Two New Columns, Darren Mack Update,
CA Legislators Misled

June 27, 2006

New Column: Some Progress for California Fathers, but Still a Long Way to Go

My new co-authored column Some Progress for California Fathers, but Still a Long Way to Go (Pasadena Star-News & Affiliated Papers, Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 6/18/06) discusses the status of California fathers, the many blows to them during the 90's, and the progress made since in rectifying these inequities. The column covers problems with domestic violence law enforcement policies, restraining orders, post divorce move-away cases, the California child support guideline, and child support enforcement abuses.

To read the full column, click here.

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Pasadena Star-News & Affiliated Papers regarding Still a long way to go for California fathers go to To write a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Breeze regarding

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Fathers' rights are still vulnerable, go to

Gil Garcetti: An Enemy of Fathers

In the column we criticize Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, who did great damage to men and fathers during the 90's. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"In 1998 then-Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti declared a 'get tough' campaign against so-called 'deadbeat dads,' sending out thousands of summonses for paternity cases. The men were given only 30 days to respond.

"Many of the summonses targeted the wrong men, and many never reached the intended parties. Eighty percent of Garcetti's paternity judgments were made by default, locking the men into 18 years of child support. Many took DNA tests proving that they were not the fathers of the children they now had to take second jobs to support. Others were assigned huge support arrearages by mistake. Many became unable to support their own children. Some of their marriages broke up, and some of the men landed in jail.

"Garcetti created so much chaos and heartache that even diehard feminist attorney Gloria Allred protested. Allred, who has perhaps done more than anybody to promote the phrase and concept of 'deadbeat dads,' called Garcetti's office 'an organization without a heart, without any compassion, and without a sense of priorities...[it's] a system run amok'...

"Jackie Myers, a former Deputy District Attorney under Garcetti, said that she quit her job because 'we were being told to do unethical, very unethical things.'

"Garcetti later acknowledged that many of the men had been mistakenly targeted but refused to relent, instead blaming the men for not responding within 30 days. 'The law is the law,' he told CBS's Bernard Goldberg.  Incredibly, in 2002 Garcetti was appointed to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission."

California Child Support Guidelines Bury Low-Income Dads

In the column family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote: 

"In 1992 the California legislature dramatically increased the financial burdens shouldered by fathers. Many child support orders doubled and tripled overnight, quickly placing California among the five states with the highest child support guidelines.

"The legacy of this legislation is a permanent underclass of fathers buried alive under crushing debts. According to an Urban Institute study of California child support, the average arrears owed is $3,000 higher than the median annual earnings of employed child support debtors. Those in the poorest category have a child support debt amounting to their full net income for seven and a half years. 

"While politicians and women's advocates love to raise the specter of the high-living playboy deadbeat dad, according to a report presented to the California Judicial Council in February, 80% of California child support debtors earn less than $15,000 per year. Nevertheless, in 2003 Senator Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), one of the leading proponents of harsh measures against noncustodial fathers, declared:

"When I carry bills to strengthen child-support enforcement, and suddenly some MD who owes $100,000 in back child support pays attention because if he doesn't pay he risks losing his medical license, frankly, that feels good."


In the column we also noted the progress we've been making in California. These include: the preservation of the LaMusga move-away decision against repeated legislative attempts to abrogate it; paternity fraud legislation passed in 2004; preservation of the 2004 Navarro decision against child support enforcement machinations; and a bill to protect military parents passed in 2005.

There are many reasons for this progress, but a major one is the lobbying done in Sacramento by Michael Robinson and the California Alliance for Families and Children. They do a great job in a difficult political environment.

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children is dedicated to creating a family law system which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce. Contact the ACFC at 1-800-978-3237 or visit them on the web at

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New Column: Kuehl's Spousal Rape Bill Will Harm Innocent Men

My new co-authored column Kuehl's Spousal Rape Bill Will Harm Innocent Men (Sacramento News & Review, 6/15/06) discusses a new bill which is currently shooting through the California legislature. The bill will abolish the distinction between spousal rape and other rapes, and aggravate the problem of false accusations in family law. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"False accusations of violence or abuse are endemic in family law cases. The California Senate just unanimously passed a misguided bill which will make the problem worse by easing the way for spurious spousal rape allegations to be used against fathers.

"Victims of spousal rape deserve protection, and current California law provides it. In order for the state to prosecute a spousal rape charge, the accuser need only to have mentioned the violation within a year of its occurrence to any of a wide variety of medical, law enforcement, clerical, legal or psychological personnel, or there must be corroborating, independent, court admissible evidence.

"SB 1402, sponsored by Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles), eliminates the distinction between spousal rape and other rapes, thus allowing for spousal rape prosecutions six years later, even if there was no mention or independent evidence of the crime in previous years. Under SB 1402, when aggravated spousal rape is alleged, there would be no statute of limitations.

