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Topics - Kitty C.

....I got it this weekend!  With all that's transpired between DH and I, I haven't seen SS since the last weekend of Jan.

DH didn't tell SS that DS and I were back, but SS saw my car as they were coming down the street.  Apparently he couldn't get out of the truck fast enough, made a beeline for the door, and once he came in and saw me, he VAULTED into my arms!

Now, this boy is 'husky', just turned 10 and is about 100 lbs.  He damn near knocked me completely over, LOL!  And we were both crying, too....

Then on Sat., I had to attend an all day EMS seminar and a vendor was selling shirts and sweats.  Since I missed SS's birthday, I found a sweatshirt his size that said 'An EMT Loves Me'.  I figured that he'd leave it with us, since PBFH would pitch a fit about it, but NO!  He wore it to church yesterday and still had it on when PBFH came to pick him up!  When I asked DH about it, he said 'You think he's gonna let his mom stop him from wearing it??'

Yes, I had a wonderful WEEKEND..................!
We have SS this weekend, and tho it's hotter than Hades and the humidity is just as high right now, there's a front moving thru and it will be the complete opposite this weekend.  Highs in the 70's and low humidity.

And SS's Tae Kwon Do group is having a swimming and pizza party Sat. night from 8-10 pm.  He's asked DH if we would take him.  Normally I have NO problem with SS's events, at least his ball games, because PBFH at least now gives us a schedule so we know when they are.

BUT regarding Cub Scouts and TKD, she won't tell us SQUAT.  SS marched in a nearby town's parade and the TKD group did a demo right after a couple weeks ago, and if I had't been there for something else, we'd have never known about it!  What's even more frustrating is that we live in a VERY small, rural community (2300+ pop.)  We've been to ONE CS event, about 3 years ago, and PBFH blew a gasket.  DH has NEVER seen one of his TKD demos, and I've only seen two, just because I happened to find out about it the LAST minute, and DH was gone.

Asking SS to let us know when these events are is not feasible right now, either.  PBFH seems to keep him in the dark as to when things are going on, just so that he can't tell us ahead of time.  He KNOWS something will be happening, he just doesn't have dates and times.  Which is why we never find out about things happening on OUR weekends until SS calls us a couple days before and asks DH to take him.  I am assuming that when SS gets older, especially in his teens, that will all change, but we're missing out on SO much now.........

I have a lot of misgivings in taking SS Sat. night.  My main one is with the weather.  By the time of the pool party, it's gonna be CHILLY.  I know that other kids will be there with their parents, BUT they have legal rights and I don't.  And even if DH takes him, I feel we're being set up.  Because if SS comes home with a sniffle, PBFH is gonna climb up DH's backside for 'allowing' SS to get SO ill, never mind that even if we don't take him, she's gonna be pissed, too.  Plus, there's every reason to believe she'll be there, too.  I prefer to avoid her like the plague and so would DH.

And if SS does get sick, PBFH will do EVERYTHING within her power to make sure he's still TOO sick to go with us on our camping trip next Thurs.  Never mind that we ARE fully capable of taking care of a sick child, even on vacation (who hasn't done that?).  And never mind that she will have one VERY pissed off boy on her hands!

So what do we do?  Allow him to go, with the good possibility of him (and every other kid there) getting sick, thus possibly PBFH keeping him from going camping with us next weekend?  Or keep him home (maybe making other plans, we've done that before), still incurring PBFH's wrath, but insuring that he's healthy enough to go camping?

And maybe we'll get lucky and they'll reschedule???
Saw this article on and found it fascinating:

Kyle Pruett, M.D., a child psychiatrist and the author of "Father Need: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child."

Sounds like a very good resource and hopefully will prove the point that both parents bring different aspects to raising children that ALL children need.  Unless what they are doing is detrimental to the child, how they raise a child isn't 'wrong' (as many of the EXes of people on this site seem to believe), just 'different'.

Then there was this link at the end of the article:

Sounds like another very good resource that can possibly be tapped for establishing a parenting plan.
Just found this today.  Here's an opportunity to give some significant numbers and a 'voice' to tell the world what our children REALLY need!


Here's the actual article:

Are Divorce Courts Anti-Dad?
Despite a shift toward shared custody over the last 20 years, up to half of fathers lose contact with their kids after a divorce. "In 85% of divorces, fathers get just two weekends a month and a couple of hours during the week," says Mike McCormick of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.

A new legal trend might change that. With "proportional time," explains Jennifer Rosato of Philadelphia's Drexel University School of Law, "the custody decision is based on the time dads spent with their children before the divorce, rather than presuming that dads have, and want, limited involvement with their kids." But McCormick says dads still could get shortchanged: "What happened in the past with a family doesn't represent what will happen in the future." He says that supporting your kids is about more than money, "but courts want a check first and a relationship second."


Personally, I agree with the last comment... the courts actually do care more about the check than the relationship.  But I certainly do NOT agree with a custody decision based upon the time dads have spent previously with their kids.  This would be just an excuse for FT working moms to quit their jobs or take cuts in pay and/or time just to justify the time spent with the kids if they are considering a split.  And in a relationship with a SAHM, the point is definitely moot.  I believe that 'proportional time' means even proportions between the parents, NOT on quantity of time previously spent.  And if the parents choose to divide the time in any way other than 50/50, that is their choice to make, NOT the courts.
Teen Sues L.A. After Decade in Foster Care

Teenage Girl Reunited With Her Long-Lost Father After Decade in Foster Care Sues L.A. County

The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - A teenage girl reunited with her father last year after a decade in foster care is suing Los Angeles County for taking so long to bring them together.

County supervisors had said in September that the reunion of Melinda Smith, now 17, and father Thomas Marion Smith was the result of a "groundbreaking effort," and congratulated county agencies for locating the father.

But the lawsuit alleges that the Department of Children and Family Services failed to use "due diligence" to locate Thomas Smith. It claims the agency never notified Smith, who had continued making child support payments, that his daughter was in foster care and never gave him a chance to claim her.

"He's a registered voter with a valid driver's license and an open child support case," said Smith's attorney, L. Wallace Pate. "All they had to do, at any time during those 10 years, was pick up the phone and ask the L.A. County Child Support Services Department: `Do you have a contact on this man?'"

Beginning in 1989, Thomas Smith made child support payments to Melinda's mother for his 1-year-old daughter, but when Melinda was 4 her mother moved and left no forwarding address.

Two years later, Melinda was turned over to foster care officials after the county received complaints of abuse.

Smith's whereabouts were listed as unknown in court documents on the case, although records show that Melinda's caseworker knew Smith was paying child support and his address was on file with the agency that collected the payments.

Father and daughter were reunited in July 2005 after Melinda got help from a social worker assigned to find permanent placement for teens in foster care.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the county, the social workers who handled the case and a private agency that provides attorneys for children in foster care.

County officials would not comment because of the pending litigation.


IMO, I'd like to see a LOT more of these lawsuits............maybe then the idiots in those so-called government positions will start taking fathers more seriously!  Melinda, you GO, girl!    :-)
I know it's been a long time since I've been here.......and I just wanted to let you all know I haven't forgotten you and miss you all very much!  But my schedule with computer access limits my time severely.

Much has happened and one of the greatest changes have been with SS's mom and how she's interacting with us.  We're seeing a LOT more of SS for this reason and her and I are conversing quite well now.   If you would have told me even a year ago that we would be at this point, I'd have told you you were full of it up to your eyebrows!  SS was diagnosed with ADHD this fall and I was the only parent she knew who also had an ADHD child.  She had a lot of questions, especially regarding testing and medications.  And she's followed a lot of the advise I've given her, as well.

One Friday night after she dropped SS off, we talked for quite a while on the deck.  When I came back in, SS had a grin from ear to ear.  I know it's because he realized that finally we were all on the same page for HIM and not fighting against each other.  And since her divorce was finalized last month, she brings him over to us every Sat. evening till Sun. after 6 pm., then every Mon., Tues., and EO Wed. mornings at 5:45 am., since she works 6-6 every Sun.-Tues. and EO Wed.  SS is just loving it and so is DH!

And for the FIRST time since SS was 2 years old (he'll be 12 in Feb.), he will get to wake up in his father's home on Christmas morning!  I happened to mention something about it to SS a while back and one morning he told me that BM said it would be okay, so I told SS it was a secret just between him and me.  I'll go over there tom. night to pick him up to surprise his dad!

DS went to Oregon the week before Thanksgiving to a wilderness therapy program and will be graduating from there on Jan. 20.  He ran into some legal problems before he left, which he will have to make amends for when he returns, but I know in my heart that he is where he needs to be right now, holiday or no holiday.  His therapist faxed a letter from him today and it has to be the best present I have received so far!  Much more positive, more accountable, more forthright.  Even his therapist told me she was impressed with the determination and focus he put into writing it.  

I had just faxed a letter to him on Monday and apparently I said everything right, because it seems it had a profound impact on him.  We still have a lot of work to do when he gets home, but I know that he will remember this program and what he accomplished even fifty years from now.  I know that a lot of the negative behaviors he's exhibited in the past 3 years are a result of losing his father.  And I know now even more than ever how ABSOLUTELY vital a father is to a child's life.

DH and I are closer than ever, even with all the trials and tribulations with DS.   He is still struggling with recovery, but understands even more the effect it has on those around him.  And with the family counseling and aftercare we will be working on with DS, I hope to learn more coping skills and how to be proactive, not reactive in dealing with him.  All in all, we've had obstacles to overcome, but we're steadily working on them and moving forward.

I think of all of you here, my friends, quite often and regret not being able to interact with you all like I'd like to.  That doesn't say I haven't been watching, because I'm still trying to keep my finger on the pulse of these issues.  Many strides have been made and there is still a long way to go.  But our future generations will be the ones to reap the fruit of all your labors, so NEVER GIVE UP!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.......I pray that you all are able to enjoy the love of your children this holiday season!
I finally did it..........I finally went out on a limb and talked frankly to SS's SF, who filed for divorce against the BM a few months ago.  I just happened to catch him in a store yesterday with his son.

I told him that I didn't know how he would take me talking to him about these issues, but I wanted him to know how I felt about it and some of what his rights are, particularly in this state.  He was NOT aware that a new custody law had been passed last year, requiring judges to consider joint physical even if only ONE parent asks for it, and must give a legal reason why if it's refused.

He is asking for 50/50 physical and legal and he told me that he's submitted at least 3 different parenting plans.  The kicker is that he and the BM work at the same plant, but on opposite days.  So, in essence, they BOTH share equal care and have been since the child's birth.  But it doesn't give them much leeway in custody alternatives.  Standard visitation won't work because they each work one weekend day.  Ideal would be he has the child his days off and vise versa for her.  This is HIS suggestion.  And it makes it a TRUE 50/50 split.

He was very open-minded about our conversation and it appeared to me that he only has his child's best interests at heart.  BM is saying that she doesn't want to go even a day without seeing their child, but she's been doing it with SS for over 7 years.  He told me he appreciated my frankness with him and he would talk to his atty. about the new law.

I also gave SF info on this site and another state-specific site, in case he wanted to do more research on his own and he said he planned on it.  I feel good in knowing that I may have helped a child to have the best of both worlds, even tho his parents won't be together.  I've had to, and continue to watch DS struggle thru the pain of separation, first temp. and now permanent, from his father and I will do whatever I can to help ensure another child never has to go thru that.  

The thing is, I haven't told DH about talking to him.......and right now I have no intention of telling him, either.  DH and BM both tend to get a little rabid about this stuff and SF and I are both aware of this.  We parted with the knowledge that this was strictly between the two of us.

Unless I'm missing something, I really can't see anything wrong with not telling DH about my conversation with SF.  It really has nothing to do with DH or SS.  But if I am missing something, someone please let me know!  

Father's Issues / Another tragedy...............
Jul 29, 2005, 10:23:05 AM
Murder-suicide suspected in Fort Dodge shooting
Published: 07/29/2005   11:08 AM

By: Associated  Press  -  Associated Press

FORT DODGE, IA - The shooting deaths of a woman and two of her children appeared to be a murder-suicide, Police Chief Thomas Francis said Friday.

