Close the pay gap? Get dads involved? Shared visitation, no child support

pay gap


In my work writing about women, money and family in the United States, there are two prevailing issues:

  • Dads who do not live with their kids are barely involved. (Just 22% of dads who live apart from their children see them more than once weekly, per Pew.)
  • That pay gap will. not. close.

Here's the answer:

Start all custody negotiations at a default 50-50 visitation and custody, with no child support or alimony.

Joint Custody Child support

While there is a great movement towards equally shared visitation time in at least 30 states, the majority of family courts still default to some version of a model that has prevailed in separated families for decades:

  • Dad pays mom child support, and maybe alimony.
  • Mom is primary custodian and dad gets “Friday night special” — every-other-weekend, and Wednesday night dinners.

This antiquated arrangement only reinforces the sexist notions:

  • Women are incapable of supporting themselves.
  • Fathers are inferior parents.

Indeed, this outdated agreement holds women, men, families and the economy back.

I can tell you first-hand it is a heck of a lot harder to get ahead professionally and financially if you are the sole – or majority care provider for children.

If we unburdened the 10 million single mothers in this country from this responsibility (64 percent of millennial moms have had at least one baby out of wedlock, according to Johns Hopkins), and forced fathers to be true co-parents, gender economics in this country would look very, very different.

How does custody effect the pay gap?

For starters, unmarried moms would have so, so much more time to invest in their careers and businesses.

They would not be the default caregiver when kids barf in the night and need to stay home from school.

Moms would not automatically be the parent that must leave work early for teacher meetings, or systematically forgo career-advancing work travel or evening networking events.

More shared visitation will also afford moms much-needed time to rest, exercise and develop relationships and interests outside of their kids that make women happier mothers and more productive citizens.

Two, fathers would be forced to make the hard work-life decisions that women have known for generations, leveling the workplace playing field.

Three, it would create a collective mind shift at home, work and in the bedroom.

Listen to my Like a Mother podcast episode on the topic:

Other ways to listen: iTunes  ♦ Stitcher   ♦ TuneIn   ♦ SoundCloud Google Play

If women know they can never rely on a man outside of marriage for income, we will make different, better decision about our careers, and money.

If men know they cannot skirt their parental responsibilities, they will be more thoughtful about bringing babies into the world.

When divorce courts force both sexes to participate in the workforce and with children in equal measure, that message trickles into all families — including married and single-people homes.

Related: How to divorce like a feminist

50/50 custody

When both sexes are forced by court or social pressure to parent equally, men and women on corporate boards, in Congress, in C-suites, and on down make different, better policies for workers and families.

Plus, this presumed, equal and fair arrangement relieves courts of the endless bickering and petitions that distract from extreme cases — like actual abuse and neglect — for which deviation from this rule would be appropriate.

I know the pushback:


I am the better parent. I am the mother! I don't want him to have more than 30% visitation. It's not good for the kids.


If he is safe to be with the kids 30% — or 10%, or 20% — he is safe to be with them 50%.

There are 60 peer-reviewed studies that find that shared parenting is best for children in separated and divorced families.

This is true even in cases where there is high conflict between the parents, or one is richer than the other.

Just because the child lived in your uterus does not mean you get more say in how they are raised.

Men will never step into their full father potential if we keep assuming they are the inferior parent.

We agreed I would give up my career to stay with the kids, and it is not fair that my standard of living is compromised because he wants to divorce!

You're not a child, and he is not your father. You entered into marriage knowing the risks.

You are an adult woman who as political and economic rights that you chose not to exercise.

That was not a good decision, and I am sorry you made them, but it is not another person's responsibility to pay for those decisions.

If you want a higher standard of living, you are free to pursue a career that will afford you that.

Now that he has the kids 50%, you have plenty of time to do that.

How stay at home moms hurt gender equality

He is supposed to take the kids half the time but never shows up. I still shouldn't pursue child support?

That is a decision that you have to make.

Yes, if he doesn't care for the kids half the time, he should step up and care for them financially.

But keep in mind these things:

  • He will always and forever resent giving you that money and it will be a wedge between you in any co-parenting.
  • Psychologically, taking that money will likely hold you back. He is a man you are no longer tied to romantically, and from whom you are (or should be) striving to create a separate life. Money ties people together. You risk being dependent on him. Tread carefully.

My kids are so little! My baby is nursing! 50-50 doesn't make sense!

I agree. This is about being reasonable and what is good for the greater sum, without abandoning the individuals.

Nursing babies and their moms, temporarily, require certain circumstances.

So do disabled adults, and deployed military.  move to default equal visitation and no support will not be painless.

But they are necessary steps in an evolution towards financial and parental equity.

Please listen to Terry Brennan, of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, explain why default every-other-weekend visitation leads to absentee fathers.

Note that in cases where ‘standard’ visitation is awarded — every-other-weekend — fathers become depressed and non-involved, and within 3 years, one study found, 40 percent of children in an unequal visitation arrangement had lost complete touch with their non-custodial parents, which are nearly always the father.

Have a listen:

Other ways to listen: iTunes  ♦ Stitcher   ♦ TuneIn   ♦ SoundCloud Google Play

Are you part of the new Facebook group, Millionaire Single Moms? No income requirement, though BIG GOALS and a positive MINDSET required! Join now!


Read More: A dad explains: “Why I don’t see my child.”

How to get dads involved in divorce and separated families

Why single parents should put their kids second when dating

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour,, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list. Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.