"In family law proceedings there are a multitude of important and emotionally-charged issues which are often contested and re-contested over many years. These include: legal and physical custody; child support; alimony; division of marital assets; liability for legal, health care and child care expenses; requests for relocation; and others. False accusations often allow accusers to gain leverage in these proceedings.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee recognized that false spousal rape accusations could be used in this manner when the spousal rape evidence requirement was created in 1979. They noted that in rape cases "the issue of consent often boils down to the word of the victim versus the word of the accused...[in spousal rape] these problems of proof would be exacerbated [by]...the issue of the complaining witness' motive for making the accusation.'"

To read the full column, click here.

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Sacramento News & Review, concerning "A bad law that will hurt good fathers" (6/15/06) write to

Leving's Divorce Magazine
The second edition of Leving's Divorce Magazine, the new magazine for the modern divorced man, is now available online with articles focusing on issues such as men's reproductive rights (or lack thereof), Parental Alienation Syndrome and child support. Visit now and get a free subscription. 

Help, Resources for Dads
The National Fathers' Resource Center is a division of Fathers For Equal Rights, Inc. (FER), located in Dallas, Texas, with offices in both Dallas and Houston. In existence for over three decades, it has services and resources for dads nationwide and is one of the largest and most active fathers' rights organizations in the U.S.

Help for Michigan Dads
Michigan family law attorney Mindy L. Hitchcock has experience fighting for noncustodial parents against Michigan's abusive FOC. Her holistic approach to divorce gets results for her clients while avoiding the scorched earth approach to law that leaves families emotionally and financially devastated.

California Legislators Being Misled on Spousal Rape Bill

SB 1402's supporters are garnering support for the bill in part by playing on the false idea that the American "patriarchy" condones spousal rape because a wife is considered to be her husband's property. It's an excellent example of a common process used by feminists over the past three decades--pretend that a bill is designed to remedy a patriarchal injustice when the bill actually does something entirely different.

A related example might be the way a woman's sexual history is often banned as evidence as part of rape shield laws. Those laws have been pushed and passed in part because feminists (rightfully) sought to exterminate the idea that raping a woman is OK, or not as bad, if it's a woman who is very loose sexually.

The collateral damage is that in some cases, such as the Kobe Bryant case, the woman's other recent sexual activity is very relevant, not because it implies that she is to blame for being assaulted, but because it speaks to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. If a woman has vaginal injuries which she claims are the result of a rape, the fact that she had sex with other men shortly before and/or after the alleged rape undermines the rape claim. The injuries could have been caused by the sex with other men, and it's unlikely that a woman who has just been injured in a rape probably would have sex with other men shortly afterwards.

It also speaks to the credibility of the defendant's story. In the Kobe Bryant case the alleged rape victim had sex with Bryant soon after meeting him. Bryant says the sex was consensual, his accuser says it was rape. The accuser's propensity for sexual liaisons with strangers supports Bryant's contention that the sex was consensual, and is relevant to the case.

In a debate with two leaders of the National Organization for Women in the San Francisco Chronicle two years ago I wrote:

"A Colorado judge issued a highly controversial decision late last month on a matter that should not be controversial. Judge Terry Ruckriegle ruled that Kobe Bryant, who is facing four years to life in prison for an alleged rape he claims was consensual sex, can introduce evidence that his accuser had other sexual encounters in the 72 hours before her medical examination for the alleged assault.

"Various reports in the press have labeled the decision a 'bombshell for prosecutors' that 'threatens all women'; Ruckriegle has been likened by the New York Daily News to a man who has 'tiptoed into a minefield.'

"This is not the old-fashioned 'tar the victim' defense, however. Bryant's defense team believes that the microscopic vaginal injuries the prosecution claims were suffered in the alleged assault were instead the product of various consensual sexual encounters.

"Ruckriegle's decision followed another controversial ruling granting a defense motion that Bryant's accuser not be referred to as 'the victim' in court. This motion was contested by both the prosecution and by victims' rights organizations, which filed amicus briefs and complained that Ruckriegle's decision created an anti-woman double-standard.

"That these decisions have drawn controversy demonstrates how rape-shield laws have stacked cases against accused men. They also reflect the success of victim advocates in minimizing and concealing a real and damaging problem: Many accusations of rape are false...

"The Bryant case represents a turning point in the history of rape trials, as the judiciary, the public and the media have finally begun to pay proper attention to the real danger of innocent men being convicted of rape."

My column Kobe Bryant Ruling a Step Towards Equity in Rape Trials
appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 1, 2004 as a point/counterpoint. The counterpoint, written by Terry O'Neill and Melanie Stafford of the National Organization for Women, is Survivors must not be twice victimized. After the column came out many people asked me my opinion as to whether Bryant was innocent or guilty. At the time I wrote:

"I have no position as to Bryant's innocence or guilt. As I mentioned in the article, the case against him appears marginal. Also, I'm suspicious of an accuser who is mentally unstable--she was hospitalized for a suicide attempt two months before the alleged rape.

