Monday, April 6, 2009

National Post ~ Lorne Gunter: Promote equal parenting

My comments on the National Post Website are as follows:


You are at risk of hate mail from gender feminists and the usual trolls who will leave drive by smears at your even thinking of granting we men - we evil abusers no less - equality with respect to our children.

You do have the pulse of many tens of thousands of fathers across this country but more than that you have described you have empathy for children caught in the custody wars. They are the victims.

On another page of your paper today we read of the tragic death of a toddler at the hands of his mother.

The actions she took are the extreme for alienators. She didn't want the dad to have any access and killed the child in revenge.

Belgium and Australia introduced Shared parenting laws in 2006. In Belgium it is working well with a great reduction in court disputes, elimination of the bureaucracy hired to collect child support - they do other stuff now, and automatic jail time for withholding children from the other partner. In Belgium they call this activity "abduction."

Belgium does have the best interest of children in mind unlike this country. You are being generous to judges and lawyers when you indicate 80% of custody awards go to mum. When you factor in joint custody awards (physical custody to mom), court ordered and court approved (prior agreement) custody the figure is closer to 90%.

The legal system is in great disrepute. Its hard to say how much more men are willing to take. Over 3,000 men commit suicide each year across Canada. If only 400 of those, a conservative number, were directly related to Family Law (FLAW) it would be an epidemic greater than SARS but it flies under everyone's radar. How many victims of FLAW are those we read about having just killed family members? Did they pass the breaking point thanks to judges like Paul Cosgrove who will now get a gold plated pension of $170,000.00 dollars a year for incompetence and corruption. Go figure. If a visible minority were treated the way men are in family court there would be outrage in our liberal media.

I think it important to note that Judges, lawyers, mental health workers, child protection workers, legal aid in Ontario and in other provinces, child protection agencies, child support collection agencies , welfare workers all play a role in the current dysfunctional system of Family Law (FLAW). Each add to the burden children face given Dr, Kruk's research as noted. When Parental Alienation is brought into play they then become complicit in child abuse. What kind of system do we have when child protection agencies enable emotional abuse of children by ignoring Parental Alienation. Criminal perhaps? Hyperbole is not on my radar today but examination of Child Protection Services mandates are in order when they overlook this area. Currently they say they don't have a mandate because they can't see the bruising. Its so sad that children suffer so much because of this nonsense.

Shared and equal parenting must be enacted as in the Belgium model. This will reduce incentives for divorce, reduce court time freeing up judges for other important work, reduce the transfer of wealth from children's legacies to lawyer's pockets, and improve the mental health of children. It is indeed in their best interest.

Posted: April 06, 2009, 5:04 PM by NP Editor

Children who grow up without both parents in their lives are more prone to a whole host of social problems.

According to a three-year study done by Edward Kruk, an associate professor of social work at the University of British Columbia, 85% of young people in prison and youth detention are fatherless. This is a particularly important finding since, according to Statistics Canada, youth crime is the only category of crime that has been consistently increasing over the past decade. Nearly one-in-five young Canadians will have a run-in with the law — more than twice the percentage of adults — and most of them have no father in the home.

Father 'sorry' he failed to protect boy. Mother charged with first-degree murder.

This is a follow-up to a story where alienating tactics have led to tragedy.MJM

Father 'sorry' he failed to protect boy

Jayden's Funeral

Catherine McDonald, National Post

Published: Monday, April 06, 2009

Richard Williams had waited five months to see his son, Jayden, who had been in his mother's care. On Saturday the Brampton father, his family and about 80 friends gathered to lay the 18-month-old boy to rest.

The toddler was found without vital signs in a Mississauga parking garage more than a week ago. His mother, 34-year-old Nadine Bernard, is charged with first-degree murder.

Mr. Williams, wife Joy and their two children stood by a tiny white casket as a montage of photos of the child's short life played overhead. In the background, lullabies could be heard as mourners wept during the private service at Scott Funeral Home on Main Street.

"Son, I am sorry I was not able to shield you from all your pain," Mrs. Williams said on her husband's behalf.

Their daughter said she "will miss hearing the pitter-patter of [his] little feet in the bathtub;" their son spoke of "missing being able to play piano [for Jayden] and missing being able to teach [Jayden] soccer and basketball."

Mr. Williams told Global News exclusively last week about the extra-marital affair that led to the birth of Jayden in September 2007.

Last July, Mrs. Williams found the child's christening card and confronted her husband about it. He told her of the affair with a co-worker and the birth of the boy. Ms. Williams, desperate to keep the family together, decided to welcome the child into her home.

"There was no way I wasn't going to love that baby," she told Global News.

The couple's two children, aged 11 and 17, also spent months getting to know their half-brother.

But in October, 2008, Ms. Bernard allowed Jayden to visit only with his father, Mr. Williams said. A month later, she denied him visits with his son altogether, he said.

