A year ago, I was once again stuck in family court. Ex was dragging me there one more time for unreimbursed medical expenses, mostly orthodontic, for my girls. Ex did not want to use my dental insurance, did not ask health providers to fill insurance claims and was instructing health providers not to speak to me. Our case was assigned to a new Support Magistrate, let us call her Kukuk. Not the overtly biased type like S.M. Grey but the whimsical, lunatic one. Kukuk first found me in violation and gave me the whole enchilada: the claimed unreimbursed orthodontic expenses and ex-wife lawyers fees. Four months later, she waved the Court order but finally reinstated it for the only reason that I could not be in Court the day she wanted me to. In Manhattan family court, facts and the search for justice are rarely the guide of magistrates’ decisions.
Kukuk’s ruling was proving one more time that in Manhattan Family Court, non-sense would never end. I decided to have my divorce agreement amended in Supreme Court. Some thousands of dollar later, I have a Supreme Court order stating that I can speak to the health providers of my daughters, use my dental and vision insurance for them (which by New York State law, I have to have), and that my ex and I will go over medical expenses at the end of the year: a definite breakthrough for family justice in New York State.
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I recently heard on the radio that the definition of the poverty level is to be reviewed. The federal poverty level is indeed based on an
Prisoners of War
old concept and even after adjustment for inflation, the poverty levels do not reflect what it means to be poor today.
But the New York State Child Support Enforcement Unit knows. It has its own, officious concept of poverty or rather a level of income beyond which it will not strip you off of everything you have. Let us introduce to the world the S.S.R. : Self Support Reserve. If you ask the Child Support Enforcement Unit why it takes more out of your income than the imbecile percentages defined by law, they will send you a form whereby you have to prove that the amount withheld on your income bring the latter below the SSR. Everybody will immediately acknowledge the typical bias of New York State family laws: In family courts, you need to prove that you are not guilty. To the Child Support Enforcement unit, that you are not totally dying.
What is the SSR, the magical level that might trigger New York State’ s compassion? $14,620 a year. $1,218 a month. I guess this is the self support level if you live in the Adirondacks in a subsidized housing project and supplement your diet with a lot of apples that you pick on trees.
Why don’t New York State take the next step consistent with its perfect contempt for parental rights and his bureaucratic, Soviet like oppressive child support policy? Built State Non custodial State father camps, half way between New York and Albany. Non custodial fathers would be transported to their work places and brought back every day to the camp by public transportation. Of course, the fare will be deducted from their SSR, as well as State determined rental fee for their bed in the camp. The bastards would spend what’s left from their SSR into State owned grocery stores.
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