May 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
Please make sure you are signed up for the Govabuse nationwide protest October 3, 2014 Children / families against government abuse at; http://www.govabuse.com ALSO: I cannot get around to every group, every day, if you request me as a friend I will approve asap. (site being updated but sign up is available). Thanks- Govabuse founder- Nancy Rolfe
Citizens have literally handed over control over every area of the lives of our children / families, making obsolete, roles of parents and grandparents.
lets fight the (ISBA) illinois state bar assoc. that does not care anything about our children they are a profit center for them just a meal ticket.
March 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
It was Martin Luther King who said, “We begin to die the day we begin to be silent on issues that matter.” IT WILL TAKE YOU LESS THEN 2 MINUTES PER PHONE CALL TO SAVE A CHILD’S LIFETIME BOND WITH THEIR PARENT. REPRESENTATIVES DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO BE AN EXPERT ON THE BILLS…THEY JUST NEED THE PHONE CALLS TO KNOW YOU WANT THEM TO SUPPORT HB 5425, HB 4459 AND HB 4458 and that you want the representative to make a special request that all 3 bills be passed out of rules committee immediately.
TOTAL success now depends on what YOU DO or not do in the next 48 hours. Countless volunteer hours at the capitol have carried the ball down to the current goal line but if you don’t pick up the phone then our 2014 legislative agenda may very well die. The DEADLINE to get our bills out of committee is March 28th.
We have worked very hard to this point and we have strong bi-partisan sponsors signed on to our bills so it is a BIG “mystery” as to why our bills are still waiting in the 5 person Rules Committee(the first committee for all bills which almost always passes on bills for further consideration – 3 Democrats, 2 Republicans) to be passed on for full consideration. We need our bills out of Rules Committee NOW to have time to make the March 28th deadline.
Priority Number 1: Call Rep. Monique Davis (217) 782-0010 AND CALL AT (773) 445-9700 and thank her for taking on the role of Chief Sponsor in SUPPORT of HB 5425, HB 4459 and HB 4458. If you say, “I heard Rep. Davis met with Richard Thomas yesterday(3/5/2014) and you agreed to take on bills HB 5425, HB 4459 and HB 4458, THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting our bills and please do what you can to get our bills passed out of Rules Committee.” If you say these words to Rep. Davis or her secretary, they will know exactly what and who you mean. Be friendly but firm in your support of these 3 bills because your fair share of democracy is on the line.
Priority Number 2: Please call Representative Michael J. Madigan (D) at (217) 782-5350 or Secretary “April” at (773) 581-8000 and simply say “Children need BOTH parents now more than ever – Please SUPPORT HB 5425.” HB 5425 has strong bi-partisan support, but will die if Rep. Madigan doesn’t allow it to a vote. What is HB 5425? If the court determines that both parents are fit and good, then the non-custodial parent will be allotted/offered 35 percent minimum parenting time weekly to facilitate EVEN bonding. Parentlessness is killing this nation, please call today. Take the target off the backs of children, TODAY! BE a hero…CALL, CALL, CALL TODAY. Please also ask that HB 4459 and HB 4458 be special requested passed the Rules Committee. All 3 bills have bi-partisan support signed on.
Priority Number 3:
Please Contact These Members ASAP to SUPPORT HB 5425, HB 4458 and HB 4459 being passed into the next appropriate committee;
House Rules Committee:
Chairperson: Barbara Flynn Currie…D…phone: (217) 782-8121
Spokesperson: Ed Sullivan, Jr….R… phone: (217) 782-3696
Member: Lou Lang…D…(217) 782-1252
Member: David R. Leitch…R…(217) 782-8108
Member: Frank J. Mautino…D…(217) 782-0140
Priority Number 4: If you have time, please email me any responses you get on the above at NurseRichardThomas@gmail.com
I spoke with NAACP President Lloyd Johnston recently and he was very excited in favor of our bills. I’ve been informed that the NAACP is drafting its letter of support due within a day or so. But will that come in time to get our bills out of Rules Committee? Let’s not depend on it…make your calls today.
