Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a Scam Crackpot Logic


Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a Scam

Crackpot Logic

"Here is how crackpottery works in real life: let's say I am a crackpot and I have invented a miracle cure for the common cold. My magic cure is to shake a dried gourd over the cold victim until he is all better.

If I shake the dried gourd long enough, the victim's cold will get better. My miracle cure always works, it is 100% effective, it is extremely reliable. I deserve recognition for my medical breakthrough. Anyone who wants to dispute myclaim prove that it doesn't work — that all those people who got better, didn't get better.

"The crackpot's logic is perfect, and perfectly loony. "Crackpots come in many varieties, but they all have one trait in common -- they don't understand how science works." -- Paul Lutus

Parental Alienation Syndrome/Disorder, Shared Parenting, Co-parenting, Fathers Rights, Fatherhood exaltation, Children need both parents, DSM-5, False Abuse Allegations, women lie, children lie, daddy is always perfect no matter what.

Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Guardian Ad Litems, Custody Evaluators, Parenting Coordinators, Mental Health Experts, Sexual Abuse Prevention (SAPA) Reintegration therapy, shock therapy, false memory syndrome, Draptomania, Family Court Judges, Best Interest Child, Co-parenting therapy, Borderline, mommy caused daddy’s bad behavior, that lying bitch should never have left she and her children are owned.

Psychiatry is a theory, not fact not science. Just a court appointed pocket money lining industry.

Amy J. Baker and Parental Alienation: Behind the Veil of Ignorance

The Ever Expanding Parental Alienation Theory: Amy J. Baker's Research Revisited


A Collaboration Of disease mongering

“Disease mongering” is the effort to enlarge the market for a treatment by convincing people that they are sick and need medical intervention [2]. Typically, the disease is vague, with nonspecific symptoms spanning a broad spectrum of severity—from everyday experiences many people would not even call “symptoms,” to profound suffering. The market for treatment gets enlarged in two ways: by narrowing the definition of health so normal experiences get labeled as pathologic, and by expanding the definition of disease to include earlier, milder, and pre-symptomatic forms (e.g., regarding a risk factor such as high cholesterol as a disease in itself).



The Manufacture of Madness: Psychiatry Is Social Control Used Against Non Conformists.


  • Dr Thomas Szasz died aged 92, an indefatigable critic of conventional psychiatry, that it offended human dignity infringed rights of the individual.

“A damning indictment of the psychologizing – and undermining – of the American legal system. With righteous wrath and devastating wit, this sweeping critique should stir national debate.”

Whores Of The Court

Margaret Hagen, Ph.D, reveals how expert psychological testimony is a total fraud, showing how the courts have increasingly embraced not a cutting-edge science but, instead, a discipline that represents a terrifying retreat into fantasy and hearsay; a discipline propelled by powerful propaganda, arrogance, and greed.

Dr. Hagen sounds a clarion wake-up call, offering some startling – and much-needed – recommendations about how we can reclaim our own ability to judge and supplying vital advice on how we can protect ourselves from the ravages of psychological testimony in our own lives.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

SOLE CUSTODY TO A SEXUAL PREDATOR The Hague Act was originally intended for battered mothers and their children - designed for their safety. Only the Abusers have been successfully able to use the Hague, and used to further abuse the very victims it was intended to protect.

With that why is the Hague not being used in this case?

Simple. Mothers have no rights. Abusers have Fathers Rights.Which seems to be always more important than what is right for the children.


The stories we all share are so similar, but each horrifying in it's own right.  This story is about a Mom who has been denied all contact with her children since 2007.  Today is her Son's birthday.  Her children were given to a Father who is a sexual predator, and who filed for custody using fraud.  This is an international matter, and we are asking all American Citizens to call the United States Embassy and help this Mom bring her kids home.  The mom in this case has been denied all contact with her children since the fraudulent order in 2007- this mom has not heard her children's voices in years, and has no way of knowing if they are alright.  Please take a moment to contact the US embassy in Berlin and ask them to assist this mom.

The facts:

On January 31, 2007 United States District Court Judge William Smith takes an application pursuant to the Hague Act from a German Father, which is based on fraud.  The mother's legal address is not even on the petition.  It is believed the Judge knew it to be inaccurate, but had his eye on a higher office with the First Circuit Appeals Court.  For political reasons alone, the Judge entertained the German father's application with no proofs.  Judge Smith thereby denied due process, denied justice, and committed multiple color of law violations.  Judge Smith even stayed a Rhode Island family court's custody order for the mother, and an order of protection.  The mother's custody orders were granted by a Rhode Island Family Court on January 30, 2007 after child porn was found in the father's hard drive.  The children had communicated they feared that the father would publish these images via Internet depicting horrific sexual abuse of the children.  The mother had no lawyer at the time, and was visiting family while having surgery.  The case was pending in Germany at the time.   Rhode Island Family Court had done the right thing for the Mom and the kids, it was the higher court that interceded in the mater and endangered the children.

The United States District Court of Rhode Island expedited a fraudulent petition for international child abduction for a man who HAD NO VISITATION BECAUSE OF CHILD PORN.  The United States District Court of Rhode Island handed the abusive father the children, and their passports in 2007, and mom has never seen, or heard from them again.  Despite the fact the child was in need of an operation at the time he was handed over to the father, and despite law enforcement reports, and doctor statements, the children were sent to Germany with the father.    Article 13 (b) of the Hague Act was ignored in this case.  "Grave risk of danger" did in fact exist in this case, and it was ignored as the kids were sent with their abuser.   One of the children was even removed before having his medically necessary operation, further endangering his life.  The children should never have been removed from Rhode Island without further investigation.

In 2008 the Father evicted mom from the home in Germany, and gained sole custody.  (Even after more child porn is discovered on his hard drive- even after Mom wins her appeal)   The father then did what all abusers do...... he filed endless papers in court knowing mom had no lawyer.  Mom cannot find a United States lawyer, or a German lawyer to help her with her case.  As is the fact in many of our cases, mom is run penniless.  Lawyers do not come cheap, and will not help pro bono.  The children were left in the sole care of their sex predator father, and denied all contact with mom, or their grandparents.

We are asking all United States citizens to contact the US Embassy and ask them to assist Ms. Tina Melo-Kufner with the return of her children under the Hague Act.


US Embassy- Berlin

Clayallee 170

14195 Berlin

Routine calls- (030) 8305-1200  2- 4 p.m. M-F

Fax- (030) 8305-1215

The father's name is Dominik Kufner- The fathers info...and address has been found on line

Dominik Kufner tel 011 49 1797005042

fax 011 49 81712384145


19 Rings Strasse

82538 Geretsried


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Patriarchy, Feminism, Fathers Rights and Feminism. Equality? Divorce and Child Custody -Why we are where we are now - and how we got there.

A very important history lesson for Every Woman, man and “offspring”. Reproduced with permission The Liz Library

It's a misguided notion that speaking out against "fathers' rights" is anti-male gender bias.

Prior to the 1960s, women rarely could get out of marriages in which they were abused or just plain miserable.  In order to obtain a divorce, they had to prove "fault." Some of the first speakers against the fault-based laws, and against the difficulty women had in leaving marriages in which they were unhappy were feminists.  Before much changed, however, mens' rights groups discovered that the words and ideas of feminism could in fact cleverly be turned around and used against women, and for the advantage of men.

Thus it began...

The pattern of women's making gains on one hand without realizing that something else has been taken from them on the other has been one of the pervasive problems for feminist activism.

One of the reasons it's been able to happen is that women by and large simply have been newbies in the political process. Women have not even yet become astute about the impact of compromised agendas, or visionary about how compromises and nice-sounding rhetoric will "pan out" in practice and down the road.

Additionally, women's information networks move slow -- much slower than the existing old boy networks, which are highly organized, both formally and informally.  Consider how the father's rights activism has permeated the internet over the past few years, making noise. creating new organizations, and establishing "names" and "credentials" for itself far out of proportion to the numbers of men actually involved.

Changes Without Progress.

What has happened over the last thirty years in family law legislation has been, in the main, for women, a series of gains on the one hand coupled with reversals on the other, all of which have occurred without fanfare or critical media commentary or, outside of very limited feminist legal scholarship circles, much of any feminist awareness.  Why.

First, as more and more women moved into the workforce during the 70s (as much the result of economic factors as any success of the feminist movement), anti-mother, pro-career rhetoric was picked up strongly by the media.

