Celebration of Father’s
Remembering Fathers in Different Ways
Fathers Day is just around the corner. For some families it will be a happy day.
For some fathers it will be a lonely day. Dad may be paying child support because
of a court order, unable to see his kids.
To address the issues of young dads with children, who are paying child-support,
the Male Development and Empowerment Center of Medgar Evers College held a
workshop on “Fathers, We Stretch Our Hands To You.” There are 400,000
cases that deal with child support in New York City. According to Judith Albury,
Director of Administration for Children Services Child Support Enforcement/Paternity
and Community Outreach Unit, 65 percent of dads do pay their court-ordered
child support payments on a regular basis.
Ms. Albury and several colleagues from her office, joined Alicia Crowe, attorney
and advocate for fathers rights along with Eric Leggette, founder of Fathers
with Voices, Inc., and Efrain Rodriguez, President of New York State Fathers’ Rights
Association for a workshop designed to inform and empower single fathers who
desire to not only be financially responsible for the children, but to be a
caring dad as well.
Peter Holoman, Director of the MDEC at Medgar Evers College notes that of the
5300 students on campus only 1250 are male. Of those, 30 to 40 percent have children.
This workshop was held to offer information that a father needs to successfully
deal with the Family Courts, and how to navigate through the Administration for
“We have a lot of fathers who do pay and don’t see their children,” Albury
said. Dads who are willing to own up to being financially responsible and yet
being unable to visit children can have a significant emotional impact on the
father. Both Leggette and Rodriguez, note that fathers can get depressed and
suicidal when being prevented by a resentful mother, still hurting from the emotional
toll of a broken relationship. Leggette says fathers need to learn “how
to protect themselves from being victims in the system.”
Those fathers who attended the workshop were advised to keep records of court
dates, receipts of purchases made on behalf of the child, and any record of financial
change that might affect the status of child support payments. Crowe, who works
with fathers in child-support and visitation matters in upstate New York, stressed
that it is very important to establish paternity and that a father should not
take this lightly.
Dwight Boone, 34, is the father of four children by three different mothers.
Boone works as a laborer at Medgar Evers College. He loves his children and supports
all of them financially either through agreements with their respective mothers,
or by compliance with court-mandated payments of child support. He has been dealing
with the child-support system for years. He has recently established a joint
custody arrangement with the mother of two of his daughters, Nahketah, 12 and
Nadira, 11 where the children would stay with him half of the week. Boone is
now going to court in hopes that this plan will be approved. Boone also has a
son, Enrique, 7, with whom he shares a financial arrangement with his mother.
“Money is not an issue when it comes to my kids,” says Boone. Boone
says when he goes to Family Court on child support matters, the Judge assumes
he is a “deadbeat” dad. So Boone brings his receipts and documentation
of money he has spent on his two daughters to counter the speculation.#
For more information call 1-888-208-4485