Mothers Of Lost Children – Indiana

Support for Noncustodial Indiana Moms

Archive for December 2008

Remember the Mothers Who are Without Their Children This Holiday Season

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Written by mothersoflostchildren

December 22, 2008 at 3:18 am

Noncustodial Moms and the Final Insult Doled Out by Family Courts

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About a year ago, WISH-TV did a story on deadbeat moms. Although I was horrified watching it, I realized they really didn’t get into the main issues surrounding this. It fell far short of a balanced story. A story was recently published about child support enforcement in the state being stepped up. Now comes a guest column in the Muncie Star I am glad to see (my comment to column follows):
 

Guest Column: Why Some Parents Refuse to Pay Child Support

by Joy Henley

I understand your recent Your View “State is Getting Tough on Deadbeat Parents” was intended for parents who have the means to pay child support but fail to do so. It is true that it is child abuse when a parent fails to pay child support and meet the needs of their child. There is no other word for it.

In an ideal legal world, there is not supposed to be any correlation whatsoever between child support and visitation. In real life, there is a huge connection. In some cases if the non-custodial parent had more involvement with his or her children, there would be more child support paid. There would be an investment and entitlement that extends beyond the wallet.

There is no excuse in the world for a parent to not support their child. I cannot imagine anyone disputing this. I do not know what goes on inside the minds of what society terms “deadbeat parents.” However, I can probably give you an idea of what factors into a non-custodial parent’s decision to not pay child support.

It is horror when a mother or father loses custody of their child to the abusive parent. Imagine paying “child support” to the one who battered you and/or your child. Or, providing the booze money that is disguised as “child support.” You wonder what judge in his right mind would give custody to an abuser? It would be a judge who did not consider all of the evidence of abuse. This can occur when there are numerous, continuous false allegations. Sometimes, a parent just is not believed. An initial decision for child custody is usually brief — the courts have only so much time allotted for each case. Not all of the evidence is always heard. Judges and courts are not perfect.

Children often end up with the abuser because the stable parent runs out of money. This is the blunt, simple truth. It takes many thousands of dollars to be involved in a child-custody case. Quality legal counsel does not come cheap. It is a vicious cycle of the innocent parent paying attorney’s fees, court costs, psychological evaluations, etc.

Usually, guardian ad litems — appointed by the courts on behalf of the child — do a wonderful job. However, they are like judges — imperfect and human. A guardian ad litem is as good as his or her training, which can be as little as 40 hours. I have to wonder how much specialized training should be required to determine custody. In most cases, the guardian ad litems are known as the “eyes and ears” of the courts. Their words carry a lot of power. They are supposed to remain neutral and in the best interests of the child. They are only as good, though, as their ability to be neutral.

False allegations run rampant in family court. It only takes one — even anonymous — complaint to a child welfare agency, and a parent is told to stay away from their child. In the early 1980s, it was believed children never lie about child abuse. Never. If you do not believe a child can be persuaded to lie by a vindictive, revengeful parent, go to www.paskids.org or www.hostile-aggressive-parenting.com. Children are often manipulated into making the false allegations.

A wise judge once said he could practically predict the extent of a child’s future emotional problems by the size of the parent’s litigation file. Isn’t it about time we stop the war? Until courts learn we have to create win-win situations, there will be parents who refuse to pay child support. This should not be “winner take all” — as in one parent gets the children, the money, the house and all of the advantages, while the other gets nothing. The child will ultimately be the big loser in all of this. Perhaps it is time we look at what both parents and the child can gain from the situation. Child support is just one major component of the total emotional, health and well-being of a child.

Failure to support a child — you bet it’s criminal. So is denying a child visitation with the other parent, parental alienation and parental abduction. The major difference is that when one doesn’t pay child support, there are records and it can be monitored and penalized. When a parent subtly instills alienation in a child toward the absent parent, misuses the support money and fails to provide for the child, it is much more difficult to recognize. The parent who receives child support should be held just as accountable as the parent who pays child support.

