To President Obama

All Members of Congress,
The Supreme Court of the United States

RE: Non-Custodial Parental Rights

I am writing to you to demand change on an epidemic that is destroying families, fathers, and children right here in Country. Simply put, the “Family Court” system as it now exists has stripped fathers of their rights to be a part of their children's lives. Instead, fathers have turned into financial pumps, living in constant fear of being dragged back into court by their ex-wives and victimized yet again.

I could give you countless examples of fathers who have been victimized. I’m not referring to the “deadbeat dad” types who leave their ex-wives and children living in the streets. I am talking about hard working, tax paying, child-loving fathers who live for their children. The ones who had their children stripped from them for the simple reason of their ex-wife deciding that she just no longer wanted to be married. The ones who are allowed to see their children for 4 days a month. The ones who are allowed to see their children for a few weeks over the summer. The ones who are required to pay astronomical amounts of child support, often putting themselves in a situation where they barely can afford to live. These are the fathers that are relying on the judges, lawyers, and Legislators to help reform the system. This system has created a society of fatherless children and childless fathers. This system has created its own life through a judicial system that exists on misery to feed itself.

This system violates their Constitutional Rights to Due process, Equal Protection under the Laws, and Privacy.

I would like to call your attention to the February 25th, 2002 ruling by C. Dane Perkins, Superior Court Judge of the Georgia Alapaha Judicial Circuit. Judge Perkins declared the Georgia Child Support Guidelines (which were adopted guidelines from Wisconsin which almost all states use) void and unconstitutional in his ruling based on the above Constitutional Violations.

Due Process
The United States Constitution provides that NO State may “deprive any person of life, liberty or poverty without due process of law”. In almost all states, presumptive child support awards rise as a share of obligor (paying parent) income. NO child cost studies show child costs rising as a share of after-tax income. ALL child cost studies show child costs declining as a share of the after-tax income. In most cases, especially in higher income situations, the presumptive child support results in a significantly higher obligation than one bases on actual child costs that decline as a share of net income. In Parrett v. Parrett (1988, the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin), the court found that, particularly in higher income situations, the presumptive child support amount would “result in a figure so far beyond the child’s needs as to be irrational”. This is the very sort of result the Due Process clauses are designed to prevent.

Equal Protection
The United States Constitution provides that NO State may “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. The court found that “the egregiously different burdens placed on persons similarly situated but for the award of custody, i.e., parents with the obligation to support their child (ren) and the same means for doing so as when they were married” violates the guarantees of equal protection.

Finding of Fact in the ruling further address this issue.

Tax Benefits
The court points out that custodial parents typically receive $200 to $350 per month in extra after-tax income just for having custody. These child-related tax benefits include Head of Household status, Child exemptions, child credits, childcare credits, and Earned Income credits. Wisconsin either does not include these credits in child support calculations or they are grossly understated. The court found that not sharing these child-related tax benefits violates equal protection.

Financial Windfall
The presumptive child care award typically results in the custodial parent receiving huge financial windfall (profit) well in excess of childcare costs. For typical income situations, the custodial parent ends up with a higher standard of living than the non-custodial parent. This is the case even when the non-custodial parent earns significantly more than the custodial parent. This represents an extraordinary benefit for the custodial parent and an extraordinary burden for the obligator. This violates equal protection. In addition, when combined with the tax benefits discussed above, the outcome is that the custodial parent does not contribute to the child costs at the same rate the non-custodial parent and, often, not at all.

Hidden Alimony
The court found that, in essence, the child support obligation amounted to hidden alimony. These “hidden alimony” amounts were so excessive that a non-custodial parent is oftentimes unable to provide for the child (ren) when in the non-custodial parents’ care to the same extent as in the custodial parent’s household. Presumptive awards have been shown to typically exceed total actual costs according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This violates equal protection standards for both the child and the non-custodial parent. In addition, this bias towards hidden alimony exists even when the custodial parent earns substantially higher income than the non-custodial parent.

Low Income below Poverty Line
The presumptive award for low-income obligators (minimum wage workers) pushes them below the poverty line. An award that leaves the obligator with less income than needed for basic needs creates an extraordinary burden. This violates equal protection.

The source of the right to privacy has been held to originate in varying constitutional provisions. However, it has been long recognized to apply to “family” concerns whether the family exists within the confines of marriage or not. (Eisenstadt v. Baird (1973)). The court found that “by requiring the non-custodial parent to pay an amount in excess of those required to meet the child (rens’) basic needs...(the child support amount) impermissibly interfere(s) with parental decisions regarding financial expenditures on children. “The governments’ interest in family expenditures on children is limited to insuring that the child (rens) basic needs are met. Not extravagances, not luxuries, but needs. Once that occurs, government intrusion must cease (Moylan v. Moylan).

In addition, the court found that the presumptive child support is so excessive that it forces non-custodial parents to frequently work extra jobs for basic needs. This creates an extraordinary burden for the obligor and, potentially, an additional burden on taxpayers. It is also distracting the non-custodial parent from parenting fully without justification. This violates equal protection. This is contrary both to public policy and common sense. Any government mandate beyond basic child costs interferes with the right to privacy.

Equal Rights
The Guidelines do not take into account the custodial parent’s income. The presumptive child support awards do not vary with family income--only obligor income. The custodial parent is not held to the same standard for contributing to child costs. In most cases, the custodial parent’s obligation of support ends up being largely or entirely paid by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent’s income has no bearing on the amount of child support the non-custodial parent is ordered to pay. There is no formula in place that can determine how the custodial parent’s income affects the presumptive award. This is not economically rational and violates equal protection.

Child costs of only the custodial parent are covered by the Guidelines. Costs incurred when the child (ren) is in the non-custodial parents’ care i.e. housing, food, clothing, entertainment and other needs for the child (ren) do not receive similar consideration. Yet, parents are similarly situated when child (ren) costs are incurred by either parent. Each parent has an equal duty to provide financially for the child (ren) when in the care of the other parent. These Guidelines where based on welfare situations in which the obligor parent was absent, and the custodial parent did not work and had no earned income, and did not take into account the custodial parent receiving large child- related tax benefits, and did not take into account the obligor paying substantial income taxes. However, in actual practice, typically the non-custodial parent is not absent and incurs substantial child costs that the Guidelines do not require the custodial parent to contribute. This violates equal protection and does not meet the financial needs of the child (ren) when they are in the care of the non-custodial parent. The Guidelines do not require that the custodial parent share in the costs of the non-custodial parent.

The Guideline criteria for deviation do not give any guidance on how to apply the deviations in a consistent manner. This is unconstitutionally vague and generally results in no deviations in most cases, even when the circumstances to deviate exist.

“We need to do more to make sure both parents are fully
involved in the raising of their children, particularly fathers”
- Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson October 22nd, 1999-

Right here in our country, our homeland where we feel justified in wanting to raise our Child (ren) are we being stripped of our Constitutional Rights. We, as parents have a fundamental right to assume equal periods of placement of our children, unless there is credible evidence that a parent is not fit, that placement would be harmful to the child (ren). This right is fundamental; not that one parent must win as a result of lengthy, intrusive and costly legal battle, or compromised simply to reach a stipulated agreement to avoid a battle.

The Due Process and Equal protection provision of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution suggest the fundamental rights of both parents must be treated equally. It also points out “the constitution and the laws of the United States..... Shall be the supreme law of the land; and that judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding”. The courts responsibility to support these fundamental rights are further established;
Every person Elected or appointed justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of appeals, judge of the circuit court or municipal judge, shall take, subscribe and file the following oath: “I,.... Do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of.....”

In practice, partly due to historical societal roles of parents and statistics on court rulings, there is an unwritten presumption that the mother gets custody and primary placement of the children and the father pays child support to the mother. While this presumption is not defined anywhere in the statutes, and is contrary to equality and the equal protection provision of the 14th amendment, it is very real. The net result is that the legal process treats a mother as innocent until proven guilty, and a father guilty until proven innocent. In light of this presumption, in cases involving two fit parents, the equal fundamental rights of the mother is usually fully supported, while the equal fundamental right of the father is subject to negotiation and compromise.
As in many cases, fathers who merely want to fulfill their responsibilities to the child (ren) by providing for their care during equal periods of placement are often forced to accept 20-40\% placement or endure a lengthy, intrusive and costly legal battle. This violates the civil rights of those fathers who are encouraged, coerced or threatened to agree to stipulated agreements that deny them equal periods of placement against their will and denies the children the opportunity to an equally important relationship with their father.

We are relying on our Courts to stop this egregious violation of Constitutional Rights and start giving us our rights back. We are relying on the courageous lawmakers to address this epidemic and stop the further deterioration of fathers, families, and children.


The Undersign

We the undersigned, Have the power to bring this issue to light.
For years, Men have been abused by a one sided system.
Enough is Enough, Let our voices be heard,
Please join me in signing this Petition so that we can have equal rights to our children.

goal: 1,000

# 42: 10:51 am PDT, Aug 29, Kevin Glass, Massachusetts
wow you hit this one right on the head i couldn't aggree more with the entire statement, i really wish someone in the goverment would step up and help this very very important cause.....really. not all of are dead beats alot of us really want to be a big part of our childrens lives and it seems like the courts are helping our x's drive us away!!!! major reform is needed now not later ...... we owe it to our children to be part of thier lives and guide's hard enough we don't need to put more barriers in front of them

# 41: 9:44 pm PDT, Aug 23, Rashid Jahm, New Hampshire
# 40: 8:58 pm PDT, Aug 19, John Walsh, Massachusetts
I have had enough. My boys are now 19 & 13 and it's too late to raise them as I (A DAD) should have. Probate court judge's have destroyed my life.
# 39: 2:30 pm PDT, Aug 19, Philip Andrews, Massachusetts
# 38: 6:47 am PDT, Aug 18, Brian Ayers, Massachusetts
In a country where we pride in equal rights we need to go back to the very basics and have equal rights for both parents. Think of your own lives and who is still a significant part in your life? At twenty-nine years old both my parents are still an active part in my life and I would be lost without either one of them. This should be promoted for all children whether the parents remain together or not. Mother or Father, both are parents and contribute to the social upbringing of a child.
# 37: 6:47 am PDT, Aug 18, Brian Ayers, Massachusetts
In a country where we pride in equal rights we need to go back to the very basics and have equal rights for both parents. Think of your own lives and who is still a significant part in your life? At twenty-nine years old both my parents are still an active part in my life and I would be lost without either one of them. This should be promoted for all children whether the parents remain together or not. Mother or Father, both are parents and contribute to the social upbringing of a child.
# 36: 11:37 am PDT, Aug 15, Name not displayed, New Jersey
# 35: 8:17 am PDT, Aug 12, Justin Giroux, Massachusetts
I am a 19 year old with a job and a 5 month old daughter. I am also leaving for Marine Boot camp in October. I feel that there are a lot of unfair advantages that single mothers take and that the fathers that honestly want to see and support their children are not treated as equally as the single mother # 34: 8:13 am PDT, Aug 12, Christine Giroux, Massachusetts
# 33: 9:13 am PDT, Aug 6, Freddie Giove, Pennsylvania
# 32: 8:37 am PDT, Aug 2, Name not displayed, Massachusetts
The times have changed and this issue needs to be address ASAP, This problem needs to stop, joint custody needs to be established in ALL CASES OF DIVORCE UNLESS PROOF OF EITHER PARTY BEING AN UNFIT PARENT. End of Story!!!
# 31: 4:43 pm PDT, Jul 29, Raschee Lambert, Illinois
# 30: 12:06 am PDT, Jul 27, Ralph Xx, Germany
# 29: 11:06 pm PDT, Jul 24, Randall Meyer, Illinois
# 28: 3:22 pm PDT, Jul 24, George Vahamonde, New Jersey
Drastic reform is required. The law now assumes that all fathers will become deadbeats. The mothers words alone are considered absolute truth before the father has a chance to present his case. # 27: 7:36 am PDT, Jul 24, Lisa Chesbrough, Massachusetts
This is long overdue. Stop the abuse. Distmantle and rebuild..

# 26: 1:54 pm PDT, Jul 23, Billiejo Barrick, Pennsylvania
The dismantling of the family court system and the Domestic relations is way overdue. There is no burden placed on a custodial parent on how the monies are spent. If individuals were financially responsible for the well being and care of their children, we shouldn't need to go to court. Instead, child support is being used as a weapon for the custodial parent to intimidate the other parent to control them long after the relationship ends. # 25: 9:02 am PDT, Jul 23, Keith Wilson, Arizona
Im currently going through a divorce in which my wife has called domestic violence. I never did such a thing and she has no proof of such acts. I have many different witnesses of her child care and abuse on my little girls. But just because she crys "WOLF" im denied seeing my children. wheres the justice? its time to tear apart and reform this family court system. Statistics show that fatherless children ( and i do mean kids without their real dads) being a part of their life tend to fail in school, get mixed up with gangs and violence, girls are 60% more likely to become pregnant in their teenage years, and boys are more likely for a life of crime and jail. This system is worthless and alienates fathers rights.

# 24: 8:25 am PDT, Jul 23, David Babb, Massachusetts
It is shameful that good men have to go through all of this to father their children. America and the justice system should be ashamed!
# 23: 8:05 am PDT, Jul 23, Guiy Babineau, Canada
Sadly Canada is not the only country where war is declared on fathers and husband. Yesterday, I was in contact with a man from the Province of Nova Scotia in Canada who was arrested for moving his truck in the yard of his home a bit further from the house to put a stop to a confrontation that was taking place between him and his partner. She called the police and when they arrived they arrested him and suspended his license for three month because he refused to take a breathalyzer test. The placed the handcuff so tight that busies is still visible some two weeks after the incidence. This is but one and the most recent case of abuse that I have found in Canada. Similar situation are happening it your country Mr. President. I hope that your administration will see fit to address these types of abuses It is time to address the epidemic of false allegations.

# 22: 5:45 pm PDT, Jul 20, Alisha Nickols, California
# 21: 11:22 am PDT, Jul 20, Kaci Bussell, South Carolina
# 20: 7:49 am PDT, Jul 18, Christopher Cody, Massachusetts
# 19: 6:29 am PDT, Jul 18, Name not displayed, Massachusetts
# 18: 4:34 am PDT, Jul 18, W B, Canada
I was falsely acccused by my ex-wife of assault in Ontario Canada. Despite years of being parted from my children and the case dismissed from the criminal courts, I was stripped of my kids and faced with onerous support payments and painful legal costs. The courts have given the children to my ex wife and her partner, both convicted fraud artists. My children have been alienated against me and our loving and extended family. I only see them for 6 hours per month. This is outrageous! We need an overhaul regarding accountability. Ex-wifes who lie and provide false testimony in family and criminal court proceedings MUST be held accountable! This is a cancer in our court system that needs to be radically addressed.

# 17: 6:50 pm PDT, Jul 16, Lexi Novaes, Virginia
# 16: 3:54 pm PDT, Jul 16, Raymond Gilman, Massachusetts
# 15: 2:23 am PDT, Jul 16, Greg Maliski, New Hampshire
I am a Father who is being persecuted for being one by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the VAWA laws. On pure hearsay, Sarah Maliski with the help of victims witness advocates at HAWC and Salem District and Family/ Probate Courts in Essex County, I have had my parental rights stripped away, nearly incarcerated, not allowed even basic housing in Massachusetts due to CORI checks popping up even though I am not convicted after standing trial for my innocence. ALL I DID WAS DIVORCE MY WIFE! IT WAS A BAD RELATIONSHIP AND NOW MY SON IS IN HER CUSTODY EVEN THOUGH SHE SHOPLIFTED WITH MY SON PRESENT, a week before the divorce trial. I have a room here in lovely Portsmouth New Hampshire for my son, empty, and she won't even let him stay over a weekend and the courts allow her to make the rules. My son has been out of my life for a year and a half since September 2006 because of her bogus claims with no proof. This woman did not graduate 10th grade! I have some college, my son is smart but is not getting the quality of education I can provide. Not to mention that she does drugs and is predispositioned to alcoholism genetically. It is time you got rid of the corruption in our courts. You may have to start from the bottom up. Federally funded money to provide gender biased court rooms and anti father legislation that gives one sex power to destroy families and get revenge on the male sex is ludicrous, why does this exist??? Why do you support this?

# 14: 2:55 pm PDT, Jul 15, Ida E Roig, Massachusetts
# 13: 3:39 pm PDT, Jul 14, Cathy Richardson, Utah
# 12: 3:16 pm PDT, Jul 14, Melissa Poskey, Texas
# 11: 8:55 pm PDT, Jul 13, Name not displayed, Washington D.C.
Father's rights is a basic civil right- the most basic human right that there is- that a good parent deserves equal and sufficient time with their own children. Why do we currently tolerate anything but equal and shared parenting? Critical reform is needed of the court system. If they cannot reform internally, external reform from voters expelling judges, from legislative action, or from executive action is required.

# 10: 6:37 pm PDT, Jul 13, Name not displayed, California
# 9: 11:44 am PDT, Jul 13, Anne Marie Smith, Massachusetts
I have watched my grandson's mother use her womb to twist and wrangle my grandson away from his father's custody and manipulate those in the system to help her keep him while he lives in a setting where drug use, domestic violece, neglect and abuse occur (educational, medical, emotional). When we complain or file complaints we are made the villans. While mom sits on her butt and collects cash grants, WIC, food stamps, housing, utility and clothing allowances. I think it is time to revamp the system as it is irretrivably broken and does not serve the "best interst of the child".

# 8: 8:03 am PDT, Jul 12, Valeria Soboleva, Russian Federation
# 7: 6:03 am PDT, Jul 11, Bill C, Germany
# 6: 5:01 am PDT, Jul 11, Elaine Robinson, United Kingdom
# 5: 3:41 am PDT, Jul 11, Steve Klein, Virginia
# 4: 4:33 pm PDT, Jul 10, DAVID LAVERY, United Kingdom
# 2: 9:17 am PDT, Jul 10, Andrew Wheresmydad, United Kingdom
# 1: 7:05 am PDT, Jul 10, Hector Montalvo, New York 

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