Spent all day at the capitol yesterday. We met with over 30 representatives, many high-ranking ones. Thanks to Brian Caldwell and Shane Bouvet who showed a lot of promise at the capitol yesterday. They will represent family law reform well in the very near future.
Democracy is now in yours hands…please print this off and call today!!! In Solidarity, Richard Thomas, Loves Park, (815) 690-5034.
Explanation of Bills:
HB 5425: Divorce in this country all too often means that children lose sufficient contact with at least one of their parents. Most people don’t know that the standard “visitation” schedule for non-custodial parents in the State of Illinois is 4 hours a week and every other weekend. No matter how good and participatory a parent has been this is the standard time allotted to almost all non-custodial parents. This makes bonding, especially even bonding, next to impossible, over the course of a child’s first 18 years of development. HB 5425 is a quantum leap forward towards a remedy. This bill takes the target off the backs of Illinois children going through divorce and custody. If a judge determines that both parents are good and fit, the non-custodial parent will be allotted at least 35 percent minimum parenting time weekly to facilitate, enable EVEN bonding with both parents. The bill has strong bi-partisan support and will die unless people call in support. I co-wrote HB 5425 along with Attorney Mick Gerhardt(then filtered through the Legislative Reference Bureau). So, if you have any further questions please contact us.
HB 4459: The bill basically states that if a court finds you innocent during an Order of Protection hearing, you can have that court proven false accusation expunged off your record so it doesn’t ruin your life and career. Innocent is innocent, so there is zero reason why you shouldn’t be able to expunge that proven false accusation. Even convicted criminals get to expunge their records if they keep their record clean for a certain period of time, so why shouldn’t the innocent get expunged? Furthermore, the threshold to obtain an Order of Protection is so low, if can’t get one there is extreme certainty there was no evidence in the first place.
HB 4458: This bill basically states that if a court finds that you have lied under oath while attempting to obtain an Order of Protection, you can receive a penalty for that false accusation. It’s only right and fair.
Special Note: NONE of these bills make ANY changes to the Order of Protection pursuit process for alleged victims of domestic violence.
(our guy in Springfield)
State Representative Josh Harms last year introduced a Right of First Refusal Bill and thanks to your efforts, Right of First Refusal is now law. We are pleased to report that the new law IS having an impact. We are hearing from at least one father that he gained significantly more time with his child when the father informed his lawyer about the new Right of First Refusal law. Subsequently, the lawyer informed the Judge, who at the time had not heard of the new law, however the Judge granted the father every Thursday visitation beginning after school and continuing overnight, in addition to the typical every other weekend schedule. In another case, a lawyer is using the Right of First Refusal law as leverage for an Illinois Father’s member who is pursuing more visitation time, and in this case, the member did not have to inform the lawyer about the new law. We hope their are more success stories out there for the new Right of First Refusal law. If you have a story of your own to share with us, email@example.com
Another positive is that our membership numbers are climbing. We believe this is due primarily to the efforts of numerous members to display the Illinois Father’s tri-fold brochure in public places. Our overall membership recently surpassed 400. If things continue at current pace, we hope to reach 1,000 members possibly before the end of 2014. Having a larger membership base makes the group more powerful and credible. Places to display the tri-folds are police stations, DCFS offices, court houses, offices of State Representatives and Senators, libraries, churches and other public locations. If you would like a box of approximately 250
pre-printed and pre-folded tri-folds to display in your part of the state, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Prentice Powell is a young father dealing with the courts who was recently featured on the Arsenio Hall show.
As you can see, he delivers a powerful and emotional presentation. It is also a huge positive for the movement
that his presentation is featured on a mainstream media outlet like the Arsenio Hall show. Currently, Illinois
Fathers is attempting to book Mr. Powell for upcoming April 7th rally in Springfield to support our bills, specifically
HB5425 which is in essence the 35 percent minumum time bill.
