Only Lawyers Profit from Divorce

Somebody needs to form a Mothers’ Rights group. Until they do (and probably for a long time after), we’ll read pieces like this one on a blog called Dad Talk.

The article starts out complaining about lawyers and then moves to complain about the way men get treated in domestic relations courts. Here’s a little of it:

Bad court decisions and ridiculous legal costs serve only to make dads resentful. While some men are deadbeats, did judges ever stop to think by cutting them out of family time that dads lose their vested interest in paying child support? Even if dad has limited custody rights, I’ve seen moms get away with making it impossible for some guys to see their children by claiming junior has a “cold” or a “school project.” What incentive does a dad have to pay in such situations? He still should, of course, but mistreatments as mentioned above must leave an awful lot of men feeling hopeless and bitter.

12 comments

  1. brettdl says:

    I’m a bit confused on your point here. Are you saying that men are not being mistreated by the courts? Just seeking clarification.

    Also, if you are familiar with my site you would know that I advocate fairness for both sexes — but kids come first. Still, there is a specific problem with the courts not treating men in accordance with most state laws, which generally require both partners be treated equally.

  2. Lee says:

    I don’t take a position on this one. I understand that tensions run high in both directions. I’ve offended enough people with the positions I’ve already taken, so I choose to avoid peeving others gratuitously. Thanks for asking!

  3. Malcolm Kimbrough says:

    Its an understatment to say men are treated unfairly in my divorce i got custody of the kids, I haveto pay alimony and recieve no child support,plus all the cost of court. all against a wife who abandoned her family three year ago. reverse that and youl’ll never see the same

  4. As I keep trying our state senators refuse to pass an amendent to allow father equal and/or joint legal custody of his children. It seems the court have no laws that force them into a ruling for joint custody. Our State of Tennessee was rated as one of Ten states with the highest amount of divorces filed by the woman.
    Our Family courts have given an open invitation to all mothers. Hurry divorce your husband. Bring him into court and we will award you full custody of the minor children. We will split everything the married couple has 50/50 and order the father to pay for the mothers attorney all court cost and order child support at an unbelievable rate! While reducing the father to a visitor of his children. The father is treated as if he was a crimial. The unfairness has only gotten worse in the past 4 years. Gentlemen, if your married and have children in the great state of Tennessee. You better move somewhere else. Before your wife learns that she can divorce you and still benifit just as if she was still married. Keep the minor children and get over half of his money!
    Respectfully,
    Stan R. Bradford
    Father for divorced men’s right’s ( If we had any!)
    This brings the women’s movement to a all time new level.

  5. Sel says:

    There are more and more people working “non-traditional” hours that have families. This works out very well when you are married and split up the childcare, however, when you take it into court and are working 2nd and 3rd shift the court doesn’t appear to like it. I lost custody of my children due to me working until 10:00 pm on a 6/3 rotation. I only get my kids on my 3 days off(1/3 of a year)!!! Something needs to be done to make the “joint physical placements” that the courts award be “joint”. Both parents created these children and I feel as though, unless there are extenuating circumstances, BOTH parents need to play an active role in the children’s life. I applaud this man for stepping up and taking his HALF of what is his responsibility and right and fighting hard for it and commend the court for not penalizing him for his employment as I am currently being penalized.

  6. darlene collins says:

    When fathers grow a womb to carry a baby and breasts to nurse their baby -then we will give them rights equal to a mother. It is not the court system who gives fathers the “shaft” I have been through the expreience and most fathers who are trying to get custody and pay no or minimum child support are control freaks who are just pissed that thet can’t tell wife what to do any more…usually it is the root of why they are divorcing in the 1st place. I am actually for the rights of the children -I believe they should get their own “settlement” along with childsupport that helps to maintain their standard of living-so they do not sink in to a poverty level-as happens in majority of the cases…

  7. Scott says:

    Whoa, Darlene. “When fathers grow a womb…”? Get real. Do you really think that if it weren’t for a man being involved, that your womb would be of value in this world? Just because you carry the child doesn’t mean that you are a more qualified parent. You have obviously come out of a really bad relationship. I think that the context of this entire blog centers around the misconception in the eyes of the courts. This is not a woman-bashing exercise at all. There are plenty of good and bad parents, regardless of their place of mom or dad.

