one-way conversation with nobody

August 26, 2011

By Harry Crouch

“Hey, get a grip, Buddy! It’s not my fault you missed your court date and defaulted into paternity.

No, it does not matter that you have never seen the woman or know who she is. When you missed your court-date, you became the woman’s father of choice.

Yes, one of the children is handicapped, which means you will pay child support until you die as far as the law is concerned.

I know it’s four years later, but it takes awhile for us to get all the paperwork done, track you down and garnish your wages, which is how you finally found out right?

Ok, let’s see, the amount looks correct considering we’re talking three children… err, with penalties and interest…$76,000 and change.

Please keep your voice down.

No, defending our country against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t count. You missed the court date. You’re now dear’ol dad whether your kid or not.

Well, you should have had your mail forwarded if you were out of the country. We sent a notice to your last known address…

Yes, a judge might modify the amount you pay in the future, but it is rare and you’re on the hook for the $76,000.

No, Federal law prohibits forgiveness so you have to pay the full amount plus penalty and interest.

No again. Child support arrears are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, even if the kids are not yours.

No you don’t. She gets the tax exemptions for the kids even if the child support you pay is her only income.

I’m not sure about private detectives, but I’ve heard at least $3,500 to retain a good attorney, which might be worth considering since you only hope is to prove you were defrauded or we made a technical mistake, which is common. I know one guy that spent more than $100,000 for his attorneys.

No, you cannot ask her about whom the biological father is because she lied. The restraining order says so. She is not required to tell you and neither are we, even if we know whom the guy is.

Scam? Please.

No, not her kids either. If you make any effort to contact any of them, you will be arrested and charged with a domestic violence restraining order violation. And, if you get angry and raise your voice within hearing distance of her kids your name might be included forever on the state’s Child Abuse Index too. So, you can forget about applying for good jobs when you retire from the military, since employers regularly check the Index and won’t hire child abusers.

No, she doesn’t have to prove anything. All she has to do is say she’s afraid of what might happen and you can be arrested for domestic violence or child abuse. That’s why the restraining order was issued. She said she was afraid of you.

Heck, she can even sue you for pain, suffering, and damages if you violate the restraining order, maybe even if you don’t. Since she was given a restraining order she is now officially a victim and can apply for all sorts of financial assistance from victim compensation programs.

How did you find out she lived in Sweden? You are not supposed to know even that. Oh, it was penciled in the margin of the notice you just got from our Child Support Enforcement Division that she was applying for an increase in child support since you were promoted. No I don’t know how she found out.

I guess she does have you by the bal… well; she has the advantage for sure, especially since we don’t prosecute for making false accusations of paternity, child abuse, sexual assault, or domestic violence. Just welfare fraud, sometimes, maybe…

Sure. Restraining order violations are serious. You can loose everything you, your wife and natural children have just because the woman you have never seen lies again and says you were at same grocery store, movie, or something like that, even if she doesn’t know what you look like. Basically, she can say whatever she wants and you and your natural family are burnt toast. Plus you go to jail.

Well, yes, I guess she can. Since she has a restraining order she’s technically a domestic violence victim and can be granted American legal status.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t know who she is, you are the court ordered established father. According to domestic violence laws, that makes you a family member.

Oh? I didn’t know that. You’ll be dishonorably discharged, too. Bummer.

Yes, you have to pay the child support even though the law says that you have no parental rights and are prevented from ever having any relationship with the child or children.

Who said anything about being fair?

I see you’ve been doing your homework. It is true that even if you start paying the child support, have receipts, and a full accounting from your employer showing that payments were withheld from your checks, that you might have to pay again. Some companies don’t pay what they withhold, but that’s your problem, not ours.

Well, even if the payments went directly to the woman and she says the money was never received, or she simply chooses not to respond to our inquiries, then we presume the money has never been paid, whether you or your employer made the payments.  Between you and me, our computer system is so messed up we don’t track things real well even though we’ve literally spent a couple billion dollars trying to fix it.  So, we cannot correctly process most information even if we have it, at least in any timely way.

Sure, happens all the time. Heck, there was a noncustodial mother in here just yesterday with all kinds of proof that she’d paid over $67,000 that was not credited to her child support account. It was garnished by her employer but supposedly never received by the father. Looks like the employer never paid it. We have her credit so messed up she can’t get her house refinanced, which she needs to do to pay off the child support arrears. We snagged her tax refunds too and took away her license to drive and practice medicine. She was a pediatrician. So, we screw up the lives of a lot of people besides paternity fraud victims, including noncustodial female parents, though not many women since courts seldom award primary child custody to fathers, even if the women are child abusers, drug addicts, or convicted of violent crimes.

