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Court created fatherlessness?

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2017 at 2:39 PM
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pusheen-kitty
by Battler on Jan. 18, 2017 at 2:41 PM
From the Washington examiner:

To hear the media and politicians talk about fatherlessness, you might assume the topic is solely about derelict dads. It isn't. Father absence is primarily about a culture that has little regard for fathers and the role they play in children's lives. Consider the following:

In 2010, at a press conference to promote the film "The Switch," actress Jennifer Aniston said women are realizing "that you don't have to settle, you don't have to fiddle with a man to have that child."

In a 2010 article in the Atlantic titled "Are Fathers Necessary?" New York Times editor Pamela Paul wrote, "The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there's nothing objectively essential about his contribution."

In a CNN interview with Maureen Dowd about her book, Are Men Necessary?, Dowd says, "Now that women don't need men to reproduce and refinance, the question is, will we keep you around? And the answer is, 'You know, we need you in the way we need ice cream — you'll be more ornamental.'"

Such statements would never have been made 30 years ago. Since then, the United States has demoted fathers from respected and vital members of society to superfluous buffoons. Turn on any sitcom and Dad is depicted as childish, lazy or incompetent.

Mom, meanwhile, is so utterly capable Dad might as well live someplace else.

Sadly, this attitude toward fathers isn't just evident in our culture. It is also evident in our family courts. When it comes to child custody, mothers are the default parent.

That may have made sense when mothers were home. But in a culture of dual-income families and hands-on fathers, the rules must change.

Women can't have it both ways. They cannot choose full-time work over mothering and insist on sharing child care "equally" with Dad, and then pull rank in a divorce. Yet that's what's happening.

Senate panel approves Mattis to be next defense secretary
Also from the Washington Examiner

In a typical divorce, dads are relegated to the role a divorced dad was back in the day: He becomes something akin to a visiting uncle. That's the equivalent of yanking a toddler's favorite teddy bear away and then letting him or her have it back once a week for a few hours.

In a divorce, the physical custodial arrangements determine whether the bond between a child and one of his parents will flourish or die. And nine times out of 10, the bond that is severed is the one between father and child. The most recent figures from Pew Research found that only 22 percent of dads who don't live with their kids see them more than once a week.

Indeed, father absence is a national epidemic affecting millions of children. Almost every major social pathology has been linked to father absence: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, unwed pregnancy, suicide and psychological disorders.

One way to lessen this devastation is to institute a presumption of shared parenting in divorces for which there is no evidence of abuse or neglect (which is most divorces). Five states (South Dakota, Arizona, Utah, Missouri and Wisconsin) have currently moved in that direction, no doubt because of reams of research demonstrating shared parenting is best for kids.

Fathers like Brad Pitt know this and want to do what's right for their kids. Sadly, they're up against ex-wives who use their children and manipulate the system to their advantage. But if shared parenting were the fallback assumption, this wouldn't happen.

Justices grill both sides in trademark battle over 'Slants' band name
Also from the Washington Examiner

"It is one thing [for family courts] to recognize young children need their mother; it is another altogether to say they need her to have the arbitrary power to keep away their father. Yet current judicial practice allows her to do precisely that," writes Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D., an authority on divorce and child custody.

Republicans now control all three branches of government in 25 states. Given the overwhelming research in favor of shared parenting, they should enact such legislation and address court-created fatherlessness.

Divorce is tragic enough for children. A subsequent forced separation from their father simply drives the nail in the coffin.

Establishing a presumption of shared parenting would extricate that nail.

Suzanne Venker is an author, Fox News contributor, and trustee of Leading Women for Shared Parenting. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.
jules2boys
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2017 at 8:49 PM
2 moms liked this

(This will be long, because, I type a lot. ;) )

Using my own personal experience (no scientific studies to back this), I am not buying this.  I don't think it's 'court created'.  I think, in time, more than those 5 states will move to 50/50 custody being the initial custody layout, then things will/can be worked out from there, but, like all things in government, it'll take a bit more time, and it'll take a lot more fathers fighting for said custody in the other 45 states to make these changes come about. 

My own situation. My BF.  Granted, I was 19 when my parents divorced, but my brother was 6 or 7.  I was fully involved in their custody battle (including hiding my brother from our BF at he onset, due to very real fears that he'd take off with the boy and kill him - that was just one of his many threats at the time.  He was an active alcoholic and rather violent, even when he wasn't actively drinking).  Everything he did, for the first 2 years IN COURT and the next 3 years outside of court, was to 'get even' or 'get back' at our BM.  It has NOTHING to do with my brother.  He only wanted him when he 'knew' (or thought he knew) that it hurt our BM that my bro was with BF. 