  8. Scott says:

    Under our original AGREEMENT in 2002, my daughter was to spend every weekend with me. She was to attend my school district as she entered school age (one that is far better than the one in her residential area). The mother had primary custody as I continued to pay child support with no complaints: Even though my daughter spent 55% of her time with me according to what was written. She picked up an additional 5% of her time with me by her mother’s consent.
    There was NO change of circumstance and no reason to change this agreement, outside of her oldest daughter becoming pregnant out-of-wedlock and moving back home. My ex got on the stand and talked (through her sobbing) about how hard it was to drive 6 miles out of her way to work 3 days (on average) a week to take my daughter to the school in my district. Her claim came about because I had to bring it to the court’s attention that she was attempting to not follow our decree. She had withdrawn our daughter from the school that she was court-ordered to attend and had enrolled her in another school. (No crime there, but I bet if I just decided to not pay child support, I would be in jail)
    Her decision to do that was disregarded by the court, and she countered with her plea of hardship: Even though our daughter had already completed one year of school there. From age 2 1/2 to age 6, my daughter had spent 60% of her life and time with me.
    After having told both attorneys in closed doors that he couldn’t change this agreement because there was no evidence of a change in circumstance, the judge moved me to standard visitation and had her placed in the mother’s school district. His opinion was that the road she traveled was dangerous. Our trip to Disney World, which was already booked, was cancelled and life as my daughter knew it was turned upside-down. What happened to maintaining consistency with raising a child? What happened to all the talk about the father’s presence? What happened with the idea of ‘what is best for the child’? Is this what is best for my child?

    We are dealing with this through prayer: Not just for my daughter and me, but for her mother.

    All of the ‘experts’ say that a father in the home is important and everyone typically agrees. The problem is that the courts usually do not see it that way. Maybe if they did offer more than 11% parenting time in a typical decision we could limit some of the numbers suggested below. (Source: http://usconservatives.about.com/od/thefamily/a/fatherhood.htm)

    –CRIME: “Sixty percent of America’s rapists, 72 percent of adolescent murderers, and 70 percent of long-term prison inmates come from fatherless homes.” – Popenoe, D. Life Without Father, 1996, (p. 63)
    –EARLY SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND TEEN PREGNANCY: “…[A]fter simultaneously controlling for all covariates, early father-absent girls continued to have the highest rates of both early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy, followed by late father-absent girls, followed by father-present girls… For example, after covariate adjustment, adolescent pregnancy rates were approximately 5 times higher in the U.S. sample and 3 times higher in the New Zealand sample among early father-absent girls than among father-present girls…” – “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy” By Bruce Ellis, Child Development, May/June 2003.
    –SUICIDE: “Sixty-three percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.” – “What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?” by the Department of Justice (1998).
    –RUNAWAYS: “Ninety percent of all homeless and runaway youths are from fatherless homes.”
    –BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS: “Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.”
    –HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS: “Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.”
    –INSTITUTIONALIZATION: “Seventy percent of youths in State institutions are from fatherless homes.”
    –SUBSTANCE ABUSE: “Seventy-five percent of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers are from fatherless homes.”

