A while ago, I read somewhere that emails had the virtue of taking the edge of familial conflicts. It has to do with writing and distance, if I remember well. When you write, you think, as the other guy would say, and that helps you overcome your emotions. Also, a written commitment is a commitment you are more likely to stick to. Something like that…
Mrs Justice Pauffler
In the technological age we are living in, Mrs Justice Pauffley (from the High Court of London) found much better: prescribe taking tea to parents who were had been tearing them apart over custody issues for ten years. And it worked…
Thinking about it, it makes total sense to me. Tea soothes tensions. Anybody who went to arid countries in West Africa such as Mauritania or Mali, where people spend hours talking over the”three teas,” a very bitter one, a less bitter one, and a sweet one, knows what I am talking about. Long before you are drinking the sweet one, the world looks harmonious to you.
The three tea tradition does not exist in England and the story does not tell us how many tea meetings it took the parents to come down and start settling contentious issues. Anyway, hats off before Mrs Justice Pauffley!
Posted in Family Justice and the Media, Justice and the judiciary | Tagged Mail Online, Mrs Justice Pauffley, Sam Greenhill, tea | Leave a Comment »
Rep. Joe Kleefisch (photo Wisconsin State Journal)
A month ago, I read about Assembly Bill 540, which Joel Kleefisch, Republican Representative of Oconomowoc, was planning on introducing to the Wisconsin State Assembly. I thought it was incomplete, but some ideas were not to be dismissed entirely: capping child support payments to $150,000 in yearly income, which the bill proposed, was not unreasonable to me. As much as I am for the top 10% to pay their fair share of taxes, I don’t see why child support payments ought to guarantee a 10% life style to an ex-spouse who happened to have married into the 10%. The bill was also aiming at guaranteeing “an equalized placement of children into both families.” That resonated nicely to me; we non-custodial fathers too often are granted pitiful visitations of our children.
However the fathers’ rights rhetoric of bill 540 proved pure smoke screen. In fact, Kleefisch had one father in mind when he was writing the bill, his multimillionaire friend, Michael Eisenga, who is also a contributor to his campaign and to that of his wife, who is Lieutenant Governor of the State of Wisconsin. Even better, Eisenga, unhappy with his child support obligations, was holding Kleefisch’s pen. On January 15, the bill was withdrawn from committee hearing.
The saddest thing in this story is that there is a bunch of fathers besides Eisenga who really needed a break. Let’s be fair with Wisconsin Child Support guidelines: They are immensely more sophisticated than New York State’s. Income subject to child support is determined as an arbitrary percentage of each parent’s gross income (wrong), yet a component of child support obligations (day care for instance) is adjusted for the time the child spends with each parent (right), and income disparity is stated to factor in the computation of child support obligations. Wisconsin Child Support guidelines also describe sources of income subject to child support payments, which include social security disability benefits and unemployment benefits. The folks that live off such income often need to have their child support obligations revised downwards or be exempted from child support obligations altogether. Obviously Kleefisch and his pal Eisenga were not thinking about them.
Posted in Child Support and Child Support Laws, Family Justice and the Media, Family Laws, Father Rights Movement, Manhattan Family Court Sucks | Tagged Dee J. Hall, Emma Roller, Joe Kleefisch, Michael Eisenga, Slate, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 540, Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin's Child Support Laws | Leave a Comment »
For some time now, I have noticed a growing number of comments on this blog expressing frustration and anger at the lack of change in child support laws.
It ‘s important, I think, to see that in the sad political times we live in, where “welfare as we knew it” has been under attack since 1996, and these attacks have been adding to the justifications for tax cuts, current child support laws, as New York State’s, have sizable advantages. Welfare of the child? Not the problem of society anymore. That’s the problem of the noncustodial parent, for the most part the noncustodial dad.
