Billions in Child Support Going to Lawyers and Bureaucrats | Leon Koziol.Com
Public Apathy and Lack of Accountability in Family Court are Damaging Our Children
While federal and state prosecutors focus on high profile politicians for public accountability, our third branch of government remains self regulated and largely overlooked. As a result, parents, children and extended families are being fleeced by lawyers and third party beneficiaries every day to unconscionable levels. It’s all part of a lucrative child control industry.
Consider the recent custody case reported by the New York Post involving Dr. Eric Braverman, a highly committed father and respected neuro-surgeon in Manhattan who spent more than $4.5 million in an unsuccessful attempt to retain a meaningful relationship with his children. A judge-appointed attorney for those same children went to horrendous lengths to pervert this man’s efforts with fees approximating a half million dollars.
Now come on folks, let’s not lose sight of sanity here! How can one lawyer acting on behalf of immature and unsuspecting children be worth so much on a single case? Was this lawyer truly committed to “client” interests or was he seeking to justify his gigantic personal pay-out for a dubious role in a sensitive matter?
More disturbing, while this lawyer was busy racking up billable hours in his agenda against the father, those fees were being exacted from the same children’s college funds. Once again, it all goes back to our earlier posts warning followers of Leon Koziol.com that no amount of fees is enough once you enter divorce and family court.We even offer a program to convince would-be victims to choose mediation, counseling and alternative resolutions.
Compounding this uncontrolled greed is the lawyer glut entering the market. There are more than 1.25 million licensed attorneys in the United States today with about 300,000 in California alone and at least that many seeking a law school education each year. These people have to work somewhere and the bureaucrats are making room for them in family court. This is where apprentices typically learn their trade and marginal lawyers can concoct litigation to last an entire career.
The public is generally unaware that our federal government rewards the states by the number and magnitude of support awards generated in their family courts. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that such incentive grants make the decision makers inherently biased against fathers. Support obligations are artificially hiked through such judge-created fictions as imputed income. Fathers comprise 82% of support debtors per our Census Bureau.
To give an appearance of ethics, many states impose rules which prohibit lawyers from executing contingent fee arrangements in domestic relations cases. However, exceptions have been crafted which allow them for support collection purposes. This gets very interesting when you look deeper into the deceptions and the greed.
Think of it! A lawyer can now charge thousands of dollars in up front fees and billable hours during protracted litigation and then double dip on the back side by getting a third of the actual support intended for the children. The state typically gets all the interest generated off these awards in addition to a custodial fee and the federal incentive money.
In New York, the tax department is assigned support enforcement authority. In effect the state is intervening with all its machinery on the side of the so-called “custodial parent” while no similar powers are offered to the lower class parent to remedy child access deprivations. It prompted one state Supreme Court justice to question the state’s involvement in a private debt between self sufficient parents.
If you’re a debtor, you could be charged with your lawyer’s fees, the children’s lawyer, opposing fees, the contingency collection fee and court costs such as counseling, supervision and “parent education” as they call it. In countless cases, particularly those involving veterans and minorities, the debtor fathers will never be able to complete their servitude, landing them in debtor prisons. This will only add to our tax burdens and a dubious distinction as the most imprisoned population in the “free” world.
This kind of piling-on caused one police investigator to commit a murder-suicide, leaving three children without parents and city taxpayers with a $2 million liability. Nowhere in the civil rights case will you read about this father leaving support court living on $28 per week, see Pearce v Longo, 766 F. Supp. 2d 367. It begs the question: what would make a law man resort to such extremes after following the “proper” channels?
We’ve been doing our best to inform you of these alarming developments because the media is ignoring this crisis. But we cannot continue to do so without your financial support in a war against a trillion dollar industry. Public apathy has allowed this to happen along with the lawyer greed shockingly rationalized to be in our children’s best interests. It is a gold mine of unparalleled proportion that is causing so many of our social ills today.
And who pays for that?
By Dr. Leon R. Koziol