Michigan Purposely Kicks Single Fathers Out of Food Stamp Program

Given how long it’s been since I’ve blogged, this article is not something I really want to spend precious time discussing. Especially in lieu of recent emails to me from desperate, hopeless, and despondent fathers who are contemplating suicide.

Only those noncustodial single moms and dads who have or are experiencing Ohio’s very hateful, despicable, and utterly horrifying “Family Court” (aka Domestic Relations) and “child support” systems can truly understand that which is the inexplicable; more specifically, the immeasurable and equally confusing psychological trauma, along with the mind-numbing stress, that’s very hatefully albeit happily inflicted upon noncustodial parents (NCPs)  out of  “the best interests of their children,” and at the hands of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS)  Child Support Enforcement (aka extortion) Agency (CSEA).

Understand that non custodial single fathers in Ohio are not eligible for any state funded public assistance if they are only just one cent in arrears in their “child support” obligation. If you’re wondering why I put “child support” in quotes, it’s because the same is nothing more than “mommy support” and has little to do with supporting children. For more information  on that, please search this blog or Google studies on child support.

After I lost all three of my former homes to foreclosure post divorce, and after I filed for bankruptcy, was without heat in my “home” in winter, had to garbage pick along with my daughter for items to sell (said items included a bike I had given my daughter for Christmas one year) at yard sales so I could put food on the table, and after I was terminated from my job when the Hamilton County Sheriff’s “Fugitive Warrant Unit” went to my former place of employment to arrest me (hence the reason my employer terminated me), and after I was jailed for Civil Contempt because I couldn’t pay a divorce related debt due to my being indigent, I called Hamilton County ODJFS to seek help, hope and assistance.

I was penniless, nearly homeless, jobless, and at times without utilities and adequate food. But despite that, I had nowhere to turn. That was so because my “child support” order bankrupted me and caused me to lose everything (a nearly six figure portfolio as well) and I was already garbage picking in my efforts to provide for my daughter, I needed help. During the cold winter months, and while wearing coats, hats, and gloves inside our house, my daughter once asked me, while we were sitting on the steps talking; she looked directly into my eyes and asked, as we sat in an unheated home and through the fog of her breath, “daddy, why is it always cold over here?”

I was at a loss for words initially, and felt less than human and utterly inadequate and a failure as a father. So how does any of this relate to the State of Michigan and their food stamp program? It’s simple; I was a single father. And when I called ODJFS and asked for help after I explained the deplorable conditions my daughter was forced to live in and told them I was being extorted for nearly $1,300 per month in “child support,” I expected that I’d be helped.

Despite me being unemployed, and notwithstanding the fact that the system itself; and more specifically the presiding Judge in my case at the time (Judge Ronald Panioto) caused me to be terminated from my job by signing a bench warrant that called for my arrest. And that, because I was literally indigent and therefore unable to make monthly payments that he ordered me to on a non child support related debt.

So what did ODJFS offer me as I pleaded for public assistance to support my daughter, and that for the first time in my life and despite how degraded and humiliated I felt in doing so? NOTHING. Despite me explaining that my daughter was suffering as a result of my indigence, and that we needed food on the table and heat in our home, I was told that because I was a “deadbeat dad”, I was not eligible for any public assistance under any circumstances whatsoever, and no matter how destitute I was.

The term “deadbeat dad” wasn’t actually used, but the inference to the same was obvious. What I was in reality was a dead-broke dad who was made so not of my own choosing, but by an Ohio “Family Court” system that bankrupted me, then punished me as well as my daughter for being precisely that which the system itself caused me to be; bankrupt and unemployed.

What you need to take away from this is that after the system bankrupted me by seizing $1,300 per month of my net income under the guise of “child support,” it then in turn caused me to lose my job (due to a Civil Warrant for Contempt being executed at my place of employment at that time). It also caused me to lose all three of my homes that I owned at the time, and caused me to lose nearly $100,000 in savings. I was also incarcerated because the Court ordered me to pay an unjustified non-child support related debt that I couldn’t pay because I was unemployed (due to the warrant fiasco). That same court also denied my motion to reduce my “child support” obligation when I had zero income, and caused me to accumulate a “child support” arrears wherein the balance was overstated by the Hamilton County CSEA.

Did you comprehend what I said? The Court and the System first bankrupted me with the $1,300 per month “child support” order, then jailed me after I could no longer pay another non-child support related debt after the very same court (and judge) caused me to be fired by issuing a warrant for my arrest. Reason being, the warrant was served at my former place of employment, and after of which I was terminated by my employer because they didn’t appreciate the Hamilton County Sheriff’s “Fugitive Warrant Unit” interrupting their business operations while the police tried to arrest me at work.

