How to Re Establish Parental Rights Custody of a Child
Just as we encourage parents in intact families to share care of their children, the social science evidence on the development of healthy parent–child relationships, and the long-term benefits of healthy parent–child relationships, supports the view that shared parenting should be the norm for post-divorce parenting plans for children of all ages, including infants.
The First International Conference on Shared Parenting has just concluded, a conference organized by the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP), the first international interdisciplinary organization of divorce scholars and family (medical, legal and mental health) practitioners interested in issues related to co-parenting after divorce.
The aim of the Council is to develop evidence-based approaches to the needs and rights of children whose parents are living apart, and to explore the feasibility of shared parenting in different child and family contexts. The theme of the Council’s first annual conference was, “Bridging the Gap between Empirical Evidence and Socio-Legal Practice,” and it drew delegates from over twenty countries to Bonn, Germany, from the scientific, family profession and civil society sectors. This was the first such gathering of scholars, practitioners and NGO representatives specializing in the field of co-parenting. A wide range of topics as well as…Read More
These conclusions are seen to be groundbreaking as a consensus statement was produced by the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the field of co-parenting after divorce, which is intended to serve as a guide for family lawmakers, policymakers, and practitioners around the globe.
The principle that children under three should not stay overnight with their separated or divorced fathers, when parents cannot agree on co-parenting arrangements, has recently reappeared as an argument against co-residential parenting for very young children. Although the Australian work of McIntosh (2010) found that infants under two who spent one night or more a week and toddlers who spend 10 days a month of overnight time in their non-primary caregiver’s care are more irritable, more severely distressed and insecure in their relationships with their primary parent, less persistent at tasks, and more physically and emotionally stressed, this study has been largely discredited by a recently published consensus report endorsed by 110 child development experts (Warshak, 2013), which found that McIntosh drew unwarranted conclusions from her unrepresentative and flawed data. Although McIntosh initially concluded that “repeated overnight stays away from the primary caregiver in the first…Read More
If you are a father in a child custody dispute, you must learn to recognize (and deal with) blatantly wrong and immoral strategies that will likely be used against you. To add insult to injury, these strategies can be effective. And in our experience, many attorneys fail to help their clients deal with these tragically effective strategies, because they are more psychological than legal strategies, and attorneys are not often trained either to recognize or deal with them.
One of the saddest situations happens when a child has been bribed or manipulated into turning against the father–and frequently this father is, in our opinions, the better of the two parents. A case we are actively working with right now illustrates what we are talking about. The father, a warm and hard-working professional, runs into all of the following from his ten year old daughter, when he tries to phone or comes to pick the girl up for a visit.
“I don’t want to talk now. I’m busy.” (The child slams the phone down.)
“You know I don’t like to see you!”
“You’re bothering us; don’t call me !” (The father, rightly, wonders who the “us” is in this statement.)
And the father frequently hears what is a sure sign of a bribed or manipulated child, words and sentences that are obviously not of the child’s own creation, but rather from the bitter and vindictive other parent:
“You decided to leave us. This is all your fault. You’re not entitled to share in my life anymore.”
Unfortunately, most fathers singled out to be the victims of such vitriolic attacks are poorly equipped to deal with them. They start out trying to be calm and loving, but all too soon are worn down by the hurt, frustration and road blocks continuously thrown up when they attempt contacts with the child. They end up either retreating, or counter-attacking—neither of which can lead to a happy outcome. It is essential that fathers caught up in this kind of trap learn the four strategies that can be truly effective and helpful in this situation.
So you’d rather watch tournament games and go bowling than support a “We Are Fathers” campaign for justice and equality. Well that’s your choice, it’s a free country, in theory anyway. But you should know that countless lawyers, child experts and bureaucrats are cheering you on because they profit from all this apathy and a misguided sense of priorities.
In America today, our government is engaged in the lucrative expansion of a child control bureaucracy that is harming our families, productivity and moral fiber as a nation. This vast public enterprise has invaded every aspect of private life, often wielding power beyond that exercised by the NSA, CIA or IRS. It is a silent and insidious trend eroding parental rights repeatedly declared by our Supreme Court to be the “oldest liberty interest” protected by the United States Constitution.
This interest is shared equally by fathers and mothers. But in practice, the male half has not been accorded its rightful place among our human rights due to a profit motive in family court driven by needless custody, support and divorce contests. Census Bureau reports continue to show the gender disparities on all domestic fronts. After promoting a parental rights cause in Paris recently, I was amazed to note how a million people together with world leaders could rally in that city within days to support free speech. Meanwhile, here in the states, more than 70 million fathers have yet to mobilize after a century of widespread discrimination.
Such discrimination is having harmful impacts on all aspects of society and quite likely the female population more so than its counterpart. Veterans, minorities and high profile figures are particularly vulnerable to a court system that has placed money and politics over genuine parent-child relationships. Fathers are a vital component of any social or family structure as they have been since the beginning of civilization. Unfortunately federal entitlement laws and incentive funding to the states have marginalized that role to a point of virtual extinction. This has led to educational costs, heinous crimes and moral deterioration on a vast scale corroborated by an exodus from all manner of religion. In practical terms, our taxpayers are funding the creation of social ills and then forced to pay for it on the back side with costly welfare programs.
Future generations will look back one day and be amazed at how truly barbaric our domestic relations courts once were. A scheme of laws and processes derived from feudal equity doctrines has been retained which features loving parents engaged in brutal contests over their offspring in a public arena. A winner-take-all battle for custody leads to overregulation of families by the state and marginalization, alienation or outright extinction of one fit parent from the children’s lives. Anal investigations of the combatants’ backgrounds by self serving advisors incite further controversy to last a lifetime. It is a spectacle reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum.
No person or entity has ever been able to achieve a comprehensive study of the vast detriment which this archaic custody and support system has had upon our society. Any such effort would assuredly be stymied because custody and unequal parenting are highly profitable. Yet common sense dictates that our nation could be well served with sweeping reforms here in our least scrutinized branch of government. We can put a man on the moon, split atoms, engage artificial intelligence and achieve vast breakthroughs in medicine but remain unable to extricate family courts from their nineteenth century practices.
View all posts by American Fathers