No loving father should go childless and no child should go fatherless...
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Action regarding Judge Sanderson

FATHERS is in the process of gathering information to file a joint complaint regarding Judge Cynthia Sanderson. If you have appeared in court before her and feel you were treated with bias, and unfairly discriminated against please contact us. See "File a Complaint" above on how to obtain a copy of the video tape of your hearing. Look for such statements as “The father will not let the mother be a mother”, “I knew what he was as soon as he walked into the court room”, “I don’t care how much evidence he presents it will not change my mind”. Also slurs such as “what excuse does he have now”, when she asks for “his” side of the case.


Child Support- $300 Million Business in Kentucky

According to our research, it appears that the State of Kentucky is currently receiving in excess of $45,000,000 in federal funds to award, collect, and distribute the $300,000,000 in annual child support. The more money the State awards in child support, the more the State receives from the Federal government. There is no incentive for the state to hold a couple together, or reconcile. The greater the number of divorce and custody cases, the more the state makes, the more state agencies are expanded to replace the parents, the more money the state needs. It is a vicious, financial machine, feeding on the well being of our children and thus the very life blood of our great State and Nation. At the expense of every tax paying citizen. Join us. Let’s fix this. For info about this program go to:


Beware EPOs


Unethical lawyers are advising their clients to issue EPOs, (emergency protection orders), as a sure fire means to win in custody disputes. Here’s how it works: No proof is needed to file an EPO, and there are no legal repercussions for filing false EPOs. Just make up something if you have to. In custody disputes the child/children are automatically taken away from the person the EPO was filed against. A smart lawyer can stall the court for months while the EPO is proven false and a new custody hearing is sought. By then the court will almost never remove the child from the deceitful parent because “change is harmful to the child”. It is being referred to in legal circles as a “slam dunk”, and has nothing to do with the well being of the child. And all taxpaying Kentuckians pay for this. False EPOs cause more anger and violence than they prevent! Join us. Let’s fix this.


                            Beware “Change is harmful to the child.”


   For years the court has used the excuse “change is harmful to the child” to separated fathers and their children quoting vague “studies” as a justification to award full and total control to one parent, (usually but not always the mother). What the court fails to recognize is the fact that in almost all cases the father is simply replaced with grandparents and complete strangers when the child is placed in daycare. What do the studies show about replacing a loving parent with complete strangers? The best parent is both parents! Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                             Who is Judging Us ?


   Many of our judges today have 8 years of college and are highly trained professionals. They have spent their nights and weekends working hard. What most lack however, is the practical experience of sitting on a river bank with a fishing pole in their hand beside their child, or coaching the little league team their child is on. Some of those that sit in judgment over divorce and custody cases have been divorced up to 3 times themselves. Some have never raised children. Who would hire someone to build them a house because they have read books on the subject, but never actually built a house? Or hire a mechanic who can’t keep his own car running?

   Many of these judges are heavily influenced by the clothes we wear and our physical appearance. They see farmer’s overalls and think of hired hand, not hard working dad. Some judges have issues remaining from their own divorces. In many cases their minds are made up before we ever open our mouths. Judges must be held accountable to common sense, sound reason, and the long term well-being of our children. Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                              Bias Legal Opinion


   As FATHERS grows we are coming in contact with senators, representatives, judges, lawyers, and various other state agencies. One point is becoming very clear. They almost all share the common opinion that the typical divorced father is a financial derelict and avoids his responsibility as a parent. In general they feel divorced fathers are unfit parents. This is not only grossly inaccurate, this type of sex/gender discrimination is illegal.

   The way in which Kentucky law is administered under this bias attitude today, a mother can have a affair on the father, leave and take the children, move hundreds of miles away, deny the father visitation, and yet the “system” will still treat the father with contempt.

   We can not expect justice when the legal system is operating on bias opinion rather than facts and reason. Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                                    Well-Being of the Child?


   In its ruthless determination to set minimum income requirements on non-custodial parents, (something never done to married couples or custodial parents), the court is labeling the child’s parent as a dead -beat then convicting them as a felon.