Next, the system punished my daughter by refusing any and all public assistance to me such as food stamps, utility assistance, housing assistance, medical assistance etc, because I was at that time behind in my “child support” obligation. In short, the system alone caused me to fall behind, then punished myself and my daughter after I did so (and the system literally forced me to) by refusing to provide public aid that was available to anyone who wasn’t alleged to have a “child support” arrears.

So again you may be asking yourself, “what does any of what he just explained have to do with the State of Michigan’s food stamp program or single fathers?

My response to that question? Everything. I’m very familiar with Michigan’s “Family Courts” as well as that state’s contemptible and hateful treatment of single fathers (both custodial and noncustodial). Their very ugly and despicable decision to kick single fathers out of their food stamp program for college students, reeks of contempt and an utter disregard for the best interests of those Michigan children who live in single father households.

Additionally, take everything I’ve described in this post about what was done to both myself and my daughter at the hands of Ohio’s “Family Court” and CSEA that was said to be “in my daughter’s best interest”, remove all references to the two of us,   and replace the same with the names of any of the hundreds of thousands of Michigan’s single fathers and the children thereof, and you what you’ll find is the same story that I’ve told, repeating itself tens if not hundreds of thousands of times over. In other words, what’s described herein is the status quo, and barring Michigan’s single father college students (and thereby their children) from using food stamps won’t be a cause celebre for anyone given that it’s “ok” to treat single fathers as a worthless and irrelevant underclass when they’re in need of assistance for themselves and their children.

Try doing the same thing to single mothers, and you’ll immediately see in newspapers, online and on TVs everywhere, an incessant and sanctimonious lecturing from demagogues and “leaders” from one end of the political spectrum to the other, calling for the heads of those who made such an “insensitive, irresponsible and hateful decision.” The reality of that situation is simply this; doing the same to single mothers would be incredibly politically incorrect, and would therefore amount to political suicide. But single fathers? Denigrate, disparage and trash them to your hearts delight, because in the court of public opinion, not only is that okay, it’s both deserved and expected. Additionally, the same garners votes for politicians who engage in that type of repulsive and reprehensible behavior.

So back to my point about Michigan’s single fathers and their stories; the names may change, but the horror stories are often the same and nearly identical in many cases as those of single fathers in Ohio, across the nation, and around the globe with the exception in large part in the Middle East and Africa.

True stories of unwarranted, unjust, an undeserved systematic abuse of single fathers and their children by Michigan’s “Family Court. In the past, I’ve worked closely with some of Michigan’s Father’s rights advocates, and truth be told, the State of Michigan hates and despises single fathers and the children thereof (as evidenced by their treatment of the same) because doing so is a must if they wish to maximize their profit off of their “child support” program.

Michigan, like Ohio must choose between actually acting in the best interest of the children of broken homes and those of the “woe is me” “single moms by choice” (and without moral justification of the same), or profiting of the backs of those precious and innocent children of the same, and the choice is always a very clear one for the powers to be in both states; maximize the destruction in the lives of those children so as to maximize the state’s profit of off its “child support” program. One that truly couldn’t exist without the pain and suffering that exacted off the backs of millions of innocent children.

In short, the state must sell those children out by financially decimating the lives of all of Michigan’s noncustodial mothers and fathers, which thereby destroys the lives of the children that the state purports to be “acting in the best interest of.”

So here we see once again, the State of Michigan selectively (and unconstitutionally I suspect) punishing Michigan’s single fathers and their children, by kicking those fathers whom are college students out of the food stamp program that they used to be eligible for.

The following statement by Rep. David Agema is hypocritical at best, and is misandry and discriminatory against single fathers at worst.

“College students who do not really need assistance have been allowed to take advantage for far too long,” Agema said in a statement at the time of the state’s announcement. “Prevent Bridge card abuse will make sure assistance only goes to those who truly need help. This action will put a stop to this waste of taxpayer money.”

Agema’s comments are so despicable and so reprehensible that I could write a book on it, but I for brevities sake, I’ll keep it short. First and foremost, Agema follows the usual and worn out narrative that all single moms (and that includes single child support moms by choice) are good, and all single dads are bad. How is that you wonder? It’s simple, he makes the following declarative statements;
“”College students who do not really need assistance have been allowed to take advantage for far too long,”…””Prevent Bridge card abuse will make sure assistance only goes to those who truly need help.” And that, as the article states that “only only single moms and students who work 20 hours a week may be able to keep their benefits.”

So since single fathers aren’t exempted (to the extent that one can be) as single mothers are, we see the same old narrative being followed whereby single mothers are good, and single fathers are bad. How so? It’s simply implied by what’s stated in the article.

