Posts Tagged ‘child support payments’

Pre KFor 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.

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F.I.T. (Fatherhood Initiative Training program) in Shelby county (Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana?) seems to  have found superheroes_2the miracle to turn this horrible specie -men- into fathers. According to Justin Averette, Shelby County Reporter, the goal of the program is to keep fathers who are behind in child support payments out of jail. You are falling behind in child support payment, out of work? Just take a 13- week class in Inverness Vineyard Church. You will graduate and feel a better, more responsible father. Shelby county family court refers deviant non-custodial fathers to the program.

What is the key for  fathers to be fit to fatherhood already ? First, be compliant with child support orders. Justin Averette does not tell us if FIT or Shelby County family court picks up the tab of child support if you loose your job, as Hyundai lets you keep your new car if you become unemployed. Second of all, have regular visitations with your child and have civil relation with their mother. I guess, unlike Manhattan Family Court, Shelby County Family court does not give custodial mother a free pass to alienate children.

I guess fatherhood fitness defined by family courts is really not my thing. Father 4 Justice is right: to comply with farcical family laws, which buries fathers with duties and denies them any right,  you have to beat the crisis. Be some kind of superhero; or one of these happy fellows of AIG, who got subsidized bonuses.

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