  1. Emily Maniccia on May 4, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I hear what you are saying. Level the playing field, coparenting equality, gender gaps, blah blah blah. The problem is more complicated than that. It’s not that simple. We can’t just expect that these men are even willing step up and take on more of the parenting responsibility. No amount of progressive idealism is going to inspire “some” men to be more involved, even if it does mean a lower financial responsibility for them. Men and women bitch and complain all the time about child support and alimony which I agree holds us in a co-parenting Bermuda triangle of resentment, entitlement, and quite frankly stifles our true earning potential. Anyways how many parents are given a set schedule of time with their children and don’t even choose to exercise it. I am delighted to hear of men in my extended group that are happily involved in their childrens post divorce life. But sadly, I think it is the exception not the rule.

    • Emma on May 4, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      I agree with everything you said. There will be a generation or two of transition. But when laws change, society changes, social pressures change and new norms emerge. I am hopeful.

    • D Young on May 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Are you kidding me? Believe it or not most men actually want to be there for their children but courts play in the favor of mothers because it’s easier for them to make a profit off of a father being forced to pay child support. This post is outrageously biased towards women. Don’t just go off of some assumption that men don’t want to be apart of their children’s lives. Because, believe it or not there have been studies that show that when the roles are reversed women are less likely to even okay their court ordered child support. And, even then most single father don’t put the mother on child support. I agree with 50/50 custody just not for the reasons the extremely biased article stated.

      • Emma on May 4, 2016 at 8:01 pm

        I don’t assume that all men are crappy dads who don’t want to get involved. But the majority, sadly are, which messes it up for the good guys.

        • Maggie on May 5, 2016 at 9:32 pm

          This is true statistically, and in my case. He is nowhere to be found although in the same city. I asked for him to be involved without child support because that was more important to me. But that wasn’t about to happen. And due to cultural differences, he kept all of this hidden from his family and signed everything off. The way I see it, it’s hard as a graduating college student to find a career. But the two times he has met his son, he showed no interest in him nor cared about the time he spent with him and instead played on his phone the whole time and have voiced his lack of interest in his own son due to not wanting that responsibility (we are 25). Exposing a child to a father who outwardly resents their child will only emotionally destroy them. So it’s hard for some of us in situations similar to mine– but I had to pick and choose my battles. There is no reason to have a sad kiddo about a biological father that will never be 100%. And even if I made that happen legally, it would still hurt my son because the father would still not be 100%. I wouldn’t be okay with leaving my child knowing he would feel lonely during the time he spent with his dad. Or just constantly let down by all the no-shows at school events, birthdays etc. But when he does ask who his biological father is (my son is 2) I will never speak poorly of him but will let my son decide for himself what he thinks of him. I will give him his contact info should he feel the desire to contact him. I’ve tried everything in my power but it has failed each time. I’m more concerned about the emotional end of things. I’d rather take the fall and struggle than my son wondering why his dad didn’t want to be involved.

          • xlordt on August 16, 2017 at 1:17 am

            where are the stats? please show me some stats. I understand your case, however you did say “Statistically”. I know there are men out there as well as woman who don’t really care but as far as stats, I would be convinced if you showed some citation.

        • Robert Franklin on May 7, 2016 at 5:29 pm

          Huh? The “majority” “are crappy dads?” I don’t suppose you’d like to back that up with data or anything. The truth of course is the opposite, but why admit the truth when misandry is so much more fun. Plus, if you actually believe that, why are you promoting equal parenting? Let’s give equal time to “crappy parents.” This makes sense to you?

          • Emma on May 8, 2016 at 5:44 am


            Just 22% of dads who live apart from their kids see the children more than once per week. Sure, parental alienation from the mom can be blamed for some of this. Flat-out absentee fathers is the majority.

            • Stephen Cruse on May 13, 2016 at 3:04 pm

              These statistics are skewed – usually due to the court cutting the father out of the child’s life with visitation every other week. In fact many mothers (25%) admit to trying to keep the father away at some time during the last year.

              Myth #2: Fathers are more concerned with money than mothers.

              This persistent myth is often used to explain the belief that most fathers fail to provide financially for their children. However, judging by the reasons given by parents with physical custody, custodial fathers, more often than custodial mothers, choose not to force the other parent to pay child support (27.5% vs 22.9%) and also a higher percentage of mothers than fathers stated that they did not want their child to have contact with the other parent (21% vs 12.7). These facts are indicative of custodial mothers engaging in parental alienation.

            • Emma on May 13, 2016 at 3:14 pm

              Anecdotally I see exactly what you suggest, Stephen (custodial mothers, choose not to force the other parent to pay child support (27.5% vs 22.9%) and also a higher percentage of mothers than fathers stated that they did not want their child to have contact with the other parent (21% vs 12.7).

              However, I also see men in droves choosing to step mostly or completely out of their kids’ lives.

            • Alex on October 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm

              That number is only fathers who spend 0 nights with the kids under their roof. The majority of fathers are not included in that number

            • Jenn on April 17, 2018 at 10:46 pm

              My brother married a woman he met in the military and was head over heels in love with her. He wanted a family more than anything and they had a little boy. 2 years into the dream, he discovered she was cheating on him. He forgave her once. She did it again. My brother lost a huge piece of himself. He was heartbroken and went to visit a friend in Utah for emotional and mental help. We live in WV. They resided on my parents’ property with my mother being the primary caregiver of their son, having quit her job to care for him while they worked. When custody time came she claimed abandonment (for him leaving for 2 weeks) also alleged that he committed fraud by taking a loan out in her name and stated that they were pending (the current charges were a surprise to my brother at the custody hearing and were filed in a different county, because it was over 10k it was a felony), she also used a letter from an ex-friend who was angry at my brother which stated they would testify against him and alleged he was a neglectful father.