Long story short (missing a lot of details), BF wasn't interested in being a FATHER half of the time.  He was interested in continuing to control my BM and make her miserable.  He succeeded for a number of years, but then, through much counseling and time away from her XH (my BF), she stopped letting his horrible antics and abuse get to her.  He lost interest and moved away (to prove to her she couldn't it without him! - his words).  And, she and my brother began to heal after that, still continuing with counseling.  The courts didn't create anything with him, HE did. 

My XH, my boys BF.  He was uninvolved with the boys when we were married and shared a home and a bed.  He liked the 'idea' of having a family, loved to show us off for his co-workers and anyone else who'd praise him for what a beautiful family he had, etc., but, he wasn't involved with us.  He found any/every excuse not to be home to do the day to day things that are required/necessary to build a family, a life together.  He didn't get up with the boys when they were sick, he didn't take them to the doctors unless I pleaded with him and usually only after I 'gave in' to some demand of his, just to be involved with his children.  He didn't keep them at home when I wasn't there. If I was working or involved in something at church, he'd ask me to pack a bag for the boys and immediately leave for his moms, so he didn't have to 'deal with them'.  She, of course, loved it, but he was uninvolved.  (he is the same way with his girls with SM. This is his choice.)  When we separated, he wasn't involved with the boys unless SM was around to 'see' his involvement.  When she wasn't around, he wasn't either.  When we divorced, he insisted that children should grow up in a home with a married couple, so HE should have custody.  I laughed. I  told him they HAD been growing up in a home with a married couple, until he walked out.  They weren't puppies, they weren't interchangeable, and they weren't going anywhere.  When we divorce, HE filed the paperwork (claimed he couldn't find me, yet, I was still living in our marital home and he saw me at least twice every week) and HE chose his limited involvement, for times he wasn't working AND times SM could 'see' him being involved.  Otherwise he 'allowed' me to keep the boys on his CO'd time.  I didn't complain, I didn't want the boys with him in the first place.  NOT because I thought he'd harm them (though I didn't trust him, still don't) but because I hadn't asked for the divorce and I certainly hadn't asked to be separated from my boys either.  So, for 10+ years I had them beginning about 85% of the time, leading up to 100% of the time.  They spend more time at school in one WEEK than they do/did with him in an entire year.  In 2016, YDS14 has spent about 30 hours with BF.  Why?  Because BF is uninterested in being involved in YDSs life, there is no 'showcase' for him to shine anymore. 

In NEITHER of my personal experiences did the 'courts' have anything to do with BF creating a 'fatherless' situation.  This is all on BFs. 

That said, I know a number of BFs who ARE involved in their children's lives, who ARE involved 50% or more with their children, who don't have to ask anyone what their childrens clothing size is, if they're allergic to any foods/medications, have other allergies, what medications they take (or why), who their teacher is, what school they attend, who their friends are (or their friends parents are), etc.  I know there are much more involved fathers out there.  I wish they didn't have to 'fight' at any point to remain involved in their childrens lives.  Most that I know didn't have to 'fight' this though.  This is what they asked for in court, and what they were granted, by the courts.  In all but one case, the BM didn't fight it either.  They also knew the father was an involved parent, had always been, and would remain so.  One BM did 'fight' the 50/50 but didn't 'win'. She fought to 'get back' at BF. Fortunately, for the children, once 50/50 was granted, she let go of the 'getting back' at BF and things are well between them all.  In ALL of these cases that I know of though, the children were older, no infants/toddlers were involved.  I don't know if this made any difference with the courts or not, I never asked.  The youngest kid was about 10 (and had older siblings) when the parents divorced.  (my kids were an infant and almost 5 when we separated, and 3 and 7 when we divorced)

In fairness, and not to lay blame solely at BFs feet (either one), I will say...

My own BF didn't have a role model in his life.  His parents both died before he was 8 or 9, he was raised by an aunt who really didn't like him/boys (she adored his sisters but I can't say she was a good influence on them either), and his uncles weren't around much either, all having families of their own to tend to when he was growing up.  At some point one much 'get over' their childhood, make peace with it, and learn to grow.  My BF didn't.  In many ways, he's still stuck at being a 7yo boy who is angry at the world.  It SUCKED growing up around him. 