The bodies of 3-year-old Braydon Gollob and 2-year-old Brody Gollob were found late Thursday by their two older siblings, whose names were not immediately released. The older children, ages 10 and 13, ran to a neighbor's home to call police.

Police went to the home and found their mother, Richella Stark, lying wounded in an upstairs bedroom. She was taken by helicopter to a Des Moines hospital, where she died later.

Francis said the older children were staying with their father, Michael Stark, of Fort Dodge. The younger children were the sons of Richella Stark's boyfriend, David Gollob.

The police chief said there had been no previous police complaints at the house, but that a child welfare check had been done at some point in the last two years.

The woman's front yard was strewn with bicycles, skateboard and toys on Friday. A white Ford Explorer sat in the driveway.

Next-door neighbor Betty Lind said Richella Stark's boyfriend had lived at the home intermittently until several months ago, when he moved out.

"I knew they were unhappy and the kids were unhappy and I thought, 'Those poor little kids -- what they have to hear,"' Lind said. "It's always the children I think of. They're innocent and they don't know any of these things. They don't know why these things are going on."

Lind said the two toddlers frequently rode their tricycles to her house and called her "Grandma."

She said she heard frequent arguments coming from the home before the boyfriend moved out. In recent weeks, she said, the woman seemed despondent.


Betcha dollars to donuts, there was a custody dispute going on............
Get a load of this:

Dear Members,

Now this judge will have to face his own system!

Mark Griebel

Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 1:54 AM
Subject: Domestic Abuser Judge in Iowa

 Good chance he has thrown the book at guys for far less (if he is like normal judges).  Living and dying by the same sword now.  I hope it opens his eyes.



Schwyzer v. Alkon: Should Men
Have Reproductive Rights?
March 16, 2005

The promo for this week's His Side--"Schwyzer v. Alkon: Should Men Have Reproductive Rights?"--is below.  

We invite you to call the show and join the discussion in progress at 1-800-439-4805 (lines open this Sunday from 5-6PM PST).

For those who are outside of our radio stations' coverage ranges, you can listen to the show live this Sunday (3/20/05) via our station's excellent Internet stream at Listen Live.

His Side with Glenn Sacks can be heard on WSNR AM 620 in New York City and North-Eastern New Jersey, and on WWZN AM 1510 in Boston on Sundays at 10 PM EST. The show can also be heard in Southern California on KTIE AM 590 at 5 PM PST.

The audio archive of Sunday evening's show--"Two Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to Protect the Rights of Military Fathers"--can be heard by clicking here.

Stop Abuse For Everyone is one of America's leading domestic violence organization. SAFE encourages equal services for all victims of domestic violence, including heterosexual men and homosexual men and women. SAFE is a non-profit, charitable organization which encourages policies based research and accurate information, not ideology. To learn more, visit their website at //  

For those facing a divorce or separation or who have a personal injury or workers' comp case, the law firm of Pitman, Pitman, Mindas, Grossman & Lee handles a broad range of litigation. With offices in Springfield and West Orange, they have operated in Union County for over thirty years and serve clients throughout New Jersey. Pitman, Pitman, Mindas, Grossman & Lee can be reached at 973 467 5100, or click here.

The National Coalition of Free Men ("NCFM") is a nationwide non-profit organization which seeks to promote awareness of men's rights and how the male role limits men and boys economically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, physically, sexually, legally, and otherwise. NCFM works to "free men" (hence the name) from the arbitrary, but powerful, societal restrictions imposed on men. They also help males to identify their inherent strengths and goodness, to build on these and thereby help to create a better and more just society. Contact them at 646-295-7914 or write to them here.

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As always, all information about the show can be found at I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks
Listen to His Side with Glenn Sacks


Schwyzer v. Alkon: Should Men
Have Reproductive Rights?

Nationally syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon believes that men, like women, should have reproductive rights. Condemning women who get pregnant intentionally and "turn casual sex into cash flow sex," she notes:

"In no other arena is a swindler rewarded with a court-ordered monthly cash settlement paid to them by the person they bilked...Penelope Leach, in her book Children First, poses an essential question: 'Why is it socially reprehensible for a man to leave a baby fatherless, but courageous, even admirable, for a woman to have a baby whom she knows will be so?'...the law, as written, encourages unscrupulous women to lure sex-dumbed men into checkbook daddyhood."

The "Choice for Men" movement seeks to give unmarried fathers the right to relinquish their parental rights and responsibilities within a month of learning of a pregnancy, just as mothers do when they choose to give their children up for adoption.

Feminist Gender Studies professor Dr. Hugo Schwyzer, Ph.D calls Choice for Men "profoundly offensive," explaining that "every man who ejaculates inside a woman, whether or not contraception is used, is signaling his willingness to become a father...the only real choice that men deserve in this situation is whether or not to have sex in the first place."
Schwyzer and Alkon and will join Glenn on His Side with Glenn Sacks on Sunday, March 20 at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST.  For those who are outside of our radio stations' coverage ranges, you can listen to the show live via our station's excellent Internet stream at Listen Live.  

You can call the show and join the discussion in progress at 1-800-439-4805 (lines open this Sunday from 5-6 PM PST).

To learn more, see:

Glenn's co-authored column 'Sperm Theft' Ruling a Step Forward for Men's Reproductive Rights (Houston Chronicle, 3/6/05, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 3/9/05)

Amy Alkon's new column Fetal Attraction

Hugo Schwyzer's criticisms of Choice for Men--see Hugo on Choice for Men, Crying with rage at Amy Richards and Amy Richards and Choice for Men

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick slams Glenn's co-authored column Pennsylvania Abortion Case Raises Question of Choice for Men (Newsday, 8/7/02)--see Lithwick's Dad's Sad, Mad: Too Bad: Why dads don't count when it comes to abortion (Slate, 8/7/02)

Interview with Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), on the 30 year anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Glenn's column 30 Years After Roe v. Wade, How About Choice for Men? (Mail & Guardian, 1/27/03)  

Feminist abortion rights advocate Amy Richards' account of her selective abortion--When One is Enough (New York Times, 7/18/04)

NARAL Pro-Choice America

National Right to Life  

The National Coalition of Free Men, Los Angeles' Choice for Men page

Barry Deutsch (aka Ampersand) against Choice for Men here, here, here and here.

The National Center for Men's Voluntary Fatherhood Project

Hugo Schwyzer on His Side: Is the Men's Movement Misogynistic? (1/23/05)

Amy Alkon on His Side: The Advice Goddess: 'I'm Not Anti-Male' (5/2/04)

His Side: Masculists, Feminists Rumble Over Choice for Men (10/19/03)

His Side with Glenn Sacks can be heard on WSNR AM 620 in New York City and North-Eastern New Jersey, and on WWZN AM 1510 in Boston on Sundays at 10 PM EST. The show can also be heard in Southern California on KTIE AM 590 at 5 PM PST. To listen live via the Internet from anywhere in the world, go to Listen Live. Both radio and Internet listeners are encouraged to call and participate in the show live and on the air at 1-800-439-4805 (lines open Sundays from 5-6PM PST).

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Normally I don't cut and paste, but I think this has got to be the MOST profound (AND TRUE!) quote I've seen in a LONG time:

'Nationally syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon believes that men, like women, should have reproductive rights. Condemning women who get pregnant intentionally and "turn casual sex into cash flow sex," she notes:

"In no other arena is a swindler rewarded with a court-ordered monthly cash settlement paid to them by the person they bilked...Penelope Leach, in her book Children First, poses an essential question: 'Why is it socially reprehensible for a man to leave a baby fatherless, but courageous, even admirable, for a woman to have a baby whom she knows will be so?'...the law, as written, encourages unscrupulous women to lure sex-dumbed men into checkbook daddyhood." '

NO SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I don't consider that part about 'sex-dumbed men' to be's just what happens when those PBFH's 'turn on the charm' to sucker men into their slimey webs.  'Lure' doesn't even begin to describe it..........
PBFH called DH last night, asking to meet with him to discuss SS.  She has NEVER done this before.  The reason?  SS is apparently getting out of hand with her and won't listen to her.  

She's called DH a few times already to get HIM to talk to SS to get him to do what he's supposed to do.  Last Friday, she even called DH that morning, cuz SS refused to go to school.  DH is off on Fridays in the winter, so he said he'd be right over.  He went over there, picked up SS, told him that he was going to school (in NO uncertain terms!), and that was that.  SS never said a peep to DH.

But after watching how PBFH parents, especially when SS was younger (and how she let him get away with so much), I told DH even then that it would come to this.  On top of that, SS just had his 11th birthday, will start middle school in the fall, and he's obviously going to be a 'husky' boy.  He's starting to push her around and still lives with the philosophy that if he whines enough to her, he'll get his way.  He's even been overheard telling other kids this as advice, LOL!  Plus, she's in for a very rude awakening next school year.  The kids SS knows right now, he's been with all his school life.  Next fall, there will be kids from 2 other elem. schools added to the mix, which can change the scope of everything for him.  I've got a feeling she ain't gonna know what hit her!

I have no idea what kind of ideas she has in mind, but I know for certain that us taking primary custody ain't gonna be one of them.  The main reason is that DH works out of town and I would be the sole caretaker the majority of the time.  But it even blows my mind that she has come out and asked to meet with DH.  One thing I DO know.  If SF happens to be present, DH will tell her there will be NO meeting till either I get there or SF leaves.  Either we ALL do it together or only the bio-parents work on this themselves.

Tom. DH and I are going up north to play in the snow (and so I can play with the new toy DH got me for Valentine's Day, a new snowmobile!), so this meeting wil have to wait till we get back.  I'll fill you all in on what happens then!

Florida Family Begs for Girl's Return

Fla. Family Begs for Return of 9-Year-Old Jessica Marie Lunsford, Who Disappeared From Her Bedroom

The Associated Press

Feb. 25, 2005 - The family of a missing 9-year-old girl who disappeared from her bedroom pleaded for her return Friday, calling her an "angel" who needs to be home. The father and grandparents of Jessica Marie Lunsford cried as they described a girl who they say would never run away.

"I want my daughter home," said Mark Lunsford, who discovered the third-grader missing Thursday morning. "If there is anything anybody knows, there are a lot of numbers you can call. Help me find my daughter and bring her home."

Jessica lives in the house with her father and his parents. Her father told authorities he had returned Thursday morning from a girlfriend's home and was getting ready for work when he realized his daughter's alarm clock was sounding and she wasn't there.

The clothes she had laid out for school were still in place and none of her shoes were gone.

Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Lunsford's story checked out. A search for the girl continued Friday; a national missing child alert was issued.

Jessica's grandmother Ruth Lunsford said the girl is a well-mannered child "who doesn't roam." She had attended church Wednesday night and had asked her grandmother to tuck her in when she was ready for bed.

"When God made Jessie, he made an angel," her grandmother said. "We have always called her Princess."

Dawsy said the girl's mother, Angie Lunsford, had been located in Ohio and was being interviewed by the FBI. He gave no details. Mark Lunsford said his daughter had had little contact with her mother.

Officials stopped short of putting out an Amber Alert. Florida's Amber Plan is activated when there is a detailed vehicle or abductor description to disseminate through broadcasters and highway information signs.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures


So they're giving no details on the mother.....typical.  But what with all the publicity in recent years (Elizabeth Smart, et al.), maybe this is the only way to get societal thinking changed in regards to possible parental involvement.
Father's Issues / I'm back!
Feb 15, 2005, 01:17:29 PM
Not to the degree I was before, but not gone completely either!  I have a new job that I just started last week (MY choice this time, LOL!) and I've got a feeling this could be the best move I've ever made.

DH and I are still sweethearts.....he's come a LONG way from a year ago and I'm SO proud of him....and he just bought me a BRAND NEW snowmobile for Valentine's Day!  Along with sending a dozen roses to my new work home!  What a sweetie!

DS is being a typical teen.........hormones, AD/HD.....and gving us more gray hair than we care to think about!  He still misses his dad tremendously.  He's having a lot of difficulty with his academics and attitudes, and we're looking into alternatives for him.

