A recent online article highlighted the fact that poor parents tend to serve more jail time for child support issues than middle class or wealthy parents.
Sadly, if parents are arguing about child support, their child is likely paying a heavy price. If family judges get involved, children are doomed,
What is grossly unfair about our modern child support system, is how aggressively the state can collect child support arrearages, but how biased family law judges appear to be in making those support orders.
Silicon Valley's Family Courts: Worst On Child Support Issues
On a recent morning calendar Judge James Towery told a mother that the $200 or so dollars a month she was requesting , pro per, didn't warrant his attention, and the matter was continued by several more months.
Through his words and conduct, Towery demonstrated that he has no ability to understand the financial issues related to the children impacted by his rulings. For that child, $200 a month could mean a week of not being to eat healthy food, or a month more of not being able to buy new shoes or coats needed to replace outgrown clothing. For James Towery $200 is just a fancy dinner with wife number three (or four) and a moderately priced bottle of wine.
On that same morning Towery told another mother who was seeking discovery on how much her ex made in construction contracts (so she could figure out how much child support he owed), that her motion was denied . That mother's lawyer stated outside the court, "he had never seen anything like it in his life as a family lawyer. " Court files show Towery consistently demonstrates gender bias by denying women basic discovery that is needed to address support and property division issues in a divorce case.
Before recess on that same day, Towery told a mother seeking to collect over $50,000 in back child support, that he couldn't be bothered with that because another judge made an order that said he didn't have to, never mind state law that said he did .
Towery does not act solely with gender bias, he , like Judge Grilli, act with socioeconomic bias, failing to address support as the law requires when one side is acting without a lawyer ( legally defined as socioeconomic bias) . Such conduct that is supposedly barred by California's Judicial Code of Ethics, and appears to be repeatedly ignored by Santa Clara County judges, acting in one of the wealthiest communities in the state.
Best Interests of Children Ignored in Silicon Valley
Towery's failure to address the best interests of children is so routine, that he rubber stamps void orders offered by lawyers, and rarely sets contempt motions filed by pro pers , when custody and support issues are at hand.
Across the hall in Judge Grilli's courtroom, Grilli seems unpassed by shady paid vocational experts who testify in support of outlandish income imputing requests. Grilli , and her judicial peers appear equally lacking in suspicion when hired gun CPAs, retained and paid by one side, seem to not be able to find any money for support from a wealthy represented parent, and where the other parent is unable to pay a lawyer or expert. Grilli does not even appear to know how to read a tax return , despite bring a family law judge for over 20 years.
Furthermore, Mary Ann Grilli, like many of her peers , appears to be incompetent when using a Dissomaster to calculate support. Grilli is so inept in making support calculations using the Dissomaster, that she often assigns the calculations to the represented party to calculate, the fox guarding the hen house ,not withstanding.
Court records in cases before Grilli show alarming inconsistencies, where Grilli appears to routinely issue support orders below state law. Grilli's support orders are all over the board. It is fraud , it is abuse of power and it harms children who are under supported as a result.
Grilli's unwillingness to lawfully address support , and the best interests of the children during a family law case, date back to her ruling in Re Marriage of Cheriton, where lawyer Bard Baugh got Grilli to order support under $3000 per month ,m for four children, against David Cheriton, Stanford law professor who had over $542,000,000 in tech stock at the time Grilli rubberstamped Baugh's orders and requests.
For the children of Silicon Valley, the sixth district overruling Grilli and requiring parents to support their children, fell on deft , dumb and bling judicial heads, where Grilli , and the peers she influences , continue to place the interests of their favored lawyers over those of Silicon Valley's children during divorce cases.
Santa Clara County State Guideline Support Inconsistencies- Dissomaster or Judges at Fault???
Judge Grilli , and her Silicon Valley judicial peers, appear to be poorly trained on using and applying Dissomaster software. The software used in courts across California requires accurate inputs to determine what state required child support must be ordered. . Grilli, and her peers , seem to not be able to use or understand this software, and Santa Clara County Court insiders report the county provides no training to family court judges old enough to not be comfortable with modern technology. Therefore, there is more than an appearance that in the heart of Silicon Valley, family court judges are unable, and untrained to use and lawfully apply the routinely used child support calculating software.
Judges Go "Off Law": And Use Child Support as Weapon against Pro Per Parents
Santa Clara Court records show that parents requesting courts void or modify unlawful child support orders, calculated by incompetent , or biased, judges, are silenced by policies and informal policies and practices that deny due process and prevent the revealing of the systemic failures of family courts.