The media liked the career-woman theme because, well, frankly, it was trendy.  Different. Free sex, bra-burning, the E.R.A... gender-neutrality was stylish.  Titillating.

During this period, as they gained recognition of workplace inequities, women went from leery to terrified of showing much overt interest in family and children, lest they lose hard-won and still-unsecured employment and lifestyle choices, and women's "place" be redefined again for them as *only* wives and mothers.

The woman versus woman nonsense (careerist versus homemaker) largely was (and still is) misunderstood. It is just a variation on the old popular theme (slut versus madonna) which, by labelling women, seeks to limit and control them. When we are not whole, and denied a part of ourselves, or the ability to be true to ourselves, we have lost power. And when those who have accordant interests nevertheless believe that reality is otherwise, then they are not a powerful and united group. Not recognizing this, however, many students of 70s feminism, in attempting to avoid being limited as "girls," and "housewives," bought into the woman-dividing in its insideous 70s variation. [liznote #1]

Then as now, both women and men, including feminists, fell (and still fall) for this simplistic either-or characterizing of "kinds of women."

And falling for this, as far too many self-identified feminists in fact did through the 70s and into the 80s, and out of misplaced fear that continuing interest in their families would harm women's rights progress on other fronts, all major feminist and women's organizations have, until very recently, sorely neglected the family law arena. They focused instead on the peripheral impacting domestic violence and abortion rights areas, as well as a gender-neutral ("we can do it just like-- just as good as -- men") focus on employment rights.

Never mind that most women DO get married and have children. The intense fear of defining ALL women as wives and mothers created an arguable paramount priority. Whether justifiable or merely excusable, it was a short-sighted priority. (After all these years, we still don't have decent child care options, do we. Or an economic workplace reflecting that it itself exists FOR the benefit of individuals and families, the enhancement of life, and the good and functioning of society generally, and not vice versa.)

Lack of a holistic feminist policy and vision.

Family law has been the area of most academic feminist ignorance and least feminist activism, largely due to the fact that motherhood and older women's lives never have been and *still* are not the subjects naturally of most interest to young, scholarly college women. Family issues also have not seemed terribly pressing to women who do not choose to marry men and have children -- and many of these women disproportioniately are feminist activists, precisely because traditional patriarchal notions of women's roles offer nothing for them.

Added to this, of course, is that, good intentions aside, there are some things that a person just has to live to actually understand.  Like what one's children mean and really involve in time, effort and emotional investment.

While cultural womanhood freely embraces, or at least gives lipservice to notions of "sisterhood," an ageless and roleless and safe term right out of childhood, note, the culture's often schizophrenic, negative and limiting woman-labelling has, perhaps, prevented an empathetic identification of all grown women with "motherhood." (Contrast the readily embraced, frequently metaphorized, and always respected notions of "fatherhood.")

But perhaps the biggest reason the importance of family laws to women's lives has not been conveyed successfully to the feminist front-lines has been that women with children, and especially women on welfare, are overall the most isolated, poorest and least-connected group in the society, and the group that has the least time for activism.

The "Feminization of Poverty."

What happens to women and children after divorce? They struggle, and struggle mightily! The question is: why haven't decades and decades of broadening career and educational opportunities yet assured women of economic viability? Well, yes, there's the discrimination in the workplace, overt and covert, in all the ways and all the kinds we know about.  But the real answer is simply that women STILL bear and care for the children in this world.  This is not "equal," it's not "gender-neutral," and it never will be. [See liznotes on primary parenting and the effects of pregnancy.]

Both men and women each get the same 24 hours in a day, but by and large, women with children have to allocate their time between two jobs.  NO ONE can be in two places at the same time, doing two incompatible things at the same time, both caring for children and a household AND earning a living.  A list of economic studies [#2] compiled by Lynn Hecht Shafran illustrates how this pans out post-divorce, once the support system of marriage is no longer in place (it's not debatable.)

The following is from an article by Harriet Newman Cohen, author of The Divorce Book for Men and Women,Avon Books l994, and a partner in the matrimonial law firm of Cohen Hennessy & Bienstock, in New York City:

"Fourteen years have elapsed since the equitable distribution law was passed in New York (on June l9, l980) and even more since similar "reforms" were passed, including no-fault divorce on demand in parts of the country.

"No more "alimony drones," the phrase to describe the bum rap women suffered in the seventies and earlier, when alimony was all a woman could get in courts that were not statutorily empowered to divide up property.

"With the "new laws," women traded long-term, even lifetime, alimony for anticipated property distribution and the promised dignity that would accompany it...

"We start with assumptions [about]... the relative worth of each party. She... is supported, dependent, and a receiver at his sufferance. These views are frequently held by him, her, the lawyers, and the courts -- throwbacks to another era. They are reinforced by society. After all, the government has refused to enact laws entitling homemakers to Social Security and IRA contributions based on their homemaking services.

"And people still ask mothers, "Do you work?" It smarts. Outside the house in "gainful" employment, do they mean? The principles of equal partnership characterized by different work assignments in a marriage have not caught hold...

"... The equitable distribution laws that were supposed to reform family law premised that women who had been out of the paid work force to raise children and be homemakers -- or simply out of the work force because that was the partners' deal -- could be recycled (i.e. reeducated, retrained, and deployed into a higher-paying job) in short order.

"Before that dubious premise could even be tested, short-term spousal support -- about five years even for a long-term marriage -- became the norm. "No-fault" states also became "no support" states. Yet studies showed that a five-year turnaround period... was not enough. Routinely, his standard of living went up, and hers and the children's went down. A new phrase was born: the feminization of poverty... "

--Family Advocate Summer l994, American Bar Association

Over the last twenty or thirty years, in many respects, divorce laws have become more and more punitive and dangerous for women.

In the beginning.

Women used to have difficulty getting out of marriages. Traditionally, in patriarchal societies, even today around the world, and in our culture until the last century, women simply had no effective way to get divorced. Divorce largely was a male prerogative. In the rare instances in which women had this legal option, often they effectively were kept in marriage by economic disabilities that prevented them from having any real choice to go it alone.

Even after some of the economic barriers to women's obtaining divorces began to dissolve, in order to gain the permission of the state to dissolve what only "until death do us part," egregious fault had to be proved.  By the 20th century, however, for those women who in fact WERE in the most abusive of marriages, that fault could be proven -- and proving it meant custody of the children and some award of support (which wasn't always paid, but at least the need for it was recognized.)  In addition, in all those marriages in which MEN wanted out, women had a "bargaining chip" in the fault laws: they could refuse a divorce unless they received a fair property settlement and alimony.

This is not to say that there weren't BIG problems of other kinds with fault-based divorce, or with many of the other divorce and family laws preceding the current era. [See, e.g. the comments by U. S. Civil Rights Commission in connection with its support for the failed Equal Rights Amendment.]

One problem with fault-based divorce was that while men would just leave marriages without obtaining a divorce, economic pragmatics effectively prevented women from "abandoning" their marriages in this way. Lest they be found themselves to have "abandoned" their marriage for unwarranted reasons, and in the absence of being able to prove "fault" based on other grounds, "non-abandoned" women frequently found themselves stuck in miserable situations. Those who were in the worst situations, however, ultimately couldget their divorces. And where men were the ones found to be "at fault," or who wanted out of their marriages in order to remarry, the fault-based laws did offer some protections for the "not-at-fault" spouse in the way of bargaining power. The men found to be "at fault" paid. But those women who just could not adequately prove the degree of fault required, or who had less than exemplary marital track records themselves were in trouble. Proving what few or no third parties may have observed behind the closed doors of a marital home (or a paramour's bedroom) was not always feasible. Physical abuse did not always amount (legally) to "mental cruelty." And so feminists from suffragette days onward campaigned for reforms to enable women to more easily get a divorce when they needed or desired one.

Ironically, though, while feminists had long sought reforms that would enable women to end marriages that were untenable, as the divorce laws began to loosen and as substantive economic and procedural reforms began to achieve more parity and safety for women, by the time the no-fault divorce laws were enacted, they actually were enacted for, and in ways that benefitted, not women, but men.

Although many women still believe that "no-fault" somehow was the end result of women's long-sought-after marriage dissolution rights, "no-fault" ultimately was the way men counter-moved to evade their worsening "held hostage" situation of having to make property settlements and pay alimony (and the more fault the more alimony) as divorce became more easily and safely obtainable by women. The "no-fault" language was presented as the logical extension of "making divorce easier to obtain," and it was cleverly and timely coupled with a distorted application of 70s feminist rhetoric about women's "independence" and supporting themselves. "Fault" as a basis for equitable remedy in connection with a divorce was abandoned right along with "fault" as a ground for divorce.