Don’t single moms also take advantage of the system? Why is it stated that single moms may be able to keep their benefits? Those same mothers would be those that in many cases are receiving ridiculous and unwarranted amounts of “child support” that in many cases, and as studies have shown, the children actually see little to none of that money because most of the money is spent to support a mother’s lifestyle, and some live lavishly because of it.

With that having been said, wouldn’t the single noncustodial fathers, some of whom are presumably being extorted of thousands of dollars per month in “child support” that’s given to single mothers by choice (some of whom are in college classrooms and living off of “child support) be more in need of food stamp assistance since they are forced to pay nearly all child rearing costs, health insurance and daycare costs that single mothers incur? Out of what little income some single fathers may have (up to 65% of their net pay) is being seized by the state of Michigan and given to the single moms by choice who as the “primary caregivers” of their children attend college full time while their children attend daycare full time. That said, who’s more deserving and in need of food stamp assistance again?

And what about the single custodial fathers who are attending college in Michigan and whom are barely getting by, or not getting by as they attend college in their attempts to make a better life for themselves and their children; aren’t they and their children in need of food stamp assistance and don’t they also deserve it? Obviously not from Michigan’s point of view since single mothers and not single fathers were specifically singled out as being in need of assistance.

Also, Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan is quoted in the article as saying, “”We want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government.” Really??? And aren’t single mothers by choice as well as single mothers also people? If they are, then why isn’t Ms. Corrigan encouraging them to be self sufficient as Michigan single fathers are implicitly encouraged to do so? I ask that because single fathers weren’t singled out as “possible exceptions” to the new rule like single mothers were.

Single mothers by choice who are receiving “child support” live a life of dependency by living off of income that’s earned by the father(s) of their children. So with that having been said, isn’t the State of Michigan encouraging even more dependency if they allow “single moms” to be a protected class and thereby continue to receive food stamp benefits that single fathers presumably won’t be getting?

Truth be told, it’s hard to claim single status if you’re collecting hundreds or thousands of dollars a month in unwarranted and morally unjustifiable tax free “child support” dollars that are earned through labor that’s not your own. That is financial dependency, and regardless of how well one might deceive themselves by thinking otherwise.

So there you have it; yet another example of state sanctioned discrimination against a class of people (single fathers) that seeks to reward single mothers by choice for choosing, and without morally justifiable grounds, to separate in most cases, very loving fathers from the very precious and innocent children who love and miss them.

In most cases of fatherless children, neither the children nor the father involved asked nor deserved to be separated from each other. In more cases than not; it was the unilateral decision of a single mom “by choice” (otherwise known as a child support mom) who decided without any morally justifiable reasons, that “her children” would forever be separated from their own father. Additionally, and what I personally believe is an absolute affront to morals and justice itself, these same single moms by choice have the unmitigated and morally unjustified gall to steal that same fathers income that’s earned through labor off of his back. And that, through what’s euphemistically referred to as a court ordered “child support” order.

What that is in a moral sense is the unwarranted, unjustified, and immoral theft of another person’s money. As I’ve said in the past; just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. And I firmly believe that many will be judged harshly by God for that when they’re called upon to give an account for how they lived their lives on earth.

In closing, please allow me to elaborate as to whom I refer to as a “child support mom” or a “single mom by choice.” First and foremost, I am not a misogynist. What I am is one who speaks the truth. And that truth is that in most cases, I believe that “child support” is in fact morally wrong, and is the literal theft of another person’s money through the strong-arm of the courts.

If you chose to be a single mom (or single dad) by choice, and without any morally justifiable cause, then you are in my humble opinion, no different than a common thief who steals from another if you are taking money through a “child support” order. If you unilaterally and without any morally justifiable causes caused the father (or mother) of your children to be a noncustodial parent,and you are simultaneously stealing their money through a “child support” order, then you are what you are; a thief.

If you desire to separate yourself from the the other parent to your children, then also separate yourself from their money, because you aren’t morally justified in taking it in most cases in my humble opinion.

Who are you to unilaterally decide to separate that parent from their children, and to also take their money in the process? Any person, who is of decent moral character would never engage in such turpitude. It’s horrendous enough to force someone into being a part-time parent against theirs and their children’s wishes. But it’s depraved and is an act of moral bankruptcy to also steal that persons income for up to 25 years in some cases. And it’s that theft for which I personally and humbly believe you’ll be judged and thereby punished severely by God.

At that time, I suspect that you’ll be willing to trade all the money in the world to not be that which I personally believe you’ll stand in judgement of being; a thief.

