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them on the web at
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The Second Wives Club is what women
in blended families are looking for:
Remarriage, divorce, child custody,
and step parenting discussed in a
solution-oriented, mature, and
intelligent way; articles and news
written by thought-provoking experts
and journalists; personal accounts
and advice from some of life's most
Feminist Columnist Slams Glenn, ACFC Over
North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative
Two weeks ago Mike McCormick, Executive
Director of the
American Coalition for Fathers and Children,
and I co-authored
North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative
Will Help Children of Divorce (Grand
Forks Herald, 7/18/06) in defense of the
North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative.
The Initiative is sponsored by the local
On Sunday the opposition fired back with
Don't force 'shared parenting' on children
(Grand Forks Herald, 7/30/06). The
column was penned by feminist blogger Trish
Wilson, a longtime opponent of the shared
Wilson's principal argument is that
shared parenting "should not be forced on
What Wilson really means is that, after a
divorce, mothers should not have to share
custody of their children with the
children's fathers if the don't want to.
This presupposes that the kids really only
belong to mom, and courts are unfairly
"forcing" mom to share the kids with dad.
However, moms and dads should appear before
the court as absolute equals.
If one switches the genders and looks at
families where the father is the primary
caregiver (and thus the one to presumably
gain sole custody), this feminist
presumption looks pretty ugly. I switched
the genders in my column
California NOW Takes Stand Against Working
Mothers (Sarasota Herald-Tribune,
2/23/04). Two years later, I still have
never heard a reasonable feminist rejoinder
to the argument I laid out in that column.
Wilson writes that "ninety percent of
parents settle without the need for court
intervention in deciding what form of
custody is best for them and for their
children." This statement is very
misleading, because it implies genuine
agreement between parents. Yet such accords
aren't made in a vacuum--they're bargained
in the shadow of the law. What happens in
most cases is that fathers must agree to
having a very limited role in their
children's lives because they don't have the
tens of thousands of dollars (or more)
necessary to fight for shared parenting in
family law proceedings which are heavily
stacked against them.
Wilson surprised me a bit by writing
"When dads make an issue of custody, they
get some form of it more than half the
time...The Massachusetts (gender bias) task
force, for example, reported that fathers
get primary or joint custody in more than 70
percent of contested cases." This has been
discredited for a long time, and I'm
surprised that Wilson, who does have some
knowledge (albeit twisted) of family law,
would cite it. In my co-authored column
PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net
Daily, 10/20/05) family law attorney
Jeff Leving and I wrote:
"Misguided women's advocates
often claim that fathers usually win custody
when they pursue it, and that the reason few
fathers have custody is because few of them
want it. Boston Globe columnist Cathy
Young examined the research upon which these
claims are based and concluded that they
belong in the 'Phony Statistics Hall of
"For example, feminist
psychologist Phyllis Chesler claimed in her
book Mothers on Trial that fathers
win 70% of custody battles. However, this
widely cited factoid was based on a biased,
pre-selected sample of 60 women who had been
referred by feminist lawyers or women's aid
groups because they had custody issues.
"Other claims are based on
the 1989 Gender Bias Study of the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which
reported that when fathers seek custody,
they win primary or joint physical custody
70 percent of the time. Yet this figure does
not separate contested from uncontested
custody bids, and showed that in bids for
sole custody mothers were still far more
successful than fathers. The study also
notes that 'women who lose custody often
[have] mental, physical, or emotional
handicaps'--in other words, when fathers win
it's usually only because the mother has
"mothers rarely lose custody
of their children to anyone, ever. For
example, a Stanford study of 1,000 divorced
couples selected at random found that
divorcing mothers were awarded sole custody
four times as often as divorcing fathers in
contested custody cases. An Ohio study
published in Family Advocate found
that fathers seeking sole custody obtain it
in less than 10% of cases, and a Utah study
conducted over 23 years found similar
results. According to researcher Robert
Seidenberg, a study of all divorce-custody
decrees in Arlington County, Virginia over
an 18 month period failed to find even one
father who was given sole or even joint
custody of his children unless the mother
agreed to it.
"In the study 'Child custody
arrangements: a study of two New Jersey
counties' published in the Journal of
Psychiatry & Law, New Jersey mental
health experts researched hundreds of
custody cases in two New Jersey counties,
Bergen (one of the wealthiest) and Essex
(one of the poorest). Rich man or poor man,
for these New Jersey fathers it didn't
matter--in either county they won custody in
only one out of every 20 cases."
Wilson lists various reasons
why she thinks children fare poorly under
shared parenting. In the
original column we cited research
showing that kids do best in shared
Wilson does generously allow
that in some cases shared parenting is best.
"In the cases where shared
parenting has worked, the families had these
qualities in common: The parents had an
amicable relationship, their divorce was
amicable with little or no conflict, they
had higher-than-average incomes, they had
only one child, neither parent (especially
the father) had remarried, they lived within
close proximity of each other, they had
flexible job schedules, the child could
handle the shared parenting arrangement, the
parents chose freely between themselves to
try shared parenting - and they chose to
make it work."
This would throw the gate wide open for
shared parenting for all of about 2% of
divorcing couples. Thanks, Trish!
To join the debate over
shared parenting in the Grand Forks
Herald, write a Letter to the Editor
Initiative helps children of divorce
(7/18/06) or Wilson's
Don't force 'shared parenting' on children
by clicking on
Observant readers will note
that while I have linked to Wilson's column
here, on Wilson's site she has her
column posted but no link to mine. Wilson
and I have clashed on many occasions and, as
far as I can tell, she has never linked to
my work, while I have always linked to her
work so my readers can read and consider for
themselves our opponents' arguments.
Boy Mistakenly Threatened With Jail
For Being Deadbeat Dad
Child support enforcement is notorious for
its bureaucratic mix-ups and its inability
to fix them, but even by their standards
this Orlando, Florida story--Boy
Mistakenly Threatened With Jail For Being
Deadbeat Dad (Local6.com, FL) is
"A childless teenager in Orange County,
Fla., was threatened with jail for not
paying thousands of dollars in child support
despite efforts by his mother to clear up
the identity mistake.
"The report featured Timothy Williams,
who received letters asking that he pay
child support for several children.
"'At first I thought it was funny but it
just kept coming and coming and coming,'
"The first letter came in April.
"'It was from the Department of Revenue
stating that my son was past due in child
support payment,' mother Arnell Williams
said. 'I was like, 'Wow.'
"The woman said she took the letters to
the child support enforcement office in
"'I spoke to the young lady at the window
who said she will make sure it will get
taken care of,' Williams said.
"'But the letters kept coming,' Local 6
reporter Nancy Alvarez said. 'So did a
payment booklet and court orders, all of it
for money owed to three different women for
several children, including some who were
older than Timothy. But the state still
thought the teen was their dad.'
"With the documents threatening arrest if
Timothy did not pay up, Williams called the
Department of Revenue in Tallahassee.
"However, the letters continued to come
to Williams. She then called the Problem
"Local 6 News discovered that the real
Timothy Williams is a man with a long
"Last month, Jennifer Wilson called the
Problem Solvers after the state sent three
of her child support payments to the wrong
"The Department of Revenue blamed the mix up
on a new computer system."
I love it--here we have an outrageous
error, and the woman can't get it solved
through the department, and it takes the
media to get the injustice fixed. I wish I
could say I was surprised.
I've written about child support errors
on numerous occasions. In my co-authored
Memphis Commercial Appeal, Chest-Thumping
Sheriff Humiliate Hard Luck Noncustodial
Parents (Tennessee Tribune, 4/27/06) we
provided some examples of the way "innocent
people have been vilified and subjected to
public ridicule" when child support
enforcement agencies publicize "most wanted
deadbeat parent" lists. We wrote:
"...when the Louisville Courier-Journal
published the names and addresses of 1,000
alleged child support scofflaws in July of
last year on behalf of Jefferson County
Attorney Irv Maze, they listed James H.
Frazier as a deadbeat who owes $57,000.
Unfortunately, they listed his name above
the home address of James R. Frazier.
"WAVE 3 TV in Louisville reported that James
R. Frazier and his wife Bertha--both of whom
seethed at being publicly humiliated--had
been erroneously targeted by Maze before,
and had spent years fighting to straighten
out the error. Maze's office had previously
acknowledged its mistake--and then went
ahead and published the erroneous
information anyway. In fact, as of October
1--over two months later--Maze still had not
corrected the error on his list of 1,000
'deadbeats' on the County Attorney's
"ABC 7 KGO News in San Francisco, California
has followed the saga of Alex Mendez, a
childless man who has been mistakenly
targeted for alleged overdue child support
five times in the past three years by two
different counties. After embarrassing media
coverage, local enforcement officials
repeatedly pledged to fix the error but have
failed to do so.
"The list published by the Commercial Appeal
appears to have similar problems. Memphis'
News Channel 3 WREG quotes a juvenile court
source as saying that some of those on the
list may have already paid their child
support. Nicholas Burchett of WREG was
shocked and angered to find his father
listed as a 'deadbeat'--the man has been
dead for 14 years.
"Eyewitness News-WPTY reports that the
Department of Human Services lost thousands
of dollars of child support paid by Hugh
Jones of Memphis, leaving Jones with a
$10,000 child support arrearage. According
to WPTY, DHS cashed Jones' checks six times
but, despite Jones' detailed documentation,
has failed to credit his account. WPTY
reports that Jones 'has to continue paying
his child support if he wants to remain a
free man' and avoid jail, even though his
'debt' consists of money he has already
In the case of Herbert L. Chalmers, a St.
Louis, Missouri child support obligor, the
state's wage garnishment to pay child
support for his adult children left him only
$400 a month to live on. Chalmers asserted
that he was being vastly overcharged, and
that he was unable to get the error fixed.
In April Chalmers exploded, going on a
murderous rampage before committing suicide.
In the ensuing investigation the Missouri
Department of Social Services admitted that
for the past several years Chalmers was
being garnisheed five times more in support
than he actually owed. The DSS blamed a
To learn more about the Chalmers case, see
I Couldn't Be Less Surprised
If you're a California child support obligor
with this type of problem, write to me about
it by clicking
Finally What Child
Support Payers Need
obligors face a
stacked deck when
squaring off against
army of lawyers and
agents, all pitted
who's working 50
hours a week to pay
his child support
and support his
family. The burden
support falls on the
obligor, not the
custodial parent or
agencies. Very often
fathers are forced
to pay money they
don't really owe, or
are saddled with
fake arrearages and
Since the state
provides a ton of
free assistance to
Support Audits and
arrears by producing
include all the
necessary records in
the proper form.
audits that will
alert obligors to
addition, they will
only $13 a month
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month only) and can
be cancelled with
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To learn more or to
sign up, click
here. If you
have any questions,
write to Michael
Women's Advocate Criticizes Me on PAS in the
In early July I sparred with feminist Anne
Grant over Parental Alienation Syndrome in
Providence Journal--see my co-authored
Protect Children from Alienation
(7/8/06) and Grant's
The discredited 'Parental Alienation
Syndrome' (6/27/06). PAS occurs when one
parent has turned his or her children
against the other parent, destroying the
loving bonds the children and the target
parent once enjoyed.
Last week Grant fired back at me and my
co-author, family law attorney Jeff Leving,
in her extended letter
Alienation smacks of Stockholm Syndrome
Journal, 7/21/06). Grant opens by writing
that I "have rushed here from
California to rally the troops in support of
the so-called Parental Alienation Syndrome,"
to which I thought "so what?"
Grant criticizes my short narration of the
Amy Neustein case, one of the most
highly-publicized PAS cases. In
Protect Children from Alienation we
"Neustein's now adult daughter, Sherry
Orbach, publicly refuted her mother's claims
last year, writing that when she was a child
her mother 'would begin by telling me a
sordid--and false--story about my
father...She then instructed me to repeat
the story word for word until she was
satisfied with my rendition.' According to
"'My father never sexually abused
me...I...owe my existence as a normal young
adult to the family judges...who helped me
reunite with my father in the face of
considerable opposition in the media.'"
"Photographs suggest another story. The
smiling 6-year-old became a different child
after the Brooklyn, N.Y. Family Court kept
concerned experts from testifying, and
awarded her father sole custody. By the age
of 8, Sherry appeared dazed and emaciated,
and lurid in scarlet lipstick and nail
I've seen the picture Grant refers to, and
don't find it particularly convincing. The
girl could be emaciated, or she could just
be a normal girl. My daughter is also 8
years old, and there are several kids in her
second grade class who look just as thin as
Sherry did in the picture. And Grant's
comment that Orbach looks "lurid in scarlet
lipstick and nail polish" is the product of
an overactive imagination. My daughter and
her friends sometimes play with lipstick,
and my wife and my daughter often get
manicures and pedicures together--is my
little girl "lurid," too?
Grant writes that "People held hostage at
any age soon identify with their abusers;
like Sherry Orbach, they will say or do
whatever is required. Yes, they are being
alienated, but not by 'Parental Alienation
Syndrome.' Their scientifically predictable
behavior is called the Stockholm Syndrome."
Sherry Orbach wrote the refutation of her
mother's claims at age 24--hardly a
"hostage" of her father or anybody else.
