You might have noticed that the common theme of our most recent publicity messages center around “sharing the truth”.
And there’s a reason for this: we’ve been seeing a rather active effort on the part of our opposition to blatantly lie to the Public in an attempt to thwart Family Law reform.
In reality, this is not new. Because they’ve been doing this for the last forty years or so.
Never the less, you’re probably seeing a ridiculous talking point come up a lot lately. I’ve seen it all over, and it’s probably best described by a Facebook post is saw in the Love and Iron newsfeed from NC Fathers. Here is the opening post:
“In speaking w/ a NC Legislator yesterday, she exclaimed that in many cases the only reason a non-custodial parent would want shared parenting or joint custody is so that they could lower child support payments.”
I then followed up with a post to that thread describing my disgust with National Organization for Women (NOW) and other anti-equal parenting lobbying groups; because it’s become apparent that this is one of the universal talking points that’s being injected into the public commentary – I’m simply seeing it all over. Basically, here’s what they’re saying:
**The only reason fathers want equal parenting is to avoid paying child support.**
Yet interestingly enough, when we recently ran a poll of our followers, we asked the following question:
“If you were given a magic wand and told you could change just ONE thing about Family Law, right now; what would that ONE thing be?
- A presumption of 50/50 custody.
- An elimination of shared income redistributions within the child support calculation
- Government enforcement of visitation orders
- Punishments/Remedies for fraudulent false allegations of abuse.
So according to the propaganda, it would be logical to expect that answer “B” would have dominated the responses, or at the very least, presented a significant presence.
Well, as it happens, option “B” did not receive a single vote – NOT ONE person who responded to our poll identified child support as the most important Family Law reform they wanted addressed.
In fact here are the results:
Option “A” – the presumption of 50/50 custody received 35.20% of the votes.
Option “B” – the elimination of income sharing within the child support calculation, of course, received 0% of the votes.
Option “C” – Government enforcement of visitation orders received 5.88% of the votes.
Option “D” – Punishments/Remedies for fraudulent false allegations of abuse received the remaining, and largest percentage of votes at 58.82%.
Actually, I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume we’re not the first organization to come up with these sorts of findings, and it would be hard for me to believe that those putting out the misinformation are ignorant of the facts.
Could it be that they’re simply lying to the Public in order to promote a political agenda?
NC Fathers then followed up my post with a response:
“We don't worry so much about NOW anymore.
I see diehard members of that organization starting to speak out about how this system throws step-mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other females under the bus.
It used to be framed as a male vs. female issue, but clearly women in paternal families are on their knees as much as fathers are.
The REAL opponent is one of the largest, single most powerful lobby organizations in the USA. That is the American Bar Association which pumps tremendous amounts of influence and money into stopping equally shared parenting.
It disturbs us to know that the lawyers we are spending $15,000 on per custody matter believe that we either win, or be marginalized.”
Ah, so we get to the heart of it.
True enough, it’s about money all right, but who is REALLY the party guilty of greed?
Well, that question is answered very well described by another follower posting on the conversation thread referenced here:
“This is sad but true.
When my husband and I decided to divorce, we sat down and agreed to split everything 50/50 and to make an appointment with our marriage counselor to learn how to tell the kids, and to discuss how to share them. Because we were both in agreement, we decided to share a lawyer. Because he worked out of town, I agreed to find a lawyer to help us draw up paperwork.
At my initial meeting the attorney informed me she cannot represent both of us and my husband would have to get his own attorney.
She started asking questions about our jobs and lives and then let me know that because he made more money, I am due alimony to bring me up to his level of income. She also advised I fight for sole custody of the kids, or at the very least reduce his visitation down to no more than something like 60 nights per year, as that would give me the maximum child support.
I’m embarrassed to say, I had never even heard of child support before!
We were still living together at this point, so she advised I start a fight that would encourage HIM to be the one to move out so it would look like he abandoned us, as this would give me my best chance at my custody and child support wishes. She spent an hour telling me what a looser he was (she’d never met him!) and how much of his money I deserved.
When I told her that I couldn’t live with myself taking so much from him and taking the kids away from their dad, she started telling me that my kids deserve to live in one home with their mother, how studies proved that mothers are better care takers, and that his new role should be to provide financial support, if he really loved his children.
She even said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to only work part time or quit working, your kids need you more than you need your job!” I did not hire her, and we figured out how to file our paperwork without crooked attorneys, got co-parenting advise from a counselor, and today our kids enjoy a healthy relationship with both parents, and we share equally in all expenses (actually, he probably does pay a little more than half their expenses, but it is his choice to do so, he has more expensive tastes in stuff than I do).
