Law cases. Why? Do they know there is corruption and bias?

    Like

    Comment by Eduardo | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  6. $20,000? My ex-wife and I are already at $30,000 each in our custody matter, this is most definitely a system designed to hurt kids and families while making lawyers rich!

    Like

    Comment by Andrew | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  7. I would like WFMY News to find out why custodial parents get FREE legal help in making sure they get child support but we have to spend $5000 in a contempt violation to have our visitation enforced. I have a constitutional right to visitation and she has a constitutional right to get support, but the government only helps one of these parents.

    Like

    Comment by Greg | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  8. Mrs. Hightower, I am currently on my 17th contempt violation by which my ex-wife refuses to follow court orders. In the past 16 cases, a Judge found that my ex-wife was indeed in contempt and asked her to stop denying me visitation. Each one of these contempt hearing cost me $2000.

    Like

    Comment by Henry W | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  9. I am a non-custodial mother who has had just ONE HOUR of supervised visitation with my children in over 2079 days even though I have completed ALL of the court and social services recommendations. So yes, these issues ARE affecting Women as well.

    Like

    Comment by Shawn | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  10. I would like to see WFMY News ask the Administrative Offices of the Courts to explain why 85% of custody cases are given to women when there is a State law saying that Judges have no presumption for who gets custody. Although, I agree with this site, neither parent should have custody, they should be sharing custody. This figure sounds awful high when Judges tell us both parties are on equal ground. I can guarantee you that if 85% of African-Americans were still not allowed to vote in 2013 even though the State said voting laws are equal this News organization would be all over it.

    Like

    Comment by Darnell (Greensboro NC Father) | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  11. My wife left our marriage last year while I was at work. Actually had a moving company come and take everything. I have no idea where she is, or where my kids are. I do not know where to send money to in order to support my children. Nor do I have money to hire a private investigator to find her so I can bring a court action. But I can tell you this, sometime in the next few years, possibly 10 years, I will get hit with 10 years worth of back child support which will make me look like a bad father when nobody will actually look at the circumstances of why (or rather couldn’t) I wasn’t paying.

    Like

    Comment by Bobby | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  12. I have not seen my granddaughter in over 5 years because my son does not have the money to hire a lawyer, so this issue is very serious to me Mrs. Hightower.

    Like

    Comment by Annette | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  13. Morgan, haven’t we been talking about absent parents (and lets be honest, it is a gender biased things just against father) going on many decades, the ones who are not active in their kids lives. But if you do neutral research you will find that there are just as many COURT ORDERED absent Fathers in the family courts, and many who can’t see their kids because they were relocated away from us. There are hundreds of thousands just in NC who don’t even know they are fathers but they get into the statistics as absent fathers. I hope WFMY will do a story on this.

    Like

    Comment by James | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  14. I missed this Reporter’s interview with Governor Pat McCrory, did she bring up family courts issues? I know I was one of the ones that made a comment on the WFMY Facebook page and I live in Greensboro.

    Like

    Comment by Alexandra | May 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Alexandra, no she did not. Hence why we made this blog. This issue is affecting 5.5 million NC kids and families and it time that more attention be payed to the issues we talked about in the article and the excellent comments made about the article.

      Like

      Comment by stompkinsnc | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  15. It would be interesting to find out if this News Reporter has a Son, and then ask her if she supports the idea that if he is ever divorced that he become a visitor to his child either 4 days a month or just summers. Also, how he feels about being shoved into a federal enforcement agency for simply being a father and losing a court battle. It’s like they think of our Son’s as criminals who need to be enforced.

    Like

    Comment by Jennie (Greensboro NC Grandmother) | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  16. I am a member of this site and live in Greensboro, and I see Morgan Hightower really involved in her work and the issues that affect all citizens that live in North Carolina. I’m sure she will be happy to follow up on this article and start asking politicians the tough questions. I can vouch for everything said here as a non-custodial father.

    Like

    Comment by Kent (Greensboro NC Father) | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  17. I have been on both sides of this issue over the last 13 years. As a custodial parent, I was afforded free legal representation to enforce a child support order, (not that it did any good as the Child Support Enforcement worker always had the same answer for the court that the non-custodial parent could not be found). Then another part of the DSS made a deal with the non-custodial parent to forgive all child support arrears (almost $20,000) if the non-custodial parent would take temp custody of our daughter. I had not received any welfare benefits during the time that child support was building up, yet my child’s father was given a free pass by the same agency that also oversees child support, who had no problem finding him when they wanted to find him.

