Friday, April 5, 2013

Introductory Post - Fathers Fight for Custody

The inequities between the parental rights of a separated father and a mother are one of the greatest civil injustices in our society today.  While our society continually decries the absence of fathers, it fails to acknowledge how difficult it is for fathers to be granted even a modicum of visitation rights without the mothers consent.  In a less than amicable relationship between a father and mother, the mother can punish the father at will, usually to the detriment of the children, by simply leveraging the backing of the courts routinely and biasedly afforded to her because she is the mother.  If the father tries to make a case for justice, the mother needs to do nothing more than make a few unsubstantiated, false, treacherous accusations against him and her will is a done deal as far as the courts are concerned.  Any father unfortunate enough to have the mother of his children be willing to commit this level of dishonesty, treachery (and perjury), may as well sign any document she puts in front of him right there.

Any push for something that resembles justice will cost him many tens of thousands of dollars and he could easily end up losing even more custody when the mother fights back.  The attorneys appoint parenting evaluators and psychologists. They will take the mother at her word and expect the father to do the impossible task of proving otherwise.  The bias continues as whatever the father has to say falls on deaf ears.  Unless the children’s lives are proven to be in danger from the mother, she will receive the custody she desires.   The attorneys charge exurbanite fees and are proud of what they do.  I don’t know how they can be, since they are helping to create a fatherless society. This is not the type of legality you would expect to find in family courts and because of this, many fathers fight with every penny they have thinking justice will prevail. Once their pocketbooks are empty, the attorneys will convince them they don’t have a chance and will push for a swift settlement. They know exactly how much money he has because one of the first documents they require is a financial assessment.

 I have found this divorce scenario to be well-known among the general populace and almost everyone I speak with has either had a personal experience with it or is acquainted with someone who has.  Yet somehow this issue has not been raised to the level that will turn the heads of our legislators and judicial leaders (many of them are attorneys) who buckle under to the family courts and women’s rights organizations. 

I have a few questions for the family courts. Are the attorneys themselves biased or are they not able to fight the bias within the courts? Why are the women believed and not the men?  Why do the courts consider the man guilty until proven innocent rather than innocent until proven guilty?  Why do the courts not listen to the children when they say they want to live with their father?  Why in this day and age, when it’s considered acceptable for both the mother and father to work outside the home, and the father is expected to contribute his fair share at home, do the courts have the antiquated and biased notion that the mother is somehow superior as a parent?  If the woman is considered to be a superior parent, why are two men allowed to adopt? Since women want and deserve to have equality in the workplace, isn’t it just to give the man equality at home and with his children? If a woman has chosen to stay at home and was fortunate to have a husband that could support her while she did this, one cannot automatically assume she is the superior parent. It could be that one of the reasons the man is divorcing her is because she didn’t properly care for the children and he is concerned for their physical health and mental stability. Why do the children’s lives have to be in danger before they are taken from the mother?  Have woman’s rights become so powerful in some areas that they have interfered with the justice process?   I believe all of the above because my family has experienced it.

In today’s world, fathers have no rights, nor do their children. The woman is not held accountable for what she says; in fact she is rewarded by the courts for lying. The courts play God and subsequently the father and his children are separated.  I know personally of a case where two boys, (I will not give names) ages 10 and 14 told everyone they could, including the parent evaluator, that they wanted to live with their father.  The parent evaluator (also an attorney) and the psychologist with a PHD deemed him a fit parent.  They were not able to determine a single thing wrong with his parenting skills however, the mother and her attorney sister orchestrated so many horrendous lies; no one would listen to the children, the father or anyone (there were many letters) trying to defend him. The attorney sister should have been disbarred for her part in the lies; instead, apparently she was given credence by her fellow attorneys. The father was awarded Thursday night through Sunday night one week and one day the following week.  It’s been a year and the children are still very vocal about wanting to live with their father.  They have begun to do poorly in school and the younger one complains that his mother has anger issues and yells at them all the time.  He also complains he is fed terribly and on dirty dishes.  When he arrives after school at his fathers for his father’s parenting time, he is always in dirty torn clothing, unkempt hair and in need of a bath. The family courts were informed about this by the father and his family during the divorce.  However, they chose not to believe it or they really didn’t care as long as the boys showed up clean for the interviews and were not proven to be in mortal danger.  