Once the no-fault divorce laws, coupled with gender-equality/neutrality rhetoric took hold in the late 70s and early 80s, the bad news for women was that in all but seven states in the country, most of the marital property was titled solely in husband's names -- and they walked out with it upon divorce.

In addition, with the discarding of fault as the basis for equitable remedy in divorce, "no-fault" presumptions actually came down hardest on, and yielded the worst outcomes for precisely those women who suffered the most during their marriages to abusive, nonsupporting, or dysfunctional men! One step forward, two steps back. [liznote #3]

"Equitable Distribution" and "Equality."

Once the problems with "no-fault" divorce (as it had been fashioned) started to become apparent, another wave of "divorce reform" via "corrective" legislation started rolling along, and it came about largely in the way of something known as "equitable distribution."  But that wasn't all. It is no accident that timing-wise, it followed in the 80s right on the heels of women's greater entry into the workforce in the 70s, and feminists' clamoring for equality. Mens-rights forces coopted the idea of equality, and turned it back into their favor, using the the same "equitable" language. To this day, many persons -- judges and scholars included -- have difficulty distinguishing between the terms "equitable," and "equal."

The claim was made by men and bought by many women, including (or even particularly) many self-described feminist women, that inasmuch as men and women now were "equal partners," and inasmuch as women would be getting an "equitable distribution" upon divorce, women should no longer "childishly" depend on being "supported."

The women who fell for this, a good percentage of them optimistic young women, often childless, in academia, and also women lawyers, many married to successful and supportive men, and also "overachiever" types desperate to be seen to be as fully as capable as their male peers, unfortunately pretty much represented the "consensus" of women's voices heard from on these issues. They were the only women who HAD a "voice" and a platform from which to be heard. (This problem remains pervasive today in connection with women's issues in areas outside of domestic violence activism and abortion rights.)

The mens-rights interests succeeded in coupling most of the equitable distribution laws with anti-alimony laws.

The (faulty or fraudulent, you pick) thinking was: why should women be supported if they are "equal?" Divide the accumulated marital "partnership" property, and then henceforth, the former husband and wife would have "equal opportunity" to work and support themselves. [liznote #4]

But fifty-year-old women, who had spent all of their married lives moving where their husbands had moved, entertaining his clients or working for his business, or simply picking up all of life's other chores and child-rearing to enable him to work, found themselves being told that they could "rehabilitate" themselves, and that they had "equal opportunity" to work.

Such thinking ignores that in commencing the economic race ten, twenty or thirty years behind out of the starting gate, there simply is never going to be any kind of catch-up. There's no catch-up in salary levels or overall career achievement, there's no catch-up in pension plan vesting, and there's no catch-up in post-marriage asset accumulation. Equitable distribution standing alone is a particularly noxious remedy where, for one reason or another, at the time of the divorce, there isn't much marital property to be "equitably divided," and the couple's biggest maritally-developed asset, the result of the joint efforts of both, is the husband's future earning power. And it's a double-whammy when women, already operating under THIS impairment, also have children to continue to care for.

For young women, with one or several infants and young children, not only have fewer marital assets accumulated or pension plans vested, but also it's just not reasonable to expect that an individual with children to care for -- even a mother with the very same education, experience and ability as her former husband -- will be able to earn equivalently to her ex-husband.

Without even getting into the employment sector barriers which still exist, it's flat-out not possible to both care for children and work in outside employment at the same time. Either childcare or financial care is needed. Even with babies warehoused for inappropriate and unhealthy amounts of time in third party care, the cost of such care leaves mothers with little or no earnings remaining after taxes and other expenses of employment. Even with optimal child care, mother's employment is hampered by contraints on travel, distance, hours, overtime, emergency flexibility, sick children, breastfeeding requirements, daytime errands, and the weight of "buck-stops-here" responsibility for little others' lives.

The rise of joint custody theory and politics.

By the time the flaws in equitable distribution/no-alimony schemes became apparent in the late 70s and 80s, divorce reform was humming long at breakneck speed, along with an increase in divorces, breeding its own systemic problems to be addressed (such as more courts.) A more sophisticated political wave and a counter-wave rose at the same time, posing as an ostensible "fix."

To mend some of the holes left by the first equitable distribution laws, in the 80s, feminist activists helped get recognition for women's contributions to mens' schooling and careers, and helped strengthen "rehabilitative alimony" laws, and child support laws. As these bills came into legislatures, however, they threatened to take from men their beloved possessions.

While feminists worked to enact laws that would help women retain their share of some of the economic security they had "in partnership" helped accumulate, along came joint custody theory and joint custody laws -- once again, using feminists' own words about equality against them, and in a weird way, rendering children yet another possession for equitable division.

The (faulty or fraudulent, you pick) thinking was: If women are entitled to seek equality in the workforce, well, then men are entitled to seek it in custody laws. Equity and the interests of the children be damned. Never mind that women who had achieved some personal semblance of "equality" in the workforce had in fact taken considerable initiative to do so, gaining the education and experience, and putting in the requisite time and effort toward that career. In the home, men, on the whole had done nothing much different from what they always had done, with only minor increases in male parenting time with children, largely in the area of recreational time.

Affirmative action? This is hardly the time for it. It's not the time for it, even if "affirmative action" in the workplace were analogous to a theory of "affirmative action" by one divorcing mother to benefit one husband. And it's hardly analogous given that children are not property to be divvied up and experimented with like just so many entry-level jobs or freshman class openings.

One of the specious arguments goes: this will free up mothers' time, enabling them to work, and improving the quality of their life!  Ridiculous. If an alternate custody arrangement were beneficial to a particular mother, she hardly would need to have it mandated by law. Half-time children don't free up full-time career needs: few employers pay full time salaries plus benefits for part time work. Or offer jobs of one week on, one week off. Nor are women's lives in the throes of divorce and afterward likely to be improved by adding economic pressure and visitation packing and schlepping onto everything else they have to do, not to mention "negotiating" childcare minutiae with a hostile ex.

The ideas about "equal parenting" and "fathers are parents too," etc. are about men's wants, not "equality" vis a vis women, and *certainly* not about children' needs! It's all about men, who, having taken advantage of women's different reproductive and child-rearing role during marriage, and having made no effort during marriage to take on an equalizing *greater* share of the housework, suddenly, upon divorce, realizing that it would be cheaper to replace the mother altogether with the second wife (or the girlfriend, or the housekeeper, or grandma.)

Joint custody is a backlash response to the increased enforcement of men's post-divorce financial obligations. The primary political goal is the reduction (or elimination altogether) of the payment of child support. Of secondary appeal is the promise it holds out for two separate autonomous and ostensibly "equal" households, minimizing the need for contact and cooperation with the ex-wife.

Joint custody also appeals to those individuals who seek to regain the means to continue to control the family members they once controlled. In practice, it frequently devolves post-order and over time into a time-share arrangement that differs little from traditional sole custody with visitation (but differs a lot in the amount of the child support order.) Where this does NOT happen, that's because the male-option-granting joint custody order is sought and used as a means for a later second bite at the custody determination apple. Joint custody (in both forms, legal and physical) is a legally-engineered decision-delayer, and a stepping-stone for use by the nonprimary parent in marriage to later seek and obtain full custody. IF he wants to. He's free to come and go, start another family, move or not, always paying less child support than he otherwise would have paid. Well what about his wanting to "parent" his child? Where this isn't about something a bit squeamish and mawkish, chances are very good it's all about replacing the fungible woman/mother/caregiver with one he prefers, and maybe even "saving" some money in the process.

The parent seeking joint custody is almost always that parent who would not be the custodial choice on an up-front either-or determination. After a few years, however, and perhaps a new wife, and coupled with the decreased financial support and ostensible "increased involvement" that accompanies "shared parenting" schemes, it sets up men as the advantaged party in a later custody redetermination de novo (another side benefit.) The need for a redetermination down the road is virtually guaranteed, when, as should have been predicted, joint custody is found to be unworkable over the long haul. [See Nick's comments on this issue.]

Unwed father's rights.

