Edited Letter to the President of the United States and Congress Regarding Unfair Child Support Laws

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    n/a
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    U.S. President and Congress
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    All parents who have been treated unfairly by unjust child support orders.
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To: The President of the United States and the United States Congress
1. Based upon an independent study, dependent only upon the state in which a parent resides, the non custodial parents child support order could vary by as much as 300\%.

2. Based upon a scenario where a divorced couple has an infant child who requires reasonable day care and health insurance costs, the custodial parent makes $1600 a month, the non custodial parent makes $1600 a month, and the infant spends 138 overnights (38\% of the year) with the non custodial parent, the following 15 states would still require the non custodial parent to pay between $600 and 50\% of his pay check in child support. The following 15 states were evaluated as being the 15 Most Mismanaged States For Child Support: Missouri, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Washington, Virginia, Colorado, and South Dakota.

3. Based upon the same scenario, the following 15 states would require the non custodial parent to pay between $300 and $500 per month in child support. The following 15 states were evaluated as being the 15 Best Managed States For Child Support: New York, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Idaho, California, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Texas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

4. Pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, which was made Law in 1975, Child Support Payments are automatically garnished by the State from the non custodial parents paycheck because the State is paid an incentive by the Federal government for every child support dollar collected. States use these federal matching funds to employ thousands to track down parents, and employ workers and judges at the Child Support Office (also known, in other states, as the Family Court or Domestic Relations). This law creates a monetary reward to States for increasing child support payments (irrespective of the best interest of the child) while creating a financial burden on the tax payer, the Social Security Fund, and, of course, the non custodial parent. States such as the 15 Most Mismanaged States For Child Support (Missouri, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Washington, Virginia, Colorado, and South Dakota) are the most guilty of mismanaging funds and wherefore creating said financial burdens.

5. Garnishment of child support payments directly from paychecks creates the unfair illusion that the non custodial parent makes less money than he or she actually does, and this can be detrimental to him or her in being extended credit and especially in obtaining a mortgage. This is unfair because the money the custodial parent spends on the child is not garnished from his or her paycheck, and therefore he or she does not have the same problems being extended credit or obtaining a mortgage. In fact, the custodial parent can use child support payments as income, whereby helping him or her in pursuit of being extended credit or obtaining a mortgage. Non custodial parents ought to be given the option of paying child support voluntarily and with dignity. Child support payments need to no longer be looked at as a tax the state government must seize. Therefore, garnishment should only be used when and if arrears are substantial, and/or the non custodial parent has blatantly refused to pay his or her child support while he or she is clearly able to do so.

6. Drivers License and Professional License Suspension does more to hurt the situation than help. If a non custodial parent is in arrears, taking away his or her means to get to work and/or licenses he or she needs to continue employment is only going to make him or her fall further behind. The courts need to not be so quick to suspend such licenses, except in situations where arrears are substantial, and/or the non custodial parent has blatantly refused to pay his or her child support while he or she is clearly able to do so.

7. Prison sentences do more to hurt the situation than help. If a non custodial parent is in arrears, taking away his or her means to work and allowing his obligation to continue while in prison, is only going to make him or her fall further behind. It is certainly not in the best interest of the child to have one of his or her parents in jail. It costs the American taxpayer money to keep a person in jail. This is money the American taxpayer does not need to pay unnecessarily. The courts need to not be so quick to send fathers or mothers to jail, except in situations where arrears are substantial, and/or the non custodial parent has blatantly refused to pay his or her child support while he is clearly able to do so.

8. Married parents only have the legal obligation to financially support their children until the child is 18. Therefore, child support payments beyond this time, while the child is pursuing college education, ought to be made voluntarily. For the State to dictate that such payments must be made is unconstitutional discrimination against non custodial parents.

9. Presently, many States do not care if a non custodial parent is unemployed or even homeless. Child support must be paid and will be enforced. This is discrimination against non custodial parents. If the parents were married, and child support were not ordered through the court, the unemployed or homeless parent would not be racking in a $300 to $800 or more per month debt while trying to find employment or a place to live. This creates a paralyzing, unnatural stress for non custodial parents facing these already stressful situations. It ought to be mandatory and unquestioned that support orders be lowered during periods of truly involuntary unemployment or homelessness.

10. The States are clearly out of control. Some, such as the 15 Most Mismanaged States for Child Support (Missouri, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Washington, Virginia, Colorado, and South Dakota) are especially guilty of creating a financial burden on the United States Tax Payer, the Social Security Fund, and, of course, the Non custodial parent.

11. Wherefore, the Federal Government needs to intervene.

12. I am proposing a federal flat rate child support guideline, such as that used by New York State, one of the 15 Best Managed States for Child Support. I am proposing a Basic Child Support Order of 17\% for one child, 25\% for two children, 29\% for three children, 31\% for four children, at least 35\% for five or more children. Then, reasonable child care and health insurance is added to the support obligation in ratio of income.

