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Michael Badnarik from the Libertarian Party!  Go to the link for lots of info, but below the link is his stance on parental rights.  Badnarik has my vote.


Presidential Race
Issue: Parents' Rights

No issue is more sensitive -- and few issues are more troubling to Libertarians -- than the role of government in family life. On the face of things, the federal government has an even smaller role in that area than it does in most, and I favor keeping Washington out of issues like defining and licensing marriage, regulating homeschooling, mandating childhood vaccinations or using tax policy for "socially engineering" the makeup and function of the family.

However, there are some areas of family life in which the federal government arguably has a role to play. The Constitution ordains that all Americans receive the equal protection of the law, and it prohibits involuntary servitude.

In both of these areas, the federal government has failed America's families and, in particular, its parents.

Equal protection of the law pre-supposes fairness for those coming before the bar of justice. Yet in divorce proceedings, the states routinely award custody of minor children to one parent or another, relegating the other parent to the status of "second-class citizen" -- not because the latter parent has been convicted of any crime, or found unfit, but because of a prejudice in favor of father or mother as the best "single" parent.

This is a matter of federal interest under the 14th Amendment, even intra-state. Once one parent or another, possibly with a child in tow, moves to another state, any shadow of doubt is erased. It becomes an interstate matter, and by definition therefore falls under federal jurisdiction.

As president, I will direct the Justice Department's civil rights division to investigate state policies which violate the 14th Amendment rights of parents and to pursue the elimination of those policies in court. The default presumption in any divorce proceeding must be for joint custody of minor children. Failing the waiver of that presumption by one parent, or proof that one parent is unfit, to deny any parent equal access to, and equal participation in the raising of, his or her children is clearly an abuse of law and repugnant to the Constitution.

Above and beyond the matter of custody comes child support. While it is reasonable to assess support for a minor child when circumstances dictate that he or she will be living exclusively with one parent, the matter has been inflated into, literally, a federal case.

The 13th Amendment prohibits involuntary servitude. In the Slaughterhouse Cases, the Supreme Court clearly and unambiguously ruled that this prohibition applies to "peonage" -- the attachment of criminal liability to failure to pay, or work off, debt. Yet, across the nation, hundreds of thousands of non-custodial parents find themselves in court, often charged with felonies and facing prison, for their failure or inability to pay child support. Further, the federal government has intervened to the extent of maintaining a special database to track "deadbeat parents" across state lines in order to enforce these draconian and unconstitutional laws.

As president, I will direct the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to sue states which attach criminal liability to child support obligations and, if necessary, to charge government officials who administer that unconstitutional criminal liability with violations of the civil rights of non-custodial parents.

Dear Socrateaser / Injured Spouse
« on: Jan 30, 2007, 11:29:02 AM »
Hey Soc!  Quick question:

My husband was diagnosed with a disease in Sept 2005 and has not worked since, so no income for 2006 except mine.  

Do you know:

1.  When we file our joint taxes including injured spouse, since he had no income in 2006, wouldn't the entire refund belong to "me?"

2.  Or would the IRS consider part of it "his" and therefore take some of it for state-owed arrears?  

Thank you for any and all help.  :)

Dear Socrateaser / Child will be 18 in December 2006
« on: Aug 11, 2006, 10:43:17 AM »
Dear Soc,

Glad to "see" you and thank you in advance for any help.

Court order is in CA, obligor is in MI, child will be 18 in December 2006.  Obligor was diagnosed with a rare muscle disease that cannot be cured, almost a year ago and has not worked since, has been borrowing money from family to pay ongoing support.  He has filed for SSDI, but you know how long that can take.

1.  How does obligor go about filing, pro se, to try and emancipate the child in December?  Obligor may have a template to request a telephonic hearing, if necessary.

2.  How does obligor find out if child is still a "full time high school student" as outline in CA law without the help of an attorney.

3.  Is it worth it to try and find an attorney who works cheap to do this instead?

4.  Is the burden of proof on the CP to prove the child is still a full time high school student?

5.  If the CP does not prove to CSE that the child is still a full time student, does this even go to court?

Any other suggestions you may have are more than welcome.  Again, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!

Dear Socrateaser / Hey Soc! Somthing a little different
« on: Dec 06, 2005, 12:28:52 PM »
Court order is in CA, I am in MI.

