The stereotype that women are more nurturing than men has been challenged by a study published a couple of years ago in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that fatherhood awakens men's nurturing side. Testosterone levels in men fall 30 percent after they become fathers, and even more when the children are infants and when the fathers are significantly involved with child-rearing.
According to a report released this month from Pew Research Analysis, women aren't staying at home anymore, dependent upon men earning an income to support them. Mothers are the sole or primary source of income for a record 40 percent of households with children. This is almost a 400 percent increase from 1960, when just 11 percent of mothers were the breadwinners.
What sister, mother, grandmother, or daughter hasn't had a brother, father or son suffer within the unjust family law system? Many women end up helping their male relative pay his child support and legal fees. I have no children of my own, but have spent money and countless hours helping male relatives with legal proceedings related to child custody and child support.
No doubt as a result of this broad unfairness, the women who are a part of this new organization surprisingly range from conservative Phyllis Schlafly to a former president of the feminist National Organization of Women. With agreement all across the political spectrum, there is a tremendous chance that state legislators will be able to fight off the slick lobbyists from Bar associations and pass shared custody legislation.
Legislators must also fight against pressure to substitute watered-down bills that do not provide for approximately 50/50 shared custody. “Joint custody” is often little more than a semantic difference from “sole custody.” Joint custody generally gives one parent much more time and control, as well as child support from the other parent. Unless one parent has committed abuse, serious crimes, or similar circumstances, the default should be a presumption of equally shared parenting.
Children – including daughters – who were withheld from their fathers while growing up, who saw their fathers living out of their cars and crippled financially, have now become adults and are saying enough. It is way overdue to stop appeasing Big Law at the expense of families. Now, a group of Leading Women is speaking out.