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.
People will often dismiss or deny the affects of an absentee father. The rationalization is that children are adaptable and they make the adjustments. While, yes they do adapt, that doesn’t mean that they are not masking immense pain.
“Why don’t I have a daddy like [insert name]?” is a question that starts to get asked around ages four and five as kids start to see all the other kids in their schools, teams, neighborhood with two parents. This is just the awareness that something is different and then the tough questions start to follow – tough questions that many times go unanswered and a mask is created.
There are a lot of problems in American society and culture including drugs, alcohol, teenage pregnancy, violence, gangs, poverty, obesity, and other mental and emotional problems. While this seems like a wide-range of issues, they call come from the same source – the absence of a father.
If fatherlessness was a disease, it would be an epidemic in America. More than 24 million children are being raised without the presence of their biological father, while millions more have the physical presence but emotionally absent. This equates to one out of every four children (with some studies suggesting one out of every three) are fatherless.
In the iconic movie, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” a judge confronts Daniel at a hearing following the exposure of Daniel’s identity as the daddy inside the nanny and lowers the gavel. The judge dismisses Daniel’s baleful explanation of the charade—a sincere, even desperate love for his three children—as mere additional evidence of superb acting ability. He assigns permanent custody to Miranda, orders supervised visitation, and refers Daniel for psychological counseling.
With less than perfect judgment, beset with unusual habits, perhaps even a bit eccentric, but with no dangerous or truly aberrant characteristics, Daniel is like many devoted fathers of the some 70 million American dads who are knocked senseless by the legal system when spousal strife prevents amicable resolution of custody and visitation disputes during divorce and separation proceedings. On custody, she usually wins, he usually loses, especially if the children are young. He becomes a mere visitor in his children’s lives (hence the term “visitation” rights) obligated to pay child support and often doomed to fight monumental battles with spouse and court to maintain even the slightest contact with his children. A common story in states across the nation, rarely with a happy ending.
Is a disguise, a masquerade, a Mrs. Doubtfire, the only route out of the quagmire for devoted, competent fathers? Or might there be some recourse or solace to be found in the law, some concept or theory he might grab onto? The answer is a tentative, guarded, but perhaps inevitable “yes,” a right ripening on the vine called human dignity or “dignity rights,” a right that just may elevate them to the sanctum of a protected class.
In New York fathers ostensibly begin on a level playing field of equal protection and due process. Under the Domestic Relations Law there is no prima facie right to custody in either parent; fathers are not automatically excluded (DRL Sec. 70[a]; Sec. 240 (1)[a]). Case law, moreover, shelters visitation with repeated emphases on the crucial role a noncustodial father can play in the development of the children (Ronald S. v. Lucille Diamond S., 45 A.D.3d 295 (2007)), and the obligation of a custodial mother to assure meaningful contact between children and him (Bibi Khan-Soleil v. Armani Rashad, 111 A.D.3d 728 (2013)).
But then there is the “best interest” test which both custody and visitation courts impose as an objective evaluation of parental qualification (DRL Secs. 70, 240; Friederwitzer v. Friederwitzer, 55 N.Y.2d 89 (1982); Eshbach v. Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167 (1982))—a test fathers flunk in some significant degree or another more frequently than mothers.
GUEST POST: Turner v. Rogers and What It Means To Me | Criminal Law & Psychology Blog
[Chris Castanias is a father of two who was held in civil contempt for failure to pay child support. Although he requested appointed counsel due to his indigent status, the domestic relations court refused to entertain his request and he was subsequently sentenced to over 90 days in jail. In this piece, he shares his experience. — Zachary Cloud]
Divorce can be financially devastating, and equally so for both mother and father.
Imagine for a moment that you experience a 50% reduction in pay and at the same time are ordered by a court to pay not only your rent or mortgage, but that of your neighbor. Could you do it?
The economics of that scenario are similar to that of an obligor (the person ordered to pay child-support), previously living in a typical two-earner, two-child household. What happens at divorce is that the earners split up and no longer jointly contribute to the family’s financial obligations, while the designated obligor picks up an additional involuntary debt (child-support obligation) that is likely close to that of his or her existing rent or mortgage payment.
In the fictional situation described above, would you consider it fair if you were at risk of being jailed for not making both your and your neighbors housing payment in any given month. If you faced the potential of jail, would you want legal representation? If you couldn’t afford to make the housing payments, how likely would you be to afford an attorney. Is it possible that financial scenario might create a situation where you would need to ask for court appointed counsel?
