Crackpot: someone with a new idea... until it works.
Currently F.R.E.E.[tm] is working on sponsoring and authoring a bill which would require the California Department of Social Services to verify both custody and child support arrangements before granting AFDC funds to a parent who claims to have custody.
F.R.E.E.[tm] advocates an end to the use of license revocation as a tool to enforce child support orders. The practice can be effective in collecting dollars, but it drives a wedge between father and child, costs the economy jobs, and makes the difficult task of meeting support obligations impossible for many dads.
F.R.E.E.[tm] advocates that all states adopt some form of Uniform Child Visitation Enforcement legislation. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has a model of such legislation.
F.R.E.E.[tm] advocates tax incentives for the payment of child support. Since it is a basic tennet of F.R.E.E.[tm]that parenting is a 50/50 proposition, parents should share equally in the fruits of parenting as well as the responsibilities of child-rearing. F.R.E.E.[tm] therefore wants to sponsor legislation to allow a sharing of the child exemption, and childcare credits on federal and state tax returns. Non-custodial parents who pay their child support should get the same breaks as married parents who are presumed (and required) by the state to support their children.
F.R.E.E.[tm] desires equity in the process of paternity establishment. Fathers should have the option to parent their children if the mother doesn't or can't take responsibility. They should have the same rights as mothers to determine whether or not their children are put up for adoption. There is case law to support this interpretation.
On the other side of the coin, we advocate for a statute of limitations on mothers' ability to challenge paternity. Men who never were fathers, but who believed and acted as if they were fathers, and who, except for the biology, were fathers, would be protected from being torn from the children unnecessarily.
F.R.E.E.[tm] also would like to decriminalize defaults on child support. While absent parents do have a moral obligation to support their children financially, failure to due so is usually not a failure of morals, but a failure of means. We have done away with the Dickinsonian notion that poverty is a moral failing; we should do the same for child support arrearages. Therefore, it makes sense for states to institute amnesty programs, during which an owing parent is allowed to come forward, set up a payment plan including adjustments for present (usually lower) income, without the imposition of fees, penalties and interest.
The Fathers' Rights and Equality Exchange
3140 De la Cruz Blvd, Suite 200
Santa Clara, California 95054
Copyright © 1992-1997 The Fathers' Rights and Equality Exchange
This page last updated April 9, 1997 by:
Brent Wellman firstname.lastname@example.org