MI employer withheld over $1,000 in child support but sent checks to CA support on an account that was closed, therefore they bounced.  I no longer work for that employer since I have been diagnosed with a muscle disease and have been paying on my own.

I've read CA Family Codes 5235 and 5241 where it says I cannot be held in contempt, and that CA can take money directly from the employers account if money is withheld but not sent.  Also, in MI, this is considered a federal crime, fraud by conversion, which the employer has already been charged with by three others to whom he did the same thing.  He did not show up to any court dates and nothing has been done.

1.  How do I notifiy CA (San Diego County) that this money has been taken but not sent?

2.  Are paystubs showing the garnshment proof enough for the county?

3.  How do I get CA to try to get this money from the MI employer?

4.  Is this something I can do myself, or is an attorney recommended?

5.  Not sure if you can answer this, but is it worth pursuing the federal crime in MI as proof to CA that this money has been garnished?

Any other suggestions you offer are always welcome, and thank you very much for any response you offer!

Dear Socrateaser / Modification of order without court hearing
« on: Feb 16, 2005, 05:57:11 PM »
Hi Soc!  Long time, no talk!

State is CA

My DH was paying support out of his pocket since he lost his job in Oct 2002.  CA employer enforcement called him (just got a new job) and wanted to start the garnishment again.  No problem.

We get the court order CSE sent to his employer that didn't include the monthly amount for arrears.  DH calls employer enforcement back (sorry now that he was honest), and employer gets new orders that doubles his arrears payment!  How can this be done without a court hearing?

1.  Can he file a motion to quash the order?

2.  Since a 3 year modification is coming up, can he state that support was just modified (even though it was just arrears)?

3.  Should he call them back and find out how/why they doubled his arrears payment?

Any other help would be appreciated, as always.  Thanks for being here for us!

Dear Socrateaser / Hey Soc, a quick one please
« on: Mar 26, 2004, 11:10:21 AM »
State is California

1.  Does CA take the NCP's overtime into consideration when modifying support?  

2.  If not, how does the NCP ensure support is being figured on straight time (full time) only?

3.  If so, and if overtime varies from week to week, is it averaged?

Thanks!  May have a follow up depending on your response :)

Custody Issues / Class action suit for equal custody - a must read
« on: Sep 29, 2004, 06:00:52 AM »

The first few paragraphs:

At least 28 federal class action suits in 28 states have been filed in the last two weeks on behalf of non-custodial parents (NCPs). The defendants are the individual states.

The plaintiffs claim to represent an estimated 25 million non-custodial parents — primarily fathers — whose right to equal custody of minor children in situations of dispute is allegedly being violated by family courts across the nation.

Family law is traditionally a state matter, but the federal government has assumed greater control in the area over the last few decades. Thus, the plaintiffs are appealing to the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court precedent and acts of Congress "to vindicate and restore their various inalienable rights."

In short, federal law is being asked to trump state practice in custody matters.

According to the suits, state practices appear to be "willful, reckless, and/or negligent fraud, deceit, collusion, and/or abuse of powers" with a "systematic pattern of obstructing, hindering, and/or otherwise thwarting the rightful and lawful conclusion of due process" of non-custodial parents in child custody proceedings.

In particular, fathers protest the widespread practice of almost automatically granting sole custody to mothers in divorce disputes.

At the request of the mother, so her boyfriend wouldn't leave her:


Father's Issues / John Kerry's Dark Record on Civil Liberties
« on: Oct 14, 2004, 10:11:39 AM »

I am not posting the article because it is long.  Let's just say that Kerry and John Ashcroft used to be on opposite sides of the civil liberties fence, with John Ashcroft being the only civil libertarian amongst the two.

Very interesting reading from Reason Magazine.

Father's Issues / Deadbeat Dad Contest Bad for Kids
« on: Oct 13, 2004, 05:28:22 AM »

FYI - Mike Cox, AG for MI, was a custodial parent who never received support from his wife.  So he's on a rampage.....

Deadbeat Dad Contest Bad for Kids
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
By Wendy McElroy

On Oct. 1, Michigan launched a new crackdown on "deadbeats"— noncustodial parents who are behind on paying child support. The overwhelmingly majority of "deadbeats" are dads.

Custodial parents cheered; father’s rights groups objected. Children were caught in between. But Attorney General Mike Cox doesn’t seem concerned about keeping children as non-combatants in the war between their parents.

