August 12, 2014

A Veteran Father Struggles With Family Court and Child Support

When a person walks through the doors of a Military Entrance Processing Station, they know they are signing a contract that gives their mind and body to the military. Most believe it is for a set period of time. For many, the contract is lifelong as the effects of being in the military follow them the rest of their lives.

When a soldier, sailor, marine, or airman is deployed, more is lost than the every day mundainness of life in the United States. Military personnel leave behind home, friends, and family. Often times this loss is permanent but not because the soldier is killed in combat. Most often, losses are because of the strain of being in the military and the effects the soldier carries with them.

The media is quick to jump on stories about military suicides, combat deaths, and active and veteran military members going on a homicidal rampage fueled by PTSD. This is what gets headlines and ratings. This is what people click on when looking for news on the internet. This is what people post and repost to social media. The bloodier and gorier, the more the story is shared, commented on, and used for political issues like gun control.

What happens when a veteran with PTSD is faced with the loss of their home and family? Where is the media then? There are no ratings or headlines for veterans who fight for their rights as parents. A father who is fleeced of his disability pay because courts use past employment to calculate child support is not newsworthy. A man with a bonified disability is discriminated in our countries courts is not a headline when the disability is PTSD. False accusations are believed because the father was labeled with four simple letters.

Where is the outcry? Where is the balance of justice? Courts have spent decades ensuring father's get equal treatment in custody and child support cases. But because lawyers do not understand PTSD, and judges base their opinions on sensationalized headlines of an extreme minority of cases involving violence, a disabled father risks losing his children after already losing his home because he cannot afford child support that was erroneously calculated.

We are not talking about deadbeat dads. We are talking about disabled military veterans who are also parents. Cecil Ranne is one of those fathers struggling for his rights as a parent, and rights to support himself and his children in spite of a disability as a result of his military service. Years after his divorce, Ranne is still fighting a miscalculated child support order while supporting three children with another on the way. Now, he faces jail time for lack of payment for one child in the custody of his ex-spouse.
The amount awarded is in excess of $1300 per month. Shortly after filing for a divorce in 2012, Ranne lost his job and has supported himself and his three other children on his military disability. Despite dozens of attempts to work within the system to get the order modified, Ranne is caught in the child support vortex many parents face who live in one state while the ex-spouse lives in another. Instead of child support services working for the good of the family, child support services in several states are passing the buck amongst themselves causing Ranne to overpay, double pay, and have little to no chance of getting the erroneous order modified and avoid jail.

Each state claims Ranne's issue is the problem of another state because there is an open file in that other state. Oregon where Ranne lives, has decided to harass him for back due child support instead of helping the disabled veteran get things straightened out. Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico pass Ranne off as not being their problem. In addition to passing the buck, each of these state's child support office and family court have apparently forgotten their obligation to assist Ranne through this process per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to the ADA, courts and agencies are required to assist persons with disabilities in completing paperwork and making sure the disabled individual understands everything that is part of the court process. To date, Oregon Child Support Services and Family Court has refused to abide by the ADA in Ranne's case.

Cecil Ranne has PTSD from his two deployments into combat for the United States military. He is not violent. He is a caring and diligent father. He is trying to support his family despite his disabilities. But because of sensationalized media headlines about "crazy" and violent veterans, Ranne has been stereotyped and resultingly discriminated against by a system that purports to act in the best interests of the family.

Where is the media? Where are the headlines? Where is the ACLU when a war veteran carrying the burden of his service to the United States becomes a victim of the United States court system? Where is the justice for a disabled veteran who is also a devoted father?

People enter the military knowing that they are potentially signing away their lives to their country. They did not sign away their civil rights. They did not sign away the lives of their children. Veterans carry the burdens of war. They did not sign away their humanity.