   Does the court not understand the impact on a young child of having there parent convicted as a felon and imprisoned. In many cases this is the final blow to ending the parent/child relationship.     Providing financially for the child is only one part of being a parent, but money is all the court is interested in.  Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                 Who Is Your Lawyer Fighting For?


   Who’s best interest does your lawyer have in mind if during divorce your ex is turned into a bitter enemy and you are assured of continued expensive legal battles? Who is fighting for your best interest if your child is emotionally harmed and requires expensive counseling to recover from the trauma of divorce? How does the community benefit from parents so devastated by legal battles they can not concentrate, lose their jobs, and sometimes turn to violence?

   A lawyer that has your best interest in mind will fully explain the terrible, devastating, long term effects that divorce has on all concerned, especially children. Counsel that has your best interest in mind will guide you away from vengeful and petty actions toward your ex, and work toward solutions not battles. A lawyer that truly has your best interest in mind will seek to avoid divorce if at all possible and guide you toward peaceful separation if divorce is inevitable. Seek wise counsel, not vengeance.


                                             Local Member’s Plea to Lawyers


   I sit in my quiet home this morning as I have for years now. When my children were first taken away from me by unethical legal tactics and a bitter ex, it literally hurt me to come home. It was so quiet. No noisy children playing, no childish spats to break up, no sleepy heads to wake up two or three times. It felt like coming home to a funeral home.

   There are no pictures hanging on the wall, and I have literally hundreds in boxes. The pictures constantly remind me of my daily pain. I can’t look at them without becoming depressed. Very few of my friends understand this.

   It has been years and I can now go for hours without thinking about my children. At first it was only minutes between thinking about them. I would go to bed with my children on my mind, have nightmares about being separated from them, then wake up tired, frustrated and angry. I would survive another day and felt grateful for hanging onto my home and job. It was only through God’s help I was able to keep going. Every day was a painful repeat of the day before, until a holiday or birthday. I would buy a present or card after giving more thought to what to buy than most people give to buying a car or house. I would agonize over getting it perfect so it would make a difference. It never did. Sometimes my ex would throw it away before my children ever saw it. I would be depressed for weeks. I finally stopped celebrating birthdays or holidays in any secular fashion and would just sit in church. Then I was labeled a parent that didn’t care about my children anymore.

My case started over a decade ago. The system has gotten steadily worse since then. It will not change until enough of us get involved and make it change. Please, Join us. Let’s fix this.




                                               Love and Hate


   Love and hate can not co-exist in the same heart in harmony. There will be a battle, and one will overcome the other.

   If there is enough love for your child, then this love will overcome the bitterness felt toward your ex, and you will do what is best for the child. This is probably the toughest sacrifice you will ever make, especially when you have every right to be angry and bitter.

   This does not mean you must keep your mouth shut and take abuse. This means you must stand for what is right, speak the truth firmly without malice, and think of the long term well-being of your child. Always remember your child is the fruit of the union of the both of you. Any harm done to either parent is felt by the child. Hurt the parent, hurt the child! Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                          Somebody Loves You


   If someone has cut this out and handed it to you, mailed it to you, or slipped it under your door, then someone cares very much about you. They are also afraid you will become emotional if they try to talk to you because they know you are hurting and can not discuss this without becoming upset. Please, please, think of your children. Put aside the pain and anger, and do what is best for your kids. In time you will feel differently, but the harm done to your children in the midst of this turmoil may last their entire lifetime. This trauma they are going through will affect their relationships years from now without them even realizing why they do not trust or even fear their significant others. By your actions you are teaching your children more than they will ever learn from your words. Teach them love, forgiveness, and compassion, not hate and revenge. Amen


                                            Raising Kids is Fun!


   This is a statement recently published on posters by a federally funded women’s group out to fix the problem of fatherless children. This is a reflection of the attitude held by many in positions of power.

   Part of raising kids should be fun, however if done right raising kids is the hardest work you will ever do. It requires being a parent first and the child’s buddy second. It requires sacrifice and tough love at times. It is not all fun.

   Especially if you are working 2 jobs, most of your income is going to your bitter ex-spouse, and the 4 to 5 days a month you get to see your children is spent trying to convince them you are not the sob their custodial parent is teaching them you are. Then raising kids is not fun, it’s hell. Let’s put some of the fun back in both parent’s lives! Join us. Let’s fix this.


Going to court over custody and child related issues is similar to acting out a play. Your lawyer will give you your lines to say beforehand. As long as you say what fit’s the court‘s preconceived perception you are ok. Neither party is held accountable for inaccuracies, and sometimes downright lies, as long as you phrase it correctly and you are polite. It is annoying for the court if you try to introduce evidence that upsets this streamline, “one shoe fits all”, preconceived, outdated, template. How can we have justice if we do not look honestly for the truth? Join us. Let’s fix this.


   I am a member of FATHERS. I spent over $15,000 in court trying to stay a meaningful part of my child’s life. I could have taken the money out back and burned it and been just as well off. I see my child at the whim of my ex-wife. If she’s angry with me I don’t see my child. If my life is going too well I am punished through my child. I asked my lawyer about an appeal. He asked do you have $20,000 more. I don’t. I am watching my child being taught to hate me and can not do one thing about it. Eventually when I am cut out of my child’s life completely I will then be labeled by some as a dead-beat dad. Join us. Let’s fix this.


    Under Kentucky’s present no-fault divorce law a cell phone agreement is more legally binding than the promises and vows made during a marriage. The court will offer no moral or ethical advice, let alone hold either party responsible for his/her failure to abide by the vows and promises that each party agrees to live their lives by when married. By it’s lack of concern for simple right and wrong the court gives a divorcing couple the green light to “anything goes” right from the start. What are we teaching our children? Join us. Let’s fix this.


        Children suffer when their parents fight. The legal system has the power to be an instrument of guidance and instruction during divorce. Yet anyone that has been through a divorce knows the opposite is most often true. The legal system usually pit’s the parents against each other in a vicious battle where anything goes. Financial gain being the primary concern of all involved. What good is all the money in the world it comes at the expense of our children? Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                                     Deadbeat Dad?

   My wife left with my children simply because she was tired of being married. Under current Kentucky law no valid reason is required for divorce! The court took most of my income, and treated me like a criminal. And what was left went for legal fees when I could scrape enough together to hire a lawyer. Which did absolutely no good. My children have been taught by their mother to hate me. And even if I could manage to get a small scrape of time with them, the few hours I got a month did little to offset the months of prejudice that they were being taught. The wonderful woman that I met after my divorce could not take the pain and suffering I have experienced, and left me. And because I have finally been beaten down so long and so hard, I have for all practical purposes given up, I am now labeled by society as a Deadbeat Dad! The large billboards I see along side the road now telling me kids are fun, and fathers need to get involved in their children’s lives makes me feel sick. It cost me nearly everything I had, and society would not let me get involved in my children’s lives. My daughter was 19 Sunday, I have seen her 1 time in 6 years. Join us. Let’s fix this.


       FATHERS wishes everyone a rich and rewarding Easter. Let us take a moment this weekend to pause and give thanks for the love and sacrifice that has been given to, and for, each of us. To reflect on where we are in life, and where we are going. And to move forward with love and forgiveness in our hearts, for ourselves as well as those around us. Amen

Join us. Let’s fix this.


All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing. Anyone that knows of a wrong or injustice, and does not speak out or lift a finger to help, is a silent participant in evil. Join us. Let’s fix this.


   We have fathers denied time with their children because they fed them popcorn, because there were stairs in the home, (even though child gates were in place). The absurd list of excuses goes on and on. And it costs thousands of dollars to go to court and have the judge say that it is ok for the child to have popcorn. Next time it may be pizza. No action by the court is the rule not the exception. There is no incentive for the mother to stop this behavior. Quite often the state is even helping pay her legal fees. Join us. Let’s fix this.


   When I was younger, I found how easy it is to obtain an EPO against your spouse.

