Family Court, Child Custody / Support, Lawyers, Social Services And Violence
Have you ever sat down and thought about how the family courts, child custody and child support, lawyers, social services, and domestic violence fit into what we called an industry? This article is written for non-custodial families, to include parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other family members for which NC Fathers is an advocate for. However, we guess it is possible that some custodial parents and families could learn a few things as well. If you are a non-custodial family member, this article serves to highlight every single talking point as it relates to family law reform so that your families can use this information to begin your advocacy and activism with legislators towards your shared parenting efforts. Furthermore, we want to make it very clear that your families will never see an end to the extremely divisive family law system that causes parents to fight for 18 years while having serious consequences on children until you start devoting an hour a day with an organization that is aligned with equal parenting in your state. We encourage all readers of this article to use the comment system at the end of this lengthy document to give us your thoughts on both this article, and the child support and child custody system, your thoughts on working with lawyers in the system, social services agencies, and domestic violence.
NC Fathers is not a law firm, nor is the author of this article a lawyer. Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. To get competent legal advice on a family law matter, contact an attorney.
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State Family Courts
- State family courts create more conflict than they prevent. The system is built around one parent winning a custody battle, and other losing.
- In this battle, parents set out to undermine each other for 18 years, excoriating each other with friends and family, on public social networks, and many times in the media.
- The family courts fail to see that children witness this and are deeply troubled by it. We believe that child custody battles have become so pervasive that it is the number one cause of childhood suicide and homicide, drug use, teen pregnancy, depression, bullying, and other maladaptive behaviors.
- There is a common theme with legislators and judges who tell us that we do not need shared parenting in North Carolina because only 10% of divorce cases and child custody actions actually makes it to the courts therefore suggesting that non-custodial parents are able to reach consensus on their role in a child’s life and are happy with it. Legislators believe that the 90% of divorcing couples reaching child custody agreements outside court are happy with their agreements and that non-custodial parenthood isn’t so bad. What they are not telling you is that these parents are agreeing to out of court settlements they are not comfortable with or happy with because they know they are only going to go to court and spend $20,000 to get exactly what they would get in signing an agreement. What ends up happening is that these parents then go on to fight very expensive skirmishes over modifications for 18 years destroying their children, but because they signed an agreement for the initial custody arrangement, they get officially counted as a happy customer that is then used to deny you equal parentage of your children, grandchildren, step-children, and nieces and nephews.
- The average family court battle costs each parent roughly $20,000 per parent, and that parents fight two custody battles over the life of a minor child. Parents also fight up to 10 minor skirmishes over modification and child support. The total cost to parents is about $90,000 at the time a child(ren) age out of the system. This is just one family.
- When you take one parent and give them a role that you do not give another parent, allow the controlling parent to move away with the children, not allow for visitation even when ordered, to have another parent jailed because of inability to pay support while giving the controlling parent state and federal assistance to make ends meet, you create a spark for domestic violence and murder/suicide.
- Family Courts should end the system of pitting two parents against each other for the sake of winning, and make the focus be on demanding that two parents work together and keep the other parent’s need in mind. For the one’s that refuse, then they lose equal parenting. This will make parents fight over actually getting along and they will work to be equal parents for fear of losing custody.
- In family courts, there are any number of officers of the court who get payed when parents fight for 18 years. These include lawyers, psychologist, mediators, custody evaluators, victim advocates, and guardian ad litems. If there was a fair and equal system, there would be no fighting and these groups would not get payed.
- It is very difficult to seize upon your parental rights in court if you can not afford an attorney. Upon separation or divorce, it is perfectly legal for one parent to purposefully alienate a child form the other family and even move the child out of state. It costs this parent $0 to do this. However, it costs the other parent $20,000 to get his/her parental rights adjudicated. If you do not have this money, parents, grandparents, step-parents, step-siblings, aunts and uncles never see a minor child again.
Child Custody And Child Support
- The best interest of a child after divorce or relationship breakdown is to have two empowered parents working together in an effort to raise their children.
- Child custody battles are extremely devastating to children, and despite empirical data proving it, parents and judges continue to fight lengthy and expensive custody battles in an effort to punish another parent.
- Judges in child custody battles rarely have time to hear all evidence in a petition because of case loads, and this leads to them not hearing all pertinent and encompassing data.
