I am a find the silver lining kind of guy. I look at an issue and try and see something that may spring positive from it’s effects. While same sex marriage issues like, who will cater weddings, are still all the rage I look to a time when maybe more serious issues will be fixed. Let’s take divorce and child support. I live in the worst state in the nation to be divorced, New York.
Despite what you might believe, shared parenting is not the norm in instances of divorce and separation. In fact, family courts award sole custody, usually to the mother, in over 80 percent of child custody cases,” said Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Founder and Chair, National Parents Organization.
Have a look at the link to the scoreboard on that page and see the disparity of state laws across the country. What this means is that here in NY State I am essentially getting screwed and the ex won the lottery when I agreed to give her primary custody. Despite the fact I see my children 14 overnights a months I get no financial credit for this. It’s almost as if by seeing them more I am being punished. Seeing them more means more trips to the grocery store, more fast food stops, more gas in driving them around, & more household resources used. This is added onto the amount calculated by a formula that the primary custodian receives. This is a back breaking and financial nightmare if you ever have to experience it. This also doesn’t take into account all the co-payments on medical, the cost of the insurance I must keep. These are usually collected and piled up by the ex then presented when she drags me to court and the Magistrate orders a judgement to have them collected out of my paycheck on top of the amount I already have deducted. I have tried explaining my situation to this magistrate but the ruling comes down regardless. The truth is, the court is biased to the woman and primary custodian. This will be interesting once the dynamic in the courtroom is 2 women or 2 men. Who gets the preferential treatment then? There came a day when I literally had zero dollars in my account because a judgement came down and froze my account. I went to the support office and tried explain that I have my kids for the next 4 overnights and have no money to provide for them. There wasn’t a thing that could be done.
So, what does all this have to do with Gay Marriage/Divorce. I foresee that within a few years when these adjudications start to affect two women or two men that they will see the inherent unfairness of this. Because at that point it will no longer an issue affecting men only, which is a politically unsafe position to stand up for, the laws will start to shift here in NY more toward shared parenting which some states in the U.S. effectively have working now. Currently trying to get a representative of the state to take on this issue in a progressive state when the world is screaming of ‘War on Women’ is impossible. It is a political football so hot, no one will touch it. But, make it an LGBT fairness issue and then a progressive army of lawyers will pony up to fix this lottery winning system of being declared Primary custodian. And some of these concerns can already start being seen popping up at places like the Huffington Post.
I can only hope it happens within the next ten years and maybe I will actually reap some benefit and reward for being a good stand up good father to my children whom I currently suffer financially for.