Have you ever wondered why it just seems “normal” for kids in separated families to see their fathers, at best, every other weekend? That’s because the EOW (every other weekend) model is the standard “visitation” schedule nationwide. This is done without due process, without jury trial, with little to no recourse available to fathers who want to be considered an equal parent. It’s actually in violation of the supreme law of the land: The Constitution. The parent/child relationship has been upheld over and over again by the highest courts as being so fundamental as to warrant due process protections under “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness” and the 14th Amendment. For those inclined to say “it’s about the children’s rights, not the parents’ rights”, this IS about children’s rights. A child has a right to both loving parents, and for both to be considered equally as important in the eyes of the law.
This means that both parents —whether mother or father—are legally entitled to have their parenthood protected by having due process observed. IE, children should not be deprived of either parent by the state or the other parent unless that parent has been found to be unfit. A finding of unfitness should occur ONLY with due process being observed. This means that the “accused” should have the right to face their accuser, opt for a jury trial, and the burden of proof should be on the state/other parent to prove with Clear and Convincing evidence that the child would be best with one parent primarily than with the other.
Other arrangements may be best for a child, and if parents can work together then perhaps they can arrive at an optimal parenting plan without state intervention. Barring that, however, the starting legal presumption needs to be that both parents—regardless of gender and regardless of who gave birth—should be considered to be equally in the child’s best interest when they walk into a courtroom. A father should not have to overcome higher standards to prove he is equally in the child’s best interest to achieve the same considerations that a mother receives by default.
So you’d rather watch tournament games and go bowling than support a “We Are Fathers” campaign for justice and equality. Well that’s your choice, it’s a free country, in theory anyway. But you should know that countless lawyers, child experts and bureaucrats are cheering you on because they profit from all this apathy and a misguided sense of priorities.
In America today, our government is engaged in the lucrative expansion of a child control bureaucracy that is harming our families, productivity and moral fiber as a nation. This vast public enterprise has invaded every aspect of private life, often wielding power beyond that exercised by the NSA, CIA or IRS. It is a silent and insidious trend eroding parental rights repeatedly declared by our Supreme Court to be the “oldest liberty interest” protected by the United States Constitution.
This interest is shared equally by fathers and mothers. But in practice, the male half has not been accorded its rightful place among our human rights due to a profit motive in family court driven by needless custody, support and divorce contests. Census Bureau reports continue to show the gender disparities on all domestic fronts. After promoting a parental rights cause in Paris recently, I was amazed to note how a million people together with world leaders could rally in that city within days to support free speech. Meanwhile, here in the states, more than 70 million fathers have yet to mobilize after a century of widespread discrimination.
Such discrimination is having harmful impacts on all aspects of society and quite likely the female population more so than its counterpart. Veterans, minorities and high profile figures are particularly vulnerable to a court system that has placed money and politics over genuine parent-child relationships. Fathers are a vital component of any social or family structure as they have been since the beginning of civilization. Unfortunately federal entitlement laws and incentive funding to the states have marginalized that role to a point of virtual extinction. This has led to educational costs, heinous crimes and moral deterioration on a vast scale corroborated by an exodus from all manner of religion. In practical terms, our taxpayers are funding the creation of social ills and then forced to pay for it on the back side with costly welfare programs.
Future generations will look back one day and be amazed at how truly barbaric our domestic relations courts once were. A scheme of laws and processes derived from feudal equity doctrines has been retained which features loving parents engaged in brutal contests over their offspring in a public arena. A winner-take-all battle for custody leads to overregulation of families by the state and marginalization, alienation or outright extinction of one fit parent from the children’s lives. Anal investigations of the combatants’ backgrounds by self serving advisors incite further controversy to last a lifetime. It is a spectacle reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum.
No person or entity has ever been able to achieve a comprehensive study of the vast detriment which this archaic custody and support system has had upon our society. Any such effort would assuredly be stymied because custody and unequal parenting are highly profitable. Yet common sense dictates that our nation could be well served with sweeping reforms here in our least scrutinized branch of government. We can put a man on the moon, split atoms, engage artificial intelligence and achieve vast breakthroughs in medicine but remain unable to extricate family courts from their nineteenth century practices.
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