To read Grant's full criticism of our
here. To join the debate on PAS in the
Providence Journal, write a Letter
to the Editor by clicking
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Second Marriage Struggles: Alec Baldwin and
Long Time Girlfriend Separate, Blame
Pressure from Basinger Custody Battle
According to the
Baldwin Splits From Girlfriend (San
Francisco Chronicle, 7/25/06):
"Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin has split from
his long-term girlfriend Nicole Seidel after
four years together.
"Friends of actor and leading lawyer Seidel
have blamed the pressure of Baldwin's bitter
and protracted custody battle with his
ex-wife Kim Basinger for the break-up.
"A pal tells Page Six, 'The stress of the
custody hearings took its toll. They're
still friends, and Alec thinks Nicole's
I have no idea to what degree the above
reflects the real reasons for the
Baldwin-Seidel separation, but I do know
that the mistreatment of fathers in family
court often puts tremendous strain on second
marriages. In my co-authored column
Tennessee Appellate Court Sends Message:
Second Families Count (Memphis
Commercial Appeal, 8/23/02) we wrote:
"[anti-father family court bias] often makes
it impossible for men to be fathers to the
children of their first marriages, and also
necessitates costly legal battles which can
drain second families' financial resources.
Second families are often left feeling that
they must always maintain a permanent
defensive posture, and that they have lost
control over their own lives."
I've discussed Baldwin's custody battle on
Kim Basinger's Mom: Kim is 'Alienating' Her
Daughter from Alec Baldwin and
Alec Baldwin Defamed.
Stop Feeling Like a Wicked Step-Parent
On the subject of second families and
Second Wives Club, which has a lot of
good material on divorce-related issues,
recently had an interesting article called
Stop feeling like a wicked step-parent.
In the article
Linda Lewis Griffith, a marriage and
family therapist, writes:
"Why are inherited children so difficult?
The answers are varied and complex. First
off, new step-parents have had no input into
their inherited children's lives. The kids
may exhibit behaviors that cause their
step-parents to gasp. But the same people
must warmly accept these juvenile charges
into their lives.
"To make matters even worse, the new
step-parents have little control over their
inherited kids. Because they are not the
biological parents, they have minimal
authority over the children's discipline,
schoolwork or chores...
"Inherited children have often had
compromised upbringings because of
disruptions in their lives. They may have
experienced unstable living arrangements,
intense arguing between their parents,
multiple step-parents or drug or alcohol
abuse. As a result, they can be needier and
even more challenging to parent.
"Inherited children might also be unplanned.
For example, a woman may marry a husband
whose children only visit during the summer.
But two years into their marriage his
15-year-old daughter decides to live with
him full-time. Now the wife's life is
suddenly upended as she's entrusted with the
care of a rebellious teen."
Second marriages have a high failure rate,
and issues like these are some of the
reasons. Griffith provides interesting
solutions--read the full article
Remember, Women Never Lie About Rape...
Dana Point woman recants rapes (Orange County
"A woman who accused six men of kidnapping and
raping her at gunpoint two years ago admitted she
made it up, the Orange County District Attorney's
Office reported Monday.
"Tamara Anne Moonier, 29, is charged with grand
theft, perjury, presenting a false claim to the
state and making a false report to an officer. She
is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 22.
"Prosecutors said Moonier made the false accusations
on June 6, 2004. The accused men were never charged
or convicted in the case, authorities said.
"Fullerton Police Department Investigators
discovered she had lied after one of the accused
provided a 40-minute tape, which showed Moonier
actively participating and orchestrating the
encounters, prosecutors reported.
"The Orange County Grand Jury indicted Moonier for
grand theft for receiving money from the states
designated for victims of crime."
Interesting that the crimes for which Moonier is
charged (to which she'll probably plea bargain and
get away without jail time) are "grand theft,
perjury, presenting a false claim to the state and
making a false report to an officer." Nothing which
reflects the terrible thing she did to the young men
she falsely accused. I prefer the ancient Chinese
method of dealing with false claims--if you made a
false claim against someone, the law gives you
the penalty that they would have received had
they been found guilty.
Make no mistake--this recantation only happened
because there was a tape of the incident. In fact,
previous articles show that
Moonier--incredibly--actually kept insisting that
she had been raped even after the tape surfaced. The
tapes also showed Moonier mocking one of the less
well-endowed men in the room. Nice girl...
Remember, Liars Aren't the Problem, Glenn Sacks Is
One of the issues I get pounded on the most from
feminist blogs is the problem of false accusations
of rape. For some of the milder examples, see
Glenn Sacks = David Duke and
California Feminist Leader Slams Glenn. I guess
I could speculate as to why this is, but it's not my
problem. Anyway, I've covered the issue of false
rape accusations on numerous occasions--to learn
1) My debate on the Kobe Bryant case with two
leaders of the National Organization for Women in
the San Francisco Chronicle--my column was
Kobe Bryant Ruling a Step Towards Equity in Rape
Trials, NOW's Terry O'Neill and Melanie Stafford
Survivors must not be twice victimized (8/1/04).
2) My co-authored column criticizing a California
spousal rape bill which passed the legislature
unanimously and was signed into law in June--Kuehl's
Spousal Rape Bill Will Harm Innocent Men (Sacramento
News & Review, 6/15/06).
3) My radio interview on
His Side with Glenn Sacks with
former Colorado prosecutor Craig Silverman, who
was known for his zealous prosecution of rapists,
Fox News Columnist Wendy McElroy--to listen, go
Kobe Bryant, Rape Shield Laws, and the False
Accusations Problem (3/21/04).
4) My rather
bizarre radio interview on
His Side with Glenn Sacks with
Katherine Baker, who proposes a new crime called
"Reckless Sex," under which a "defendant would be
guilty of reckless sexual conduct if, in a first
sexual encounter with another particular person, the
defendant had sexual intercourse without using a
condom." To listen, go to
Criminalizing 'Reckless Sex'--Safeguard for Women
or New Way to Herd Men Into Jail? (3/6/05).
5) My co-authored
Research Shows False Accusations of Rape Common
(Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily
World Net Daily, 9/18/04)
enewsletter entries, including
Has Your Career Been
Impacted by Custody Issues?
After empowering people's careers for
over 20 year, I was duly initiated into
family law just like you--through a 30
month, $520,000 custody suit. I learned
that a solid home-based business could
be the best option, allowing one to
shake the financial shackles while still
experiencing a "no limits" career. More
than ever, our kids now need a free and
available parent. Be there for
them...and for yourself. Darrell W.
Financial Issues in Your Divorce?