At first, after the enactment of no-fault divorce, and perhaps with the increased social rhetoric of equality making unhappy marriages even less tolerable, where once they would have remained, miserable "for the sake of the kids" -- especially since fault-ground divorce was a long, drawn-out process anyway -- more and more women began filing for divorce in the earliest years of their marriages. As they did, however, and with small children, it became clear that instead of the egalitarian partnership that those who had pushed for the original family law reforms had sought to create, the original no-fault changes themselves had created new inequities. While Band-aid revision after Band-aid revision was enacted in every state, and with each correction in the laws, along came a new set of "unforeseen" hurdles and counterproductive consequences, all moving toward putting women back in their traditional place.

In response to women's legal and social ability to leave marriage, and to the correction after correction in the laws impeding them, and to the simultaneous trend of women marrying later or shunning marriage altogether (coinciding with women's increased entry into the employment sector), the men's rights, and religious right anti-abortion forces became more agitated and threatened, and more and more vocal. Anti-abortion, anti-divorce, anti-welfare and "pro-family/fathers" sentiment grew throughout the capitalistic, merger-and-acquistion 80s. While this trend was observed, all of ts manifestations and repercussions were not. This had an interesting effect.

Women's groups happily (and shortsightedly) bought into the anti-welfare pro-child support movement initiated by those whose actual primary interest was in reducing government spending and replenishing welfare coffers, and whose secondary interest was in re-restricting women's freedom to "break up" families by reimposing the old economic disabilities that had for centuries forced women to get into marriages and remain married.

In joining in the movement seeking increases in child support guidelines and stronger enforcement neasures, women missed the concurrent fathers-rights countermotion. Once again couched in the rhetoric of equality, father's rights groups used some of the very same arguments to achieve a surge of support for father's rights, including the revolutionary UNWED father's rights, all under the same guise of "parental responsibility." Even many feminists embraced "equal parental responsibility" rhetoric along with the post-hippy-era California notion of "joint custody," which ironically, set up the perfect ploy toward an ultimate agenda of doing away with child support altogether!!

Pushing for "child support" post-divorce as "parental responsibility" appealed to feminists for several reasons. First, it eliminated the need to argue roles and choices in marriage, and all those distasteful issues of women's economic dependence -- a continuing factor notwithstanding two decades of second wave feminism and women's entry into the workforce. Second, it provided a way to enable financial support for mothers that did not carry the negative connotations of "alimony." It looked "neutral" and unassailable as a theory. It would be fair, and predictable, and not subject to the vagaries of who had the better lawyer, or a judge's discretionary biases.

But there is no "responsibility" without concurrent "rights." And there's the kicker.

All the focus on child support (child support being "owed" to the child and all), kept the scholar's focus away from examining issues of marriage, contract, and support that might in fact be owed to a *woman* who has, at great and usually lifetime cost to herself far in excess of the mere loss of current income, provided a man with the child or children to which he lays equal claim.

Collecting "child support," and talking about "parental responsibility" felt much more palatable to those women who had bought into being shamed at the idea of receiving support for themselves (that alimony drone argument.) And it came packaged in the gender-neutral surface appeal, if one did not dig deeper, of the "equality words." As could have been predicted, the "parental responsibility" rhetoric was swiftly plucked up by the anti-woman forces straight from the child support arena and plunked down into the child custody arena, where many bought it.

The "parental responsibility-child support" bandwagon also lent itself wonderfully to louder and louder finger-pointing cries of unwed welfare mother "irresponsibility." While the FRs were quick to seize upon the usage "deadbeat dad" as unfairly painting all divorced men in a ngative light (a specious claim to begin with), neither they nor the government nor the media have had any compunction against blaming nearly all of the society's problems on "feminism" and "single motherhood."

Even as the financial detriments still facing women post-divorce were becoming apparent, the stage was being set for widespead propaganda against single mothers generally, previously married or not, responsibe or not. Feminists missed the big picture, and continued to carry the child support ball, originally thrown by the anti-welfare set, of pushing for more and more (and more and more draconian) "child support enforcement." They pushed for it without thinking about or making any cognitive distinction between child support for previously married women (an idea arising out of marriage contract and divorce law theory and substituting for what probably should have been alimony in the first place) and child support "for the children" of never-married women (an idea with no basis in jurisprudential logic, supported by those interested solely in reducing government spending, and believed in by those who never understood that "for the child" was a subrogation fiction.)

While all this was occurring, young women were busily resolving to have their families anyway, but in a new feminist-inspired and "responsible" planned way: to prepare for them first with educational and economic achievement and then, once careers were set, if no compatible partner came along, to just "go it alone."Young women who still planned on marriage were encouraged with the idea that if they only "established" themselves in a career first, they could avoid economic dependency in marriage when babies came along. [liznote: probably not.] Focusing on this notion, though, ended up delaying marriage and motherhood for educated women generally, and thwarted the likelihood of marriage for some women -- but pointing this out has been seen as subversive fear-mongering.

Murphy Brown, et al. instead became the better, and trendy but fleeting feminist answer. It won't be permitted to succeed as a solution.

Economically and socially viable unwed motherhood is the ultimate in women's independence -- complete autonomy over their own bodies, lives and families, IF they wish it. Not that most women would ever really want lives without partners, but recognizing that reality does not appear in the anti-feminist position for a number of reasons.

Women's merely having the OPTION to bear and rear children and go life alone without men would grant women the complete and unfettered marital bargaining power that nature's biology originally gave them, as well as a powerful chip to play in achieving full equal social gender status, notwithstanding motherhood.

It's a threatening prospect, particularly to men who have had women leave them, or who have doubts about their own self-worth, abilities and desirability. And so it only added more fuel to the backlash fires.

The response to "Murphy Brown" was that mens-rights groups (using the rubrik of gender equality) successfully started to advocate for the ultimate control over adult women's bodies and lives: fathers' rights completely outside of marriage, and with no obligations at all to the *mothers* of their children. The push to seek child support from unmarried fathers provided the perfect tit-for-tat "equitable" argument, and guaranteed an easy ride for this absolute nonsense.

Some scholars, e.g. Martha Fineman, have recognized that "unwed father's rights," never before widely acknowledged in the history of the world, and an idea that that largely has cropped up in the United States only in the last 15-20 years, is essentially the imposition back again on women of the marriage laws, a definition of the family as man-woman-child, and a way for the government to get around women's thinking that they are free to conduct their lives, bear children, or use their own bodies as they will outside of the constraints of marriage or men's approval and collaboration.

However, THIS imposition of "family" laws on women's sexual and reproductive independence comes without ANY history or promise of relationship or obligation of the fathers to the mothers of the children. All of the detriments without even a semblance of benefit.

If marriage ever was *anything* remotely partnership in the abstract social theory, it was the bargain by which a woman shared her reproductive investments, her children, and unrecupable time and effort from her life in return for a supportive partner. But patriarchal notions and social, economic and political disabilities traditionally imposed on women in order to force them to enter and remain in marriage as the ONLY viable route open to them, cheapened women's worth and reduced their "bargaining power" and expectations in return for what they had to "trade." An "agreement" made under duress and disability is hardly an equal partnership arrangement.

Patriarchy 's promise to the loyal troops and patriots and believers and followers, is that the behavior from them that will be rewarded with a "chick in every pot" is effort for and in support of the sovereign, not devotion to a woman. Women are not life partners, but possessions and spoils. It's a system of maintaining sovereign authority. Male sovereign authority.

In supporting notions of child support obligations and "equal parental responsibility" OUTSIDE of marriage, OUTSIDE of a contracted-for relationship and "deal," women have been DISabling their bargaining power and their hopes for appropriate laws and equal power IN marriage, IN partnership with men, and as mothers. Since most women will be mothers during their lifetimes, this has the domino effect of disempowering all women generally in all other spheres of life.

The upshot is that in the family laws, women have taken one or two steps forward, and then one or two steps back. Women have made, on balance, NO gains at all in rectifying gender inequity in marriage and divorce.

And if women have no equality in marriage and in their personal lives, then they have no equality in the workforce, either. "Equal pay" is an illusion when there's an unequal personal price that has to be traded for it. [See liznote on gender neutral inequality.]

The Father's Rights Movement.

"Men's rights" began as germ of an idea born of feminism's equality notions, and feminism's pointing out the real ways in which patriarchy has harmed and also controls men. But don't kid yourself that that's what it's really about. Words are easy to use. And when it comes down to politics, very few persons are interested in social theories that don't make a good rationale for laws that appear to address for them their immediate personal desires and disappointments.

"Father's rights" is a synonym for "mens rights," since ultimately, everything -- from the success of the economic systems in place to the religions to the politics -- boils down to patriarchal control of the efforts and fruit of women's bodies and lives.

