What They Do Not Teach You in Pre-Marriage Counseling
First off, this is not a conspiracy theory. This is my life and that of tens of thousands if not more, I just happened to have documented it more thoroughly, and have done my best to attribute and support my assertions for this article. A skeptic myself, my attention would have been hard to grab with anything akin. Let’s start by looking at the odds. What has a 50% chance of failing, 15–30% chance of bankrupting you, a very real chance at making you want to commit suicide with many doing so regularly? Nope, we’re not talking about drugs! We’re talking about, you guessed it, marriage! A tradition born in a very different society, it has now been reshapen by the state into a social welfare program. While the touted tremendous benefits of marriage, such as a slight savings in car and health insurance might seem tempting, the reality is you can achieve nearly all the supposed benefits with a simple power of attorney or a contract. You can even be on the same health plan in most cases without being married if you cohabitate.
Though most have had some kind of sex education in school, few have any clue about the state of family law in the US and in fact, now in most of the world. Pre-marriage counseling in my case was the usual reiteration about not going to sleep angry, but let me tell you, that won’t mean much when you’re living in your car, your bank accounts frozen, your paycheck seized. But how can this be? What in the world happened? We’ll get to that shortly.
First, let’s look at this map:
If you are not in a dark blue 50% state, you are almost certainly going to lose your children in the divorce, no matter how much you spend, and no matter how evil the lower income spouse is. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the judge presiding over your case will care, but as someone who has been entrenched in this community for three years now, I can tell you that it is the exception. The biggest thing that gets factored in when it comes to the reality, is how much you make, and how much the state can collect in support. That’s right, how much the state can collect in support. You see, like-minded skeptical reader, when the Social Security Act was passed in the 1970’s, they inserted Title IV-D which basically reimburses the states nearly dollar for dollar for every penny they collect in support actions. In the 40+ years since, this has been perverted to such a degree that the states have hijacked the intent of the law (supporting the children,) and created their own laws around this which now skirt the constitution and civil rights in general. Why? Because they can use the federal incentive money on other budget shortfalls and pet projects. Debtors prisons outlawed? Not in family court. Accusations with no evidence? Not in family court, here you’re guilty until proven innocent. And if you can’t be proven innocent, then you’re just guilty. Never mind that it is impossible to prove a negative. Evidence? No need. Testimony is all that matters. Judges are the “fact finders,” their assertion of the truth trumps any recording you might have.
I am not a republican, I am not a libertarian, nor am I a liberal. I enjoy shooting on the weekends, think all races should have equal access to society, that public healthcare is better than private (I’ve lived under both) for most. I am a veteran who once was proud to serve his country. You don’t have to agree with me on all counts. But I think we all agree on the value of the constitution and its intent: Freedom of speech, trial by jury, innocent until proven guilty. But in family court this is not the case. Although not in the constitution, the Sherman Act of 1890 was established to prevent an entity from seizing full control over an aspect of the economy. But the states themselves have gotten around this by forming a vertical monopoly when it comes to funding itself. In the US the state writes the laws regarding custody and support and the formulas used to establish the amounts. The state then enforces it, and directly profits from it. Even in states that have been successful in establishing 50/50 custody guidelines, the higher earning spouse still has to pay child support to the other parent, frequently 30% of the difference in income in most states. Even Kentucky, which now has one of the most robust shared parenting bills, still has not addressed the issue of support properly. Child support has become a disease, a cancer. What was once a normally functioning part of an organism has turned rogue, and the immune system tasked with protection has itself been hijacked by a profit motive. Freedom of speech? Nope. I can’t use my real name here, because of a judicial order, as many of us are gag ordered. For me each court appearance includes a slip that bars anyone not a party to the case from entering. No witnesses to the corruption, except those powerless to change it, silenced by the courts.
