Monday, September 26, 2005

Moms Can Be Deadbeats Too - U.S. & World - Moms Can Be Deadbeats Too


Single dads are sick and tired of being labeled "deadbeats" when it comes to paying child support. And data suggest they have good reason to be upset.

The percentage of "deadbeat" moms is actually higher than that of dads who won't pay, even though mothers are more consistently awarded custody of children by the courts.

Census figures show only 57 percent of moms required to pay child support -- 385,000 women out of a total of 674,000 -- give up some or all of the money they owe. That leaves some 289,000 "deadbeat" mothers out there, a fact that has barely been reported in the media.

That compares with 68 percent of dads who pay up, according to the figures.

But men also still pay much more in child support. The Census Bureau last month also released numbers showing fathers paid an average of $3,000 to custodial moms in 1997. Women paid little over half that. Moms also get about 60 percent of what they are owed, whereas dads only get 48 percent.

"A lot of men are afraid to ask for child support simply because they think if they’re asking for child support, they won’t get a chance to get custody," Henry said.

But more moms that don’t have the kids simply can’t afford to pay child support since they are poorer, said Geraldine Jensen, president of the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support. Studies show the average income for non-custodial moms is only $15,000 a year, whereas non-custodial dads average about $40,000 a year.

And moms who don’t have custody of the kids often remarry and have more kids, and often choose to not work.

But "that’s certainly no excuse," Jensen said. "It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom or dad, you should meet your child support obligations."

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Raising Boys Without Men - Glenn Sacks

This is a link to the latest Glenn Sacks article: Raising Boys Without Men: Lesbian Parents Good, Dads Bad

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Fathers Collaborative - Pennsylvania

In relation to the previous post, I thought I would add a bit more info on the Fathers Collaborative.

The web site for the Fathers Collaborative can be accessed here. From the site:

The Fathers Collaborative is a synergistic partnership that builds on the strengths of each collaborative member to provide a seamless system of quality services for non-custodial fathers. The Fathers Collaborative is committed to expanding cooperative and reciprocal relationships to reach its goals.


Create a unified system of coordinated services for non-custodial fathers to enhance their involvement with their children; Increase non-custodial fathers' capacity to fulfill financial responsibilities, including child support payments; Improve the non-custodial fathers' ability to function as a family member; Increase the number of visits of non-custodial fathers with their children

The contact information as well as various other information is available on the site. It appears there is relatively specific criteria for involvement.

The Fathers Collaborative is part of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.

Information on the Fathers Collaborative Fatherhood Training Institute.

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Truce for custody battles - Pennsylvania

Truce for custody battles -


In their fight for increased access to their children, Fisher and many other noncustodial parents, mostly fathers, have received legal help from the Fathers Collaborative, a new joint venture of University of Pittsburgh's School of Law and Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh.

Since June 2004, the collaborative has helped 370 parents to calm down and talk, reach agreements with each other and gain greater access to or even custody of their children. The effort is sponsored by a grant from the state Department of Public Welfare's Bureau of Child Support Enforcement.

Parents seeking help are evaluated by a specialist at Goodwill regarding their income, employment and family situations. Only those individuals who make less than $22,500 annually can qualify for help.

The parents also must agree to have child support deducted from their paychecks.

Gruener emphasized that by law parents are allowed to see their children even if they owe child support.

"Although the law doesn't make that connection," said Gruener, "people connect those two all the time."

"When you go in and you're a father, the court has two stereotypes of you: You want to get even with (the mother) by taking away the kid, or you want to pay less child support," said Kevin Sheahen, who heads the local chapter of the National Congress for Fathers and Children. "It's not on the court's horizon that you want to be a dad."

The courts don't track the proportion of mothers who have custody, but "it's safe to say the vast majority of the custodial parents are mothers," Gruener said.

With the collaborative's help, Anthony Gan, of the East End, gained primary custody of his 15-year-old son within a year. He tried for a decade before with no success.

"It does a lot for my self-esteem and his self-esteem," Gan said. "Now he has a role model."

Although it took one mediation session for Fisher and his wife to agree on joint custody of David, Fisher said the legal backing he got from the collaborative also helped assure his wife that he would play by the rules.

"It brings us some closure so we didn't have to argue over how many days 'Tiger' gets to spend with me," said Lorena Walker, who is in divorce proceedings with Fisher. "It made us come to an agreement."