- Few non-custodial families realize that collection of child support is highly financially prudent for state governments and social services agencies. Pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security act, all U.S. States get federal money when they collect increasing amounts of child support via enforcement only. This money is then used to pay for housing assistance, food assistance, educational assistance, medical/dental assistance, job assistance, social services jobs and programs, and other perks for custodial parents only. How do you collect more and more child support to get a bigger piece of the pie from the government? You prevent non-custodial families from having greater visitation, or any at all. Furthermore, U.S. States get greater amounts of federal money when they collect child support in arrears and private companies working with states to enforce child support get financial credit when they collect. For every non-custodial parent paying $800 a month in child support, a federal match of $800 is payed to social services.
- This has built a system by which the U.S. States, custodial parents, and child support enforcement agencies need disposable non-custodial families to exist so that this industry can work.
- State and federal governments provide free lawyers for custodial parents in their child support enforcement endeavors. Non-custodial families have to hire private lawyers. It is a common game for custodial parents to use their free government lawyers to make repetitive petitions in the courts to bankrupt non-custodial parents and prevent them from ever saving money to get a true and equal custody or visitation award in place.
- All U.S. states have become dependent on Title IV-D money to maintain social services and support the excessive numbers of children (47%) being birthed where parents are not married and who require complete state and federal assistance after birth. If you had equal parenting, states would not get this money.
Court Ordered Mediation
- In recent years, legislators, psychologist, and judges have pushed court ordered mediation as a means to fix the family courts. The reality is, few parents resolve their circumstances in mediation.
- The reason that mediation fails is because there is over 80 years of socialization that says if I do not mediate, Ia could possible win total control, all financial help, access to tax incentives, and state and government assistance. Plus, I can move the children away and have the majority of holidays.
- Child custody mediation, in our opinion, is a ploy used by Judges to make them look like they have the best interest of children at heart when they know that decades of socialization to win a custody battle will prevail and they will come to court with dollars in hand to fight in a system where nobody wins except officers of the court.
- It costs on average of $5000 just to start a custody battle. The longer these battles last, the more money lawyers get. There is a massive incentive for a unfair system that assures parental fighting so that lawyers can make greater revenue.
- We estimate that parents spend roughly $90,000 in family courts over the life of a child when these cases could be settled much easily and with less conflict for children.
- National and state bar associations are the single largest lobby group advocating for an unequal court system.
- Lawyers make up 70% of legislators and judiciary committees that keep shared parenting bills from passing.
- Although a small minority, there are lawyers who despise the system and are working to bring about reform.
- It disturbs this organization to know that while you are paying a lawyer money, he/she believes in your right to parentage and co-parenting, but when you lose a child custody battle, due to their bar associations training, they believe you should have little visitation as possible.
- Social services, especially child protective services, is very dangerous for non-custodial families. Much of their jobs and programs are service driven to custodial families and not non-custodial families.
- Title IV-D money is the largest funding source for U.S. social services agencies and they need you having little visitation with your children as possible to receive this money.
- Social services many times will create greater problems for families when there is an easy fix. It’s called job justification.
- Social services is heavily involved in adoptions, and gets federal and state money for successful adoptions. Where do they get these children? There exists a very cozy relationship between adoption agencies, lobbyist and social services.
- Social services workers have absolute immunity when doing their work and have no accountability in civil courts. They can do exactly as they please, and nobody can sue when they are wrong.
- Domestic violence lobbyist are the second largest lobby in the world aggressively advocating against shared and equal parenting. Their argument is that if the courts were equal, more and more non-custodial abusers would get access to children and to harm the custodial parent.
- The problem with this argument is that non-custodial parents are not non-custodial parents because they are abusers, they are because someone had to be non-custodial. And, it is wholeheartedly unfair that all non-custodial parents should be denied equal parentage because of true abusers.
- Domestic Violence lobbyist also fail to recognize that custodial parents abuse and kill their children and having a bar that non-custodial parents must hurdle to get equal parenting, this is not the case for custodial parents who commit domestic violence.
- In 2003, the federal and state governments redefined what legal domestic violence is. Under the new laws, domestic violence can be slamming of a door, loud arguing, a pointed finger, or even refusing to talk with your spouse. The new definition of domestic violence here in North Carolina is “ANYTHING that causes another person to feel threatened” as evidenced by a pamphlet that the NC Bar Association puts out. ANYTHING is a very subjective word and what ends up happening is there are two parents fighting or engaging in mutual physical battery and whoever makes it to the phone first to call 911 gets to see the other parent removed from the house, a job or career, kids, and reputation even if there is mutual battery.
