Unequal Parenting Scheme Exploits Children for Money
Future generations will look back on today’s domestic relations courts and be amazed at how truly barbaric they once were. A scheme of laws and processes derived from feudal equity doctrines has been retained which features loving parents engaged in brutal contests over their offspring in a public arena. A winner-take-all battle for custody leads to over-regulation of families by the state and marginalization, alienation or outright extinction of one fit parent from the children’s lives. Anal investigations of the combatants’ backgrounds by self serving advisors incite further controversy to last a lifetime. It is a spectacle reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum.
No person or entity has ever been able to achieve a comprehensive study of the vast detriment which this archaic custody and support system has had upon our society. Any such effort would assuredly be stymied by the beneficiaries of a lucrative child control industry. However common sense dictates that our nation could be well served with sweeping reforms here in our least scrutinized branch of government. We can put a man on the moon, split atoms, engage artificial intelligence and achieve vast breakthroughs in medicine but remain unable to extricate family courts from their nineteenth century practices. We at Leon Koziol.com are starting a public initiative in Nashville this week which aims to do exactly that.
Entitled “We Are Fathers,” this initiative seeks to balance our scales of justice so that lawyers return to their offices with less fees and parents go home with more money to spend on their children. Profit-seeking lawyers and political insiders have managed to retain this archaic and unequal scheme of custody laws through a divide and conquer approach to shared parenting efforts. They have pit moms and dads against one another and routinely secured judicial pronouncements which placed all the blame for family court conflict upon both when the money ran out. Judges who earlier practiced this very same profit agenda earned political favor each time such an unfair pronouncement was doled out.
Ongoing propaganda in support the unequal custody scheme stigmatizes fathers generally as “dead beats” and unfit for child nurturing. Unfit mothers buy into this scheme because it satisfies some ego boost, scorn or jealousy complex involving the private lives of their ex-partners. A growing number of responsible mothers, however, are wising up to the fact that good fathers are being lumped together with absentees and abusers under the same scheme. In the end, the system fleeces both parents of savings and assets better applied to their children’s needs as opposed to lawyer wealth. They are concluding sometimes too late that unequal custody laws are harming women and children more than they are discriminated fathers.
In the case of most fathers and non-custodial mothers, they are relegated to the standard two monthly weekends under prevailing doctrine and made to exercise “visitation,” that degrading form of child rearing more appropriate for funerals and prisons. The injustices inherent with “custody” and “visitation” are not new. However, as the central features for federal incentive grants based on the number and magnitude of support awards manufactured by these courts, their harmful consequences are universally suppressed. For example in Webster v Ryan, 729 NYS 2d 315 (Fam. Ct. 2001), a veteran family court judge condemned the use of the antiquated terms in favor of “parenting orders” of the kind successfully employed under the laws of Australia. The text at footnote one of a highly researched opinion warrants a reprint here:
“At the outset, the Court notes that the terms ‘custody’ and ‘visitation’ have outlived their usefulness. Indeed their use tends to place any discussion and allocation of family rights into an oppositional framework. ‘Fighting for custody’ directs the process towards determining winners and losers. The children, always in the middle, usually turn out to be the losers… This Court has abandoned the use of the word ‘visitation’ in its Orders, using the phrase ‘parenting time’ instead. If the word ‘custody’ did not so permeate our statutes and was not so ingrained into our psyches, that word would be the next to go… This misplaced focus draws parents into contention and conflict, drawing the worst from them at a time when their children need their parents’ best.”
Obviously this jurist was ahead of his time and his views have been shared by countless others privately. Five years later, a Matrimonial Commission would make the same recommendations to New York’s Chief Justice (The “Miller Report”). But the damaging terms have survived to the present day and adopted by states across our country only because the federal support statute mandates their exclusive use as a condition for mass funding. The words father, mother or some other neutral term are not available under the support formula which must be employed to validate divorce and separation agreements. Instead parents are enticed into that fight mentality under the federal support laws to win both the children and the money which is then spent to remove the losing parent altogether through alienation tactics and false petitions.
The Webster decision was quickly reversed the following year and its wisdom has remained suppressed or dormant in the fourteen years since it was issued. During that period, tremendous harm has occurred. Countless fathers never knew the experience of placing a child on or off a school bus, thousands of children were alienated or psychologically damaged, and non-custodial parents were held to self-crafted rules dictated by their severed partners. This all occurred even though no utopian standards for child rearing existed. Instead controversy was increased exponentially while making an ultimate oxymoron of the words “family court.” Indeed the Matrimonial Commission found that our custody laws created a “shoe horn” effect. To make the profitable scheme work, judges simply used custodial parents as court supervisors over their counterparts. In effect, the state became an uninvited party to all court cases.
When the state gets too involved in sensitive, private matters, the outcome is usually damaging, irrational and even unintelligible. We have started a crusade for reform that we hope you will join. It will take literally millions of dollars to fight the powerful bar associations and insider PACs opposed to reform. We are asking our followers to begin their own personal recruitment campaigns behind a rally in Washington this June. You can be contacting veterans groups, your local chamber of commerce, good government groups, media, fellow bloggers, public figures, bowling associations, fraternal and family groups, in short, all the impacted constituencies which could make a long overdue reform effort become viral. Don’t do this for us, and don’t expect us to do it for you, instead do it for your own families and children while such an effort is actually underway. And please do not pass over the donate option on this site. We will keep you updated on our progress.
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