SS is doing well, too.  In fact, he's scheduled to have his tonsils out next month........and it's about time, cuz he can snore like an 80 y.o. geezer and has a perpetual runny nose.  AND he told PBFH that he is demanding that DH and I BOTH be there for it, bless his heart!  I went to his last (!) Pinewood Derby a couple weeks ago...he wasn't sure if I should, but I told him it was announced in the local paper, so the public is invited.  What blew my mind was how far PBFH was willing to bend over backwards to be NICE to me!  She even offered to get me duplicate pics.....since I FORGOT to get a new roll of film!

She has mentioned a couple times about SS getting braces.  Well, my new job is in the dental college!  I got info for DH to give to her about the ortho program here (which DS is in right now)..........from the way DH talked, it's hard to tell if she understood what he was telling her, but if she calls for the initial screening, the girls downstairs will set her straight, since the next program screenings don't start until this fall..  Plus, I can be here for ALL his appts.!  DH also informed her that this is the only place he would pay for SS's braces...since it's about $2000 cheaper.  Also, I added SS on my dental, which now pays 50%.  She may not be too happy that I will be so close, but her only other alternative is to pay thru the nose.

And I recently gave out info on this site and my name and number to a member of our church, who appears to be heading down this road.  He only has a teenage son left at home, who appears to be brainwashed by mom to stay with her.  I told him that it would be to his advantage to have the child seen by an objective, professional 3rd party to find out 'why', at least to get it documented.  I haven't heard from him yet, but I also told him that he really needs to educate himself, or he could be taken to the cleaners very easily.

I've missed you all SO much!  I may not be able to be here every day, but definitely more frequently than I have been.  I hope all is it can be, given the circumstances we're all in.........with all of you and want to let you all know that tho I may have been away from this site, you all have not been far from my heart and always in my prayers!
I can't come here as often as I used to, but I wanted to let you all know that you are on my mind, in my heart, and in my prayers always!

My Christmas holiday starts tomorrow, so I will be totally out of touch until next week.  I want to wish you all and your families a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year.  May this next year be the best yet for ALL of our children!

The one where the two brothers are anxiously waiting for the new 'catalog' and their sister beats them to it?  They made the boys look like idiots and when the sister shut her bedroom door, there was a sign on it that said 'Girls Rule, Boys Drool'.

And we're just starting into the holiday shopping season, imagine that.....

Time to hammer Toys 'R Us..............
Just received this from ACFC:

ACFC ANALYSIS - The Fabulous Fraud of VAWA

Thanks to Manumit Exchange for spotting these astounding
admissions in the Oregonian by Bonnie Tinker, a founder of
the "women's shelter" movement.  We're not making this up,
but just quoting what Tinker herself says in the article below
(check the link provided if you have any doubt about it).

They were actually "a bunch of homeless bar dykes" who
knew that "foundations were not going to fund a house" for
them.   So they conned the foundations by calling themselves
"battered women" and claiming that men did it, and suddenly
the flood-gates opened wide.  This was 29 years ago in 1975
before lesbian feminism took over the National Organization
for Women (NOW).  Because lesbian feminism had figured
out how to con the foundations, they had all the money and
the power that went with it, which they then used it to take
over NOW, which building on the same con-artist model,
then scammed Congress into giving them $3.5 billion for
the blatantly gender biased Violence Against Women Act
(VAWA) in 1994, and it's successor VAWA II in 2000.

According to this story, the whole thing was a con-artist
fraud from the beginning by "a bunch of homeless bar dykes"
looking for a flop-house to rest their weary bones at night.
This has to be one of the most fabulous frauds in the history
of Congress, almost every Member of which immediately
proceeded to trip all over themselves to shovel long-suffering
taxpayer dollars at "a bunch of homeless bar dykes."  Small
wonder that most women who get suckered into seeking
"shelter" at one of these dens of iniquity, gets indoctrinated
into believing in the myth of "patriarchal oppression", and
solicited into a lesbian life-style.  And they are so proud of
themselves for having pulled off this fabulous con game, that
now they openly admit it in the Oregonian.  Pardon our French,
but we can only conclude that these gals are what used to be
called brazen hussies.

Anyone who doubts it should check out the link provided
with the article below.  You've got to wade through a lot of
con artist propaganda at the beginning of the article to get
to the confessions of fraud in the second half.  Of course no
man, woman or child should be abused in the home.  But
contrary to the propaganda in first half of the article, it's just
not true that the women's shelter movement provides equal
services to men, and we've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell  
anyone who buys that pack of lies.  What we really need
is a gender neutral Domestic Violence Act to replace the
fabulous fraud of VAWA, whose true purpose is revealed in
the confessions in the last half of the article.   But don't take
our word for it - the Oregonian reports, you decide.


The Oregonian
November 01, 2004

Shame ends when women speak out
by S. Renee Mitchell

Mama Mia, a new Italian restaurant in downtown Portland, welcomed a frozen parade of cardboard figures representing some of the female voices silenced by domestic violence.

The program began early, at 8am Tuesday. Several women talked about
surviving an abusive relationship.

Eventually, it was restaurant owner Lisa Schroeder's turn at the imcrophone.  The executive chef is best known for her matzo-ball soup, sweet potato and apple casserole and pot roast she serves at her other restaurant, Mother's Bistro.

Wearing her cooking whites, Schroeder began her speech with a confession:  I am a survivor of domestic violence.

"I married him because I thought he was going to kill me," she says.

Schroeder says she stayed with her abuser for 10 years, after meeting him at age 17, because she didn't believe she had a choice. "How do you explain to somebody," she says, "that you're living with someone who makes you feel like a worthless, useless piece of garbage?"

Not many people know Schroeder's personal story. But she is sharing it so women can find hope in her pain - and give money to open more shelter beds.

"Maybe when women see examples of prominent people who are survivors, they will come to realize that they don't have to put up with it," Schroeder says. "They can be successful, not only leaving the abuser, but also in their lives."

Schroeder is one of the founders of a new organization - Bridges of Hope:  Businesswomen Against Domestic Violence. The campaign is housed at Bradley-Angle House, one of the oldest women's shelters on the West Coast.

Before Bradley-Angle House opened 29 years ago, many more women in Portland just endured abuse and wallowed in despair. The mantra preached by clergy, cops and community leaders was: Keep the family together at all costs.  Sometimes, the price was death.

"We don't stay in those relationships because we're stupid or because we're masochists," says Bonnie Tinker, one of the shelter's founders. "Women who are being abused in relationships really love this person who is abusing them."

Domestic abuse isn't directed only toward women; men are victims, too.
It also shows up in same-sex relationships. In fact, it was a small group of lesbians from Portland who were at the forefront of a national movement to provide safe havens for women.

"We knew that foundations were not going to fund a house for a bunch of
homeless bar dykes," says Tinker, creator of the gay-rights advocacy group, Love Makes a Family. "We realized the language that would be understood was the language of battered women."

So with help from friends, the women opened a home in Northeast Portland.  It didn't take long before police, prisons and social-service agencies were regularly sending women to their door.

"We had a house, but we really didn't know what we were doing," Tinker said.  "We just declared ourselves a social-service agency because we needed an agency. But it was an agency that would be run by women who themselves had experienced violence."

This courageous initiative led to Tinker helping create the National
Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which designates October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The coalition, which was run out of Tinker's home for several years, is now based in Denver.

The next generation of that kind of grass-roots advocacy is Bridges of Hope.  Schroeder says she wants more high-profile women to bring domestic violence out of its cloak of shame, guilt and silence. To join, call 503-238-1672.

For more information on relationship abuse, check out Raphael House's
Web site -

And starting Thursday, a play, titled "Cornered in the Dark," reveals the
psychological aftermath of sexual violence against women. For tickets,
check out or call 503-234-0973.

Finally, if you need advice, call the Portland Women's Crisis Line at
503-232-9751. Silence is never the solution.

Father's Issues / A MUST read.............
Oct 28, 2004, 05:45:32 AM
Forwarded to me from Mark Griebel of Iowa CNBP:

Divorce in the eyes of a Child

For years we have viewed child custody as a matter between a mother and a father with no mention of how children feel about their parents divorcing. I'm going to do my best to help you see divorce in the eyes of a child. I'm not a child psychologist so you're not going to get a psychiatric analysis. I don't think it's possible for a psychologist or any one else to understand how a child feels when parents divorce unless they lived it themselves. I'm going to explain to you in the eyes of a child based on my own experiences when I was a child of divorce. I'm going to start by giving you a little background about myself even though I'm not very comfortable doing so but it is for a good cause.

I was born in 1960 in Clinton, Iowa. At the time I had two older brothers ages seven and three. In 1961 my father died unexpectedly, I was nine months old. I never knew my dad and as you may wonder, how could I possibly know how a child feels when their parents divorce. A year after my father died my mother remarried and my sister was born. I grew up thinking that my stepfather was my real father until around the age of seven. That is when I learned about the death of my father. I was devastated but still realized how important my step dad was to me. He truly did his best and he cared deeply about all of us kids, he was my dad.

Unfortunately, when I was around seven years old my mother filed for divorce. This was at a time when fault divorce was law. I can testify from my experience that even though divorce was lower based on today's standards, when divorce did happen, it was just as ugly as it is today. Because my step dad was not my biological father the courts only gave my sister parent time with him. Only after I kicked and screamed to see him was I allowed to go along with my sister. I lost normal access to my dad and even though my mother continued to attack him he never retaliated. He was always focused on my sister and the rest of us boy's and never expressed bad feelings toward my mother even though he lost everything in the divorce. I no longer had the every day benefits of his wisdom, love, and nurturing. We all paid the ultimate price.

The main thing I remember as a child was that the conflict seemed to never end. My mother put him down often in the beginning and I felt so bad for my sister because I couldn't protect her from it. It was painful because the two people I needed most were opposite sides of the river and no longer communicating. The bad feelings were always present. This was a double whammy for me because I missed both my step dad and my biological father. I don't think my mother had a clue of the impact the divorce had on us. Children would rather keep the hurt to themselves than have to confront a parent.

It consumed me throughout my childhood, my teen years, and it showed. I was failing in school and I had low self-esteem. I thought of myself as a loser and that others were miles ahead of me. I was clearly on the path to destruction. I was lucky though because a teacher at my school recognized my problems and he got involved. This guy literally turned my life around and I still have contact with him till this day. I got into sports and started to take school seriously and my grades proved it. Those positive in my life were my teacher and my step dad, father figures.

As I was growing up I found myself studying my friends families, back then intact families were the norm. I could never get it out of my head what I was missing. I missed the family life we once had. Everybody in my family waiting at the dinner table while the pressure cooker was rattling on the stove. Those were good times but the divorce changed all of that. Like a flick of the switch, it was over.

Everything we read today about how divorce affects children is true. The only thing I disagree with is that these studies don't express how devastating divorce is in the eyes of a child. It was horrible to me and I'm still coping with it.

The only difference between my experience and what children face today is they may not feel so isolated as I did since divorce is more common. Theres no doubt that children today still feel the lose of family when divorce occurs with the acceptation of those parents who work together after divorce.

Today I have a son from my first marriage and two daughters with my current wife. As much as I try to be a dad for my son I can see a difference between him and my daughters. We simply don't have enough time together for me to make a major impression on him. I think that a child without normal access to either parent is a form of abuse. A form of abuse that can only be understood by a child.

My mother is not a bad person but because she chose to do battle with my dad, she destroyed any hope for us kid's to preserve a normal childhood. It wasn't all her fault. I think the courts take most of the blame because all they did for my parents was supply the battlefield.

Over the years the courts have failed to address these problems and seek solutions. Iowa legislators understand what this means and they did their part to correct the problem. Many were hoping the courts would follow suit. Today we see signs that maybe they haven't caught on. It's going to be up to us to make sure they do.

My advice to parents:

- Stop feeding money to the very system that failed you and your children. Rather, help us change the system so that it favors children.
- Avoid conflict with the other parent at all cost, there are two sides to a conflict.
- Take your grievances with the other parent and direct them to the real source of the problem, the court system.
- Think about what divorce means to your children and then decide if you  want to be a part of our Judicial Reform.

Mark Griebel

Chairman, Children Need Both Parents


Chapter President, Fathers For Equal Rights

Shame on me for not doing my homework!!!!!!!!!  Richard Campagna, Badnarik's VEEP mate, is an IOWAN!!!!!!!  Right here in 'River City'!  A local news station interviewed him last night.....come to find out he teaches at Kirkwood and St. Ambrose and previously at Mt. Mercy.  This guy has some pretty damn good credentials!

