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March 8, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

I’ve thoroughly taken down Laurie Udesky’s misguided and misguiding article that unquestioningly channeled the nonsense peddled by the “protective parent” movement. Despite locating three cases in which dads who may be abusers got custody of their kids, Udesky’s piece was nothing that could be called journalism. For all intents and purposes, she never sought alternative opinions, facts or theories, never interviewed reliable experts on behalf of the theory of parental alienation, never found cases in which parental alienation had occurred or a mother’s abuse of a child was stopped by a scrupulous judge or child custody evaluator.

Udesky’s article was a disgrace, as I amply demonstrated, and this article agrees (Women’s Coalition, 12/2/16). But more amazing than even Udesky’s article, the one on the Women’s Coalition website is even worse. You see, according to it, Udesky’s piece was bad because it didn’t go far enough in denigrating fathers. Apparently too it was deficient because it actually cited data and other information, mistakes the WC piece is at pains to avoid.

According to the WC, family courts are dens of iniquity, not because they ignore the cries of “protective” mothers and give custody to abusive dads, but because family courts everywhere (not just in the U.S.) are biased in fathers’ favor and against mothers. No, really. Read the piece for yourself.

The truth is that the custody crisis is not just a U.S. phenomenon, nor is it gender neutral, nor is it caused by untrained judges and court-appointed professionals. It is not even fundamentally about children being taken from a male or female “protective parent” and given to a male or female “abuser”.

The truth is that children are being unjustly taken away from primary nurturing MOTHERS/WOMEN in epidemic numbers and given to secondarily-attached (if at all) FATHERS/MEN, abusive or not, causing great harm to both women and children.

Sensate readers may well ask questions like “Where do you get such loony ideas?” or “What planet do you live on?” The answer is that the WC post offers no authority for its positions whatsoever. It simply asserts certain claims as true and assumes readers will be too lazy to do their own research and just agree.

Needless to say, there’s not a single dataset to back up the claims made by the WC. The data that do reflect child custody outcomes in family courts uniformly reveal mothers in all countries to be receiving sole or primary custody in numbers far in excess of those of fathers. In the U.S., about 82% of sole or primary custody is given to mothers by family courts. In Canada and the U.K. it’s closer to 90%. In Israel, where the tender years doctrine still holds sway, almost 100% of children under the age of seven are given, as a matter of public policy, to mothers.

Untrained judges are not being unwittingly influenced by their misguided or biased appointees into switching custody to “abusers”. Judges know exactly what they are doing. They deliberately disregard and exclude evidence which supports the father is unfit, abusive or undeserving of joint or primary custody, while accepting false evidence against the mother that she is unfit or abusive.

Citation? None. Does the WC know that, when the State of Nebraska analyzed child custody cases over a ten-year period there was even an allegation of unfitness on the part of a parent in only about 5% of cases? How many of those were fathers accusing mothers and how many were vice versa, the study didn’t say, but even if all were mothers accusing fathers and all were substantiated, that’s still only 5% of the cases. So where does the WC get the idea that there is an “epidemic” of judges giving custody to unfit fathers? Who knows?

The real answer is that they’re just making stuff up to fit their preconceived and highly misandric notions about the world we live in. What are those notions?

If we are going to end the custody crisis, we must fight the true core problem: entrenched systemic male entitlement resulting from persisting patriarchy.

Of course, it’s the patriarchy again. Yes, all those family court judges are just blindly doing the bidding of fathers because our patriarchal system has trained them to honor dads and spurn moms. Makes perfect sense.

I suppose that’s why fathers are almost twice as likely as mothers to be required by courts to pay child support and required to pay more. I suppose that’s why even the few mothers under a court order to pay support are allowed to get away with paying less of what they owe. And I suppose the patriarchy must be the reason why adoption laws are designed to specifically and expeditiously remove fathers from their children’s lives. It’s bound to be the patriarchy that cleverly punishes fathers in the most draconian ways when they fall behind on child support payments while allowing them to see their kids just 14% - 20% of the time. I guess the patriarchy’s wholesale refusal to protect men against paternity fraud is yet another aspect of that “systemic male entitlement” to which the WC refers. So, I assume, is the fact that, when CPS agencies take kids from abusive or neglectful mothers, fathers are seldom contacted as a possible placement.

That patriarchy, it’s a sneaky thing. So much of what it does seems at first blush to marginalize men, punish men for things they didn’t do, denigrate men and privilege women, particularly in family courts and in pretty much all matters relating to kids. But obviously, there’s more at work than meets the eye. Somehow, all that dehumanization of men is really just a clever ruse that only the Women’s Coalition has been savvy enough to figure out.

Thank heavens. I for one would never have guessed. Nor would I have guessed that an article criticizing Laurie Udesky’s piece could be so much crazier than hers. Hey, live and learn.

 

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National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

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#misandry, #childcustody, #familycourts, #Women'sCoalition

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