12 comments:

  1. I recently heard our President say mental illness would be a major priority, especially among veterans. But in that regard, this President has been no better, or worse, than the the preceding 4 (they're all I can comment on). My brother was a mechanic for the Air Force--worked on every plane that was in Andrews Air Force base, including the Stealth, and he held a degree in Aerospace Engineering...after 5 years, he went into the reserves, and was paid as a civilian. When he was activated 4 years ago, the job they sent him to was unthinkable--boxing up soldiers, who mostly had been victims of IEDs. It was horrific for him; as it would be for anyone, but he was no doctor, or mortician, or had any special training to be in that job--he was really someone who never should have seen combat--not because he was afraid of it, but using a highly skilled asset that way, a real Rocket Scientist, seems unreal. He never came back from the time overseas. He was different. He was no longer kind, no longer had any joy, seemed no longer a person. He couldn't keep up with his job anymore. In his honor, I won't detail his problems, but they are the same ones I see over and over as I read articles on PTSD. The help he received was minimal and consisted mostly of pills. He lost his job, then his home, then his wife and two children. Unable to keep up with his Reserve work, he was allowed an honorable discharge at 19 years, and received no retirement pay--when it is my belief he should have been put on disability retirement pay, and I am beginning to work on that now, if anyone can help me, so that his wife (they were only separated) and children can receive the benefits please let me know--there is no hope of my brother receiving them...he lost his battle with PTSD and depression 6 months ago today.

    http://www.gofundme.com/casualtiesofwar

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  2. And to the administrator--I just commented, and I believe an email got to you from me, if you must edit (you may not like the link) do what you will, looking for all the help I can get with this...Thanks

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    1. Apologize I've been away for a while. Are you still needing help probably contact me let me know I'm here now.

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    2. Apologize I've been away for a while. Are you still needing help probably contact me let me know I'm here now.

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  3. I like how you comment how they realize that we they are "potentially signing away our lives to their country"and that "they did not sign away their humanity." May I suggest that you talk more about single fathers raising their kids and also suffer from PTSD.

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    1. That's exactly what we're talking about here so let's talk about it more right?

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    2. That's exactly what we're talking about here so let's talk about it more right?

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  4. Good article people need to hear about ptsd and family court abuse

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    1. My kids were taken away from me because of my PTSD. I didn't see them for 6 years. It is a travesty

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    2. My kids were taken away from me because of my PTSD. I didn't see them for 6 years. It is a travesty

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  5. Hi my name is Cedric Sanders and I live in Florida and my son lives in Washington State and my daughter lives in Hawaii. I'm a 20 year retired Navy Veteran that pays over $1500 a month in Child support. I have filed 3 modifications to lower my support and it has been denied. I have been homeless and have lost all of my military memories that I had in storage including pictures and uniforms as well as clothes. I haven't worked since 2013 which is when I moved here. I can't get the help I need from the VA since being diagnosed with anxiety but being told you have PTSD and not be diagnosed is another thing. No lawyer will take my case. I went from making $60000 a year to $13000. How is this justified?? I been trying to get help and no one does. God bless you for this platform and I pray things get better for all that are going through this and some type of law or something gets approved to help veterans. God Bless!!

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    1. Stay strong dude. I t appears this guy may not get back to you soon. But there are things you can do. Like one, get out of that state. Florida, Hawaii, and Washington state all hate fathers. I know, trust me. MY case started in Hawaii. Out of 14 people, I was the only male. Even the bailiff was a woman. Look man, the feminists have infiltrated all these organizations. So you are going to have to actually know the law. You will have to find attorneys who actually help you with paperwork, but you represent yourself. It is cheaper, but certainly not perfect. You are on a slow, and totally uphill climb. Where your exes start out at the top, and are institutionally fortified at it. You have to stop thinking about how things "should be" and start realizing how they are actually. Two separate women huh? Ouch. Finding out that being a playa does not work unless rich the hard way. Yeah, I sorta did the same. My first son's mom saw me coming. I had no clue how evil and conniving she was. These women know exactly how it works, and have many women around them who will tell them how best to maximize all the benefits. Never think she cares about you. And never expect the courts to do their jobs. That is not what they are their for. Their actual job is to ruin you financially, so you can't ever afford an appeal, and increase the money the state can claim for title IV-D benefits from the federal tax payer. The mothers, well they are just chilling with all the benefits. Don't let them tell you otherwise. If they do, try and ask them how much they get after you already know what they qualify for. The fact that you, and the taxpayers are funding their whole life for free, will never dawn on them that they are messed up. Good luck. Wish I had better news.

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