If you're concerned about financial
issues in your divorce, contact
Jim DiGabriele of
DiGabriele, McNulty & Co by email
here or at
Letters From a Deadbeat Dad
Have you ever been framed as a "deadbeat
dad" while you were just trying to be a
father? Have you ever been forced to pay
child support while being denied your
basic rights? Have you ever had to
explain Parental Alienation Syndrome to
your own child? Have you ever heard
about fighting family law battles
outside the law by following principles
of non-violence--and winning? Read
Letters From a Deadbeat Dad by
The Guns of August
This week marks
the 92nd anniversary of one of the greatest
tragedies in human history--World War I. Some of you
may recall that I defended World War I veterans
against criticism from feminist Helen Caldicott in
Dr. Helen Caldicott Spits on My Grandfather
(Cybercast News Service, 3/28/03).
Caldicott is certainly correct that the war was one
of the most senseless slaughters in human history,
and Lenin was correct that it was an imperialist
war. But unlike Caldicott, I believe that men go to
war out of a sense of duty and obligation, not
bloodlust, as Caldicott maintains. In the column I
"I have my
grandfather's war medals in a small wooden chest,
along with two pictures--one of him as a young man
in military uniform, and another of him as a
grandfather. Also in the box is a poem about the war
which he wrote to the woman who would become my
grandmother. The poem is simple and about as good as
one can expect from an immigrant with an elementary
school education and a future as a milkman.
"When the United States entered World War I my
grandfather lied about his age so he could join the
army, wanting to show his gratitude to the country
which had allowed him to escape foreign tyranny.
Wounded in the decisive Battle of the Argonne Forest
in 1918, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the
French Croix de Guerre.
"Last week Dr. Helen Caldicott, renowned feminist
and antiwar activist, spat on him.
"In a speech released under the title 'Men: Natural
Born Killers' Caldicott told feminist antiwar
demonstrators that the male of the human species has
unbridled bloodlust, explaining that 'young men
rushed off to battle in the first World War. So
eager were they to participate in the noble act of
killing that they lied about their age.'
"In other words, grandpa didn't enlist out of duty,
loyalty or honor, but instead because he wanted the
chance to kill.
"Welcome to the world of modern feminism, where
everything men do is either privilege or pathology
and all events and actions are seen through a
sharply focused, anti-male lens."
Read the full
Allegations with Technology
Don't let the anti-male bias
in criminal law victimize
you. If you could be falsely
accused by an angry woman,
be prepared! Use technology
to expose the real
Divorce and Family Law
New Jersey family law
attorney David Perry Davis,
Esq. can help you through
your divorce. In
Pasqua v. Council (2006)
challenged New Jersey's
unconstitutional practice of
failing to appoint attorneys
for indigent child support
obligors at enforcement
hearings where they face
incarceration. As a result
of this suit, trial courts
must apply the same standard
used when a defendant
requests a public defender
in a criminal matter.
Silicon Valley Weekly Does Cover Story on Default
The new cover
Who's Your Daddy? (Metro Silicon Valley,
7/19/06) provides an extended and needed discussion
of default paternity judgments.
Valley has a circulation of 200,000 and is one
of the largest weekly publications in California.
The article has quotes from numerous people involved
in the struggle against paternity fraud, including:
longtime paternity fraud crusader Carnell Smith;
Taron James, the founder of
Fighting Paternity Fraud; Santa Ana family law
attorney Linda Ferrer, winner of the
case; myself; and others.
The story centers
around the story of "Jim Jones" of Redwood City, who
has paid child support for nine years for a child he
has never met. According to the article:
responsibility began when Ethan's mother named Jones
as Ethan's father on welfare paperwork. The 1996
Welfare Reform Act requires women to name their
child's fathers in order to receive public
assistance--a law designed to recoup government
welfare costs by garnishing the wages of 'deadbeat
law, Jones had six months from the time he learned
about Ethan to contest paternity. Unaware of this
deadline, and unable to afford an attorney, Jones
missed his chance. To this day, Jones does not have
any proof that he is Ethan's father...
began 12 years ago in Sacramento when he met a
pretty blonde girl named Michelle at a coffee bar.
The couple struck up a relationship, hanging out at
coffee shops and shopping at the mall. After four
months, Jones decided Michelle wasn't the one and
ended the relationship.
later, Jones learned secondhand that Michelle was
pregnant--and claiming that he was the father. Jones
contacted Michelle, offered to help and began
preparing for fatherhood. Several months later the
couple had an argument that escalated to the point
where Michelle told Jones that the baby was not his.
She told him to leave, and he did.
"Two and a half years later, living in Santa Cruz,
Jones was visited by a process server bearing a
hefty bill--Jones recalls $20,000--for child support
in arrears. The bill compelled Jones to begin
paying, and ordered his appearance in court to sign
or contest the declaration of paternity.
"'I was completely surprised because she told me it
wasn't my kid,' said Jones. 'I thought I'd just call
Michelle and straighten things out.'
"Jones hunted for Michelle, and did not attend his
court hearing--a decision he regrets to this day. By
not appearing for his hearing, the court registered
Jones, by default judgment, as Ethan's father in the
California child support services database. A few
months later, Jones' six-month window to contest
"Unaware of the severity of these occurrences, Jones
continued to search on his own for Michelle and his
alleged son. He called old friends and
acquaintances. He took trips to Sacramento to scour
old hangouts and neighborhoods where she had lived.
At other times, exacerbated and angry, he simply
ignored the situation, as it continued to worsen.
The government started to garnish wages from his
Help for Maryland Fathers
Family law attorney
Dawn Elaine Bowie works
to protect parents'
relationships with their
children and reduce
post-divorce conflict. She
practices in Montgomery,
Anne Arundel and Prince
George's Counties. Contact
or go to
Solutions, LLC is a growing
and evolving resource
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House activities are
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co-parenting with difficult
Tom Ellis Rides Against the
Thomas Ellis on selling
1,000 copies of his
The Rantings of a Single
Male: Losing Patience with
Correctness... and Basically
quite an accomplishment,
given that the publishing
industry gives vastly more
attention to Women's Studies
books than Men's Studies.
the rise of feminism from
the mid '70s to the present,
through Ellis' personal
experiences, and is loaded
with outrageous stories.
The article also
discusses AB 252, a paternity fraud law passed by
the California legislature in 2004. The article
"[AB 252] is a
short-lived law that allows men named as fathers in
default judgments two years from the law's enactment
to contest paternity via a DNA test."
"...The window for
A.B. 252 expires on Jan. 1, 2007...Glenn Sacks...who
writes men's rights newspaper columns, says A.B. 252
is better than nothing, but not good enough.
"'The problem is that time is running out,' Sacks
said. 'A certain amount of men have been going to
court and getting the paternity test and are getting
let off the hook. But a lot of guys don't know about
this. What should be happening is child enforcement
people should be sending notices to everyone saying
there is this new law.'
