Laws:Despite the laws in every state that specifically forbid discrimination based on gender and the fact that the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of all citizens to due process and equal protection of the law, men and fathers are routinely at an inherent disadvantage in the family courtroom setting. The Men's Rights site will report on the laws and proposed family law changes that directly impact father’s and men’s rights.
By Tara N. Brewer
A proposed bill in Kentucky to modify the state's "outdated" child support laws could lessen a child support payor’s obligations.
Results from a 2008 survey for the state Child Support Guidelines Review Commission suggested that the analysis of parental spending plans are outdated, as the current analysis of parental spending plan is based off of data from 1987.
Proponents of the legislation argue that since 1998 the standard of living has changed, the spending patterns of the average family have changed, and the old analysis doesn’t account for an increase in the number of children.
Submitted by Anonymous
I worked as a domestic violence advocate for a Midwest domestic violence shelter for about five years. This article and my other ("Inside Story: Domestic Violence Shelters") are based upon my education in the field of criminal justice and domestic violence as well as personal experiences I encountered during my employment.
I truly believe that the United States legal/justice system is the best possible compared to all others in the world at this time.
Does this mean it is perfect? No, not by any stretch of the imagination, which is why it is in a constant state of change and revision.
One area that I believe is long overdue for revision is the area of domestic violence legislation and practices.
A legal system that was designed to protect against abuse is itself being abused, as described in the previous article "How Your Ex-Wife Can Legally Keep Your Kids From You."
The power of false allegations of abuse is undeniable, but the story of Darryl Ginyard gives hope to all fathers being denied their rights to see their children.
By Sara Pitcher
Cordell & Cordell Noblesville, Indiana Divorce Lawyer
Incarceration may be grounds for modifying your child support obligation. Your modified child support obligation would likely be based on your actual income while you are incarcerated, including any funds available to you for paying support.
The Indiana Supreme Court case of Lambert v. Lambert stated that the father's pre-incarceration income could not be imputed to him for the purposes of calculating his child support obligation for the period of time during which he was to be incarcerated.
With men representing 97% of alimony payors, alimony reform has become a key mens rights issue.
States such as Massachusetts have already enacted sweeping alimony reform, while others, including New Jersey, are in the preliminary stages of updated archaic alimony laws.
Republican Assemblyman Sean Kean is one of the driving forces behind alimony reform in New Jersey. His resolution calling for the creation of a similar commission to study the state's alimony laws has gained momentum, according to the New York Times.
Assemblyman Kean talked to MensRights.com editor Matt Allen about New Jersey alimony reform and why protecting mens rights is so desperately needed.
All children need two parents in their lives even if their parents are divorced. This concept of the importance of shared parenting is not lost on Washington State Sen. Jim Kastama, who is known as the Washington Legislature’s leading advocate for shared parenting and recently announced he is running for Washington's Secretary of State.
He also was invited on stage at a Blue October concert in Seattle (watch the YouTube clip) drumming up support within the crowd to allow divorced dads more access to their children. You can learn more about Jim and his efforts for shared parenting by visiting the website JimKastama.com.
A bill in Utah would amend the state's child custody laws by adding an anti-discrimination clause to the custody statute.
Utah legislators have apparently realized the discrimination faced by men and fathers every day in family law courtrooms must stop and will now to need to make a law over something that should seem so obvious: you can't discriminate against someone based on gender.
One of the more visible issues challenging father's rights is that most men who are behind on child support are not unwilling to pay; they are unable to pay. And yet courts across the country continue to jail fathers for their inability to pay.
The article "Child Support: The 'Deadbeat Dad' Predicament" examined the issue of jailing "deadbeat dads," but this article looks at a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that addressed a landmark child support case.
In Turner v. Rogers, the South Carolina family court ordered petitioner Michael Turner to pay $51.73 a week to respondent Rogers. Mr. Turner, unemployed and financially strapped, was held in contempt of court five times for failure to pay. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for the first four failures to pay. He ultimately paid what he owed.
For the fifth offense, Mr. Turner was sentenced to 6 months in the County Jail. He completed this, but was brought back to court again for support arrearages in the amount of $5,728.76. Neither party was afforded an attorney. The judge found Turner to be in willful contempt and sentenced him to 12 months in State Prison, but made no finding on Mr. Turner's ability to pay.
Marriage does not define a father's rights. Unwed fathers have rights, too; they just need to exercise those rights.
Recent news about Utah fathers rights indicated the state has made the process easier for fathers to exercise their rights. This has brought to light the fact that unwed fathers in other states still experience difficulty in protecting their rights. Other steps are required in addition to fathers filing with the state's putative father registry.
After establishing, enforcing, and collecting child support orders for several years before joining Cordell & Cordell, I have gotten to know the ins and outs of the child support system very well.
I have also heard probably every excuse under the sun for not paying or not wanting to pay child support, and the stark reality is the vast majority of men do not receive much sympathy from the court.
While there may be room for discretion or leeway in certain cases, it is a pretty narrow issue involving statutory guidelines, percentages, and a handful of formulas.
In my experience, the family court commissioners and judges will stay very close to those guidelines unless there is a very compelling reason to deviate. Each state has a strong interest in ensuring that the needs of all children born and living here are met. As a matter of law and public policy, the court upholds those principles.