“If the Shoe Fits…” Spousal Support Is Not Just for Women

By Penelope L. Hefner

In the legal arena, it seems many times women have had to follow in the footsteps of men. But as family law attorneys across the nation are undoubtedly seeing, when it comes to spousal support it seems the shoe may be making its way to the other foot. In years past, according to “The Historical Background of Alimony Law and its Present Statutory Structure,” a 1939 article by Chester G. Vernier and John B. Hurlbut, former professors of law at Stanford University, the primary purpose of alimony was to “provide continuing maintenance for the wife.” It simply was beyond most lawmakers’ contemplation at that time that a husband would seek alimony.
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Judge rules Craigslist sperm donor has to pay child support

Does anyone else see how completely crazy this is?

Judge rules Craigslist sperm donor has to pay child support | Death and Taxes.

Father sentenced to 6 months in jail for paying too much child support — Society’s Child — Sott.net

I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff coming out of family courts, but this may be the worst ever. Sending a good father to jail for paying more child support than he was ordered and for “over-visiting” his son? Don’t people read Kafka anymore?

Father sentenced to 6 months in jail for paying too much child support — Society's Child — Sott.net.

Sexism in the Courtroom: What’s Good for the Goose Could Send the Gander to Jail

Dear Mr. Dad: It seems like every time I turn on the TV there’s a story about welfare moms with nine kids who are collecting huge government checks, or deadbeat dads who have five kids with five different women and aren’t paying child support. I really resent that my tax dollars are paying for those kids and their mothers. Isn’t there something we can do to keep those men from getting women pregnant?

A: Do you really want to go down that road? Like you, most of us have heard the stories about women on welfare who keep having kids they can’t possibly support. And, like you, many of us have shaken our head and thought something along the lines of, “she shouldn’t be allowed to have any more kids.” But thinking that is usually as far as it goes. In my view, having children is a right, not a privilege. So the idea of actually preventing a woman from getting pregnant—even if she already has 9 kids—is abhorrent. It wasn’t all that long ago that many intellectually challenged (formerly known as “mentally retarded”) women were medically sterilized without their consent.

But what puzzles me is why the right to become a parent doesn’t seem to extend to men. After reading your email, I saw a news item about a case in Elyria, Ohio that tackles this issue head on. Here’s the story: Asim Taylor, 35, has fathered four children and hasn’t paid child support since 2009—he owes around $79,000. Of course, not knowing the exact circumstances (for example, Asim might have been incapacitated by illness and isn’t earning enough money to pay his obligations), we can’t make blanket statements about him. But let’s assume the worst: that he has the ability to pay yet simply refuses to do so. In cases like that, I’m okay with garnishing his wages, seizing tax returns, and doing whatever else it takes to get his attention.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough for Judge James Walther, who has forbidden Taylor from having any more children for five years—unless he can support the ones he already has.

This is what it sounds like to me: It’s okay for a woman to have as many children as she’d like to. Ditto for a guy who pays his bills but completely neglects his children. But it’s definitely not okay for a guy who can’t afford to pay child support but who might very well be an amazingly involved dad. In one of the great understatements of the decade, Taylor’s attorney says that Judge Walther is “overstepping.”
The judge’s ruling reinforces two completely absurd notions. First, that men are 100 percent responsible for contraception. Theoretically, if Taylor’s wife or girlfriend does get pregnant, she could choose between having an abortion or giving birth, which would send Taylor to jail. Second, that it’s a man’s money—rather than his capacity to love and nurture his children—that determines his fitness as a father.

I’m all for expecting high levels of personal responsibility from people. But by trying to legally impose a double standard, Judge Walther is doing a tremendous disservice to men by holding them to a higher standard than women. And he’s doing an equally tremendous disservice to women by treating them like hapless victims of men’s inability to keep their pants on instead of adults who have made conscious decisions about procreation. Having a baby takes two people—and both should be held responsible for supporting it.

Thinking of Becoming a Sperm Donor? Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Topeka sperm donor says a state effort to force him to pay child support for a child conceived through artificial insemination by a lesbian couple is a politically motivated act that has cost him thousands of dollars.

William Marotta, 46, said he is “a little scared about where this is going to go, primarily for financial reasons,” The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Monday.

When he donated sperm to Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner in 2009, Marotta relinquished all parental rights, including financial responsibility to the child. When Bauer and Schreiner filed for state assistance this year, the state demanded the donor’s name so it could collect child support for the now-3-year-old girl. Bauer and Schreiner broke up in 2010 but co-parent their eight children, who range in age from 3 months to 25 years.

Read more the rest of the story in the Denver Post here:

Married Detroit Jdge Allegedly Slept with Child-Support Plaintiff, Let Her Help Choose Ex-Husband’s Sentence

Could it get any weirder than this? If you have any faith in the legal system–particularly when it comes to family law–you won’t after this.

From The Daily Caller.

A Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Court judge is on administrative leave following a report that he impregnated a woman who was a plaintiff in a child-support case before him, and allowed her to help choose the sentence he would impose on her ex-husband.

WJBK Fox-TV2 in Detroit reported that Judge Wade McCree Jr. carried on a lengthy affair with Geniene La’Shay Mott, who sued her ex-husband for child support, after the case was concluded.

“It went from being a summer fling and just something to do to falling in love, promises of marriage, me getting pregnant, us buying a house together, name it,” Mott told WJBK-TV.

Don’t miss the rest of this story — it only gets worse…

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