"And, as I discuss in the article, false accusations of rape are common. Still, the feminists are correct that there are some powerful and/or famous men who don't know the meaning of the word 'no.' A talented and pampered athlete such as Bryant might fit the description.

"I do deeply oppose any harassment of the alleged victim. See Sacks Blasts Those Harassing Kobe's Accuser  (IFeminists, 7/29/03)."

Two years later, those sentiments still seem valid to me.

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Praise for an Enemy

As you know, when a political opponent does something positive, I try hard to acknowledge it. To cite one example, before hosting a debate with feminist firebrand Martha Burk on His Side with Glenn Sacks I made certain to praise her for her support of embattled Cuban father Juan Gonzalez in his efforts to recover his son Elian--see Martha Burk v. Warren Farrell on the 'Wage Gap' (5/22/05). This is unlike my many misguided feminist detractors, who never seem to see anything positive in anybody who opposes the modern version of feminism.

Now fairness demands that (gulp) I praise one of the nation's biggest opponents of men and fathers--California State Senator Sheila Kuehl. Over the past two decades Kuehl has done great harm in California, and her legislation has had effect on that of many other states.

Kuehl has sponsored and helped pass domestic violence legislation which makes it easier for unscrupulous mothers to drive fathers out of their children's lives by false charges of domestic violence. In my co-authored column Some Progress for California Fathers, but Still a Long Way to Go (Pasadena Star-News & Affiliated Papers, Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 6/18/06) I wrote:

"The OJ Simpson case helped usher in draconian domestic violence policies which have victimized many innocent men. State-mandated mandatory/presumptory arrest policies exhort police to make arrests on domestic violence calls. 'Primary aggressor' policies pressure officers to view men as the instigators of domestic violence incidents. As a result, many men have been arrested on flimsy evidence or when they were acting in self-defense."

Kuehl was more responsible for these policies than any other California political figure.

Also, Kuehl very much opposed the LaMusga decision and our campaign to preserve it. To learn more, see my co-authored column Is a Pool More Important than a Dad? (San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4/04), and California Senate Leader Pulls Anti-Child Bill in Face of Huge Opposition (MND Newswire, 8/16/04).

In 1993 Kuehl told a news conference that incidences of domestic violence increased by 40 percent on Super Bowl Sunday. The media ran with the story and it was blared across newspapers and TV stations from coast to coast. As Christina Hoff Sommers carefully explained in her book Who Stole Feminism?, there is no truth to this claim. Despite the fact that  several major publications, including the Washington Post and the Boston Globe, ran retractions, the story became an Urban legend whose negative impact is felt even today.

Kuehl has also opposed and tried to block paternity fraud legislation in California.

I criticized Kuehl both in my column Kuehl's Marriage License Bill Ignores Male Victims of Domestic Violence (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 6/13/02) and, more recently, Kuehl's Spousal Rape Bill Will Harm Innocent Men (Sacramento News & Review, 6/15/06).

I interviewed Kuehl at length a few years ago, and personally she's nice enough. However, she's saddled with the feminist "men have everything/women have nothing" world view to the point where she is unable to make objective decisions about issues involving gender. When I suggested to her that we need services for male victims of domestic violence, she replied that since men are a "well-funded community," if we want services for male victims we should go organize them ourselves. Government funding, however, is for abused women.

My mother often says "people grow and change," and perhaps we are seeing a little growth in Sheila.

As I mentioned in a few weeks ago, Mike Robinson and the California Alliance for Families and Children are trying to defeat or force an amendment to AB 2051. AB 2051 specifically excludes male victims of domestic violence and their children from DV-related services, an exclusion made at the insistence of the California National Organization for Women and taxpayer-funded domestic violence groups. To learn more about the bill, see my co-authored column AB 2051 Moves California in Wrong Direction on Domestic Violence, (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 6/1/06].

Many of the biggest names in the domestic violence field worldwide have signed a letter to the California legislature opposing AB 2051. The signatories call on California to stop ignoring male victims and their children, and note:

"'The data is without question--domestic violence affects both men and women. The politicization of this issue must stop and services must be provided to all children and their parent victims.'"

Robinson reports that in a hotly contested hearing on the bill last week, "Kuehl admitted that we have made our case, and that there are a lot of heterosexual male victims. I almost fell out of my chair."

Kuehl's evolving view may help point the way to meaningful reforms in current California domestic violence policy. Whatever happens, I salute Kuehl for her honest and politically difficult admission.

Finally What Child Support Payers Need
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Thomas Jefferson Murdered Women?

