We agree that a shift was needed to make it more likely that fathers would be involved, actively involved, in the lives of their children after divorce. Agreed, it should not be an automatic decision that a mother would have sole custody and all decision-making rights.
What is happening in our culture in the effort to ‘level the playing field’ for fathers is that we’ve gone very far astray in serving the needs of children for the sake of gaming, in some form, what a natural outcome should be when there are two loving, safe parents eager to care for their children. Ensuring that fathers are involved and that shared parenting is supported is a great thing, for sure. The unfortunate reality, though, is that some lawyers are hiding behind “father’s rights” to profit from completely eradicating mothers from the children’s lives. Children are being taught that it is normal for their mother to be ‘gone’ from their lives because ‘that’s how it went in court.’ But that is not what good men and good fathers do. Something is wrong and our children are being deceived. Deprived is the right word.
This is not the time or place for debating alienating tactics but rather calling attention to the shocking number of times a caregiver parent, the parent holding the fort down, handling all the ordinary needs and day to day routines and soothing the upset tummies and listening to the tall tales (and cleaning up after the furry tails) is shoved to the side because of litigation abuse. It’s not about who is more involved or “better,” but about what happens when favors are done in litigation for the purpose of enabling and increasing profits for the professionals controlling the litigation between parents.
I have the authority to talk on this subject this way because I have intervened and advocated for nearly as many fathers as I have mothers, simply because I am focused uniquely on what children need and on what some professionals will do the entire family when there is no accountability for their actions. The simplest analogy I can give you is a story in legal news about a car repair shop that took in vehicles for repair and instead of fixing the problem as presented, the man in control took the vehicle and smashed it up a bit more so he could collect more for the repairs. The title of the article about his prosecution read “Bumping up the damages,” and that is exactly what occurs in far too many domestic situations.
What lawyers, guardians and psychologists are ignoring is that this approach is life-threatening to children. Fueling fires to keep parents fighting rather than holding accountable, establishing boundaries and motivating them to stop fighting carries obvious consequences for the parents and for the children, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Not yet anyway.
Will you join me in changing this trend?
The approach of increasing damages to increase profits, like with the car repair shop, is what I refer to as ‘profit over protection,’ a strategy that puts the needs of the children and rights of parents below – way below – the financial interests, the billings and relationships between certain lawyers and guardians and/or psychologists who determine where children should live and which parent should have decision-making. Yes, it’s a tough and often unpopular topic of discussion, but one we need to have if we really want to stabilize children and families and set them up to succeed.
Founder, My Advocate Center, Inc.