              1. The loan was a tool/tactic – charges were dropped as his wife knew of the loan and it was used to pay off her truck, however, because it was a surprise tactic, my brother had no defense and no lawyer (could not afford one)

              2. The letter was garbage, written by a spiteful low life who my brother tried to help. When he got tired of taking care of this man, he left (this was while the divorce was pending and rented an apartment with a “friend”. The man was jaded and is spiteful.

              3. My brother had every right to seek solace and peace from a friend and everyone knew where he was.

              My ex-sister in law gained full custody and the judge cited all of the above. He vilified my brother and called him a horrible person (at this time my brother was a business owner and veteran of the United States Army). 9 years later she continues to manipulate and control my brother. They lived 20 minutes from one another and he saw his son 6 days a month and cried to me over and over. He was heartbroken.

              My brother played her games hoping she would let him see their son more, but she never conceded on anything. He finally had enough and moved to Iowa. This created a custody change wherein my brother gets to see his son more than he did when he was 20 minutes away.

              Since she gained custody of my nephew questionable events happened to my nephew. In one instance, I took a 5-year-old boy to the ER because when I picked him up from daycare his entire face was covered in bruises. He couldn’t tell me what happened and then finally said: “I tripped and landed on a shoe”. this is just one example of abuse we feel he was exposed to.

              While this is a deeply personal example of the manipulation women have over their exes, I see it over handfuls of my friends and their female partners and I know it is not an isolated incident.

              Men get tired of dealing with the emotionally unstable, mentally exhausting antics women put forth. Those obstacles broke my brother, and mentally he is still recovering. However, I will tell you that the judge was wrong, his wife was wrong; my brother put himself through college, studied for the LSAT and is currently in Law School. Does this sound like a bad person to you?

              I’ve seen my brother at his worst because he missed out on so much with his son that he can NEVER get back. It is sad. While visiting my house recently (with his son), I was getting drinks for all of the kids, and I told my brother, “Hey, I will get the drinks, give me the cup”, and we went back and forth until I realized why he was reluctant to let me do for his child what I did for my own….Because getting a simple drink for his child is always an unfamiliar experience and one he cherishes, while to myself, it has become a mundane part of my life.

              So before you vilify these men, these fathers, please ask yourself what your behavior has done to foster their avoidance. Sometimes you do have men that check out but remove your bias and hate and spit and let the father be the father.

              I speak from experience as I write this, my ex hurts my soul every day. Is the type of man to another woman that he wasn’t to me. Hurt me, cheated on me, lied to me. We have two boys and they come first. I sacrifice and cry at night, but I will never allow my hurt inter with their relationship. He wants to be a part of their life and I am no more entitled to those babies as he is.

              While I might not have had a say in how my relationship broke down, we created life and they didn’t ask for their parents to not be together. I swallow my pride every day and hurt a lot, but that is my hurt, it is not theirs to be burdened with.

        • Michael H on May 8, 2016 at 9:46 am

          “I don’t assume that all men are crappy dads who don’t want to get involved. But the majority, sadly are, which messes it up for the good guys.”

          This is gender bias. You assume that the majority of dads are crappy. You don’t have objective evidence to support this assumption, but you state it as if it is a fact.

          • Emma on May 8, 2016 at 9:50 am


            Just 22% of dads who live apart from their kids see the children more than once per week. Sure, parental alienation from the mom can be blamed for some of this. Flat-out absentee fathers is the majority.

            • Michael H on May 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm

              That is why you think that the “majority of fathers” are “crappy dads?”

            • Steven Syme on May 9, 2016 at 11:33 am

              Extrapolating that 22% of dads see more than once a week doesn’t equate to them being crappy. All manner of reasoning, inability due to work/life balance, physical location practicality, shift working dads, mothers who want revenge using children as proxy, all of this more than rubbishes that ‘crappy dad’ misandry.

            • Emma on May 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

              Of course there will always be unusual circumstances, but those should account for less than 10%, not 78% of dads who live separate from their kids. Anecdotally, the numbers of dads who chose to not be involved with their kids at all, or in a meaningful way has been heartbreakingly shocking to me — and those stats support that.

            • gareth on May 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm

              You got no evidence to say that those unusual circumstances accounts for less than 10%. You’re just stating figures without knowing the how or the why. If you go to court for access they’ll typically only grant the father every other weekend contact to average that only accounts for once a week. So you’re blaming the father when the court system is to blame.
              Parently alienation, the mother ignoring court orders, you know nothing about the figures

        • Helen Alford on May 9, 2016 at 6:29 pm

          I would like to know what you base that idea on? As the partner of a separated dad and both of us on a low income, he has had the fight of his life to wrestle 50/50 time (or any time at all initially!) from their mother. Representing himself in court, no access to child benefit (which the mother gets as a low income parent) coupled with the inability to work full time due to caring for them, constantly battling gender stereotyping – no wonder men walk away. There have been several times in the last 2 years my partner nearly gave up, he has suffered severe anxiety and depression as a result of what we’ve gone through.
          Society does not support men to parent their separated children. I really don’t believe for a minute that most men don’t care – they just realise the mountain they have to climb.

          • Shirley Temple on January 7, 2017 at 2:04 am

            If I’m reading this correctly your child’s father is fighting the court system to win more custody? Just because the court docs say it doesn’t mean it has to happen that way. Again, if my interpretation is correct of this reply… you have the power to allow your child’s father 50% custody- why not do it?

            • Emma on January 8, 2017 at 9:24 am


        • dave on May 9, 2016 at 6:55 pm

          That is just bs every dad i know that has split from their childs mother including me wants more time with kids but it tends to be the mother who refuses then courts back them up. Your just making excuses for lazy controling women

        • Alex on October 25, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          The majority? Where are you getting that from?