Last week I discussed the case of Darren Mack, the Nevada man who (allegedly) stabbed his ex-wife and shot and wounded a family court judge earlier this month. I wrote:

"I'm not sure that this even needs to be said but I will say it anyway--I condemn without  qualification the crimes allegedly committed by Darren Mack in Nevada last week.

"Mack was angered by his divorce and custody case. Some on the not insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers' rights movement see Mack as some sort of freedom fighter. Most of the commentary by other fathers' rights advocates seem to be of the 'he couldn't take it any more and snapped' variety.

"I don't buy it. Though everyone is focusing on Mack's attempted murder of a judge, everyone seems to forget that he first stabbed and killed his ex-wife. After murdering her, he shot the judge through the judge's third-floor office window with a sniper rifle from over 100 yards away. That's not 'snapping'--that's premeditated murder.

"Mack is not a good man trapped in a bad system. He is a bad guy. Because of men like him the system had to create protections for women, and unscrupulous women have misused those protections to victimize countless innocent men. Men like Mack aren't the byproducts of the system's problems--they are the problem."

I contrasted Mack with the heroic English father David Chick, who was denied access to his little girl, and who launched a world famous, traffic snarling, peaceful, six day, one-man protest atop a 150 foot high crane near the Tower Bridge in London in November 2003. I noted:

"David Chick acted with humanity and courage. Darren Mack possesses neither."

Recent reports indicate that Mack is even sicker than I had imagined. According to this article "[during] a search of Mack's townhouse, police turned up a shoe, towels and a t-shirt all with red stains after his ex-wife, was found dead there. Also, police say they discovered more than 50 boxes of ammunition and four empty rifle cases."

According to Mack's room held bomb parts (Reno Gazette-Journal, 6/20/06), Mack "had bombmaking materials in his bedroom."

"The materials, when mixed together and attached to a blasting cap or shot at, will explode, said Washoe County sheriff's Sgt. Lou Gazes, head of the Consolidated Bomb Squad for Washoe County, Reno and Sparks and who was at Mack's apartment.

"'There were materials that could have made a bomb,' Gazes said Monday...

"The police search of Mack's apartment also found 'several boxes of firearm ammunition, including .223-caliber and .243-caliber rifle ammunition which was strewn about a floor in one of the bedrooms'...and police found 'an empty rifle case which contained a receipt from the purchase of a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle by Darren Roy Mack'...the rifle was 'equipped with a laser sighting device.'"

Mack and some of his supporters at the extreme end of the fathers' rights movement are comparing his actions to those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the other revolutionaries who took up arms against British tyranny. I used to be a History teacher but I guess my memory is failing me a bit--tell me, Darren, when did Thomas Jefferson stab women?

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 her at or go to

Lisa Scott Launches
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney Lisa Scott has launched to expose the truth about what is happening in our family law system. Lisa, the all-time leader in appearances on His Side with Glenn Sacks, says that she was "tired of having her stuff rejected by elitist bar publications and politically-correct newspapers" and decided to start her own website.

Tom Ellis Rides Against the Wind
Congratulations to Thomas Ellis on selling 1,000 copies of his self-published The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything. It's quite an accomplishment, given that the publishing industry gives vastly more attention to Women's Studies books than Men's Studies. Rantings describes the rise of feminism from the mid '70s to the present, through Ellis' personal experiences, and is loaded with outrageous stories. Available at Amazon and in Bulk.

New York Attorney General Candidate Supported Child Abuser

According to the article Stars light up state campaigns (New York Daily News, 6/25/06), Andrew Cuomo is squaring off against Democratic party politico Mark Green in the race for the Democratic party nomination for Attorney General of New York. I would root for Cuomo anyway, since he's my wife's old boss, but I noticed a problem with Green that should concern every father in New York State. According to the article:

"Bridget Marks, a Manhattan mom whose custody battle for her twin girls generated headlines nationwide in 2004 and 2005, said she was hitting the campaign trail for Green to return past kindnesses.

"'Mark was there for me from the beginning of my battle,' said Marks, who first met Green more than a decade ago and was impressed when he quietly showed up in court during her custody battle to lend support. 'His heart is in the right place.'"

As I've noted numerous times, Marks was found both by a trial court and by an Appellate court to have coached her then-four year-old twin girls to make false allegations of sexual molestation against their father. All five judges who have heard her case concluded that Marks had abused her children in this manner.

Marks ended up winning custody in part due to the widespread media sympathy she created through constant theatrics, playing victim, and her determination to place her little girls in the public spotlight. After losing custody of the girls to John Aylsworth, her ex-boyfriend, she successfully took her side of the story to the public via appearances on Larry King Live, PrimeTime Live, The O'Reilly Factor, and Dr. Phil, and through quotes in one-sided "news" articles in the New York Daily News and the New York Post. (Aylsworth and his attorney Patricia Grant declined to speak publicly until Grant's appearance on His Side with Glenn Sacks on April 3.  To listen or read a transcript of that show, which both the New York Post and the New York Daily News quoted from, click here).