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Divorce mediators educate - Utah

The Spectrum


Divorce takes anywhere from several months to years to settle in court. And so the state of Utah passed House Bill 4, or Utah Code 30-3-39, earlier this year. It states that if there is a contested issue when filing for divorce, whether it's over property, custody, visitation rights or another matter, starting May 2 all parties must participate in at least one session of mediation.

Though only the first meeting is required by law, the results are beginning to prove its effectiveness in resolving sensitive issues.

"The national statistic on cases solved through mediation range from 60 to 70 percent," Elton said. "It is cheaper, quicker and the parties have total control of the outcome."

Mediators cost $50 to $200 dollars an hour on average. Divorces can be solved within the time the two parties spend during mediation, eliminating the time waiting for court appearances and hefty legal fees.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Staying together for kids backed by research

Staying together for kids backed by research

We needed a study to show this? Anyway, hasn't this been repeatedly demonstrated - kids in two parent homes fare better than in single parent homes....


Staying together for the sake of the children might not be such a bad idea after all, a report suggests.

Children from two-parent families are better off emotionally, socially and economically, according to a review of marriage research released today in The Future of Children, a journal published jointly by the nonpartisan Brookings Institution and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

"What parents want and what's good for kids isn't always the same," says Kathryn Edin, a University of Pennsylvania sociologist whose research is in the journal.

Sociology professor Paul Amato of Pennsylvania State University, whose work is also in the journal, says researchers know that while chronic and overt conflict can be harmful, two-parent families usually benefit kids.

"When we were saying it doesn't matter in the '60s and '70s and '80s, we didn't have the experience of enough kids in a culture when families were breaking down. It was just our best guess," says Diane Sollee, a former marriage and family therapist.

This study came from The Future of Children.

The Future of Children seeks to promote effective policies and programs for children by providing policymakers, service providers, and the media with timely, objective information based on the best available research.

The Future of Children is a publication of The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution.

The views expressed in The Future of Children do not necessarily represent the views of The Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University or The Brookings Institution.

You can view their latest journal, Marriage and Child Wellbeing, through this link.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

New Link! has now been added to the Links section. From the site:

Welcome! This is the Men's Activism News Network, a web site which tracks news and information about men's issues from around the world. Our particular focus is on promoting activism in support of men's rights and equality, and providing readers with the latest news stories is one way to inform and empower men's rights activists in their goals to create a more just and fair society.

The Men's Activism News Network is not an organization in itself. It is a web site devoted to tracking global news on men's rights issues. It also includes original essays submitted by readers, interviews with leaders of the men's movement, and organizational announcements from various men's organizations. It is intended to appeal to a wide range of men's activists and organizations, and is currently run by a team of admins. Please see the About page for more info.

Light Blogging

I have not been doing much blogging lately ~ summer wrapping up, school gearing up and my general laziness have prevented me from spending much time thinking about these issues...

I hope that is a step in the right direction. I find each day I feel a little less anger at the system and obsess a little less about the future ~ i.e. Will we go back to court? Did we have our prescribed servings of fruits and veggies today? Does normalcy exist in post custody battle step families? So maybe I am reclaiming my ... life, my mental health, my faith? Or maybe I am just allowing myself to be sucked back into the idea that no court would forcibly remove a child from the care of their fit and ALWAYS involved parent unless it prevented Armageddon or something of that ilk… Certainly not because the other parent wanted to move out of state for a career in fast food middling management… How is it that so often family courts and common sense run in two distinctly disparate directions?

Anyway, we shall see. The beginning of another school year at least gives me some solace in that (I *choose* to believe) the court just wouldn’t uproot the child out of his school while the evaluations and such were ongoing.

I stopped by Silly Seattle today, who incidentally has also been taking some time off for basking in the end of summer sunshine. Of particular note, however, is this post about Companies Fathers Should Boycott.

My other posting today is about a father in Iowa. I didn't include any excerpts except the opening sentence but in retrospect I should have shared this one:

Forest City Police Chief Doug Book, who has been a part of several investigations involving Kaduce, agreed.

“We’re not friends or anything,” Book said, “but I’m telling you he’s gotten a raw deal. That’s the bottom line. We’ve found absolutely no evidence that he has done the things he’s been accused of.”

I wonder how long till the Iowa division of NOW begins to call for his head.

Anyway, maybe I'll be around more often in the next couple weeks, maybe not. I am rather enjoying this unexpectedly peaceful September ~ though it does kind of remind me of the calm before the storm....

Forest City man fights allegations of abuse - Iowa

This is the story of Steven Kaduce, a Forest City man who has faced numerous sexual abuse allegations, none of which have been “founded.”


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