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Letter to Senator Kennedy

April 2005


Dear Senator Kennedy,

The current family court system is doing damage to an entire generation of children. Judges hide behind the vague mantra "Best interests of the children", but it is really "best interests of the lawyers" and what is easiest for judges. The research is in that proves Shared Parenting is best for children. This does not mean only upon the agreement of a woman.  Yet the family courts are basing their decisions today on research that is decades old (and was never scientifically valid), and on traditions that should have gone away with the Equal Rights Amendment. This does not reflect today's society and equal rights.

Until recently I have never been an activist of any kind, other than by writing checks and having my company support causes. I have recently decided to take on this cause long-term to help because I have never seen a problem so damaging to families and just plain outright wrong. Now John Murtari, demonstrating in NY for father's rights is one of my heroes. He is peacefully demonstrating weekly for children's and fathers rights. This issue needs your attention immediately! 

I agree with your recent press release regarding independence of the judicial branch of government. However, in the family court the constitution has been subverted by eliminating the possibility of jury trail which are the fundamental checks and balance designed by our forefathers to prevent unfair laws and tyrannical acts by judges.

This is one on the biggest issues in the U.S. today with the divorce rate over 50%. I have studied this problem for many months now and would like to set up a meeting between you and a few leaders in the fathers civil rights movement that is now swelling because of consistently unfair treatment by the courts. Here is what I have learned.

In fact it is already against the law, as up held by the U.S. Supreme Court again and again, that parents rights are fundamental constitutional rights and therefore can not be taken away without the greatest legal care. Yet fathers are stripped of their rights daily without so much as a real hearing. This has become standard operating procedure for courts due to fear of domestic violence. The domestic violence tail (0.5% of households) is now wagging the divorce dog!  Voters in Massachusetts were 86% in favor of equally parenting rights after divorce in the recent non-binding referendum. We must make this law and force judges to respect it to prevent further harm to children and fathers too.

These higher court rulings are ignored daily by the state courts in virtually every case. This is a violation of the Supremacy clause and the judge's oath of office.  The recent Bridget Marks case is only the latest in a series of complete judicial abuse, where a woman was found by the court to be an "unfit mother", to have committed fraud and perjury and get still got full custody of the children. Any man would have gotten a jail sentence for the exact behavior.

As a loving father I want to, and will, see a PRESUMPTION of shared parenting become law and more importantly be enforced. Judges are literally out of control. Many are calling this a tyranny, and by strict definition it is, because the constitution is being ignored. Money is one powerful root cause of this.   To me the only question is when Shared Parenting will come to the forefront. A huge groundswell is building with hundreds of web sites and fathers groups. Anything besides shared parenting presumption creates huge incentives for legal battles, which hurt children and families and drain their finances for the benefit of lawyers and indirectly judges. The current system has become a distorted mess over the last thirty years. Effectively the family courts are still living in the 1950s.

Imagine if you had to run for election with the presumption you would lose, and therefore (because of that presumption) your opponent got all the money from your fundraising efforts! Would that not be outrageous? This is exactly what is happening in family courts today, and the lawyers love this because it generates excessive legal fees, more conflict and drains the estates of families at their most vulnerable time. Mothers are set up to get the majority of the estate and legal and physical custody of the children on day one of a divorce filing. Fathers are very often placed immediately below the poverty line by the unfair child support guidelines that are often ten times the actual cost of raising a child. Ultimately fathers usually lose anyway, no matter what the situation, and they are raked over the coals with tens of thousands in unnecessary legal fees. It is insidious and generates miserable results.

Shared parenting is coming, the grass roots movement is forming now worldwide.

Additionally the laws the legislatures have implemented to protect battered women are being used to abuse fathers. Today lawyers admit in private that between 50% and 95% of restraining orders issued are filed only to throw the father out of the house and denying them access to their children. False accusations are more common that real ones by far and feminist "victims advocates" have even been proven to be coaching people to lie.  (and sometimes even no) charges. This is enormously destructive to families and children. However, again the legal system loves this because it generates more huge legal fees. No real "due process", no presumption of innocence, no "equal rights" guaranteed under the ERA - just lots of fighting in court. This is morally repugnant behavior.

Do you know that Virginia, with a population similar to Massachusetts, has about 1,500 outstanding restraining orders at any one time and Massachusetts has about 50,000? Do you think men in Massachusetts are more than 33 times more violent than in Virginia? Of course not, lawyers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and may states are using this legislation for unfair advantage in divorce. The abuse is immoral, rampant and despicable. Any woman that is willing to just say the word "fear" to a judge, true or not, immediately evicts her husband and controls the children and home on day one. It is a horrible situation and is damaging an entire generation of children.

There is no question that the family courts and judges are literally breaking the constitution every day (Fourteenth Amendment Title 42, Sec. 1983, 1985 and other amendments). The only question is when will they be called to task and held responsible for this behavior. I, for one, am committed to a multi-year battle to make this happen and will be raising millions of dollars for this cause (as I have for other worthy nonprofit and children's causes in the past).

Fatherlessness is now encouraged by the states and current legal system. It is one of the largest problems in the U.S. today. It is a silent travesty that is now coming to light. Please research this further and you will easily see that only lawyers and judges benefit from the current system, not children and families. Of course they want it maintained for their personal enrichment.

The government is now effectively regulating against marriage, because it is so onerous to get divorced today, with as much as 40% of your after tax income going to your ex-wife just for "child support", 30% going to taxes and only 30% to live on. Under a restraining order 90% of a man's income is garnished (against federal laws). No wonder these people turn to crime, a cash economy and end up in jail as "deadbeat dads".  Under Massachusetts guidelines child "support" can represent more than six times the actually cost of raising a child (by independent statistics). Yet there is no requirement that it be sent on the child in any way. It is effectively hidden alimony.  Hence this is "child extortion" not child support - which would be 50% of the actual cost of raising a child - 1/5th today's level in many cases.

Any man earning less than $70,000 per year can not even afford their own small apartment in Massachusetts and many other states today. The men also are forced to pay the taxes on the ex-wife's free ride income and far more, as the women get the "head of household" tax benefits. This a on3-two-three punch for men buried in the numbers.

You must become more informed on this issue. I trust further research will educate you on the damage current laws are causing to our children and families.

Please for our children's sake help this happen more quickly and meet with experts who do not have a strong vested interest in the current system.

Best Regards,

Robert - A concerned father whose children have been kidnapped by the state
Father of two beautiful children who want and need more time with their dad