Failing to expect both parents to support their children is not only unfair

The BEST Parent is BOTH Parents - 2015Do you support a presumption of equal parental fitness, regardless of gender, being enshrined in law in accordance with the 14th Amendment?

Conference Paris Oct 10 2015 - Children of DivorceCurrently, there are laws, standards, and practices that–when combined–constitute discriminatory policies in Family Court jurisdictions particularly against fathers. By extension, these violate the rights of children.

Family Courts violate the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause as a standard practice by relegating one parent to “Custodial” and another to “Non-Custodial”, most often along gender lines.

The Supreme Court and Federal Circuit courts have long upheld the Parent-Child relationship as being so fundamental as to warrant EXTENSIVE due process protections.

There is consensus in the psychological community that shared parenting is in the best interests of children more often than not. Aside from the Constitutional Law violations, would it not stand to reason that shared parenting should be the standard, instead of the rare exception in separation/child custody issues?

English: The inscription Equal Justice Under L...
The inscription Equal Justice Under Law as seen on the frieze of the United States Supreme Court building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Family Law needs serious reform, and Family Courts should not be empowered to create master/slave dynamics–again, especially along gender lines–without each parent having Due Process observed, and observed equally. Each parent should be on equal footing walking into a courtroom. Our children deserve to have both parents scrutinized by the same standards. That is in their “best interest”.

A rebuttable presumption of shared parenting should be the starting point in all jurisdictions. The parent and/or state should have the burden of proof placed on their shoulders to prove the other parent as “unfit” or “less than fit” in order to deviate from the shared parenting presumption. The concept is the same as “presumption of innocence”.

In the vast majority of cases, one parent(usually the father), has to overcome higher standards of proof to approach equality in parenting. Shared parenting presumptions begin to level the playing field, which is in our children’s best interest. Family Law Reform needs to be an election topic in 2016.

ONE DAY - 2016

There is a fundamental liberty right guaranteed to both parents by the 14th Amendment. This is the right to the care, custody, and nurture of their children. According to the Supreme Court of the United States: Absent a Compelling State Interest of harm or potential harm to the child, the State may not intervene in the privacy of family life. Overall, research studies show that children of joint custodians are better adjusted than children of sole custodians on each of the following measures: general adjustment; family relations; self-esteem; emotional adjustment; behavioral adjustment; and divorce-specific adjustment. Another benefit of Joint Physical Custody is that it improves child support compliance. Researchers have found a positive correlation between the frequency of a parents contact with a child and the payment of child support.

cropped-eee6f-fatherless2bepidemic2bgraph2b-2b2015.png

 

Fatherlessness is the #1 social problem of our time because it is the root cause of at least 20 other social problems.

Social problems including: teen suicide, mass murder, crime, drug usage, parental suicide, teen pregnancy and even over 50% of all mental health problems in the U.S. today. The divorce industry is essentially a a criminal racket that is destroying society for its profit motives! Literally! Fatherless Homes Now Proven Beyond Doubt Harmful To Children Children from fatherless homes are*: – 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders – 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide – 6.6 times more likely to become teenage mothers – 24.3 times more likely to run away – 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders – 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions – 10.8 times more likely to commit rape – 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school – 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenage – 73% of adolescent murderers come from mother only homes – 6.3 times more likely to be in state operated institutions.

Problem 1: Children who lose contact with their fathers do worse in life.b8524-consequences2bfatherless

Problem 2: Single mothers who want to work often struggle with the cost of childcare.not a single mom - 2015

Problem 3: Many non-resident fathers are without meaningful work.Florida Child Support System Reform Cyber Protest - 2016

cropped-afla-causes-2-2015.pngAll three of these problems are fairly well established in the research literature. Each also motivates a battery of policy responses, with varying degrees of efficacy. In a recent report on poverty and opportunity from a working group convened by Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute, non-resident fathers received some special attention. (I was a member of the group).

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eee6f-fatherless2bepidemic2bgraph2b-2b2015The report notes that the Child Support Enforcement Program has become increasingly effective at establishing paternity and levying child support payments. Good: parenting is a responsibility, regardless of the nature of the relationship into which a child is born. But the payments can also be onerous for non-resident parents, who are almost always fathers, ‘functioning as a tax on their earnings’.

The accumulation of child support debt is a particular problem – non-resident parents are currently about $53 billion in arrears for child support – and the Brookings/AEI group suggested that these kinds of debts should be forgiven in certain circumstances. 

“Failing to expect both parents to support their children is not only unfair, it reduces marriage incentives, increases poverty rates for custodial mothers and children, and is likely to hurt children,” the report concludes. But we should not make the mistake of assuming that support can only come in the form of cash.

Since most non-resident parents are fathers, there is a tendency for policy-makers to see them primarily in terms of their financial obligations, as walking ATMs. Many of these men are in no position to make serious financial contributions: 41 percent of poor non-resident fathers have been out of paid work for at least a year, according to a recent study conducted by the Urban Institute.

Meanwhile, working single mothers are also struggling. Forty percent of those working said that child care costs led them to change jobs or hours worked, according to a recent survey.

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