Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dads behaving badly

There are a lot of people who hate paying child support. I mean, really, really hate it. I can understand; I hate paying for things, too. Those people fail to appreciate that if you bring a child into the world and then leave the child for someone else to take care of, then you also have a financial responsibility to him or her.

Some people do agree that they have a financial obligation, but they think they should only provide the minium amount of dollars. Unfortunately for them, in most states, the philosophy of the government is that non-custodial parents should pay a percentage of their income. The theory is that if the mother and father lived together, their income would be going towards the children of the relationship. This is grounded in logic. If I was living with a partner and raising a few rug rats, chances are I would, you know, provide for them. If I was making a lot of money, I wouldn't tell my son, "sorry, sport, but I'm not going to give you nice clothing or fancy toys, I have payments to make on my BMW." The more money you earn, the more you spend on your child.

Nevertheless, there are people so opposed to the idea of giving their children support that they spend their resources challenging the laws in court.
Fathers and Families Inc., a Boston-based group that pushes for reform of child custody and support policies, last month sued the state's chief administrative Judge Robert Mulligan and state trial court judges over the new guidelines -- which the group claims are burdensome to fathers and do not take into account the costs of raising children.

Judge Douglas Woodlock denied the group's request for an injunction to stop the new guidelines from being used, saying it would be inappropriate for the federal courts to get involved in a battle over state guidelines.
* * *
Todd Sandahl, a father from Walpole who is one of the people suing Mulligan, said his weekly child support payments for his 11-year-old daughter will jump from $353 per week to about $403 per week under the new guidelines.

"They are absolutely more extortionate than the old guidelines," Sandahl said.
I can promise you that if Mr. Sandahl is paying that much money per week, he is earning a significant amount of money. In many situations, parents resent not so much the fact that they have to pay, but that they money goes towards the other parent, whom they resent. It's always good when politics get in the way of appropriate child care.

In any event, at least these people are protesting within legal and acceptable ways. Some kooks are not so accomodating to society.
Danny Platt said he was under a lot of pressure. He apparently owed his estranged wife $4,000 in back child support.
* * *
On Friday, several hours after her son, Ja' Shawn, left, Daniella Powell received a phone call from Platt. He said their son had been kidnapped and quickly hung up.
* * *
Police said Platt made up an elaborate story about his son being kidnapped by three men armed with AK-47 rifles late Friday night. He eventually confessed to the killing, telling authorities he "would kill either his wife or his child before he paid child support," Police Superintendent Warren Riley said Saturday.
* * *
"I'm sorry about killing my baby," he said. "I had a whole bunch of reasons."
Well, at least he had more than one reason for killing his child. Maybe he can compare notes with Israel.


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Gorilla Bananas said...

I believe that some absent fathers hide their assets to reduce their child support. As you say, their dislike of the other parent is greater than their concern for the child.

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