It is sadly indicative of the weakness of our movement that an individual like Marks would be considered an asset, instead of an embarrassment, in a political campaign.

Concerned about 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 973-243-2600.

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 Cosmo Monkhouse.

How to Win Shared Custody
If you are an active, engaged, committed, dedicated, loving parent facing a divorce, family law attorney Nicholas Palermo's The Ten Essential Elements to Winning Joint Shared Physical and Legal Custody can help you protect your relationship with your children.

Domestic Violence Expert Criticizes System's Anti-Male Bias

Domestic violence expert Dr. Donald Dutton, who has appeared in this E-newsletter numerous times, criticizes the domestic violence system's anti-male bias in this article. Dutton writes:

"A few years ago, a woman arrived home from work in Saskatoon to find her husband, who had obviously spent the day drinking, complaining of irritation with their fractious child. She insisted she needed to rest before making dinner. She awoke to find him in a rage straddling her and brandishing a kitchen knife, which he used to cut her abdomen. Bleeding, terrified, she managed to call 911. The police arrived within minutes. They observed her plight, spoke to her husband and then, responding to the unspoken but powerful institutional guidelines routinely applied in such cases, arrested ... her. In spite of her wound, she spent the night in a jail cell, and was released the next morning.

"As it stands, this story makes no sense -- and indeed would have aroused national indignation if it were completely true. But I deliberately misled the reader on one particular. In the real story, by no means a unique one in police archives, the genders were reversed: The man arrived home after a 12-hour shift; the child's mother was drunk; the man lay down; the woman stabbed him in a rage; the police didn't take his injuries seriously; they accepted the woman's explanation -- probably self-defence -- and arrested the man.

"Unfortunately, such gender bias in the law-enforcement system and beyond is typical, not exceptional. A double standard for men and women, applied in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) -- as well as in family law, including spousal support and child custody cases -- has become commonplace in most Western societies over the last 25 years. And in spite of a widening stream of incontrovertible statistical evidence to the contrary, the myth persists that it is women, and only women, who are the victims of IPV."

"The stereotype that unprovoked men purposefully assault women, and never the reverse, is so ingrained in our public discourse that participants in research on IPV -- not just lay people but health professionals as well -- presented with a scenario in which one partner abuses another, perceive it as abuse only if the assaulter is identified as male."

I quoted Dutton extensively in my column Domestic Violence Treatment Policies Put Abused Women in Harm's Way (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 11/7/05). The column criticizes domestic violence treatment programs for following an ideological, women good/man bad model, as opposed to actually dealing with the psychological problems that abusive men have. I wrote:

"Psychologist Donald G. Dutton, author of The Abusive Personality: Violence and Control in Intimate Relationships, asserts that personality disorders are the cause of most domestic violence. According to Dutton:

"'Treatment providers who work with abusive men are very frustrated by the current domestic violence treatment paradigm. Research shows that Duluth-oriented treatments are absolutely ineffective, and have no discernible impact on rates of recidivism. These methods cannot work because they preclude patients from developing the crucial therapeutic bond with their treatment providers. However, when we treat offenders like normal patients by focusing on personality disorders and employing cognitive-behavioral treatments, we see progress.'"

Dutton recently released Rethinking Domestic Violence, and is one of North America's leading proponents of sanity in the domestic violence sphere. To learn more about Dutton's new book, click here. Dutton's email address is

Dad's Time Tracker - Get More Time With Your Children and Manage Your Child Support
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Father: A Child's Right
Visit to find information about child custody issues related to fathers and their children's rights, as well as book reviews on parenting, custody and divorce. A fun and exciting father & son baseball component is added for enjoyment. Buy books, magazines and DVDs for your children. Learn about the Michigan Shared Parenting bill.

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Ex-Convicts Who Are Fathers

In Illinois Fatherhood Council Recommends New Reforms in Family Law, Child Support (Chicago Sun-Times, 6/18/06) family law attorney Jeff Leving and I discussed the problems faced by fathers who have been incarcerated. We wrote:

"The Council also recommends measures to assist incarcerated or formerly incarcerated fathers, many of whom went to prison for nonviolent drug offenses. The Council urges the Department of Employment Security and the Department of Corrections to help facilitate ex-offenders in obtaining expungements of their records. They also suggest a law or program to abate or adjust incarcerated offenders' support obligations, since ex-offenders have often accrued large arrearages during their incarceration that they are unable to pay upon release."