"Child support services don't disseminate this
information, say critics, because doing so could
mean losing paying fathers, and hence federal
"Indeed, states must name fathers in 90 percent of
their child support welfare cases, or risk losing
federal money. To comply, states have taken
liberally to the use of 'default judgments' when the
alleged father cannot be located.
"In Los Angeles
County, nearly 80 percent of paternity
establishments (in 2000-01) came from default
judgments. In California as a whole, a whopping 70
percent were default judgments, according to midyear
reports from the California Department of Child
"Says Sacks about fathers named in default
judgments, 'It might be the right name, it might be
the wrong name, it might be someone she thinks is
the father but is not sure. Also, it might be Juan
Gomez and there are 11,000 Juan Gomezes, and then
the correct person is not properly served, and then
a default judgment is entered against him for 18
years of child support for a kid he's never met, and
in many cases, may not even be his.'"
As an aside, one
can see an example of my assertion that there has
not been enough outreach on AB 252 from this
article, which mentions in passing that "Jones
learned of A.B. 252 while being interviewed for this
To send a Letter
to the Editor about
Who's Your Daddy?, click
Michael Robinson and the
California Alliance for
Families and Children worked on AB 252 and also
helped prevent the possible depublication of the
decision. They have done great work on the paternity
fraud issue in California.
The Taron James Case
Valley article also discusses the Taron James
case, a horrible injustice. In my co-authored column
Defrauded Veterans Have Mixed Emotions on Veterans
Day (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 11/11/03),
family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:
Torrance photographer Taron James, a decorated
veteran of Operation Northern Watch, Veterans Day
always brings mixed emotions.
"James enlisted in the Navy at age 20 in the days
leading up to the first Persian Gulf War, and
carried out hazardous reconnaissance missions behind
Iraqi lines in the war's aftermath.
earned four service medals and three ribbons before
his honorable discharge in 1994. Yet his reward for
his service has been nine years of unremitting
government harassment, financial deprivation, and a
constant struggle to stay out of jail."
According to the
Valley article, "Taron James first discovered
that the state considered him a father in 1996 when
the DMV notified him they would be suspending his
driver's license for failure to pay child support.
"By this point,
the six-month window to contest paternity had
passed. James could not locate his ex-girlfriend to
request a DNA test directly, and the courts offered
no alternative recourse. For the next four years,
James watched money leak out of his paychecks, while
the state intercepted his income taxes. In 1999,
with his checks cut almost in half, James declared
"In 2000, James finally made contact with his
ex-girlfriend. 'I approached her friends and family
and I said, 'Make me the bad guy; prove me wrong,'
James tells about his quest for a DNA test. Finally
she acquiesced; the test exonerated James.
"But his battle was far from over. Even armed with
this evidence, it took James five years to have a
court disestablish paternity. The remedy was
bittersweet. 'The judge said I was a clear victim of
fraud but he also said that child support services
was a victim of fraud too, so they shouldn't have to
pay the money back.'"
My view is that
since the state helped perpetrate the fraud,
probably knowingly in this case, they should be
liable for the costs of the fraud.
I've also covered the paternity fraud issue in
several articles, including my co-authored
Preserving Paternity Fraud (Orange County
Register,(10/3/02). To listen to Linda Ferrer and
Taron James on
His Side with Glenn Sacks, see
to LA County: 'We Won't Sully our Hands' Enforcing
False Paternity Judgments.
Controversy Over Judge's Treatment of Illegal
Immigrant Who Sought Protection Order Misses
From the Los
Angeles Times story
It Wasn't the Court Order She Sought
Illegal immigrant seeks order against husband. The
judge tells her to get out or be deported
judge hearing the case of an illegal immigrant
seeking a restraining order against her husband
threatened to turn her over to immigration officials
if she didn't leave his courtroom.
"Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Bruce R.
Fink told Aurora Gonzalez during last week's hearing
that he was going to count to 20 and that if she was
still in his courtroom when he finished, he would
have her arrested and deported to Mexico.
"In an interview Wednesday, Fink said that the woman
had admitted in court that she was in the country
illegally and that he didn't want her to get in
trouble with immigration officials.
"'We have a federal law that says that this status
is not allowed,' Fink said. 'You can't just ignore
it. What I really wanted was to not give this woman
"He said he thought the couple 'obviously wanted to
get back together' and that he was trying to avoid
granting a restraining order that would keep them
apart for at least a year. He said he also thought
the court order might lead to Gonzalez's
deportation, because her husband would not be able
to continue helping her get legal residency...
"In her initial court petition, Gonzalez alleged
that Francisco Salgado, 51, her husband of six
years, was 'verbally and emotionally abusive' to her
and their two young boys. Gonzalez, who moved into a
domestic violence shelter last month, accused
Salgado of referring to her with a derogatory term
and threatening to call immigration authorities.
"In last Friday's hearing in Pomona, Fink asked
Gonzalez if she was in fact an illegal immigrant.
"I'm illegal," she said.
"'I hate the immigration laws that we have,' the
judge responded, according to the court transcript,
'but I think the bailiff could take you to the
immigration services and send you to Mexico. Is that
what you guys want?'
"'Fink then asked Salgado if he wanted his wife
deported. Salgado replied he was helping his wife
get her legal papers, according to the
transcript....At that point, Fink warned Gonzalez to
either leave his courtroom or risk arrest.
"'I'm going to count to 20, and if you people have
left this courtroom and disappeared, she isn't going
to Mexico forthwith,' Fink said, according to the
court transcript. 'One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.
When I get to 20, she gets arrested and goes to
"After Gonzalez left the courtroom, Fink asked
Salgado if he wanted to stay, and he said yes.
"Fink then dismissed the case: 'Well, she brought
the proceedings, and if she's not here to go
forward, I guess all of the requests are denied.'
"On Wednesday, Fink, who has been a family law
attorney for 35 years, insisted he was seeking what
he thought was an agreeable solution for both
"'What I saw was nothing more than some yelling and
screaming between a husband and wife,' he said.
"'I also saw that they really didn't want to not be
"If he had issued the restraining order, Fink said,
'we'd wind up with exactly the opposite of what
these people wanted.'
