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.
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights