Child Support Collections have Surely Gone Mad but were their Intentions Good or Bad

As we approach our one year anniversary, we are excited to report that some of our websites receive nearly 25,000 hits a month, as word of Ohio Council for Fathers Rights (formerly known as Ohio Fathers for Justice) literally spreads around the globe. Please encourage others to visit our sites and to consider joining us in our fight for justice.

We have come a long way since July of 2007, and many notable events have transpired over the last 11 months . Unfortunately, most were disturbing and saddening events. I have learned more about how hateful society is towards Fathers than I ever cared to know. Likewise, it’s important to note that there are non-custodial moms (NCMs) who are being tormented as well by “the system.”

I cannot even begin to fathom how incredibly difficult and terribly distressing it is for those loving mothers whose hearts were broken when their children were kidnapped by the system.

On a more upbeat note, we hope to redesign our original web site at, and in doing so, add a plethora of legal resources to assist pro se litigants. However for the most part, we intend to keep “the look” despite that site being rather mundane. Reason being, this was our original website and we wish to use it to contrast the look of the organization as it changes over the years.

The pages titled “Updated! Our response to H.R.1386″and “Child Support Mystery Unraveling” will undergo substantial changes to reflect what we have learned about Ohio’s “Federal Incentive Title-IV Social Security” matching funds; that being that Ohio has most likely profited year-to-date in excess of one billion dollarsoff of its child support collections to date.

We had originally and incorrectly reported that Ohio had only profited a couple of hundred million dollars off of child support collections over the last decade. We will continue to educate the public using factual examples and documentation that clearly demonstrates Ohio’s child support collection’s statutes were not written with the “best interests of the children” in mind. Rather, the truth appears to be that they were written only with Ohio’s best financial interests in mind.

Moreover, and quite sadly, we have learned that Ohio’s 88 County Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs) are far more abusive in their collection efforts than we could have ever imagined. So unconscionably abusive, that the Darke County Ohio CSEA imprisoned an innocent Father, Mr. David Rose, on a false felony criminal non-support indictment; and imprisoned another who went into arrears after having broken his neck and therefore physically unable to work.

We wish to reiterate that our grievances are not against Moms, we do not support “mom-bashing,” and we are not misogynists. We believe that both mothers and fathers (assuming that they are “fit”) must be actively involved in raising their children so as to protect their children’s best interests.

We are not against paying child support and fully believe that all parents should equally share the financial costs of raising their children. What we take issue with are the unjust and unconscionably high child support obligations that force many Fathers into bankruptcy, poverty and in some cases homelessness.

No reasonable person can make a justifiable argument in defense of child support orders that in many cases leave the Father penniless, and unable to support himself much less a new family. Ohio’s child support statutes are so antiquated, that they were written when plaid pants and knee-high stripped tube-socks were in vogue during the 1970’s disco era.

Even worse, some Fathers become so despondent from not having the means to pay their unsubstantiated and incredibly high child support orders, that they are driven to suicide. I suspect that some did so after realizing that it was highly unlikely they’d ever overcome their arrearages . These were Fathers who were not mentally ill, but rather, those whose future’s promised only perpetual incarceration for recurring criminal felony nonsupport convictions.

Consider this; there exists thousands of rewarding responsibilities involved in raising children. Normal loving parents happily perform the following tasks with and for their children, and happily participate in the ensuing activities as well:

Playing with their children, reading to them, teaching them, buying them clothes, taking them hiking, fishing and camping; doing homework with them, tending to their cuts and bruises, protecting them, taking them to school, to the doctor, to sleep- over’s, to friend’s houses; e stories to them, explaining why the sky is blue, going to parent-teacher conferences, attending PTA meetings, validating their feelings, listening to them, feeding them, providing shelter, guiding them, buying them pets, presents and toys; saving money for them for college, a home, a wedding; buying them cars, video games, and computers; respecting them, loving them, dressing them, bathing them, brushing their teeth, tying their shoes, holding their ice cream, taking them to Dairy Queen, Dave & Busters, and the circus; advising them, choose a college with them, including them in appropriate family decisions, instill morals and values in them, make sacrifices for them, lead by example, discipline them, as well as lovingly perform any of the countless thousands of other parental responsibilities that all parents perform for their children and stop doing so at what age? At the age of eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five? How absurd, a parent never stops loving, caring for, and tending to their children, regardless of that “child’s” age.