Children need both parents if at all possible in their lives. When a parent speaks badly to a child about his or her other parent, the parent is bad-mouthing one-half the child. Perhaps it is time to look at workable solutions and how both parents can be invested in their child’s future. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the need for and rights of children to have contact with their non-custodial parents were just as important as child support? It would be a win-win situation, and there would be some mighty child support collections!

Joy Henley is a former Muncie resident who is a newspaper reporter/correspondent and author. She has been in the social work profession for 28 years and is an educator of hostile aggressive parenting and parental alienation. For the past 22 years, she has worked with non-custodial parents in family law situations. She is the founder/executive director of The Juliette Gilbert Association for the Prevention of the Parental Abduction of Children.

My comments to the article:

The situation is very bad in the courts in this state…really everywhere. An abused mother doesn’t have a fighting chance to even keep partial custody of her children in this state. Abusers are twice as likely to seek sole custody of their children from their victim, and receive it 70% of the time (MS statistics, I believe it is higher here). The courtroom is the last tool in an abuser’s toolbox to continue to abuse the mother. She will run out of funds much quicker than him, if she had any to begin with. And when she does lose custody, the abuser can get away with lying about his income, forcing her to pay even more than she should have to by law…another tool to abuse and control her. Withhold visitation…and gets away with it. Try to get the courts in Marion county to do anything about it is impossible, nobody cares what it is doing to the children that are torn from their mothers, having to live with the abuser that they saw abuse their moms. The family courts here are horrific, and the final insult is child support to abusive men that make far more money.

http://mothersoflostchildren.com
Noncustodial Mothers group in Indianapolis

Written by mothersoflostchildren

December 20, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Ludicrous Reasons Why Good & Fit Mothers Have Lost Custody

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Custody Prep for Moms has a very good list of the excuses that are used:

Sadly, we must report that if you have a guardian ad litem (GAL) or child custody evaluator assigned or appointed to your case that is unscrupulous, ill-trained, incompetent or biased either toward a father or a form of custody, there is virtually no way for a mother to truly “prepare” for a child custody evaluator. If you have been unfortunate enough to have this type of evaluator, be very prepared to find other documentation, evidence, witnesses, and experts with superior credentials to refute the report and offer alternate views to the court. You can not let these sorts of evaluations stand. Here are some of the more ludicrous documented reasons given by evaluators or judges in numerous cases where good and fit mothers lost custody:

Breastfeeding–the mothers either wanted to and it was determined an alienating behavior, or they did not choose to breastfeed and it was termed child neglect or indifference

Children got head lice during a period of mother’s care.

Too many people (all relatives) living in one home (i.e. mom had to return home to family to gain economic and emotional support)

Father remarried and married family deemed superior to single motherhood

Father’s job and education deemed superior–sometimes even though mom sacrificed her goals and dreams so father could obtain same.

Not desiring 50/50 custody or other joint custodial arrangements

Not desiring to give up the marital home

Leaving the marital home while fleeing from abuse, especially if she left the children behind.

Going to church

Going to church too often

Not going to church

Having a different religion than the father

Having a different religion than the children

Home schooling your children

Being poor or less well-off than the father and his extended family

Having unprotected sex although no longer living with or married to your former mate

Believing your children when they tell of abuse

Being depressed or sad

Having been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) caused by the battery/abuse in your relationship with your child’s father and having that used to term the mother “unstable”

Crying in front of any court personnel

Being anxious or “hyper-vigilant”, even when abuse to self and children are an issue

Dating on occasion and leaving your child with a trusted sitter

Dating someone of another race

Not dating

Having a boyfriend

Not having a boyfriend

Living with a boyfriend

Refusing to marry your boyfriend

Having a social life–women have been penalized for taking occasional evening breaks away from the children for meetings, to meet friends, etc.

Not having a social life–women were penalized for being “wrapped up” in the kids and not having other interests.

Having a career

Not having a career

Working too much

Not working enough

Using daycare or before/after-school care so you can work to support your kids

Being non-white: a Native American, Black, Asian, etc.

Having your child learn your native language–mothers have been deemed more of a “flight risk” for teaching their child their heritage and language, or deemed to be alienating the child from the father by teaching the child a language the father does not know.