Dr. Baskerville’s latest article regarding the divorce industry can be viewed here http://washingtonexaminer.com/when-child-support-becomes-extortion-families-lose/article/2544942
With Illinois Fathers being founded in 2008, the group is now into its seventh calander year. Slowly but surely,
more and more people are learning about Illinois Fathers. All of these successes and efforts take alot of time and
a little bit of money. We would urge everyone reading this to consider taking on a more active role with Illinois
Fathers. If you can donate some money to help pay for printing costs, and costs associated with booking Mr.
Powell, that would be huge. If you can distribute tri-folds, you will probably help us grow our membership. If you
can volunteer in another capacity, please let us know.
Thank you for being a part of Illinois Fathers
Connecticut Task Force hears accounts of victimization by family court?The appearance the rbi is listing other cities.
March 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
CONNECTICUT, March 1, 2014 — More than 80 parents testified before the Connecticut legislature on January 9, 2014, providing heart-wrenching details of victimization by the family court.
The hearing, called by Connecticut’s Legislative Task Force on Family Courts was an effort to uncover the truth about the atrocities by the Court.
Some have argued that the actions of the Connecticut family courts resemble human trafficking.
Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as”
“the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”
A small group of judges and mental health professionals in Connecticut appear to have manipulated the fact that fit parents will do almost anything to rescue their children to hold those families hostage. These individuals warped the law so that victimized families could not object or refuse to participate, or risk losing their children forever.
These families are literally dying for custody, but who would believe divorcing parents over the opinions of such highly regarded professionals?
The energy in the legislative hearing room that day was not stuffy, cold or formal. As victimized parents gathered in greater numbers, the room became charged with tension that felt more like a gladatorial arena preparing for a fight between David and Goliath.
The ten member panel sat divided in half on a stage. Some task force members seemed adversarial to the prospect of meaningful systemic reform, perhaps due to their own conflicting financial stake in maintaining the status quo.
Several mental health and legal professionals affiliated with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) seated on the top tier, while a Judicial Branch manager and a female State representative sat between two task force members affiliated with the National Parents Organization, a father’s rights group formerly known as Fathers and Families. A few legislators sat in the fringes, listening with their jaws on the ground as the horrors unfolded.
Parents nervously paced the hallways, clutching and memorizing statements many had to wait 15 hours to give. Although the parents came from all different walks of life, they all had the same story about how they had been fleeced by officers of the courts and falsely discredited.
Although the majority of attendees were men and fathers, there was a consensus that this was not about gender as much as about making sure the legislative branch of government understood how the judicial branch had failed them.
Parents explained how they lost everything in the scams, and put their billing records on the legislative record to prove it. Many privately admitted that after going through the courts, they no longer believed in God, but today they had placed their faith in the legislature and the press to renew it.
Perhaps the AFCC professionals who had ruled the courts for decades with their cronies expected that that they would dominate the legislative hearing, but this was not their property and so there was no pretense of respect or formality when attempts to abscond were made. At times, parents and members of the panel exploded with anger at each other for dragging things out, hurling accusations of fraud and corruption at each other. Afterwards, they retreated to their corners to lick their wounds, get a drink of water, and rest until the imaginary bell would ring, letting them know it was time to get back in the ring.
During the 14 hour hearing, drama was at a premium. Grown men and women cried with sadness and frustration as they spoke of the loss of their children and their life’s work. The halls were littered with devastated parents and professionals who sobbed after telling their stories, comforting one another over the loss of a murdered child or a childhood home. Childless mothers said lives no longer had meaning and they would kill themselves but for the fear of leaving their children alone in the hell the courts had taken them to.
At one point, an industry professional normally kept tucked safely away from such tragedies at a nonprofit legal clinic asked, “Is it really this bad?”
“Yes,” I said. ”It’s actually far worse when you think of all the fearful litigants who are not here.”
It was literally do or die time for these families. It had become clear that the consequences of not speaking out were more catastrophic than any potential retribution a litigating parent might experience in return for their testimony. With the sale of the BrooklynBridge pending before the task force, these parents had no time to waste. On that day, they placed their faith on our Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine with the hope that legislators would impose justice reforms that the judicial branch had refused to consider while Connecticut families were destroyed in their courtrooms.