In conjunction with the website PayKids, a site Cox established to track down deadbeats, Cox announced a contest in which children are to draw pictures "that clearly convey the message of encouraging the payment of child support."

The contest’s prize: "The first 250 submissions will receive a $10 gift certificate to Domino's Pizza….And, the winner, will have their rendering reproduced into a billboard in a prominent location…"

The contest encourages custodial parents— who, it should be noted, are overwhelmingly mothers — to discuss the issue with children and assist "in crafting the message and visual representation."

Radio host and fathers' rights activist Glenn Sacks comments, "[C]ustodial mothers are encouraged to coach their children to make designs critical of noncustodial parents behind on child support. And it doesn't take much imagination to figure out which noncustodial father many mothers will be encouraging their children to denounce."

Richard Farr, founder of the family oriented Krights Radio, asks, "Are kids expected to draw pictures of so-called ‘deadbeat dads’ going to jail?….This contest and the billboards [currently] dotting the Michigan landscape with imagery of jails, handcuffs and conviction send a scary message to young children. The contest should be called off immediately."

When Mike Cox took office in January 2003, he vowed to crack down on "deadbeats" and established a Child Support Division. Prior to this, the Attorney General's office assumed no direct jurisdiction over the issue.

With aggressive enforcement, the question of "when does it go too far" naturally arises. With some voices calling for government to withdraw from family matters altogether, Cox seems poised to become a poster boy for government’s reckless disregard for children’s welfare.

A child is half mother, half father. What emotional impact does it have on children when a government official urges them to denounce half of who they are? How will it impact a child’s relationship with a noncustodial parent when his or her denunciation is posted for the world to see? And if Cox lives up to the threat posed by the handcuffs portrayed on billboards — if he throws a "deadbeat" parent in jail--will the child live forever with a terrible guilt for having participated in that process?

When a divorce lands in court, children should be insulated as much as possible from adult decisions like alimony and support payments. They should not be bribed with pizzas into becoming part of a legal enforcement process against one parent.

Fathers' rights advocates quickly responded to the contest by directing outrage toward Domino’s Pizza, the contest’s corporate sponsor. Krights Radio spearheaded a boycott campaign; one father suggested the contest slogan "I sold my dad for a Domino’s Pizza."

Domino’s Pizza responded with equal speed to the complaints that were pouring in. Tim McIntyre, vice president of communications, informed Farr, "Domino's consumer web site, now contains an open letter to all Domino's customers, letting them know what happened…It can be found on dominos.com through the weekend [10/10]."

McIntyre explained, "We were not informed about this contest in advance, nor did we endorse use of our company name in conjunction with it. We are…incensed that this was done without our prior knowledge or consent….We have asked the Attorney General to remove our brand name in association with this contest, and have let him know that we are working actively to distance the good name of Domino's Pizza from this program."

Calling Domino’s withdrawal "an unprecedented move by a major international corporation," Farr expressed "respect" for the company.
Nevertheless, he believes it is still "confused concerning issues of the child support enforcement industry."

If so, the confusion is understandable. Government agencies have conducted a concerted and nationwide campaign against "deadbeat dads," which has voiced only one side of the issue.

Consider Michigan’s PayKids site. On the right is a photo of smiling children; on the left, a list of "most wanted" deadbeat dads with a changing photograph. (Although the word "parent" is used, only men seem to be listed as "Wanted" or "Captured"; in numerous visits, only men’s photos were displayed.) In between the two is the photo of a smiling, hugging mother.

The nonprofit PayKids Foundation was created by Cox in order to co-ordinate a public awareness campaign about unpaid child support. But Farr believes the whole PayKids initiative is based on "a false premise and erroneous information."

For example, the top five "Most Wanted" are listed as owing from $224,000 to $40,000 thousand in unpaid support. But Farr points to a Michigan Family Independence Agency study that "showed 87 percent of arrearages are owed by those earning less than $10,000 a year." He claims "that most parents who don't pay child support are deadbroke, not deadbeat."

Wherever truth lies between these polar opposite views, it is difficult to see how encouraging children to turn against their parents is a proper government function.

Wendy McElroy is the editor of ifeminists.com and a research fellow for The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. She is the author and editor of many books and articles, including the new book, "Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the 21st Century" (Ivan R. Dee/Independent Institute, 2002). She lives with her husband in Canada.
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