"'The cure could be far worse than the illness,' he
controversy is over the way the judge treated the
woman based on her immigration status. But what
interests me about the case is that it's one of the
all too rare examples of when a judge actually
stands up to a woman who's employing spurious
charges of domestic violence against her husband for
personal advantage. In my co-authored column
Letterman Case Shows Problems with Restraining
Orders (Albuquerque Tribune, 1/17/06) I wrote:
"...it is far too easy to get a restraining order
based on a false allegation...in the rush to protect
the abused, the rights of the accused are being
violated on an arguably unprecedented scale. Many if
not most domestic violence restraining orders are
simply tactical maneuvers designed to gain advantage
in high stakes family law proceedings. The Illinois
Bar Journal calls the orders 'part of the
gamesmanship of divorce.'
recent article in the Family Law News, the official
publication of the State Bar of California Family
Law Section, explains that the bar is concerned that
'protective orders are increasingly being used in
family law cases to help one side jockey for an
advantage in child custody.' The authors note that
protective orders are 'almost routinely issued by
the court in family law proceedings even when there
is relatively meager evidence and usually without
notice to the restrained person....it is troubling
that they appear to be sought more and more
frequently for retaliation and litigation
"Despite these grave effects, many courts grant
restraining orders to practically any woman who
applies. District Judge Daniel Sanchez, who issued
the restraining order against Letterman, explained
'If [applicants] make a proper pleading, then I
restrained person does have the opportunity to
contest the orders at a hearing a couple of weeks
later. However, these proceedings are often just a
formality for which no more than 15 minutes are
generally allotted. In fact, the State of
California's website gives the following advice for
men who are contesting restraining orders:
"Practice saying why you disagree with the charges.
Do not take more than three minutes to say what you
disagree with. You can bring witnesses or documents
that support your case, but the judge may not have
enough time to talk to the witnesses."
Case and VAWA
too, that women's advocates are now
saying--correctly--that Gonzalez would not have been
deported because the federal Violence Against Women
Act offers a stay of any deportation proceeding for
abused women. In a subsequent article
here, one immigration attorney noted that the
restraining order "could help her on her VAWA case."
provision is probably well-intended, but it also
serves as a tremendous incentive to make false
charges of abuse. For example, an immigrant woman
employed these types of charges against
one of the
hero fathers I've written about.
article, the woman got her (dubious) restraining
order granted, and the judge was dismissed. What a
California Divorced Dads
The Divorced Fathers Network
helps dads in Los Angeles,
the Bay Area and Santa Cruz.
Local chapters sponsor free
weekly co-parenting classes,
individual mentoring for
fathers and much more.
Help for Boston Dads
Boston family law
attorney Nick Palermo is a
shared custody advocate who
believes that divorced dads
are parents, not visitors.
The Law Offices of Nicholas
Palermo is a dedicated and
committed trial law firm
which has worked to make
shared custody for all fit
parents the law of the land.
LAW OFFICES OF NICHOLAS
News Disses Dads
Daily News disses dads in the
Jail Threat Springs $$ (7/20/06):
"The deadbeat who slouched in front of Judge Leonard
A. Ivanoski looked like a thousand others.
"In shabby clothes
and a hangdog expression, the man reeled off a list
of reasons why he had failed to pay almost $16,000
he owed in child support.
"But Ivanoski, a
diminutive, silver-haired Common Pleas senior judge
with deceptively friendly looks, wanted to hear no
giving me a song and a dance,' he barked. 'You had
the ability to pay when you should have and could
have. There's willful, civil contempt here.'
"Two months in
prison, Ivanoski sternly decreed. A uniformed deputy
slapped handcuffs on the flabbergasted father.
"With a pleased
nod, prosecutor Maria McLaughlin stood, left the
courtroom and chalked up another victory for
Philadelphia Family Court and the Child Support
Enforcement Unit, a branch of District Attorney
Lynne Abraham's office that McLaughlin supervises.
absolutely helps us get the money,' said McLaughlin,
an assistant district attorney for 14 years and
mother of two. 'Otherwise these defendants don't
take you seriously. They come down here with the
expectation: 'Oh, I'll never go to jail for
child-support violations.' Then they find themselves
in our holding cells'...
times out of 100, the dads romp around with a woman,
she gets pregnant, and that's the last she sees of
him. It's the 'free-ride club,' Abraham said. 'Since
we don't have the ability to make a father love his
children, we at least have the legal authority to
make them support their unloved, unwanted children.
It's a shame we have to order people to do that.'
claiming they can't afford to pay could find their
finances shrinking anyway...
"'There are so
many innovative ways to collect money,' McLaughlin
"Those who ignore
orders to come to court are hauled before a judge on
an arrest warrant to explain their noncompliance.
"An unswayed judge
can toss the offender in prison for up to six months
emphasizes that she's not out to fill the jails.
"'All of our
defendants hold the key to the jailhouse door,' she
said, explaining that judges give every jail-bound
deadbeat a 'purge factor'--typically a fraction of
the arrears they can pay to walk free from prison.
For example, Ivanoski set a purge factor of $1,200
for the deadbeat dad who owed $16,000 to avoid his
"Even with the
threat of jail, Philadelphia is full of
child-support violators. Family Court has 121,937
active cases of deadbeat parents, representing $576
million in arrears, McLaughlin said...
"More than half of
the defendants sentenced to prison never reach the
jail because they 'miraculously' come up with the
money' for the purge factor, McLaughlin said."
I'm sure that at
times McLaughlin does deal with some irresponsible
men, but her description of some of these
cases--including the Ivanoski case--seems a little
suspicious to me. The guy would rather spend two
months in jail than come up with a lousy $1,200?
He's either dead broke or he has a strange set of
priorities. I suspect it's the former.
Though not as
extreme, the Ivanoski case reminds me a little of
the Francis Borgia case. In a radio commentary on
His Side with Glenn Sacks on the Borgia case I
story about those evil deadbeat dads from the
Chicago Tribune--'Man sneaks razor blade into court,
"An Illinois man carried a razor blade through metal
detectors and slit his throat after being sentenced
to two years in prison for failing to pay child
"Francis Borgia, 38, of Metropolis, Ill., was
treated at a hospital and then taken to the
McCracken County Regional Jail on Thursday.
"Borgia had been sentenced for not paying $7,000 in
child support. (Two years in prison for $7,000?)
"'Don't put me in jail; I'm going to kill myself,'
Borgia pleaded as he leaned forward and reached into
"McCracken County Administrator Steve Doolittle said
security at the courthouse will be reviewed to see
if another such incident can be avoided.
"Security at the
courthouse will be reviewed to see if another such
incident can be avoided? Why don't you review this
judge and his decisions to see if another such
incident can be avoided? Why don't you review the
state's laws and family court policies to see if
another such incident can be avoided?
"The man is either mentally ill or he doesn't have
the money. If he's willing to slit his own throat to
avoid jail don't you think if he had the money he'd
pay it? Don't you think he'd crack open the
moneybags, and hand over the Krugerrands and sell
the Porsche and the Beemer? This man is so afraid of
jail he'd commit suicide rather than go, and he's
going to jail because he can't pay a lousy $7,000.
Isn't this evidence that he never had the money to
To listen to my commentary, click on
Dad or Deadbroke Dad?
