|For Immediate Release
Fathers Urge Resistance Movement in Response to New Child Support Guideline
'Refuse to Submit to Guideline Child Support,' say Advocates
BOSTON, February 5, 2002 The Fatherhood Coalition is calling for a proactive resistance movement in response to the new, updated Massachusetts Child Support Guideline released this week by Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court, Barbara Dortch-Okara.
In a strongly worded policy statement issued today, the Fatherhood Coalition, "Urge all fathers embroiled in custody litigation to advise the court either by instructing their attorneys, or directly if representing themselves, that they will not submit to any child support order calculated from the Massachusetts Child Support Guideline."
Last year the Guideline underwent a federally mandated four-year review process. In the several public forums held at courthouses across the state, advocates for reducing child support vastly outnumbered the few women's advocates who argued for higher child support or maintaining the status quo. Many Fatherhood Coalition members testified, and several studies and reports were submitted, including one by the Coalition (www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/2001/CSGuidelineRecommendations2001.htm).
|"Child Support Guidelines,
no matter how contrived, are based wholly on denying fathers--under a government contrived
class called non-custodials-- their fundamental right to parent their children. With
these guidelines in place, the state can extort a horrendous amount of money from the
father and demand what income he must make, and if he does not -- put him in jail."
- Coalition officer John Flaherty, currently in jail for contempt of court over refusal to pay an alleged child support arrearage
Referring to the Guideline as "a blueprint for the new family model: mom (and any partners) and children financially subsidized by dad, and the destruction of the father-child relationship that is required to accomplish this," Fatherhood Coalition Spokesman Mark Charalambous urges all noncustodial fathers to consider the larger context of their difficult situations and join the resistance movement: "We understand that many fathers will not wish to risk a contempt of court jail sentence such action will likely provoke, but fathers in Massachusetts must understand that unless and until there is active resistance to the wholesale destruction of the father-child relationship via extortionary child support orders, the harm to fathers, children, and society at large will continue unabated."
The new Guideline makes no changes to its underlying guiding principles. It still holds that children should suffer no loss of standard of living following a family breakup, ensuring that the noncustodial father become little more than a beast of burden required to support two households instead of one.
In most cases the new Guideline will not result in substantial changes to child support orders; however, the changes are conspicuous since they follow recommendations recently made to the Chief Justice by the Boston Bar Association:
The increase in the "custodial parent income disregard" is particularly galling to father's advocates, who called for the elimination of the credit to custodial parents. According to Charalambous, "While establishing that around 30% of the gross family income will be spent on providing for two children in a middle-income family, the Guideline then conveniently removes up to $20,000 of the custodial parent's income from the equation (not including further income disregard for child care expenses). The net result is that in most cases, divorced, throwaway dad will bear the full brunt of providing financially for the children in the new family."
Most unbiased observers agree that any amount of income disregard should be applied equally to both parents' households or not at all.
The Fatherhood Coalition urges the state's fathers to follow the example of Coalition officer John Flaherty, who chose a 5-month jail sentence rather than submitting to paying a trumped-up, retroactively engineered child support arrearage. Writing from the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, Flaherty asserts: "Child Support Guidelines, no matter how contrived, are based wholly on denying fathers¾ under a government contrived class called non-custodials¾ their fundamental right to parent their children. With these guidelines in place, the state can extort a horrendous amount of money from the father and demand what income he must make, and if he does not¾ put him in jail¾ propagandizing the irresponsibility of men.
Charalambous echoes Flaherty's sentiments: "This Guideline wasn't created in a vacuum. It isn't the accidental result of well-meaning government bean-counters who can't do math. Along with a virtual prohibition against father custody in contested cases, abortion rights exclusive to women, and police-state domestic abuse prevention laws, this Guideline and the ruinous child support orders it creates are cornerstones of the feminist War on Fatherhood."
The Fatherhood Coalition condemns¾ and holds singularly accountable¾ Dorth-Okara for ignoring the deafening voices across the state pleading for relief from their onerous child support orders.
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CPF / The Fatherhood Coalition