The consensus was that Connecticut’s family courts have evolved into an unregulated multi-billion dollar industry that represents a real threat to public safety.
KIDS FOR CASH OR ASYLUM RULES?
When you go to a court hearing, there is one judge who controls all communication in the room to ensure only one person is speaking at a time. This can be torture for a parent who is not on the stand and filled with anxiety while listening to corrupt professionals testimony in ways that might result in harm to their families. Yet judges can fine, arrest, and jail you for speaking out of turn in court, a scenario unlikely to play out in the legislature.
For a year, I reviewed hundreds of cases and watched in horror while Connecticut family court judges allowed bogus testimony intended to make violent offenders, even pedophiles look like model parents, while fit parents without criminal records who tried to rescue their kids from dangerous situations were made to appear mentally ill.
Covering the story of court corruption for over a year, I had listened to numerous accounts of children who had been raped and brutalized under the careful watch of the family court industry. I had held my breath in court hearings while judges whose questionable financials I had reviewed called themselves impartial fact finders, then allowed outrageous miscarriages of justice to occur. These findings terrified me so much that I wrote the first two articles of the exposé under a pseudonym to protect my own identity from the predators I exposed. But I quickly found support from professionals and parents shunned by local media who said release of this type of information was long overdue.
This type of brazen misuse of mental healthcare assessments and ex parte hearings were the main vehicles used by predatory family court industry professionals to justify custody switches placing children in the care of violent offenders (like Joshua Komisarjevsky), then opening up the floodgates to years of profitable extortion based litigation services. It didn’t seem to matter if the parents wanted or needed the services or whether they could even afford them because the parents couldn’t object or take their business elsewhere. The families were never the intended beneficiaries, the professionals billing them were.
In these types of cases, the fit parent always vowed they would never stop fighting for their child, but in the end they would always be bankrupted out of their parenting rights by court ordered therapists and evaluators who didn’t take their insurance, visitation supervisors who knew their services wouldn’t be needed if they wrote reports favorable to children, and GAL’s who had barely met the kids they represented and billed parents they barely knew hundreds of thousands of dollars for services no one could verify. If parents didn’t pay up or complained, the professionals often testified in court in ways that made them look unfit and their kids were taken away. The parents themselves had nothing to show for their money except a path of devastation and a child whose life still hung helplessly in the balance.
Often I’d seen cases where judges acted more like collection agencies for unethical and greedy GAL’s engaged in outrageous misconduct who filed outrageous billing statements and motions to place liens on the parent’s homes, wages, pensions, even the kid’s college funds. Many times, parents I had spoken to were thrown in jail for nonpayment at the be haste of a GAL or judge who argued it was in the children’s best interests. As if the kids needed these bogus professionals more than they needed survival necessities like access to their parents, a home, or a few bags of groceries.
When the parents ran out of money, the Public Defender’s office and family court industry nonprofits funded by the taxpayers would pick up the tab. At one point last spring, I’d tried to obtain some of the payment records from the Public Defender under the State’s open records laws. When the agency refused, a hearing was held before the State’s Freedom of Information Commission in Hartford. The Attorney General’s office represented the Public Defender’s Office and I was alone and pro se. The Attorney General must have thought this was important because he called the Public Defender’s top 5 administrators (all attorneys) to take time off from their work defending the litigation embroiled poor to serve as witnesses. I’m sure some of these victimized childless parents would have appreciated the same type of zealous advocacy when it came to all the failed opportunities the state has had to rescue their kids, but chose not to.
The appearance Child-abuse, neglect deaths in Illinois remain high in DCFS-involved cases and still going strong.
March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment
Enoch A. Hayslett brought his 1-month-old son to a hospital emergency room in December 2008, saying the baby was constipated.
Instead, doctors found the infant had a broken femur — an injury Hayslett and the child’s mother couldn’t explain. So the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took protective custody of the baby and his two older siblings, and a Cook County judge ordered that all three children be placed in foster care.
Hayslett and their mother went on to have more children: a daughter, another son, then twin boys — all of whom lived with the couple in the south suburbs as they sought to regain custody of the three older children.
