Making sense of child support in Ohio: editorial
Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 4:26 AM
Most dads in Cuyahoga County are responsible men who take care of their children.
The same cannot be said of the 40 percent of the Cuyahoga Child Support Enforcement Agency's 147,000-parent caseload who refuse to pay despite, officials say, having the means to do so.
147,000 parents? Are you out of your mind? For Cuyahoga county alone? How many people even live in that county? How many people does it take to manage that massive caseload? How much does it cost THE TAXPAYERS - YOU AND ME to pay the people managing that caseload? (Don't forget that if your county, city and/or state is running a large deficit - and it probably is - you are, in part, BORROWING MONEY in the debt markets to pay those people.)
Furthermore, why are 58,800 people refusing to pay? That's quite a number, if its correct. Hmmmm. I'm curious. Let's speculate, shall we? Are they asked to pay $50 dollars per week? $100? $500? $1,000? (Guess what, its probably closes to the last amount). How much would you, dear reader, refuse to pay? Why else might one refuse to pay? Hmmmmm. Maybe because ITS STATE-SPONSORED EXTORTION? Maybe because your ex makes more than you do? Maybe because she or he got remarried and lives in a great big home that they claim on court documents they pay for single-handedly when in reality, they pay half of the mortgage? Maybe your ex got a false restraining order applied to you (very simple and very commonly done - just google "false restraining order divorce"). Maybe because you were not even married to your ex and the child support award is nearly half your income, crippling you financially while making her rich? Maybe your ex lied, cheated, AND stole from you before taking you to court to get "what she is 'entitled' to?" Just maybe?
Or maybe there are 58,800 jerks in Cuyahoga county. Right.
Timeout. Felony? Jail time? What the hell is appropriate about that? Do you know what A FELONY is people? RAPE, MURDER, ARSON. Those are felonies. Why? THEY'RE BRUTAL, VIOLENT CRIMES. Failure to pay one's ex, a person who may be a lying, cheating, stealing asshole? Sorry. Not a felony. Not the same as burning a building down and killing people inside. Call me a sympathetic jerk, but I don't see the connection. In fact, even the expression "apples and oranges" doesn't cut it.
Now, JAIL? No. we are a free country. Sorry, its not always convenient. But we don't throw regular people in jail with violent murderers because they didn't give their ex tens of thousands of dollars. Anyone enforcing such a 'law' has got to feel infinitely foolish. Further, these dads are not "STIFFING THEIR CHILDREN." How do I know? Ask these guys if they want custody of their kids and to pay for their expenses while their kids live with them. Nearly all will say Yes. I guarantee it. All except the trashy, irresponsible men, of course. No one can do anything about those guys, so don't even try.
And no, putting taxpaying citizens in jail for not making their ex rich, and turning them into a drain on the system instead of paying into the system doesn't sound too smart to me. Putting men who are working out of a job and into jail with a felony conviction so that they can no longer make money or get another job doesn't really help him, his kids, or his ex. Call me crazy.
Further, you have to love how these guys are portrayed as screwing their kids over. Um, ever consider, dear Editorial Board, that these guys are barred from seeing their kids? That these kids are being USED by women and lawyers as pawns in an extortion racket to fleece the man of every dime he has? Why don't you find out how many women QUIT THEIR JOBS OR TAKE LESS SALARY WORKING PART TIME because they have TENS OF THOUSANDS in "child support" coming in every month? Why don't you state that a man's "first family" lives on TWICE the disposable income of his 'second' family (a fact)?
Fathers'-rights groups adamantly disagree, saying that only a fraction of deadbeat dads deserve jail and that the majority of those hounded by officials are too poor to support their children.
Yet even writing a modest check could help a child in need.
They don't ask for a modest check, you morons. They demand full remittance and if you don't pay, they claim you're lying or "hiding it." By the way, how does one 'hide' one's own money?!?!? Further, a guy making minimum wage can't write much of a check, can he? Not when his missed "child support" is compounding WITH INTEREST. What a brilliant idea that was.In Cuyahoga County, where 77 percent of those seeking child support are poor, single mothers, that matters.
