Back Child Support is Being Used to Incarcerate a Man who Supported His Children Directly
The children in this case are grown, their needs were provided for, so regardless of whether the duty was met or not, the children were adequately cared for and are now grown. There is no longer any best interest duty because there are no longer any minor children, and the interests were met. The only thing at issue at this point is a debt to the person who met those needs. The state however could not jail a person for a debt, and the state is refusing to properly re-classify once the children have aged out. The father supported his children, just not in the way the state preferred.
Why the child support order being classified as a duty needs to change.
While this debt may be more important and significant than other debt, it is no longer a duty that justifies jailing debtors and creating debtor’s prisons. The purpose of civil (quasi-criminal) contempt jailing is to compel a parent to meet their duty. When the duty is gone, the justification for incarceration is gone.
The AG does not want to change the classification of the money owed because that would mean they could only get a judgment for a debt and could not put the parent in jail, and they could not collect as much Title IV-D money from the federal government.
Keeping this father in jail is harming his now adult children. Even though young adults, they still need their father in many ways. This father has been supporting his children and giving them money, has bought them cars, and paid for their needs. He just did it directly, cutting the state out of their federal money, and so the state is pissed. This isn’t about the best interest of the children or even a deadbeat father, this is about the state getting its cut of federal dollars using children as their excuse for imprisoning parents.
The mother does not want the child support enforced, she wants the father to be able to be there for their young adult children. The mother is currently incarcerated for non-related things. The father was jailed on June 13, 2018 for owing $80,000 in back child support.
The father was helping his daughter get set up for college. The daughter wants her father let out of jail and does not want the child support enforced either. Nobody asked the daughters or the mother whether they wanted to forgive this debt. The state has a vested interest in collecting this money, they get paid bonuses for child support money that they collect regardless of whether they failed to collect it while the children were young.
Now instead the state is hurting the children by putting their father in jail and keeping him there for an amount of time that is going to affect his employment. While he sits in jail he is unable to work and will lose his employment, his work is losing contracts and this father will no longer have resources to help his children.
Fathers are not told that they will not get credit for money they pay to the mother and/or the children directly, they will not get credit for things they buy for them like cars, clothing, food. Fathers aren’t even explained the process. They are slaves to the state so the state can get federal money. Nobody with the state ever told this father that using alternative means to support his children would not be credited towards the child support. This is proof that the state doesn’t really care about the children and only cares about the money because if a parent can provide alternative means to meet minimum standards of care then that parent is meeting their duty. But the state, as usual, only cares about the money that they get from the federal government and they cannot measure alternative means when the federal government does not pay for alternative means.
REPAYMENT AMOUNTS SHOULD BE LOWERED, NOT INCREASED
Because this is now a debt and no longer a duty, and because the children are grown, there is no reason to keep the debt repayment amounts as high as they were when they were ordered as child support. This father was ordered to pay $1900 a month. There is no reason he cannot pay that debt in smaller amounts per month that he can actually meet over a period of time now that the children are grown.
The monthly payment amount should be lowered to something that is doable for the parent that would keep them out of jail so that the children could continue to benefit from that parent’s support directly. The way the state does it now is they keep the same payment you were ordered to pay while your children were minors and then add an additional amount they call arrears. This increases the amount that is paid every month and reduces that parent’s ability to continue to provide support directly to their now adult children. Remember these payments do not go to the children, they go to the state and then a portion to the parent who supported the children when they were minors.
Just another corrupt practice that you should be aware of and before electing your next AG ask the ones running whether they will change their practice to convert these orders to a debt rather than a duty, and provide parents credit for alternative means of support.
How Do Child Support Orders Violate the Constitution?
As soon as a man has a child the Attorney General is more than happy to have him sign a paternity claim that automatically gives them permission to collect child support. They present this deal as a way for the father to protect his custody rights and time with his child. What the AG does not tell this parent is that they are actually taking rights from him and his child so that they can take money from him, and use the child as their excuse. If the father knew to argue that he is entitled to protection of his rights and that his rights protect his child, the AG would then have to justify the taking of these rights. When a parent makes a deal with the AG they have conceded these equal rights without knowing it. Once you are in the clutches of the AG fighting them becomes like watching a Hollywood bully movie. When you fight them after this they just see you as a nuisance because they see you as backing out of the agreement and deal you made with them, they don’t care that you didn’t understand the cost and terms of the deal. They might entice you to agree to sign one of their paternity orders by scaring you and saying that you will be fighting the mother in a very expensive court battle, and they might tell you that you don’t have a chance. While that has been the standard in their unconstitutional family court scheme, that has been changing with more fathers becoming aware of their constitutional rights and how knowing their rights helps them win child custody rights and possession time.
Child support orders skip very important procedural steps. The most important one is that you have fundamental rights and those rights need to be balanced against the state’s interest and even what the state calls the child’s interest. (The rest of this content is members only content. If you wish to have access to members only content, you can become a member here for less than a dollar a day.)
*We wrote this article mentioning father’s as the payors of child support, just because this post was inspired by the incarceration of a father in Georgia. We know that mother’s are ordered to pay child support more and more as well. I was one of them at one time. So I am very sympathetic towards mothers as well.
DISCLAIMER: We are not attorneys, do not practice law, and are not a substitute for an attorney. Seek an attorney for legal advice.