There are similar parallels to my hypothetical scenario, the case of Turner v Rogers and many countless others who have been sentenced to jail without being allowed representation of legal counsel, after allegedly falling behind with child-support obligations.
The world is currently experiencing the worst economic period in modern history. In this country, foreclosures are at record high levels, yet no one is imprisoned for failing to pay their mortgage or defaulting on their rent. In 2008, statistics show that nearly 16 million child-support obligors nationwide were in default on the child-support obligation. One state, Illinois reported 88% of their obligors to be past due. For more information, see here.
I’m writing as an strong advocate of Michael Turner, because I personally experienced the exact same fate, and since the completion of what I feel was an unjust imprisonment over a year ago, I’ve no longer had any access to my children.
Coined in 1985 by psychiatrist Richard Gardner, PAS describes a set of behaviors exhibited by kids whose parents deliberately turn them against the other parent, through a variety of techniques that are at once coercive, manipulative, vindictive and sociopathic.
“It’s a violent act to a child’s mind,”
Jason Patric tells Newsweek, speaking of PAS, which he says he began investigating following his initial trial to assert his parental rights with Gus. He believes parental alienation is akin to what domestic violence was 40 years ago—a dirty secret that is harming millions but not acknowledged by many mental health professionals.
One of the world’s most respected campaigners on men’s issues believes “dad deprivation” is directly causing what he’s termed “the boy crisis” – and unless society urgently intervenes, we will be in danger of writing off a generation of men.
Dad-deprived boys are less likely to display empathy, be less assertive, depressed, have nightmares, talk back and be disobedientWarren Farrell
Farrell believes modern society is being tangibly eroded by dad deprivation – through increased relationship breakdown, family courts that favour mothers, and fathers denied access to their children after a separation.
He points out that in in every one of the largest 70 developed nations, boys have fallen behind girls, and what they have in common, Farrell says, is divorce.
“Dad-deprived boys are less likely to display empathy, be less assertive, depressed, have nightmares, talk back and be disobedient,” says Farrell, 72.
“At age nine, girls and boys commit suicide in equal numbers, but boys are twice as likely aged 14, four times more likely aged 15-19, and five times more by age 20-25. This is the time when dads drift out of their lives”.
“We need a major overhaul of education system, especially in inner cities where we know dad deprivation is higher,” he says.
“These boys have no positive male role models. That makes them vulnerable to strong, destructive alpha males like gang leaders or drug dealers.”
“These boys are also most likely to be brought up by mums, then move from a mother-centered home to a woman-centered school.
“Boys need to see males caring at every stage of their lives. So we need more male teachers, period. I’d say equal amounts at least, although, in areas where there are 70 per cent single mothers, why not have 70 per cent male teachers?
“We need to encourage men into the caring sectors, to challenge the cliché that caring work is women’s work”.
Farrell also urges dads not to willingly abandon their children, which he sees as a dereliction of duty.
“Men should not withdraw like cowards,” he says. “To an eight-year-old boy, their dad is God. Backing off or abandoning them leaves the child feeling not important. Dads must fight to be a part of their children’s lives, especially if the mother blocks that”.
Here, Farrell urges separating parents to park their own differences.
Boys need to see males caring at every stage of their lives. So we need more male teachers, period. I’d say equal amounts at least ~ Warren Farrell
“Allowing dads in helps both the boy and the mother, as the child will be easier to manage for her as sole carer,” he says. “Data shows divorced mums are five times more likely to bad mouth dads than dads do mums.
Perhaps you wonder whether the number is still bleak when considering that so many children today live in blended or adoptive families. It’s still bleak. More than 20 million children, slightly more than 1 in 4, grow up without a biological, step or adoptive father.
Nevertheless, there is some good news in the battle against father absence as reflected in the chart below.
Percentage of Children Living in Father-Absent Homes: 1960 – 2014
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of children in the U.S. living without a dad began to soar in 1960. It rose unabated until 1995 when it suddenly hit the skids—sort of. For every five-year period from 1960 to 1995, the percentage rose. Since then, it has fallen and risen like clockwork. The result is a hold-steady pattern of 27.5 percent.
