Monday, October 29, 2012

Is this what "child" support is for?

My ex...oh, wow. What a piece of work she is. Here are the facts: 1) I pay for my daughter's college and travel to and from college (13 hours away by car, 1 1/2 hours by plane; 2) I pay for my daughter's cell phone bill; 3) I pay for my daughter's health and dental insurance and bills and 50% of all medical costs; 4) I pay her a monthly allowance for living expenses; 5) I pay for my son's car insurance, 1/3rd of his car's purchase price, his cell phone and monthly bill, health and dental insurance and 50% of all medical costs. 6) I give my son a weekly allowance and often buy him gas for his car, etc and when he is not able to get regular work, cover his very expensive car insurance and buy him gas. 7) My son spends at least 1/3rd of his time with me, plus vacations, etc. We have a great relationship and spend alot of time together. 8) I pay my ex, ~21K a year in "child" support for my son who just turned 18 and will graduate soon. This is mandatory according to the child support guidelines of Illinois. The tax on this amount is already been taxed and the taxes paid by me and thus is the taxable equivalent of ~25-26K per year (depending on tax bracket). 9) My ex, who has a Master's degree and is certified in her profession, chooses to stay at home (my son is the last of her children) and do nothing. As far as I know she is not looking for work or seeking gainful employement.
So, when my son needed tires for his car recently, I asked my ex "Let's let him buy 2 (1/2) and you and I will buy one each.." Oh, she could not do that because she does not have a job. I noted that I was asking only for her to use $100-150 of her child support on him for this needed item. Again, she declined this offer.
She buys our son SOME clothes and makes him buy others. She never gives him an allowance that she had promised. She feeds him, yes. And, teenage boys can eat alot but there is no way all of this (some clothes and food) costs 21K per year! I am thoroughly convinced (for reasons I won't go into here but things she has told me) that her she and her husband are using child support to pay down their mortgage so they can retire early.
By the way, I have a teenage boy by my current marriage and I know for a fact we do not spend that kind of money on food, clothes, school supplies, etc. for him - my wife keeps track of these expenses and it is somewhere less than half of that.
Here is why I write about this...This illustrates so well what is wrong with the so-called "child" support system in Illinois. There is absolutely no accountability for what child support is spent for and it is not at all based on what the needs of the child are. Instead, it is based solely on income of the one paying the child support. I ask you, what kind of sense does this make??? Secondly, while "alimony" is not used anymore, most will agree that child support has become, in reality, alimony.
I am nearing the end of my obligation for child support and probably will shut this blog down when I am through. I will only say this: we need politicians who have a spine and will stand up for what is right. There is a dearth of such politicians.

Is Tammy Duckworth a liar? Read why she is....

Situation: Tammy Duckworth vs Joe Walsh in House of Representatives race. Fact: I have no previous affiliation nor preferences. This is not in my district. Fact: Tammy Duckworth runs ads on TV and radio in the last days of campaign saying that Joe Walsh's ex "sued" him for child support and that he had to have his wages garnished in order to pay child support. Fact: EVERY parent in Illinois who is employed and has a child support obligation has their wages garnished - de facto. There is no writing of checks to the custodial parent. Child support is garnished from your wages with your taxes, and other deductions It's the law and its automatic. Some partialy employed or self-employed parents can be scofflaws but not those fully employed. Fact: If there is ever any dispute over child support, either parent can take the other to court or "sue". Bringing a suit does not mean it is owed or not owed. This is for the court to determine. Usually, as in any legal action, the Plaintiff goes after ALOT more than they think they can get. Attorneys encourage this kind of action. Fact: A parent can bring suit for MORE child support while they are currently recieving child support - as in the Walsh case. Fact: Tammy Duckworth is a liar. Her own advertisements prove this. Opinion: If you vote for Tammy Duckworth, you're voting for a lying, decieving politician who will stop at nothing to get a few more votes. This is dispicable and people like her is why Washington is dysfunctional.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Father’s Day” or “Fatherless Day” Which will it be?

