‘When entering family court, fathers must leave their constitutional rights at the door…’

worchetserholsteinDavid Brasington, Board Secretary of Fathers and Families, recently published a newspaper column ‘Deadbeat dad’ raids unjust (7/1/10) in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Massachusetts’ third-largest newspaper. Brasington wrote the piece in response to Worcester County Sheriff Guy Glodis’ recent announcement of what he called
“the largest one day roundup of deadbeat dads in Worcester County history,” as his deputies marked Father”s Day by arresting 16 alleged offenders.
David Brasington
There have been many Letters to the Editor published concerning the piece. One of them is Murray Hunter’s More to story on ‘deadbeat” dads (7/23/10). Hunter wrote:

When entering probate and family court, fathers must leave their constitutional rights at the door. The state removes any incentive for paying child support by: not enforcing visitation; guidelines that leave a father homeless; issuing restraining orders (209A and 51A) without evidentiary hearings; and treating fathers as criminals from the first time that they enter the court… All these things cause the frustration, anger and high suicide rate among divorced fathers.

Read the full letter here. In Brasington’s column he wrote:

The [child support] problem is particularly acute in Massachusetts. A published 2004 study by Arizona State University professors Sanford Braver and David Stockburger concluded that Massachusetts’ guidelines for determining how much child support an obligor will pay were among the highest in the United States. Since then, the state”s guidelines have actually been raised–in January, 2009, in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression. Moreover, Massachusetts charges 18% interest on child support arrearages–the highest interest rate in the nation. Most “deadbeat dads’ are poor, but there are many reasons why even educated middle-class or formerly middle-class fathers can fall behind on child support. That most of Glodis” “deadbeats’ are really dead broke is evident from looking at the “10 Most Wanted’ child support evaders list put out by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, who worked closely with Glodis on the recent raids. The list is comprised of blue collar laborers who do low wage and often seasonal work. This is typical of the lists put out by many attorneys general and county sheriffs–the only surprise is that the Massachusetts DOR list actually does contain one educated professional.

To read the full column, click here.

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