Read the news coverage and op-eds about our Shared Parenting Report Card at the links below:
By Ginger Gentile, Deputy Executive Director
March 31, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Here’s a case out of Nebraska that’s noteworthy both for what it is and for what it’s not.
Jesse Coffman and Marcy Nichols were married and had three children, currently aged 12, eight and five. They divorced and, during the pendency of the litigation, Nichols had primary custody of the kids. Coffman received the usual every other weekend visitation. The court found that, generally, both parents are perfectly fit and loving parents and that the children are thriving.
During the divorce process, there was conflict between the parents, albeit not of an extreme nature. However,
“This is the third paternity action commenced by the Mother. The prior actions were dismissed at her request.”
That’s the trial court’s terse way of saying that Nichols misused the judicial system to try to harass and inconvenience Coffman. Now, why he didn’t file his own countersuit so that, if she dismissed hers, his would still be in place and go forward, I don’t know. Still, when they want to, judges can say a lot with a few words and the judge in Nichols v. Coffman did just that.
March 27, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
Here’s an excellent blog by Suzanne Venker who’s one of the best observers of contemporary male-female relationships (Suzanne Venker, 3/25/20). Her topic this time is role reversals in marriage and whether they’re likely to work. Put simply, they aren’t. The reason is unsurprising. Particularly once children come along, couples tend to opt for traditional sex roles of Mom the caregiver to kids and Dad the provider of resources.
“There was a time (not that long ago) when few women would entertain the thought of marrying a man who lacked career aspirations. But things have changed. Today, women make their own money. Ergo, the idea that a woman would assess a man’s financial prospects seems unnecessary, and a little, well, archaic.
But it isn’t…”
Indeed it’s not. One of the most persistent behaviors among women is hypergamy, i.e. the tendency to “marry up.” It’s less so now than it used to be, but still, women often respond to ancient evolutionary motivations that find them most attracted to the best resource provider. During most of our evolution, that made sense. Female hominids tended to seek out members of the dominant male hierarchy with whom to mate. Doing so tended to mean a better chance of survival for them and their offspring. And, like most of our evolved biology, that tendency on women’s part is a tough one to ignore, even now when it’s not strictly necessary.