But here is is ONE WEEK before a major election and I'm just now discovering this!

I know what it is............I took the stance of many other Americans and 'assumed' that all the information I needed on the candidates would COME TO ME.......instead I have found that the ONLY way to make an informative decision is to search and seek out the information for myself.

Shame, shame, shame on me..............
Dear Members,
This is an issue that we will be dealing with very soon, Judges. Imagine how many Judges would be out of a job if they had to share with the public their biased views about divorce, how they view the father and their position against JPC!
Mark Griebel


'Strengthening Iowa's Families!'


"What can you tell me about the judges on my absentee ballot?"

We continue to receive numerous phone calls and emails from people who are have received their absentee ballots and don't have enough information about the judges to vote responsibly.

This has been the greatest voter frustration we have encountered in the last several election cycles.  Iowa law says judges must be on the ballot every four to eight years, to give the people a chance to keep or oust the judges who serve us.

Briefly, numerous people have tried over the past decade to create a system where voters could be educated on judges, so their vote could be more informed.  Questionnaires have been created to find out judges' philosophies on a variety of matters that come before them, but judges rarely answer them, saying they can't tip their hand on how they're going to rule on specific matters.  This is often a smokescreen, since the U.S. Supreme Court has said that judges can answer these types of questions, and voters have a right to know their answers.[1]

This creates the situation where the only information is from the judges' reputations and/or a few (if any) high-profile rulings or statements that get in the news.  Once in a while a bold attorney will speak about judges, but most attorneys are reluctant to say anything negative about any judge before whom they might have a case in the future.  

Focus on the Family has set out this year on a multi-year project to go state by state and find out more about judges.  They are meeting with significant resistance, having to sue in several states just to get questionnaires answered.  They have not been able to get to Iowa yet, but hope to do it here, and nationwide, eventually.  Therefore, this election cycle, we in Iowa have very little information to go on, or to pass on.

Our only direct involvement with judges has been:

1.)    In 2003, friends of our organization contacted us about the Iowa Supreme Court's refusal to accept a gift of a framed copy of the Ten Commandments, as part of a ten-document display of our founding legal documents.  They were willing to accept the other nine.  This same ten-document display had been approved earlier by a Federal court as being Constitutional, and was allowed to be hung in the State Capitol this year.

Three times privately and once publicly we gently and respectfully asked the Supreme Court to reconsider their position.  They refused to do so.

2.)    In November 2003, our office was contacted by Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), when they discovered that Judge Jeff Neary of Sioux City had granted a lesbian couple a divorce.  Our legal arm, the Iowa Liberty and Justice Center, along with ADF and several state legislators, appealed this ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.

If anyone has good info on judges' rulings, statements, and background information that would shed light on their judicial philosophy regarding marriage, right to life, obscenity and pornography, gambling, parental choice in education, and other pro-family issues, please contact us.  As we have the manpower to investigate and report accurately, we hope to provide this vital voter education service for upcoming elections.


[1] Republican Party of Minnesota v. White,  536 U.S. 765 (2002).


Victory! Domino's Pulls Support from Cox After Protests from Fathers' Groups, His Side Listeners
October 7, 2004
In the face of a storm of protest from father and child advocates, Domino's Pizza has withdrawn its support from a highly publicized campaign by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox which encourages child involvement in the collection of child support.
Over the past year Cox has targeted so-called "deadbeat dads" in Michigan with punitive measures and billboards which feature large handcuffs bearing the slogan "We Never Treat Deadbeats with Kid Gloves." His recently announced billboard campaign encourages custodial parents to have their children draw billboard designs critical of noncustodial parents who are allegedly behind on their child support.

Several advocacy groups, including the American Coalition for Fathers and Children and Dads of Michigan, along with nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Glenn Sacks and internet broadcaster Richar' Farr of KRightsRadio, have protested the campaign. A letter to Domino's from the ACFC notes that the billboard campaign "inflames conflict between parents and psychologically abuses children...common sense should tell you how psychologically harmful it is to children to ask them to draw a negative picture of one of their parents."

Sacks told his listeners that "most fathers who don't pay, can't pay" and urged them to call and write Domino's. Sacks, who hosts His Side with Glenn Sacks,  cited a Michigan Family Independence Agency study that says that almost 90% of all Michigan child support arrearages are owed by those earning less than $10,000 a year. He added:

"Many divorce settlements specifically say that parents are not allowed to denigrate or badmouth their ex-spouses in front of their children, and Mike Cox, the top law enforcement official in the state of Michigan, tells custodial parents to have their kids design billboards targeting their fathers!"

Farr emphasized that "children should never be dragged into discussions of adult issues like child support, visitation, or other divorce or family breakup topics. Divorce is already painful for kids....this campaign is encouraging more negativity."

In a prepared statement, Domino's said "we were not informed about this contest in advance, nor did we endorse the use of our company name in conjunction with it." The company has asked the Attorney General's office to be removed from the list of sponsors for the contest, and is planning to issue a public apology as early as today.


Run through the rain

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in

Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this

beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of

innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain

that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a

hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the

spout. We all stood there under the awning and just

inside the door of the Wal-Mart.


We waited, some patiently, others irritated because

nature messed up their hurried day. I am always

mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and

sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of

the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree

as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from

the worries of my day.


The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic

trance we were all caught in "Mom, let's run through

the rain," she said.


"What?" Mom asked.

"Let 's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom


This young child waited about another minute and

repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain,"


"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.


"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this

morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her

Mom's arm.


'This morning? When did I say we could run through the

rain and not get wet?'


"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy

about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through

this, he can get us through anything!"


The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you

couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood

silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.


Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she

would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her

for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said.

But this was a moment of affirmation in a young

child's life. A time when innocent trust can be

nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.


"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through

the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just

needed washing," Mom said.


Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and

laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through

the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their

heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were

followed by a few who screamed and laughed like

children all the way to their cars.


And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.


Circumstances or people can take away your material

possessions, they can take away your money, and they

can take away your health. But no one can ever take

away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make

time and take the opportunities to make memories

everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to

every purpose under heaven.


This kinda hit home, especially since DS's dad died of cancer 2 years ago.......just wanted to pass this on to all my good friends here at SPARC......
Just received this today:

Dear Members,

The Iowa Supreme Courts has dealt another blow to non-custodial parents. The Supreme Court has the responsibility to revise child support guidelines and as you know we were responsible for getting HF22 passed into law in Iowa. You would expect that the Courts would follow suit by addressing child support issues that are consistent with joint physical care arrangements. The courts did the opposite, previous guidelines stressed that if a parent has the children more that 128 days per year then that parent would receive a 25% decrease in support. The courts chose the reduce the percentage to 15%. There arguments is because of the new JPC law, they are concerned that more fathers will request JPC simply to get the cut. The courts are clearly going in the opposite direction from the state that is trying to be more father friendly.

The courts received suggestions from the Iowa Child Support Advisory Committee, which is supposed to be made up of independent members with open minds. This committee held public meetings across the state so that people like you and I could voice our concerns. Unfortunately, the committee was stacked against us, members of the committee consisted of members of Child Support Recovery and the Bar Association. Recommendations from this committee were turned over to the Iowa Supreme Court who formed their own committee to review and vote on the recommendations. Take a look at the list of appointed members of the SC committee.

Court of Appeals Judge Anuradha Vaitheswaran, co-chair,

Court of Appeals Judge Larry Eisenhauer, co-chair,

Attorney Eric Borseth,

Attorney Diane Dentlinger,

Assistant Attorney General Patricia Hemphill,

Attorney Deborah Hughes,

Assistant Attorney General Kevin Kaufman,

Attorney Steven Lytle,

Attorney Evelyn Ocheltree,

District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom, and

Senior Judge Richard Vipond.

It is very important that we act on this matter and not let up. For now lets focus on calling Rebecca Colton who is the Assistant to the Chief Justice. Simply inform Rebecca that the courts should reverse the decision to reduce the percentage for extraordinary visitation credit. Ask family members to make the call, we recommend that you continue to call troughout the week. The courts are wrong; no parent should be penalized for wanting more time with the kid's.

Always be polite when calling. Thanks for you support.

Call Rebecca at 515-281-8205, ring the phone off of the wall!!!!!!!!!


Mark Griebel

Below are the reports from the SC advisory committee to the Supreme Court and the results of the courts decision.


Iowa Supreme Court

Committee to Review Child Support Guidelines

Final Report*

May 2004


A. Introduction

Pursuant to the Federal Family Support Act of 1988, each state must maintain uniform child support guidelines and criteria, and review the guidelines and criteria at least once every four years. In Iowa, the Iowa General Assembly has entrusted the Iowa Supreme Court with this enormous responsibility (see Iowa Code section 598.21(4)).

In October 2003, the court established this committee, composed of judges and attorneys with expertise in the field of family law, to assist with the latest scheduled review of Iowa's child support guidelines. The committee included:

Court of Appeals Judge Anuradha Vaitheswaran, co-chair,

Court of Appeals Judge Larry Eisenhauer, co-chair,

Attorney Eric Borseth,

Attorney Diane Dentlinger,

Assistant Attorney General Patricia Hemphill,

Attorney Deborah Hughes,

Assistant Attorney General Kevin Kaufman,

Attorney Steven Lytle,

Attorney Evelyn Ocheltree,

District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom, and

Senior Judge Richard Vipond.

Mary Loven, CSRU Management Analyst, and Rebecca Colton, Assistant to the Chief Justice, served as staff. Policy Studies Inc., Denver, Colorado, served as technical consultant for the review.

When conducting this review, federal regulations require the consideration of economic data on the cost of raising children, as well as analysis of data concerning application of, and deviation from, the guidelines. In addition, Iowa Code section 598.21(4) requires that the guidelines review "emphasize the ability of a court to apply the guidelines in a just and appropriate manner based upon the individual facts of a judgment or case; and in determining monthly child support payments, consider other children for whom either parent is legally responsible for support and other child support obligations actually paid by either party pursuant to a court or administrative order." The committee fulfilled these requirements, and more.

Over the course of four months, we reviewed information about the number of deviations from the Iowa guidelines, studied current economic measures and health insurance data, and compared Iowa's guidelines to the latest child-rearing measures and to the guidelines of other states. We also considered perceived strengths and weaknesses of the current guidelines, and carefully evaluated a number of proposals for improvement.

We received substantial assistance from economist Jane Venohr, with Policy Studies Inc. (PSI), Denver, Colorado. PSI, nationally recognized for its expertise on child support guidelines, has assisted many states, including Iowa, with guideline reviews. Ms. Venohr was involved in Iowa's 2000 guidelines review. We are grateful to Ms. Venohr for her knowledge, hard work, and abundance of patience. She is an invaluable resource.

We are pleased to submit to the court the following report outlining our study, describing our findings, and presenting our recommendations for strengthening Iowa's child support guidelines.

B. History of Iowa's Child Support Guidelines

We began our study by reviewing the history of Iowa's child support guidelines, a useful exercise that gave us a clear understanding of the values guiding the formation and development of Iowa's guidelines.

Iowa's use of child support guidelines began with the courts in the early 1980s. From the beginning, the Iowa Supreme Court has implicitly recognized two fundamental principles: (1) the duty of both parents to provide adequate support for their children in proportion to their respective incomes, and (2) this shared obligation should be tied to the cost of raising a child. These principles serve as the foundation of Iowa's guidelines. Guided by these principles, the court has adapted and refined the guidelines over time to address the increasingly complex economic and societal issues facing families.

In 1984, the Iowa Supreme Court, upon the recommendation of the Judicial Council, adopted guidelines for temporary support. In adopting the first guidelines the court hoped to promote uniformity in temporary support orders, advance judicial economy, and reduce the cost of litigation. The early guidelines were simple tables that factored in both parents' net incomes and the number of minor children involved.

In 1987, the court adopted new temporary guidelines on the advice of the Judicial Council. They were arranged in simple charts depending on the number of children involved, using the net monthly income of both parents ranging from $0 to $1001 in increments of $100. The charts included a percentage that, when multiplied against the non-custodial parent's net monthly income, would determine the monthly child support obligation. These guidelines set the standard for future guidelines.