Fathers are getting mixed messages. From the President Obama to social scientists we hear that lack of involvement of fathers leaves kids at high risk for truancy, drug/alcohol abuse, early sexual activity, delinquency, gang involvement, etc. Yet, when divorced/never-married fathers seek meaningful contact with their kids, the best they can hope for is a few hours one night per week and maybe a weekend or two per month. Thus, one segment of society tells fathers they are needed and another segment denies them meaningful relationships (i.e. time) with their children. Why this disconnect? I blame the stereotype of men/fathers portrayed as narcissistic buffoons, subpar parents and incapable of childcare or child-rearing. We see this stereotype perpetuated in the media (The Simpsons, Family Guy, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc) and is even seen in our schools and in our churches. Pay attention to how the pastors will honor mothers on Mother's Day but berate Fathers on Fathers Day for their ineptitude in a multitude of responsibilities. This mindset affects matrimonial law and the courts. Yet, when I travel the suburbs of Chicago, I see Dads with kids, highly involved and parenting in meaningful but disparate ways when compared to the maternal counterparts. Ultimately, this stereotype finds its way into matrimonial and family law and thus into the courts. The result in Illinois family courts is that divorced/never-married fathers face an expensive uphill battle for time with their children against the traditional minimal visitation time but mothers usually have little trouble getting burdensome child support assessed against fathers and having garnishments levied against Dad's paycheck. The message from courts is: a relationship with Dad is optional but child support is not! Are dads more than a checkbook? I think so. If this concerns you this Father’s Day, I invite you to visit one of the following organizations’ websites and consider getting involved:
1) Illinois Fathers
2) American Coalition of Fathers and Children
3) The Children's Rights Council of Illinois

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The plight of some fathers

In reference to the appended article below: As much as I complain about my ex, I can be thankful that she never treated me like this (read below). I can say she has used the system to cheat me, she has lied about money, about the time I spent with the kids (before and after the divorce), she has misled or lied to judges, mediators, custody evaluators and attorneys and done so in sworn affadavits that I have shown to be blatantly false - most always this has involved money or custody (which is really about money, anyway).

However, she has never, ever accused me of being abusive to the children. Once can nearly always find something to be thankful for - except maybe in this poor guy's case.
What drives alot of women and other some men parents to do this? I really believe it has to do with, at the root of it all, money, revenge, control of your ex and your freedom. If you get physical custody, you can get outrageous amounts of child support assessed, control of the kids and thus the ex, you also get some revenge. If you can successfully allege abuse of you or your kids (and its not that hard these days) you can get orders of protection. If you can make it stick, you can move where ever you want and block your ex from bugging you about seeing the kids any more. Some folks are just so focused on themselves and convince themselves that what they are doing is better for the kids in the long run.

The problem is, we have a system that allows this type of exploitation go on.

Written by by Jake Morphonios
Thursday, 27 March 2008

What would drive a sane, loving father to take his own life?
by Jake Morphonios(Conservative Libertarian)

I want for you to use your imagination for a few minutes. Pretend you are an average guy, say 30 years old, married with two children under 9 years old. You've been with the same woman for around 10 years. You've had your ups and downs, just like any other married couple, but things seem to be relatively okay.

One day your wife says she's leaving you. She is taking the kids and wants a divorce. You are shocked; you didn't see this coming. In time you accept the inevitability of the divorce, given the current no-fault divorce system that grants anyone a divorce for any reason. You know that you won't be with your wife anymore, but at the very least you are going to continue to be as active in your children's lives as you've always been.

Then she gets a lawyer and sues for sole custody of the children. You respond by retaining your own attorney and the legal battle begins. The entire process of divorce wears on you emotionally. You have lost the security of your family unit, your finances are suffering and you are sure to lose considerably more, your social circle shuns you out of a desire to stay out of the divorce matter and your ability to concentrate at work declines. This is the hardest thing you've ever been through.

In the midst of this acrimony, without warning you receive the most unbelievable news of your life.

You wife has accused you of sexually molesting your 4 year old daughter.

She has obtained an emergency ex-parte order prohibiting you from having any contact with your children while you are investigated for child sex abuse. What??? How did this happen? How could this happen? This isn't some stranger making a bogus charge - this is your wife! She knows you better than anyone on earth. She knows damn well that you would never hurt your own child - or any other child for that matter!

At first you feel angry. "Nobody is going to believe this crap", you tell yourself. You've gone online and read government statistics that state that nearly 77% of all child sex abuse allegations made by a divorcing wife against her husband during a custody dispute are false. Surely everyone will see her evil accusation for what it is - a legal stratagem to win full custody of the kids. But this case isn't as open and shut as you first thought. You soon realize that you are in real trouble.

Immediately you find that the very accusation of child sex abuse carries such power that you are instantly put on the defensive. You started out by seeking the support of family and friends, but now even some of them seem to be treating you differently. You become obsessed with trying to prove your innocence, but quickly learn the futility of trying to prove a negative. Ask an innocent politician in public whether or not he still beats his wife. No matter how he responds, the seed of doubt has been sewn in the public's mind.