I believe many attorneys are the root cause of their family court battles, and likely the reason family court moves so extremely slow!”
As of the latest published data by the US Census Bureau (2007), there were 175,825 Law firms generating just under $228 billion dollars in gross annual revenues operating within the United States.
88% of these entities were operating with 10 or fewer employees with an average of 6.3 employees per firm, which equates to approximately $205,627 per employee.
Furthermore, in the United States, politicians who described their profession as “lawyer” make up the single most influential voting block within Congress (37.2% total; with 60% of the US Senate being lawyers).
So now we see the game that’s being played here:
(1) Lawyers make money from conflicts centering around significant threats to life, liberty, and money. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, as long as they stakes are high and important, and the legal process sufficiently confusing or unknown; they get paid. Therefore, it’s in the best interests of the American Bar Association to create and/or preserve the conditions that enable conflict around children. Conflict around one’s children equals BIG money for lawyers.
(2) The way to preserve or enhance these conditions is to use legal language that is nebulous and presumptive. Nebulous means vague and open to interpretation, and within Law, presumption defines where the burden of proof resides. And two of the most hotly contested laws affecting non-custodial parents (The Best Interests of the Children Rule, and The Violence Against Women Act) satisfy all these conditions: (1) Nebulous and open to interpretation by the Court, (2) Presumptive: the burden of proof is on the father to reach a high standard to show why he should have equal parenting rights, and in the Case of allegations of abuse; the accused party, which is the father 98% of the time, is presumed guilty and the burden of proof is on that person to show the allegations are unfounded, (3) High stakes (life, children, liberty, money), and (4) public confusion and ignorance regarding the form, structure, and process of Family Law. And it’s under these conditions that lawyers and friends of the Court parenting plan evaluators, supervisors, investigators, and social workers are making a pile of money.
(3) As it sits currently, custodial parents, States, and many Courts enjoy lucrative financial incentives to maximize child support payments, which is likely to include minimizing or eliminating a non-custodial parents time with their children. Why? Because the Federal Government has set it up this way by rationing Federal subsidies to States through child support enforcement vis-à-vis Title IVD Child Support Enforcement bonuses (Click here to learn more about Federal Money to States for child support enforcement). So, what we’ve got here is an environment where custodial parents, which are statistically mothers (84% of the time; the resulting 14% being mostly joint custody cases, and a very small percent having fathers as the primary custodian), lawyers, Court-appointed investigators, and Courts are colluding with each other to protect and enhance their financial interests.
But the big question remains, why are our elected officials within Federal Government not only enabling this behavior, not only empowering it, but deliberately misrepresenting the facts?
Well, Family Law reform is about money all right.
But when you’re doing something disgusting, it helps to create a noble excuse for it and manipulate public opinion about where the blame lies.
Child support reform is NOT the primary concern of our followers – it’s the primary concern of everyone who is making money by preserving the conditions of high-stakes conflict; those who are profiting from the abuse and exploitation of parents and children.
The Family Court Industry is not hiding the fact that ultimately, the argument is about money. They’re simply misrepresenting the facts so that it appears NCP’s, who are mostly fathers, are to blame.
So, why are our politicians supporting and spinning this for the Family Court industry?
Because the Family Court Industry is making out like bandits, and this means money for politicians, which of course means winning elections and power.
When you have power to over laws, you have power to attract political donations. And when you have power to give money to politicians, you have the power to affect the laws.
It’s a nice little cozy relationship, don’t ya think?
And this is why, the position of The Love And Iron Project is that the answer to our problems; the solution to the end of the exploitation and abuse of parents and children for money rests in our ability to come together in sufficient numbers to coerce change at the political level.
There is simply too much money being made by everyone involved. If we want change, we’re going to have to force it, because believe me, neither the Family Court Industry nor the Political Establishment is going to give up all this cash for moral reasons.
They don’t care about that. They don’t really care about your children. And they certainly don’t care about you - They are manufacturing suffering for you and your children so they can profit fromit. They are using you.
If we want change, we’re going to have to take it upon ourselves to make it happen.
We’re going to have to show these politicians that it’s in their best interests to change the laws or they’re going to lose their jobs – period.
Change the politicians, change the laws. Change the laws, change Court behavior. Change Court behavior, change the result.
Do this, and all the profiteers are stripped of their power and removed from the equation.