In 1988, soon after Congress passed the Federal Family Support Act, members of the Iowa General Assembly approached the Supreme Court about assuming the responsibility of promulgating permanent guidelines for Iowa. The legislators favored the court's involvement because the process of adopting court rules is much easier and less politically charged than the process for approving administrative rules and statutes. The court agreed to take on the duty, and the General Assembly codified the court's new responsibility.

In 1989, the court adopted the guidelines previously used for setting temporary support as Iowa's first permanent uniform guidelines. Since this initial action, the court has reviewed and revised the guidelines three times-in 1990, 1995, and 2000.

In 1990, after months of study and an opportunity for public comment, the court approved a more complex set of permanent guidelines. The 1990 guidelines included several more items as deductions for determining net income, addressed the issue of medical support, and revised the charts to include new percentages and special instructions for cases involving parents in low income ($500/month and under) and high income ($3000/month and above) brackets.

The court revised the guidelines again in 1995, after receiving recommendations from its advisory committee. The 1995 amendments included: extending the schedule to cover net income up to $6000/month, adjusting the schedules for persons with income under $500/month, adopting a fixed deduction as a multi-family adjustment (QADD), and adopting a uniform support computation form.

Major innovations to the guidelines followed the 2000 review. Based upon the recommendations of its advisory committee the court amended the guidelines to include a credit for no custodial parents for extraordinary amounts of visitation, allowed parties to deduct the total health insurance premium costs paid by each parent when the child is covered by the plan and a limited amount of unreimbursed medical expenses for purposes of calculating net income, and added a provision outlining the respective obligations of both parents with regard to medical expenses not covered by insurance.

C. Fact Finding

After taking time to reflect on the past, we turned our attention to the present-we examined the guidelines within the context of today's realities. Our fact finding covered a broad scope of information, including child support guidelines used by other states, economic data on child-rearing costs and health insurance premium costs, and deviations from the guidelines.

The committee learned about a number of measures of child-rearing costs, including Espenshade, USDA, Rothbarth, Betson, and Engel, and summarized each. According to Ms. Venohr, the USDA and Engel methods tend to overstate child-rearing expenses, while Rothbarth is slightly low. Betson is considered to be the most accurate measurement. Twenty-one states, including Iowa, use the Betson-Rothbarth method as the basis for their guidelines.

Ms. Venohr indicated that Iowa's present child support guidelines track very closely with the Betson-Rothbarth child-rearing expenditures and, therefore, need not be adjusted with one exception-when the custodial parent has no income, the schedule for families with three or more children is too high relative to both the order amounts from other states and the current measures of child-rearing costs.

Although Iowa's guidelines are considered to be an income shares model, the format is unique. For instance, Iowa uses percentages of the non-custodial parent's net income in its schedule, while most income shares states use dollar amounts that are apportioned between both parents. Also, Iowa does not use marginal proportions between income brackets, which results in "notches" in the Iowa guidelines. Ms. Venohr strongly recommended Iowa adopt a pure income shares model. Switching to a pure income shares model would eliminate the notch effect and provide other advantages.

Ms. Venohr distributed charts illustrating how Iowa's guidelines, applied in different scenarios, compare to guidelines of bordering states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Although Iowa's guidelines are near the high end of the group of states, they are right in line with the 2003 income shares prototype model and current child-rearing costs, with the exception noted above.

The committee reviewed the latest case data concerning the number of, and reasons for, child support orders that deviate from the guidelines. The data, generated by the Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU), indicate that in Iowa, deviations from the guidelines are rare. The data was based on IV-D cases (cases enforced by CSRU).

D. Public Outreach

In addition to gathering empirical data, the committee sought the views of other Iowans. Because restrictions of time and money did not allow for any scientific surveys, the committee relied on a public outreach process to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current guidelines.

As in the previous guideline reviews, the committee received public comment through the Child Support Advisory Committee established pursuant to Iowa Code section 252B.18. In February 2003, this committee sponsored public meetings in three locations-Fort Dodge, Tipton, and Des Moines-to gather public comment. The committee also received and accepted written comment. In July 2003, the committee submitted a summary of the public comment, along with its recommendations, to the State Court Administrator who later provided the information to our committee.

In addition, one of our committee members, District Court Judge Ovrom, surveyed Iowa's district court judges about their views of the extraordinary visitation credit. Nineteen judges responded. For the most part, the judges' collective view of the credit was neutral.

We also received comment from members of the Iowa State Bar Association. Committee members communicated with members of the Family Law section of the Bar Association and relayed the information to our committee.

E. Identifying Issues for Improvements

Aided by information gathered from these outreach efforts, we assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the current guidelines and identified the following issues to study in addition to the mandatory aspects of our review:

Tax filing status for calculating net income.

Adjustments for recipients of SSI.

Extraordinary visitation.

Shared physical care.


Health insurance premium costs.

Expansion of top income brackets.

Custodial parents with high income when non-custodial parent has low income.

Our committee discussed the provision for allocating uncovered medical expenses adopted in 2000. There was a consensus among committee members that this provision has been highly effective in equitably allocating expenses and reducing conflicts between parents. For these reasons, we did not review the issue beyond this initial discussion or recommend any changes to the rule.

At least three conclusions emerged from our review of the guidelines. First, we confirmed that Iowa's guidelines generally provide for a just and appropriate level of support based upon the individual facts of each case. Second, the exercise reminded us that it would be virtually impossible to design child support guidelines perfectly suited to address the unique circumstances of every family. And finally, we concluded that while Iowa's guidelines are for the most part in line with current child-rearing costs, they can be improved somewhat.

The recommendations that follow are our strategies for improvement. We believe that, if adopted, these proposals will clarify certain provisions, enhance others, and further promote the best interests of children and families in Iowa.

F. Recommendations for Improvements

1. Calculating Net Income

There appears to be widespread confusion over tax filing status. Judges and lawyers suggest the guidelines specify the appropriate filing statuses to be used when calculating the federal and state tax deductions for purposes of the guidelines.

During its discussion of this issue, the committee explored a number of related issues including situations when a married parent's new spouse has no income, the earned income credit, standard vs. itemized deductions, exemptions for dependents, the alternate method of computing taxes followed by CSRU pursuant to Iowa Code section 252B.7A, and cases in which actual taxes paid by a party differ substantially from the amount of the deduction allowed by the guidelines.

With regard to the earned income credit, the committee decided the credit should not be considered as income. Many states do not include the credit as income because it is considered a form of public assistance and is "means-tested."

After giving careful consideration to a wide range of tax-related issues, and analyzing the impact various proposals would have on the calculation of support, the committee approved a number of proposals concerning the calculation of net income. Committee members agreed that these recommendations would apply only for the purposes of calculating child support and would have no bearing on matters outside the guidelines.

Recommendation: We recommend for purposes of computing the taxes to be deducted from a parent's gross income, the court adopt the following uniform rules:

An unmarried parent shall be assigned either single or head of household filing status. Head of household filing status shall be assigned if a parent is the custodial parent of one or more of the mutual children of the parents.

A married parent shall be assigned married filing separate status.

The standard deduction applicable to the parent's filing status as determined above shall be used.

Each parent shall be assigned one personal exemption for the parent. The custodial parent shall be assigned one additional dependent exemption for each mutual child of the parents, unless a parent provides information that the noncustodial parent has been allocated the dependent exemption for such child.

If the amount of federal and/or state income tax actually being paid by the parent differs substantially from the amount(s) determined by the guideline method of computing taxes, the court may consider whether the difference is sufficient reason to adjust the child support under the criteria in Rule 9.11. This rule does not preclude alternate methods of computation by the Child Support Recovery Unit as authorized by Iowa Code section 252B.7A.

In addition, the committee recommends that gross monthly income not include the earned income tax credit.


2. Extraordinary Visitation Credits

Committee members raised concerns about the extraordinary visitation credit. Some members believe the credits are too high and result in parties using the credit as leverage for obtaining lower support obligations or as a reason for resisting increased visitation time because of the resultant decrease in child support. However, some committee members saw the credits as serving valid purposes-promoting more visitation and recognizing the contributions of noncustodial parents. After careful consideration of these issues, the committee agreed to preserve the credits but reduce the amounts in order to reduce its value as a bargaining chip. The committee studied different scenarios applying the credit at different rates. In addition, the committee considered, but decided against, a proposal to lower the threshold for credit from 127 days to 120.

Recommendation: We recommend the court reduce the amounts of the extraordinary visitation credit from 25%, 30%, and 35%, to 15%, 20%, and 25%.

3. Shared Physical Care or Split Care for Multiple Children

In 2001, at the request of the Supreme Court, the 2000 advisory committee reconvened to discuss the impact of the extraordinary visitation credit on shared physical care arrangements. The committee recommended that the 2004 review committee consider the method of calculating support in shared physical care arrangements.

The current guidelines do not address how to calculate support for shared physical care arrangements in which a child lives with each parent 50% of the year. Many lawyers and judges use a method referred to as an "offset" for purposes of determining the appropriate support in these cases. The offset method involves calculating the support obligation of each parent as if each was the noncustodial parent. The parent with the higher support obligation pays the other parent the difference between the two amounts. The offset is intended to cover each parent's obligation for providing routine expenses such as housing, food, and transportation. The offset method is the subject of case law.

Ms. Venohr reviewed the methods other states use for support in shared-parenting arrangements: the cross-credit approach (21 states), the Indiana approach or variations (5 states), and other formulas. In most methods, the support amount includes basic expenses such as food and housing, and parents work out other expenses such as music lessons and child care costs. Most states set a threshold amount of time that a child spends with a parent for triggering the shared parenting formula. Typically, most states use 20% to 35% shared time as the threshold because this is the amount of time at which the custodial parent's costs are significantly reduced.

Most committee members favored the offset method commonly used in Iowa. They believe it is the most equitable method for determining support in shared care cases. However, a few members questioned whether the subject needed to be included in the guidelines given the existence of case law. Shared physical care is growing in popularity and becoming more common. Providing a specific rule for support in these situations would eliminate uncertainty and promote uniformity in orders.

The committee discussed whether or not an amendment to the guidelines adopting the offset method should also include specific instructions about allocating expenses. Committee members familiar with shared physical care arrangements indicated that parents who are open to these arrangements are generally those who work well with each other on matters affecting their children. With this in mind, the committee agreed not to address allocation of expenses in the proposed rule, but to let parties work out the details themselves.

Recommendation: We recommend the court amend the guidelines to clarify the Extraordinary Visitation Credit is not applicable when the court orders equally shared physical care for a child. We also recommend the court amend the guidelines to include specific direction about using the offset method for calculating support in court-ordered shared physical care arrangements in which the parents equally share physical care of a child. We further recommend a similar provision when there is more than one child and the court orders split or divided physical care.


4. Health Insurance Premiums

No topic consumed the committee's time and energy more than the topic of health insurance premium costs. The committee conducted an extensive study of this complicated issue.

Currently, for purposes of calculating net monthly income, the child support guidelines allow both parents to deduct the total cost of health insurance paid by the parent if the child is covered by the plan, actual medical support paid pursuant to court or administrative order, and up to $25 per month for the parent's unreimbursed medical expenses. In addition, current Iowa law allows the court to consider the premium cost of a health insurance plan as a reason for varying from the child support guidelines (Iowa Code section 598.21(4)(a)). Although these provisions have worked well, they may not provide sufficient adjustments for skyrocketing health insurance premiums. For this reason, the committee closely examined health insurance costs and their impact on support.

The committee asked PSI to provide detailed information about health insurance premium costs and methods used by other states for allocating these costs, and to analyze a variety of options for addressing premium costs, including examples of their application within a range of income levels.

In addition, Ms. Venohr provided abundant information on health care costs, including information about children's insurance status in Iowa and nationally, the average annual cost of family coverage for employment-based health insurance plans, and the treatment of health insurance costs in other income shares states. The Consumer Expenditure Survey includes the average amounts of all out-of-pocket expenses, and does not separate medical expenses. Average health care costs in the 1991-1993 survey ranged from $1,000-$1900 a year. However, health care costs have increased substantially in recent years. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, average monthly health insurance costs in the Midwest region are $155 for family coverage, and $38 for single coverage.