Our family law system's treatment of ex-convicts could not be more asinine and counterproductive. In my co-authored column Schwarzenegger Should Sign Bill to Reduce Prisoner Recidivism (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/21/05) we wrote:

"AB 862, introduced by Assemblywoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), adds a section to the Penal Code which would require that upon incarceration, every inmate under the authority of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation receive materials assisting them in lowering their child support obligations. Currently inmates--many of them mothers incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses--rack up thousands of dollars in child support arrearages while they are incarcerated. The vast majority of these arrearages are not owed to custodial parents, but instead to the state to reimburse welfare and foster care costs.

"Everybody loses under the current system. The state tries in vain to beat huge arrearages--sometimes $20,000 or more--out of dead broke, unskilled, and uneducated ex-offenders. Because interest and penalties accrue rapidly, many former prisoners struggle under a staggering debt they could never hope to pay off. Some return to jail because of nonpayment of child support. Others are re-incarcerated after turning to illegal activity to support themselves, because at their low wage legal jobs 40 or 50% of their paychecks are garnished to pay their arrearages and current support. For ex-offenders interested in and capable of playing a meaningful role in their children's lives, these debts often make such a role impossible.

"In all cases, the costs of the crimes committed and of re-incarcerating the ex-offenders vastly outweigh the puny sums the state collects in back child support. According to former California State Controller Kathleen Connell, the average annual cost of state-level incarceration in California is $21,000 per prisoner. By contrast, AB 862's total cost to the state is only $80,000 a year.

"The current system is also unfair to ex-offenders. Child support is based on income and the ability to pay. Incarcerated parents have neither. Prisoners pay for their crimes with their time behind bars and should not be subject to other punishments which are artificially extended beyond their sentences."

Of course, whenever you talk sense on child support issues or suggest that ex-convicts have paid their debt to society and deserve fair treatment, you're going to be a target for yahoo politicians looking for a sound bite, and this time was no exception. To read about California Republican Assemblyman Todd Spitzer's attacks on my column, see California Republican Legislator Says Glenn Coddles Deadbeats, Convicts.

Help for 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.

Tree House Solutions 
Tree House Solutions, LLC is a growing and evolving resource designed to meet the emotional and informational needs of parents who are going through divorce and those already divorced. Tree House activities are composed of live, real time teleconferences on a weekly basis. These sessions are conducted by two highly experienced mental health practitioners, versed in high conflict divorce. Drs. Bone and Evans offer a wide spectrum of suggestions and education regarding the divorce process and co-parenting with difficult former spouses.

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 PALERMO

Column: Why Dads Matter

My new co-authored column Why Dads Matter (Houston Chronicle & others, 6/18/06) discusses research showing fathers' importance in their children's lives. In the column Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, and I wrote:

"...according to a long-term study conducted in the United States and in New Zealand and published in Child Development, a father's absence greatly increases the risk of teen pregnancy. The study found that it mattered little whether the child was rich or poor, black or white, born to a teen mother or an adult mother, or raised by parents with functional or dysfunctional marriages. What mattered was dad.

"A Journal of Marriage and Family study found that the presence of a father was five times more important in predicting teen drug use than any other sociological factor, including income and race. A published Harvard review of four major studies found that, accounting for all major socioeconomic factors, children without a father in the home are twice as likely to drop out of high school or repeat a grade as children who live with their fathers. A Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency study concluded that fatherlessness is so predictive of juvenile crime that, as long as there was a father in the home, children of poor and wealthy families had similar juvenile crime rates.

"Adult children of divorce realize dads are important. A published Arizona State University study found that more than two-thirds believed that, after divorce, 'living equal amounts of time with each parent is the best arrangement for children.'"

To read the whole column, click here.

To write Letters to the Editor concerning the issues discussed in the column, use the information below:

Online Support for Men Going Through Divorce
Don't feel isolated, frightened, confused or alone when going through your divorce.  Get the help and support you need without leaving your home at the Ottawa Divorce Forums

The LaMusga Company
The LaMusga Company provides customized solutions to assist individuals and business owners in reaching their financial goals. The LaMusga Company is committed to helping you accomplish your long-term financial objectives.

Dads, Learn to Take Charge of Your Case in Family Court
Go to to take a comprehensive ONLINE course that teaches you how to handle your case - with or without a lawyer. Learn to Fight for your rights and your children -all for one-hour of a lawyer's fees. Learn to tell public about the tyranny that fathers face in these courts: Reason for Revolution: The Tyranny Against Fathers, Family, and Freedom.

Column: Illinois Fatherhood Council Recommends New Reforms in Family Law, Child Support

My new co-authored column Illinois Fatherhood Council Recommends New Reforms in Family Law, Child Support (Chicago Sun-Times, 6/18/06) discusses the new recommendations of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood. Family law attorney Jeff Leving is the chairman of the Council. In the column Jeff and I wrote:

" 2003 the legislature created the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood to identify obstacles that impede fathers' involvement in their children's lives and devise strategies to remove them. The Council's report will be released next month. Its two central recommendations involve family law and child support.

