Website: Friends of the Family

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April 21st, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Bay City, Michigan is the home of website author Douglas Richardson. He’s chosen to focus his website on the incompetence, negligence, corruption, and fraud endemic to the child support system in Bay County, Michigan, in the 18th Judicial Circuit Courts. This system forces child support payments by men who are not the fathers of the children and denies them rights of visitation to their biological children as well.

Friends of the Family — Children Need Both Parents

Richardson’s website it particularly interesting in part because he posts a lot of scanned court and child support system documents to prove his points. From looking through the information he’s posted, it appears he makes a good case that the system in Michigan has abused him and his family.

For instance, a relatively minor example of this is that his wages continued to be garnished to pay child support even after his biological son turned 18 years old and the older child, who was not his biological son, had turned 18 a could of years earlier. Despite the government notifying him that he was no longer subject to child support payments as his children were adults, the child support system continued to take money from his paychecks.

What is far more troubling, however, is that Mr. Richardson was forced to pay child support for a child that was not even his biological son. His ex-wife told her son that Mr. Richardson was not his father, then perjured herself in court claiming he was the father. The judge denied the request for DNA paternity tests when his ex-wife perjured herself in court. Later his non-paternity was proven by DNA tests. The child was living with his biological parents, Richardson’s ex-wife Bonnie Laurie and his biological father Abraham Flores. Yet Mr. Richardson continued to have his wages garnished for child support for both children, even though one of them was not his.

As is typical in family law, there were no consequences for the perjury of Bonnie Laurie except to victimize Mr. Richardson. Family law judges routinely encourage and enable perjury by failing to punish for it, even when it can be proven.

In 1992, after Richardson proved with DNA tests that he was not the father of his ex-wife’s oldest son, the courts terminated his visitation rights but ordered that he continue to pay child support anyway. They not only terminated his visitation rights to the child who was not his son, but terminated them for his biological son, too.

When his ex-wife abandoned her family in 2001, leaving them with Mr. Flores, the courts continued to garnish Richardson’s wages to pay Mr. Flores for raising Flores’s own biological son. Richardson appears to be the victim of perjury and paternity fraud, committed by his ex-wife and furthered by the State of Michigan and Bay County family law courts. He and his son were also the victim of forced termination of parental contact by those same organizations.

Even more amazing, the courts left both children living with Flores who had been charged with felony assault for holding his family at gunpoint in 1997. The State of Michigan’s official position is that men who are not fathers should have their money stolen to pay men who are dangerous felons to take care of their own children.

In Richardson’s view, he was forced to be a slave to the State of Michigan. The child support laws don’t have to do with supporting biological children, they have to do with extorting and stealing money from people for the benefit of the government.

Richardson testified to the Michigan Senate on March 1, 2007. Part of his testimony was:

I am a slave. And I am not alone. There are estimated to be at least tens of thousands of paternity fraud victims in this country, and thousands in Michigan alone. These are men who are presumed to be the father because of marriage; and men whose names are listed by mothers on welfare forms who end up with default judgments that bind them to pay as fathers without any sort of genetic testing or other verification; and men who are forever bound as legal fathers based upon voluntary acknowledgments they sign, which they are typically presented with in the highly emotional moments right after the birth of babies they believe to be their own. The State has no sympathy if these men were lied to. If they are dupes it is their own fault. They still have to pay. The mothers who lied do not suffer. The courts have no consequences. The only one who feels this burden is the man enslaved to pay because he had the foolishness to trust that a child was his own.

Those who argue against paternity disestablishment in the face of DNA tests (and those who would even oppose the ordering of such tests at all) argue that maintaining payments is necessary for the best interests of the child. The fears are that the detrimental effect on the relationship with the non father would be harmful to the child and that the loss of support is not in the best interests of the child. Both of these arguments are simply wrong. First, as my case demonstrates, these laws have nothing whatsoever to do with the relationship between a father and a child. While making me pay support, the court refused to give me any visitation rights to the children. I was not abusive, I was not unfit, I did not do drugs or abuse alcohol, and I would have liked to maintain a relationship with both children. Michigan did not care. The court looked at me as a walking checkbook and happily enslaved me while taking away any rights I had to the children.

I hope Mr. Richardson will continue his quest to hold the State of Michigan and incompetent court employees of the 18th Judicial Circuit responsible for their misconduct and abuse. Likely the only realistic ways for there to be a change in the operation of abusive government in regards to family law is for outrages such as these to continued to be made widely known. Mr. Richardson deserves applause for his efforts to encourage the pursuit of justice rather than the extortion and abuse so common to family law courts.

Further Reading

Friends of the Family — Children Need Both Parents

Holding Family Law Judges Accountable

  1. Owed
    April 14th, 2010 at 18:24 | #1

    Douglas Richardson owes me money, admits he owes me money, says he paid, but check never arives and he refuses to pay. I feel bad for his situation, but wonder if it is a related issue?

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