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

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5 Responses to Michigan Purposely Kicks Single Fathers Out of Food Stamp Program

  1. julia says:

    all i have to say is “wow”. i’m so sorry that happened to you. really. that’s messed up.
    i hope things get better for you, and fast. it seems completely illegal and immoral what the courts in ohio did to you.
    i don’t know about your situation personally… but this is just another reason i will NOT have children. i know you had a sweet job. but jesus.. apparently anything can happen. i can barely take care of myself.
    wishing you and your daughter the best. and if that woman was any kind of mother, she wouldn’t have been asking for money after you lost your job.
    i have to say though that child support is necessary and that not all women do what she did. it should be automatically adjusted to income too. if you make 0, she gets 0. but my mom used the money she got from my father to feed and clothe us, she also had a job at all times because the child support wasn’t enough. if we had been getting $1300 a month, it would have been a different story. she probably wouldn’t have worked. that seems like an exorbitant amount of money. but some women aren’t crazy @&$#*!@ and use the money the right way. the moral of the story: be very careful who you (EDITED BY ADMIN)

  2. Dee says:

    Child support back then because I was young and dumb. My trouble started back in 2004 after being unemployed for a year I finial moved to Columbus, Ohio to find work so that I take care of my 2 boys that I had by two different mothers. So I contacted child support to give not only my place of employment but also my new address and within two weeks later I received indictment papers on two felony charges for non support. So I got to court they wanted money that I didn’t have of course but the amount was minimal that could be made with the fact that I was working and had a job lined up at Honda making exceptional good money to take of me and the kids. They ended up putting on 5yr probation in Cuyahoga County now I remind you that worked and lived in Columbus, Ohio. the first nightmare started when the probation officer disregarded the judge’s order that I could call in to say I made a payment and wanted me to come to Cleveland every week to see my pay check so she could record the payment made. I couldn’t afford to make this trip being only making so much and I didn’t even have a car back then and the greyhound was expensive and it also made me miss work every week. The end result was she ended up violation me every chance she got because I couldn’t make it. So the next nightmare began when I was brought up on another felony charges this time for my younger son. I didn’t understand because I was working and they both was receiving the support from me so why I am back in court on charges again. The amount I owed him was even less to where they debated was it even a valid charge on me. So I took another plea deal just so I wouldn’t go to jail at least I thought I wouldn’t. So the Third nightmare came when I my job couldn’t take me missing so many days and let me go, but I had applied to attend truck driving school and got accepted thru Columbus WIA program at the time and got my CDL’s for truck driver this Probation Officer whose Name was Mrs. Germane Stroh did everything in her power to stop me from being able to pay or get a job where I could take care of me and my kids. She knows I lived in Columbus and everything and the judge even said it was cool that I could do the truck driving. So then I get a letter from juvenile on whit I haven’t been paying to go to juvenile court in Cuyahoga county.Im working and the judge let the mom send me to jail because she said she wanted me in jail the fact that I was working actually start a new job the Thursday didn’t even matter even when the job told them that I would be working and first check would be in the mail in two weeks. So the case worker and probation officer file right after I came out they filed another Probation violation and that got me 30days because she lied and was mad because I got custody of my oldest son who my first felony was for. Then when that job let me go because I was in jail. I came out and two months later because I couldn’t find a job I was put back in jail and sentenced to 6 month in jail……..so I do the time and then when I get out I come home the day I get out to a why didn’t I pay in 6 month notice where I had to go down to court and I told I had just got out of prison and the case worker knew because she the one who was working with the APA or the Probation dept in Cleveland on my case. So I started making calls to the CESA in Cuyahoga county as to why was I getting these letters and all this come to find out I was never suppose to be indicted in the first place because payments to the children was being made and the case worker who handle my case was saying that she did it because after the back that she knew I didn’t have because you’re the case worker for my first case……since now I have two felonies and trying to get a job is next to impossible, I get child support from the oldest son mom and I’m also on Ohio works first benefits and I also just obtain my associate degree in Information Technology..The doors are still be slam in my face due to the fact that I have these felonies…i am sharing my story because this shouldnt happen to nobody. but my thing is how is having a felony going to get these kids the support they need and only thing I have is a growing arrearages when should be allowed to work. I know somewhere in this my right as a father and a human being was violated.

    • Tony Fantetti says:

      Dee,

      Unfortunately, what you describe is the EXACT thing I’ve been arguing for years; indicting parents for felony criminal nonsupport of a child (for failure to pay child support) does absolutely nothing to collect “child support” for children, and in fact does just the opposite…It actually hinders the ability of noncustodial parents to pay any “child support” whatsoever because they’re “unemployable” in most fields (at least the professional fields requiring college degrees) due to background checks that most employers perform.

