Calling on Social Institutions and Family Courts Fathers are Parents too

Is there really any way to get some real justice out of the family law system? I understand that they have entirely too many cases, but each family and case is different. I know there are some deadbeats out there that just don’t pay, but there are other cases that are just overwhelmingly one sided. Does anyone really take into account the best interest of the children? I would love to find a way to fix the child support/custody/family court system. I strongly believe that we need to find some other way to deal with all of the problems in the current system.

Here’s an example of Family Court’s idea of best interest of the children. My boyfriend has 2 children. He had custody of them for 5 years after he separated from his wife. He had a housing issue and in the “do the best for the children” frame of mind, asked, ok begged the wife to take the kids for a little while until he was back on his feet. She, of course, never paid child support or even visited with the kids while he had them. If she did bother with the kids it was with strings i.e. bring food and money when you drop them off.

Anyway, she agrees to take the children and immediately runs to welfare and adds them to her case, taking them off of his case (did I forget to mention both are and have been getting assistance, my boyfriend for back issues, he is looking at surgery, her because she can’t possibly work she never has). Then SHE decides that she needs more money from him to help take care of the kids and her other child. In the meantime, he brings the kids food and cloths, we even brought toilet paper and laundry soap over, and lets not forget beds, TV’s, VCR’s, even computers. I think you get the idea, he helped as much as he could with what he could just not cash to the “friend of the court.”

Now dad lives in a 3-bedroom house, she lives in a 2 bedroom with her boyfriend, a toddler from completely different man, and the preteen son and daughter. Seems like a no brainer to me. She fights him, saying, “it’s my turn to be the parent, I have custody and you can’t have them.” She refuses to allow him to see the kids or even talk to them on the phone for months. She has him beat up in front of her house, with the daughter watching and grandmother cheering it on. Then she goes and tells the Court how scared of him she is that he is threatening to take the kids from her so that she can put a restraining order on him and gets courts on her side. He finally gets a day in court and is granted some visitation time every other weekend. This is killing him as he is used to seeing the kids every day and being in constant contact with them.

Jump ahead 6 months, the son comes over on dad’s weekend and says he wants to live with dad again. They go chat with mom and she says “you can have him, I don’t really care, but you will never take her.” So now dad has one child and mom has one child. There is an agreement written up that states, each has one child, neither party will go against the other for current or back child support, and the parenting time will be every other weekend. Both sign the agreement a hearing is held, a divorce is granted, seems pretty cut and dry.

Now, mom has changed her mind. She will not allow the daughter to see dad at all or have any contact with him at all. She doesn’t release responsibility for arrears for child support. She refuses to have the son over. She agrees to let dad file taxes and split them so each child will benefit, she keeps all the money. Every agreement she has made she has backed out of and as she is still pursuing arrears he has a warrant for his arrest for child support. Therefore he can get no assistance from the system, if he complains to the “friend of the court” they set up a hearing, however he can’t go to the hearing because she reports it to the police to have him arrested for the arrears at the hearing time and location. If he gets arrested, she will then take back the son, whom mom has made it blatantly clear to, that she doesn’t care about.

While mom had the son she allowed him to do whatever he wanted that would hurt dad i.e. wear makeup, pierce his ear, wear chains and go over to his girlfriends house unsupervised. She never checked into the living arrangements at the girlfriends or just didn’t care. I saw it, mom and daughter share a one bedroom apartment; therefore there is a bed in the living room. Surprise, the son’s girlfriend has gotten pregnant and somehow this is dads fault.

In the meantime the 13-year-old daughter is allowed to do anything she wants. She has been hanging out on MySpace chatting with 16 to 18 year olds boys from everywhere USA and abroad, she has been caught with a 16 and a 19-year-old boy at the park alone. The 16 year old turned out to be her “boyfriend.” She writes very sexually explicit comments, and post inappropriate pictures of herself online with her mother’s permission and assistance.

I would think that the system would take into account each separate case. What can actually be done in each separate case, which parent is actually best for the children and what either party is capable of contributing. Let’s really make it in the best interest of the children, not the system; it’s not just about money.