A new group is emerging that may finally change the way Family Courts treat mothers and fathers. Currently, the default in most states is to award the lion's share of the time with the children to mothers, and require the father to pay child support. This is unfair to fathers, and has resulted in massive abuses within the system, leading to fathers committing suicide and being imprisoned. A new organization I am a part of, Leading Women for Shared Parenting, seeks to remedy this inequality by having women and mothers speak up in favor of shared parenting. When legislators realize that women themselves are in favor of reversing this bias, they should finally change the laws to make the default a presumption of 50/50 equally shared custody.
Fathers' rights organizations have tried for years to change the status quo, but have not quite pulled it off, no doubt due to the growing stigma against men in society. They have been marginalized by being called sore losers and deadbeats who only want to lower their child support.
Continually, between 78 and 87 percent of both men and women support shared parenting – and there is no statistical difference between the sexes. Dr. William Fabricius, an Associate Professor of Psychology of at Arizona State University, discovered these results when polling residents in Pima County, Arizona. He also found that polls taken in Canada and a vote in Massachusetts revealed very similar results. But sadly, Fabricius writes, “there is a very sizable gap between current popular views strongly favoring equal custody, as reflected in polls and votes on custody allocation, and actual legal outcomes.”
The reason we don't have shared parenting is because it's a big business. Family law attorneys make too much money off the years of legal fighting, and the state bar associations help their own keep their greedy claws controlling the system by lobbying state legislatures to oppose shared parenting bills.
There is significant research showing that shared parenting is best for kids. There are over three dozen medical studies which indicate that shared parenting arrangements – joint decision-making and near-equal parenting time – provide the best outcomes for children. The studies also reveal that parenting time of every other weekend, commonly ordered by judges, is harmful to children.
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