Yet, if that same parent whose attributes and loving care were just described becomes unemployed in the state of Ohio through no fault of their own, and falls behind in their child support payments, they are wrongfully and hatefully labeled by Ohio and others as “deadbeats” and further punished by being indicted on felony criminal nonsupport charges. It’s difficult enough to find gainful employment in this economy. Now consider for a moment how difficult it must be for a newly felony convicted father to find a job. For what reason are many fathers feloniously criminalized? They lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In some cases they were laid off, in others the suffered medical afflictions such as a stroke, heart-attack, cancer etc.

Ask yourself the following; out of the countless parental duties all loving parents perform daily for their children each day of their lives, why is it that only one, ‘out of a million’, “child support” is the only parental duty that if a parent fails to perform, and regardless of why they didn’t provide it, an otherwise loving and caring parent is dehumanized and criminalized?

They are castigated, demonized , criticized, publicly humiliated with their pictures appearing on wanted posters, on newscasts, in newspapers, on pizza boxes and on billboards. Eventually they are sent to debtor’s prison by the state of Ohio, why? The answer is simple, it’s because child support payments are the onlyparental duty that the state of Ohio can make hundreds of millions of dollars off of annually, in pure profit.

How? Ohio, through its eighty-eight county child support enforcement agencies (CSEAs) deemed itself a collection agency or a ‘middle-man’ in essence, between divorced and never-married Fathers and mothers. This, so they could profit off our children’s money whereby they take child support dollars from Fathers, charge them a fee for taking the money, and they also collect an annual ‘bonus’ from the federal government called a “Federal Incentive Match” that is funded with our social security taxes.

For a sum of money known as a profit, Ohio’s Child 88 county Support Enforcement Agencies are tasked by the state to amass as much money as possible through its annual statewide child support collections. Said collections are irrespective of the legitimacy of the child support orders involved, and are without regard to the accuracy of the amount of the child support obligation, nor to any alleged arrearages attributed to said order.

For what reason are these Fathers behind in their child support payments? Did they have a heart attack or stroke? Were they paralyzed from an accident? Were they laid off because their company went bankrupt? Did they lose that high-paying union job because their factory closed and moved its operations overseas? Were they discriminated against and fired because of their race, age, gender or because a co-worker had a vendetta against them? Did they go on permanent medical disability with a substantially and a permanently reduced income?

What Ohio doesn’t tell the public is that it is nearly impossible for a child support paying noncustodial parent (NCP) to have their child support order lowered following an NCP’s loss of, or reduction in income. There exists documented cases whereby some Fathers have court-ordered monthly child support obligations that actually exceed their monthly income.

After these same Fathers plead with their county CSEA’s and or, their local Domestic Relations Courts for a reduction in their monthly support obligation and are denied, they are then labeled as a “deadbeat dad” with their pictures appearing on wanted posters, billboards and TV, and are eventually indicted for felony criminal nonsupport of a minor child.

Ohio cannot afford to lose their hundreds of millions of dollars in federal incentive matches that are doled out annually by the federal government and split among the 50 states, as it funds their budget. Moreover, the “incentive match” is directly proportional to each state’s annual state-wide child support collections.

By turning child support collections into a lucrative business through the introduction of a profit, Ohio’s eighty-eight county CSEAs are incentivized to engage in grossly abusive and wholly unconstitutional collection practices whose hatred and evil is beyond description. In a further display of contemptuous hatred towards child-support-paying noncustodial parents (NCPs), the CSEAs blatantly and wantonly violate the constitutional rights of NCPs and operate carte blanche with impunity (under the color of law) while doing so, because they answer to absolutely no one. Even more disturbing is that the “federal incentive matches” paid to the states are actually funded through your social security payroll taxes. That said, Social Security’s insolvency is most likely partially attributed to the billions of dollars paid out as profits to the fifty states as a “reward” for their abusive collection efforts that drive some to such unbearable despondency, whereby they view suicide as “hope.”

