I hope yours is a happy Father’s Day. For many of you, it won’t be, it hasn’t been for years, and it’s a shame.
First, know that I know there are mothers out there whose ex-husbands have destroyed or irreparably damaged their relationships with their children (in that regard, this post is as much for you as for the fathers I describe). But know that for every mother in that situation there are many, many more fathers whose ex-wives have deliberately destroyed or irreparably damaged their relationships with their children.
Second, I know there are fathers who are unfit to exercise custody, whether equally with the children’s mother or not at all. I know there are fathers who are unable–sometimes due to their own bad decisions, sometimes due to no fault of their own–who cannot exercise custody equally, if at all.
But there are literally tens of millions of fit fathers out there reduced to the “every other weekend and alternating holidays” or similar schedules who can and want to have more time, more interaction, more influence on their children and whose hearts ache for their children and children whose hearts ache for their fathers. Their hearts ache needlessly.
Too often the courts are used and abused by malicious mothers and government agencies as tools of parental alienation, particularly when it comes to fathers.
Some of this is due to the law lagging behind what fatherhood is in modern times.
Some is due to courts that fail to treat fathers as co-equal in parental importance and in parental rights. Some judges seem unable or unwilling to conceive of fathers being as loved by and important to children as their mothers. Some courts fail to acknowledge the science that conclusively and undeniably reveals the importance of fathers (in ways even those who already believed fathers are vital to a child’s development did not suspect).
Regardless, attitudes and policies that marginalize fathers in child custody awards is gratuitous at best, all but unforgivable at worst. Your relationship with your children is sacred. I pray that if your wife won’t see it that way too, your judge will.