The Family Law ‘Dead Zone’

Taxpayers are riding a dead horse in California

Jim Untershine, GZS of LB, 03-11-05

Riding on the shoulders of Child Support Enforcement – ‘Supremacy Feminists’, ‘Responsible Fatherhood’ advocates, ‘Healthy Marriage” advocates, misguided journalists, and private corporations have chosen to pursue a father bashing agenda. The most recent attention getters seem to be the Washington Post expose on the homicides of pregnant women, the Pittsburgh Live article condemning deadbeat dads, the poisonous advertising campaigns by ‘David & Goliath’, ‘Dominoes Pizza’ and ‘Verizon’, the aging ‘Family Court Report’ that was issued by the California National Organization for Women (NOW), and the book ‘Fatherless America’ by David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values.

While the present administration seems to be interested enough in the child support problem to prompt all States to implement programs to persecute the parents who are ‘letting the taxpayers down’, they don’t seem interested enough to take a closer look at the obvious source of the problem. Family Law and CSE are designed to only affect parents - although paternity fraud and same-sex marriage can provide additional victims. Disparaging the parents who happen to be fathers is due to the fact that 85% of them do not have custody of their children, which is due to the fact that they were identified by their State to be the only parent capable of financially supporting their children. The cash flow between parents must be somehow interrupted to allow collection of child support and the accrued interest, allowing money to be earned by the State’s CSE program.

The birthday of a deadbeat parent (under the control of Family Law) is the date they become unemployed, which is the start of the Family Law ‘Dead Zone’. The ‘Dead Zone’ ends when Child Support Enforcement (CSE) files a Civil Court order enforcing a new or old child support order assigned to the unemployed parent - complete with a total of how much the unemployed parent failed to pay and an estimate of the accrued interest on the money that never appeared. Federal law demands 6% maximum on child support principal and the interest must be collected last.

Mike Cox, Attorney General of Michigan, has pulled out all the stops attempting to make parents pay his CSE agency. The power of the Federal Law allows the Justice department of each State to deprive rights and privileges, impose a financial embargo, and secure Civil Court wage-withholding orders targeting the parents who lost their jobs attempting to pay child support. Federal Law limits wage withholding to 65% maximum of the parent’s net income.

It may seem obvious, but the money stops when a parent paying child support becomes unemployed. It may also seem obvious that an employer is the “deep pockets” litigant regarding any Civil Court enforcement of a wage withholding order. Why would a Civil attorney turn their back on their former client, if they were a party in securing that wage withholding order? Did the employer simply decide to stop withholding the child support payments in violation of Federal Law? Did the employer terminate the paying parent’s employment or refuse to hire them due to the existence of child support withholding in violation of Federal Law?

While Civil attorney apathy can be explained away by pointing to the inaction by the recipient of child support payments, CSE attorneys are compelled to enforce wage withholding orders, since it is demanded by the same Federal Law that gives them the power to persecute the new unemployed parent. A Civil Court proceeding that finds the employer has discriminated against their employee or refused to ‘go along with the program’ would be ordered to resume payments or rehire the employee and may be fined for their “unacceptable practice”. A Civil court proceeding letting the employer ‘off the hook’ would also lead to a downward modification in the child support amount demanded of the unemployed parent, which is probably what caused this problem in the first place.

A State failing to comply with a Federal mandate that is designed to allow child support to be received by a dependent parent on behalf of the children is not enough to shut down a State’s lawless money machine. Instead, the offending State is deprived of Federal financial participation regarding the operation cost of the State’s CSE program. American taxpayers repay the operating costs regarding each State’s CSE program as a function of violating the Federal law – 66% for 0 years of violation, 62% for 1, 58% for 2, 50% for 3, 41% for 4, and 36% for more. The penalty money that would have been used by California to pay CSE operating costs will be put in the Federal CSE Incentive pool to reward all States for successfully collecting child support. Half of the $446 million incentive pool that is ‘up for grabs’ to all States is funded by California ‘hush money’. The Federal incentive calculation allows States to double the actual collection of welfare, foster care, and interest on back child support, since these collections must be made last.

The annual $200 million drain and the escalating welfare roles of California are both due to a failed CSE agency under the control the State’s Attorney General, Bill Lockyer. The published reason for imposing the Federal penalty on California was due to an unacceptable CSE accounting system, which failed to track new employers of re-employed parents. Even if IBM reinvents the credit card in 4 years costing the California taxpayers over $800 million, the system will still be unacceptable enough for the Federal government to continue penalizing the State.

Dissolving CSE into existing State departments would guarantee compliance with the Federal mandate:

"I believe that the existence of the classical 'path' can be pregnantly formulated as follows: The 'path' comes into existence only when we observe it" (Werner Heisenberg, in uncertainty principle paper, 1927)

Jim Untershine, 824 E Pass Rd #3, Gulfport, MS 39507,,

Jim Untershine holds a BSEE from Mississippi State University and has 13 years experience in feedback control system design. Mr. Untershine is currently using the teachings of Werner Heisenberg and Henry David Thoreau to expose Family Law in California as the exploitation of children for money and the indentured servitude of heterosexual taxpayers who dare to raise children in this country.