Tag: against fathers

Father has 50/50 custody. Now ex is trying to take it away. What to do?

I am a father who has exercised at least 50/50 custody with my ex. Now she’s trying to take me to court for full custody and me getting every other weekend visits. How can I avoid losing 50/50 custody?

First, thank your lucky stars you are a father who currently has 50/50 custody of his children. Far, far too many fit and loving fathers who could easily exercise joint equal physical custody of their children and whose children would do nothing but benefit from the exercise of joint equal custody are needlessly and unjustifiably denied a joint equal child custody award by courts who simply cannot bring themselves to believe, much less conceive of, the idea that children being reared by both parents equally is better than relegating one parent to second class visitor status in his child’s life.

Second, the fact that you have been exercising at least 50–50 custody of your children for the past few years helps to make it much harder for your ex to build a case against you for modifying the child custody award in a manner that deprives both father and children of a 50–50 custody schedule. Again, be grateful this is the case, because if you were trying to win 50–50 custody of your children on the first go around during your divorce or other child custody legal action, the odds are grossly stacked against fit and loving fathers.

Third, if you are afraid that your judge is going to discriminate against you on the basis of sex, you need to understand this principle: “if it isn’t close, there cheating won’t matter.” Otherwise stated, you need to ensure that you win six ways from Sunday. you have to bring overwhelming amounts of evidence and proof into court, so that you leave the judge no option but to rule in your favor. Easier said than done, certainly, but now is not the time to become complacent or substitute hope for effort. Spare no expense to preserve your joint equal physical custody award. A necessary component of a winning case is that you are living a life beyond reproach. Get your house in order. If there is anything remotely amiss in your life, correct course immediately, clearly, and permanently.

Fourth, make sure you understand and that your attorney understands what statutory and case law factors and criteria govern the original child custody award and a petition to modify the original child custody award. It may be that your ex does not have sufficient grounds for a petition to modify child custody to survive a motion to dismiss.

Fifth and finally, do not take on a petition to modify child custody alone, without a vigilant and skilled attorneys assistance. There is an undeniable culture of bias and discrimination and prejudice against fathers when it comes to courts making child custody awards. This doesn’t mean that every judge in every court indulges in sexual discrimination against father, but it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between an impartial judge and a biased one, and so you need an attorney who will not suffer fools gladly, who will defend the joint equal custody award.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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Why does it seem like courts are against fathers when it comes to custody?

Why does it seem like courts are against fathers when it comes to custody?

Because while the courts are becoming less and less biased against fathers as time goes by, they are still generally biased against fathers when it comes to awarding child custody. And we know why. It’s no mystery.

Believe it or not, the courts were biased in favor of men in child custody cases before the pendulum swung the other way. Back then, when men had more education, more job skills, more brute force strength to perform the manual labor jobs, more property and more rights than women, the idea of giving custody to a mother would have been to condemn a child to a likely life of poverty and destitution. You can see how it made sense at the time: society made it all but impossible for the average mother to support a family on her own, and so fathers were more frequently awarded custody of the children.

The reason courts became biased against fathers in the first place is due to the pervasive belief that women are better parents than men, especially to infants and very young children. This is known as the “tender years doctrine”. It has been rejected—correctly—by most state courts as a form a sexual discrimination. But even after that most courts kept applying the principle in an “underground” way—switching from the “tender years doctrine” to the “primary caregiver” presumption—thus still awarding custody to mothers and/or refusing to award joint custody by still presuming women are better parents than men, just not outright stating it in their rulings and court orders.

It is both prejudicial and erroneous to assume in every case that the mother is “the better” of the two parents (to presume that both parents are not equally fit to exercise custody is erroneous and prejudicial on its face) nor does it require courts to treat child custody as requiring a parent (let’s call him “the father”) to “divorce” his children in the course of his divorce from his spouse. Where the “best parent” for a child is both parents, assuming that joint custody isn’t an option is antithetical to acting in the best interest of the child.

Not all divorced parents will be able to exercise joint physical custody of their children. Not all divorced parents are fit to exercise custody of their children. If a parent is neglectful or abusive, that parent is clearly not fit to exercise custody of his or her children. But with approximately half of marriages ending in divorce, we all know that it’s simply not the case (it can’t be) that one of every two divorcing parents is unfit to exercise custody of children.

Indeed, where divorced parents are both loving and decent people, and live close enough to each other to make the exercise of joint physical custody feasible, there is simply no justification for relegating one parent to the role of “noncustodial” parent who exercises “visitation” of his/her own children. There is simply no justification for denying children the benefits of the love, caring, example, and overall rearing of both parents. It’s literally no different than expecting a tailor to do as good as job with one half of the scissors as with both halves.

If Mom and Dad are both fit parents and live within a short distance of each other, the best thing for the children is a joint legal and joint physical custody award, so that the children have the benefit of both parents being as involved in caring for and loving their children as much as possible. This is self-evident (eeven if it weren’t, the social science data support are overwhelming).

Joint custody doesn’t imply that a mother is an unfit parent, but in today’s culture there are many mothers who fear that very perception, if joint custody is awarded. I understand.

In a culture where 1) it is erroneously presumed that all divorced parents cannot or should not continue to exercise joint custody of their children; 2) that one parent must be awarded the primary or sole custody of children; and 3) that women are presumptively the better of the two parents, then a joint custody award could lead some people to believe that “mom just wasn’t good enough to get sole custody”. These culturally erroneous presumptions thus must be rejected, for the benefit of mothers, fathers, and children alike.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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