So did ALL of those women marry a deadbeat? Or did all of those women have no education and no job and then married said deadbeat and have 5 kids? Did any quit their jobs? Did any do all that they could to STAY MARRIED? Or stay together with ex-boyfriends? How many of those women petitioned for divorce themselves or left their ex? Helping poor women is easy - mate them with a man that makes money to support them and then make sure THEY STAY PUT. Otherwise, they'll be welfare queens for decades. Making a poor ex-father slightly poorer? He'll starve to death. Great solution.
Which is not to say that some reforms aren't needed. The courts should consider shared parenting when possible. Stronger bonds between fathers and children would encourage prompter payments. The General Assembly also needs to update Ohio's ossified child-support laws.
WoweeZowee, stronger bonds would encourage "prompter" payments. That's sweet of you to consider. If I loved my child more, I'd pay more and make sure it was 'on-time'? What else can I do for you with the money that I make from working at my job?The Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency Directors' Association and other advocates have recommended that courts be required to consider lowering payments when a child stays with a noncustodial parent 40 percent or more of the time -- an adjustment that rarely happens now -- and that payments be tied to the child rather than to a custodial parent.
How about stronger bonds for the sake of stronger bonds and healthier children, dumbass? Remember those kids you were trying to help a few paragraphs ago? The point isn't to make mom rich and hope she lavishes it on the kids (as well as forget to mention the money came from dad). The point is to make sure the kids don't starve and have clothing and shelter. Remember? And by the way, that doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars a year. It can be done for much less and can be - easily, considering so many women make salaries EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN their ex-husbands and boyfriends.
Wait, WHAT? They 'recommend' the payments be tied to .... THE CHILD? HERESY! You swine! How do you dare! If they're not tied to the child now, then who are they tied to? Lemme guess.... MOM? Want to talk about why 58,800 people don't want to pay that 4 figure child support bill again? What a radical 'suggestion.' Dad's money going to his children and not his ex. How cruel.Mary Denihan, a spokeswoman for Cuyahoga CSEA, says the county would need money to monitor such reforms. It should get it.
The 40 percent idea is a stupid one. Mom will merely ensure the kids spent 39.9 percent of the time with dad and take more vacations with the pile of money she gets. And she can do that easily. Dads have practically no say in how much time they get. Charge dads extra to see their kids less and what do they do? They spend more time with their kids, enriching their children's lives - remember those KIDS again? The SUBJECT of this article? Forget that any parent has a right to see their own kids, regardless or money. Make the law 50-50 custody period unless the guy is a murderous, drunken thug. There, years of court time and millions of taxpayer dollars saved. That was tough. Parents get two chances to make a schedule, otherwise the judge sets it. One parent keeps screwing up the schedule? They lose custody and go to visitation. Period. More money and time saved.
No Mary. No more money. LESS money. You see taxpayers are broke. Get it? You don't work for RJR Nabisco. You don't get unlimited funds for your little pet projects. Its called being an adult. Let people takes responsibility for their actions. People may divorce for no reason - but if they do, they get nothing. Otherwise, if they want a divorce, they must show cause. If there is no grounds for the divorce, they may have it - but without any money or assets from their spouse. At all. Ever. No 'monitoring' No welfare state. No wasted jobs and taxpayer money. ZERO. Want your husband's money? Or wife's? Stay married. I know. Its no picnic. Get over it. Don't want to be married? Fine. Walk. But you will not get one cent out of it. We don't encourage or reward divorce here... that would result in a massive increase in divorce and split apart the nuclear family, causing dysfunctional children and a non-functioning society. Oh wait, that's what they've already done.
The changes might not be popular with some grown-ups, but they sound right for kids. Ohio legislators should rally around these recommendations.
Ohio should rally around the family. What do families need? A good family makes good children into good adults. What the family needs is incentive to stay together and disincentive to split up.
WE HAVE THE OPPOSITE OF THAT NOW.
The result? Obscene divorce rates, out-of-wedlock births, fractured families, bankrupt families, bankrupt men and rich lawyers; the dissolution of the foundation of society. Get a clue people.