These practices show family court judges writing orders that deviate from state law, rubber-stamping orders of nefarious lawyers seeking to have their clients avoid supporting children during a divorce, and continuing child support motions into the black abyss of the court calendar , where they are never set and often become moot because the child ages out of the system and the parent attempting to collect back support just gives up.
Court records show the parent owed back support is given the impossible task of trying to get a judgement to actually be able to collect the support they are owed, when wealthy represented clients pay a lawyer to play " keep away".
Most alarming is the pattern Santa Clara County Courts appears to be employing that serves to block parents seeking to appeal unlawful child support orders. Court records show that Susan Walker , manager of the appeal section for the trial court, refuses to answer the phone, claims staff shortages have caused as much as a five to six month delay in sending appeals to the appeals court, and has knowledge that payments for appeals have been redirected and notices of default are intentionally delayed or backdated, all giving rise for lawful dismissal of appeals that leave a parent unable to collect guideline child support through the courts.
Parents who speak up the loudest about the trial court's failure to properly address child support in family law cases, appear to be labeled by the county's judiciary , blackballed from getting basic discovery , and at times even declared vexatious, where they are perpetually denied the opportunity to modify or void unlawful child support orders.
Jailed Parents Can't Support their Children
In Santa Clara County judges appear more than willing to send innocent parents to jail for failing to pay child support when those parents are self represented. However, judges do not apply the same zeal when a parent in default of child support is represented and the parent attempting to collect child support is unrepresented.
Support orders issued by judges in Santa Clara family law cases appear to be highly problematic. Court files show judges will more quickly enforce judgements and issue sanctions when requests are made by an ":in crowd" of lawyers, and will completely ignore the same requests and issue no sanctions when the requests are made by a pro per, or less favored lawyer. Children are suffering as a result.
Support that is unpaid, often stems from an unlawful order made while one parent was unable to afford a lawyer, and the order shows more of an abuse of discretion and financial fantasy calculations of a single judge, than anything that resembles the state mandated child support laws.
Across the country decorated navy veteran Kash Jackson is so outraged at the jailing of parents stemming from child support issues, that he has taken to the national roadways, and airwaves, with an inverted flag as a symbol, to bring attention to what is wrong with child support and family courts in America today.
If anyone stopped and did the math, they would find poor parents imputed for income they could never afford, and wealthy parents spending 100% of child support orders to hire lawyers to get them out of supporting their children. No judge appears to be looking at he insanity of legal fees parents appear willing to pay to get out of supporting their children.
Lack of parity, where one parent is represented and has access to costly experts to avoid lawful child support payment appears to be more the general course of business and acceptance by today's family courts. It doesn't belong in child support issues and judges should not be allowed to continue to ignore the state mandate on legal parity found in Family Code 2030 and 3557, when child support issues are at hand.
Children in America Bankrupted by Family Courts
Most children whose parents are compelled to try to collect support through family courts are under supported, and never afforded the opportunity to go to college, Parents so intent on burying their ex are willing to spend millions on lawyers and court fees , and then quibble over paying a few hundred dollars in child support.
Children are expensive , they have needs and they need to be supported to become valuable citizens in the future, it is a societal issue. And one of key importance.
Parents , no matter how bitter at a former spouse, have to rise to their parenting obligations and support the needs of their own children. Courts must demand this, and cease in contributing to disputes that so severely fail our children. .
Somewhere society allowed a single family law judge to become involved in child rearing issues. Judges are human, and often unable to provide quality parenting for their own children, they should not have power over the children involuntarily forced into the family court jurisdiction.
Systemic judicial abuse and arrogance has no place in the role of parenting , or supporting, our children. Judges demonstrate over and over the human flaws of the judiciary, our children should not be subjected to those flaws that so greatly impact their future.
Time to Stop Jailing Innocent Parents Over Child Support Issues
It is long past time to speak up against the judges , and the agencies, who are stealing our children's child support for their own livelihoods, or jailing parents based on phantom income and fantasy finances. We must start showing what these judges are doing to our children, and their innocent parents.
Please forward redacted copies of tax returns, w-2 statements , filed court documents, and child support orders. Name your judge and the lawyers involved if you have an order that looks more like fantasy finance than the reality of supporting a child. Include with your information billing statements of how much lawyers billed, on both sides, to address child support issues., Redact last names, children's names and Social Security numbers, do not redact judge or lawyer names. Email to :firstname.lastname@example.org