        • Robert Ferrer on December 17, 2016 at 1:49 pm

          The notion that majority of men don’t want to get involved with their children is not supported by the research in this field. Actually, most men do want to be involved but are faced by obstacles both systemically and relationally that result more often than not by their withdrawl from their children’s lives. See, for example, Edward Kruk, Divorce and Disengagement, 1993 Fernwood Publishing.

        • MikeMike on August 14, 2017 at 9:08 pm

          That is a lie.

      • alain smithee on November 20, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        My issue is that my family court judge won’t enforce my access to my children because “children belong with the mother” (her words).

        I’ve also been accused of not being interested in my children’s academics because my ex has a history of calling me hours before a school event and expecting me to take off work to attend the event. That is not a viable option in today’s economy. I solved the child access problem by PROMISING my ex-wife that I would have her arrested and prosecuted for Interference With Custody if she ever denied me access to the children again without good cause.

        As far as child support is concerned, I want to use child support trust in the form of a shared checking account like this one (, but my family court judge refuses because “Your [ex-]wife (NOT our children) deserves that money.”

        Before my divorce, I believed that the purpose of child support was for the parents to share the responsibility for providing for the children’s needs. Life experience has taught me that the courts feel that ‘child support’ is now a requirement for the non-custodial parent to provide a government mandated lifestyle for the children (and by inference, the custodial parent) instead of it being a shared responsibility between the parents.

        Then there is the issue of courts choosing to use a rigid, inflexible applications of the child support ‘guidelines, to order sole custody with the lower earning parent and to restrict the non-custodial parents access to their children in the interest of increasing the gross amount of ‘child support’ collected, which then increases the kickbacks (I’m sorry – incentive payments) that states receive under the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act.

        • Theodore Levine on May 27, 2018 at 6:55 pm

          Why do you expect her to tell you when your child’s school events are? You can call the school and make sure you are on email distribution lists and get school notices so you are made aware.

      • mom2many on May 21, 2017 at 3:36 am

        I wish it was true that men want more time with their kids, but I have not seen the statistical evidence that men want their children 50-50. What source(s) did you obtain this info from? At the end of the day, Corporate America expects the men to be there on the job. I don’t see men out en masse fighting for family policies that will allow them to be home with their sick child (or even parent equally with the women). What I have witnessed in my community over the last 20 years is cyclical parenting behaviors in both male and female heterosexual couple-parents. When the economy is good, the men are less involved with child care/ family oriented tasks than when it is bad. I had a lot of hope with the Great Recession that dads would stay involved with their children.

        During the horrible economic downturn from 2008 to 2011, I noticed that male relatives were caring for children in approximately 4 out of 10 healthcare related scenarios. These scenarios included taking the little ones to doctor’s appointments, PT, OT, speech therapy, etc. As the economy improved, I observed those rates of male participation decrease to about 1 in 10 to 12 appointments. The economy has improved, the men are back to work and the duties of taking the kids to appointments during the 8am to 6pm is back on the females. And in some of those 1 in 10 scenarios, it’s a retired grandpa or uncle taking the child to the appointment.

        I know I sound biased, but men really need to give push-back to the workforce that they want equal parenting rights (even though they will take a hit to their career mobility and pay). Family leave policy in the US is terrible compared to other industrialized nations. It must be addressed because if it isn’t, 50-50 shared parenting concepts will look good on the court’s books, but the reality will be that women still end up holding the bag on primary child care giving. My son and I were discussing this fact. Men should have the right to be a part of their children’s lives and take the time to care for their children if that is what they desire. Dads matter!!!

        The men are going to have to stand together on this. However, I think too many are complacent, and some don’t really want the responsibility, while others are very committed but don’t know where to start.

        • Scott on March 5, 2018 at 4:55 pm

          This dumb fucking cunt

      • Mike on August 14, 2017 at 9:06 pm

        Amen to that!!!

      • Debra Bedoya on August 15, 2017 at 1:32 am

        I agree with D. Young. I advocate for alienated parents, predominantly fathers’ but I also advocate for the other alienated family members This strikes me as biased and derragatory towards fathers. Our children should be our main concern. They need both “fit” parents to mature into self reliant, healthy ( both physically & emotionally) successful adults. The amount of money being spent in family court is absurd. It is more than enough to.provide higher education and a higher quality of life for our children. Family. Courts are bankrupting parents on a daily basis and I don’t just mean money. It took two people to createa child and it takes a village to raise them properly. If 50/50 custody was enforced not only do our children flourish but so will the parents. The amount of money wasted along with the immense stress, anxiety and bitterness that everyone suffers from is just ludicrous. Stop the iinsanitof this vicious cycle. In the end the children suffer the most but is it really worth all thebnegative effects it has on everyone. In the end in order to get revenge for a marriage or relationship that did not work out? I would much rather focus my time, money and efforts towards something that I benefit from and my children benefit mm from. Life is to short in my eyes to waste all the time, energy, money and pain that family court cause. It takes a great deal of maturity and selflessness to enter into equal parenting but by doing so it is a win-win for everyone involved.
        D. Bedoya-Price

    • Jerry Barber on May 4, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      There are a lot of dads that would love having their kids half the time. I would love the extra time with my daughter. Dads and moms parent differently and kids benefit spending equal time with both parents.

      • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:11 am

        It is totally unethical and impractical for dads to have to FIGHT to have their kids half time.

        • mom2many on May 21, 2017 at 4:01 am

          Men are going to have to fight to have their kids half-time, just like women had to fight to be able to work. The US corporate system is still very gender biased when it comes to parenting. Women are still expected to do the grunt work with the kids. They don’t even like women in the echelons of upper management getting pregnant. My sibling works in the banking industry and the men are supposed to have their wives do the activities related to caring for the children. the women who are managers, well, they shouldn’t have kids.

