A Nation Without Fathers

I wonder, was this the great vision of the framers of our society? Is this the vision of our current framers? When looking at the realities of this America we have found ourselves in, is this your vision?

With innumerate issues within the daily lives of "we the people", how many issues of our own causing should we seek to solve? How important is it that "we the people" take note of the frame work of which we were, are, and can use to build our desired ideal of these United States of America.
Using data found from the Internal Revenue Service, Federal funding reports, State records, State Commission statements, as well as independent studies, this is what I have found to sum up Washington State's system of "Child" support.
  • Families passing through the Washington State Family Courts, are pressured, cajoled, and incentivized into the "Enforcement and Collection" system. With greater numbers of "Noncustodial parents" (usually men) enrolled into the system, greater numbers of Support Orders are sent from the State.
  • With greater numbers of Orders of Support sent out to Noncustodial Parents, the greater a perceived need there is for heightened Child Support enforcement.
  • With a greater perceived need for stringent Child Support enforcement, the greater the need for the system to spread in order to accommodate the greater numbers of support orders.
  • With a further reaching, ever more debilitating system of enforcement; higher monetary awards against compliant Noncustodial Parents, State Driver license suspension or even revocation of Noncustodial Parents, the imprisonment of Noncustodial Parents, and liens of Noncustodial Parent property; compliant Noncustodial Parents who are able to pay, often pay more to avoid the abuse issued by the State.
  • With compliant Noncustodial Parents often paying more than they owe, the statistical data on collection becomes skewed, falsely reflecting an effective system.
  • With warped statistics showing high efficiency from over payments, the State receives greater incentive funding.
This is the system which the vast majority of citizens have and are affixing to their sons. Mothers, using this system as a way of getting back at men, are not allowing sons and daughters the right to have their fathers,while raising those very same children to be the next generation of participants in this system. Fathers, under this system, suffer the trauma of having the thoughts of their beloved children intertwined with anger, fear, hopelessness, and regret. 

The moneys that are received from government sources is the drive and aim of our current "Child" Support system. By putting people into debt, the State receives greater funding. By putting people in jail, the State receives greater funding. By just enrolling people into the "enforcement and collection" system, the State receives greater funding. However, what is this doing to the children? What positive result has been seen which coincides with this system's implementation?

In dealing with "Child" Support I have played two roles; 1) child, 2) noncustodial parent. As a child, I was always curious as to what the people who were acting in my name were actually doing. When I was older, I would find out.

What I needed growing up was my father.

I didn't need brand new shoes (although I did get them from time to time), I needed my father to jog, play ball, or bike with.

I didn't need new cold weather coats (although I did get a few), I needed my father to throw an arm over me while he talked with his friends, making me feel important, protected and instilling confidence with his mere presence.

I didn't need his money in order to become a useful contributor to and of society, I needed him. 

After many years of instinctively attempting to place other men in the role (some of whom had the heart, but none who could ever approach the importance of the actual title) of my father, I started adding to certain statistics:

I was a school terror, a prankster, joker, a miscreant. I took absolutely no interest in school, what so ever. I faced expulsions, suspensions, and innumerable disciplinary actions. I unflinchingly fought against all forms of authority and punishment. Time-out, stern lectures, yelling, grounding, spanking, it did not matter (and to a great extent still doesn't). Being quite large for a child, my size quickly became an issue for teachers, principals, bus drivers, security guards, and soon police. It was only later on, through my own research, that I would find answers to why I felt the extreme way I did toward the world (and little did I realize, toward myself).

How common is this story?
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [Center for Disease Control]
  • 70% of youths in State institutions are from fatherless homes. [Department of Justice]
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [Department of Justice]
  • 90% of all homeless and run away youth are from fatherless homes. [Department of Justice]
The active participation of fathers is clearly shown to be a great deterrent for a considerable number of issues that have sadly become the "norm" in our society. Every figure, every statistic, each accounting comes from a Government agency. They know what the numbers are and what the cause of the societal ailment is. Here is something else they know:
  • 90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due. [United States Census Report]
  • 79.1% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due. [United States Census Report]
  • 44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due. [United States Census Report]
  • 37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation. [United States Census Report]
  • 66% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to the inability to pay. [United States Census Report]
That is a lot of information on the role a father plays in the system. There are government statistics showing the role mothers have played in these situations as well. Here's a little back-and-forth comparison which may be of some interest.
  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award.
  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award.
  • 46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support.
  • 26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support.
  • 20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level.
  • 61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level.
  • 66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full time.
  • 10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full time.
  • 7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly.
  • 24.5% of single custodial fathers work more that 44 hours weekly.
  • 46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance.
  • 20.8% of single custodial fathers receive public assistance.
[Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 - U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services - Office of Income Security Policy]
Meanwhile, according to the "American Journal of Orthopsychiatry", in a piece titled, "Frequency of Visitation", Sanford Braver states 40% of mothers reported interfering with the fathers visitation to punish their ex-spouse. Joan Berlin, in the publication, "Surviving the Breakup" says that some 50% of mothers see no value in children having relationships with their fathers.

The problems are quite apparent, as too are the solutions. The facts being evident, why have there not been changes in the policies, which as seen by their own reports, are causing a great deal of harm to children? If the Legislature is knowingly creating laws that harm children, the Judiciary is knowingly enacting rulings that harm children, while the Executives gather proof of the effects of the Legislature and Judiciary's actions; it should be obvious that what we are looking at is not a broken system, but rather a well oiled machine. The intention is to create the worst possible situation for the children; but why? That will be for another time, my coffee is cold.

Lauren, Mahalia, Mathew, and father, I understand and love you all dearly.


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