Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I is for (dis)Incentive Part V

Not so horribly long ago, I was comparing the states in the US, and wondering if there was a disincentive to marriage in states like NJ, NY, CA, MA and the like where being a man turns into a crime post divorce.

I is for Incentive?
I is for Incentive Part II
I is for Incentive, Part III
I is for (dis)Incentive Part IV

Well, in light of this work of mine it is very interesting to see the following on the NJ Law Site's Child Support FAQ page:

from New Jersey Law Site's Child Support FAQ

Each state has their own set of child support guidelines. New Jersey has some of the strictest and highest child support awards in the United States. Therefore, in many cases where a person moves to another state, he may try to have a child support award established anywhere but New Jersey. The child support awards are much lower in the southern states and in Florida than they are in New Jersey. The child support awards are higher in New York than in New Jersey.

The UIFSA is very complex. The parties can generally litigate for years and battle over which state has jurisdiction to establish child support. This can be a very important issue. If a person lives in the south, and if they have to pay a New Jersey child support award, this can be quite a hardship. The wages and salaries are generally lower outside of the tri-state area. Therefore, many people will try to have a child support award calculated in their home state.

In general, the state where the child lives has controlling jurisdiction over the case. It can be very difficult to enforce a child support order if a person moves out of New Jersey. The sister state will enforce the child support order. However, in many sister states they are very slow in their efforts to use their police powers to enforce the New Jersey child support order.

It is common knowledge that many "deadbeat dads" deliberately move out of New Jersey to try to avoid child support. With the advent of computers, it is now almost impossible for a "deadbeat dad" to hide forever. However, the sister state may not be as aggressive or efficient as New Jersey is in enforcing the collection of child support.

I am honestly suprised that NJ is seen as one of the worst. But I must admit I have not done the numbers. I am very lucky to have my kids half the time, and that probably reduces the amount I pay out significantly. But I know you don't want to be in NY, where the percentages get huge quickly. Maybe as a service to men, I should spend some time looking at guidelines from state to state. A HUGE project. Not sure when, if ever I will have time to approach it. But interesting to know that men are choosing to MOVE to other states and take their kids pre-divorce. I know of one man who moved to Texas, and the potential for divorce was cited as one significant reason.

In a related item (from the point of view of incentive) a Census Bureau study cited at Newsmax.com indicates that men are 'waiting too long to marry'. Especially educated men, and especially ones in the Northeast, or on the West Coast. The article notes that men wait longer than women to marry in every state, and that from the point of view of women, it is too late, because their fertile years have often begun to wane by the time men are ready to marry. Another interesting bit from the article: - 15% of new mothers in the US are not US citizens.

It strikes me that there is a huge dis-incentive for working men to reproduce in the US. But of course there is a huge incentive for illegal immigrants to reproduce here, as the children are automatically citizens. Will this country ever stop and think about what it incentivizes, and what it makes a virtual crime? If people are interested in promoting marriage, they need to protect legally the people who GET married, and that means protecting their persons, and their posessions. By turning the married state into the equivalent of Europe in 1913, our state and Federal governments have made marriage a nervous, volatile, dangerous place, to be entered into only by the brave, the strong, and the foolish. And like Europe after World War I, the divorced state is characterized by painful and abusive 'reparations' that prevent the parties from healing and moving on, and which just help to lead to further 'wars' (whoops, legal actions).

Who with foresight of what might happen would move to Europe in 1913? Who, in their right mind gets married in 2005? If we were not overwhelmingly foolish, the marriage rate would be far lower than it is.


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