October 18, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
One of the invariable exceptions to (what should be) the rule of shared parenting is domestic violence. Essentially every researcher in the field of children’s welfare and parenting arrangements post-divorce reminds readers/listeners that, while shared parenting is best for kids, if a parent is violent toward the other or the kids, then shared parental care isn’t indicated.
That’s sensible enough until we remember what is and what isn’t domestic violence. The domestic violence envisioned by psychologists when discussing shared parenting is, I suspect, very different from what ever-expanding “definitions” by legislatures and courts deem it to be.
October 16, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
If you want to know what the divorce system in the United States is really like, read this well-written and thoughtful article (A Voice for Men, 10/14/17). It’s by a Kansas father, Paul Schwennesen. He’s intelligent and observant and his tale of his ongoing divorce and custody case makes clear that our system for deciding child custody is madness. Worse, as Schwennesen realizes, his case is far from the worst. Poor fathers have it far worse in family court than he does. Those with limited educations do too.
A couple of years ago, my wife of fourteen years went down to the courthouse and filed for divorce—nothing noteworthy in this I’m afraid, except that it initiated a legal process that utterly wrecked me and my family. I was evicted from my home, isolated from my children, and compelled to bankroll an extraordinary legal vendetta against my natural role as a father—all without the slightest legal pretext. After two and a half years, I’ve come to recognize the dismaying truth that the legal deck is overwhelmingly stacked against me, and that only with a full commitment of every ounce of resolve and resourcefulness can I hope to reclaim my role as father. The desperation caused by this stunning iniquity is unhealthy for me and my children, to be sure, but the problem is even broader than that: fatherhood, especially what I call “working fatherhood,” is under assault, and our culture is willfully oblivious to it.
October 15, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
This is a terrible bill (Chronicle of Social Change, 10/9/17). But I support it. I do so because it slightly improves a terrible situation. It’s a proposed law that would create a federal registry of putative fathers that all states would have to consult in adoption cases prior to finalizing the adoption. In short, it would federalize the scheme of putative father registries that now exist in 34 states.
Now, I’ve always criticized putative father registries. I do so because they’re specifically designed to deprive fathers of their right to notice when their children are placed by mothers for adoption. Against all that’s sensible, they place the burden of establishing his right to notice of the adoption proceeding on an unmarried father who may well not even know that the child exists. In registry states, if an unmarried man has sex with a woman, he’s required to file a form with the state saying he’s the father of whatever child eventuates, if any. If he doesn’t, his child can be adopted without his knowledge or consent.
Ohio NPO Members and Allies,
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October 13, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
If you think fathers in the U.S. have it tough, you’re right, but nowhere near as tough as do Israeli dads.
I’ve written a fair amount about the horror show that is the family court system in Israel. They make no pretense of fairness or doing what’s best for kids. In Israel, children of divorce get essentially no relationship with their fathers until they’re seven. The meager visitation periods are carried out at supervised locations only. If a father needs to travel abroad, even for a brief period, he has to post a bond in the amount of 100% of the child support he’s required to pay for all the years he’s required to pay it. Feminist organizations oppose every effort to improve children’s relationships with their fathers, even minor ones. As far as I can tell, that opposition is invariably successful.