All of the people involved in the legal process drained the father’s revenue so he is no longer able to fight it.  It’s heartbreaking for the father and his entire family, the grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends who have lost a large amount of the wonderful and important contact they have had with these boys since they were born.  The mother will not even allow the boys to attend their cousins’ birthday parties when they beg to go.  She is in charge and she is making sure everyone knows it.  Her position of authority given to her by the courts and fear of losing her revenue from child support, takes precedence over her children’s happiness. The worst thing about this whole situation is that the boys will have to pay for the rest of their lives for this inept decision making by the family courts. The younger boy has told us many times, “I told them I wanted to live with my Dad”. It’s heart wrenching to say the least.  We tell both the boys that their father wants them more than anything and that he did everything he could to get them but, the courts wouldn’t allow it. What impressions must they be acquiring when they were let down by the people that were supposed to help them? We are very concerned for their future welfare and happiness. No wonder there are so many defiant and angry children in the world.

In the meantime, the father has spent everything he has and more on attorneys who failed to defend him and now he is ordered to pay his ex-wife half of everything he had at the onset of the divorce (before he paid the attorneys), pay alimony for five years, and pay full support for the children who were taken away from him.  He suffers financially, but not nearly as much as he suffers emotionally with the loss of his children who heartbreakingly say they want to spend more time with him. You can’t really explain this to them in a way that makes sense because it doesn’t.

 Often mothers who lie about the father in order to gain custody will tell the children their father no longer wants them or cares about them and that everything is his fault. Often, she will even show anger towards the children when they ask to spend more time with their father. The boys told us this occurred. We are fortunate that in our case the boys are old enough and wise enough to know their father wants them.  What they don’t understand is why they can’t be with him.  Neither does anyone else.

Unless a mother is wise enough to see the value of a loving father and his extended family in their children’s lives and is willing to share custody for the children’s sakes, the father and children will both loose.  This is so wrong on every level.   It’s unfathomable to me that it can be happening in a society that proclaims “justice for all”. Let’s face it, its justice for women and to hell with the men.

In order to be equitable, women’s rights should add men’s rights to their agenda.  They need both sides of the issues to insure that they are not crying wolf.  They are a valuable and needed organization that will lose some creditability if they allow themselves to be exploited by unscrupulous women at the man’s expense.  Women and children need to be protected from abuse but this is not the way.   You can’t assume every man is guilty just because he has been accused.  Women know this works.  They know when they falsely cry abuse; the man will be abused by the system.  When one group gets so much power that they are able to step on the rights of others, something is drastically wrong.  Remember, It’s not just the men who are paying for this; it’s our children.  If women want equality, they should want it for everyone.  Men are 50% of their children and unless PROVEN unfit to parent should have 50% custody from the beginning of the divorce.  If the courts have concerns about the children’s welfare, they can have follow-up visits for both parents.  I am certain the statistics will prove the children do much better with both parents involved in their lives.  I am merely asking for equality for fathers who love their children and don’t want to lose their rights as a father because they are getting a divorce.  It’s unconscionable that this is even an issue.  It should be an inalienable right.

We claim as a society we want equality for all and we want to have fathers involved in their children’s lives and yet in a divorce men become nothing more than wage earners.  Men need to quit being women’s welfare at the children’s expense.  If the courts think they are saving tax dollars by awarding the children to the mother thus forcing the father to be the provider, they are mistaken.  They will pay for it many times over down the road with all the expenses that are attributed to a weakened society.   Children need their father’s to grow up and become emotionally and psychologically functional human beings. 

The following is a list of statistics taken from:   

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. (US Department of Health/Census) –  5 times the average.

85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes -20 times the average.

80% of rapist with anger problems come from fatherless homes-20 times the average.

71% of all high school drop outs come from fatherless homes-9 times the average.