You just fill out a complaint and go before a judge here in Paducah. No real hard proof was needed. Only the statement “I fear him” was needed. Now I regret it. Under pressure from my family I obtained EPOs against my spouse. Now I now the truth. I really regret obtaining these EPOs when I really didn’t need too. It has not only separated my children from their father, but separated my children from me as well. A very frustrated, regretful mother. Join us. Let's fix this.


   Hi, My name is NANA, You gave me that name when you learned to talk. We miss your smile, your laugh, your cute little walk.  We don’t know if we will ever get to see and hug you again.  The SYSTEM says it’s ALL up to MOM.  It’s been eight months and counting.  (Guess the SYSTEM and MOM has declared us no kin.)  Join us. Let’s fix this. Gail Jeffries, proud grandmother


                     House Bill 606 Will Be Voted On Wednesday!

HB 606, (Same as SB 108), The Parenting Time Interference bill, will be voted on Wednesday, March 17th. In the House of Representatives. This bill makes it a crime for a custodial parent to deny visitation to the other parent or grandparents without good cause.

This bill can save countless children, non-custodial parents, and grandparents the pain and frustration of being separated from each other for nothing more than spite and retribution. It will make it a crime for a bitter custodial parent to use their child as a pawn or weapon against the other parent and grandparents.

If you have been hurt by the court’s lack of concern for non-custodial parent’s rights come with us to Frankfort Wednesday and speak with us at the hearings before the House.

Contact us, or M.O.V.E. Mothers on Visitation Enforcement, 270-735-6942

Please continue to ask our legislators to support this bill. email at

Or call the 1-800-372-7181 Legislative Message Line. Join us. Let’s fix this.


   Just imagine you are a four year old in your pajamas ready for bed playing with your father in the floor. Without warning the local police burst in, arrest your father, and put you in the back of a police care with a social worker then drive you away.

   Eventually after it’s all straightened out the adults explain that it was a false accusation that caused this terrifying event. Just part of a legal plan to win in divorce. (And it works very well. There are currently no legal repercussions for filing such false charges, and even if proven false the accusation is still used in court against the accused. (An EPO)) Young children do not forget traumatic events like this easily. This is happening in our community !

  We meet at the Paducah Public Library the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 PM, (March 22). Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                                   Happy Mother’s Day!

   FATHERS would like to take this opportunity to say happy Mother’s day to all the mothers that truly put their children’s well being first. Aside from one’s relationship with God there is nothing more sacred and precious than the bond between mother and child. May all mothers everywhere have a rich and rewarding day of peace and reflection upon their relationships. Amen


    PAS, (parental alienation syndrome), is when one parent actually teaches their child to dislike and even in some cases to hate the other parent. This is very real. Most people believe that children basically know right from wrong and will figure out when one parent is misleading a child. This is dead wrong. In cases where PAS occurs consistently over long periods, a parent with only limited time with their child, (4 to 5 days a month), does not stand a chance in maintaining a healthy relationship with that child. And the true victim is the child. PAS will cause problems in a person’s life from childhood through their entire life and in every relationship they have if not recognized and treated. And it takes a great deal of work to overcome. Even then the child that has become an adult may not resume any real relationship with the parent they were turned against.

Most judges and unfortunately many counselors have very little training in recognizing PAS. If you are involved in court and or counseling regarding children, ask the judges and counselors to show proof of classes attended and training they have had to recognize PAS. If they can not provide proof, demand someone that has the training. Your child’s mental health depends on it. A couple of places to learn more are: and

Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                        Divorce Warning Label


   Law firms that advertise cheap, no-fault divorce are actually advertising and promoting the destruction of marriage. These ads should contain: Warning: Divorce will cause serious, and often permanent, mental and emotional damage to children. Never destroy a marriage with children present under the age of 18. If minor children come in contact with this destruction process, stop immediately, and take all precautions necessary to move them to a safe place, then resume the destruction.

Join us. Let’s fix this.


                                                        Please Help!

FATHERS along with our affiliate group FORCE in Louisville is pushing for legislation to be introduced in January to help recognize father’s rights and help balance the scales in order to assure that every child in Kentucky has a right to a real father in their lives.