Alabama‘s 2nd annual Fatherless Day Rally June 17th at 9AM 600 Dexter Ave Montgomery Al, 36130 Come out as we rally together and bring awareness to the bias system. We will also be handing out red balloons that we will release at 12 noon with a letter to each of our children. If you are unable to attend please release a red balloon at Noon central time with a note to your child and write on the balloon one of the below please. The Fathers Rights Movement, The Alabama Fathers Rights Movement, TFRM, TFRM AL, #fathersrightsmovement, #tfrm. Also don’t forget to purchase a Fathers Rights Movement shirt from inktothepeople.com and search The Fathers Rights Movement purchase your shirt to wear it in support. This is what we need to bring to light. Children love and deserve both loving parents. Statistically, it appears that the family courts in the United States are biased against fathers. For example, 83% of mothers receive custody of their children in divorces. Additionally, men are awarded less support on average than mothers who are awarded support. There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence citing situations where mothers were awarded custody in spite of fathers demonstrating interest and potential to provide and care for their children.– ALABAMA
Across the street from Nesbett Courthouse 825 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501 — Members, both men & women, are primarily interested in issues related to family law and child custody.
Parents, Grandparents, Step-Parents, Aunts, Uncles & Family of Alienated children. Join your fellow Parent June 17th By placing your work boots or shoes on the Capital stairs to represent the Alienation going on in your family due to the court system. Please invite anyone you know going through custody battle or any form of Alienation Thanks to the Fathers Rights Movement “Colorado” We need you NOW more then ever ~ The Champ PHILLY SLIIMM thanks for your support #NoExcuses
On June 17, 2016, We will be holding a rally at both 12th Circuit Courthouses Manatee Judicial Center 1051 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205 and 12th Circuit Courthouse Sarasota Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center 2002 Ringling Boulevard Sarasota, Florida 34237 Event will be from 10am-2pm email for more information or to firstname.lastname@example.org We are calling on all fathers to place a pair of work boots or shoes on the steps of the Family Court house.
This is to represent how many fathers have been reduced to a paycheck and are hot allowed to be present in their children’s lives. Inside your shoes/boots place a letter telling your story. Children need both parents. We need 50/50 Shared Parenting. We are Fathers! We are not visitors. We are not a paycheck. Make your statement heard. Make Flyers, banners, posters, signs and bring your friends. to support you and your children.
Today I know many fatherless children, and none are without a fantasy — there is a father on Father’s Day, if only in their fictions, we must take a stance This event will be covered by the press and parts being recorded will be used in an upcoming Documentary In 2015 that I address Parental rights and the destruction of our children and families to our elected officials.
More than 100 supporters for the alimony Reform Bill converge on Tallahassee April 12, 2016 to present to Rick Scott’s office our concerns and protesting with the chant Sign the Bill sSign the Bill. Why Dads Matter and other support groups showed up as well. Governor Rick Scott has one week to sign, veto or do nothing then becomes law. https://youtu.be/Igz9wX-ghN8 An honor to be recognized by the Sarasota County County Commissioners for our efforts to expose Parental Alienation in the 12th Judicial Courts and throughout the State. 22 million are affected by this injustice. Why Dads Matter and Danica Jones with Kids Need Both hope to make a difference for generations to come Whydadsmatter.com & Kidsneedboth.org https://youtu.be/bO5Wz-N5PLU Published on Mar 14, 2016 TED TALK
Parental alienation is a devastating problem affecting millions of families around the world. Unfortunately, much like how we addressed domestic violence several decades ago, we treat parental alienation as a domestic issue rather than as a problem that affects communities, school systems, police and court systems, mental health and financial institutions, and legislative bodies. I will discuss how our social and cultural systems sanction and even promote parental alienation at the expense of our children, and what can be done about it.
