Concerned Father for the future of Our Children!!

by William Washington
(Tacoma, WA, US)

Over 9 years ago, you made a decision to allow me to see my son once a year, for the first 4 weeks in August. While that is ok for a father that doesn’t know his child or has never seen his child, this is not ok for me. I have always known my son and have always had a relationship with him. I have been employed with the United States Army for the past 6 years and have maintained a reliable income as well as a stable home for my family. My son means a great deal to me. For years now I have read the statistics of young men without their fathers present when they grow up and the effects on them. I also have had much advice from those that are going through the same situation I am going through. The point is, everyone has an opinion of what I am supposed to do. I have been patient and not tried to drag my son through a bitter custody battle that would tear through his emotions.

I have seen him when it was convenient for his mom. I have done what I believe I could do and can do up to now. My only question is: which answer is right for me? The law is very vague and basically gives all the rights to the mother and the burden of proof for the child to reside with the father relies solely on the father. This is difficult seeing that the father also has to give child support (rightfully so) while fighting to have more visitation.

I was told by a county clerk in California when this case started that all I had to do was give child support and I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. This bothered me so much that I had to walk away from her. She basically stated that my responsibility ended with the child support. No visits were needed, no presents at Christmas, no school parent teacher’s conferences, etc. This is unacceptable to me.

I am a FATHER and a good one at that. For some, a mother has a deeper connection with a child than the father does, but in my case this is not so. I have a deep connection with all of my children. The judicial system declares that a person is innocent until proven guilty, however as men, we are proven guilty before anyone has even heard the case. Society assumes that we are the criminals and the mothers are the victims. We aren’t taken seriously when we step into the court room.

We are seen and not heard. The laws must be rewritten to accommodate both mother and father to have the equal opportunity to raise and educate their child together. I have been a physical presence in my son’s life as well as a financial presence. Before I deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan Jordan came for his yearly visit and he stated that he wanted to stay with me. He asked me why his mom wanted to keep him, why she won’t let him go and doesn’t she know she can’t keep me forever? All of these questions I knew were going to come sooner or later. This isn’t the first time he has asked this question either. This time he said it crying at the airport while waiting for his flight.

In his mom’s house resides her husband and 4 children. All the children have different fathers. During the summer months and holidays his sister and little brothers get the opportunity to see their dad’s. My son does not. The amount of support that I am required to give does not allow me to purchase multiple plane tickets for holiday visits and multiple requests for our son to stay with me for the entire summer have failed. If I were stationed closer to him then it wouldn’t be such an issue, but I haven’t been that fortunate.

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I'm also being oppressed by california
by: jcrawford

I was divorced in 1990 while in another state trying to work to support my family,.. My child support was determined by my exwife's expenses and not my income. After going back to try to reconcile my marriage, she had me put in jail under false accusations and thats when my nightmare began. I was refused visitation by the mother for 16yrs. and was told by the state of california that that was not their problem and i should work that out with her. I know that in my divorce it states that i was to have "reasonable visitation" only to find out by california officials that she determined what was "reasonable". I quit paying support to try to force her hand only to end up in jail for two weeks. they have garnished my wages and income tax returns since 1997. I had tried numerous times to to contact her to beg and plead for visitation to try and have a relationship with my son which i was denied. after sixteen years i convinced my case worker in california to give my son a letter, which i found shocking, that she agreed to. I met my sixteen year old son for the first time since his first birthday and am sad to say that he is his mothers son... Turns out, she is mentally unstable, she was abusive, both verbally and physically, and he stayed for two weeks and left to go back to live with her again. He came back to live with me again when he was 21 and still has not changed, his mother has ruined him... He has no concept of what it means to be a responsible adult, and as he put it "I want to be a man Dad, I believe that you can show me how.." well,..after two months, he had decided to go back and live with his mother again... I am sad today and will be for a long, long time. I was served papers last week from the state of cali-corruption and it turns out that she has come forward with new information and now i supposedly owe her 60k in back support, of which i'm already paying $75 a month to, but now she wants to increase that amount because she feels that it is not enough and that i should be paying her more per month on arrears, half of which is something called "interest". I have tried several times to offer her money to settle the case, that i had to go through the state of cali-corruption for, who counseled her and advised her not to accept. I know this to be fact, by her own admission. I now have an attorney who has already found that all of the tax returns that have been taken from me all these years aren't/haven't even been applied to my case. My heart goes out to you, fight on, preferably with a lawyer, it will be worth it. And as for your child,..just love him! He'll love you for it..!

its hard
by: Anonymous

i know its hard but just think.....
20 years from now......
what will you miss the most.....
the money you spent on the child support and plain tickets.....
or your sons precious childhood memories.
its as simple as that. Just ask yourself that question.

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