The main bill we are working to introduce is The Parenting Time Interference bill. Also, legislation regarding Relocation of Custodial Parents and a new code defining Shared Parenting.

Together we can fix this. Our Legislators do and will listen to us. Cut this out and post it on your work bulletin boards, in your union halls, mail it to your legislators. Take this to church and public meetings. Then write, email, or phone your state representatives and state congressmen. Don’t think your opinion or vote doesn’t count or matter. Every voice and vote counts. Do this just because it’s the right thing to do and expect something to happen. It will.

The senator who will introduce the bill is:

Dan Malano, 1107 Holly Avenue, Fairdale KY 40118 home 502-749-2859

A few of our local legislators are:

Rep. Charles R. Geveden P.O. Box 518 Wickliffe KY 42087 home 270-335-3683

Rep. Frank Rasche 2929 Jefferson Street Paducah KY 42001 home 270-443-5521

Rep. Fred Nesler 400 State Route 440 Mayfield KY 42066 home 270-247-8557

Rep. J.R. Gray 3188 Mayfield Highway Benton KY 42025 home 270-527-8376

Senator Robert J. "Bob" Leeper 229 S. Friendship Road Paducah KY 42003 home 270-554-2771

Senator Robert L. "Bob" Jackson P.O. Box 1111 Murray KY 42003 home 270-759-5900

All of these officials can be emailed at

    During the holidays let us take a moment to pray for those children separated from a parent. And the parents that have been separated from their children. Children that have been physically moved away, in many cases hundreds of miles, from one parent by their custodial parent. Without regard for the damage done to both the separated child and parent. Parents and children that have been emotionally separated by PAS, (Parental Alienation Syndrome), by a bitter custodial parent whose anger is stronger than their love for their own child.

   Let us pray that those involved in the legal system will place the true emotional and mental well being of our children, now and over the long term, above the dirty tricks so often used to gain more immediate “wins” in court. That EPOs will be used to protect those in cases where

they are truly needed, and not simply as a tool to gain leverage in a divorce. That our courts remember - truth, justice, equality, and common sense are the foundation of our legal system. And that our laws are written to uphold justice and equality for all.

   And let us pray during this season of giving, that the grown children of past divorce will take a moment to reflect on their relationships with their parents. To forgive, heal, and reconcile. To put past pain and anger behind, and seek new beginnings full of love and joy.



                                     Senate Bill 108 has been introduced!

   SB 108, The Parenting Time Interference bill has been introduced into the state senate. This bill makes it a crime for a custodial parent to deny visitation to the other parent or grandparents without good cause.

   This bill can save countless children, non-custodial parents, and grandparents the pain and frustration of being separated from each other for nothing more than spite and retribution. It will make it a crime for a bitter custodial parent to use their child as a pawn or weapon against the other parent and grandparents.

  Your letters and response have brought this bill into the senate, now lets make it law. Please continue to contact our legislators and let them know we want our children protected and nurtured, not victimized and abused.

   Together we can fix this. Our Legislators are listening to us. Cut this out and post it on your work bulletin boards, in your union halls, mail it to your legislators. Take this to church and public meetings. Then write, email, or phone your state representatives and state congressmen. Don’t think your opinion or vote doesn’t count or matter. Every voice and vote counts. Do this just because it’s the right thing to do and expect something to happen. It is!

The senator who deserves a thanks for introducing the bill is:

Dan Malano, 1107 Holly Avenue, Fairdale KY 40118 home 502-749-2859

A few of our local legislators are:

Rep. Charles R. Geveden P.O. Box 518 Wickliffe KY 42087 home 270-335-3683

Rep. Frank Rasche 2929 Jefferson Street Paducah KY 42001 home 270-443-5521

Rep. Fred Nesler 400 State Route 440 Mayfield KY 42066 home 270-247-8557

Rep. J.R. Gray 3188 Mayfield Highway Benton KY 42025 home 270-527-8376

Senator Robert J. "Bob" Leeper 229 S. Friendship Road Paducah KY 42003 home 270-554-2771

Senator Robert L. "Bob" Jackson P.O. Box 1111 Murray KY 42003 home 270-759-5900

All of these officials can be emailed at

Or call the 1-800-372-7181 Legislative Message Line and leave a message for your State Senator and State Representative asking them to support Senate Bill 108.