How could it be that the State of Ohio’s child support juggernaut has been ostensibly profiteering for more than a decade from the decimation and destruction of countless lives that was caused “the system” itself, and without the public taking notice? It was and continues to be done by waging a war against an enemy that never existed; an adversary created by Ohio itself, so as to conceal its financial gain deceitfully being earned by destroying the lives of countless Ohio Fathers, and the lives of their innocent children they so dearly love.

Ohio created and then publicly and wildly chased their mythological “deadbeat dad.” An imaginary enemy who was incarnated using the faces of Fathers and mothers who lost jobs through often times tragic circumstances such as broken necks, heart attacks, cancer, automobile accidents, and for many other reasons beyond their control.

Ohio proudly and boastfully declared, and then viciously waged an open war on those Fathers and mothers who had met with misfortune. A war whose tactics included live, televised, statewide “Deadbeat Dad Roundups” that were broadcast on TV screens nationwide, and beamed into the living rooms where some precious and innocent children were watching; children whose lives would soon be forever changed for the worse as Ohio’s CSEAs coordinated the timing of their statewide annual “deadbeat-dad” rodeo-roundups.

These were the same children who cried out and screamed in terrifying horror, “Mommy, why are they taking Daddy away?” Scared and confused, some watched as real-time movies of their Dad’s arrests were forever being burned into their minds. Time stood still as they witnessed first-hand while their Fathers were being handcuffed and placed into police cars under a dazzling display of whirling red and blue lights.

Some of those children will be forever traumatized, and psychologically damaged by those frightening and dizzying images that were forced upon them by the state of Ohio through their television sets. Those live televised “roundups” resulted from someone’s appalling and utterly reckless and decision that was without any regard for the best interests of the children, who were watching as their “Daddies” were arrested. A completely shameless decision that was made solely by Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services’ Office of Child Support, and viciously carried out by their participating county-level Child Support Enforcement Agencies across the state. Those same agencies who claimed to be acting only in the “best interests of the children” by televising their Father’s humiliating arrests.

Who are these “criminals” whose faces continue to appear daily on billboards, television and on pizza boxes? Some are the very same Fathers whose income has permanently decreased and in some cases totally ceased. Fathers who in some cases have begged and pleaded with the courts and CSEAs for years to have their financially unattainable and unbearable child support orders lowered to reflect a loss of income.

Were their pleas for mercy and assistance answered by Ohio’s Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs)? Absolutely, the CSEAs responded to those Father’s cries for help by labeling them as “deadbeats”, and by criminalizing them through criminal felony nonsupport indictments, trials, and finally lengthy prison sentences to punish them for losing their jobs through no fault of their own.

As sickening as it is, those same Fathers continue accruing child support arrearages and those with compounding interest during their incarceration because according to Ohio’s current child support statutes, these Fathers are “voluntarily underemployed.” Even more diabolical is that some are “re-indicted” on more serious felony nonsupport charges (while still in prison) for “refusing” to pay their child support during their incarceration.

If Ohio was truly concerned about the “best interests” of her children, and not consumed with profiteering at the expense of its children through its statewide child support collections “federal incentive matches,” then why aren’t they publishing wanted posters for Ohio’s child molesters, child pornographers, and child rapists who continue to evade capture?

Are the best interests of Ohio’s children better served by incarcerating their Fathers, or by incarcerating the sexual predators who prey upon them while their Fathers are imprisoned and are thereby prohibited from protecting them?

Which of the two following posters, a child molester most-wanted, or a “deadbeat dad” most-wanted; has the state of Ohio profited off of in excess of five-hundred million, and quite possibly, substantially more than, one-billion dollars over the past decade?

Tony Fantetti
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights

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