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Hard-Hitting Child Support Changes
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  December 20, 2005  
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Fathers Rights In Divorce Newsletter
This newsletter is put together by Attorney Rinaldo Del Gallo, spokesman of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, who practices in family law. He may be reached at 413-443-3150 for those needing legal help or support.

Monday, October 03, 2005
Its hard to believe that it has already been five years since the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition came up with a novel idea—instead of protesting in front of courthouses, we began participating in parades.  With perfect weather and its 50 year anniversary, parade attendance was very high. 


 Yesterday marked the 5th time that our group has participated in the Fall Foliage Parade—we plan to participate in the Halloween Parade this year. Chuck Wright and Scott Stern followed in a van, played music, and handed out candy.


Thanks to Pennel Construction for helping us out in a major way with this years float.


As usual, I was able to watch the beginning and end of parade—it was a fun.  Frankly, I think it is more enjoyable to watch the parade, hop on the float at the beginning, and watch the end of the parade, then it is to just watch the parade.


The parade was very long this year.
One of the fathers from our group lost his bid for temporary custody of his children.  The children had met with me at one of our informal meetings at the Wednesday concert series and told me that their mother was physically abusing them.  The oldest son also said he frequently witnessed his mother being physically assaulted by her boyfriend.  The kids are quiet and gentle—nice kids.  So, the kids, quite nervous, got the courage to speak to DSS.  DSS sustained the allegation of abuse. 


Enter Judge Geoffrion.  Hey, we can’t go to the extreme measure of actually granting custody to a father, can we?  Motion for temporary custody denied.


I couldn’t believe it—if you can’t win with these facts, you can’t win.
In the news




(The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition neither endorses or does not endorse any viewpoint in these news stories or opinion pieces, unless explicitly stated otherwise)

BOSTON -- State lawmakers have proposed legislation that would give fathers greater custodial rights of their children in divorce and separation cases.

State Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut, has filed a bill that would give temporary shared legal and physical custody to both parents, as long as both parents are considered by a judge to be fit.

Currently, judges determine the custody of a child based on what is in the child's best interest. But critics say that judges in child custody cases tend to favor the mother when determining sole custody of the child.

Garry, who is also a family law attorney, said that while the current law gives both parents shared legal custody, and both parents are involved in making parental decisions for the child, only one parent is given physical custody.

“Unfortunately, it really comes to a point that people are using their children as a bargaining chip. That's the most unfortunate part of all,” Garry said. “There are difficulties, such as who is going to have the children on Christmas Eve. But those are also problems in sole custody cases.”

Proponents of the bill cited the results of a nonbinding referendum in last November's election, in which 86 percent of the voters in 31 legislative districts in Massachusetts supported the concept of shared parenting.

The initiative asked people if they would instruct their legislator to vote in favor of legislation to create a “strong presumption” in favor of joint physical and legal custody.

Stephen Carrier, president of the Massachusetts Children's Rights Council, said there are numerous benefits to a child of a shared custody arrangement, including the fact that it cuts down on unnecessary litigation.

“Denying custody and limiting access tells a good parent that ‘You are no longer important or necessary to a child,'” Carrier said.

Opponents of so-called shared parenting laws argue that they do little to help the child, and are focused on making both parents feel important.

Some opponents also say that children are better off living in one home and sleeping in one bed, as opposed to traveling between the homes of each parent.

Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia have laws that presume legal custody to be shared by both parents, while eight other states allow for shared custody when both parents agree to it.

Garry's proposal still leaves it to the discretion of a judge to revoke a shared custody agreement in a situation where a member of the family abuses alcohol or drugs, or has deserted the child, and whether “have a history of being able and willing to cooperate in matters concerning the child.”

The bill is being considered by the Legislature's Judiciary Committee.





Thank you Governor Schwarzenegger
Notable Quotes: “Marriage has unique social purposes that can not easily be replaced by a series of contracts. Marriage binds couples to each other. But marriage also binds children to parents. Marriage assigns children to their biological parents, and assigns to those parents the rights and responsibilities for the care of the child. These purposes apply to opposite sex couples in a way that they simply cannot apply to same sex couples. . . The law makes sperm donors “legal strangers” to the children conceived with their sperm. (I doubt that men would donate their sperm if they thought the woman might come after them for child support, or that their child might someday come after them for a relationship.) But why should the law provide this barrier between children and their fathers? What social good is served by allowing women to make a plan that permanently deprives their child of a relationship with his or her father?” (The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is neutral on the issue of gay marriage.)
Article by Kentucky Child Support Enforcement Director, who says Glenn Sacks got it wrong.  Apparently, one name was not on a list.  After blasting Sacks and Leving for just offering “opinions,” he virtually offers no facts of his own.  He wants to suggest dads are not “dead broke” but “deadbeats” but offers only an anecdotal case to support his claim.  Another interesting claim—after being harassed, payments are made.  Hmmm . . . could it be that relatives are simply making the payments to avoid the harassment?  If so, that’s not collection, that’s ransom.
UK Father Claims Organized Miscarriage of Justice
Men's News Daily - Guerneville,CA,USA
... According to
fathers' rights group, Mankind, evidence used in courts, which highlights the benefits of awarding custody to the mother is often flawed and ...
Unfair Child Support Laws
posted September 29, 2005
Let’s take a guy who has lost everything and led a tough life dealing with depression. He gets a job and pays his child support weekly. Then he opens a bank account to make weekly deposits in and offers the account to the Child Support Recovery, and they say they can't deduct from his checking account.

Let's take this guy to court, charge him by the state with no court appointed attorney, put him in jail, give him a record which makes it tougher for him to get a job. Let's make sure that he stays a dead beat by charging unfair interest and penalties. Let’s give him a social option to join crime by telling him "We don't care where you get the money, just pay it now."

So let's put him in jail, use other tax money to support him rather than him support himself while paying the best he can.

I am not an attorney or judge, nor am I a Wal-Mart building politician. But I assure you I have more common sense than destroying people who have a tough time in life.

So let us show the world that we are an unselfish, non greedy, God fearing, trusting, helping, intelligent nation that can find real ways to deal with social problems that just take the cheap way to jail.

Life is a terrible thing to waste.

Bill Breneman
Protester Climbs on Roof of Britain's Houses of Parliament
THE Howard Government's family law reforms may encourage women to raise allegations of violence to stop former husbands gaining access to their children. In a submission to the Government on the planned changes, the Family Court says a mother who wanted to keep her children away from their father might raise his history of "occasional fights in bars ... even if it has only moderate relevance to the child's safety".
Two charged for bridge stunt
Montreal Gazette - Montreal,Quebec,Canada
... charged with mischief on Tuesday after a major Montreal bridge was closed for 12 hours in a stunt aimed at pushing for more rights for fathers in custody cases ...
See all stories on this topic 
Don't be a 'Dad!', says Australian Parenting Group in response to ...
Pressbox.co.uk (press release) - London,UK
... and many women's groups are of the view that discrimination against fathers and children ... event of separation, you will more than likely not get custody of your ...
The Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition is an organization dedicated to promoting the Father/Child relationship and promoting gender equality in family law.