Last month, Mr. Williams was given joint custody and was permitted to have two visits a week with Jayden. Ms. Bernard never showed up for any of those court-ordered visits and was threatening to move to Florida, Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Williams' lawyer told Ms. Bernard's lawyer he would recommend his client seek full custody if she did not honour the joint custody agreement.

On March 27, Peel Regional Police were called to the parkade at 1 Robert Speck Parkway where they found Jayden's body in the passenger seat of a vehicle. His mother had tried to kill herself and was taken to hospital before being charged, police say.

Base child support strategies on relationships

April 5, 2009

Child support orders have been around for decades. In the 1970s and early '80s court custody orders typically included provisions requiring one parent to pay some money each month to the other parent to help support the children. The paying parent usually gave a check or cash to the receiving parent with little state involvement in the process.

Not anymore. Child-support collection in America has become a major state enterprise. Annually taxpayers shell out over $5.4 billion to underwrite child-support collection efforts. Nationally, child support enforcement agencies employ more than 55,000 people in their war on "deadbeats." Compare that with the Drug Enforcement Agency which employs a mere 1,900 agents in America's war on drugs.

The original purpose of child support collection was to obtain money from parents whose children received welfare benefits from the state. Today over 80 percent of the funds received by child support collection agencies come from families not presently receiving welfare.

Child support enforcement agencies have been granted authority well beyond that of ordinary debt collection companies. Wage garnishment, driver and professional license revocations, bank account attachment, property liens and seizures, tax refund interception and prison are all tools readily available to child support enforcement personnel.

No one argues that parents who have the means to pay child support and refuse to do so should be accountable. On the other hand, evidence suggests that all too often it is the poor who bear the brunt of the child support agency's heavy hand.

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement reports $110 billion of support arrearages nationwide. Less known is the fact that the same office reports over 70 percent of this amount, and 70 percent of the people who owe it, earn poverty level wages. Urban Institute reports estimate upwards of 90 percent of the debt is owed by people earning less than $25,000 per year.

Researcher Sanford Braver indicates the No. 1 cause of non-payment of child support is lack of, or under, employment. The second leading cause of non-payment is lack of relationship with the children.

Best estimates indicate men are obligated to pay child support in about 88 percent of cases. An interesting social paradox exists relative to parents who do not have the money to care for their children. When custodial parents are unable financially to care for their kids a number of state aid programs are available including: subsidized housing, education assistance, day care services, cash, food assistance, medical care and several other programs.

Non-custodial parents living apart from their children and unable to financially care for them (pay child support) are typically subject to punitive measures like arrest, incarceration, license revocation, seizures and forfeitures, etc. Many of these individuals are involuntarily separated from their children. In divorce cases, limiting parents' access to their kids via a custody order often serves as the triggering event leading to child support agency involvement.

Incarcerating indigent people for non-payment does not raise compliance, it simply costs taxpayers money. Debtors' prison formally ended over 150 years ago in this country; for indigent incarcerated child support obligors it is alive and thriving.

Social science research is leading us in new directions as we examine how to address the growing problems related to both father absence and non-payment of support. There are a number of things we know; when parents practice shared parenting (substantial time for kids with both parents), have stable employment, reasonable support orders and are able to obtain order modifications reflecting changes in life circumstances, payment issues are rare.

As new approaches to issues facing the modern family are developed, let's reward child support agencies and family courts for serving kids' best interest when they recognize relationships are more important than revenue.

Michael McCormick is executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers & Children.

Prosecuting Attorney, Ron O'Brian is Nifonging Paul Fisher and Donald Tenn

Fathers 4 Justice US®

Action Alert!

It is time for the united front of Fathers-4-Justice and all of its supporters to inform Prosecuting Attorney, Ron O'Brian, and his staff that we do not agree with his “Nifong” type application of the law in the cases, “Ohio vs. Paul Fisher” aka Superman and “Ohio vs. Donald Tenn” aka Spiderman.

Full story here

“No Jail for being a Dad”

It has been asked that you call

(614) 462-3555 and ask for Ron O'Brian between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM eastern time. If he is unavailable, leave a message and request a return call.

As always, be polite and courteous. With the volume of calls expected, you will most likely be talking to over-worked secretaries, please be considerate.

Our message is simple:

Inform them that you will be watching these cases, and that you will be notifying other public officials of your disapproval of the conduct of Ron O’Brian’s administration. Also, state that you are displeased with the severity of the charges and feel this entire charade is wasting taxpayer dollars. It is self-evident that there was no malice or intent to cause harm. The demonstration was peaceful and brought much needed attention to government policies that are harming America's families and children.

If you do not receive a return call, please call everyday until you do, or until the verdict has been reached on April 13th.

This is your opportunity to take a stand against the "war on fatherhood."