Most states that use the income shares model for child support guidelines include the cost of ordinary medical expenses in their support schedule. In addition, these states also pro rate the cost of insurance premiums and extraordinary medical expenses between parents. Most income shares states do not deduct medical expenses or health insurance premium costs from income as Iowa does.

Most states use the actual cost of covering a child under a health care plan. If this information is not available, these states pro rate the premium by the total number of people covered by the policy. Alabama includes the difference between the cost of a single policy and the cost of a family policy, but is considering changing to the pro rating method used by most states. Nebraska treats health insurance costs as a separate consideration distinct from support. Pennsylvania includes the actual cost of covering the parent and the child if this information is available and if it is not, Pennsylvania pro rates the cost among the total number of people covered by the plan.

According to PSI, the upper brackets of Iowa's current schedule ($3000 to $6000/net income per month) include the average cost of all routine medical expenses because these brackets, which were developed by PSI, were derived from the Betson-Rothbarth measurements of child rearing costs. PSI does not have information about the $801-2000 portion of Iowa's schedule, which appears to be based upon a number of sources.

The committee considered a number of different options for treating health insurance premium costs, including treating the cost as an uncovered medical expense with and without a cap on the expenses with no deduction of the cost from income. Other options included pro rating the cost of the child's share of insurance above one percent of combined income, or deducting the entire premium cost from income and pro rating the child's share between the parents. The committee reviewed numerous examples of the impact of each option on each parent at different income levels.


The committee carefully evaluated each option according to the following goals: (1) an outcome that is fair to both parties, (2) simple to apply, and (3) in line with economic values. The committee reviewed numerous examples of the impact of each option on each parent at different income levels. After an exhaustive analysis, the committee found no compelling solution to the issue because no option provided an equitable solution in all of the scenarios. The committee believes that this problem is related to Iowa's variant form of the income shares model. Consequently, the committee does not recommend any changes with respect to health insurance premiums at present, but suggests an interim study committee to consider whether adoption of a pure income shares model would better address health insurance.

No Recommendation.

5. Extending Top Income Brackets of Schedule

The top income levels of the schedule, from $3000 to $6000, were added in 1995. The committee agreed it was time for another extension so that the schedules track rising incomes. The committee directed PSI to develop a proposal extending the top brackets from $6000 to $10,000 in increments of $1000, with support amounts in line with the current schedule and child-rearing costs, which include a factor for routine medical costs.

Recommendation: For the reasons stated above, we recommend the court extend the guideline schedules from $6000 to $10,000 according to the percentages devised by PSI at the committee's direction. The committee further recommends inclusion of a double asterisk consistent with the current footnote for income in excess of the maximums on the schedule, and replacing certain percentages with an asterisk designated for minimum amount orders in the low income end of the schedule.

6. Adjustments for Recipients of SSI

Federal law prohibits attachments of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments received pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1381a. SSI is a federal welfare payment to provide a subsistence allowance for needy aged, blind or disabled individuals. Unlike other benefits, SSI benefits are not intended to support the recipient's dependents. A majority of courts have held that federal law preempts state law from treating SSI as income available for child support calculations or upon which support can be based. Therefore, the child support recovery unit (CSRU) does not ask the court to order child support when a noncustodial parent's only income is SSI. For these reasons, the committee suggests amending the Iowa guidelines to make an exception from the minimum support requirement for noncustodial parents whose sole income is derived from SSI.

Recommendation: We recommend the court add the following statement to the footnotes in the guideline schedules: "However, the appropriate figure is zero if the non-custodial parent's only income is from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) paid pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1381."


Some committee members wanted to revisit the QADD provision with the possibility of raising the amounts of the deductions. However, the committee decided against recommending any change to the QADD as it may be unnecessary in light of the recommendation to change the method for calculating the deductions for taxes.

No Recommendation.

8. Custodial Parent Income

An anomaly in the guidelines results in disparities in application of the guidelines when custodial parents earn much more than noncustodial parents. This inequity would be addressed if Iowa adopted the pure income shares model as recommended by PSI. The committee agreed that this issue should either be studied during the 2008 review or by an interim committee.

No Recommendation.

9. Interim Study of Pure Income Shares Model

One idea resurfaced time and time again during the committee's discussions-replacing Iowa's present guidelines with a pure income shares model. A pure income shares model has many advantages. It is easy to understand and apply. It would help address the problem of sharing rising medical expenses and health insurance costs. A pure income shares model would eliminate the "notch effect" in Iowa's current guidelines. And it would reduce the inequities discussed above with regard to custodial parents who earn more than noncustodial parents.

Recommendation: We urge the court to establish an interim committee to study whether Iowa should adopt a pure income shares model.

(See an example of a model developed by PSI).

10. Worksheets

Recommendation: We recommend adjustments to the worksheets consistent with our other recommendations.


* This copy of the report has been slightly modified for the purpose of posting it on the Web.












Pursuant to Iowa Code section 598.21(4) (2003) and the Family Support Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-485, the supreme court has undertaken a review of the Child Support Guidelines. By action of the court, chapter 9 of the Iowa Court Rules is amended, effective November 1, 2004. The attachments to this order contain the amended rules shown in a strike-out format. The child support charts and worksheets are replaced in their entirety with the attached charts and worksheets.

Dated this 23rd day of September, 2004.





By__/s/ Louis A. Lavorato___________

Louis A. Lavorato, Chief Justice




Iowa Court Rules Chapter 9 - Child Support Guidelines


Rule 9.1 Guidelines adopted. The supreme court has undertaken to prescribe uniform child support guidelines and criteria pursuant to the federal Family Support Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-485 and Iowa Code section 598.21(4). The child support guidelines contained in this

chapter are hereby adopted, effective August 1, 2000 November 1, 2004.

The guidelines shall apply to cases pending on August 1, 2000 November 1, 2004.

February 2002

Rule 9.2 Charts. The charts contained in this chapter are established as guidelines for use by the courts of this state in determining the amount of child support. The charts are applicable to modification of child support orders as provided in Iowa Code section 598.21(9).

Rule 9.3 Purpose. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide for the best interests of the children by recognizing the duty of both parents to provide adequate support for their children in proportion to their respective incomes. While the guidelines cannot take into account the

specific facts of individual cases, they will normally provide reasonable support.

Rule 9.4 Guidelines - rebuttable presumption. In ordering child support, the court should determine the amount of support specified by the guidelines. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of child support which would result from the application of the guidelines prescribed by the supreme court is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. That amount may be adjusted upward or downward, however, if the court finds such adjustment necessary to provide for the needs of the children and to do justice between the parties under the special circumstances of the case.

Rule 9.5 Net monthly income. In the guidelines the term "net monthly income" means gross monthly income less deductions for the following:

9.5(1) Federal income tax (properly calculated withholding or estimated payments) (calculated pursuant to the guideline method).

9.5(2) State income tax (properly calculated withholding or estimated payments) (calculated pursuant to the guideline method).

9.5(3) Social security deductions.

9.5(4) Mandatory pension deductions.

9.5(5) Union dues.

9.5(6) Health insurance premium either deducted from wages or paid by a parent for health insurance so long as the child is covered by the policy.

9.5(7) Actual medical support paid pursuant to court order or administrative order.

9.5(8) Parent's unreimbursed medical expenses, not to exceed $25 per month.

9.5(9) Prior obligation of child support and spouse support actually paid pursuant to court or administrative order.

9.5(10) Qualified additional dependent deductions.

9.5(11) Actual child care expense while custodial parent is employed, less the appropriate income tax credit. Other items, such as credit union payments, charitable deductions, savings or thrift plans, and voluntary pension plans, are not to be deducted from a parent's income, since the needs of the children must have a higher priority than voluntary savings or payment of indebtedness.

Gross monthly income does not include public assistance payments or the earned income tax credit.

Rule 9.6 Guideline method for computing taxes. For purposes of computing the taxes to be deducted from a parent's gross income, the following uniform rules shall be used:

9.6(1) An unmarried parent shall be assigned either single or head of household filing status. Head of household filing status shall be assigned if a parent is the custodial parent of one or more of the mutual children of the parents.

9.6(2) A married parent shall be assigned married filing separate status.

9.6(3) The standard deduction applicable to the parent's filing status under rule 9.6(1) or 9.6(2) shall be used.

9.6(4) Each parent shall be assigned one personal exemption for the parent. The custodial parent shall be assigned one additional dependent exemption for each mutual child of the parents, unless a parent provides information that the noncustodial parent has been allocated the dependent exemption for such child.

If the amount of federal and/or state income tax actually being paid by the parent differs substantially from the amount(s) determined by the guideline method of computing taxes, the court may consider whether the difference is sufficient reason to adjust the child support under the criteria in rule 9.11. This rule does not preclude alternate methods of computation by the Child Support Recovery Unit as authorized by Iowa Code section 252B.7A.

Rule 9.6 9.7 Qualified additional dependent deduction.

To establish a qualified additional dependent deduction, the requesting party must demonstrate a legal obligation to the child(ren) through one of the following actions:

9.6(1) 9.7(1) By order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by administrative order when authorized by state law.

9.6(2) 9.7(2) By the statement of the person admitting paternity in court and upon concurrence of the mother. If the mother was married, at the time of birth or conception of the child, to an individual other than the person admitting paternity, the individual to whom the mother was married at the time of birth or conception must deny paternity in order to establish the paternity of the person admitting paternity upon the sole basis of the admission.

9.6(3) 9.7(3) By the filing of an affidavit of paternity executed on or after July 1, 1993, as provided in Iowa Code section 252A.3A, provided that the mother of the child was unmarried at the time of birth and conception of the child or if the mother was married at the time of birth or conception of the child, a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the individual to whom the mother was married at the time is not the father of the child.

9.6(4) 9.7(4) By a child being born during the marriage unless the paternity has been determined otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Rule 9.7 9.8 Deduction amount and use.

9.7(1) 9.8(1) The monthly deduction for qualified additional dependents (custodial or noncustodial) shall be:

a. $135 for one (1) child.

b. $213 for two (2) children.

c. $279 for three (3) children.

d. $330 for four (4) children.

e. $383 for five (5) or more children.

9.7(2) 9.8(2) The qualified additional dependent deduction can be used for the establishment of original orders or in proceedings to modify an existing order. However, the deduction cannot be used to affect the threshold determination of eligibility for a downward modification of an existing order. After the threshold determination has been met, the deduction shall be used in the determination of the net monthly income. A deduction may be taken for a prior obligation for support actually paid (rule 9.5(9)) or a qualified additional dependent deduction (rule 9.5(10)) but both deductions cannot be used for the same child. A qualified additional dependency deduction cannot be claimed for a child for whom there is a prior court or administrative support order.

If the noncustodial parent's court-ordered visitation exceeds 127 days per year, the noncustodial parent shall receive a credit to the guideline amount of child support in accordance with the following table:

Days Credit

128-147 25%

148-166 30%

167 or more 35%

For the purposes of this credit, "days" means overnights spent caring for the child. Failure to exercise court-ordered visitation may be a basis for modification. The credit for extraordinary visitation shall not reduce a

child support obligation below the minimum amount required by the guidelines ($50 for one child, $75 for two children, $100 for three children, or $125 for four or more children).

Rule 9.9 Extraordinary visitation credit. If the noncustodial parent's court-ordered visitation exceeds 127 days per year, the noncustodial parent shall receive a credit to the guideline amount of child support in accordance with the following table:

Days Credit

128-147 15%

148-166 20%

167 or more but less than equally shared physical care 25%

For the purposes of this credit, "days" means overnights spent caring for the child. Failure to exercise court-ordered visitation may be a basis for modification. The credit for extraordinary visitation shall not reduce a

child support obligation below the minimum amount required by the guidelines ($50 for one child, $75 for two children, $100 for three children, or $125 for four or more children).

February 2002

Rule 9.8 9.10 Child support guidelines worksheet. All parties shall file a child support guidelines worksheet prior to a support hearing or the establishment of a support order. The parties shall use Form 1 that accompanies these rules, unless both parties agree to use Form 2. The Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) shall use Form 2.

Rule 9.9 9.11 Variance from guidelines. The court shall not vary from the amount of child support which would result from application of the guidelines without a written finding that the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate as determined under the following criteria:

9.9(1) 9.11(1) Substantial injustice would result to the payor, payee, or child.