During that time, DCFS twice investigated complaints that Hayslett was abusing his children but found the allegations not credible, records show.
Then — a month after a child-protection investigator closed the second case — the 5-foot-10, 280-pound Hayslett was charged with beating one of his twin sons to death. The 20-pound boy’s skull was fractured, and he had multiple bruises.
Authorities said Hayslett also abused the other twin and their toddler brother, too.
They arrested the Lynwood man in December 2012 and charged him with first-degree murder, among other charges.
Last Father’s Day, Hayslett hanged himself at the Cook County Jail.
His 8-month-old son Lamar Hayslett was among 27 Illinois children to die from abuse or neglect in DCFS’ last reporting year after they or their families already had been involved with the agency, aChicago Sun-Times and WBEZ examination of newly released records from the DCFS inspector general’s office has found. Five more cases were under investigation, those records show.
On Wednesday, the head of child-death investigations for DCFS Inspector General Denise Kane said that one of those five pending cases has now been determined not to have involved abuse or neglect. A second case remains under investigation, but not for abuse or neglect.
Still, the number of DCFS-involved abuse or neglect deaths could reach 30 for the third year in a row.
In the 2010 reporting year, there were 15 abuse or neglect deaths in which DCFS had had some involvement with the family within a year of the death, according to a Sun-Times and WBEZ investigation published in November.
February 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
Illinois Fathers will be holding our first annual Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday March 22nd at 7pm. We have put together a Murder Mystery Dinner to take place at the KOC hall on lake Springfield located at 141 Lakewood drive Chatham Ill, 62629.We are looking for about 10 volunteers to help us run the event if you are interested please email us or leave a comment in the comments section below. If you are not familiar with what a murder mystery dinner is, it is like the board game clue except acted out by real people. The entire audience will play a part in figuring out who the killer is. Dinner will be provided by the Olive Garden in Springfield. There will be a cash bar, door prizes, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and plenty of fun for everyone. Tickets are $25, two for $40, or six for $100 and on sale now. If you volunteer to work the event your admission will be free. All proceeds from the event will go towards launching our Dads House Visitation Program. For more Information or to purchase tickets contact me at email@example.com tickets can be purchased by cash or by PayPal using the donate button on the right hand side of your screen. Tickets can be picked up in Springfield or mailed to you via USPS. HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE AND MEET YOU ALL IN PERSON. This will be a great opportunity for us all to gather together for the greater good of our children please mark the date on your calendar and consider showing up.
|1 Ticket $25.00 USD 2 Tickets $40.00 USD 4 Tickets $75.00 USD 6 Tickets $100.00 USD 8 Tickets $120.00 USD|
This Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time the fathers’ rights movement hits prime-time mainstream media!
As a result of the recent success of his new book ‘Confessions of a Deadbeat dad’, researcher Todd Bottom was contacted to be interviewed along with a few others that are passionate about fathers’ rights by Lisa Fletcher, a former ABC News correspondent and investigative reporter who now hosts The Stream – a daily show on Al Jazeera America.
The channel, which launched on August 20, 2013, directly competes with CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel. The Stream is a current events discussion and debate show formatted to allow viewers to interact with the hosts and guests during the program via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ Hangouts and Skype.
Recently named Outstanding Talk Show in the news category by the Gracie Awards, the Al Jazeera English version of The Stream has also received the 2012 Royal Television Society’s award for Most Innovative Program of the Year and the 2012 Webby’s People’s Choice Award for News and Politics. The Stream also received a 2012 U.S Emmy nomination for New Approach to News and Documentary Programming.
Please make time to watch Tuesday’s program and weigh in with the host and guests during the live program. Most importantly….tell everyone you know about it! Spread the word for awareness and let’s get fathers’ issues into more mainstream media!
Illinois Fathers Board Member Juan Carlos will be hosting an open forum on Domestic Violence at the Sulzer Regional Library 4455 N Lincoln Ave
(between Leavitt St & Montrose Ave)
Chicago, IL 60625
Neighborhoods: Lincoln Square, Ravenswood
On Friday Sep. 27th from 3pm-5pm
Consequences of DV
signs of DV
We encourage as many members who can attend to please do so. Make our presence known let our voices be heard.