My XH, my boys BF, had a father who was a work-a-holic. He was 'around', but often 'forgot' to pick him up from xMIL.  They divorced when XH was about 2 or 3 but stayed 'close', even today.  XH did have his GF, whom he lived with until he and I married.  GF was a good influence on XH but XH wasn't interested in learning all GF could have shown him.  I find BF to be much like xFIL.  In a crowd he's 'on stage', but in life, he's aloof and distant.  He doesn't stay in touch, others around him do.  When he's one on one he's fine, but don't hand him responsibility, he'll shun it unless there is a paycheck involved (xFIL anyway, XH will shun it regardless).  XH shies way from responsibility, always has.  I just didn't know/realize it until we'd been married a few years.  When I became pg with YDS I was actively working on counseling for 'us', while he already had a foot out the door (unbeknownst to me at the time).  SM was already in his life.

Anyway, I think in some states it's becoming easier for BFs to gain 50% custody. Other states are still rather antiquated.  Hopefully enough fathers will show an interest in more custody/time with their kids that the courts will decide it's worth looking into. 

I do NOT think it should be 'automatic' or 'forced' on them though.  I would hate to think of the damage either my own BF or XH could have done being 'forced' into 50/50 immediately upon divorce/separation. 

babyboxfish
by on Jan. 18, 2017 at 10:23 PM

unrelated but your icon is pusheen and that is the best :)

Shabby_Chic
by Silver Member on Jan. 18, 2017 at 10:24 PM

Absent fathers create fatherlessness. "It's not my time so I won't help/go/keep the kids unless you are willing to have me document that you needed help" (well, they don't say it, but it's advocated for on sites dedicated to steps and bad divorces) creates fatherlessness. 

I have plenty of anecdotal evidence, like the previous poster.  My father left the state when I was three and came back around when I was 17.  He recently told me he wanted to sue my mother for hiding me - yet he was calling the house, sending letters.  He knew right where we were, but he still blames my mother 33 years later. 

My kids' father main interest was causing me problems and he saw our kids as walking dollar signs (well, once a year, he loved the tax deductions).  He didn't come to games despite being handed schedules with highlighted dates, locations, and times.  He didn't come to school events despite me telling him (at first) or them being plastered all over reader boards (the schools the kids attend are righ tin between our homes). He didn't call the kids, when he had a wife he let her answer their calls and it got to the point the kids just said "nevermind."  He didn't want to see  them unless his wife, sister, or mother was around - he didn't get to know them as people and let everyone else take care of them, spend time with them because it was easier on him. 

My husband's father is a decent man, but he doesn't see his kids unless they come to him.  He splits his time between three or four towns and when he's here we don't know unless he's at his mom's house and we go see her. When he's in the town his home is in my brother in law doesn't know unless the stepmom calls my sister in law to make plans (she doesn't come down here), her time is split in their home town, an east coast town and a west coast town). 

My brother's father stopped taking visitation about 3  years after the divorce.  He went back to his home country. He did make contact when the boys were grown up and started offering them money and gifts to see him. One took advantage of it, the other wanted nothing to do with him. 

My other brother's father was a married man whose wife threatened to divorce him if he saw the kid. 

No court was involved in most of those. 

leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Jan. 19, 2017 at 8:17 AM
1 mom liked this

I disagree, I believe poor choices created fatherless, mostly by the father and to a lesser extent by some mothers. The courts are rarely ever the cause, the parties are the issue.

'Women can't have it both ways. They cannot choose full-time work over mothering and insist on sharing child care "equally" with Dad, and then pull rank in a divorce. Yet that's what's happening.

I disagree that is is happening in large scale, I am positive that the majority of working mothers are still doing the bulk of the child caring and so in the divorce, they should demand primary custody.

If fathers are involved and their role in their children's life is being challenged, they need to fight for their children like they know how to fight for their salary packages and other physical assets.

hotspice58
by New Member on Jan. 19, 2017 at 9:58 AM

All the posters make good points.  Some men absolutely should not be fathers.  They don't have a clue about what needs to be done.  And some of this is on women.  Having a child with a man who has more than one kid that he's not involved with is asking for trouble.  Women need to be taught that they can't "fix" a man.  But the courts do have some culpability.  There are men who want to be involved and the courts limit their time.  Men run out of money for lawyers and/or time needed to get the court's permission to see their kids.

shiarhars
by Silver Member on Jan. 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM

I like to put my two cents in. I think this has nothing to do wit the court itself but like someone else already said the individual poor choice and priorities.

In my personal case, I married a man who had a child, paid child support yet he was not involve in this child life nor made the effort. Granted the child lived in a different country but still. In the 3 years that we were married he made the effort to go see his son one time, one time. That right there should have been a red flag for me not to married this man. Still I thought I was in love so I married him. He talked to his child a couple of times a month and that was it. bm would only make the effort to call when she needed money other than that she didn't care if dh called or not. I finally woke up from that nightmare. In this case court had nothing to do with absent parent.