- It is hard to imagine under these new laws that any marriage or relationship not experience domestic violence. But is that the point? Since the federal government gives states money on the domestic violence response, statistics mean everything. With that in mind, if state legislators can tell federal legislators that they saw a 7% increase in violence last year, the state can get more money. In reality, that 7% increase is likely a slamming of a door or shouting.
- Not worried about getting a domestic violence charge because you are not committing violence and there is no evidence? Think again. Under the Violence Against Women Act, all domestic violence cases are prosecuted under preponderance of the evidence rather than clear and convincing evidence or innocent until proven guilty. This means that ABSENT any evidence or witnesses to domestic violence, a Judge can decide that he/she believes that it happened. If he or she randomly decides it happened, you never see your children again in any type or normal parenting arrangement.
- Preponderance of the evidence has led to massive false allegations that are routinely thrown at at any child custody battle as a tactical maneuver to prevent the other parent from getting custody or visitation and there is no legal accountability when false allegations are proven in court.
- Social services agencies and lawyers officially believe that false allegations are extremely rare.
- Unfortunately, there are many people who benefit from domestic violence happening and being a pervasive part of our culture. These include book writers, researchers, professors who need research grants, counselors, psychologist, victim advocates, mediators, and others. How are these people going to make a living without doing counseling, research, and writing books? They actually need violence and false accusations to be real.
- Domestic Violence has become a gender warfare game used for political purposes. The only way to end domestic violence is to end it for everyone, not just one group or gender.
- In any U.S. State, any person can go to a local magistrate or other official that has the capacity to issue restraining orders and get one without any questions asked, with no investigation, or due process.
- Parents are using restraining orders as a tactical and terror tool to place themselves in a favorable position for custody, or to maintain their control over the house once a separation or divorce is started.
- Again, with no due process or investigation, you will be arrested, lose your job, and reputation ruined because of a malicious parent determined to maintain control in a custody action.
- Judges typically extend restraining orders indefinitely even with no evidence or witnesses that was used to obtain the order. They do this on the “it’s better to be safe than sorry” model.
- Restraining orders are handled under preponderance of the evidence rather than innocent until proven guilty. You can have an order issued against you even when the petitioner has no evidence or witnesses.
- Parental alienation is the act of one malicious parent, or two malicious parents purposefully attempting to turn a child against another parent and family.
- Parental alienation is very common for parents who move their children away for work or to pursue another marriage/relationship and then tell the child that they moved because the other parent was bad or harming them.
- It costs custodial parents $0 to purposefully alienate a child from the other parent and family, but cost the alienated parent many thousands of dollars to have this stopped in the courts.
- Courts rarely admonish custodial parents for parental alienation via court costs, jail, or change in custody for the best interest of a child.
- Parental alienation is equally committed by a father or mother, but it is very hard legally for a non-custodial parent to use denied visitation with a child to alienate him or her and very easy for a custodial parent.
- Parental alienation is very much child abuse.
Other Issues Regarding The Family Law
- Despite decades of media campaigns to excoriate absent parents, it turns out if you choose to not be absent you will be if you go before a judge.
- To this day, Judges continue to allow custodial parents to move children hundreds and thousands of miles away from non-custodial families just because they want to.
- We jail parents who can not make child support payments because of illness or injury, loss of employment, death of a family member, not knowing there was even a child to support but we allow custodial parents seven major federal and state assistance programs to make financial ends meet. Then, we allow custodial parents to get on the public Internet and excoriate the non-custodial parent for not pulling their weight.
- The government has massive resources to make sure you pay child support. They have none to make sure you actually have constitutional protected visitation enforced.
- Our organization does recognize situations where parents, both fathers and mothers, should not have shared custody of their children. However, instead of capitalizing on problem to permanently remove them from their kids lives, the goal should be to get them help and once they have proved their ability to re-join in the parenting scheme, do so as a equal parent.
- Judges often use conflict to deny shared parenting. What happens when the custodial parent is creating conflict which causes the non-custodial parent to not have shared parenting?
- Family Court reform is not a gender issue. There are hundreds of millions of women in non-custodial families being hurt by this system who have no access to their young loved ones.
Family Court Reform By Non-Custodial Families For Better Child Custody and Child Support Laws
When you consider non-custodial parents, grandparents, step-parents, aunts and uncles, and other family members, you have an incredible amount of people who if they came together, could force family court and family law reform for better child custody and child support laws. In fact, you make up over half of the population from every race and culture, socioeconomic status, educational background, and gender.
