The Fatherhood Coalition
PO Box 700 Milford, MA 01757 · 617.723.3237
Fatherhood Coalition Statement on New Child Support Guideline
February 5, 2002
The Guideline is a bi-polar instrument. On the one hand, it seeks to present itself as an "Income Shares" model where incomes of both parents are taken into consideration to establish an appropriate percent of combined family income spent on children. But on the other hand its provisions virtually ensure that only the non-custodial parent's (father) income is actually used to financially provide for the children's "new" family at their pre-existing standard of living.
Rather than eliminating the "custodial parent income disregard" (previously $15,000/yr), the new Guideline increases this amount to $20,000. For example, while establishing that around 30% of the gross family income will be spent on providing for two children in a middle-income family, the Guideline then conveniently removes up to $20,000 of the custodial parent's (mom) income from the equation. [Furthermore, mom can deduct additional income up to around $5,000 for childcare expenses.] The net result is that divorced dad will bear the full brunt of providing financially for the children.
This result follows naturally from the driving principle of the Guideline, which remains unchanged: "In establishing these guidelines, due consideration has been given to the following principles: ... To provide the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the family been intact;"
In an intact family the mother is more likely to work outside the home since dad can be available to care for the children while he isn't working; but this ability to work disappears once the family breaks up. Thus, the mother's contribution to the family income can decrease or disappear entirely once the family breaks up. Keeping in mind that where there was one household to finance there are now two, the only way that the standard of living of the children can remain the same is if the noncustodial father becomes a figurative beast of burden. The Guideline, driven by this principle, results in an impoverished, depressed, often suicidal father working two or three jobs to maintain a roof over his head and food in his refrigerator. Naturally, this has a negative impact on his ability to have a meaningful relationship with his children. And therewith the true purpose of the Child Support Guideline is revealed: A blueprint for the new family model, mom (and any partners) and children financially subsidized by dad, and the destruction of the father-child relationship required to accomplish this.
The Fatherhood Coalition urges all fathers engaged in custody proceedings to advise the court either through their attorneys, or directly if representing themselves, that they will refuse to submit to any child support order calculated from the Guideline. The resistance movement to the state's War on Fatherhood begins with Dorth-Okara's Child Support Guideline.
We condemn34 and hold singularly accountable34 Dorth-Okara for ignoring the deafening voices across the state pleading for relief from their onerous child support orders.
We encourage fathers to follow the example of Coalition officer John Flaherty, currently serving a five-month jail sentence for "contempt of court" for refusing to pay a trumped-up, retroactively engineered child support arrearage:
"Child Support Guidelines, no matter how contrived, are based wholly on denying fathers34 under a government contrived class called non-custodials34 their fundamental right to parent their children ( i.e. care, nurture, maintain and directly provide for them). With these guidelines in place, the state can extort a horrendous amount of money from the father and demand what income he must make and if he does not34 put him in jail34 propagandizing the irresponsibility of men. There is no rational constitutional position to take but to object outright to the Child Support Guidelines and demand that the only Constitutional Guideline is:
Fathers should be given the right to parent (care and support directly) their children 50% of the time. If the mother is not wanting, or able, to support her children, then the father will support his children directly 100% of the time, yet allow 50% visitation for the mother."
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