Dr. Harman is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Colorado State University and is the Program Coordinator for the Applied Social & Health Psychology Program. She is an accomplished and awarded teacher, and has published many peer-reviewed articles and textbooks on intimate relationships, such as The Science of Relationships: Answers to your Questions about Dating, Marriage and Family. She is also a contributor to ScienceofRelationships.com, a relationship science resource for the on-line community, and is interviewed as a relationship expert for many national and international media outlets (Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, NY Magazine, datingadvice.com, and the Irish Independent). She has more recently applied her research expertise in social psychology to better understand and find solutions for parental alienation because she has been a target of it herself. https://youtu.be/v3YdldNXZnQ
We need YOU. It is urgent that you get involved and email Governor Scott in Florida each day to tell him to Sign Alimony Bill SB 668. After passing the Senate and the House the Bill is in Jeopardy of a VETO. Change in any State Helps ALL states. Please Help us. Include in your email that “a premise = a starting point and a presumption = an ending point: Judges have full discretion”. Send as many as you can and recruit everyone to this cause. This week is the push week. If we do not top 10,000 a day we will not get his attention. Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com. 850-488-7146
On June 17, 2016, We will be holding a rally at both 12th Circuit Courthouses Manatee Judicial Center 1051 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205 and 12th Circuit Courthouse Sarasota Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center 2002 Ringling Boulevard Sarasota, Florida 34237
Heartbreaking and unacceptable…1 out of 3 children live without biological dad and it’s not do from abandonment but a system that profits from removing children from parents lives… What is a fundamental human right- having equal access to both parents… Has become a fundamentally flawed system- the $50 billion dollar family law industry- systematically removing children from parents lives… Attend a Fathers Day Rally in your state. Your voice matters!!! ~JT – KANSAS
We will gather to peacefully protest the unequal parenting laws in this state. — Sedgwick County Courthouse – MARYLAND
Come & stand with us and be counted for this human rights issue that destroys the very fabric of our society…Families. The family law industry is profiting from the bias treatment of parents nationwide. A fatherless society is much more likely to be from this rather than the ‘deadbeat dad” myth they want us all to keep believing. This corrupt multi billion dollar system uses people and creates negative issues for children & families. It effects us all, whether or not you even have children. The damage done is widespread and can be linked to just about every major negative social issue of our time. It’s epidemically proportioned to be a core reason for what’s wrong today with our country and worldwide. Enough is enough of this oppressive, intrusive assault on our families and Constitutional rights as citizens and parents. This scam has got to stop now. So show up now and help be involved with being a part of the solution instead of leaving it up to others… like your children. We can’t leave this for future generations of children to have live with too… Change is now. It’s our responsibility to do this for them. – We’ll see you there standing for what is right. Thank you! ~ Mike Whitney TFRM Click here to go to the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/497630757091150/?active_tab=posts –NEW YORK
Fathers that care and extended family members are marginalized in divorce and separations in family court and in the lives of their children. The rights of our children to have equal access to both parents is also infringed upon. Now our voice will be heard. Change is coming. Stand up for yours and your children’s Constitutional and God given rights. Come stand in solidarity with us in support of Family Law Reform and Equal Parenting Rights. Bring family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Share your stories. This is your chance to let Texas and the Nation know that enough is enough with these antiquated laws and we are on the right side of morality. Lets make history! South steps of the Texas State Capital. Visitor parking on 12th and San Jacinto– 2 blocks away. – TEXAS
We are calling on all Fathers to place a pair of work boots or shoes on the steps of the Laramie County Courthouse. If you are unable to attend the rally please send us your story and we will place a pair of boots/shoes on your behalf. This is to represent how many fathers have been reduced to a paycheck, but are not allowed to be present in their children’s lives. Place a letter inside of your shoes/boots telling your story. Children need both parents. We need 50/50 shared parenting. We are Fathers! We are not visitors! We are not a paycheck! Make your statement heard. Make flyers, banners, posters, signs, and bring your friends and family to support you and your children. Join us on the north sidewalk of the Courthouse. Refreshments will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring sunscreen. – WYOMING
States with events but no event created: Georgia, Maine
States with events in planning: New Hampshire, Vermont
I am a family law attorney…
and I have seen first-hand the kind of unfairness that you are complaining about and I know that you are making a very legitimate point.
Every time I sit and observe for even an hour or so in family court, I come out wondering what foreign country have I wandered into. Fathers are on the bad end of some peculiar social forces and norms at this point in our culture and even understanding that it is cultural and social — and not personal — does not make it more bearable for those who are affected. I am not going to cheerlead, or defend the system. It’s wrong and it goes on and on and on.
So, what to do?
Join forces. There is an active “Fathers’ Equal Rights” community that has only started to explore its potential for political and social influence.
One voice is a rant; many voices is public policy. All judges are ultimately accountable to the public, even those that forget that is so.
Here is contact info for local state advocates in your area, support and work with them for change.
You can begin by attending your the TFRM Rally this June 17th at your State Capitol.
There simply isn’t any other or better alternative.
Find the link to your local state rally below.
You can also go to the address printed on the meme below to see if any of our current open volunteer positions interest you.