The groups that are fighting women's efforts on anti-domestic violence laws are "fathers' rights" groups. The groups that are against laws protecting children from child abuse are "fathers' rights" groups. The groups that seek to prevent women from obtaining divorces, or to continue marital controls and rights over them even if they do via shared or father custody, and child support and alimony manipulation are "father's rights" groups.

Listen closely: whether they couch their ideas in terms of religion or liberalism, and regardless of whether they disagree on a particular route or rhetoric, e.g. "joint custody" versus "father custody," listen for the theme in common. Whether it's about the "Father in Heaven," or the "Founding Fathers," or "parenting fathers," there's one paramount interest that's shared, and it isn't about women's -- or children's -- best interests. [See liznotes on the father's rights movement.]

Oh you'll hear a lot about "children's rights," too. When all other arguments are shown up as specious, they have no choice but to fall onto that one. But it's not about children at all. At least not in the sense of being a hands-on caregiver. It's about doing what's good for men and controlling women.

Odd, isn't it, that when the mothers of men's children are under their control, fathers aren't complaining about not being the caregiver. [See liznotes on joint custody, and in response to Wade Horn's position on "fatherlessness." Also see a divorced father's opinion.]

Whether it's a group which has coopted the rhetoric of gender-neutrality and equality, or whether it's a group that makes no bones about being dead-set against feminism, it's one and the same thing: these are still the old boy networks, and with their recruits and their literal armies of grunt foot-soldiers, they still have the connections, wealth, power, political acumen and propaganda machines to decimate women's rights if feminists -- if women -- don't wake up soon.

The propaganda often *sounds* innocuous. Who could be against "equal rights?"

Who would agree that they are not an "independent" or "self-sufficient" woman?

The rhetoric of gender bias has been turned against women, and sadly, it's been bought, hook, line and sinker by more than a few.

(And I'm talking to some of you women lawyers out there, too, who are so indoctrinated in male ways of perceiving the world -- and some, still so hung up on male approval -- that you don't use the brains and training you should have to see what's right in front of your nose!)

Every time women have made a gain in the family laws, whether married, divorced or single, if they had children, the fathers-rights backlash has responded. Proportionately, women have got poorer and poorer financially, and more and more constrained in their freedom, while fathers-rights groups have got enacted laws and amendments to laws that more and more will keep the mother of/and any child of theirs within their control, given that they now cannot do that through preventing divorce. (Although, note, divorce prevention rhetoric appears to be the next bandwagon song, and from there it will be only a short step to "really doing something" with "teeth in it.")

It would appear that the (only) way for any woman to keep her life completely outside the dictates of a man would be for the woman grow to adulthood, not marry, and to not have children at all. But this appearance is deceptive, too. In not supporting mothers IN motherhood and marriage, women who want none of it at all remain at risk and in numbers far too small and powerless to ensure their own options.

Under a pure patriarchy, even the option to remain childless is denied women. Hand-in-hand with the unwed father's rights movement, more and more men, and not for religious, but for political reasons, also have been demanding the end to abortion rights and demanding the right to "input" over the abortion decision, along with demanding that unwed fathers get a veto power over a woman's giving her baby up for adoption. It's no mere "oversight" that insurance companies generally don't cover women's contraceptive health care, but have rushed right in to offer the new "viagra."

The men's clamoring notwithstanding, remaining unmarried and childless is not any solution for most women on a more basic ground. They like men, they want to be married with a partner, and they want to have children and families that include a lifetime partner!  In the last decade, there has been plenty of documentation of childless women in their thirties and forties and up questioning their having had to accept child-free/family-free lives as the price of "equality" and freedom -- a price that men have never had to pay.

Note the agonizing from feminists on both sides of this issue. As with the "mommy-track" issue, those who fear the loss of gains in the employment sector, and the loss of lifestyle choices, immediately suspect, and not without some credible evidence, that the media brouhahas over these kinds of reports are moved, at least in part, by the ulteriorly motivated, backlash propaganda attempting to turn back the clock on women's choices. Other women, often those who have come to some awakening upon their actually having children, but with full feminist goals and sympathies nevertheless intact, are conflicted as to how to deal with these issues and the division in the feminist community over it. These latter women (I submit these are mostwomen) would welcome the opportunity to be able to *choose* to take a relatively small period of their lives in which to focus on and care for the children they *do* have, without suffering life-long economic punishment and repercussions as a result.


Since permanent singlehood just isn't a viable choice for most women, feminist efforts in the 70s and 80s did try to recharacterize marriage and alternative relationships as a "partnership."

A great deal of lipservice (and you'll hear it from some younger and childless women) still is given to the notion of the "new man," i.e. men's "sharing" of homemaking and parenting. It's very fashionable for young, childless couples, as well as professional-type young couples with one young child to babble about their equal arrangements. Lots and lots of media coverage and movies about those Mr. Moms reinforce it. The grand ideas didn't get implemented in any widespread practice; only the rhetoric did. The arrangement just doesn't work in real lives. And the rhetoric will never become the reality. [See liznotes primary parentingarticle.] It's had its opportunity, and we're well past that now. (Even in the "egalitarian" Scandinavian countries that have given men fully-paid childcare leaves, men rarely take them -- when they have, it's frequently been used as a vacation -- and Norway had to go so far as passing legislation in 1998 requiring men to take childcare leaves against their will!)

It's also about words that easily are misunderstood and coopted for distorted ideas by the male-power contingent, e.g. Warren Farrell et al. Gender-neutral participation arguments are misleading when most families have, if any children, more than one. "We share everything" sounds just so easy to the newly coupled and childless, or the equal professionals, in love, in commitment, and with one child and plenty of money. Almost all of them are in for a rude awakening.

The reality is: men's "equal participation" in either homemaking or childcare during marriage is a myth. Save for the exception which proves the rule and the isolated case, it hasn't happened, and in the main, it never will.

Many women over the past couple of decades, even feminists and scholars have indeed bought into notions of "equal partnership" that a little thinking could have foreseen would actually result in women's both bearing and rearing children for men, and providing half or more of the family support -- two steps back to *doubly* servicing men! Doing two jobs to his one. That's not equality! [The Whirlpool Foundation Study 5/10/95 found that in 45% of intact households, women provided half to all of the income.]

Women going it utterly alone? The fathers-rights answer has been the attack on welfare, the attack on jobs programs, and to slander single motherhood as the cause of crime and immorality.

A compromise alternative? Nonmarital "egalitarian" partnerships with no protections and no guarantees?

Unwed father's rights. All the burdens without even the semblance of benefits or relationship history that was marriage.

Father's rights is about control of women, and it comes in many flavors ...whatever it takes to make sure that women will never have the option of living a life in which they are permitted to use their own uteruses and keep the children they grew in them without first obtaining the blessing of, or submitting their lives and freedom to live them as they choose to some measure of control by a man.

When I talk against the "fathers' rights" groups, immediately I am accused of "daddy-bashing." Nonsense. "Father's Rights" isn't the counterpart to some "Mother's Rights" organization -- how many of these as feminist groups have you EVER even heard of (!) (WHERE are they!!?)

It's clever propaganda.

"You're a feminist -- or a lawyer, or an educated individual, or a fair person. You wouldn't be against something that stood for equality, would you?"

"You wouldn't advocate for fairness for mothers but not fathers, would you?"