Yes, the children you have never seen and that are not yours can sue your estate as heirs in case of your death and might share your estate with your children of choice or biological children.

Since you’re still in the military I assume we’ve already done the paperwork to get her and the kids base privileges, life insurance, medical, dental and so on.

That’s good. You know most of all of your housing allowance goes to her too.

Please calm down! I don’t want to call security…

Well, how you pay the rent or support your real wife and natural children is your business, but your first legal obligation is to this other woman and children you have never seen.

What you heard is correct. If you don’t stay current with the support payments we will take your house, whatever valuable personal property you own, income tax refunds, and drain your bank accounts, even those of your natural children and wife if you are a cosigner. There was one case where we even grabbed a kid’s piggy bank! What a crack up.

Yup, it’s also true we will have your passport revoked if you have one, take away your driver’s license, any professional licenses you have, and in some cases attach your retirement accounts, since the mother of your court assigned children may have a legal claim to those funds too.

Hmm. Well, how you get to work or make a living isn’t our problem either. There’s always the bus.

Oh that. Well, the support order says you are required to pay extra for the private school tuition, another $300 per month per child for incidentals, transportation for visits to their grandparents each summer and tennis lessons for the six year old. That’s all extra. Whoops, looks like you’re paying for all the kid’s college, too. That should only cost you a million or so after she and the children move to the U.S. from Sweden as legal resident aliens.

Really? You already have college funds established for your natural children? You wouldn’t happen to have the account number with you would you? It would save us some time tracking them down…

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be insensitive and I don’t know why the parents of intact families are not required to pay such things. I guess because they are still free to make their own choices or maybe they cannot afford such luxuries, though if we keep legislating financial incentives to divorce you might want to buy stock in tennis equipment manufactures.

Don’t be foolish. You don’t think the mother should pay do you? Hold her responsible for lying about you being Dad or having all those kids. No way that will ever fly. That’s why the law prevents you from seeking restitution and damages. Otherwise, it might be a burden on her children. Right?

It doesn’t matter that the kids don’t get the money because the mother is a drug addict and abusive. How she spends the money is her business. Figure it out. If such woman were honest, would she lie, take your money, and destroy your life?

The State reimburses you? Nope, even if the State confused you with somebody else and failed to correctly serve you notice it cannot be held accountable. It’s easier to make the innocent pay, which creates jobs, like mine, thank you very much.

Please stay calm, or I really will call security. Then you’ll be ordered into one of those designed by women for men only anger management programs.

Duh? Sure, you have to pay for that too. You have to pay for all of it… court costs, attorney fees; filing fees, the psych evaluations and…

No, there is no forgiveness when you go to jail; child support continues to accrue with penalties and interest.

Yes, if you don’t pay the support you owe while in jail, upon release if you cannot pay the debt, you might be sent back to jail.

Same thing, how you pay the child support or provide for your wife and natural children while in jail is not our business.

Gee, that’s rough. I hope you can work it out with your wife; a divorce would be tough right now, considering the extra child support and everything else you’ll have to pay.

Would you please stop fiddling with whatever that is in your pants? It’s disconcerting.

Well, because a small group of legislators redefined family and believe women have the right to name any man they choose as father while ensuring that he has no contact with the children, so you’re it. Basically, you’re a wallet and you better have some folding money inside or we’ll strip you and your family to the bone before sending you to prison and putting your wife and kids on the street.

You’re right, there are a lot of people who think it’s crazy, but that’s the reason nonetheless. Heck, earlier this morning we hauled a Preacher out screaming something about being disenfranchised, radical feminist conspiracy, slavery all over again, and mostly killing minorities.

Why don’t I do something? Not my job. I just work here.

Who knows? Basically, if Big Momma isn’t happy nobody is happy, and it’s politically correct to bash men, fatherhood, and families of choice.  Fortunately, women who have watched the destruction of their loved ones are starting to fight back, which is good since men won’t do it. So there is some hope over the horizon. Obviously “best interests of children” doesn’t include you and your wife’s children of choice. And nothing in your situation suggests the laws are concerned with the rest of your family… your natural children’s cousins, aunts, and grandmothers, and whoever, or you wouldn’t be in this mess.

No, it doesn’t matter that someone who jumps bail for rape or escapes from prison after being convicted for murder doesn’t get 16 years tacked onto his or her sentence. You missed that one court date, so since the women’s youngest child is four you will pay child support for that child for another 16 years, except for the one that’s disabled. Remember, you pay child support for her for the rest of the child’s natural life. Get used to it. You are conditioned to be abused.