I also discussed
the Borgia case in my co-authored column
Persecuting Low Income Parents (Cincinnati Post,
Kentucky Post, 8/26/05). Family law attorney Jeff
Leving and I wrote:
"In one McCracken
County, Kentucky case, Francis Borgia, a carpet
cleaner in Paducah, slit his throat in the courtroom
after being sentenced to two years in jail for being
$7,000 behind on child support. According to
newspaper accounts, Borgia had become a 'deadbeat'
after he lost a good paying job working in a casino
and could not get a downward modification on his
support...Borgia, who survived his courtroom suicide
"My only 'crime'
was my failure to make as much money as the state
demanded...I couldn't quite understand why I was
treated so harshly. I'm not a deadbeat dad. I'm a
To read a letter
from Borgia, click on
"Child Support Injustice: Francis Borgia Speaks"
McLaughlin's comment that "More than half of the
defendants sentenced to prison never reach the jail
because they 'miraculously' come up with the money,"
what she can't or won't see is that usually this is
not the child support debtor's money. It's grandma's
money, it's mom and dad's retirement money, it's the
brother's money. The man isn't digging up a fortune
in gold coins from his backyard to pay--his parents,
friends and relatives are paying the money for him
so he doesn't go to jail. I often hear from elderly
men and women who tell me they've lost their
retirement money in their son's divorces, sometimes
because of their child support situations.
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Our Side Takes an
Unfair Swipe at Custodial Mothers
does make some effort to balance out her story with
comments from a fathers' rights activist. The quotes
do not represent our side particularly well:
men's-rights activists, mothers are a sneaky lot,
using the children to siphon away their exes'
hard-earned dough and then forgetting the offspring
the minute they cash the check.
"'There is no
accountability for how the money is used. They
[mothers] use it on hairdressers, fingernails, the
new boyfriend,' said Philip Lutz, a Center City
father of one who heads Philadelphia's chapter of
Fathers' and Children's Equality, which lobbies for
equal custody and offers support groups for
This is a poor
argument. Most divorced or separated mothers aren't
wasting child support on luxuries. They have a right
to enjoy life, and shouldn't have to account to
their ex-husbands or anybody else for every dime
they spend. There certainly are exceptions, of
course, when the mothers really are wasting the
money and the children's needs are not being met. In
such cases courts can and should intervene. But the
average divorced mother getting $1,000 a month in
child support is not living high on the hog any more
than the average divorced dad is living it up with
his Porsche and trophy wife.
doesn't attribute her paraphrase about mothers
"forgetting the offspring the minute they cash the
check" but this is also ill-advised. Are we supposed
to believe that custodial mothers don't love their
children, only dads do?
necessarily blame Lutz--he may not have been quoted
particularly well, or
might be portraying minor points made by Lutz
instead of the major ones. It's happened to me with
reporters many times. (For one example, click
Matt Dubay's 'Roe
v. Wade for Men' Suit Dismissed
In my co-authored
Have a Choice--Men Should Too (Saginaw News,
4/2/06) I defended Matt Dubay's "Roe v. Wade for
Men" lawsuit. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I
25-year-old computer programmer has done what has
long been thought impossible--he has united the
pro-choice feminist left and the pro-life right.
Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Michigan is the plaintiff in
a new lawsuit in which he seeks to wipe out the
child support payments he is obligated to make to an
ex-girlfriend. He says he had made it clear to her
that he didn't want to be a father at this time, and
that she got pregnant after she had repeatedly
assured him that a physical condition rendered her
"National Organization for Women president Kim
Gandy, conservative TV host Bill O'Reilly and
numerous commentators from all sides have criticized
Dubay's 'Roe v. Wade for Men' lawsuit. Yet when
commentators make the arguments against choice for
men--'if a man doesn't want to father a child he
should have used birth control,' 'men need to take
responsibility whether they wanted to have the child
or not'--one can often detect a little confusion in
their eyes, as if a part of them is whispering 'uh,
wait a minute, but couldn't you say the same thing
"One and a half million American women legally walk
away from motherhood every year by adoption,
abortion or abandonment, yet somehow nobody labels
them 'deadbeats' or 'deserters.' In over 40 states a
mother can return the baby to the hospital within a
few weeks of birth--completely opting out of
motherhood with less hassle than it takes to return
a DVD to Best Buy. Yet if the mother decides she
wants to keep the child, she can demand 18 (or in
some states 21 or 23) years of child support from
the father, and he has no choice in the matter.
"Feminists have long based their support for
Roe v. Wade
around the slogan 'My Body, My Choice.' Women's
rights legal advocate Jennifer Brown denounced
Dubay's suit, explaining that 'Roe is based on an
extreme intrusion by the government...There's
nothing equivalent for men.'
"However, 100,000 men each year are jailed for
alleged non-payment of child support, and federal
Office of Child Support Enforcement data reveal that
70% of those behind on payments earn poverty level
wages. When states force a man to be financially
responsible for a child he never wanted, and jail
him if he comes up short, isn't that a terrible
state intrusion too? Don't the sacrifices required
to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in
child support over two decades take a heavy toll on
a man, too?...
"Under choice for men, unmarried fathers would have
a one-time right to relinquish their parental rights
and responsibilities within a month of learning of a
pregnancy, just as mothers do when they choose to
give their children up for adoption. Women would
still be free to exercise all of the reproductive
choices they now have.
"Gandy, O'Reilly, Brown and others claim that the
current system is necessary because it protects
children. In reality, over time choice for men would
greatly benefit American children--if women knew
that they could not compel unmarried men to pay to
support children they did not agree to have, the
number of unwed births (and the huge social problems
associated with them) would be reduced. Choice for
men means better parenting because more men will be
able to become fathers when they're married,
willing, and stable--a huge benefit for children.
"Women's advocates correctly note that pregnant
women often have legitimate reasons for not wanting
to be mothers, including youth, finances and the
lack of a suitable relationship or marriage. Yet all
of these apply equally to men. Women have a
choice--men should, too."
Last week the
United States District Court, Eastern District of
Michigan, dismissed Dubay's suit, calling it
"frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation and
seeks to advance a theory that is foreign to the
legal principles on which it is ostensibly based."
To learn more, click
I don't consider
Dubay's conduct particularly admirable, and he ain't
father of the year; however, he does have a good
point. And it is also appropriate to question the
conduct of his child's mother, Lauren Wells.
Everyone is angry at Dubay for not wanting to pay
child support, but why is it that nobody chastises
Wells for bringing a child into such an unenviable
The Real Solution for Choice for Men--the Male Birth
Like most people,
I didn't expect Dubay's suit to go anywhere. The
lawsuit was essentially a publicity stunt, and a
good one. As I've noted before, the real solution
for Choice for Men is the Male Birth Control Pill. I
discussed the issue last year in my column
Women Really Want a Male Birth Control Pill?
