Fathers and Families Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Oklahoma legislator one of several to blast family law system

A member of Fathers and Families (F & F) blasted the family law system that exists in Oklahoma, noting that it is unfair and often separates children from the fathers who they love and need, according to an article from the organization.

Fathers and Families reported that Chris Gregory, a member of F & F and former Marine, told an Oklahoma House of Representatives committee that the family law system in the state was unfair and rife with injustices.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has previously conducted a study on family law in the state and the findings were seen to show a need for new legislation to be passed, the news source reported.

A release from the Oklahoma State Legislature noted that lawmakers may consider implementing a “no-fault” divorce statute and revising the laws in order to protect the children within the state.

“There is very little in the divorce process that is even remotely connected to the interest of the children,” State Representative Mark McCullough said in the release.

According to Fathers and Families, a specific case concerning Gregory raised concerns of injustice in the system, as the Oklahoma resident was left with only $26,688 out of his $125,000 salary following payments to his wife and court taxes.

California dad wins case after being duped into paying child support

Pedro Soto won a case against the Orange County, California Department of Child Support Services following a legal struggle against the organization following his being duped into paying for a kid that was not his, Fathers and Families reported.

In a stunning discovery that is all too familiar for some men in the U.S., Soto found out that he was not the father of a child that he had paid more than $75,000 in child support for, according to the news source.

Soto was deceived by his then-girlfriend Maricela Guerrero into believing that her newborn son was the product of their relationship in 1998, and he then proceeded to sign a paternity declaration.

According to Fathers and Families, the kid was found to be the biological son of the man who was living with Guerrero, and an elaborate scheme was set up in order to get Soto to send the child support checks.

The name of the father was changed on the birth certificate, and Soto’s paternity judgment was set aside, according to court documents.

Parents struggling to pay child support cant get ahead

Parents struggling financially and falling behind on child support payments are often mislabeled as “deadbeat,” MSNBC reports, as they are sometimes jailed or punished with fines when what they really need is support themselves. These parents have lost their jobs, lost hours at work or faced other financial hardships and have still been punished for the missed payments.

For Randy Miller, 39, paying child support was a challenge after returning from the Iraq war and losing his job in July 2009.

“I felt that with my payment history and that I had just started working, maybe I could be able to convince the judge to give me another month and a half to start making the payments again. But that didn’t sit too well with him because he went ahead and decided to lock me up,” Miller told the news source.

According to Fathers and Families, an advocacy group in favor of fair and equal parenting rights, sending parents to jail in a situation when financial strain results in missed child support payments simply makes the problem worse.

“There they can’t work, can’t earn, can’t see their kids and all the while their indebtedness increases,” explained the organization.

Legal challenge on child support from fathers group rejected

Fathers and Families, a Boston-based fathers’ rights group, has lost its legal challenge against Massachusetts child support guidelines enacted in 2009, the Boston Globe reports. The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously upheld Massachusetts’ existing child support laws.

The organization argued that the state’s rules were enacted unlawfully, are unfair to fathers and may cause harm to parents making support payments.

The lawyer representing Fathers and Families told the court that the new guidelines were approved in a manner that was illegal and unconstitutional, because a judiciary made the final decision, not the legislature. However, the attorney representing the judge and the state’s court system explained that the legislature gave the power to amend child support guidelines to the top administrative judge in 1986.

Still, the advocacy group stated that it believes parents can end up paying excessive child support for children from a first marriage, leaving the spawn of subsequent marriages without basic needs due to lack of funds.

According to the Boston Herald, Fathers and Families has not given up the fight.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” Ned Holstein, founder and chairman of the organization told the publication. “The family courts have been hurting children’s lives for several decades.”

Former Gov. vows support for family court reform

A former governor and current presidential candidate recently vowed support for family court reform, according to Fathers and Families, a nonprofit organization committed to establishing equal rights for fathers and mothers in the family court system.

Gary Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, made his support clear while on the campaign trail, meeting with Fathers and Families board chairman Ned Holstein recently in Manchester, New Hampshire.

While governor, Johnson found that many fathers in New Mexico wanted to meet with him about being treated unfairly in the family courts.

During the hour-long meeting after a recent campaign event, Johnson said that “family court injustices are one of the great injustices of our time.” He also asked Holstein what he could do as president about this matter, given that family laws are usually decided at the state level.

Holstein assured him that he could simply tweak the existing laws about child support and other family court issues already on the books, giving states a more clear directive to follow.

Many organizations are taking shape to fight for fathers’ rights on the state level, including Dads and Moms of Michigan, which works to educate people about the importance of shared parenting to lessen the break-up of a family after a divorce or separation.