No, I don’t think taking your story to the media will help much, though recently more and more paternity fraud cases are being covered in the media. Even so, the media doesn’t really see it as a major issue, though in Los Angeles, California last year the Department of Child Support Services defaulted over 4,200 men into paternity. They set a new record and have the highest default rate in the country. I’ve heard estimates of over seven million men nationwide. Heck the National Association of Blood Banks found that no less than 30% of all men tested for paternity are not the biological fathers of their presumed children! There’s a lot of cheating going on out there…

Here’s some Kleenex.

That’s Ok, use as much as you need. We have plenty.

Yes, that’s probably true. If 4,200 women broke their little toe with a faulty polish applicator there would be a national crisis and every media outlet in the country would be digging up mud about the manufacturer while calling for a full government investigation and polish applicator legislative reform.

I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t use that kind of language. Like I said I really don’t know, but yes it does seem like legal extortion and I understand why you feel that women who lie about paternity just to get money shouldn’t be allowed to breed, but there’s all that women’s choice stuff, too. None of that will change as long as the State refuses to hold women accountable for their own actions, making false accusations and paternity fraud– but changing those things isn’t in my job description either.

The good news is sometimes more than one guy gets to support the same women that you have never seen.

Yah, that is crazy, but true.

Well if the court rules you should have known about all this before you petitioned to be released from paternity your petition will be denied. But if you find the real father and get a decent judge, the real father might be allowed to pay half and you can pay half. Saves you big bucks over time, at least until the bio-dad disappears or dies, then it’s all on you again.

Do you always shake that bad? Your meds? Ok, here’s some water.

No, even if the bio-dad wants to pay for all the child support Courts are prohibited from letting him do so.

What can I say, that’s the way it is? We even have cases where the real father is still living with the women and kids. Heck, some paternity fraud victims even pay child support to biological fathers after the state took the children away for whatever reason from the mother and gave custody to Bio-Dad. Crazy huh?

My partner looks like that just before she starts hyperventilating. Would you like a chair or maybe some water?

What’s due process?

Hey, Buddy, LIKE I SAID, I just work here, stupid or not.

Oh, you mean the system.

Really, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for men in America and seven times higher than for women? Over 30,000 men in America a year kill themselves! No way…

That’s a bit strong isn’t it… men are disposable?’

That’s it. Breath. Good. Try counting to ten. Very good. I’m not suppose to do this, but… umm, my partner’s a psychologist. You seem like a good guy. Maybe I can get you a discount.

No, huh? Nice gu… Is that a Berretta?

Back off fella… it was your responsibility. You should have had your mail forwarded like I told you. I didn’t do anything.

That’s better. I appreciate you taking those deep breaths and putting the gun down. It’s a nine-mil, right? You don’t work for the Postal Service too do you?

Good, good, very good… I’ll just put that in this drawer here…

Hey, aren’t you that Medal of Honor guy who jumped on a grenade before being captured and tortured for five months?

You are? WOW, that’s cool. What a privilege to meet you. I wish there was more I could do. We really need guys like you to protect the freedom we enjoy here.

Be careful! Don’t hurt him. HEY careful with the cuffs, he’s a war hero. He’s just having some trouble with his credit report and political correctness.


NOTE: Paternity fraud and child support laws very from state to state, but the above scenario is possible in full or part regardless depending upon which state’s laws apply. Reform legislation has been adopted or is pending in many states. Alaska was the first state to adopt comprehensive paternity fraud legislation. To my knowledge it is still the wrongly named father that has full responsibility for correcting the injustice. If you are a paternity fraud victim you need to call the child support office or an attorney to see what laws apply in your state. There are attorneys who specialize in getting false paternity judgments overturned. If you hire an attorney to challenge a paternity judgment you should consider hiring one who specializes in representing paternity fraud victims.  If you use the Internet, search “paternity fraud” for more information.

Harry Crouch is a full time men’s rights activist, President National Coalition For Men, Member San Diego Domestic Violence Council Men’s Leadership Forum, President of the National Coalition For Men San Diego, and Founder/Director of the California Men’s Centers. Opinions expressed herein are Mr. Crouch’s, not necessarily the organizations with which he is affiliated. Nothing herein should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice please consult with an experienced attorney.

© Harry Crouch, 2004. Initially titled “One Way Conversation with Nobody”.

Revised October 10, 2007. All rights reserved.

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