/ The Fatherhood Coalition
PO Box 700 Milford, MA
01757 · 617.723.3237
10 Abbey Road #205
Leominster, MA 01453
Barbara A. Dortch-Okara
|January 13, 2002|
It has come to our attention that the various state Bar Associations have approached you with suggestions and recommendations for your expected final review of the Child Support Guideline.
While we are encouraged that the Massachusetts Bar Association recognizes the need to have representatives from non-custodial fathers paying child support, the Fatherhood Coalition is extremely alarmed at the recommendations made by the Boston Bar Association, who insist that child support awards in Massachusetts are not high enough.
Ms. Dortch-Okara, may I state to you in the plainest possible terms that non-custodial fathers in Massachusetts are at the breaking point. Unless the Guideline is changed appropriately to allow non-custodial parents to keep enough of their income to provide a roof over their heads, decent accommodations for their children while in their care, and food in the refrigerator to feed them, the Commonwealth will be responsible for the civil unrest and upheaval that will surely ensue.
The notion that there should be an "income disregard" for one, but not both, of the parents, is plainly unjust on its face. To suggest that the "custodial parent's income disregard" should be raised is so transparently sexist as to be absurd.
It is time for you to do the right thing and stand up to the BBA and women's advocates who apparently will never be placated until men are sold into slavery. May we repeat from our letter to you last year:
"The courts must understand that after a family breakup there are two households. The single-parent maternal custodial household and the 'visitor' dad is a destructive post-marriage model. The Guideline must address the needs of the child to enjoy a full relationship with both parents.
"Taking into consideration but three provisions of the present Guideline:
- Obligation up to 40.25 percent of non-custodial parent's gross income
- Child support paid to the age of twenty-three
- $15,000 income disregard for custodial parent
we assert that the present Guideline unfairly burdens the non-custodial parent. Furthermore, since 98% of child support obligors are fathers, we view the Guideline as a tool to deliberately impoverish fathers and prevent them from having a meaningful relationship with their children."
We ask you to look again at our Recommendations and use them to make the right decisions for the children of the Commonwealth. They are available online at:
We would greatly appreciate hearing back from you on the progress to date of the review, and further state that the Fatherhood Coalition is willing to offer candidates for the commission suggested by the MBA.