          When men get 50-50, they have got to be expected to do their part with the children. It means that when its dad’s house time, dad has to take his PTO time to drive the child to the doctor, dentist, orthodontist, tutor, etc. Corporate America doesn’t go in for that. But were talking 26 weeks out of a year that a child will be with dad. And if dad is a small business owner, like a mechanic, lawn maintenance tech, septic tech, plumber, electrician, etc. his customers won’t be too happy if he is taking care of his child instead of draining the septic tank.

          I think we moms have an advantage with job flexibility even though we often take a long-term career hit. Just saying, we’ll have to change the way we do business so dads can play a more active role in their children’s lives.

          • Emma on May 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm

            Totally agree, and this will be good for everyone, including business and the economy – the more jobs and companies support humans, the more productive those humans are. Painful but necessary shift.

        • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm


      • Shirley Temple on January 7, 2017 at 2:06 am

        Agreed. Is your relationship so bad with your daughter’s mother? Could you ask her for more time with your daughter? Just because it is in a document doesn’t mean you and you daughter’s mother couldn’t sort out an arrangement that affords you more time with your girl :)

        • Emma on January 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

          Custody agreements can always be changed via the courts.

    • David on May 5, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Emily: Would you support this if men agree to have 50-50 time and women STILL get the child support?

      • Maggie on May 5, 2016 at 9:39 pm

        I’m not Emily but that’s an entirely different subject involving unequal pay or moms having some limitations due to pregnancy, maternity leave (lol that’s a joke) etc. men make more than women and that’s a sad reality.

        • David on May 5, 2016 at 11:30 pm

          Exactly. Child custody should be a DIFFERENT decision from child support. One parent making more than the other is one thing should not be the reason for that parent to have less custody. But that is exactly what happens every day in the family courts throughout the country. Moms typically make less than dads (although these days there are more and more moms who make more, and that is a big reason why we are talking about this 50-50 issue now) so they need (or in many cases, want) money from dads. I have no problem with that. The problem is to get that support, moms fight tooth and nail to get as much custody as they can. And the fact is that more custody = more child support, so they fight for it. This is the same insanity before Obamacare, where health insurance is so tightly tied to employment (like somehow you don’t need health insurance if you are out of a job?) Every divorce lawyer with half a brain knows this fact so that’s why the first thing they would advise their client to do is to get as close a grip to the kids as possible. Everything else flows from there.

          • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 7:03 am

            You cannot decouple child care / custody from money. One and the same.

            • David on May 6, 2016 at 8:34 am

              And that mindset is one of the problems. You have a family, usually barely making things meet with the combined incomes of the parents. Then you split them up. The current mindset is, for the “best interest of the children”, the children, the house and the majority of the combined income will be directed toward one parent (usually the mom) so that the children will have minimal change. Now how is that going to affect dad? How is he gonna survive? Who cares.

            • SarahSarah on May 7, 2016 at 9:27 pm

              Illinois has done just that. My husband has 50-50 (which he fought for) and it doesn’t make a difference to the exorbitant child support that he pays his ex who still refuses to work. (Kids are 11 and 12, so thei age isn’t an issue). She lives of child support and my husband does the majority of the parenting. Gladly, by the way. I too would like to see numbers that show Dads are statistically “crappy parents.”

            • Emma on May 8, 2016 at 5:43 am


              Just 22% of dads who live apart from their kids see the children more than once per week. Sure, parental alienation from the mom can be blamed for some of this. Flat-out absentee fathers is the majority.

            • Robert Ferrer on December 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm

              I’ve read the article you referenced, “A Tale of Two Fathers”. It only provides information on the current state of affairs. It provides no explanatory information as to why.

        • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

          I agree temporary support to transition everyone to a two-house family makes sense. Long-term, child support only holds everyone back.

        • Jimmy W on April 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

          “… make more than women and that’s a sad reality.”

          What’s sad about it? The fact that women choose not to get themselves an education in a high paying field, and dedicate themselves towards a career? Or the fact that men do?

    • Carol on May 6, 2016 at 9:50 am


    • bananaslugs on May 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

      But why just assume that men aren’t willing to step up? There are men who want 50/50 but are stuck being every other weekend dads due to the biased, sexist family court system.

    • Dave on May 12, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      i am in my sons life as much as possible or allowed to be. But all I am to her is one of her multiple paychecks. I didn’t make the choice to leave the relationship or ha e multiple children with multiple fathers. If I could have my son every day I would but the laws still go one sided. And the good fathers just become a paycheck for the mothers to have an excuse not to work or allow true 50/50 custody becasue then their paycheck would stop

    • Scot on November 6, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Wake up most single dad go thousands of dollars in debt to the riged legal system just to get 30% with there kids. I would love to have my kids 50/50 as there mom only sees me as a pay check and she never parented during our marriage.

    • David on January 18, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I am almost certain it is not the exception, but it is the rule that most men desire and fight for shared parenting with their children after a divorce. The cards are stacked against them and the courts refuse to recognize them as an integral role in raising their children. Many mothers also do not put any stock into what a father brings to the table and refuse to co-parent and allow the father the time they and their children deserve to spend together. I am a father that has been fighting for 3 years for 50/50 custody after losing it because she simply made a request and it was granted. I speak with other fathers daily that are in my shoes. We are not the minority it’s just that no one is paying attention to us. These laws wouldn’t be passed if we were the minority. Feminist groups oppose shared parenting laws and in states like mine (Florida) have been able to force Governors to veto them. I would gladly trade you the $.21 an hr pay gap so I would be viewed as a worthy parent.

    • Jim on July 17, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Why not? You seem fine to assume they won’t.