Moving on to the present Dh has child from his previous marriage. When I first met him and learned his dramatic story about his divorce and how he ended up with custody actually said a lot about him. In this case court had nothing to do with it. He wanted to be in his child life and bm tried to do everything from taking parental rights to only wanting cs with no visitation right for dh. Judge saw right through that and nip it in the but. Today, even though bm is still involve in sd life its still at a minimum. She can go weeks with out calling sd. The only time she sends her anything is during holidays and maybe one or two occasions out side of that. CS was not on co so she didn't paid anything until we moved and child care where we are is more expensive here. Dh called bm and ask if she was ever going to contribute to support their child. Her response was I didn't know I had to smh really lady?. DH gave her a list of all the expenses (Child care, after school care and activities etc)and to my surprise she started sending half the money in the last few month. So she is trying at least imo. Again not a court fault but personal poor choice, a working progress none the less.

Over all My point is that its not only fathers who tend to be absent moms do so too. Its not the courts fault either that parents tend to make poor choices either. IMO its very bias that they made this statement in such a general aspect. 

Quoting pusheen-kitty: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gop-must-act-on-the-national-epidemic-of-absent-fathers/article/2610911


shiarhars
by Silver Member on Jan. 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM

I agree with you, a lot of it has to do with personal choices this parents make. A lot has to do with the personal vendetta they have against the other parent. They think it will hurt the other parent and don't realize that they actually hurting the child.

Quoting jules2boys:

(This will be long, because, I type a lot. ;) )

Using my own personal experience (no scientific studies to back this), I am not buying this.  I don't think it's 'court created'.  I think, in time, more than those 5 states will move to 50/50 custody being the initial custody layout, then things will/can be worked out from there, but, like all things in government, it'll take a bit more time, and it'll take a lot more fathers fighting for said custody in the other 45 states to make these changes come about. 

My own situation. My BF.  Granted, I was 19 when my parents divorced, but my brother was 6 or 7.  I was fully involved in their custody battle (including hiding my brother from our BF at he onset, due to very real fears that he'd take off with the boy and kill him - that was just one of his many threats at the time.  He was an active alcoholic and rather violent, even when he wasn't actively drinking).  Everything he did, for the first 2 years IN COURT and the next 3 years outside of court, was to 'get even' or 'get back' at our BM.  It has NOTHING to do with my brother.  He only wanted him when he 'knew' (or thought he knew) that it hurt our BM that my bro was with BF. 

Long story short (missing a lot of details), BF wasn't interested in being a FATHER half of the time.  He was interested in continuing to control my BM and make her miserable.  He succeeded for a number of years, but then, through much counseling and time away from her XH (my BF), she stopped letting his horrible antics and abuse get to her.  He lost interest and moved away (to prove to her she couldn't it without him! - his words).  And, she and my brother began to heal after that, still continuing with counseling.  The courts didn't create anything with him, HE did. 

My XH, my boys BF.  He was uninvolved with the boys when we were married and shared a home and a bed.  He liked the 'idea' of having a family, loved to show us off for his co-workers and anyone else who'd praise him for what a beautiful family he had, etc., but, he wasn't involved with us.  He found any/every excuse not to be home to do the day to day things that are required/necessary to build a family, a life together.  He didn't get up with the boys when they were sick, he didn't take them to the doctors unless I pleaded with him and usually only after I 'gave in' to some demand of his, just to be involved with his children.  He didn't keep them at home when I wasn't there. If I was working or involved in something at church, he'd ask me to pack a bag for the boys and immediately leave for his moms, so he didn't have to 'deal with them'.  She, of course, loved it, but he was uninvolved.  (he is the same way with his girls with SM. This is his choice.)  When we separated, he wasn't involved with the boys unless SM was around to 'see' his involvement.  When she wasn't around, he wasn't either.  When we divorced, he insisted that children should grow up in a home with a married couple, so HE should have custody.  I laughed. I  told him they HAD been growing up in a home with a married couple, until he walked out.  They weren't puppies, they weren't interchangeable, and they weren't going anywhere.  When we divorce, HE filed the paperwork (claimed he couldn't find me, yet, I was still living in our marital home and he saw me at least twice every week) and HE chose his limited involvement, for times he wasn't working AND times SM could 'see' him being involved.  Otherwise he 'allowed' me to keep the boys on his CO'd time.  I didn't complain, I didn't want the boys with him in the first place.  NOT because I thought he'd harm them (though I didn't trust him, still don't) but because I hadn't asked for the divorce and I certainly hadn't asked to be separated from my boys either.  So, for 10+ years I had them beginning about 85% of the time, leading up to 100% of the time.  They spend more time at school in one WEEK than they do/did with him in an entire year.  In 2016, YDS14 has spent about 30 hours with BF.  Why?  Because BF is uninterested in being involved in YDSs life, there is no 'showcase' for him to shine anymore. 