    Now, my daughter’s father and I work together to parent our child, but his ex wife, who he has two children with that refuses to follow the court’s order of keeping him informed of the residence of his children, is getting child support without even contacting child support enforcement. The Child Support Enforcement agency has told the court numerous times that they have had no contact with the custodial parent, who filed for divorce and included the separation agreement with the divorce decreed stating she was to have sole custody and there was to be no child support. The Child Support Enforcement agency and their county DA stated the divorce decreed and separation agreement are over ruled by their order for support. We have filed over 10 motions asking for review of both the court order for child support verses the court order on the divorce and separation agreement, asking for child support modification as the original child support order was made with a miscalculation not including the pre-existing child support orders for his older children or the fact that he had a child in his custody that he was providing care for. None of these motions have ever made it in front of a court to be heard.

    There are 5 children that are being harmed because of this system. They are siblings and have been cut off from each other because of a system that refuses to hold both parents to the same standards. They make it impossible for this father to be a part of his children’s lives and put most of the parents at odds with each other by holding these $$ amounts and jail time over the head of the father while rewarding some of the mothers with child support that is not suppose to be there and was not sought by the custodial parent to begin with. This system further demeans some of the children by pretending those children do not exist or are not worth pursuing the fathers of those children because the CSE agency has decided its not in their best interest to collect ordered support.

    If these laws are going to be effective, those agencies given the duty to enforce these laws need to be impartial and unbiased. They need to represent the best interest of the children, not pick and choose which laws they are going to enforce, which parents they are going to hold accountable, and which children are worthy of their enforcement efforts.

    I am more than willing to talk to any reporter or politician who is willing to take action.

    Like

    Comment by Sherri Gabel | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  18. I found that just about everything I received in child support goes back out to lawyers so my ex and I just decided to share custody and there is PEACE now!

    Like

    Comment by Carmela | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  19. My Son has his child support automatic bank withdrawn from his check every month so I know it is being payed on time. However, we watch continually on his ex-wife’s Facebook page where she calls him a deadbeat dad because she feels she didn’t get enough. She wants him to pay her more outside what the Judge ordered and constantly threatens to keep my granddaughter from visiting him if he does not comply.

    Like

    Comment by Alexis Tompkins | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  20. I would love to talk to Morgan Hightower and WFMY News about my experiences in the family courts, but like most, I’m sure we are all to scared to as we would certainly be retaliated against by any Judge who saw any story this reporter may put out.

    Like

    Comment by Chris | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  21. All I would say to WFMY News is as a mother grandmother stepmother and single mother I have been on all sides of this spectrum. All I would hope to have North Carolina achieve is fairness. Fairness to both parents and to the children. Also to have cases completed and enforced in a timely manner. Not for it to take years to receive minimal access to your own children. Fairness with support of the courts. And equal standing. Understandable there are cases where it is unsafe for children but those should be treated with stiff rules and regulations instead of all cases being treated with the same rules and regulations. The money loss of time loss of jobs loss of health is not necessary if the cases were properly and timely taken care of.

    Like

    Comment by Joannie | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  22. Morgan, I am a stepmother of two wonderful boys! My husband has been ran through the what the state calls the family court system, however we call it the NC ATM machine for custodial parents. We as parent believe and want this reform to push our attorneys and judges to give each parent equal rights! And to look at all of any evidence if a case does have to go to court. A judge should never just assume because a mother had the kids they are the best parent. That is not always the case. I personally believe a Judge has no right making such a huge choice for “our” children. It can be done without them if family court would stay out of things. It forces parents to do for their kids themselves. NC should not be using our kids as revenue! Thank you for your time. I hope you allow our voices to be heard. WFMY News is welcome to contact me!

    Like

    Comment by Dawn F | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  23. I am sick and tired of being called a deadbeat father. I met a girl and we started dating. I told her I did not want kids since I am 47, she is 40. She told me that she had a hysterectomy and our relationship progressed. Two years later she turns up pregnant and the Judge tells me that it my fault, that I shouldn’t play if I don’t want to pay. But why didn’t the Judge ask her the same question? Why does she have the ability to abort a child, give the child up for adoption, or hand the child over to an hospital and walk away with no questions and people applaud her, but I get called a deadbeat? What woman in her right mind brings a child into the world under these circumstances by trapping a man unless she just wants the social services benefits outlined in this article? It’s sick!

    Like

    Comment by Kenneth | May 24, 2013 | Reply

  24. WFMY News is just propagating their leftist agenda. I noticed in all their Facebook post they go out of their way to show stories where men do bad things but not women.

    Like

    Comment by David | July 19, 2013 | Reply


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