October 15, 2019 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
We’re back to Jess Hill’s thoroughly scurrilous article in The Guardian, about which I wrote last time. Now, in my last piece, I tried to hit the high (or low) points of Hill’s article, but there was no way I could cover all its many defects.
Like other articles we’ve seen, Hill’s main point is that family courts routinely hand custody to abusive fathers. Given that, fathers should have even less contact with their kids than they now do. Indeed, that seems to have become the excuse du jour of those who would deny children healthy relationships with their fathers. And as ever, lacking any facts to support that excuse, people like Hill resort to simply making some things up and ignoring the many facts that contradict their thesis.
So, for example, Hill makes the remarkable assertion that those of us who advocate for family court reform are actually demanding “laws mandating equal shared parenting.” That of course is entirely untrue. I’ve been going to bat every day for the last 11 years for equal parenting and never seen a single bill in any state or nation that “mandated equal shared parenting.” Not one. At most, those bills would have established a rebuttable presumption that equal parenting is in children’s best interests, assuming fit, non-abusive parents.
Most of Hill’s piece is her recounting of what she says is the history of shared parenting advocates to influence the Australian Parliament. Some of that, like the short-lived requirement that parents promote the child’s relationship with the other parent (a.k.a. the “friendly parent” provision), she actually gets right. But, in tracing the history of the reform movement, Hill leaves out a fact that many would consider germane to the issue, i.e. that none of the efforts by reform advocates actually improved fathers’ chances of either getting custody or enforcing their “right” of access to their kids. Yes, the law changed somewhat over the years, but there’s absolutely no indication that any of it helped. To admit such a fact would obviously undermine Hill’s sense of grievance, so she leaves it out.
Nataly Antar, founder of Amazing Moms without Custody and New York National Parents Organization Chapter Member was on Dad Talk Today talking about how gender fighting gets in the way of putting kids first in the Shared Parenting Movement. You can follow AMWOC here.
October 14, 2019 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
If Jess Hill’s screed in The Guardian weren’t dated October 2, 2019, I’d have guessed it was a blast from the distant past – the mid-90s, perhaps (Guardian, 10/2/19). That’s because it traffics in the same frankly false and misleading sorts of claims and the virulent misandry that we so often saw back then regarding fathers, children and child custody. It’s astonishing to read such nonsense in 2019.
As I reported in my last piece, Hill was spurred to write the article by the Australian government’s announcement that it’s going to review child custody laws. The latest such review was so badly done, so obviously biased and so clearly at odds with known facts and science that it richly deserves to be replaced. But that upcoming replacement is what has Hill in a lather. The nut of her article is that Australian family courts routinely give custody of children (or at least access) to abusive fathers.
Since numbered lists of things have long been the rage, here are six things we can “learn” from Hill’s Guardian piece:1.Men perpetrate domestic violence and women don’t.
Throughout her article, Hill invariably refers to perpetrators as men and victims as women. And that’s not just the case with the Guardian piece. Hill’s written a lot about DV and it’s always the same. Nowhere does she cite any data for the proposition of course since all the reliable information on DV shows women making up at least 50% of those who initiate family violence. Indeed, source after source tells us that lesbian relationships are the most prone to violence of all, but those facts don’t fit Hill’s narrative, so they don’t appear in her article.
Deputy Executive Director Ginger Gentile and Chair of our Board of Directors walk you through using our Shared Parenting Report Card to create change in your state in the video from our live chat on October 10, 2019.