"The Council's first recommendation is to reform the family law system to eliminate anti-father gender bias and facilitate responsible father involvement...A related problem identified by the Council is the scarcity of affordable and pro-bono legal services for low-income fathers. The state represents custodial parents free of charge in child support matters, and many programs provide free legal aid to mothers. By contrast, when a father seeks to enforce his visitation rights, block a move, or dispute a questionable child support arrearage, he is on his own...

"Many Illinois fathers who can play an important and positive role in their children's lives face needless obstacles. Policies based on blaming and punishing dads may make good political sound bites, but they are counterproductive for society, and hurtful to children and the fathers they love and need. The Council believes it's time for policymakers to take a fresh look at dads."

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Sun-Times concerning Reform family law system to give dads a chance to help their kids (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/7/06), write to

The Secrets of Happily Married Men
How can a man achieve a long and happy marriage? If you've been checking out advice columns or seeing a therapist, you may have been looking in the wrong place. Despite all the advances in brain technology, and all of that we have learned about developmental psychology--men and women are given the same advice about solving problems. But when we ask men what works for them, we hear a different story.

How Does Sex Discrimination Affect Men and Boys?
The National Coalition of Free Men is a non-profit educational & civil rights organization that looks at the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys. NCFM helps provide men a unified voice on important political and social issues.

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. Gurney, 

Hogan's Heroes Beat Back Dad-Bashing Bill

Last week we reported in Massachusetts Dads Target of Governor's Grandstanding that Massachusetts Governor Milt Romney is grandstanding for his presidential candidacy by beating up on dads. Dan Hogan, Executive Director of Massachusetts' Fathers & Families, wrote:

"Yesterday, Governor Romney to great fanfare and at a large press conference released details of his bill to force dads to pay even more child support in a state that already has one of the highest rates in the country. His bill would allow the Department of Revenue to promulgate regulations governing how much dads must pay to cover the costs of covering their children through Mass Health, the state-funded health insurance program for the indigent."

Now Hogan has announced that they have beaten back this bill, which has now been referred back to committee for more study--often the graveyard for bills. To learn more, see this Statehouse News Service article. Hogan and Fathers & Families founder Ned Holstein testified against the bill (click here) and did some economic modeling of the bill's effects here. Nice work, particularly given the difficulty of operating in Massachusetts, one of the worst states for divorced dads.

Added note: several months ago I expressed mild annoyance to Ned that Dan was second in command instead of being the Executive Director of F & F, because if Dan were the Executive Director I could refer to F & F in this E-newsletter as "Hogan's Heroes." A few months later Ned stepped aside and put Dan in charge of the organization. Thanks, guys...

Are You Really the Father?
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 testing.

Congressional Candidate Takes Strong Stand for Noncustodial Parents' Rights
In 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik had a strong noncustodial parents' rights platform. 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

Legal Help for Fathers in New Jersey
If you're a New Jersey father facing a divorce or separation, the law firm of Pitman, Pitman, Mindas, Grossman & Lee can help.

Alec Baldwin Defamed

We have previously discussed the Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger custody battle. As I've noted, Basinger's attempts to alienate Baldwin's 10 year-old daughter from him are so bad that even his ex-mother-in-law is protesting. An article in the Irish Examiner explained:

"Kim Basinger's mother has blasted her own daughter for wrecking relations between her ex-husband Alec Baldwin and the couple's daughter.

"Baldwin recently took Basinger to court in a bid to extend his custody terms after the actress allegedly violated a court imposed settlement, and now little Ireland's grandmother is speaking out about the court battle, which has now been settled.

"Ann Basinger admits she sides with Baldwin, who she calls 'wonderful,' adding, 'My heart is sad for Ireland. She's the one that's suffering the most. All this is killing her.

"'I think Kim has tried to alienate Ireland from her father. Alec loves his daughter with all his heart. He really is a family man...Kim and I used to be close but now I don't see Ireland very often because Kim won't let me and that's because I won't take her side about everything...She's my daughter and I love her, but I hate what she's doing.'"

Earlier this week the Associated Press wrote a story about the custody battle which made headlines in hundreds of newspapers. Some examples included:

"Judge Orders Alec Baldwin To Face Psychological Examination," "Alec Baldwin To Undergo Psychiatrical Evaluation," "Alec Baldwin Must Undergo Evaluation," "Judge wants psychologist to assess Alec Baldwin,"

Also, my favorite--"Putting the Looney back in the Looney left."

All of these imply that Baldwin is the violent headcase Basinger pretends he is as part of her attempts to alienate Baldwin's daughter from him.

In journalism we say "nobody reads the retractions." Several days after the original story, the Associated Press published the following "clarification":

"In a June 10 story, The Associated Press reported that a judge wants a psychologist to evaluate actor Alec Baldwin to determine whether he is fit to see his 10-year-old daughter more often as part of an ongoing custody battle with former wife Kim Basinger.