For more information or to R.S.V.P contact Juan Carlos at
HB2992 is now law! Congratulations to all our fellow non-custodial parents First right refusal is now law in Illinois! As written the new law requires a judge to grant it, so we highly encourage folks currently going through a divorce or separation or a post motion to request it be added to their decree!
By: Robert Ferrer
On July 29, 2013 I had the honor of attending with Bill Spencer, Rooney (Arunas) Cepas and Larry Holt the DOVE Forum sponsored by DOVE and the Dewitt County Sheriff in Clinton, IL. The forum was moderated by Sheriff Jered Shofner, DOVE’s Jennifer Tolladay and the Honorable Judge Richard Broach. It was a very pleasant evening with all participants engaging in open civil discussion.
DOVE is a faith-based organization that provides social services in a variety of areas to those in need including children, teens, seniors and the homeless. One program is the Domestic Violence Program Services. It was this program that was represented at the forum.
I was surprised that it was recognized by the participants that not all men are abusers, and that all women are not victims. In fact, DOVE states in their website that “men seeking shelter as a result of abuse from a domestic violence situation are assisted by cooperation with a local motel; call the hotline for assistance”. It is encouraging but nevertheless the focus was on women.
Judge Broach also recognized that abuse of the system is an issue. He mentioned that he has on occasion denied temporary petitions for an Order of Protection (OP). Because of the low standard of proof the law requires sworn evidence (he said-she said) is accepted even at the plenary hearing. False allegations are dealt with in the form of indirect civil contempt. It is not clear if Judge Broach has ever issued a finding of contempt.
One thing expressed was that people are starting to exhibit DV fatigue. People are getting tired of hearing about it. This is evident by the meeting’s low attendance. With all the awareness and funding for programs why has it not been solved? I would like to share a few of my thoughts on the problem and why the problem seems intractable.
First, I believe that people are getting tired hearing about DV because it is so easily abused. Way too many people are using the laws associated with DV as a sword rather than as a shield. When a temporary OP is issued physical custody of the children is automatically given to the petitioner. It has gotten so bad that articles written about it have been published in the Illinois State Bar Journal. A local attorney in my town, Scott Lerner wrote an article for the ISBA Journal (Nov. 2007). He describes how due to difference in Illinois’ Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) and Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) an Order of Protection can be used as a sword rather than as a shield. He most cogently demonstrates how current statutes actually condone the abuse of IPV allegations.
Did you know that only 24% of child abuse allegations made by the mother against the father are substantiated when the allegation is made at the time of divorce? The same disparity between allegation and substantiation applies to domestic violence in custody and access disputes. In one seminal study DV allegations were made in 55% of the divorce cases against fathers. Of those allegations only 41% were substantiated.
With such disparities between allegation and substantiation you can see why many are tired of hearing about it. However, since it only takes one bad call the general sentiment is that “there is a need to err on the side of safety in these matters”. Even when no evidence is found to substantiate an allegation, family courts typically “err on the side of caution”. What it usually means is that custody is awarded to the one making the allegation and the accused usually ends up with restricted access to the children (if any access at all).
There is a problem when the courts go too far with ‘better safe than sorry’ mentality. At what point does this become ‘guilty until proven innocent’? At what point does this abrogate due process of law? A recent NJ Superior Court ruling echoed the concerns regarding the adjudication of IPV allegations, especially in how far can the courts go with a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude before conflicting with basic constitutional rights. That court said that the current standard of proof, Preponderance of Evidence, violates the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause in cases involving the issuance of Orders of Protection. The court said that the standard of proof must be raised to Clear and Convincing Evidence.
We need to raise the standard of proof in domestic violence cases. We also need to give more teeth to penalties for false allegations. Illinois 98th Assembly introduced HB1019 providing tougher remedies for false child abuse allegations made to manipulate the court. We need similar proposals for false domestic violence allegations.
