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Dr. Helen

Fathers and Families has a disturbing piece in its recent newsletter on the gender bias in incarceration rates for child support obligations. Naturally, men are the sex discriminated against. One would think this would be common knowledge, of course, and maybe it is but no one but F & F and a few activists seems to care. From the newsletter:

A new report concludes that between 95% and 98.5% of all incarcerations in Massachusetts sentenced from the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts from 2001 through 2011 have been men. Moreover, this percentage may be increasing, with an average of 94.5% from 2001 to 2008, and 96.2% from 2009 through 2011. It is likely that most of these incarcerations are for incomplete payment of child support.

Further analysis suggests that women who fail to pay all of their child support are incarcerated only one-eighth as often as men with similar violations. Several possible explanations of these results other than gender bias are unsupported by the data, strengthening the view that gender bias against fathers is a major factor in the family courts….

Based on national data, if incarceration for non-payment of child support occurred at equal rates for men and women who are in arrears, 88% of those incarcerated would be men, not 95% to 98.5%, and 12% would be women (since 12% of those in arrears are women). If, as Brennan’s report shows, as few as 1.5% of those incarcerated for non-payment of child support in Massachusetts are women, instead of the expected 12%, then women in arrears are incarcerated at a rate eight times less than their numbers warrant.

As Warren Farrell concludes in his book The Myth of Male Power, men are expendable. Perhaps that is why no one cares if men are thrown in jail at such a high rate for what should be considered a debt, not a criminal action. I thought we got rid of debtor’s prisons in the US. Apparently, not for men and a few women who are caught up in the family court system where judges have easy reign to take away the rights of free citizens, sometimes without due process and certainly without mercy.

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All Comments   (11)
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Well, the solution to this problem is very simple, really--DO NOT GET MARRIED.

Do not agree to a contract that is exploitative of men. Do not subject yourself to a court system that is discriminatory against men.

She doesn't like it? I really don't care. To me, she's worth dinner, drinks and a night at a hotel. I have an education, I have a job, I have a career, and I earn money. She has an education, she has a job, she has a career, and she earns money. So if she wants to get together and have hotel sex, what's the problem? I have a place to live. She has a place to live. We are both equally respondible for our own debts.

I'm a man. I fully realize that any time I have sex a child could be the result. I accept my responsibilities without question and will support and raise every child that I conceieve, after a paternity test. But marriage is out of the question. There is no way that I am ever going to agree to presumptive paternity.

Are women so stupid that they can't understand this? I understood it when I was 15, in the mid-70s.

All of my life, and I'm going back to the 6th grade when I was 12, all I've ever heard is, "I don't need for you to take care of me." Okay, fine, take care of yourself. Go to college, get a job, and buy your own house.

Because if you want to come live in my house, which I worked for and paid for, you will respect my authority and abide by my decisions. Or I'll throw your sorry ass out on the street. She can sell her bad attitude on the street.

That's the way it has to be. It's my house; it's my rules. She doesn't like it? I really don't care. She has her own house.

Any man who would agree to the marriage contract today is a complete fool. The Age of Chivalry and the Cult of Mary, as if that worked out well, expired in the 1300s. Get a grip, boys. We're not living in the Middle Ages anymore.

Marriage is no longer a sacrament, nor an obligation. It's a legal contract. And the terms and conditions of the contract are completely unacceptable.

I'm single, never married, and have no children, at least that I know of. I'm also worth several million dollars. And why do you think that is?

Because I refuse to agree to the terms and conditions of the contract. She has a job, and I have a job. She wants to have sex? Fine, we'll meet up at a hotel. But I will not allow her access to my property or money.

Child support is 20% of every paycheck for 18 years. That's a lot of money, so I'm very careful about who I go to bed with. But she isn't worth 50%.

I believe in the sacrament. Parents are responsible for uplifting and raising their children. I will always believe that.

But sex? It's just sex. That's what the modern American girl has reduced herself to. And now she doesn't liket it. I really don't care.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And anyone who uses this as medicine is under threat of jail depending on the State. And if the State doesn't get you the Feds can certainly have a go.

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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dr. Helen, debt in many cases is a form of theft and is an issue worth taking seriously. I was awarded damages against the plaintiff who filed a frivolous suit and yet, because he is disabled, if I take action to get my money I am the bad guy.