"The story should have said Baldwin requested an evaluation as part of his request to change the conditions of the child custody order, and that a judge said an evaluator also needs to spend time with his ex-wife and child as part of the process."

In other words, Baldwin's not being dragged off to a shrink by order of concerned judges, but instead is being evaluated (along with Basinger) as part of a normal request for a custody modification. Oops...

File Taxes Online with  Professional Help allows you to file your taxes, check your refund status, and have your return reviewed by an experienced tax professional--all online.

Looking for a Home in the Bay Area?
Realtor Janet Attard utilizes current and timely data to effectively sell your present property and find the perfect home or estate of your dreams. Janet knows the local real estate market and can often find you the special property or estate before it goes on the market. She specializes in vineyard and estate properties in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties. To learn more, click here or contact Janet at

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 can help.

Update on Canadian Parental Alienation Case

In Canadian Court Nails Jell-O to a Wall I discussed the way a Canadian court accomplished the all-too-difficult of holding a divorcing mother accountable for her behavior in a Parental Alienation case. A Canadian court transferred custody from a divorced woman who had sabotaged her children's relationship with their estranged father. The court wrote:

"'We recognize, as did the trial judge, that the remedy of granting custody to the father is a dramatic one. However, that remedy was supported by the expert evidence and by the mother's persistent, ingrained and deep-rooted inability to support the children's relationship with the father,' said three judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision this week."

In this new article it becomes apparent that mom is still trying to poison the children:

"The mother maintains the boys remain deeply insecure and upset 10 months after the court ordered them to leave her home and live with their father.

"'The other day, on Tuesday, (one of the boys) was crying and saying, 'Don't give up mommy. Don't, don't give up mommy,' she said, imitating the young child's plaintive cry.

"[Judge] Lafreniere observed that the mother seemed unable to comprehend that she, by her behavior, might well be causing her children's reaction.

"The mother rejected that notion in a recent interview.

"'These children have their own minds and they know where they want to be. It has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with what they've known, what they've grown up with and what's familiar to them,' she said...

"The judge gave generous access to the mom, who has her sons two evenings a week and three out of four weekends a month. The rest of the time, they live with their dad.

"The father acknowledges that on occasion one of the boys will be a little sad when the mom drops them off, but within 30 seconds he and his brother are involved in some activity and everything is fine again.

"'When the boys are with me, they're happy. They're living for the moment and no, they're not devastated. I do everything I can to make sure they're secure and happy,' he said...

"'What I want out of all of this,' said the dad, 'is two 23-year-old boys who are happy, well adjusted and respectable.'"

The mother's rhetoric is right from the Parental Alienator's handbook--insist that the children are in dire straits with their fathers, but assure the children and the public that you are doing everything you can to liberate them. You're struggling against desperate odds in a system stacked against heroic moms like you. When the children themselves repeat the words and sentiments you put into their mouths, stand back and pretend that this is just how the kids feel, they make up their own minds, it has nothing--nothing!--to do with anything you've done.

One saw some good examples of these tactics in PBS's anti-father film Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, which we protested. One of the mothers in the film had been found culpable of multiple acts of abuse by a California Juvenile Court, and had both her daughters adjudged as dependents of the Juvenile Court. Yet even she did the "heroic mom fighting for her children" shtick, and the film's producers with a straight face included it in the film.

Remember, too, that in the Canadian case these boys are only 5 years old. How on earth would they independently get a fully-formed image of their dad--who they were rarely allowed to see anyway--as this demonic individual?

The story also notes that during the years dad was pushed to the margins of his children's lives, he "began to volunteer in children's kindergarten class and joined their school's parent-teacher association" as a way to keep in touch with them. Dedicated Glenn Sacks readers know that this is similar to what happened in the LaMusga case decided by the California Supreme Court in 2005. In my co-authored column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05) we wrote:

"Gary LaMusga's son's kindergarten teacher testified about the tactics LaMusga's ex-wife, Susan Navarro, used to try to turn his children against him. The kindergarten teacher explained that Navarro asked her to keep track of the time Gary spent volunteering in his little son's kindergarten classroom so it could be deducted from his visitation time with his son.

"According to the teacher, the LaMusga boy told her 'my dad lies in court...if you tell the judge...he could talk to you' and said that his mom had told him this. The teacher testified:

"'I finally sat down with him and told him that it was OK for him to love his daddy. I basically gave him permission to love his father. And he seemed brightened by that...'

"The teacher continued:

"'The next day that Gary had seen the kids he came to me the following morning and said, 'what did you say to him?...He was so happy. He just greeted me with open arms...we had one of the best evenings that we have had in a long time.' And I just shared with Gary at that point that I had given his son permission to love his father....I'm not sure that he was aware that he could do that.'"

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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