Some say this federally mandated review process is a sham and that there is only motivation to raise child support. It has been said that kickbacks from the federal government ($140 million per year in Mass.) based on INCREASES in child support fund not only the court system, but actually go into judges retirement funds.
If this is true there is a HUGE conflict of interest built into this system which may be criminal on more than one level. Payments between branches of government are unconstitutional in the first place.
Some say we should protest, not participate in this process. I try to give everyone ONE chance to make things right before I assume the worst. This is also necessary to learn about and confirm who the enemies of justice are in this system. I do not believe people have evil intentions. I do believe evil results are generated by the current child support system in Massachusetts, and probably in many states. Here is the analysis I presents to these judges on September 12th 2005 and the letter I sent the next day by email to add additional thoughts and points.
Dear Judge DiGangi and Carey,
I think we all appreciated your patience and time yesterday for the federally required review of CS standards. I have attached and pasted below a corrected and improved version of the handout I gave you. The mother’s taxable equivalent income was not shown as high enough due to an error in the calculation formula.
The reasons to reduce the child support guidelines are very clear. We are harming children and destroying the lives of their fathers too with this system.
To summarize the best reasons I heard the guidelines are too high because:
1. Massachusetts is the highest in the U.S. as a percentage of income that already takes into account living costs due to higher salaries. Are 49 states wrong and Massachusetts right?
2. Three different benefits accrue to the mother only that are hidden and need to be included in any analysis as follows:
a) Father pays all taxes (after tax dollars are worth 50% more than pre-tax dollars)
b) Disregard of $20,000 creates incentive NOT to work
c) Mother gets head of household tax status, when father is forced to earn far more money
I do not believe the people who created this guidelines understood this huge hidden impact, or looked at the father’s position at all.
3. We are encouraging mothers not to work and fathers to work under the table.
4. We are not giving children enough time with their fathers for proper development and growth. Working mothers would facilitate more time with dad.
5. We are creating a welfare system, and showing children, how to live off the labor of someone else, not be independent and contribute to society
The result of the current system is that the standard of living of a mother is 81% higher than the father when the father earns double, and 41% higher when the father earns triple. This might make some sense when children are of pre-school age and the mother must stay home, but it make no sense at all after that timeframe is up.
Family Law Lawyers and Judges are violating our most cherished human rights.
Judges are considered to be cornerstones of society, upholding the most decent and free-thinking modes of thought, the most sophisticated thinkers, a little like modern-day philosophers. But all too often, they are simply just time-short, temper-short and short on perspective. And most importantly perhaps, judges who seek to change the way society functions on a political level are blurring the lines between the judiciary and the executive. And that too, creates conflict of interest and can have devastating consequences for justice.
So, how do we change that? How can we manage the necessary boundaries and make sure our judges function professionally?
One suggestion might be to have an organisation that reviews and monitors each judge’s cases – not all of them, but perhaps just one case a year, so that fairness can be monitored and quality assurance verified. And if a party complains about their case, there should be a proper complaints procedure in place, to allow for a proper investigation.
It might also be useful to have a directory of judges and their views on things like heterosexual marriage, divorce, child welfare and more, biographies about each judge, their financial interests and which groups and organisations they belong to. Transparency would be achieved in this way and it would go some way to help restore trust and confidence inside a system which is sorely lacking it.
Yes, judicial bias is always going to exist: but it can be managed and justice can prevail.
This episode provides the rare privilege of hearing from an outspoken retired family court judge from Alberta who spent 22 years resolving all kinds of parental disputes. We will have a frank and candid discussion and I have invited him to unleash his most forthright insights into the family justice system. He will also tell us why he left the court in 1997 to pursue what he believes is a much healthier and effective way to help parents resolve their conflicts.