Child Support -- Vendetta Against Males
November 6, 2010
"Over the years I have met many, many men whose lives have been ruined by the legal system". Gary Hunt describes the punishment Family Courts mete out to men who aren't Freemasons or pedophiles.
by Gary Hunt
I am 59 years old, with two wonderful daughters. I am a licensed mental health professional in California. I have an M.A, and a B.S. in Cultural Anthropology. I was divorced after 19 years of marriage. I am happily single.
Several years ago, both of my daughters came to live with me fearing for their safety after their mother threatened them.
I continued to pay child support even though both children lived with me full time. They did not return home because they were afraid of their mother. But, Los Angeles County wouldn't reduce my child support, despite the "change of circumstance" as they call it.
They told me I could appeal their decision if I didn't like it. So I did, filing an appeal with the court.
It took several months to get before a judge, and I continued to pay. Finally when I got before a judge, they had an attorney representing the county, I represented my self. This court was an administrative law court above the normal child support enforcement court.
The judge ruled in my favor and ordered Child Support Enforcement to stop taking child support out of my check, to pay me back child support, and to submit a plan to the judge within 30 days.
However, L.A. County decided to ignore the courts orders. They told me they didn't have to obey because that court had no jurisdiction over them. So I continued to pay.
When you go to court against child support enforcement, usually you will not have an attorney representing you. They will take your case if you press them, but they know it's a waste of time.
In court, your ex will have an attorney, appointed by the county - free of charge; the County will have an attorney - the prosecutor, and child support enforcement will have an attorney. The group of attorneys spend time talking about your case for a few minutes; then they make a recommendation to the judge, and the judge will turn to you for a moment to ask your opinion before he orders you to pay, or go to jail.
I spent 21 years sitting in Child Support Court arguing.
Though I no longer pay child support because my children are grown, the county refuses to stop taking it out of my check. The state sends me a refund, about a week after they take child support out of my check...
WHAT I SAW
Over the years I have met many, many men whose lives have been ruined by the legal system. One in particular worked at Midas installing mufflers. He had $150,000 in back child support on one child. He could no longer work, because he was old, and couldn't understand the new computer system. The court ordered him to pay or go to jail.
Another African American postal worker who already paid 50% of his salary was ordered to pay much more for child care on top of that, so his ex wife could leave his daughter with her mother while she worked. The court gave him a lecture about his obligation to pay. He was not allowed to respond to the judge. Maybe it was because of the way he looked at the judge.
There were other African American men I sat next to in the process of immigrating to Germany to escape. Some talked about how Child Support Enforcement took their homes on arrears, for children that weren't even theirs.
But one of the worst cases I know of was a friend, owing $30,000 in back child support. Suffering from liver failure, they took most of his paycheck even though his children were adults. He couldn't feed himself, and his lack of nutrition, and his illness were killing him. He told them, "look you're killing me." Their response was, we don't care: go ahead and die.
Go ahead and die. That's how it is.
I have literally seen thousands upon thousands of men financially ruined, children alienated, lining up in the mornings by the hundreds on their way to Child Support Enforcement Court.
In my own case, I learned to call Child Support Enforcement routinely to find out if I had arrears, because often they never gave notice. Many times they have taken my drivers license and professional license without notice for small amounts.
Because they decided that even though my employer pays them promptly, I only get paid twice a month. They however calculate child support on a yearly basis, so several times a year I was behind a few dollars.
Though I no longer pay child support, my children are grown; the county refuses to stop taking it out of my check. The state sends me a refund, about a week after they take child support out of my check...
Hopefully, it's over for me. But not for thousands of men in this country. I've heard that the Department of Justice doesn't keep statics on just how many men are behind bars for child support. But there are thousands. Probably even hundreds of thousands.