9.9(2) 9.11(2) Adjustments are necessary to provide for the needs of the child and to do justice between the parties, payor, or payee under the special circumstances of the case.

9.9(3) 9.11(3) Circumstances contemplated in Iowa Code section 234.39.

Rule 9.10 9.12 Medical support order. In addition, the court shall enter an order for medical support as required by statute.

"Uncovered medical expenses" means all medical expenses for the child not paid by insurance. The custodial parent shall pay the first $250 per year per child of uncovered medical expenses up to a maximum of $500 per year for all children. Uncovered medical expenses in excess of $250 per child or a maximum of $500 per year for all children shall be paid by the parents in proportion to their respective net incomes. "Medical expenses" shall include, but not be limited to, costs for reasonably necessary medical, orthodontia, dental treatment, physical therapy, eye care, including eye glasses or contact lenses, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, and any other uncovered medical expense. Uncovered medical expenses are not to be deducted in arriving at net income.

Rule 9.11 9.13 Stipulation for child and medical support - court review. A stipulation of the parties establishing child support and medical support shall be reviewed by the court to determine if the amount stipulated and the medical support provisions are in substantial compliance with the guidelines. A proposed order to incorporate the

stipulation shall be reviewed by the court to determine its compliance with these guidelines. If a variance from the guidelines is proposed, the court must determine whether it is justified and appropriate, and, if so, include the stated reasons for the variance in the order.

Rule 9.14 Joint physical care. In cases of court-ordered joint (equally shared) physical care, child support shall be calculated in the following manner: compute the child support required by these guidelines for each party assuming the other is the custodial parent; offset the two amounts as a method of payment; and the net difference shall be paid by the party with the higher child support obligation. Unless variance is warranted under rule 9.11.

Rule 9.15 Split or divided physical care. In the cases of court-ordered split physical care, child support shall be calculated in the following manner: determine the amount of child support required by these guidelines for each party based on the number of children in the physical care of the other party; offset the two amounts as a method of payment; and the net difference shall be paid by the party with the higher child support obligation. Unless variance is warranted under rule 9.11.


Rules 9.16 to 9.25. Reserved.

E-mailed to me by Mark Griebel of Iowa CNBP:
> August 26, 2004
> by Joe Sobran
> I don't read much fiction, so I was disinclined to
> read the manuscript of a new novel that arrived in the
> mail a few months ago. I'd never heard of the author. But
> the story was set in my home town, Ypsilanti, Michigan,
> and I gave it a try, expecting to be bored after a
> chapter or two.
> I found myself still reading it in the wee hours. It
> was one of the most emotionally grueling stories I'd ever
> read. But as soon as I woke up in the morning I had to
> finish it. The author asked for my endorsement; after
> reading it, I wanted to give copies to all my friends. It
> was that powerful.
> The book, BLIND BASEBALL: A FATHER'S WAR, has now
> been published by AuthorHouse in Bloomington, Indiana
> (// It's not about baseball; it's
> about a divorce, and much more. The title is an odd but
> apt metaphor explained late in the book. The author,
> Allen Green, writes with such passion it's tempting to
> believe the tale is autobiographical, but it isn't.
> The story's hero, Barry Ballinger, has, to say the
> least, a troubled marriage. His wife, Sal, serves him
> with divorce papers, empties their bank account, and
> spitefully runs up huge debts in his name. She also means
> to take custody of their six children. And that's just
> the beginning of her campaign to ruin, humiliate, and
> utterly destroy him.
> Barry goes to a lawyer, who tells him that under
> Michigan's no-fault divorce law his chances of getting
> custody of the children are almost nil. Originally
> intended to level the playing field and make the
> dissolution of marriage as painless as possible, the law
> actually has the opposite effect: It gives women like
> Sal, who know how to play the angles, huge legal
> advantages. It also serves the interests of predatory
> men, like the sponging lovers Sal brings into the home
> once Barry has been expelled. The horror is that Barry is
> punished for trying to be a responsible father.
> Sal is none too bright, but she has a shrewd
> instinct for power. With the aid of her lawyer -- a
> "barracuda at law," in Barry's phrase -- she turns all
> the resources of the state against Barry. Through her
> machinations and false accusations, he loses his
> children, his property, his livelihood, his reputation,
> and very nearly his sanity. At one point he actually
> finds himself committed to a mental institution. He seems
> to be baffled at every turn. For a while his situation
> seems hopeless.
> BLIND BASEBALL is to domestic law what NINETEEN
> EIGHTY-FOUR is to politics. It vividly shows how
> bureaucratic "social services" can be perverted into
> tools of raw power over the unsuspecting individual. At
> first Barry naively assumes the basic fairness of the
> system; he is quickly disabused by the successive
> hammer-blows of Sal's cunning malice.
> What makes this more than a mere divorce novel is
> Green's grasp of the systematic nature of the forces
> Barry faces. Slowly he comes to realize that he's up
> against something more than a flaw in the system: This is
> just how the system is designed to work.
> But unlike Orwell's hapless hero, Winston Smith,
> Barry is no passive victim. As he comprehends that the
> real enemy is much bigger than Sal, and as Sal herself
> overplays her hand, he manages to achieve a limited
> victory -- though only after the turmoil has caused him
> and his kids enormous stress and pain.
> Many fathers can attest that Barry's plight is
> neither unique nor exaggerated. The laws, institutions,
> and state agents that nearly crush him are real, and this
> is how they operate in countless cases every day. Some
> fathers, despairing of justice under the law, kidnap
> their own children and disappear.
> The book isn't entirely bleak. Barry receives
> encouragement and wisdom from his old mentor, Art Smith,
> who explains that the state is dedicated to destroying
> families. The root of Barry's crisis is the materialist
> philosophy that shapes the laws, creating an unnatural
> balance of power. Once he understands this, Barry is able
> to pull himself together and salvage his and his
> children's lives. And Sal's malignity finally carries its
> own punishment.
> BLIND BASEBALL is in the end a comment not only on
> marriage and divorce, but on the irrationality of modern
> law itself. Barry's bitter wit adds both wry amusement
> and sharp insight to a wrenching drama of the soul
> against the state.


Anybody heard of this book?  Definitely sounds like something that would finally put the spotlight on the plight of fathers and children....even better if they made it into a movie.........
Father's Issues / Heads up, Illinois! (long)
Sep 10, 2004, 06:57:30 AM
Just received this from CNBP in regards to IL reforms:

Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 6:15 PM
Subject: [IPFC] Hearing on Proposed Supreme Court Rules Involving Child
Custody Laws

> Hearing on Proposed Supreme Court Rules Involving Child Custody Laws;
> Groups to Ask for Sweeping Reforms
> Advocates Push for Shared Parenting as Alternative to Government
> Involvement in Families
> Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 8, 2004 --  The Rules Committee of the
> Illinois Supreme Court announced today that it will hear comments at
> a public hearing on Friday, September 10th at 10:00 A.M. on several
> proposals including a set of rules for judges and lawyers emphasizing
> the importance of child custody proceedings. The rules pertaining to
> child custody are proposed by the Special Supreme Court Committee on
> Child Custody Issues which has been studying the need for changes
> since it was established by the Supreme Court on January 30, 2002.
> Community and family advocacy groups say that Illinois lags far
> behind other states in making changes to child custody laws, and will
> be asking for reforms aimed at encouraging shared parenting in the
> lives of children raised in single parent households.
> "Beyond the continuing cycle of government spending and involvement
> in the family, findings show that a renewed emphasis on parental
> involvement is needed, and our communities are ready for such a
> change," according to Michael Burns, Executive Director of the public
> interest group Dialog on Sustainable Community, based in Chicago,
> Illinois.
> "Parents are parents whether they are rich or poor, married,
> unmarried, single, or divorced. We need to affirm and protect their
> standing in the community and stop treating them as second-class
> citizens," says Burns. "Our high rate of divorce, juvenile
> incarceration, drug use and teen pregnancy should be enough to tell
> anyone that our public policy toward children and parents is an
> abominable failure that is worthy of review."
> Studies have shown that children raised without the active
> involvement of both parents experience greater rates of delinquency,
> suicide, poor academic performance, lower standards of living,
> incarceration, and other negative outcomes. Even after differences in
> income, children who were born out of wedlock and either remained in
> a single-parent family or whose mother subsequently married had
> significantly poorer math and reading scores and lower levels of
> academic performance than children from continuously married
> households, according to Elizabeth C. Cooksey, author
> of "Consequences of Young Mothers' Marital Histories for Children's
> Cognitive Development," published in the Journal of Marriage and the
> Family.
> Studies also acknowledge an increase in gang involvement by children
> who originate from single parenting households. In recent years, the
> Chicago Crime Commission has acknowledged an active gang membership
> of greater than 30,000 in the city of Chicago. "These numbers confirm
> the long held belief that government, though well-intentioned, does
> not have the sole capacity to manage such pervasive issues-issues
> that have been traditionally handled with the active involvement of
> both parents," says Burns. "Though it is a stark example, it tells us
> that our policies toward unmarried parents and children do not work
> for everyone. Providing a better scenario for greater parental
> involvement would serve as a likely deterrent, so that our children
> do not have to go looking for a sense of family or belonging in the
> wrong places."
> Unhealthy Trend in Single Parenting; Parents Remain Under-represented
> Studies by the Census Bureau and other government agencies show that
> more than 40% of U.S. children will spend a significant part of their
> pre-adult life without the active involvement of one parent. "Parents
> are generally under-represented in our society and placed under
> greater pressure when they are devalued as a group," according to
> Michael McCormick, Executive Director of American Coalition for
> Fathers and Children, based in Washington, DC.
> "We live in a time when more and more children are growing up in
> single-parent homes. Whether the cause of this phenomenon is from the
> high rate of divorce, the result of unmarried childbearing or other
> influences, the outcome for our society hasn't been what it should
> be," says McCormick. "Parents are looking for affirmation and support
> in developing their most significant responsibility, and this is why
> we must do more to strengthen and nurture their position in our
> communities."
> For children raised in the absence of one parent, entrance into
> higher education is a common dilemma for social, academic, and
> financial reasons, according to recent studies. Academics from many
> sectors have indicated that the caliber of student coming into
> accredited 4-year college programs has been in a steady decline for
> more than forty years. Studies show that children with involved,
> loving parents are significantly more likely to do well in school,
> have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior,
> and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal
> activity compared to children who have uninvolved parents.
> "The role that parents play in developing and cultivating their
> children, preparing them to accept their purpose as citizens in
> today's society, is probably the most important job anyone can ever
> undertake," says McCormick. "We need to assure that children have the
> opportunity to benefit from the unique contributions each parent
> makes to their development, regardless of the parent's present
> marital status."
> States Make Strides to Resolve Single Parenting; Link to Societal
> Issues
> According to a report issued by the Federal Interagency Forum on
> Child and Family Statistics entitled "America's Children: Key
> National Indicators of Well-Being," the rate of child abuse in single-
> parent families is nearly twice the rate of child abuse in two-parent
> households. Studies have shown that children fare better in
> communities that embrace the concept of shared parenting, where
> unmarried parents are able to spend more time with their children.
> "Because the health and well-being of children depend so much on how
> we value and  protect them, providing an opportunity for shared
> parenting is in their best interests," according to David L. Levy,
> Director of Children's Rights Council in Washington, D.C.  "While
> there has been a great deal of progress made in recent years, there
> is still much to be done. Our public policy doesn't create enough
> emphasis on the active involvement of both parents," says Levy.
> Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, DC, and most recently Iowa are among
> states that have updated their laws to reflect the changing needs of
> communities, with California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois,
> Pennsylvania, and Tennessee considering similar changes.
> "Parents have been asking for these reforms for years. The difficulty
> we face is that this type of legislation often bogs down in lawyer-
> dominated judiciary committees," says McCormick. "In some states
> where there is a continual stream of parenting bills being
> introduced, you'll also notice poor compliance with child support and
> visitation laws. It indicates that parents are unhappy with these
> arrangements and want more equity. Unfortunately, our children and
> the communities where they reside are the ones who suffer the most.
> As an additional hurdle, there is judicial frustration of legislative
> intent when the judiciary does not respond accordingly to such hard
> won reforms. This creates an even larger burden, especially when
> parents become disaffected by the system or are treated as "visitors"
> in the lives of their own children and are prodded to walk away."
> Sustainability Indicators Put Health of Communities into Question
> Experts in the field of sustainable development note the carrying
> capacity of a community to absorb such problems can vary, depending
> on array of indictators such as human and social capital.
> "While each community should be afforded certain fundamental building
> blocks, it is clear that our current policies do not provide a
> sustainable environment for all," according to Burns. "In order for
> each community to thrive, we need to start with a public policy that
> helps us meet the needs of the present generation, without
> compromising the ability of future generations to do the same."
> "By fixing the issues associated with separated parents and children,
> we can foresee long-term gains in just about every category that
> determines the potential success of a community. It is both prudent
> and cost-effective to our bottomline to create an incentive for
> parents to stay close," says Burns. "Providing a better scenario for
> shared parenting enhances the potential for human and social capital
> to thrive in our communities, and that's what we need if were going
> to create safe, happy environments that protect the standing of
> parents and children."
> "Our goal in coming together to support this nationwide initiative is
> to develop efforts that lead to public policy acceptance of a simple
> premise: "Children Need Both Parents."
>                          #      #       #
> For more information, contact:
> Michael Burns
> Executive Director
> Dialog on Sustainable Community
> [email protected]
> Michael McCormick
> Executive Director
> American Coalition for Fathers and Children
> 1718 M. St. NW #187
> Washington, DC 20036
> [email protected]
> David L. Levy
> President
> Children's Rights Council
> 6200 Editors Park Drive, Suite 103
> Hyattsville, MD 20782
> 301.559.3120
> [email protected]
> Joseph Tybor
> Press Secretary for the Supreme Court of Illinois
> 222 N. LaSalle, 13th floor
> Chicago, IL 60601
> (312) 793-2323
You've talked enough about your ex to make it obvious (even if she weren't professionally diagnosed) that she's balance, and that's putting it mildly.  That being said, how can these mentally ill people keep it together long enough to get their claws into someone, before going berserk?  Or are the signs so subtle that it would take a professional to even see it?

