Follow the money to explain some of the motivation. When the mother was given full custody, the court ordered McNeilly to pay her $525 a month, which she would lose if they return to joint custody.
The real problem in this case is the arrogance of family courts, which claim the right to decide child custody based on their subjective personal opinions about the "best interest of the child." Family court judges, and the psychologists and referees they hire, routinely violate the fundamental right of parents to make their own decisions about the best interest of their own children.
Family courts are subjective and arbitrary, so unlucky divorced parents could get a judge or a referee who is anti-gun, or anti-military, or anti-spanking, or anti-homeschooling, or anti-religion, or a feminist who wants to transform the middle class into a matriarchal society as has already been done to the welfare class, with tragic results.
The notion that family court judges, psychologists and referees can impose personal views about what is "the best interest of the child" rather than a child's own parents is just another way of saying "it takes a village to raise a child." Thousands of good fathers have been deprived of their fundamental rights in the care and upbringing of their children by courts that treat fathers as good for nothing more than a paycheck.
The large number of fathers who have been the victims of family-court fatherphobia is no doubt the reason that one of the most popular songs on country music stations this year is Tim McGraw's "Do You Want Fries with That?" The lyrics are the cry of a father who is working a minimum-wage second job in a fast-food restaurant, living alone in a tent, after being ordered by a judge to support his children living in his house with his ex-wife and her boyfriend.
The father laments, "You took my wife, and you took my kids, and you stole the life that I used to live; my pride, the pool, the boat, my tools, my dreams, the dog, the cat."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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