   If you need more information please call our number listed below. Join us. Let’s fix this.


   Children from fatherless homes are: 5 times more likely to commit suicide, 32 times more likely to run away, 9 times more likely to drop out of school, 20 times more likely to end up in prison, 61% of all child abuse is committed by biological mothers as compared to 25% by natural fathers (Current DHHS report on nationwide Child Abuse)

Join us. Lets fix this.


                     Every child deserves the right to have both parents!

   The present legal system in order to streamline cases, and lessen the strain on the court of too many cases, has taken an attitude of custodial parent “good parent” and non-custodial parent “bad parent”. The custodial parent, usually the mother, is basically awarded all of the decision making responsibility, regardless of right or wrong, and regardless of the well being of the child. This includes changing the church and religious upbringing of the child, changing school systems, changing the entire social settings by sometimes moving the child hundreds or thousands of miles away from everything and everyone the child has ever know without regard for the non-custodial parent’s rights, or child‘s well-being.  Change should be gradual and planned out.

   The court must recognize when a non-custodial parent is fighting for the well-being of their child, sometimes fighting just to remain in their child’s life, and support that parent not beat them down.

We meet at the Paducah Public Library the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 PM, (February 23). Join us. Let’s fix this.

                                          Taxation without representation !

   FATHERS is a group that stands up for the rights and well being of our children. We gladly fulfill our financial obligations and duties to our children. What we do have a problem with is some of us are paying 60% of our gross wages in court ordered child support and day care. After taxes this leaves about 20% of our wages for us to live on. One of our members after paying this incredible percentage has only been allowed to see his children 2 times in the last year, and has no more say in his children’s lives than a complete stranger! As is the case with some of our members the custodial parent can spend the child support on expensive meals and alcohol, vacations, presents for their new love interest and neglect our own children. They are not held accountable for one dime. On the other hand some of us are burdened so heavily by the court that missing one month’s payment can land us in jail. Join us. Let’s fix this.


    FATHERS is a non-profit group of men and women dedicated to the belief that “ No loving father should go childless and no child should go fatherless because of outdated, meaningless, biased, and unenforceable laws, practices, and social habits“. We believe that the people of Paducah and the surrounding counties will not stand for the injustices faced by divorced fathers once this issue is made fully public.

   Although the group is named FATHERS we do have mothers in our group that have been treated just as unfairly. This group stands for fairness and justice regardless of gender. If you are a woman, especially a mother, and have been treated unfairly by the court please contact us. We are a positive and cooperative group, avoiding conflict when possible, and working for the good of all concerned over the long term.

   The stories that we are running in this paper are all true, and all local members in this area. There are many more. Many fear reprisals from the court if they publish their story.

   The present legal system by it’s tolerance of anti-father behavior is creating an atmosphere that actually encourages separation of fathers and their children. Divorce is the single most painful thing that most people experience in their lives. To award total control of the child/children to one parent with little or no accountability, is like putting a loaded gun in the hands of someone that hates you, showing them by past behavior that nothing will happen if they use it, and then explaining to them that they really should do what is right. It just doesn’t work. The court must realize when a parent is fighting to stay in his/her child’s life and support that parent, not beat them down.

   When one parent uses the child/children as weapons against the other, the court must do more than simply speak. It must act, each and every time. Starting with the first time this happens. If there is any doubt who is at fault. Give both parents community service the first time, just to be perfectly clear that this behavior will not be tolerated.

   We meet at the Paducah Public Library the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 PM. Join us. Let’s fix this.

Related Stories From Other Sources

Too many men taken advantage of.

