Yet again! Excellent article by Big Daddy.
As a boy growing up in the 70’s, my father taught me a valuable lesson towards understanding, often times, the seemingly peculiar chain of events of an incident. He said,
“Just follow the money trail. Then you’ll know both why and what has and will happen.”
Sage words of wisdom from the “Ole man!” These words were not any more truthful then, than they are now!
As I progressed thru my divorce proceedings, ultimately believing the judicial system would soon discover the truth about myself- contrary to how my Ex portrayed me; the truth of my ability to raise my kids- contrary to how my Ex portrayed me; and, the truth of the need for my four young children to have both parents equally involved in their lives, I became disillusioned, contrary to my formerly held belief, over the continuous Orders rendered by the Court! First in its sole custody award to my Ex. Then, its outrageous child and spousal support awards- triple the state’s mandated formula. Finally, as a death knell, an order of visitation, with my kids, for only four days per month! There were no summer vacations, only six half days of holidays and not any time on their birthdays. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it! I fought back, only to lose again, and again.
After my third stint in the county jail, for allegedly being in Contempt for support arrearages; I guess over 80% garnishment of my check was not enough; I began to research this obvious injustice from my father’s old adage- “follow the money trail.” I soon discovered my Court’s pecuniary interest in: Making me a non-custodial parent; Ordering support triple the state’s formula; Refusing to reduce my support despite proof of my wage; Illegally editing the Official Court Record; Repeatedly incarcerating me for alleged contempt; Refusing to provide me with a Court appointed attorney as an indigent; And, Worst of all, taking my kids away from me by suspending my parenting time!
The Court had developed a racket, a term commonly applied to syndicated crime families. The law had become the mob! Back in 1995, the Federal Legislature re-worded its laws for Welfare, Food Stamps, etc. The old wording was “a mother with child(ren) who has an absent father,” to the new wording, “non-custodial parent.” The seemingly innocuous re-wording was intended to defray the huge expenses the Feds were paying out to states in Food Stamps, Welfare, etc by incentivizing states to begin collecting child support from the absent father, now called the non-custodial parent. These, seemingly were the proper things to do. Why should children be allocated tax dollars for their care instead of parents paying to care for their own children? Ah, but we missed that third variable didn’t we? “The Federal Government wanted to incentivize the states.”
The states’ incentive is called Federal Title IV Block Grant Funding. The states receive funding from the Federal Government at a 2:1 match. (There are actually additional incentives for states beyond this figure tied to their performances) These block grants go straight to the County Court. Ah ha! My father was right! “Follow the money trail.” Now the injustices made sense. Now the kidnapping of my children made sense! Now the senseless incarcerations made sense. Now the erasing of Court documents made sense. Now the falsely claimed, irrationally applied, “Best Interest of the Children” made sense! Now the state’s hypocrisy made sense!
The next time you wander into a Family Court in MI and you hear a non-custodial parent attacking the court for its pecuniary interest, remember what my “ole man” said, “follow the money trail!” Sage advice for those of us who have children!