You wouldn't be in favor of a group that called itself "Anti-woman's Rights" now WOULD you? C'mon. Smarten up.


liznote 1. Notice that now, in the 90s, that women have made gains in the employment arena and have turned some focus back to family considerations, the media has begun a campaign of blasting working women.  It's always been the most fun to pit women against each other, and define women as one-dimensional subhumans. RETURN TO TEXT


The Advisory Committee on Women in the Courts, "Report on the Financial Impact of Divorce in Rhode Island" (November l991)

Baker, Barbara, "Family Equity at Issue: A Study of the economic Consequences of Divorce on Women and Children," Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Women's Commission (l987)

Bell, Rosalyn B., "Alimony and the Financially Dependent Spouse in Montgomery County, Maryland," 22 Family Law Quarterly 225 (Fall l988)

Brett, Leslie J., Sharon T. Shepela & Janet Kniffen, "Women and CHildren Beware: The Economic Conseqences of Divorce in Connecticut" (Summer l990)

Garrison, Marsha, "Good Intentions Gone Awry: The Impact of New York's Equitable Distribution Law on Divorce Outcomes," 57 Brooklyn Law Review 621 (1991)

Gerval, Jean M. & Carelle Muellner Stein, "Spousal Support in Minnesota: Where Are We Going?" 6 Minnesota Family Law Journal 29 (1993)

Hammer, Heather, "The Economic Impact of Divorce in Hawaii," Preliminary Report to the Hawaii Supreme Court Committee on Gender and Other Fairness (December l993)

McGraw, Robert E., Gloria J. Sterin & Joseph M. Davis, "A Case Study in Divorce Law Reform and Its Aftermath," 20 Journal of Family Law 443 (l982) [Ohio]

McLindon, James B., "Separate But Unequal: The Economic Consequences of Divorce for Women and Chidlren," 21 Family Law Quarterly 351 (l990)

Rowe, Barbara R. & Alice M. Morrow, "The Economic Consequences of Divorce in Oregon after Ten or More Years of Marriage," 24 Williamette Law Review 463 (l988)

Rowe, Barbara R. & Jean M. MLown, "Economics of Divorce and Remarriage for Rural Utah Families," 16 Journal of Contemporary Law 301 (l990)

Weitzman, Lenore, The Divorce Revolution (l985) [California]

Wishik, Heather R. "Economics of Divorce: An Exploratory Study," 20 Family Law Quarterly 79 (l986) [Vermont]

-- compiled by Attorney Lynn Hecht Shafran, director of the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts, a project of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund in cooperation with the National Association of Women Judge. RETURN TO TEXT

liznote 3. To a great extent, this is still true. One factor evidencing lawyers' attempts in the face of equitable distribution to achieve some measure of compensation and justice for their clients can be seen in the creeping back in of "fault" through the "back door" -- tort actions connected with separation and dissolution proceedings.

Also read: Mason, Mary Ann. _The Equality Trap_ Simon and Shuster, New York, 1988.

Fineman, Martha. _The Neutered Mother, the Sexual Family and Other Twentieth Century Tragedies_ Rutledge, New York (1995).

Fineman, Martha. _The Illusion of Equality: the Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform_ Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1991.) RETURN TO TEXT

liznote 4. Meanwhile, the federal bankruptcy laws were amended to protect from discharge debts arising for "spousal support," equitable *property distribution* laws were omitted from coverage. And, notwithstanding recent *new* changes in the bankruptcy laws, this remains largely the case. The result, almost axiomatic: he files for bankruptcy post-divorce! No property, no alimony, nothing... The right hand giveth and the left hand taketh away...] RETURN TO TEXT

liznote 5. WOMEN: THE NEW PROVIDERS, an extensive study released May 10, l995 by Louis Harris and Associates, Families and Work Institute, funded by the Whirlpool Foundation, indicates:

In 45% of two-parent households, women provide half or more than half of the household income; in single parent households, women provide more than half to all of the income 82% of the time.

In 88% of households, women are charged with the responsibility for family care (childcare and housework, family social life, elder care...)

If mothers were able to choose freely:

--51% would not work at paid employment, spending their time instead caring for family and doing volunteer work

--33% would work part-time

--15% would choose to work full-time

Monday, August 27, 2012

Congressional Report On Fatherhood Funding Used in Family Courts, Child Support Agencies Engaged In Financial Fraud, Senate Finance Committee Hearing, June 2012

"Showing definitively that the child support agencies are engaged in financial fraud when they meddle in custody cases, kids are getting sold out and killed to the abusers the agency promotes and covers for." - AMPP

Combating Poverty: Understanding New Challenges for Families

Congressional Report on Fatherhood Funding Used in Family Courts and Testimony Submitted to Senate Committee hearing on “Combating Poverty: Understanding New Challenges for Families” that took place on June 5, 2012.


Dear Senate Finance Committee,

Please accept this testimony with regards to the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Combating Poverty: Understanding New Challenges for Families” that took place on June 5, 2012.

Attached is a copy of the July 2011 letter from Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Commissioner Vicky Turetsky to Senator John Kerry which declined to provide Senator Kerry with the information he requested, or follow up on his concerns regarding misappropriated funds. Turetsky essentially states that OCSE does not have any obligation to oversee OCSE program funding once the checks are cut from the Federal office to the State programs. Instead, Turetsky referred Senator Kerry’s concerns over OCSE fraud to the HHS OIG, who months before took the position that they lack jurisdiction to investigate a State child support program. So who is watching the hen house?

Our main concern is that Congress should distinguish between and place paramount the TANF programs which are means tested and provided to needy women and children below the poverty line, as opposed to the predatory TANF programs bankrupting the country by placing any unfit or unwilling father--even millionaires who abandon their kids--onto the welfare roles. Attached is a copy of an article this issue for the Huffington Post entitled “Top 5 HHS Programs Endangering Women And Children” that can also be found on line at:

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program it created transformed welfare policy by drastically reducing and shifting federal assistance away from the homes of mothers and children and into the homes of violent male offenders. The original intent of welfare reform was to require States to function as collection agencies, recovering financial support from parents who had willfully abandoned their parental responsibilities to their children. These policies have drastically backfired because:

  1. it dedicated billions in TANF to programs for childless fathers that are not needs based,
  2. created redundant “to work” programs via HHS which were already funded via the Department of Labor and the Department of Education, but then excluded women and children from participation by labeling them Responsible Fatherhood programs,
  3. the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG)[1]and the Government Accountability Office[2]determined that the programs lacked oversight and are riddled with fraud, and
  4. State welfare programs adjusted their environment to have a greater need by casting a wider, less transparent net.

90% of those receiving TANF benefits are single mothers,[3]so does it make sense to exclude them from the “to work” employment assistance component of welfare reform? Instead of helping children, welfare reform created a new breed of dangerous Kings through HHS Office of Child Support Enforcement when it began using non-needs based TANF programs to subsidize the homes and legal battles of the unfit, unwilling, and violent fathers (like mass murderer John Muhammad, the Beltway Sniper.[4])

OCSE is a federal agency which is supposed to be gender neutral and pro child, but is it? Note that Commissioner Turetsky was previously employed by HHS contractor Manpower Demonstration and Research Corporation (MDRC,[5]) and that Ron Haskins is on the board of directors at MDRC.[6]Haskins is co-director of the Brookings Institute’s Center on Children and Families, a senior consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, former Senior Advisor to the President for Welfare Policy at the White House, who spent 14 years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee.[7]Haskins is also on the board of the National Fatherhood Leadership Group with several other former HHS affiliated officials,[8]yet together, Haskins and Turetsky promoted/solicited federal funding for MDRC policies and programs[9]that diverted TANF assistance to childless, wealthy offender fathers while targeting and excluding abused children and mothers. Is this a conflict of interest?

We can identify no legitimate purpose for these programs and request that Congress take the following actions:

  1. Revoke or reduce funding to Administration for Children and Families (ACF) child support incentives, Access and Visitation (AV) programs, and gender based funding to child support agencies.
  2. End collateral child support/custody funding mandates.
  3. Overhaul Office on Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) on the federal level to remove staff with conflicts of interest and bias.
  4. Audit OCSE to find out where our tax dollars are actually going, and then implement rigorous transparency, oversight, and accountability measures on programs.


In 2011, the Office of the Inspector General released a report[10]called “Rollup Review on States' Reporting of Undistributable Child Support Collections as Program Income” that concluded 21 of the 23 States audited failed to properly report program income, and were hoarding tens of millions in child support collections by [intentionally or unintentionally] failing to make sufficient efforts to locate the children the resources are intended to benefit. Only a hand full of counties out of the several hundred contained in the relevant States were audited, and a review of the initial reports shows discrepancies that indicate the problem may be much larger than what the Administration is willing to admit.

The State agency classifies child support as “undistributable arrears” when it collects a child support payment but cannot identify or locate the custodial parent or return the funds to the noncustodial parent. Federal mandate requires that at the time when State law deems the funds “abandoned,” States must recognize and report the unallocated funds as program income in order to offset program costs. The Federal policy is that abandoned collections are then split 66% Federal share, 34% are retained by the State. However the OIG determined that all of the States had [intentionally or unintentionally] devised various “set up to fail” support distribution systems that allow the Agency to improperly hoard the child’s money in State coffers by mislabeling it “abandoned property.”

Examples of “set up to fail” policies the OIG listed include:

  • send checks to the wrong address,
  • illegal liens on accounts
  • create massive arrears, give dad the tax benefit, then garnish the tax benefit,
  • put child support it in trust accounts during litigation-that lasts more than 3 years,
  • retroactively abate arrears, then keep it for themselves without telling either parent.