Mike Cox Rejoices
Over Dubay's Defeat
General Mike Cox, who has clashed with fatherhood
advocates on several occasions over the past few
years, predictably rejoiced over Dubay's defeat. In
his press release
Cox Announces Victory for Michigan's Children in
"Roe v Wade for Men" Case he said:
"This is an
important victory for the children of this state.
Both parents have a clear responsibility for the
support of their child, no matter the circumstances
surrounding conception. The Court upheld that
time-honored understanding today. Michigan will not
become the state where parents can opt out of
In early 2004 Cox
launched a billboard campaign which featured a large
pair of handcuffs, and boasted of jail time for
fathers struggling with child support obligations.
We did two
His Side with Glenn Sacks shows on it--to
listen, go to
Under Siege (3/7/04) and
Motown: Michigan Dads vs. Leader of ACES
That fall Cox
announced an even more misguided and asinine
billboard campaign--a contest wherein children would
draw billboard designs critical of noncustodial
fathers who have allegedly not paid child support.
Fox News quoted me on the subject as follows:
are encouraged to coach their children to make
designs critical of noncustodial parents behind on
child support. And it doesn't take much imagination
to figure out which noncustodial father many mothers
will be encouraging their children to denounce."
I and others
Campaign to Help Michigan Activists Defeat
Anti-Father Billboard Contest, and the Michigan
activists did an excellent job protesting Cox's
campaign. Cox pulled the contest in response to the
protests. To listen to my radio call to action on
the issue, click
read it, click
I did two
His Side with Glenn Sacks shows on the
Top Cop Tells Kids: Denounce Your Daddy
Targeted by Cox Speak Out (10/10/04).
Are You Really
Find out the underlying flaws in the DNA
paternity testing system and learn how a
man with results in the 90%, 95% or even
99% positive range may not be the
father. Learn what most lawyers and
judges don't know about paternity
Candidate Takes Strong Stand for
Noncustodial Parents' Rights
In 2004 Libertarian presidential
candidate Michael Badnarik had a strong
noncustodial parents' rights
Badnarik is clearly aware of and
sensitive to the basic problems fathers
today face, particularly the sole
custody norm and the denigration of
noncustodial parents to "second class
parent" status. Badnarik is running for
Congress in 2006--to learn more, go to
PBS Campaign Update
PBS broadcast the
Silence: Children's Stories on many of its
affiliates last October. The film accused family
courts of anti-mother bias, attacked
Parental Alienation Syndrome, and portrayed
divorced dads seeking shared custody as batterers
and child molesters aiming to steal children from
their mothers. The film was extremely one-sided, and
presented a harmful and inaccurate view of divorce
and child custody cases.
Fathers and Families, the
American Coalition for Fathers & Children and
others, we organized a campaign against the film,
and over 10,000 of you called or wrote PBS to
protest. Our demand was that "PBS provide
fatherhood and shared parenting advocates a
meaningful opportunity to present our side."
The campaign generated considerable media attention and
controversy, and both PBS's ombudsman and the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting's ombudsman
expressed sympathy with many of our aims.
In November we made the bombshell announcement that one
of the women profiled as a heroic mom in the film
had been found
culpable of multiple acts of child abuse by a
California Juvenile court. While the film claims
that the mother lost custody of the daughter because
of the father's legal machinations, in reality the
Juvenile court transferred custody to the father to
protect the girl.
In December PBS issued a statement saying they would
commission an hour-long documentary to examine the
issues raised in the film and by our campaign. PBS
said that "plans call for the documentary to be
produced and broadcast in Spring 2006" and that the
"hour-long treatment of the subject will allow ample
opportunity" for those of differing views to "have
their perspectives shared, challenged and debated."
We commended PBS for understanding our concerns and
taking action to address the situation.
I know little about filmmaking but I was skeptical that
PBS could put together a quality film between
December 20, 2005, when they made their
announcement, and the Spring of 2006. In April PBS
spent two days filming
Fathers & Families' meetings and lobbying
efforts, and informed us that the new film will air
nationwide in the fall, in a primetime slot on a
I will keep you informed as we learn more. To learn
more about our campaign, click
Thanks again to all of those who participated.
Legal Help for Fathers
If you live in Los Angeles, Riverside or
Orange counties and you're facing a
divorce, separation, or a child custody
issue, the law firm of Oddenino & Gaule
Domestic Violence Accusations Can End Military Careers
Domestic violence can end your career from the
Black Hills Bandit (7/10/06):
"An Airman and his girlfriend return from a bar --
both have had a few drinks. As the conversation
turns sour it leads to an argument, which becomes a
"Police come, charges are pressed and the Airman
goes to court. Feeling ashamed and apologetic he
pleads guilty to simple assault -- a misdemeanor.
"He may have just unintentionally ended his military
"An extreme result? Perhaps.
"Something to be aware of? Absolutely.
"Due to the Lautenberg Amendment -- a 1996 change to
the Gun Control Act (18 U.S.C. ÃŸ 992) -- it is a
felony to possess a firearm if convicted of a
domestic violence misdemeanor. This law affects not
only members who may carry a weapon, but supervisors
who issue those weapons.
"If you're a military member, convicted of a
domestic violence offense, you're prohibited from
possessing firearms or ammunition, no longer
eligible to train with any firearms, or go on any
deployments requiring possession of small arms. If
your AFSC requires that you qualify to bear a
firearm, your AFSC will be withdrawn and you will be
discharged or may be reassigned to a non-firearm
bearing position...If you are being charged with an
act of domestic violence, understand the potential
ramifications to your military career of a plea of
guilty or no contest. Always talk to the Area
Defense Counsel or civilian attorney before you make
a decision that could sink your career."
This is a major problem for police officers and
military servicemen. In my column
VAWA Renewal Provides Opportunity to Stop
Destruction of Innocent Cops' Careers (Ft. Worth
Star-Telegram, 7/19/05) I discussed the case of
police officers caught in this trap. I wrote:
"Shot in the line of duty. Twice awarded the Medal of
Honor. Named Essex County, New Jersey Police Officer
of the Year. A highly decorated officer with an
impeccable record. For 22 years police officer Eric
Washington battled criminals on the streets of East
Orange, New Jersey. On January 21, 2001 Washington
was ambushed and brought down--not by an ex-convict
bent on revenge or a shadowy gunman, but instead by
a false accusation of domestic violence...
"Former Torrance, California police officer John
Brumbaugh recently won a seven-year legal battle
after an ex-girlfriend falsely accused him of
battery. Though Brumbaugh's conviction was
overturned and his name finally cleared, the false
charges cost him his career as a police officer and
several hundred thousand dollars in legal expenses
and lost wages and benefits."
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