In the meantime you learn through your attorney that your little girl has been subjected to invasive physical examinations by a doctor using a rape kit. Her vagina has been examined and she has been subjected to tests for STDs that you might have given her. You can only imagine how frightened she must have been as a stranger in a white jacket inserted things inside of her. The tests come back negative. There is no evidence of any physical abuse. But rather than confirm that your daughter was not molested, the doctor issues a written evaluation stating that while there is no evidence, abuse cannot be ruled out.

Your daughter is then subjected to a series of interrogations by a social worker or other investigator whose job it is to find out what you did to her. You are presumed to be guilty. Your daughter was given anatomically correct dolls and told that they represent her and daddy. The investigator then watched how she played with the dolls to decide if her play time can be used to substantiate the claim of abuse against you. You pray that your daughter doesn't exhibit any interest in the strange body parts on the dolls - because any subtle or innocent behavior during play time might be enough to condemn you. They aren't investigating whether you are innocent or not. They are looking for something to use against you.

You feel anger and hate toward your wife for doing this to your daughter. Why doesn't anyone see that what she is doing to your little girl is the real child abuse? Your older child has also been paid a few visits from investigators. "Has daddy ever touched your penis?" God only knows what else they have put into your child's mind. Even if you do get to see your children again, they will probably never think of you the same again.

Today your boss called you into his office to ask you why your work is suffering. You don't dare tell him, but it's too late. Word has already spread throughout the office. Your boss tells you that you are out of sick time (which you had secretly been using to cover for your court visits) and places you on a disciplinary action plan. Everyone at the office looks at you differently. Those fleeting glances cause you such pain. You thought they knew you better than this, but you accept that some of them have come to believe that you are a child molester. So much for your future at this company.

Your attorney paints a grim picture. Jail sentencing for child molesters can be longer than it is for murderers (and you know what they do to convicted child molesters in prison). It looks like you are going to have to mortgage your home to pay for this protracted legal fight. You also face the prospect of a felony sex offender charge and lifetime membership on the federal sex offender registry when you get out of prison. Any hope of a productive career in a respectable profession may be over.

You have lost your wife and children. Her parents hate you for a crime you didn't commit. You have no support network left, but people are coming out of the woodwork to slather your wife with words of comfort and sympathy - and she is gloating. You haven't had a full night of sleep in months because of frequent night terrors. You are full of anxiety and depression. Your tried drinking, but it didn't help. Prayer might have helped, but you feel bitterness toward God for letting such a travesty of justice take place. You are totally alone.

The dark thoughts won't go away. Someone invisible keeps whispering them in your ear: Nobody likes you or believes you. You are going to prison for a long time and will probably be sexually abused by violent criminals. Your children think you are a sexual deviant and never want to see you again.

You think of the children you will never see again. You are dead to them. You pick up the gun and pull the trigger.

All because a vindictive wife chose to use the most devilish of legal tactics to beat you in a
custody battle....

Dear reader, this account really happened. It was not a piece of fiction. Men's lives are being destroyed by the divorce industry. Nothing hurts a man more than having his children torn from his life when he has done nothing wrong. The use of the false abuse allegation is the most sinister legal tactic used today.

The story above is, sadly, not unique. Men throughout America are committing suicide, unable to bear the humiliation, shame and loss of companionship of their children that results from false child abuse allegations.

This week such a man was buried in Missouri. His name was Shawn W. O' Banion and his story is similar to those of other men that have been victimized by the family court system. His marriage to his former wife, Angela C. Meyer, ended in divorce. To win sole custody of the children, Angela filed multiple false abuse allegations against Shawn. Even though the abuse charges were not substantiated, they were enough for Judge Kathryn Elizabeth Davis to prohibit Shawn from seeing his children. Most judges are elected officials and crave reelection. They take a "better safe than sorry" attitude toward abuse allegation cases to ensure that mistakes don't come back to haunt them politically. In Davis' case, however, she has been appointed by the Governor. It would seem that voters can't touch her.

I never spoke with Shawn personally, but I recall reading about his situation in a father's rights discussion group that we both participated in. Caring men tried to help Shawn with his case, but the dismay and depression were too great for him to deal with. He took his life a week ago. His second wife will never see Shawn again and his unborn child will never know what a good father he was. This should never have happened.

If you care about this issue - if you or someone you know has been victimized by false abuse allegations - if you need support - there is help available. You don't have to fight this battle alone. Contact me and if I can't give you the support you need, I can direct you to people who can.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Please sign the shared parenting petition

Hi folks: for those of you who know me, this will come as nothing new....I am involved in several organizations that seek to encourage the involvement of both parents in the nurturing and upbringing of their children. These organizations are listed on links on the right side of this blog page.

The tragedy of divorce too often separates a parent from their children unnecessarily. The courts too often relegate one parent to "custodian" and the other to "sometimes visitor". This results in minimizing the involvement of the noncustodial parent to the point that their ability to parent is impeded, diminished and even sometimes forbidden.