Relative to this thread - does jailing someone for debt help or is it appropriate. The answer is it depends on the reason for the debt. My brother divorced but was in a sales job with a bonus. When he got a bonus he would share with his daughter (give the money to his ex-wife). When he took another job as a career move, he lost the bonus. She filed he needed to keep providing the bonus - and won because he had raised expectations(he took a step back in his career to get the bonus back until his daughter was 18 and no more support). On the flip side I have a neighbor who works the cash economy, spends it as soon as he has it, and tells the court he is unemployed and broke, nothing to give to his ex or their son - including support.

I've heard it said that the courts are about resolution and not justice. I heard this years ago but has taken years of experience to understand. Justice takes time and you have to dig to get to the truth. Strangely, telling the truth in court helps a lot less than you would think, I've seen too many liars get away with lying in court because challenging the liars or holding them accountable isn't done any more - I don't know why - I can't explain it. Even when the lies are exposed through extensive proof no issue is made, no punishment. Its like, hey - I tried - no big deal. Perjury is just another tactic.

Do women have more of an advantage - yes. Better yet, claim to be disabled - that seems to be the ultimate trump card.

I know we live in a fallible world of sinners, but we don't even appear to try or care anymore. The biggest victim wins, not the truth. Getting involved at the local level is just showing me how endemic the issues, attitudes and precedents are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Men who go to jail usually just don't have the money to make the child support payments. Why not? In a lot of cases a judge will "impute" income to a man and then base the child support calculation on that. "Imputing" means the judge thinks the guy is earning less than he could.

So the guy either gets a better job, works more hours, or gets into arrears. Somehow, this system is not viewed as a violation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, but the guy is in effect jailed for not working as ordered.

Here's the real kicker with regard to women:
I have never heard a judge impute income to women. Women can sponge off men a lot easier than the other way around, so a typical case in which the woman does not have custody involves her moving in with a new boyfriend or husband. She simply quits work, and there is then no basis for a substantial child support order. She has to pay 50 bucks a month or something like that.

Courts, for some reason, will simply not order a woman to work. They will very definitely thunder at a man, however, that he better find a job or his sorry butt is going to be in jail.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The 13th amendment doesn't apply in this situation, as there is an exception for those convicted of a crime. It is, however, quite arguably violating the 8th amendment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you sure about that use of imputed income? I know imputed income is often applied if someone is living with family rent free, but I wasn't aware that it could be applied to someone who is under employed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here is a particularly nasty case (offered as a hypothetical, but you may even be able to find it in the Internet):

A guy busts his butt and puts himself through medical school. Then a residency. Then he meets his future wife.

He marries her and works hard and makes a lot of money. She sits home and spends his money. This all works out fine for twenty years or so. Then he started getting severe anxiety and panic attacks. He heavily cuts back at work, which leads to a heavy loss in income.

The wife divorces him and files for alimony based on the income he used to make. Despite the testimony of an expert witness that he is indeed suffering from some kind of problem, the judge agrees with the (ex-)wife and imputes the old income to the doctor in the calculation of alimony.

The doctor then tries to get back on the old schedule, can't do it, and has to start selling off his assets to pay the alimony (she also got half of the assets in the divorce). He eventually is down to nothing, with the monthly alimony order still in place. She is living life high on the hog, getting half the assets he worked for, the other half via the alimony order, and she still has a claim on him with the current alimony order. He just faces jail for contempt and maybe ultimately a homeless shelter.

I read that case and nearly had an apoplectic fit. HE was the one who worked. SHE gets all the money. Absolutely sick society. But since she is a woman, no one dares to tell her that maybe she should get a ... job ... if she wants money, and to quit leeching off other people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just like student loans, you also can't push through "family obligations" in bankruptcy court.

Apparently, it is so important to society that the sit-at-home pig gets her money that this was also excluded.

I doubt that the minds of chivalrous men and fewer women who make these laws (like VAWA) will ever be changed. But I make it clear to the leeching pig women I know who live this way that I don't think they're anything. And it does hurt them, because they are all about showing how much stuff they have and about people acknowledging their importance in that way.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's also telling for society that people like Ivanna Trump are really heroes to a whole sub-class of women. Women who really do something in life are not even on the radar screen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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