Second, we need to stop looking at DV in a unitary fashion where no distinctions are made. I’ve been following the work of many like-minded practitioners who want to reform the domestic violence system. The group advocates for gender-inclusive and evidence-based policies and seeks to correct the many damaging laws and policies which have been based on misleading claims. They see that not all DV is alike, and appropriate intervention must vary with the specific dynamics resulting in violence. The most common form of domestic violence involves couples who are unable to resolve the conflict associated with the stresses of life. The least common is what is commonly associated with wife battering where one controls the other through a variety of means both physical and psychological. Unfortunately, intervention approved by the court is designed to deal with the latter type of dynamics. This is why most interventions are ineffective.
Finally, we need to see something done to assess an allegation. A temporary order is issued based on the sworn testimony of the petitioner. A plenary hearing is usually scheduled 21 days later. During that time no assessment is required to determine the veracity of the allegations. The Judge at plenary has the exact same information that resulted in the temporary order. What do you expect the outcome will be?
An order to both parties must be issued for assessment. The past 10 years has resulted in the development of assessment tools that have shown to be quite effective. The latest version of the Conflict Tactics Scale is able to measure the prevalence, frequency and severity of domestic violence in regards to physical assault, injury, psychological aggression and sexual coercion. The findings presented by assessment will give the court more information regarding the case than what it had originally. This is one way to separate the genuine from the chaff.
These are a few observations. I hope that their implementation will keep the court free from the deluge of those “crying wolf” for nefarious reasons. This will allow the court to deal with the real and serious cases that occur. We can no longer throw the baby out with the bathwater without seriously impacting our children. To have a child denied the companionship of a loving parent without real reason is tantamount to child abuse. My suggestions should also result in interventions that are appropriate and effective. Perhaps then we can claim that we are solving the problem.
On Monday July 29th starting at 5 pm, Illinois Fathers will be conducting a peaceful protest outside of the Vespasian Library in Clinton Illinois. Sheriff Shofner in conjunction with DOVE and Judge Gerry Bryan and Judge Broach are holding a presentation by “domestic violence experts” at the Vespasian Library.
Illinois Fathers believes the press release announcing this event is blatantly biased against fathers. The primary reason for the protest is the refusal of Sheriff Shofner to allow Illinois Fathers to also present at this event. Illinois Fathers believes that Judge Bryan and Judge Broach cannot call themselves fair and impartial and should recuse themselves from participating in what Illinois Fathers views as a public father-bashing-fest.
Men are also the victims of violence from their partners. Illinois Fathers asks, “Who are the true victims” of the actions taken by DOVE, Sheriff Shofner and Judges Bryan and Broach? Ultimately, the children.
In DeWitt County on July 29th at 5pm at the Vespasian Warner Public Library, with a second forum being held at City Hall in Farmer City on August 13th at 5pm, DOVE will be hosting meetings in conjunction with Judges Richard Broach and Garry Bryan and are sponsored by the DeWitt County Sheriffs Department to discuss Domestic Violence. We have filed a request for permission to speak at these events to help ensure that research provided by Save Services about the broader extent to domestic violence is presented. We still haven’t received a positive confirmation of our ability to be a presenter. So we have decided that in one method or another we will be there. The question is, will be holding signs or flyers? Only the Sheriff can decide. On this note, we have received confirmation that Judge Bryan will not be able to attend.
A beautifully done video by one of our members. Shane we wish you luck on time with your child. As so many of us have seen the difficulties involved in having meaningful time, we hear you.
Comment: Illinois is by far the poster child for the actions described below by Eagle Forum head Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly. In a high majority of cases in Illinois, Illinois does not consider the incomes of custodial parents, creates orders solely on the assumed income of the non-custodial parent, routinely imputes income based on non-realistic figures, and refuses to acknowledge the children’s needs at the non-custodial parent’s home. Further more, the percentages of income in Illinois are so high, that it becomes a major incentive to fight for custody of children which significantly impacts time that each parent can spend with their children, creates significant difficulties on non-custodial parents when they do have time with their kids, and can leave many NCP’s in dire straights if they lose their jobs. Further more, her comments regarding Debtor’s prison are alive and well in Illinois, as published here previously, special work permits granted during license suspensions are less than 1% of all driver’s licence suspensions due to child support arrears creating situations where NCP parents who do fall behind can never catch up. Illinois Fathers agrees with the findings of this opinion piece and gratefully thanks Mrs. Schlafly for granting us the permission to republish her article.