I know you're in healthcare, tho not mental health.  But do you think, in hindsight, there were any signs (before things got serious, or at least to the point of....copulation) that you realize now you probably should have heeded?

Here's my train of thought:  I may be all washed up, but from all these years of going thru and reading stuff like this, I've come to the conclusion that either we're talking about exes who were/are mentally ill (officially diagnosed) or at least show the signs.  And if that's the case, what signs could a person watch out for to steer clear of these people, so as not be caught up in their webs of deception?  I'm not saying that these people should be ignored or not helped, because they should be.  I'm just trying to think of what to tell my son to look for and avoid so he doesn't get weaseled into some relationship with someone who have no business being in an intimate relationship in the first place.

Or do hormones override the majority of it????
Father's Issues / California Victory!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 16, 2004, 01:13:46 PM
Victory! Burton Pulls SB 730 in Face of Enormous Opposition
August 16, 2004

We have just received word that California Senate President John Burton has decided to withdraw SB 730--the bill to abrogate the LaMusga decision and create unrestricted move-aways.

Thanks to the thousands of you who responded to our campaign and supported us. Today the bonds between tens of thousands of California children and their noncustodial parents have been preserved.

Usually our side loses the battle in the media, which helps precipitate a defeat in the legislature. This time was clearly different. The Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways garnered a ton of press attention, most of it quite favorable. To learn more about ACCAMA's impact, visit ACCAMA in the Media.

However, please remember that our opponents will be back next year, probably in January. There will be a different sponsor and a different bill number but they will be back. ACCAMA will fight any bill which disregards the loving bonds between children and both of their parents.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks
Listen to His Side with Glenn Sacks  


Way to go!
Father's Issues / Just received this..........
Aug 13, 2004, 08:51:38 AM
......from Mark Griebel of CNBP.  This is EXTREMELY thought-provoking and should be used to push legislation for rebuttable presumption of JC:

Dear Members,

This is good!


> Attorney Tom James just posted this to a Minnesota political
> forum in response to the typical bs that we all hear.  Since it's
> from an attorney who is on our side, which is an anamoly, I think
> you might find it to be valuable, as I do:
> I agree with Bob and Doug that equality of rights is at least as
> important a value as joint custody. At the same time, though,
> I don't think it is possible to sever the concept of joint custody
> from the concept of equality under the law. By operation of law,
> both members of a married couple have joint custody of their
> children; it is only when  parties separate that the law assumes
> that one of the parties needs to keep that title and one party
> needs to be divested of it. Awards of sole custody therefore
> involve unequal treatment of the children of married parents
> vis-a-vis the children of divorced parents. They also entail
> discrimination between--i.e., unequal treatment of--the
> children of unwed parents and the children of married parents.
> In truth, there was never any logical basis for the assumption
> that only one parent should or must be awarded sole custody
> of children in the first place. Why was it ever considered
> necessary to call one parent a "custodian" and the other a
> "visitor"? The answer to this question has nothing to do with
> Anna Freud, et. al.'s book, Beyond the Best Interests of the
> Child, the book that is most often cited in support of the
> judicial preference for sole custody. That book was written
> well after courts had assumed that they must make an award
> of custody to one parent only. At best, the book's argument
> about stability is only a rationalization, not the source of the
> assumption. (And even the authors of that book changed their
> minds, pointing out in later editions that they are not, in fact,
> opposed to joint custody.)
> The truth is that presumptive sole custody developed early in
> our country's history at a time when children were regarded in
> law as chattel, i.e., property. Accordingly, it made sense then
> to allocate such "property" to one of the parents, just as the
> other items of property the parties owned were to be allocated
> to one or the other parent in a divorce.  
> As our law has evolved, we no longer indulge the fiction of
> marital "unity" (the notion that wives are "part" of their husbands,
> so they don't need to vote, etc.) that was used to rationalize the
> subjugation of women for so long, but we have been very slow
> to evolve past the point of regarding children as chattel. We still
> seem to think that it makes sense to believe that the children,
> like the house, are items of property that need to be "awarded"
> to one parent or the other in a divorce. That is the assumption
> that the bill for presumptive joint custody seeks to challenge.
> Unlike laws that have been passed in other states, and bills that
> are pending in others, legislation being proposed in Minnesota
> is not about requiring absolute equality of time between parents.
> It simply requires recognition that both parents continue to be a
> child's parents even if they themselves become divorced. While
> maximum contact with both parents would undoubtedly be in a
> child's best interests in most cases, it is conceivable, under the
> legislation being proposed in Minnesota, that a joint custody
> arrangement could even involve a child being in one parent's
> custody 90% of the time, and in the other parent's custody
> only 10% of the time. (I'm not saying that would be a good
> idea, but only that it is theoretically conceivable.) There is
> no logical reason why this could not still be called joint custody.
> The fact that there can be no logical basis for any  cut-off line
> beyond which time with one's child becomes "custodial" rather
> than "visitational" in nature is a good indication that there is
> something fundamentally wrong with the sole-custody-and-visitor
> conception itself.
> Fears about the impact on child support are also not justified.
> The legislation being proposed in Minnesota would not change
> the Hortis-Valento formula for calculating child support that
> is currently applied in joint custody cases. The difference
> would be that instead of denying folks who have the children
> a substantial portion of the time any child support at all (as
> the current system does if they do not have the title of "sole
> custodian"), child support would be allocated to each parent
> according to the amount of time the children spend in their
> care, rather than on the basis of who is in a better position--
> whether because of gender bias or simply by being in a better
> financial position to litigate--to persuade a court to "award"
> him/her the title of "sole custodian" and diminish the other
> parent to "visitor" status.
> In a recent case before the Minnesota Court of Appeals
> (Kammueller v. Kammueller), it was decided that even if
> a parent has a child 60% of the time~even if by court order--
> she nevertheless is not entitled to any child support at all
> from the other parent--and indeed must keep paying child
> support to the other parent--if the other parent possesses
> the title of "sole custodian." This is completely unfair and
> irrational.  By requiring allocations of child support according
> to time rather than title, joint custody creates a better fit
> between the payment of child support and the need for it.  
> As for the "stability" argument, again, that idea came out of
> Anna Freud, et. al.'s 1971 book, Beyond the Best Interests of
> the Child. A great deal of research has been done since then,
> and it shows that children benefit considerably more from
> other kinds of stability than they do from geographic stability.
> Specifically, they benefit more from the emotional stability that
> results from maintaining a meaningful and substantial
> relationship with both parents than they do from the geographic
> stability afforded by having only one physical home. (For
> citations to some of these studies, visit //
> .)  
> Ultimately, I think a day will come when our society will come to
> see that the term "child custody" itself needs to be relegated to
> the scrap-heap of history. Many psychologists, social workers,
> mediators and child development professionals are already of
> that opinion. For myself, I know that I will rejoice when that
> day comes, for I believe that it will mark a new era in which
> children will no longer be regarded as property over which
> parents fight for ownership, but as living, breathing human
> beings whose interests should be placed above all others,
> not subordinated to them.
> --Tom
Sheriff: Missing Girl Found 9 Years Later
Sheriff: Girl Reported Missing Nine Years Ago From California Found in Ohio

The Associated Press

NEWARK, Ohio July 15, 2004 — A girl reported missing in California nine years ago has been found in central Ohio, living under an assumed name with her mother, authorities said.
Licking County prosecutors said a woman recognized the girl's picture from the Web site of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and called sheriff's deputies.

She was found Friday in nearby Johnstown, about 20 miles northeast of Columbus, authorities said.

The girl, Vanesa Brancheau, and her mother, Sheri Lyn Taylor, were reported missing in 1995 from the Los Angeles community of Woodland Hills, the Licking County sheriff's office said in a news release.

The girl, 5 years old when she was reported missing, is now 13 and attending Southwest Licking Schools under the name Ariel Rose Wiggins, the sheriff's office said.

Sheriff's Capt. Rod Mitchell said Taylor indicated that she and her husband had been fighting for custody of the girl at the time of the disappearance.

"The mom claims that she couldn't, at the time of the custody battle, couldn't afford attorney fees and simply was running from him," Mitchell told Columbus television station WCMH.

No one was available to answer questions at the sheriff's office on Wednesday night. A Los Angeles police spokesman said he had no immediate information on the case.

Taylor could not be reached for comment. There was no listing for her in Johnstown.

The girl was placed in foster care Tuesday after a hearing in Licking County Juvenile Court.

No charges have been filed against the mother, but authorities are investigating.


Keep investigating, guys..............then throw the book at her.  In the meantime, talk to the father and see what he's gone thru for the past 9 years............

Sounds like this guy is MORE than determined to see this thru, especially since all the events are within the last 6 months.  And I think he's got a very good shot of getting what he's asking for...50/50.
Dear Members,
More valuable information from Dick Woods about how HF22 will change everything.  You may want to keep this!
One misunderstanding about Joint Physical Care in Iowa is as long as " The Best Interest of the Child" is up to a judge, he/she can do whatever they want.

This might be a common misunderstanding among people who generalize from experience of dads who go to court in other states.  The fact is that, in Iowa, "best interest of the child" is NOT "up to a judge"!  It's defined by 598.1 (1) of the Code of Iowa:

1. "Best interest of the child" includes, but is not limited to, the
opportunity for maximum continuous physical and emotional contact
possible with both parents, unless direct physical or significant
emotional harm to the child may result from this contact. Refusal by
one parent to provide this opportunity without just cause shall be
considered harmful to the best interest of the child.

Part of the reason that our referral attorneys are so happy about House File 22 is that judges must state findings of fact and conclusions of law that joint physical care is not in the best interest of the child.  Given that Iowa law defines "best interest of the child as "the opportunity for maximum continuous physical and emotional contact possible with both parents", the judge is required to prove the negative that NOT awarding joint physical care will, somehow, better maximize the child's contact with both parents.  How do you do that?  All but one of the usual legal arguments are irrelevant.  The one which remains is a demonstrated history of domestic abuse, because of the "direct physical harm or significant emotional harm" clause in the definition.

Warmest regards,


These guys keep finding more and more teeth in this!  It's as damn close to saying 'rebuttable presumption of joint custody' as you can get without actually saying the words!