Being white-fathers ethnicity given greater accord because mother supposedly could not provide a racial/ethnic identity for the child.

Being involved in your children’s education/volunteering-deemed “over-involved” or enmeshed with her children

Having a close, loving relationship with your child – court personnel seem to love pathologizing mother/child bonds as “enmeshed”, “unhealthy”

Wishing to move

Being disorganized

Having a messy home

Being too neat & orderly

Being a lesbian

Being a good role model for your child–a female child in one case was noted by the judge as being “alienated” by the mother because the child looked up to her mother and wanted to follow in her same career path when she grew up.

Not liking your ex

Having been hospitalized for a physical ailment or injury

Thinking negative thoughts about your ex (doesn’t matter whether you verbalize them or not)

Being an “unconscious alienator”, termed as having the likelihood of alienating sometime in the future

Going back to school and using daycare

Not using daycare–mother deemed too “enmeshed” and “over-involved” with her preschool aged children because she worked at home and used her maternal relatives for occasional childcare and did not want to put her toddler into daycare/preschool.

Being disabled at the hands of your child’s father

Being blind or deaf, although adequately being the primary parent of your child for numerous years

Photographing injuries found on your child and identified by the child as having been caused by their father

The evaluator didn’t like the mother because she reminded her of someone–in one case, a woman was told she wasn’t liked because she reminded the evaluator of her mother

Being protective of your children

Taking your children to the doctor – termed “anxious” parenting, or pathologized further into Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy

Using your computer

Computer dating

Staying up too late at night to get work done

Sending the kids to summer camp – termed “farming them out”

Following doctors orders in administering prescribed medications

Taking your children to counseling

Children’s grades are not high enough

Children missed too much school due to illness

You’re not a father  

Written by mothersoflostchildren

December 12, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Could you use an extra $434,000?

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From Moms Rising:

What would your family do with $434,000?

Improving pay equity would create substantial economic gains for women and their families. A new report found that women lose approximately $434,000, on average, over a 40-year period because of the gender wage gap.* Other studies show that moms, especially single moms, fare even worse with the gender wage gap.

 

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act are important steps toward making sure that women are paid what they are worth by making it easier for women to recover lost wages due to bosses who discriminate and by requiring the federal government to be more proactive in preventing and battling wage discrimination. 

 

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is standing in the way of fair pay by opposing pay equity reform proposals in Congress that are needed to achieve pay equity. Tell the U.S. Chamber of Commerce what your family would do with $434,000 and more importantly, tell the Chamber to get out of the way of fair pay!

 

Join the Out of the Way of Fair Pay Campaign!  Go to the website setup to take part in the very easy process to let the U.S. Chamber of Commerce know that pay needs to be fair!

 

Written by mothersoflostchildren

December 12, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Is WIBC, 93.1 FM, a Father’s Rights Radio Station?

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I have a hard time listening to WIBC 93.1 FM for the last couple of years.  They frequently advertise radio commercials for Cordell & Cordell:

“Cordell & Cordell was founded in 1990 by Joseph Cordell, J.D., C.P.A., LL.M., as a general practice firm focusing on domestic relations matters. With men representing approximately 98% of our clientele, we have evolved into one of the largest domestic relations firms for men throughout the United States.”  That folksie voice on the radio touting they are  “the partner men can count on.”  Cordell & Cordell also have a fathers rights website that quotes and touts some pretty shadey people (link not provided here for fathers searching for websites to take children from mothers).  

Now, when I am not cringing from listening to these commercials that play often on WIBC, the station is playing (I swear every half hour ) the Fatherhood Initiative commercials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and touting their site, www.fatherhood.org.  (Ever notice, by the way, there is no www.motherhood.org sponsored by the government).

With so many mothers losing their children in the family courts these days, do these firms and government programs shore up the Father’s Rights leanings than exist in the courts now, not just here but all over the country?  Does this show leanings of WIBC being a Father’s Rights radio station?  I’m not sure…but I do know one thing, I won’t listen to the station anymore.  It’s too bad…they have good programs.  I just can’t take my gag reflex taking over when one of these commercials come on the air…

Written by mothersoflostchildren

December 11, 2008 at 3:39 am