Just in North Carolina alone, voters with direct access to non-custodial families equal about 4.5 million of the States 10.2 million voters. The problem is, you fail to do several things: 1) You refuse to organize and unify on this issues and use your political clout as voters to force changes. 2) You consistently refuse to become an activist and devote just 45 minutes per day to talking with legislators about the data in this document.
And you wonder why there is such a unfair system? How are legislators supposed to know that you are sick of this system if you don’t tell them? The organized lobbyist for the other side is not going to do it, and believe us when we tell you they are organized and have open doors in federal and state legislatures.
In short, our organization is tired of seeing frustrated and angry non-custodial families whining and crying on social media about their circumstances, yet do nothing constructive to change their situation. We ask supporters to help us write mini blogs that we can use to build a massive blog for a legislator, and we get 3 volunteers. We put out alerts asking supporters to call and email legislators, few do. We ask you to share our social media content and blogs in an effort to educate other non-custodial families on parental alienation, domestic violence, child custody, and mediate, few are.
If you are so frustrated and angry about your situation, your actions sure do not show it. If you want to help build a massive organization that we can use to force changes, you can start by sending the non-custodial family members to come into contact with each and every day to our organization.
If you are a non-custodial father or mother looking for help to gain custody, please leave. This document is for parents who want to share custody.
If you are a non-custodial family who is ready to get active and fight for family court reform, fairer child custody and child support laws, then we encourage you to use the comment system below to leave comments so that we can direct you to state organizations working for these efforts. We also encourage you to leave your comments on this article, and to join us on FACEBOOK to collaborate with others in your situation.
Keep in mind if you come asking for our thoughts and help on a child custody or family law matter, we can not help you. Everything to help you is contained in this article. There is no rhyme or reason to the family courts because they have discretion to do and decide on anything they want with no apparent uniformity.
We also ask that you extensively and routinely share this document on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other networks so that we can educate others.
Problems With The U.S. Family Courts
Meet RS. RS is a custodial parent who comes to us to tell his/her story about wanting to do shared parenting with the non-custodial parent, but is scared that by attempting to get along with the other parent, it could harm his/her chances of being active in his/her child’s life.
Why? Because the family courts only know one theme. Empower one parent, marginalize the other. If you are the marginalized parent, you see your children very little. If you are the empowered parent, you see your children a lot, and have a lot of freedom to move, get financial help from the government if needed, tax incentives, and other perks.
In short, RS needs the other parent to be seen as the undeserving parent to maintain custody, or more importantly not lose custody and a normal life with the child. If RS were to hammer out a shared parenting agreement, it would send the message to the courts that the non-custodial parent is not so bad.
But what if the non-custodial parent decides to capitalize on this, and uses it to get custody? Then what happens if the former non-custodial parent alienates the child from RS?
This is the exact scenario that is causing parents in the United States to do everything they can to excoriate the other parent, even if that means making false domestic violence and sexual abuse claims in an attempt to gain power and control over the other parent.
The lawyers love this system because it means a steady stream of litigants paying retainer fees, child support enforcement loves it because there is a non-custodial parent to fleece and get federal Title IV-D bonuses, and the States love it because they get federal Title IV-D money. The custodial parent loves it because they have freedom, control, and access to a huge network of service providers setup JUST for custodial parents.
The problem with this system is the parental fighting is making our children sick.
When my wife announced that she wanted a divorce, I too knew the marriage was over and we decided to separate amicably. She decided that she wanted to leave the family home and I would stay, sell the house, and split the money from the house. She assured me that she would be staying in our county and that I would see the children as much as I wanted.
Little did I know that she has planned the divorce months in advance and was told by a family court lawyer that there was nothing preventing her from moving anywhere in the world she wanted as long as there was no court order against that. And boy did she decide to take advantage of that.
Literally within a few days she was gone, with the kids, no forwarding address, no phone calls answered.
Of course, this cost me several thousands of dollars with a private investigator to locate her, then and INITIAL $15,000 with a family court lawyer in the state she moved to. It took a year to get the case hear in court, and I had to drop another $5,000 with a lawyer.
When the case was heard, the judge said that because the child lived in state for a year, the children were acclimated to living there and I could only see the children for 2 weeks in the summer.
Now I could understand if I abandoned the children for a year, but the acclimated environment the children were living in was forced upon me and them.