Thanks to ACFC for submitting this Sun, 5 Jul 1998 letter by Robert and Marie
I am writing this letter to tell the country about a cruel injustice and blatant
discrimination that is going on in the U. S. right now.
My wife and I are both divorced with children from a previous
marriage. We have both been granted Joint Legal Custody of our children and are both
named the Non-Custodial parent. We are ordered by the court to pay
every month, and the Custodial parent is ordered to allow visitation.
Here is the injustice:
If we fail to pay
child support the custodial parent has a
government agency to get the money for the parent with no out of pocket expenses.
If we fail to return the children to the custodial parent at
the end of the visitation I can be charged with kidnapping, which is a felony.
If the custodial parent ignores the court order and refuses to allow
visitation as ordered, we are forced to retain an attorney to have the case tried, which
takes time and money. The police department will not enforce the court order.
The courts require a petition filed (which can take months and be very expensive).
Social services will not help either.
Furthermore, the most the custodial parent can be charged with
is Contempt of Court, which is a misdemeanor.
Where is the justice in this? One parent has a
government agency to protect them while the other parent has to retain an attorney, wait
months, and hope to be granted a new court order, that the custodial parent can also
Money due for
child support can be collected any time, but the
missed days of visitation can never be replaced.
It is not just the parent that suffers either. The child is
robbed of time with their other natural parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and
siblings. And the family members of the non-custodial parents suffer as well.
Lately there has been a lot of talk about "Dead Beat
Dads", but no talk about the other parent, the ones who love their children and
cherish every moment they get to share with their kids.
Even though we have Joint Legal Custody, we do not have joint legal
rights or protection. The current laws need to be updated so that the other parent
gets the same protection from the government.
We are urging everyone that has had a similar problem, known someone
with this problem, or just thinks this is unjust, to write their congressman and senators
demanding a change in the laws as well an agency for the protection of the other
parent. In all fairness we deserve the same rights and protection the custodial
You can also write us and we will forward your letters to congress
Webpage and other links: http://members.bellatlantic.net/~rrrrbrt/
See also: Family Law
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