A couple of times each year, sheriff's officers around the state round up "dead beat" parents and lock them up. The latest raid happened about two weeks ago over a three day period. Whenever this makes the news, people who haven't been through a divorce involving kids, see this as a good thing. For those who've been caught up in the nightmare that is family court for many, it's another tragedy in the lives of people whose personal life didn't work out the way they hoped.

I'm not saying that there aren't some people that don't live up to their responsibilities, but the entire system of family court in New Jersey is a mess. Partly because the government shouldn't have anything to do with people's personal lives, but unfortunately, we as a society have accepted that this is the proper way to deal with issues of divorce and child support. Caught up in these "sting" operations are people whose employers didn't keep up with the payment schedule on exact time or folks who just can't possibly afford to pay an arbitrary figure that some judge imposed according to a flawed funding formula.

There are always two or three sides to all of these stories, but the one thing that holds true in all of them, is that it is not wise to get into "the system". The system sucks and the system doesn't care about anybody in it. The system cares about grinding out more cases and grinding up many of the people involved in it. It's a racket for the bureaucracy, for the attorneys and judges and court officers involved. Are there a few people involved in it that care? Maybe a few. But my advice to you, if you're contemplating divorce involving kids, is to not involve the system in collecting the money.

It's fraught with peril and bound to cause frustration and misery for the parties involved. Make a deal on your own and if one of the parties involved doesn't live up to their end of the bargain, move on. They'll get theirs in the end. So many people use the family court system as an instrument of revenge and think they'll get justice against the other party. Be adults. Work things out amicably and if you can't, then get help in the form of a mediator or family member. Otherwise you'll be a patsy in this dirty, often dishonest and corrupt world of pure misery. Nobody should find satisfaction or any sense of justice in these "busts", just sadness that the problem in their personal life is exacerbated by your local government.

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