Last but not least, the design of the law – the regressive one-size- fits- all percentages of noncustodial parent gross income in child support payment (in New York, 17% for one child, 25% for two children. etc.)- has the advantage of convenience: enforcing the law is a no brainer. These child support percentages are part of this category of numbers you don’t know where they come from (who is the brilliant mind that came up with it) and that spoil the lives of millions of people (like for instance, the convergence criteria to belong to the European Union, but I won’t get started).
There is thus a lot of inertia at play against changing the laws, and politicians are usually no prophets of change. I don’t know if our new mayor, Bill de Blazio, is, but I like his proposal to add pre-K to the school years of the New Yorkers.
I am not going to talk about the benefits of PreK for child development, which are well documented. I am talking here of the possible impact of the implementation of pre K on child support laws we fathers have to deal with.
If pre K becomes part of the life of a child, single custodial mum’s child care expenses go significantly down. That may bring our wise lawmakers to think, for once, of what “the cost to raise a child” is. And perhaps to think that it could be born by the two parents based on their income, not just one.
And allow me to step on the financing side of the issue. Governor Cuomo would like us to believe that New York State can afford tax cuts and pre K. This presupposes that public services in New York State are just good as they are. But New York State is not Sweden: people are dying in 2014 in the emergency room in the Bronx. Pre-K ought not to happen at the expense of already substandard enough public services. The 1% has to chip in.
Posted in Child Support and Child Support Laws, Family Laws | Tagged Andrew Cuomo, Bill de Blasio, child support payments, fiscal policy, John Verrier, Saint Barnabas Hospital, tax cuts, the 1%, the Bronx, The Welfare Reform Act | 1 Comment »
Family justice in the US is a race to the bottom, with, I long thought, New York State family justice as unbeatable at crushing fathers’ lives.
Wrong. Texas is surging as a serious contender to New York. Check out Clifford Hall ‘s story on Fox News (click on the photo below to watch video):
One question that Fox News does not ask is why did Judge Millard sentenced Clifford Hall to pay his ex’s lawyer fees. It sounds like it’s a just the stuff that fathers have to do when they end up in family courts.
Posted in Child Support and Child Support Laws, Family Justice and the Media, Family Laws, Father Unfriendly Institutions, Manhattan Family Court Sucks | Tagged Clifford Hall, fathers in jail, Houston Family Court. Fox News, Randy Wallace | 1 Comment »
Back when I was still seeing my girls, who were very little at the time, one of my aspirations as a father was to be an understanding one later
Vanity Fair, January 2014
on, as they would grow up and become teens; by understanding, I mean understanding with boyfriends or else. I did not exactly see myself as their confidant, but as somebody they would trust in case of storms on the love front of their lives. My mom had been quite a patient ear to me on those matters, and my dad was exemplary, at least with my little sister, when she was a teen; the type that would pick up her contraceptive devices at the pharmacy, no questions asked. It showed quite a remarkable ability to adjust to new mores and times, given the way he had been brought up.
Anyway, as much as I would love to, I have a sense I won’t hear about my girls’ love life anytime soon. There is at least one thing I can do: use this blog to warn them and others about a deadly contraceptive device, NuvaRing, sold by Merck and Co. I just read Marie Brenner’s article in the January 2014 issue of Vanity Fair, “Danger in the Ring,” and I was horrified.
Merck’s NuvaRing victims have been adding up like flies. Brenner’s piece – a must-read- investigates why in the world this product is still on the market. Among the reasons: Merck’s greed and the way the pharmaceutical industry does business, where deaths and the lawsuits of victims are part of the CDB (Cost of Doing Business); a faulty regulatory system, where regulators move in and out of the industry they are supposed to regulate. And let say that if the FDA were not so dramatically understaffed, NuvaRing might not still be killing women.
One thing is clear: Stay away from NuvaRing and third- and -fourth- generation hormonal contraceptives.
Posted in Parental Alienation Syndrome, Personal | Tagged Contraceptives, FDA, hormonal contraceptives, Marie Brenner, Merck, Nuva Ring, NuvaRing, Pharmaceutical Industry, Vanity Fair | Leave a Comment »
Je t’embrasse. Dad
Posted in Personal | Leave a Comment »