13. I am proposing Federal legislation which prohibits garnishment unless these three conditions are all met: (1) the Non Custodial Parent has failed to pay 60\% of their child support order over the previous year, (2) the Non Custodial Parent is $2500 or more in arrears, and (3) the Court finds that the non custodial parent has blatantly refused to pay his child support while he is clearly able to do so.

14. I am proposing Federal legislation which prohibits Drivers and Professional License suspension unless these three conditions are all met: (1) the Non Custodial Parent has failed to pay 50\% of their child support order over the previous year, (2) the Non Custodial Parent is $5000 or more in arrears, and (3) the Court finds that the non custodial parent has blatantly refused to pay his child support while he is clearly able to do so.

15. I am proposing Federal legislation which prohibits Prison Sentences unless these three conditions are all met: (1) the Non Custodial Parent has failed to pay 40\% of their child support order over the previous year, (2) the Non Custodial Parent is $7500 or more in arrears, and (3) the Court finds that the non custodial parent has blatantly refused to pay his child support while he is clearly able to do so.

16. I am proposing that each Child Support Case be re-evaluated at the expense of each agency to not only determine when the Non-Custodial parent(s) was/were unable to pay, but also to accept proof of when the Non-Custodial parent was unable to pay child support due to unemployment, homelessness, or other hardship. Where there is proof, any arrears collected during those times should be eradicated from the account, including all accrued interest.

17. I am proposing that all cases in which the Non-Custodial parents Drivers License and Professional License is Suspended that the Suspension be revoked to allow the Non-Custodial seek better employment. Furthermore, when proof is provided that the suspension of said Drivers License of Professional License has resulted in hardship for the Non-Custodial parent, the agency must deduct that amount from any arrears that have accrued during that time frame.

18. I am proposing that each Child Support Case that was started under questionable circumstances be re-evaluated, including those in which the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) used the Non-Needy Relative Clause. Any situation where the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) were not needy in terms of income, transportation, or a place to live should be terminated immediately, and all arrears accrued against the Non-Custodial parent(s), including interest should also be eliminated. All support from the Non-Custodial parent to the Custodial and financially sound parent(s) or guardian(s) during the time when they are proven to not be in need of support should be voluntary, and entirely left to the discretion of the Non-Custodial parent.

19. I am proposing that any Child Support Case, past present or future, in which the Non-Custodial parent(s) cannot afford the expenses to survive and pay Child Support be dismissed until proof of better circumstances is given by the Non-Custodial parent(s). If the situation of the Non-Custodial parent has always been one in which they could not survive and pay Child Support, all arrears and interest accrued should be eliminated entirely.

20. I am proposing that all Non-Custodial parents who do not have the means, financial or transportation, to attend court or file paperwork with the Court therein be allowed to submit the paperwork directly to the agency for processing, or be compensated by the agency to file the paperwork with the Court, including the cost of transportation. If transportation is not available, the Non-Custodial parent(s) should be given the right to attend court over the phone, or when there is no phone that they are able to use, to submit their testimony through the mail.

21. I am demanding that all Child Support Case Orders take the income of the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) into consideration when calculating support. In the case that the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) is able to meet the needs of their family and the child in question, they should be denied any Support Order(s) through the agency.

22. I am demanding that, when calculating the income of the Non-Custodial parent(s), (1) their expenses should be included in the calculation for what is fair, (2) that the calculation is based on their Net Income instead of Gross Income, and (3) that the Child Support be taken from their paycheck before taxes. When [a] Non-Custodial parent(s) is forced to pay taxes on an amount they will not have in their possession, and the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) do not pay taxes, the situation created is unjust.

23. I am demanding that any Child Support that the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) is/are receiving from other Child Support Orders be added to that/those parent(s) or guardian(s) income, and that income from any other parties in the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) household be taken into account as well.

24. I am demanding that the portion of Support that goes to the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) as ordered in the Child Support Case be taxed, as part of the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) income. The Non-Custodial parent(s) should not pay tax for income that they are not receiving, while the Custodial parent(s) or guardian(s) should be paying taxes for all taxable income that they receive.

25. Additionally, I am proposing that Title IV-D of the Social Security Act be repealed immediately, that all Child Support Orders cease automatically upon the minors emancipation (and do not extend into college years, unless voluntarily), that all State Child Support Offices (also known, in other states, as the Family Court or Domestic Relations) be funded pursuant to the number of active Child Support Cases they have on record (as opposed to receiving matching funds based on a dollar amount collected), and that Child Support Modifications be accepted without question when a non custodial parent is on unemployment compensation or has had any type of medical problem or illness which could potentially reduce his or her ability to make income.