      A massive number of men want nothing more than 50/50 shared care of their children. Theyd give up anything else in their life to have it. The women they deal are abusive, controlling, misandrists who use their children as weapons and assets.

    • Mikey Rolen on March 4, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Just because some men may not want to does not mean all the rest need to suffer from these unfair practices in the family courts.

    • Morris Donald on March 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      I have to disagree with your statement completely. During my marriage my ex-wife chose her career over me and the children. On many occasions she has told me and the children that her career is more important than me and the children. I was the one the father doing the cooking the cleaning the laundry taking the kids to their events taking the kids to the park working with the kids for their homework taking them to their sporting events. But once my wife started cheating on me for 5 years and I found out then she left took my children and told the court I’m a bad father. My children try to run away to be with me and she threatened to hurt my children and told me I better give up on my children. I told my wife I wanted 50/50 parenting for the kids or just give me my kids I will raise the kids myself. My just recently ex-wife explain to me know I don’t want you to be with the kids because it’ll make the kids and you happy. So my ex left me to be with her boyfriend as soon as our divorce was Final in up her boyfriend left her. Now she’s angry at me because her boyfriend left her and she told me you will never see these kids again I will make sure you pay me for these kids to the day you die. So it’s not right to say you have to make fathers make men be parents I have been parenting my children for 12 years until my wife left me to be with someone else took my children I’m paying 55% of my income in child support and I don’t even get visitation with my children. My ex-wife explained to the judge that if the children are allowed to spend time with me I will turn the children against her. But she did tell the judge it’s okay if I pay $200 a day to see my children would she know I can’t afford. So she tells the children your father doesn’t love you if he loves you he would find a way to get the money to see you. So that’s why I have to completely disagree when you lump all men into the same category of saying forcing men to be parents forcing man to spend time with a kids I dedicated my entire life to my children. I change jobs I quit jobs just so I could spend more time with my kids. I could be making double what I’m making now but I chose jobs that centered around my children and their time so for me being a father was the most important thing in the world and still is. I am still fighting right now and Court just to give visitation to see my children for the past 9 months have been in therapy for anxiety attacks and depression because I’ve never spent more than a week away from my children I haven’t even seen my children in a year. And I come to find out my ex doesn’t even spend time with the children she spends most of her time dumping the kids and a daycare dumping them with babysitters so that she can be out with her new boyfriend’s the only reason she wants to Children is for my money and she even told me.

    • Doug on April 27, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      How does this work when the man moves out and rents a room because child support takes 30-50% of his net income. Where the ex wife has the kids the house and works too. Every situation is different this will not work. My ex gets her free checks for 63 more months I view it as a bill and nothing more,. My ex and 2 teen daughters checked out on me when I was still living with them for the kids hah, not wort it so once I got my decree I deleted them out of my life.

      My advise is never get married or even live together and life will be just fine.

      • alienatedcanuckdad on September 13, 2018 at 11:12 am

        I totally agree. I give up, i’m an alienated dad. she gets too much money even though she doesn’t need that much, court had 2 good judges 2 bad judges, i got stuck with tons of bills from her, she still doesn’t help with transportation and I lost my place because of her greed even though she has a new partner but she chooses not to get a better paying job. and the fighting…i dont care anymore

    • Glen Baker on June 8, 2018 at 2:38 am

      I see it entirely different. I have 50/50 custody of my 2 daughters, yet I have to pay $1500 a month, which is soon to be increased to $ 2100 a month. My ex smokes pot regularly for recreation purposes. She works as a nail “technician” thus the large gap in income between us that Nevada sees fit to “make right” by enforcing an order on me that essentially makes me the only financial source of support for our children while I also provide 50 percent of the physical support. How is this fair? By the way, where I live, which is in a town with a large mining industry that hires women at a much higher rate per application than that of men because of, you know, diversity, may men just like me pay child support amounts, some over $3000 a month while having their children half of the time. I don’t buy the deadbeat Dad narrative as the rule instead of the exception because of how many of these hardworking men don’t abandon half physical custody where it would obviously be of financial gain to them. If Nevada were to double or triple my support order, I and the men I mention would all still fight for our kids. In fact, I’ve seen more women abandon their children in the past 10 years than I have seen men. Routinely these women pop back into their children’s lives after they turn 7 or 8 and petition for joint custody and then proceed to extrapolate child support awards from the father’s that stayed and acted as a father. I’m glad when I se the mothers return, but I am disgusted that child support is just awarded in the name of equalizing household income when there is never an equalization of the distribution of labor. Joint custody with zero support for either party will sort all of this bad behavior out, not to mention the mythical wage gap bewteen men and women which will all but disappear when all women are faced with the reality of self reliance.

    • M. STARR on July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm


    • David on October 15, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      I love it, “these men” – Is your Dad referred to as “these men”

  2. Jeff on May 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve been fighting with my ex so I can have my kids 50% of the time. She is refusing and making us battle it out in court as she doesn’t want to end the gravy train of child support. the only objection she had was how the support payments would go down, yet she has a job that she only works 20 hours a week. When we were together I supported her so she could be a stay at home mother, and she is still trying to have that after she walked out on me. I know a lot of fathers that are being deprived of time with their children and a change needs to be made. It took 2 parents to make the child and both parents should have equal opportunity to be with them as they grow up.

    • Emma on May 4, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Sadly, this is very common, and horrible for the dad, feminism, and ultimately, the kids.

    • alienatedcanuckdad on September 13, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Lets’s face it, all they care about is MONEY so they can PARTY and go on VACATIONS but whine and CRY that they are POOR.