The OIG determined that while some States claimed to be unaware of Federal reporting requirements, “These deficiencies occurred because States did not have adequate controls to ensure that undistributable child support collections were recognized and reported as program income in accordance with Federal requirements.”

In each instance, the OIG recommended solutions that failed to require State agencies to improve disbursement methods to ensure delivery of the funds to the child’s home. Instead, the OIG’s focus was to ensure the increased the State’s accuracy and compliance with Federal reporting requirements to ensure that the Federal HHS office received its’ 66% share of program income. The audits were done for support collected between 1999-2007, 23 states audited, but only a couple counties within each state were audited---NOT the entire state's child support system. So the fact that like Michigan may have audited 18 counties out of a total of 85 counties, and that those 18 counties stole $8 million from Michigan families is significant. What would the number be if they did audit the whole state?

But the 2011 roll up report is also incorrect for another reason---it appears to have under estimated the original auditor's findings. The 2011 "roll up" report is a collection of the findings in the original 23 states, most of which were complete by 2009. So I obtained copies of the original audit reports for every state, and found that many states were caught with their hands in the cookie jar for millions and millions of dollars, but the 2011 has them down as owing $0 sometimes.

1. Cook County, Illinois: (102 Counties in IL, not sure why it appears only 1 is audited)
2011 Roll Up Total: $1.8 million, 2005 report: $3.4 Million

2. Michigan: (85 counties, only 18 audited?)
2011 Roll Up Total: $5.3 million

2006 report: $8 Million

3. Georgia: (159 counties, none audited, just the state program---so my impression was that the county courts contracted by the State who collected support independently but not through state coffers were never reviewed)

2011 Roll Up Total: $238,000

2007 report: $1.2 million

4. California: (58 Counties, only 3 audited)

2011 Roll Up Total: $1.45m

2007 report: $3.3 Million

o Orange county: $2.2 million
o Riverside County: $245,000
o Los Angeles county: $878,000

But the LA county report is perhaps inaccurate for another reason, because at the same time the OIG conducted the audit, Attorney Richard Fine sued LA County for holding $14 million in child support collections from LA county children.[11]He won the case, and the county had to disburse the $14 million to the families. But this total is not included in the OIG's report.


These reports and others reflect the fact that TANF’s generous collection incentive policies may have in effect created a child support vacuum as States to adapt their practices to reflect a greater demand and need for resources that are ultimately withheld from needy families.

  1. Recovery Act: Thousands of Recovery Act Contract and Grant Recipients Owe Hundreds of Millions in Federal Taxes
  2. Government Accountability Office report recently came out which shows that these HHS grant recipients owe us struggling taxpaying families hundreds of BILLIONS in taxes.
  3. GAO REPORT: Child Support Enforcement: Better Data and More Information on Undistributed Collections Are Needed
  4. Medicare and Medicaid Fraud, Waste, and Abuse: Effective Implementation of Recent Laws and Agency Actions Could Help Reduce Improper Payments
  5. Child Support Enforcement: Departures from Long-term Trends in Sources of Collections and Caseloads Reflect Recent Economic Conditions

In fiscal year 2009, the child support enforcement (CSE) program collected about $26 billion in child support payments from noncustodial parents on behalf of more than 17 million children. The CSE program is run by states and overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). States receive federal performance incentive payments and a federal match on both state CSE funds…The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) eliminated this incentive match beginning in 2008, but the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 temporarily reinstated it for 2 years. This 2011 report[12]found that although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided generous matching funds on State support collections:

“In fiscal year 2009, the CSE program experienced several departures from past trends. For one, child support collections failed to increase nationwide for the first time in the history of the program in fiscal year 2009… Also in fiscal year 2009, the number of CSE cases currently receiving public assistance increased…Preliminary HHS data show that total CSE expenditures grew by 2.6 percent in fiscal year 2008 as many states increased their own funding to maintain CSE operations when the federal incentive match was eliminated…In contrast to fiscal year 2008, a different picture emerged in fiscal year 2009, when the incentive match was temporarily restored but total CSE expenditures fell slightly by 1.8 percent, which HHS officials told GAO was due to state budget constraints. Most states nationwide have not implemented "family first" policy options…because giving more child support collections to families means states retain less as reimbursement for public assistance costs.

  1. Administrative Expenditures and Federal Matching Rates of Selected Support Programs


If the goal of some Fatherhood programs is so child support benefits “trickle down” to the child during tough economic times, why does Commissioner Turesky’s department make TANF available to the 1% of child support debtors making more than $50,000-who are unfit or unwilling to have kids live in their homes?[13] Unlike the welfare programs for women and children which had restrictive income eligibility requirements, TANF diverts billions of dollars through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to non-needs based programs exclusively available to unfit and unwilling fathers, such as Healthy Families Initiatives, Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives, and Access and Visitation Initiatives.

Benefits from Responsible Fatherhood programs to childless abusers include:[14][15]

  • Child support obligations are suspended
  • Free attorney representation in the family courts to fight for custody
  • Free housing
  • Direct cash incentives
  • Free groceries
  • Free car maintenance, gas, and other transportation costs
  • Free healthcare and dental care

These TANF benefits are not intended to directly reach children, their purpose is to reward the unfit and unwilling childless fathers who lost custody of them. The incentives are structured so that the State will only benefit if children are removed from loving homes, then arbitrarily placed with male offenders who previously lost custody. If the programs do not successfully increase in the percentage of noncustodial fathers who file for and win custody, they will not get paid.

HHS reports show that 80% of Fatherhood program participants are court ordered to attend, [16]and many are recruited directly from prison.[17]In 2000, Commissioner Turesky authored a paper for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) that concluded:[18]

"Many women trying to leave an abusive home rely on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, financial assistance to women in poverty may lessen their risk of violence… about 20 percent of women receiving cash assistance are current victims of domestic violence, while about 50 to 60 percent have experienced domestic violence during their adulthood."

Considering that Commissioner Turesky also claimed in a 2006 CLASP policy brief that 70% of all child support arrears are owed to the government to pay back TANF costs,[19]doesn’t this mean that the overwhelming majority of fathers enrolled in compromise of arrears programs are violent, unfit fathers? This may explain why recent studies found children fare far worse when support is court ordered.[20]

The programs also punish the majority of responsible fathers who willingly provide love and support to their children. Using the virtually unregulated child support system as a vehicle and the father's will to evade prison time as collateral,[21]the fathers are told they can risk their liberty and property attempting to pay down arrears, or alternatively, sue the mother for custody using a variety of federally funded "supports." Children in safe homes do not need rehabilitation, so often times a “need” is created by the State by placing children deliberately in an unsafe home.

The effect of these Fatherhood and welfare reform policies is to place the middle class on welfare by “leaving no family member undiagnosed” when they come into contact with the family courts.[22] At the beginning of a custody case, only the offender is sick, but if one violent offender gets custody, the whole family needs treatment. Consequently for courts and social services agencies to appoint dozens of federally funded family court mental health and legal professionals onto the case to sustain the deadly custody rights of a single violent father.[23]


HHS fraud costs tax payers $60 billion per year, and it is not improving.[24]When you start to look at how many contracts are going to the same network of providers like Manpower, Maximus, Goodwill Industries, etc. with inside connections to HHS Administration, it is also worth asking yourselves if and when Congress will investigate these conflicts of interest?

In 2008, the GAO released a report entitled “HEALTHY MARRIAGE AND RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD INITIATIVE: Further Progress Is Needed in Developing a Risk-Based Monitoring Approach to Help HHS Improve Program Oversight”[25] that concluded that these programs were riddled with fraud and not performing.The GAO concluded that HHS failed to create oversight mechanisms or standard performance goals prior to disbursing $500 million in grants to hastily chosen programs meant to serve children living in high-risk families:

“HHS…lacks mechanisms to identify and target grantees that are not in compliance with grant requirements or are not meeting performance goals… Our review of grantee case files found documentation of grantees that were not meeting performance targets…or not in compliance with grant requirements, such as providing only those services allowed under the grant.”

