Mothers Of Lost Children – Indiana

Support for Noncustodial Indiana Moms

Noncustodial Moms and the Final Insult Doled Out by Family Courts

with 9 comments

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

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Written by mothersoflostchildren

December 20, 2008 at 12:19 pm

9 Responses

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  1. I agree about the courts in this state. I fled Minnesota to come here with my teenage children and get away from the abuser. My decree there gave me livable child support as well as spousal maintenance. I was a stay at home mom for 15 years and we traveled from state to state for his ‘career’. I moved here and am horrified that they have ‘abolished’ spousal maintenance That the amount of ‘child support’ required by the ‘calculators’ usually leave the child and ‘mother’ living near the poverty line while the person with the ability to provide much more support sees his standard of living rise by 75%. Sad, I can’t wait to move out of this state

    sadmom

    December 20, 2008 at 5:28 pm

  2. NY State is just as bad. I fled from a mental abuser leaving my children behind at first. He ended up with sole custody because my attorney told me I was not allowed to read the Forensic report and said I should not take it to trial because it could be worse. This man is physically and mentally abusing these childrens and nobody will listen, especially the Law Guardian who is partial to him and she is completely incompetant. He has violated the court order, committed perjury, medical neglect of the children and the list goes on. I am out of money to borrow for an attorney and I have no idea where to turn. My children are now 8 and 5. I was primary caretaker to these children until we split in August of 2007. He never wanted to be bothered with them up until this point. Now he wants child support from me. He makes over 110,000 per year. I make 33,000. Where is the justice in this world, especially for the safety of my children.

    Debbie

    February 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

  3. Hi Debbie, your story is very typical of what is happening in the courts to mothers and children. We are going to try and catch up our list. Many people have been emailing for help, so that is the top of the agenda tonight. We can get you directed to some support and advice that may help you. Thanks for contacting us, we will get back with you offline to help.

    mothersoflostchildren

    February 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm

  4. Thank you! Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Debbie

    February 19, 2009 at 1:26 pm

  5. PLEASE HELP! My exhusband was just awarded sole physical and legal custody of our three year old daughter. She is in danger. . she has been complaining of terrible things happening to her. I am a teacher, but stayed home with her for aprox the first two years. HAMILTON CO SUPERIOR COURT ONE The GAL was Joan Lawrence. Judge TODD RUETZ Please help me!!!!!!!!

    theresa poston

    May 4, 2009 at 11:55 pm

  6. And my exhusband has been arrested for domestic battery/battery. He is a lot like the Noblesville man who crashed his plane in Florida. As a matter of fact, we had a plane and property in Florida. He used his money to take our daughter away from me.

    theresa poston

    May 4, 2009 at 11:58 pm

  7. If it is true that the abusive dad gets the child in divorce 70% of the time, then reasonably speaking I hope people realize this means that abusive mothers also get the child and use the child at much much more alarming rates. That would mean that say women get custody 85% of the time. The “family’ courts are a mess. I empathize with you. I am a loving father who fell victim to a conartist who stole everything and lied her way through the court systme with her unethical lawyer. Thousands upon thousands of dollars later my only lesson was that the “family” courts reward this behaviour and they skew the case against you and will not let you have a chance. they made up their minds and you have to live with the lies and pay this liar who is literally holing your child hostage. I hope you women will try to convey this mess to your radical feminist sisters who seem to be always blaming men (esp dads for everything). Many of us are loving parents, victimized by this insane systme and getting it from all sides, our exs, the courts the govt, the media and the radical feminists.

    steve

    June 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

  8. Actually Steve the numbers aren’t quite right in the first part of your comment. Approximately 80% of divorces are handled very civil. Custody is agreed upon, and often this is the mother, who generally has been the primary caretaker for the children all along. Sometimes it is agreed the father would be best, maybe in the case of teenage boys…or whatever. The point is, 80% of cases don’t end up in custody hell. Now with the remaining cases, that is where the 70% of fathers get custody. Studies have shown men who batter are twice as likely to seek sole custody and 70% of the time they get it. Generally it is a parent that abused the other parent, and under the “friendly parent” concept (because the abused woman is afraid of her ex), the abuser generally wins custody. However women are not blameless when abuse is involved. The numbers generally given by the government indicate 85% of domestic violence victims are women, 15% men. Again, I have seen variations, but all generally close. Women abuse children more than men when the children are below 8 years old, but considering that the time women spend with children is greater than what a man would be with them really is a factor in this. Often battered women have been shown to abuse their children at twice a higher rate than non abused women. Men abuse children at a higher rate after the age of 8 years old. Enough with numbers. What this site is about is healing from a horrific court abttle and helping yourself get some balance back, with yourself, with the courts, etc. The biggest probelm of all are the horrible court officials, the corrupt judges and lawyers, the “bought and paid for” Whores of the Court.” Nothing is fair about family court, and I’ve been told by lawyers before, the truth doesn’t matter, it’s who has the most money to spend who wins.

    Thank you very much for your comment, and I hope the site is of some help to you also!

    mothersoflostchildren

    June 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm

  9. The exact thing you are talking about (ie: false allegations, using protection from abuse orders as a tool, lying in court, denying access to the child, sabotaging the coparenting relationship so that this will cause conflict and then the cust parent can cry a problematic relationship with the NCP…) are all tactics my ex has used) in order to “win” at any cost. Unfortunately, the “family” courts many many many times reward this type of behavior and often because the mother was home with the child, while the dad worked, the courts see her as the “primary caretaker” so the father is punished for supporting his child and punished for his sacrifices. Once this type of malcious parent gets custody then she/he will exploit the child and the other parent for selfish reasons. In these cases the children are used as pawns and the parent truly concerned with getting along and the child’s true best interest is robbed from his child and the child is denied a fair and balanced relationship with that parent. In my case I would say the judges where at the very least radical feminist who treated my ex with kid-gloves and me like an animal and had hardly NO regard whatsoever for my daughter’s relationship with me.

    Please see: “Non-custodial parental rights petition”

    On-line

    steve

    June 12, 2009 at 8:06 pm


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