  3. Emunah on May 4, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    This is an interesting read and a very touchy subject on which to comment. I am blessed in a smooth co-parenting relationship with my ex. He is the twice weekly dad as mentioned, and that is all he has ever wanted to be. That being said, I don’t receive alimony, only child support, Sadly, some parents would rather pay than be involved. They like the “idea” of parenting, not the reality. This usually shows up while the marriage is still intact; funny how when this carries into life after the divorce, people are surprised. They shouldn’t be.

  4. Trudy on May 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Does anyone even care about what it does to a child to have no real secure, stabile, safe place to call “home”, by being passed back and forth weekly, or every 6 months, or however this 50/50 works?! And yes, you should be able to go into marriage and think that it’s going to last. It’s MARRIAGE. it’s supposed to be a “till death do us part” type of thing! So if a woman gives up her career, to stay home and raise children, and the man walks out, he should have to continue to support her! Hers the things, our society would be much better if we could go back to some of the old fashioned ways of doing things, I know people won’t agree with that, but children need their moms. They need their parents to be TOGETHER. A child’s happiness, and security is important. Not just the parents happiness. Marriage is a contract, a covenant and everyone wants to break it at th drop of a dime because it’s been made so dang easy. Divorce is not supposed to be easy. My children would be ruined if they had to live in the cluster f***, chaotic, selfishness lifestyle of their fathers if he had them 50% of the time. And like mentioned above, this would not make dads better parents…most men don’t have it in them…women were created to be the ones who nurture. Not men. You’ll have a lot of children with issues when it comes to bonding and having relationships. I’ve seen it.

    • Jerry on May 4, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Have you ever thought about what it does to kids that are deprived of quality time with either parent. I know that I am as good as parent than woman out there. Dads may not parent exactly like a women does, because its different doesn’t mean its wrong. Take the time to look up studies about how much better it is for kids that have shared parenting. Kids with involved fathers fare better through out their lives. Kids needs both parents.

      • Maggie on May 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        Actually the studies done regarding this have are faulty. They study children from particular backgrounds or “troubled” children which I don’t even like that term and find trends to support their theory. There are more factors that go along with it that everyone likes to leave out. I am in no way a man hating feminist, but I will shoot down this argument every chance I get. I can name more people who are “trouble” as adults due to their parents rather than an absent father. Sure, it poses quite a few questions, but that’s what mothers are for and who she surrounds herself with. It’s just like any other nuclear family. Married parents can be harmful too should their relationship be toxic. Many ways to work this.

        I apologize for taking over the comment section.

        • David on May 6, 2016 at 8:43 am

          Maggie: Here is a list of recent published studies that show that 50-50 is the best arrangement.

          I challenge you to “shoot this down” with your own list of published research that dispute this. The only thing I ask is that the research has to be done within the last 10 years. Heck, I would even agree to 20 years. There were so many “research” done from way back in the early feminism era using attachment theory and what not to justify assigning kids to mom only. There is a stream of publications in well-respected journals disputing this now.

          So again, please show me the research. I for one honestly want to know why opponents of shared parenting think that it is not a good thing. But please show real study, real research, not just personal opinion, which often is colored by personal history and biases.

          • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:13 am

            David, can you share your source of research? Thanks

            • Robert Franklin on May 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

              Or read Dr. Edward Kruk’s The Equal Parent Presumption. It cites all the relevant research. In a nutshell, there are 42 studies that come down on the side of equal parenting and none that support the sole parent or primary parent ones. This is old news. Two years ago, Warshak published a paper summarizing the science on shared parenting that was endorsed by 110 scientists worldwide.

            • Emma on May 8, 2016 at 5:43 am


        • Shirley Temple on January 7, 2017 at 2:17 am

          Exactly. An intact marriage does not equal healthy, happy, stable children. The variables to contribute to the former are wide, deep, and intricate. I watched a TedTalk (a researcher on divorce) about what happens to children after divorce – there was the anticipation of the proverbial, they fall in with the wrong crowd, drugs, poor grades, weak relationships – but the kicker was kids from intact families were showing up the same way. WHY? Not because of divorce – but because of the arguing and the lack of security a child/ren feels. It is the disdain, the hatred, the fighting, and how the child is taken care of AFTER the storm – whether divorced or married. I was stunned. The researcher was surprised at her findings too.

          • Emma on January 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

            yeah, divorce is not the end of the world!

    • Emma on May 4, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Okie dokie.

    • Carol on May 6, 2016 at 9:53 am


    • SarahSarah on May 7, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      “..he should have to continue to support her.” No. A dad should have to continue to support his children. His ex-wife can get a job and support herself.

      • Emma on May 8, 2016 at 5:41 am


      • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:16 pm

        Yes this!!!!!!

    • Craig Robinson on May 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Wow. Single father to 3 primary school aged girls for 3, nearly 4 years after my ex ran off with them to the USA for 3 years before splitting up with her new partner and giving custody back to me (in the UK) in 2012. Mother still lives in USA.

      Of course I could assume that most women are as big a >rude word< as my ex was. But I do not, because that is MISOGYNY

      When I see a post as misinformed and self-righteous as the one above I feel compelled to point out this is MISANDRY. If you don't know what it is and you call yourself a feminist I suggest you look it up.

      You know why most fathers stay away? Because they think that it isn't good for their kids to see them constantly fighting with their mother. Because they want to do the RIGHT thing by their children, even if that means them not seeing them again. Because, paying for their exes upkeep yet for little or no child access, frankly rankles – as it would anyone, irrelevant of gender. [Side point I have recently started to get sent child support – a grand total of $150 a month for 3 kids. But I put up with it because I want my daughters to have a relationship with their mother not tinged by money.]

      I think some women are beginning to smell the coffee that in a world of equality one sex cannot be more equal than the other. But there is a heck… a heck of a heck… of a long way to go.

