Another Perspective

Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 19:07:04 -0700 [07:07:04 PM PDT]
From: Tony Fantetti
To: MXXXXX@XXXXX.com
Subject: Re: Another perspective
MXXXXXX

Thanks for taking the time to write me and share your perspective wth me. Your email brings up many issues that I’d like to address here in my reply.

Before delving into my response, I’d like to stress that I’m fully aware that there are many extraordinary moms out there who don’t abuse the system and more importantly consider their children’s best interest. That said, what I write is not directed at them, but at those to the contrary.

When I started this organization in 2007, I for the most part felt that “reasonable” amounts of child support was both warranted and morally just. Today, I know longer believe that, and regardless of who has custody, be that mom, dad or both.

I now believe that in most situations where there’s 50/50 “joint-custody” or if both parents have access to the children, then “child support” in such scenarios is the moral equivalency of theft.

To further explain; if a husband divorces his wife or a wife divorces her husband, then they should divorce themselves from their former spouse’s income, period. To seize said income under the guise of “child support” isn’t morally justified in this day and age in my humble opinion. It’s done (and morally accepted by most) simply because the law allows for it.

I don’t say that just because I’m a noncustodial parent (NCP), I say that because I truly believe that on a moral level, being on the receiving end of “child support” equates to a state-sanctioned theft.  Both parents, whether designated custodial parent (CP) or NCP by the courts, have most of the same expenses as they relate to the children involved. Being labeled NCP by a court doesn’t miraculously make ones child related expenses disappear.

Both must provide a roof over the child’s head, electricity, food, clothes, etc etc. So why is one parent (the NCP) forced under the threat of arrest and incarceration to pay “child support” to the CP? That makes no sense in situations where that “child support” paying NCP didn’t willfully walk out of their children’s lives, didn’t want to be kicked out of their children’s lives, but rather was unwillingly and forcefully separated from their children by an ex-spouse (or custodial mother in the case of “single moms”) through the courts and without a morally justifiable reason.

Additionally, why should  someone be entitled to more of their ex-spouse’s (or in the case of never-married moms, the father of her children) income simply because for instance, that person’s salary went from say $25,000 per year to $250,000 per year? Or, if an NCP wins the lottery, what moral right does the CP have to those winnings? Absolutely none in my humble opinion.

Trust me when I say I “truly” emphasize with you when you say that you’ve been forced to defend yourself in the five year court battle you mentioned. I know what that’s like and have personally lived that myself for more than seven years and after nearly $30,000 in legal fees.

However, what I don’t understand (not knowing your case) is why you mention that he’s voluntarily underemployed. I can infer from it that he’s most likely not working at anywhere near what you think his income potential is, and therefore the court ordered “child support” amount is somehow negatively affecting you.

I do recognize that there are both moms and dads (“child support” paying) who are willingly under-employed. But shouldn’t they also have a choice in what type of work they want to perform? What if someone wants to change careers, and doing so means they won’t be able to pay as much “child support?” Should they NOT be allowed to do so because they’re ordered to pay “child support” and doing so would significantly lower their income?

Is it right that they’re implicitly forbidden from going back to college (and work a remedial job while doing so) because they’re ordered to pay X amount of money per month as a “child support” obligation, and couldn’t meet that obligation if they did so? If the answer is yes, then please explain to me where they have any personal choices in the divorce that many of them didn’t ask for to begin with?

The court dictates how and when they can interact with their children and also dictates what career path they’ll take. Is that equitable, just and fair to someone who didn’t ask for nor want divorce in the first place?

Ohio law (and many states for that matter) wrote their “child support” statutes in such a way as to seize up to 65% or more of the NCP’s monthly “net” income. Additionally, lottery winnings, legal settlements, inheritances, bonuses, etc are all considered income. Some NCPs (such as actors, athletes, doctors etc) are ordered to pay $5000, $10,000 and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars  per month in “child support.”

At what point do we as a society become honest with ourselves and say, “this has nothing to do with the children, and everything to do with someone being forced to financially support an ex-spouse or a “one night stand?””

In closing MXXXXXX, please know that much of what I asked is rhetorical in nature and not directed at you personally. It’s truly commendable that you aren’t taking advantage of the system in the manner that I’ve regularly blogged about here. Additionally, I do recognize that there are some cases where divorce is a must. However, I think we would agree that in these times, many people divorce at the drop of the hat, and for no good reason.

And yes, I do know that (as I said before) there are many great moms out there;  I’m currently married to one. When my present wife made the decision to leave her marriage, she did so by agreeing to give sole custody of her children to her ex-husband and refused to take any part of his two pensions or his social security benefits. She felt that because she was the one who chose to end the marriage that she wasn’t entitled to any of those things. Instead of “taking her ex-husband to the cleaners,” she decided that the morally right thing to do was to take nothing from him.

Sincerely,

Tony Fantetti
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights
Email: tony.fantetti(at)ocffr(dot)org
___________________________________

Quoting M <XXXXXXX@XXXXX.com>:
Mr. Fantetti,
I was doing some research on willfull underemployment, and I stumbled on your website.  It is unfortunate that you seem to have been exposed to so many men who have had such bad luck with the “system.”
As I write this, I have been in a 5 year court/co-parenting battle with my son’s father.  Currently, I am spending my hard earned money that I make working 6 days a week to defend myself from a man who chooses to be willfully underemployed.  To say that I am exhausted is an understatement.  On many occasions I would like to give up, throw in the towel, and just call it quits.  He has done exactly what he promised when we were married–that if I ever left him he would make my life hell.  BUT, at the end of the day, I have my child’s best interest in mind.  I don’t put my stake in the court system.  They have failed me time and time again.
As you know the there are no winners and losers in a divorce…only losers.  The losers are the children.  You have such an opportunity to support these men and give them hope.  They need to be their for their kids through thick and thin-child support or no child support.
I hope that you, too, can see that there are some great moms out there who are not taking advantange of the system and would never want to see their child’s father in such a weak and exposed state.
May God bless you and the men that you serve,
MXXXXXX

This entry was posted in The Voices of Others, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.