      And as I’ve also said in making the aforementioned argument; if employers, when pre-screening potential employees for a job by utilizing background checks discover a felony conviction during said check, they automatically disqualify that individual for the position in which they applied for. And the reason for this is both simple, and yet another argument I’ve made in the past. That being, for the purposes of pre-employment screening, employers do not differentiate between felonies. In other words, and from an employers perspective, a “felon is a felon.” So with that having been said (and as you already know) a felony conviction for nonpayment of “child support” is no different (in an employer’s eyes) for a conviction for murder.

      Another point that I will continue to argue is that incarcerating a nonpaying parent is not by any stretch of the imagination in the “best interests of the child” as Ohio falsely proclaims, and when that nonpaying parent did not willingly fall behind in their “child support” payments. Reason being, the children of said parents lose all contact with the noncustodial parent during the entire period of their incarceration as the child(ren) in such cases are said to be “victims of the noncustodial parents” crime.

      So indicting those who unwillingly fell behind in their “child support” payments is nothing more than a tool to exact vengeance on behalf of the State of Ohio (because they can’t profit off of someone whose not paying their “child support”) as well as vengeance on the part of the noncustodial parent in many cases.

      If you truly weren’t behind in your payments and therefore never should have been indicted, then I would encourage you to speak with some personal injury attorneys, as it appears that someone elses “mistake” (or perhaps wanton and intentional disregard) has prevented you from ever securing a high-paying job due to those two felony convictions you now have.

      Also, another thing I’d do if I were you is to go to the State of Ohio’s website where they advertise state jobs, look for all IT related jobs, find those you are qualified for, and apply for them. After all, shouldn’t the State of Ohio be willing to employ you since it’s they who put into motion the very forces that prevent you from finding a job?

  3. Rahsheem says:

    Oh yeah, well I got you all beat..my daughters mom fled the state (of Michigan) against a court order and after ending up in jail cause I couldn’t pay the $51,000 in arrears (cause in Michigan it’s a 4 year felony if you owe $10,000 or more) she “the mom” got my daughter taken from her custody by Arizona CPS, I had to post bond after excepting a plea so I wouldn’t go to jail for 4 years I then had to travel to AZ and rescue my daughter ‘who mind you shouldn’t have been taken from the state in the first place’ once AZ saw she ‘my daughter’ was born in MI and not AZ and the case (or order of filiation) was in MI and that they ‘AZ’ had no jurisdiction they then turned my child over to me..I then had to gain legal custody in MI, now that I’ve done that I still have the issue of probation and the “delayed sentencing” I petitioned to have the $51,000 credited to me since my child was out if the state illegally (and FYI I had been petitioning the F.O.C since 2005 with no response) and my motion was denied cause they said that no matter what the arrears are owed to the child (that I have custody of now) and that they were collecting for AZ…WAIT WHAT, collecting for AZ..The state of MI can do that, this broad was collecting support in AZ TOO??? “Well how much do I owe AZ?” I asked the referee who denied my motion said $43,500…WHOA, so of the $51,000 I owe MI $43,500 is going to AZ which leaves $8500 to MI (remember earlier in my statement when I said it’s a 4 year felony if you owe MI $10,000 or more) I NEVER OWED MI $10,000 OR MORE, now I don’t know much about the law but I KNOW MI can’t lock me up for money I owe another state especially if I was paying support to that state ‘AZ’ as well (which I was) so not only did MI lock me up FOR NOTHING, but I was paying the same bill twice all along…WOMEN GET AWAY WITH WAAAAAAAAY TO MUCH…now how’s that fellas?!?!

    • Tony Fantetti says:

      Rasheem,

      If I understood your pose correctly, it sounds as if you had two states, AZ and MI simultaneously collecting “child support” from you for the same child, is that correct? AZ cannot issue a support order in a case where MI retains jurisdiction. Additionally, you obviously can’t be held liable to two different “child support” orders for the same child.

      Have you involved an attorney (a GOOD one) in your case? If not, and if you can afford to, I would. In the very least, and if I were in your position, I would be using the existing MI case to subpoena information from all of the organizations in both MI and AZ that have been involved in this fiasco in order to get to the bottom of it.

      I’m glad AZ has been as cooperative as they have. I knew of a noncustodial single mom who moved from OH to AZ and was being railroaded by both states in regards to her “child support” order.

      Rest assured Rasheem, neither MI nor AZ will step up and fix this mess for you as they don’t care how this has damaged your life, especially the felony charge. Have you brought this to the attention of your criminal defense attorney?

      Tony Fantetti