April 24, 2018 By Ned Holstein, M.D. and Robert Franklin, J.D., National Parents Organization Board members
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) claims that we should adopt even more draconian policies to collect child support than we already do by passing the Farm Bill currently before Congress. The National Parents Organization strongly believes that parents should responsibly support their children. But “cracking down” on parents who are poor has a long history of hurting children more than helping them.
Child support policy among the poor does not work for several long-known reasons.
First, state courts are incentivized by federal payments to the states to set child support orders at levels the poor cannot pay. For instance, in many states, a minimum child support payment of $1,200 to $1,800 per year is required no matter how little the payer earns; this is uncollectible from someone earning, say, $8000 per year. As a result, studies in both California and by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) have shown that about 70 percent of all unpaid child support dollars are owed by parents who earn less than $10,000 per year. The federal OCSE has explicitly recognized since at least 2006 that these child support amounts involve the very poor are largely uncollectible, but we’ve seen little change in state court orders.
April 23, 2018
Congratulations to Christian Paasch, Chair of the Virginia National Parents Organization Chapter, on his recent interview in Stand Magazine about his work in advancing the goal of shared parenting post separation or divorce.
April 23, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Apparently uncomfortable with his absurd take on the case of C vs. P & Others in the previous week’s blog, John Bolch revisits the matter here (Marilyn Stowe Blog, 4/19/18). As I said yesterday, Bolch managed to find that a family court judge was acting in the best interests of two children when she left them in the care of their mother who had denied all contact with the father and behaved abusively toward them. He did so because, in the nine months following those findings, Mom had improved her behavior. What didn’t occur to either the judge or Bolch was that the judge had no reason to believe the mother would change her ways, so, at the time, the judge was leaving the kids in the care of an abuser. That’s hardly acting in their best interests.
Now Bolch has been moved to address the comment to his previous post by Paul Apreda who’s a trustee of the organization Families Need Fathers (FNF). Much as I did, Apreda pointed out that Justice Russell not only allowed parental alienation to begin, she allowed it to continue.
April 22, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Here’s another gem from John Bolch (Marilyn Stowe Blog, 4/12/18). Truly, the man is so in thrall to courts and judges that critical thought unduly taxes him. Fortunately for all of us, he seems to be doing less and less of that, mostly allowing the judges to speak for themselves. Even so, he gets it wrong.
The case he refers to is called P vs. C & Others. In it we have two children who were 13 and 11 last year when the case was initially tried. Ms. Justice Russell presided and found that the mother (C) had engaged in much detrimental behavior.
April 20, 2018 The following post was contributed by a friend of NPO.
The US Supreme Court recently decided an immigration case titled Sessions v. Dimaya that has received extensive press attention because Justice Gorsuch cast the deciding vote against the Trump administration. The opinion is available here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/15-1498_1b8e.pdf.
Justice Gorsuch’s concurring opinion is also noteworthy because it has significant implications for family law. Justice Gorsuch held the statute in question violated the Due Process Clause of the US Constitution because it did not give parties fair notice of what the law required and was, therefore, void for vagueness. As Justice Gorsuch said: