“I am a divorced mother of two teenage girls, and I went through mediation. I acknowledge the need for my kids to have a strong loving relationship with their father and to be able to visit him in a comfortable home.
“These Massachusetts child-support guidelines are outrageous. If I went through the courts and used their formula, my ex would be living in a shack.”–Erin Johnson
Joseph P. Kahn’s front page story Amid layoffs, child support pacts fraying: Stressed-out parents ask family court for help, relief (Boston Globe, 4/13/09) detailed the problems faced by child support obligors in the face a bad economy, and featured a Fathers & Families’ supporter who was jailed because his diminished income prevented him from paying his all of child support. The story also discussed Fathers & Families’ highly-publicized lawsuit against the new, higher Massachusetts child support guidelines.
In response to our Call to Action last week, many of you wrote Letters to the Editor of the Boston Globe, and the Globe published four of them. Given the Globe‘s traditional antipathy towards fathers, the repeated recent coverage Fathers & Families has garnered and four of our supporters getting published is quite an accomplishment, and reflects our organization’s growing strength.
In Mediation – and moderation (4/18/09), Erin Johnson writes:
I am a divorced mother of two teenage girls, and I went through mediation. I acknowledge the need for my kids to have a strong loving relationship with their father and to be able to visit him in a comfortable home.
These Massachusetts child-support guidelines are outrageous. If I went through the courts and used their formula, my ex would be living in a shack…why is Massachusetts forcing the noncustodial parent to pay such a large amount? It’s criminal. And shame on the custodial parents for taking it.
In Court fails to balance needs of both parents (4/18/09), Fathers & families supporter William G. Talis writes:
Joseph P. Kahn’s article on child support portrayed a well-balanced view of a child support system confronted with shrinking resources, something intact families are also experiencing. Most noncustodial parents – typically fathers – want to support their children and stay involved in their lives. Unfortunately, our court system has not, and perhaps cannot, balance the needs of both parents to support and raise their children.
Congress passed the Bradley Amendment prohibiting retroactive modification of child support, so, for example, a hospitalized father cannot reduce child support obligations until he goes to court. As months pass with support orders many parents could not possibly meet, the current system guarantees poverty and jail time for undeserving citizens.
While there is no shortage of advocates for increasing or decreasing child support, noncustodial parents who want to remain involved in their kids’ lives are trivialized, which undermines everyone’s confidence in our government.
To read the other two Globe letters, click here.
To learn more about our lawsuit against the new child support guidelines, click here.