In NEITHER of my personal experiences did the 'courts' have anything to do with BF creating a 'fatherless' situation.  This is all on BFs. 

That said, I know a number of BFs who ARE involved in their children's lives, who ARE involved 50% or more with their children, who don't have to ask anyone what their childrens clothing size is, if they're allergic to any foods/medications, have other allergies, what medications they take (or why), who their teacher is, what school they attend, who their friends are (or their friends parents are), etc.  I know there are much more involved fathers out there.  I wish they didn't have to 'fight' at any point to remain involved in their childrens lives.  Most that I know didn't have to 'fight' this though.  This is what they asked for in court, and what they were granted, by the courts.  In all but one case, the BM didn't fight it either.  They also knew the father was an involved parent, had always been, and would remain so.  One BM did 'fight' the 50/50 but didn't 'win'. She fought to 'get back' at BF. Fortunately, for the children, once 50/50 was granted, she let go of the 'getting back' at BF and things are well between them all.  In ALL of these cases that I know of though, the children were older, no infants/toddlers were involved.  I don't know if this made any difference with the courts or not, I never asked.  The youngest kid was about 10 (and had older siblings) when the parents divorced.  (my kids were an infant and almost 5 when we separated, and 3 and 7 when we divorced)

In fairness, and not to lay blame solely at BFs feet (either one), I will say...

My own BF didn't have a role model in his life.  His parents both died before he was 8 or 9, he was raised by an aunt who really didn't like him/boys (she adored his sisters but I can't say she was a good influence on them either), and his uncles weren't around much either, all having families of their own to tend to when he was growing up.  At some point one much 'get over' their childhood, make peace with it, and learn to grow.  My BF didn't.  In many ways, he's still stuck at being a 7yo boy who is angry at the world.  It SUCKED growing up around him. 

My XH, my boys BF, had a father who was a work-a-holic. He was 'around', but often 'forgot' to pick him up from xMIL.  They divorced when XH was about 2 or 3 but stayed 'close', even today.  XH did have his GF, whom he lived with until he and I married.  GF was a good influence on XH but XH wasn't interested in learning all GF could have shown him.  I find BF to be much like xFIL.  In a crowd he's 'on stage', but in life, he's aloof and distant.  He doesn't stay in touch, others around him do.  When he's one on one he's fine, but don't hand him responsibility, he'll shun it unless there is a paycheck involved (xFIL anyway, XH will shun it regardless).  XH shies way from responsibility, always has.  I just didn't know/realize it until we'd been married a few years.  When I became pg with YDS I was actively working on counseling for 'us', while he already had a foot out the door (unbeknownst to me at the time).  SM was already in his life.

Anyway, I think in some states it's becoming easier for BFs to gain 50% custody. Other states are still rather antiquated.  Hopefully enough fathers will show an interest in more custody/time with their kids that the courts will decide it's worth looking into. 

I do NOT think it should be 'automatic' or 'forced' on them though.  I would hate to think of the damage either my own BF or XH could have done being 'forced' into 50/50 immediately upon divorce/separation. 


Shabby_Chic
by Silver Member on Jan. 19, 2017 at 3:07 PM
Ftr, the courts gave my ex 3 chances. A particular judge we had those times kept giving him opportunities. The 4th time was a different judge who wasn't doing that.

First time was 11 years ago, the 2nd and 3rd chances came last year at status hearings where ex told the judge he was wanting to work with me,he just needed more time.

We hired a lawyer at that point and he opened a new case which got the judge xhanged.
JustOneAndDone
by on Jan. 19, 2017 at 3:58 PM

This article sounds like it was written by my ex.  He likes to blame me and the court for everything, when the reality is he is 100% responsible for why things are the way they are today.

He had plenty of opportunities to parent, and co-parent.  He chose to make things as difficult as possible and then blamed me and the courts and the judge and the lawyers for his shitty behavior.

I've been in court for TEN YEARS.  I've watched literally hundreds of cases.  If a parent wants to parent and is capable, the courts will absolutely give them that right, and give them MANY chances even after they screw up.

If a parent is practicing alieation or using a chld as a pawn, the courts will absolutely call out that bad behavior.

Sorry, but I'm not buying this AT ALL

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