Monday, March 20, 2006

This Would Be Good - If Done Wisely

I have a cousin, who was born and raised here in Michigan, who for a number of years could not enter the state without fear of being arrested for non-support of his children. Now under most circumstances I would say get a posse and go find the deadbeat, but his circumstances were a bit different. He married right out of high school to a girl that wasn't the best of all possible choices and ran into a number of problems, including economic ones. He joined the Army to support his wife and while he was in Basic she let him know she was pregnant and he signed the documents needed as it was, he assumed, his child. However when the baby was born, it was clearly not his. The courts ordered him to pay child-support and he refused. As a result he could not enter his home state for a number of years, and had they chosen to pursue him they probably could have.

Michigan is considering a law to protect men from being forced to support children that are not their own. Similar laws exist in twelve other states but progressive Michigan is behind the curve. In Michigan it is for the judges to decide and since family law is often hostile to fathers, men often are forced to pay for children that aren't theirs.

Many men have raised and loved children that they knew from day one were not theirs (One of my brothers adopted and raised his ex-wife's daughter that was not biologicially his and one day she was arguing with her mother over her loyalty to him and she said, "I know he is not my father but he is my Dad.") Such men are worthy of praise and should be praised, but by the same token, no man should be made a fool of either.

I favor this law, but I do believe that a man who knowingly takes a child that isn't his and formally adopts that child, he is as obligated to that child as he is to one he fathered. That is one little tweaking I would want. I also have problems with men remaining with a parental relationship with the children but not supporting them financially which some seem to want. But as I said earlier, no man should be made a fool of and then be forced to pay for it.


Blogger Lone Pony said...

I've seen cases like your cousin's and they really bother me. Maybe if the laws were tougher on these kinds of women, they'd be more careful about who they have sex with.

9:37 PM  
Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

There is definitely much work to be done here.
Liberal wail and caterwaul about social justice, but are strangely silent on this subject, generally.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

A couple states shot such laws down deciding that even though it was probably 'wrong' to saddle a non-father with support, it was more important to support the kid.

I've never agreed with that reasoning. Destroying one's rights based on the ends justify the means is just plain wrong.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Lary Holland said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Lary Holland said...

The reason that the state takes the position they do is because of Title IV-D welfare. A putative father has to be identified and ordered to pay. This is done so blindly because of the higher number of participants the state achieves the more federal funding they receive for their efforts. You have a welfare policy that has no eligibility requirements and no participation restrictions, resulting in free for all spending and blind enforcement.

Title 42 USC 655 "Payments to States"
Title 42 USC 658 "Incentives to States"

The payments and incentives to the states this year alone is 4.2Billion dollars. That is quite an incentive to turn a blind eye. Remember the rights of children are supposed to be derived through the parents and their actions are supposed to be presumed in their best interests unless proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise. (Protected Rights are being circumvented adminstratively in lieu of massive grants and incentive payments.)

And that is why the states won't talk about it because they know there should be eligibility requirements to match the other welfare programs, thereby limiting their growth and enhancing services because the caseloads would properly match the need instead of being artificially inflated by the states.

Lary Holland

10:05 PM  

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