We Should Reform Child Support
by Phyllis Schlafly
June 19, 2013
President Obama’s Father’s Day speech included one provocative yet very declarative sentence: “We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children.” Obama didn’t elaborate, but we can build on what he said because, yes indeed, child support laws urgently need “reform.”
Many fathers work long hours and make incredible sacrifices for their families. Child support formulas are based on the ridiculous notion that a father would make those same sacrifices for an ex-wife who is living with her new husband or boyfriend and for children he never or seldom sees.
Many fathers would happily do more to support their children if they got to see their kids more and were more engaged in their lives. But current child support laws have reverse incentives: the more the mother prevents such contact, the more child support she receives.
Child support is not even really child support because the mother has no obligation to spend the money on the kids, and faithful payment of child support does not buy the father time with his kids. The purpose of child support is to allow the mother to maintain a household and standard of living comparable to the father’s.
Because of perverse incentives, a so-called “no fault divorce” is often followed by a bitter child custody dispute with bogus allegations of domestic violence or child abuse, and the winner can get a huge child support windfall. Usually the family court judge cannot tell who is telling the truth.
Reform should eliminate these bad incentives. No parent should collect money for denying kids the opportunity to see the other parent, and payments should not exceed reasonable documented child expenses. If both parents are willing and able to manage joint child custody, there should be no necessity for child support payments.
As annoying as the IRS is, it follows accounting rules and taxes only actual income. But a family court judge can ignore current income (or lack thereof) and instead calculate child support on past income or on imputed future income.
A California wife, under community property laws, is entitled to 50 percent of her husband’s income and 50 percent of her own income. But if she divorces him and gets custody of their two kids, she then gets 40 percent of his income plus 100 percent of her own income.
We can no longer ignore how taxpayers’ money is incentivizing divorce and creating children who never or seldom “engage” (Obama’s word) with their fathers. We can no longer ignore the government’s complicity in the predictable social costs that result from more than 17 million children growing up without their fathers. Fatherless boys and girls are much more likely to run away, abuse drugs, get pregnant, drop out of school, commit suicide, or end up in jail.
The root of the family court evil is the redefinition of a legal doctrine called the Best Interests of the Child. This phrase originally meant the presumption that courts should generally stay out of family decisions because, as the Supreme Court wrote in 1979, “natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children.”
Some states say “best interests” and some say “best interest,” but it means the same thing. That’s just a buzzword to conceal the transfer of parental rights to judges.
This phrase is now used as an affirmative grant of power to family court judges to overrule parents on all child-related issues. Three things are wrong with the current interpretation of Best Interests of the Child.
First, it is contrary to the rule of law by giving judges extraordinary discretion to enforce their own prejudices and to micro-manage lives. They punish parents for things that were never written down as crimes or offenses.
Second, the “best interests” standard undermines parental rights. Instead of saying that parents are the final authorities, as the family unit was understood for centuries, it allows judges to make routine child-rearing decisions.
Third, courts have no competence to determine a child’s best interests, so they rely on poorly trained evaluators who make unscientific recommendations about custody and visitation. There is rarely any evidence that a court-defined schedule is better than joint child custody.
Reform should get family courts out of the practice of pitting parents against each other, entertaining criminal accusations without evidence, assessing onerous support payments, sending dads to debtors’ prison, and appointing so-called “experts” to make parenting decisions. Instead, the courts should protect the rights of both parents.
In past Father’s Day messages, Obama has blamed fathers for abandoning their responsibilities, but this year’s message had no such comment. Perhaps Obama has learned that many fathers are locked out of their rights and responsibilities by family courts.