Report Highlights:

$500 Million Unconditionally Given To Activists:

Operating under a deadline that allowed HHS 7 months to award grants, HHS shortened its existing process to award Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grants to public and private organizations. During this process, HHS did not fully examine grantees’ programs as described in their applications, including the activities they planned to offer, and this created challenges and setbacks for grantees later as they implemented their programs. –P. 2

Failure to Implement Uniform Standards, Policies, and Procedures:

HHS uses methods that include site visits and progress reports to monitor grantees, but it lacks mechanisms to identify and target grantees that are not in compliance with grant requirements or are not meeting performance goals, and it also lacks clear and consistent guidance for performing site monitoring visits. –P.2

Embezzlement and Fraud Was Likely Vastly Under Estimated:

Moreover, we did not survey organizations that received money from grant recipients to provide direct services, subawardees. Since making the initial awards, 4 organizations have relinquished their grants, 1 organization had its grant terminated, and 1 new grant was awarded. There are 6 organizations currently pending non-continuation of award funds.

Please recall that the irresponsible programs are recruiting violent offenders directly from prisons[26]to help them obtain legal and physical custody of the child victim witnesses they hurt, yet the GAO cannot directly account for the activities or the funding going into the programs.

Although groups cannot use TANF money for attorneys, the literature shows that some groups like Illinois Council on Fatherhood[27]provides fathers with legal advice and exceptional access to judges, Michigan is providing dads with legal assistance,[28]and the Montrose County, Colorado Fatherhood program[29]match up fathers with “Fatherhood Coaches” who also just happen to be attorneys who want to help them with their child support and custody problems.

You should ask yourselves who represents the victim child’s interests while their violent noncustodial fathers use concealed child support and federal assistance to build up legal arsenals to take custody and silence them? HHS programs are actually a deadly investment given that (a) abusive men win custody of their victims 70% of the time[30]when they ask for it, and (b) regardless of the gender of the victim, it is a public safety issue when DOJ studies[31]show men perpetrate more than 95% of violent assaults against women. The Center for Disease Control’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey[32]also concluded that men are raped by other men more than 93% of the time, and women are raped by men more than 98% of the time.

Programs like the Massachusetts Department of Probation’s[33]provide “treatment” to thousands of untreatable, incurable violent offenders and sociopaths targeting their victims through the courts Although violence is a voluntary act, HHS now invested our tax dollars into rehabilitating the incurable who choose to assault the most vulnerable members of society. Some Studies[34]of male DV perpetrators show that 50% of them are sociopaths and another 25% have sociopathic tendancies. Psychopaths are people who feel no emotional connections to others and have zero regard for the rules and regulations of society, they do not respond to therapy, and cannot be rehabilitated. Dr. Robert Hare reports that psychopaths make up 1% of the general population, but 25% of the prison population:

"Violence is not uncommon among offender populations, but psychopaths still manage to stand out," he says. "They commit more than twice as many violent and aggressive acts, both in and out of prison, as do other criminals ... The recidivism rate of psychopaths is about double that of other offenders ... The violent recidivism rate of psychopaths is about triple that of other offenders."

Respectfully, would you as a member of Congress, allow your children to be cared for by convicted murderers and felons? If you believe these “fathers” are harmless, why do you pass budgets that provide for armed guards to protect Congressional hearings and family courts? These programs have no legitimate purpose because here is no epidemic of “fatherlessness” that in itself harms children. There is no “fatherlessness crisis” that would justify such ruthless and irresponsible pork barrel spending on discrimination based TANF programs that exclude 90% of the TANF roles, the women and children they purport to want to get off welfare and “go to work”-but place wealthy single men on the TANF roles instead.

We believe the majority of men are genetically programmed to be good fathers, and we do not agree with HHS’s assessment that all men are incompetent and need federally funded parenting lessons. Dangerous offenders have no business raising children. We are a nation of strong single mothers who raised Presidents like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom were rescued from the clutches of fathers who were irresponsible, violent addicts. These Fatherhood programs now undermine and punish mothers who try and rescue their children and stay off public assistance, while punishing good fathers and abetting the irresponsible, no matter how rich or poor.


The more federal dollars were receive the less States collected in support. States refuse to distribute child support to "families first," and are instead keeping the money for themselves-without accounting for it. When the OIG identified the embezzled funds, they did not help “struggling agencies” find the children it was intended to benefit, the OIG instructed States to properly report…So the feds could have their 66%. This policy entirely lacks accountability or consequences for this fraud. Subsequent reports demonstrated that the problem has continued to worsen, and there are [still] no protocols and procedures in place to define, identify, and track these monies.

The [unlawful] programs are supposed to be ADMINISTRATIVE, but they used quasi judicial power to create, amend, and enforce court orders without judicial authorization. The agency does not provide due process, nor do they have to show you their files. Judges have to look the other way because if they object, they will lose their HHS funding, and at the same time the judge has to accept responsibility for the agency’s badly managed and even crooked interference when litigants are hurt.

Instead of fixing these programs, Obama's proposed budget includes billions more in incentives to disburse and collect support to the programs with no oversight. If the core mission of the child support program is to collect and disburse support to needy children, this is an administrative function which in 2012 should be handled electronically through the treasury. There is no need to create billion in incentives to involve the support agency in taking over the judicial branch’s functions in custody cases.

Fred Sottile, the Founder and President of the LA chapter of Fathers 4 Justice says in his view:

“The President should spend his efforts creating laws and policies that actually encourage father/child relationships, instead of just pretending to promote father/child relationships in extortion based OCSE programs that deprive children and blame dads for being absent.”

Linda Marie Sacks, Co-Chair of the Family Court Committee of the Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women:

“The vast majority of fathers do not abuse children, and there are many instances where courts have unjustly deprived children of good fathers. The problem is that the programs punish children living with healthy strong mothers by incentivizing courts to cash in by arbitrarily minimizing and even eliminating moms from the picture.

Since there is virtually no oversight of OCSE funding, we have often found that this funding used to help pedophile rapists and violent predators get custody of child victim witnesses through the family courts. Studies showabusers are winning custody 70% of the time, and we think the programs will have catastrophic results on the next generation if this unsafe trend of maternal deprivation continues. ”

Liz Richards, Director for the National Alliance for Family Court Justice and a certified witness for the Department of Justice agrees.

“HHS is the source of the funding which is fueling the court corruption problems. Judge are making their rulings according to the program grant requirements and not by the case evidence. Past ACF officials like Wade Horn, Ron Haskins, and others were closely associated with the fathers rights groups and leaders, and essentially turned the dept into a pro-father, abuse cover-up agency.”

In 2012, we ask why the Obama Administration inexcusably ignored the pleas of desperate hard working parents and doubled the budget for these pork barrel projects, starving them out of their home. It’s time to get serious about deficit reduction, and require the president to exercise fiscal restraint on programs which would target and extort families under the most trying circumstances.

[1] “Rollup Review on States' Reporting of Undistributable Child Support Collections as Program Income ” HHS OIG report A-05-11-00025, September 30, 2011 (
Further Progress Is Needed in Developing a Risk-Based Monitoring Approach to Help HHS Improve Program Oversight “Government Accountability Office Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, September 2008.
[4] “Parental Rights And Wrongs” By Liz Richards, Washington Times,
[10] “Rollup Review on States' Reporting of Undistributable Child Support Collections as Program Income” HHS OIG report A-05-11-00025, September 30, 2011 (
[13] Id. At FN [12]
[14] “OCSE Responsible Fatherhood Programs Early Implementation Lessons” Jessica Pearson, Center for Policy Research, Inc. David Price, Policy Studies, Inc. June 2000
With comments:
Original Text:
[15]“HHS Around the Regions 2005 Activities”
[16] Id. At FN [8] “OCSE Responsible Fatherhood Programs Early Implementation Lessons”
[18] “Safety in the Safety Net: TANF Reauthorization Provisions Relevant to Domestic Violence”
[19] “Staying in Jobs and Out of the Underground: Child Support Policies that Encourage Legitimate Work” Vicki Turetsky, CLASP 2006
[20] “Young children of unmarried parents fare worse when a father's support is court-ordered”
[21] “Giving Noncustodial Parents Options: Employment and Child Support Outcomes of the SHARE Program” Irma Perez-Johnson, Jacqueline Kauff, and Alan Hershey, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., October 2003
[22] “Unified Family Courts: Treating the Whole Family, Not Just the Young Drug Offender” American Bar Association/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, November 2000
[23]Pedophilia in the Justice System” By Kieth Harmon Snow, Conscious Being Alliance, May 1, 2012
Further Progress Is Needed in Developing a Risk-Based Monitoring Approach to Help HHS Improve Program Oversight”Government Accountability Office Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, September 2008.
[26] National Fatherhood Initiative:
[29] Montrose County, Colorado