  9. Briana S. Felch says:

    There are cases (esp. in TN; Jackson, Madison Co) where the FATHER works the system! When they were still married but having problems, my sis visited her family with kids in AL for Christmas and he filed an emergency protection order saying she was mentally ill & a danger (she is bipolar but was not ill at the time), to get the kids. They were picked up by AL DHR (Jefferson Co to be exact) & put in DHR custody during Christmas (ages 6 months & 1 1/2). Spent Xmas with DHR. TN court ruled he could get them, & he had them for 6 months (neglected them) until the divorce court in TN ruled he had filed a false report (no criminal charges or even a fine) & mother was granted full custody. Despite mom being emotionally tortured & his using kids, she stayed in TN with no family (all her fam. is in AL) so he could have a relationship with his kids. When oldest was about 5, he ran off to CA for 2 years, leaving no forwarding address/phone number & not paying child support. He moved back about the age of the oldest being 7. Every year he harasses her with unfounded DHR investigations & they never found anything on her until Sep 2005 when they found “environmental neglect” (dirty house and no food in house bc she was defrosting fridge & she works in restaurant, kids not malnourished and no evidence they were). Kids taken by DHR and at MOMS request, put with dad rather than foster care. DHR failed to notify her of initial court date, which she missed, & juv. crt granted him temporary custody “by default” since she missed court. AT the time, he was in arrears of over $12K & owed her $8K for a car she bought him to help him find/keep a job. He had no job, but DHR found him one working at the courthouse. He filed bogus restraining order against her bc DHR worker advised her it was OK to drop Xmas presents on his doorstep since he would not answer her calls or allow her visitation. He had no other real evidence he presented, only his false claims. This was used against her so that she could no longer visit with the kids at school lunchtime as this & “at his discretion at other times” was all she was granted. Now she has no visitation at all; not even supervised. Every time she turns around her civil Rights have been violated; failure to serve her/notify her of court (Right to due process), TN code grants non-custodial parental rights including visitation, phone calls and unintercepted mail to children (he has intercepted & changed his mail to go to a POB without notifying her) & she isn’t even getting so much as an update on the kids. Appeals have failed. Further, she has not been allowed to present evidence on her behalf in the case; evidence she does not suffer from medical/mental conditions they claim. It was later testified by DHR that had she been at the court the 1st day, she would have gotten her kids back then! And she has done everything court/DHR has demanded to get custody back (parenting, housekeeping classes, mental evaluations, random drug/alcohol tests etc) & still no return of custody or even visitation. DHR no longer visits her and in March 2006 had been supposed to maintain 2x monthly visits & hoped to have her visitation within 30-60 days. She has fallen off their radar, but no resolution to the case. Dad was not granted full permanent custody (no final order), & no visitation for mom. Now they are seeking child support from her when he still owes her money (they call it a wash for the 2 years he has had the kids, but that money could have helped her with her legal bills). Her coworkers black baby daddy was thrown in jail for owing only $1000 child support; same county. Father has brain washed the kids into lying against mom (no evidence of what they say), used false claims (no evidence) and into saying they don’t want visits and court has said it is in best interests of children not to have visits bc they don’t want it. in TN (elsewhere) even child molestors can have supervised visits of their kids. My sister is bipolar but under medication, seeing therapist & has a more stable work/residence history than her ex. She has a past history of bulimia (no evidence she has it now) and she suffers from GERD (reflux causing vomitting) so when she was upset at kids removal and vomited in DHR presence, they indicated this was evidence of bulimia. (That is not the nature of bulimia). They said she had Hep C (past diagnosis) which is a physical medical condition with no bearing on her ability to raise children and father told the school Principal and she was removed from the school based on his word (no proof he gave to Principal) and subsequently not allowed back in school (this was part of his restraining order claim). She sought a retest and was found negative for it; it doesn’t go away. She was harassed and discriminated for a medical condition she doesn’t even have. Judge stood up in court and said You have Hep C and work in a restaurant! I will have to notify your employer! (discrination). Her family, after driving 6 hours, has not been allowed in court for moral support (or testimony) with the exception of 1 of her 6 or so hearings. Yet strangers not involved in her case are allowed in, including hearing “evidence” that she had Hep C. She has been discriminated against based on her medical conditions, primarily psychological with no evidence she is unfit. (at the time of the removal, she had just had back problems, eye surgery and a broken wrist, not receiving child support and no family support and working low income job as waitress making about $15K a year. Whose house wouldn’t be a mess with those circumstances? Furthermore, several of the significant orders including the awarding of temp. custody to father were never SIGNED by the judge; so should be considered invalid. She had a court appointed attorney & then a paid attorney, neither helped. We are in process of having TN Civil Rights Divs of Dept of H & H Svcs look into it after our complaint was forwarded by Dept of Justice, Americans w/Disabilities act. Also her parental rights have NOT been revoked. Basically in TN, if you have a mental or physical problem, they think you are unfit to be a parent, let alone have visitation. And Mary Winkler, Preacher’s wife of Selmer, TN who CONFESSED to murdering her husband, but has not yet been tried was in Jackson TN with the SAME JuDGE seeking custody of her 3 kids from the paternal grandparents. (Case not heard, but apparently to be heard; someone thinks SHE has a snowballs change of custody, or at least visitation, yet my sister has no criminal record!)

  10. Jennifer says:

    I have seen many times where if the father has custody the mother has to pay way less what he would have paid in child support. I must say that really isn’t fair. I know it is based on your income for the fathers. Is it now the same way when the mothers pay? Two friends of ours receive less than $100 per month from their ex wives. That just seems crazy to me. I am supposed to get $1100 a month for 3 children from my ex husband. Even if I got it (wich I don’t). It would not cover half our monthly expenses. But, $100? That is insane!

    Also, I would like to say that not all women want to stick it to the men. Some would just be happy if a man at least tried to pay something. I guess when you receive nothing and the phone never rings… you aren’t as picky. Mine has spoke to his children less than 10 minutes in a year. It has been 11 months since we have seen any child support. These are the people that these laws were made for. However, they are not supposed to be abused by women whose men are trying to see their children and trying to pay at least something. I suppose women just don’t know how good they really have it to have a man who cares enough about their children to at least try. I wish for my children’s sake that mine did. Even if it were a small attempt.

  11. Lee Borden says:

    I don’t know what you heard or who said it, but trust me, there is absolutely no difference in the child support a father would pay to a mother and what a mother would pay to a father. Not a dime. It is true that the child support guidelines in Alabama (and many other states) apportion the financial burden for children on the basis of the parents’ income. And because fathers tend to be paid more than mothers, the fathers who pay tend to pay more than the mothers who pay. But that difference is based on their incomes, not on their gender.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have a special needs daughter that I am raising by myself. Her dad is not in her life at all. This is the way I look at it is one of these days she is going to have to make a decision if she wants to have her dad in her life when she gets older. About the child support thing. To me. Parents of special needs children who are going through a divorce. Who ever get custody they should have to pay more than the divorcing parents who do not have special needs children.

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