75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes-10 times the average.

70% of youth in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes-9 times the average.

85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes -20 times the average.

There are many more sites available with statistics for fatherless children; none of them are favorable. Clearly fathers represent more than just a paycheck to a child; they represent safety, protection, guidance, friendship and someone to look up to. Clearly the courts don’t care about the children! They care about providing for the mother and they do this with child support.  I’m sorry, but this is a reputation the courts have earned.

43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]

49% of all child abuse cases are committed by single mothers. Source: Joan Ditson and Sharon Shay, “A Study of Child Abuse in Lansing, Michigan, “Child Abuse and Neglect, 8 (1984).  There are just as many abusive mothers as fathers so what is our excuse?

Do we really want to continue to contribute to these figures?

Attorneys should be held accountable for finding effective ways of defending men in a divorce.  They appear to be only too happy to collect their substantial fees, shuffle paper work and then let things take their usual course in favor of the woman.   The entire court system is heartless when it deals with men in a divorce.  This is big business for them and they have no incentive to change.  It’s up to the public to demand an end to this.  Legislators will only make or change laws if it means votes for them.  They react to the largest organization putting pressure on them.  There is and will be tremendous opposition to change from people with authority who make a living in family courts and are egotistical enough to think that after a few interviews and tests, they are capable of deciding where your children belong.   It’s up to us to show how often they fail.

I am a 65 year old MN grandmother (yes I am a woman) who has seen way too much. I have been told not to appear too upset.  How does one not become upset over the loss of our children’s fathers?   I am not concerned about being politically correct; I am concerned about getting the truth out. I am too old for games.  I believe change begins with awareness.  Men and women who see the injustice please join me in this cause for our children and their fathers!  Send this blog to everyone you know in MN. Print it and post it wherever possible.

I have set up a blog at for stories of fathers that want to be more involved in their children’s lives and have had that right unfairly taken away from them.  I am asking fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, stepmoms, and adult children caught in in MN divorces to please tell your stories.  If it is too late for you to be helped, you can still help other fathers and children. That is what I am trying to do. You can use your names or remain anonymous; please let me know if you are from MN.  Fathers, I am asking you to please step out of your comfort zone and speak up for yourself and your children.  The people in the courts tell you not to not to show anger because you will appear to have anger issues.  I believe this is a form of control.  Your anger comes from the sadness of having your children unfairly taken away from you and they should understand it.  Your situation is akin to having your children abducted, only you are also falsely accused and because of this accusation, you must pay your accuser.  I dare anyone to say they wouldn’t be angry under these circumstances.  It’s easy to take a defeatist position when so much has gone wrong.  I want you to fight for you and your children rights!  I am asking you not to use this as a forum to bash your ex.  I am looking for stories that show how the divorce process has trampled on your rights as a father.  I want to present all of the letters and or comments to the MN legislator’s.  They will only respond positively if they know the public is outraged enough to have an effect on their election or reelection.  Please, let’s put the pressure on.  I know there are thousands of sad unfortunate stories out there pertaining to fathers loosing custody and if they become publicized, we will generate enough signatures and phone calls from the public to make a difference.  When I became aware of how incongruous the system is I felt compelled to do something.  If nothing else comes from this, at least I will have had the satisfaction of speaking out.  Please join me! Without your help, this stops here!

I know there are honest attorneys who care more about children, father’s equal rights and our society in general than following antique, prejudice practices and procedures while helping to create a fatherless society as they fill their pocketbooks.  If you want to help revise MN divorce and help create happier more stable children, happier fathers, and a more stable society, we need to unite and make this an agenda with our legislators.  Please contact my blog. I know last year a bill in favor of 35% custody for fathers made it all the way to governor Dayton’s desk and then he vetoed it.  I think it may have passed if more people had been aware of it and let him know they were in favor of it. Though 35% is better than what many fathers are getting now, it is still sad and unfair.  Nothing less than 50% at the beginning of a divorce is conscionable.  Please care enough to do something about this.


The mother of a loving caring son and two sad almost fatherless grandsons.