Power corrupts, plain and simple. Once judges are elected they are almost impossible to get rid of short of a major controversy. Media will not touch them, politicians will not either, after all, you never know when it will be your turn in front of their bench. While not all corrupt and certainly none see themselves that way, many are emotionally fatigued and have Title IV-D quotas to fill as a part of their duty. The same politicians that help them with their election benefit directly from these added federal funds. As a result, they do what they want to do, and have judicial immunity in all but the most heinous of cases. But for simply ignoring a higher state or federal law and subsequently ruining you and your children’s lives, there is no punitive action you can take. Want to appeal that illegal order? No problem, $12,000-$50,000 and a 5% chance that the superior court will reverse it. That is if you’re right. Judicial complaint at the state level? In the trash. Want to represent pro-se because you don’t have the tens of thousands? Good luck, your 5% chance is now near zero percent. This is the state of things in America. We have allowed a family court industry, comprised of attorneys, judges (former attorneys,) so called “experts” to hijack the moniker of “what is best for the kids.” And while it is known by the medical/psychological community that the best thing for kids of divorced parents is a no-conflict shared parenting arrangement, this $50 billion a year industry has become so brazen that they will go on the record promoting the use of the “silver bullet” as well as clearly admit that they do not want to change the custody laws to maintain this source of revenue. In Pennsylvania an attempt to reform the law has been stalled, the hearing comprised mostly of attorneys and women’s rights groups who are afraid to lose the leverage the children provide, and the attorney fees from high conflict divorces.
Now of course the democrat parents blame the republicans who passed Title IV-D so that the government doesn’t have to pay assistance to these fatherless families. But then you have democrats who have pushed the laws which allows almost any woman to get an order of protection with no evidence, colloquially known as “the silver bullet” which will almost certainly cause the father to lose custody. In the end, it is a bipartisan problem. The only real progress in the last several decades was president Obama signing into law provisions designed to limit incarceration, as prisons were becoming more and more full of fathers who cannot pay outlandish orders. But I can tell you from personal experience, the local judges will still rule to jail you until you can prove yourself innocent. There is no disincentive for them to act immorally and contrary to the law. There’s no scorecard kept, no punishment. So with that said, even if your future spouse seems like the perfect person, the risk is impossible to outweigh with the meager benefits of marriage. Most of us thought the same of our spouses and as we now know, they can hide this for years or simply exhibit it out of nowhere after pregnancy.
I am the DAD that used to be,
You were my world, and you loved me
but mom said no, that’s how it has to be.
Love you forever and ever,
but your mom stopped that cause she’s more clever.
I’ll see you on the other side, and for now I’ll swallow my pride,
and do what I have to do, to make the world have a clue.
I am a Dad, YOU LOVED ME AND I LOVE YOU,
but mom says we are not allowed to.
NO seeing each other, no being a dad,
because that makes mommy really mad.
I hope you see this in due time,
that what mom does is a crime.
Some states such as California have gone even further. You might think you have a happy marriage for ten years to your sweetheart you’ve known since high school, but if you are in CA then it is possible for you to get hit with lifetime alimony. So at the age of thirty, your sweetheart you married at the age of 20 has a choice. Maybe you put on a few pounds, maybe its been rough for you the last few years, maybe you’ve grown apart. Now does she leave you while taking the kids and your paycheck, or stay married to the man you have become? Free pass to cheat, lie, steal, and do whatever nefarious things she wants. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t, but the law gives the judge the entirety of the discretion. They simply need not like you — no need to justify any legal basis to award it. Only if you appeal do they have to write an opinion, for which you’ll have the tens of thousands right?
Undoubtedly many might see this is as a men’s rights article, and though it disproportionately affects men, there are many women who are estranged from their families and children due to the same laws. Take the case of female physician who works sixty hours a week while her husband is a stay at home dad. Who do you think will get custody in a state that doesn’t do shared custody? There’s more than a small handful of women who are also alienated from their kids, it is real, and it happens. You just need to be at the wrong end of the luck equation, the tables already tilted against you when the interests of the state and the judge are to award custody to the parent with the smallest income.
Ten years ago I was completely unaware of this issue, and until the last few years was quiet about my divorce. But it was only when I began to speak out about it and share my story that I came to the stark realization just how many people have had their lives upended by this. Not just middle aged men, but their parents, new significant others, their children and the children who grow up in these broken, often fatherless homes. We worry about the COVID-19 deaths, a mere fraction compared to those who have lost their lives at their own hands, or at the hands of poverty, substance abuse, and disease resulting from the economic disadvantage or subsequent PTSD. We spend millions on lobbying gun control. And while events like Sandy Hook are beyond reproach, the sad reality is that many more children end their lives due to growing up in these broken homes, parents turned toxic by financial incentive. Many of these children die by their twenties, overdose on opiates to dull the pain. This has to stop somehow. For your sake and that of your children.