Wednesday, October 19, 2011
For about five years now, I've been expounding here - and other places - about the "$980+ million Federal Dollars California receives annually for its child support collection and case management efforts" - That figure is wrong, WAY wrong, and frankly, I'm not entirely sure how I came to have it as a benchmark; Not only am I extremely embarrassed, I humbly apologize, my bad!
A more accurate figure, based upon the statistics available (2002 - $40 million dollars in annual Federal subsidy) when AB 2240 was vetoed by then California Governor Gray Davis would have to account for inflation and other factors and I’m neither a mathematician nor economist, in fact right now, I‘m feeling like a bit of a nincompoop. Hey I fucked up, I admit it….However, the fact remains that the only Federally Funded study ever conducted on the subject of child support showed that when they are employed, men pay between 83% and 91% of all court ordered child support in the U.S. and that they pay without intervention of any kid. Couple that with today’s tremendous - and extremely rare - victory for Orange County, California resident Pedro Soto and one begins to understand the tremendous cash cow that Child Support Collection really is for Government, elected and appointed officials, and countless “agents” and representatives” in both the public and private sector.
Obviously, I have been derelict inasmuch as I have not been consistently writing here.
I could go into - and on, and on - about how much worry, sorrow, grief, agitation, anger, and remorse I, as well as most of my family (largely, my wife) have passed through in the last nineteen months trying to get my youngest daughter to see some glimpse of the proverbial, and mostly mythical, light. Her exploits are a constant, ever present source of stress, concern, and apprehension for me, and for those who love and care about her. Mine are not words of whine, mind you, but of the harsh reality that comes with dealing with a young person, the abuse of whom at the hand(s) of her biological mother and former step-father, have left deep and profound scars from which my daughter may never recover; to say it has been heartbreaking might be a start of an explanation of where I‘ve been with all of this. The Licensed Family Counselor I took my daughter to weekly for twenty-one months, without fail, upon gaining primary physical custody, remains convinced that not only was my daughter subjected to horrific psychological abuse at the nasty mouth of her mother, but that something far darker “probably” occurred at the hand(s) of her former step-father or any of several other men who rolled in and out of my ex-wife’s households; thirty-four residence changes, nine different schools for my kid between second and fourth grades. You can only imagine my rage, and all the while, I’m begging with my daughter’s mother: “look, just give me my kid. I’ll keep paying you, just let me provide some stability and sameness“ To no avail.
The damage to my daughter was/is catastrophic and she became this angry, confused, defiant, detached, and frustrated teen; my ex-wife had created a person that not only she no longer wanted around, but was incapable of helping…Thank you, Family Law Court!
Much, if not all, of this dynamic, a dynamic that I and millions of fathers like me around the free world deal with each and every day, could've/can be avoided! But does anyone besides divorced Dads ever notice that these tragedies are never, EVER mentioned, discussed, or debated in the political arena? Why? Easy answer: Too much money is changing hands between Federal, State, and Local authorities, as well as Support Collection Agencies and Institutions for change to even be considered! No amount of “Hope” or rhetoric is going to change any of this dynamic either. Spending cuts and balanced budgets are again in the National news in the U.S. with the Presidential Election (among others) on the horizon. But until Voters are cognizant of the fact that Mom’s get the kids in divorce and custody cases over 90% of the time in the U.S. when juvenile children are involved, and that in concert with that figure, men pay all court ordered child support between 83 and 91% of the time when they are employed, and that they do so without intervention of any kind, nothing will change. The Federal Subsidy of States’ Child Support Collection and Case Management must cease! These efforts are the single largest tax payer rip-off in the Country and they’ve been in place for forty years! To understand the fiscal aspects of this, all one need understand is that over half of ALL Civil Litigation in the United States involves divorce and custody! Can YOU spell “growth industry”?