Thanks Mr. badie for bringing the lives and stories of second families to the forefront. Too many of us are being taken advantage of and Georgia is not really doing anything about it. As a non-custodial parent that has been paying over $1500.00 a month for one child, I know what it feels like to be taken advantage of and still not be allowed to see or speak to you child whenever you like.

Over the last two years, I have spent 30 days with my son who will be turning 3 this year. Its terrible how after leaving Iraq for a year, I have to come back to America and fight even harder to be a Father to my son and play an integral role in his upbringing that is simply more than a paycheck. Thanks.

CPT Tom M. Noble


My husband is more than a paycheck

Thank you so much for the article about dads. At one point in my life, I assumed all divorced dads were "deadbeats". Once I met my husband, I quickly learned the hard facts about second families and the child support laws in Georgia. When I met my husband, my daughter was a year old. Once we were married, he adopted her. When we went to the attorney for the adoption, the attorney informed us that according to the state of Georgia, there would be no consideration for a reduction in child support to my husband's ex. We weren't seeking a reduction, but wanted to know our rights. In fact, children that are adopted by their stepparent, or child born in the second marriage don't count. How can the courts say my daughter doesn't count?

I see my husband being treated like a paycheck, and nothing more, when in fact, he is a great father, like many other divorced dads. The system is frustrating, unfair, and bias toward noncustodial parents.



Equality is best for the kids

I picked up a paper at the airport and was pleasantly suprised to see Rick Badie's column. Good job. Children who live with their biological fathers are 40 times less likely to suffer abuse than those who don't. Kids that have frequent contact with their fathers are 3 times more likly to stay off drugs, graduate H.S. and have a higher self-esteem. When will the courts get it? Equal=Equal.



Child care laws punish second families

Rarely do Roxanne Lau's girls go to the movies.

If they do, it's a matinee, and they bring snacks from home.

Lau told me she buys Leann's and Danielle's clothes in consignment shops. Summer camps are out of the question. Same goes for gymnastics lessons and dining out.

"We do Girl Scouts because it doesn't cost a lot," the Lilburn mom said, "and they'll go to vacation Bible school, because it's free. The girls are always asking about stuff that they can't do. It's unfair, and it hurts."

Moms like Lau find the going tough when they marry a man who rightly takes care of children from a previous marriage. There's a term folks who deal with divorce issues use to describe them -- "second wives."

Several of them have e-mailed me about the unfair child support obligations put on their hubbies. They began contacting me after I wrote about the plight of divorced dads on Father's Day.

Here's what makes them see red:

In Georgia, only the noncustodial parent's gross income is used to calculate child support payments. What's worse, children from the second marriage aren't even considered, a situation that second wives and other advocates find unfathomable.

"Our kids don't count," said Julie Batson, a Marietta mom who founded Georgians for Family Law and Child Support Reform, a 3,000-member organization. "In general, the children from the first marriage get the lion's share of the noncustodial parent's paycheck. In most instances, it forces the second wife to have to work in order to support the kids."

Lau would work if she could, but one of the girls requires constant supervision. Her husband pays his ex more than $1,000 a month in support for their one child. That amount is scheduled to get bumped up this summer. Bad timing.

Lau's husband, a 50-year-old manufacturing engineer, recently lost his job. A general contracting business he started with two partners is struggling. So is the family.

"It's great that there are laws to try to protect the ex-wives of the deadbeat dads out there," said Lau, 49. "Society is ready to jump on that one. But no one deals with the fact you can have kids in second marriages that are suffering, too. They forget people go on with their lives and have more kids."

R. Mark Rogers, an Atlanta-based economic consultant, has written papers on child care issues as well as testifying on the subject in court.

His opinion of the state's current child support guidelines: "Out of touch with reality. The new family suffers, absolutely."

"Fathers pay too much for the first children," Rogers said, "and too little in a new marriage. The solution to the second wives' problem and additional children is to have guidelines that actually reflect child care costs."

Rogers said a change is gonna come. Tennessee is rewriting guidelines to make them fairer, and momentum is building here to do likewise.

Until that happens, Lau and other second wives will keep pinching pennies and telling their children that they can't do a lot of fun stuff.