|Boston Child Support Protest|
BOSTON CHILD SUPPORT PROTEST ANNOUNCEMENT _________________________________________ ** Disclaimer: C.P.F. has no affiliation with F.R.E.E., nor is F.R.E.E. associated with this activity in any way. The Coalition for the Preservation of Fatherhood (CPF) is sponsoring a protest/ demonstration against unfair child support policies in general and, more specifically, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue/Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE). The date of the protest is April 14, 1995, the day before tax day. The connection between taxes and child support is the following: In Massachusetts, o Child support is automatically garnished from the obligors pay check. This is administered by the DOR/CSE. Taxes, also, are automatically deducted from one's paycheck. o Like a tax, child support is graduated -- the more you earn, the more you pay. It is not based on what it costs to raise your child o Like a tax, you have no say on how your child support is spent. It may be spent on you child, or, it may be spent on $50 hairstyles for your ex-wife. However, child support is unlike taxes in the following regard: We the people have a theoretical influence on tax rates and expenditures by virtue of free elections for the legislators who determine the budgets of the governments. The people who pay child support have no say whatsoever in the formulation of so-called "child support guidelines." We are protesting child support in its present incarnation of politically correct alimony: 1) If Child Support were truly child support, it would follow the children. It doesn't. In Massachusetts, money is paid by fathers to mothers at exorbitant guideline levels irrespective of how much time the children spend with the father. When children reside with the father for blocks of time, most commonly during school summer vacations, it is virtually unheard of for a judge to rule that child support should be reversed or even reduced. 2) If child support were truly child support, both parents would be subject to the same rules. They are not. The Mass. Guidelines state that the custodial parent can deduct the first $15,000 of her income. Additionally, the custodial parent can deduct any expenses for child care (no upper limit is set). In combination, these two provisions usually amount to having the mother's support obligation set at or near zero. In addition, it is common practice for a mother to quit any job she had at the beginning of a divorce. In such a situation, a father is subject to imputation of income to some arbitrary level something never applied to a mother professing a "desire to stay home with the children."
In Massachusetts, it is rare to find a custodial father who receives child support. Indeed, it is rare to find a custodial father at all. Furthermore, in most instances of shared custody, men are ordered to pay child support.
Until the parental rights of fathers are held equal to those of mothers, and until child support guidelines are just and fair, and include provisions for enforcement of parenting time, the non-custodial parents of Massachusetts stand opposed to DOR/CSE and the Mass CS Guidelines.
We are also protesting the enforcement policies of DOR/CSE, especially those that were promulgated from the DOR/CSE law passed in the last legislative session. This law includes provisions for administrative determination of "child support," professional and drivers license revocation, property seizures, and other draconian measures. Child support in Massachusetts has become a road to criminalization for many non-custodial fathers, through no fault of their own.
Furthermore, we protest the incompetence of DOR/CSE, which routinely makes errors that become a Kafkaesque nightmare for a non-custodial parent to have fixed.
And last but certainly not least, we protest a child support system that has a built-in profit motive for making support levels as high as possible. The state gets a kickback from every dollar in child support collected, and like legalized gambling has come to rely on the revenues. Furthermore, the private sector also profits from child support that is collected through the DOR/CSE account.
The profit motive is one of the more sinister aspects of the CS system in Massachusetts, and NCPs must recognize that for this reason alone, CS rates are likely to remain obscenely high and perhaps go even higher. THIS WILL HAPPEN UNLESS WE TAKE TO THE STREETS IN PROTEST AND PUT UP RESISTANCE. And even NCPs outside of Mass are at risk: The Feds look upon Mass. as a model program of CS. Massachusetts -- being on the "vanguard of progressive child support" -- was the first and only state to establish that CS is to be paid until the age of 23.
PROTEST SPECIFICS _________________ Place: Government Center Plaza, Boston, MA. Time: 7:45 am - late morning, Friday, April 14th Catch 'em on their way into work. (Place of assembly prior to protest to be announced.) Contact: Phone: (617) 649-1906 (message) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org snail-mail: CPF, PO Box 8051, Boston, MA. 02114 Dress code: Men - shoes, slacks, shirt and tie, jacket preferred. Women - Casual/dress - appropriate with above. Rules: Only approved spokespeople are to talk to the media. Misc.: o Handouts will be available to distribute. o Participants will have signs showing how much CS they paid in 94 and what they got for it. o A handout illustrating by examples (leaving names out) the specifics of what it means to be a CS obligor in Mass. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED ___________________
Things will continue to get worse until non-custodial parents prove that they are serious. Public demonstrations must be given a high priority in your activities. Take the morning off from work on Friday April 14 and participate. Come and get empowered! You will enjoy it!
If you cannot come but wish to make a contribution, send it to CPF at the address above. There are numerous expenses involved in presenting a protest.
If you are coming, please drop me e-mail at the address listed. Please make an effort and bring family members and/or friends.