Numerous studies show that this type of arrangement, though a tragedy for the parent, it is devastating for the children involved. Children from single parent homes are more likely to suffer abuse, begin earlier and are more likely to abuse or use drugs and alcohol, enter into sexual activity at earlier ages, more likelty to be truant, etc. The list goes on.

But studies similarly show that even if the children are from a single parent home but have the significant involvement of the other biological parent, these risks are mollified and often disappear.

Shared parenting is a concept that says: if both parents are fit and willing, they should both be allowed significant involvement and significant time with their children.

It is for the benefit of the children that I ask you to please sign this petition and show your support for this concept. Click the link on top of the others to the right side of this blog entry. Or Click here:

Thanks so much.

Monday, March 03, 2008

How to be a good Dad - even if divorced (or never married)

Somethings come with lots of thought. Some come with spontaneous inspiration.

As I set in on fatherhood meeting one day, I heard several speakers address the subject of engaging fathers in their children's lives. At this conference, there were two main demographics:
1) those who want to find ways to get absentee fathers to become more engaged and involved with their children's upbringing and
2) those who want the courts and the legislature in Illinois to allow fathers who have been separated from their children to become more involved

The first group was mostly focusing on the poor, indigent, ex-offenders, those with substance abuse problems, etc. The second group sprouted from mostly divorced fathers and moms who have been denied custody of their children and have found that the way the current statutes and common court practices in Illinois treat noncustodial parents and their children is, well, shameful. All had the common goal of more parental involvement, particularly for fathers and noncustodial parents. It was an ironic situation in some sense. Here you had a group trying desparately to get fathers involved with kids. In the same room was a group of parents (mostly fathers) trying desparately to be allowed to be involved.

As I pondered the divergent groups with convergent goals, I thought to myself: what makes a good Dad? And, what makes Dads want to be a good Dad? The latter is the most difficult because if you have never had the rewarding experience of being an involved Dad and seen how it can benefit your child's growth and development and experienced the joy, the fun, the pride of seeing this occur, its very difficult to describe.

The former (what makes a good Dad?), well, I'd liked to think that I have some perspective on this. I have fought to be there for my kids. I have never, ever given up on being a father and not just a visitor. So, with that in mind, I though I would share an acronym that came to me at this meeting - pretty much out of the blue: TOUCHES. It stands for:
TIME - the most important element in fatherhood. Your children will know you love them by your personal presence and by being there for them. And, when there, be involved with them. That leads to the remaining elements of involvement.
OBSERVE - as in watching, listening to what they are saying. Be attentive to how they feel about things. Don't lecture so much as listen.
UNDERSTAND - be tuned in to what you observe and what the child(ren) are saying. Relate what you know and tell them you understand how they feel and show it by listening more.
CARE - show it more than say it. Yes, you need to tell you kids you love them. Yes, you need to tell them you care. But you need to show it, demonstrate it by being there for them, engaging them in discussions and conversation, and by demonstrating you care by....
HELPING And HUGGING - help when asked and offering when help is not asked. Help with homework. Help with problems at school or social problems, help by being there and listening. Once they understand that you care by giving them your time and observing and understanding, they will be more likely to ask for your help. Hug your kids. Let them see that you love them through your affection for them.
EDUCATE - educating, training, teaching (but not lecturing...) all while listening to them. Let them hear what mistakes you have made and how you want them to learn from them. Let them know that you can relate to their problems and the issues they face and can help them get through them. Offer advice but don't force it on them. Know the difference between setting rules and interfering and being overbearing.
SMILE - be fun, have fun, play.... don't be serious all the time. Don't always be the one who administers the discipline. One of the main attributes that fathers have is that they are seen as the "fun" parent by kids. If you have a son, play with him...wrestle, throw the ball, go fishing, play his favorite video game with him, do the things he likes to do. If you have a daughter, play with her (yes, even if she is in to Barbies, etc.). Do some Daddy-Daughter dates. Take her to a chick flick or out to dinner to her favorite restaurant or to a ice cream store.

Those are just a few of the things I have learned in my 17+ years of parenting so far. I hope they are helpful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Law Firm to Stay Away From

Hi Folks: Just wanted to get started on this whole string again and for the few of you in Illinois that are non-custodial parents and wish to avoid very poor but very expensive legal representation: STAY AWAY FROM WES COWELL and DEAN TARADASH. STAY AWAY FROM their misleading website These people are incompetent crooks. If you want to know more, go to:

Please, whatever you do, do not use this attorney or anyone in his firm - unless you have money to burn, throw away or blow your nose on.