      • Craig Robinson on May 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

        oops i think i didnt hit the right reply link

      • Emma on May 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

        I’m sorry for your situation, which sounds atrocious. However, cases like yours are the minority.

      • Isaac Reyes on May 11, 2016 at 12:08 am

        I agree with you completely. I’m a father of three boys and have painstakingly had to move to another state for work. I don’t get to see my boys very often at all. Before I moved I had a verbal agreement with my ex that we would alternate the travel for visitation. This has never happened and now she refuses to to make the trip, so I am forced to put in the extra effort, time, and money to visit my boys. I never complain about this because I just want to see them. Visits are difficult because of the tension between my ex and I. I’ve done everything I can to communicate to her about setting our differences aside at least while our boys are around. This is never the case and it pains me to know my boys live in a state of chaos most of the time. I fear there is nothing I can do to change and have bought into the idea that my only substantial role as their father is the child support I pay (which is $1,584.00 a month). I’m hopeful to see changes made in this area as I welcome more time with my boys. I’m sick and tired of hearing my ex complain about having to leave work to take care of the boys when they are sick, or having to cook for them, or having to clean up after them. Those are “inconviences” I would gladly welcome into my life as it meant the opportunity to hold them everyday and tuck them in at night. I know there are some real screwed up fathers out there but I’m tired of being grouped in to that stereotype every time I talk the child support office or to my judge. I’m thankful that there is discussions like this out there to help improve things. Change is never easy, divorce is never easy, but something needs to be done. As long as the children’s best interest are being kept in the forefront I’m for it.

        • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:19 pm

          You said “I know there’s some real screwed up fathers out there and “do you really have to mention this? When everybody knows there’s just as many if not more screwed up women out there?

      • chirs on October 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        Emily I think you have a lot of good points. 50/50 custody should be the standard with no financial incentive (why would there be if the kids spend equal time with them/providing for them). If a parent walks out and barley or does not want to be a part of the kids lives, then he/she should be legally and financially responsible. Child support is a HUGE incentive for women/men to take over custody. My father grew me up, by himself, with no child support request ever because at the end of the day I was his responsibility (he was not rich by the way).
        I became a “weekend dad” initially for two daughters and was forced to pay 38% of my actual take home pay (25% of gross). It left me working a part time job on top of a full time job, on top of going back to school to increase my pay/career just to be able to afford rent and food. Sadly my kids became a second priority to this for years, and every weekend became every other weekend for 48 hours, with increases in resentment towards their mother and the court system. My kids parent, actually makes more money than me not working. I guess a lot of people would if they could.
        -Child support should only be, if by choice one parent is not involved significantly with their children (promotes involvement of both parents, limits govt intervention, promotes self accountability by taking away financial incentive)
        -Both parents should have automatic 50/50 custody of their children unless their are legitimate concerns for the welfare of the children.
        -child support should be based on net pay not gross nationwide
        -child support should not accumulate while someone is in prison

        • Emma on October 28, 2016 at 11:31 am

          I’m sorry for this situation, which perfectly illustrates the changes we do need — including NO child support when there is 50/50 custody

        • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

          The reasons the courts never gave it 50-50 to fathers is because they get a cut of the ransom the fathers pay every month. Look up title 9D other Social Security act for an eye-opening experience. Yes that’s right, it’s illegal, immoral, and just plain wrong to extort money form millions of fathers but it happens every single day.

    • Angela on July 19, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Most women alienate men from their children by way of manipulative techiniques. Any well trained play therapist can spot this from a mile away.

      It sounds to be like you’re bitter, Trudy. It is a woman’s choice to give things up in marriage or any aspect of life. There is a beautiful thing called free will and it is driven by your own desires. That woman chose to not work and now she can choose to work to provide for her children and not cause unnecessary burden on someone who chose to leave them.

      Let go of the bitterness in your heart. Your children sense that, despite what you may think and it will affect their adult life. Get over yourself and let him be a father.

      • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:22 pm


    • Glen Baker on June 8, 2018 at 3:37 am

      I’ve seen it the other way lady. The prisons in this country are filled exclusively with men that grew up away from their fathers. Your anecdotal experience does nothing to erase the countless studies that show that children are much better off when Dad has half custody.

  5. Christy Bartlett on May 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    This article is so poorly written it is hard to even digest any of her thoughts. EJ has the free time and wealth and should learn how to write.

  6. Ralph Jensen on May 5, 2016 at 2:53 am

    A simple solution would be to make parental alienation commercials / social media advertising wide spread so the kids would understand and question the parent who alienates the other parent. if it was known like McDonald commercials people would understand the abuse

    • SA on May 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      I LOVE this idea! Sadly some moms that alienate their children from dad have years to brainwash the kids and its not until they are grown that they realize how messed up their situation was and its on them to make reparations with their dad. Public service announcements would be great to reach these kids.

      • Whitney on May 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

        I too like the idea that everyone should be far more educated on how emotionally, stable co-parenting should look and feel. But, please keep in mind that it’s more likely to come from an emotionally troubled parent or one with a personality disorder, which skews toward men as as the perpetrators. Additionally, as their supply dries up from the former partner, it get redirected on the formerly prized child.

        Which is, not coincidentally, what makes the 50/50 across the board idea so problematic. The only thing current courts are looking for are bruises, it’s impossible for the current system to continue on much longer and blanket 50/50 is not a salve. I read the caveat in the article about abuse, but that comprises so many more couples and relationships than we realize. This will trickle down to even the most loved child.

        Parents with a good (healthy and non-abusive) co-parenting relationship are not in the system…
        There is a Dr. running a test program in the US right now, that hopes to move high conflict cases out of the court room and into an emotional education program. Then perhaps some couples could start to generate progress.

        I realize now, that I’ve addressed more than your comment, and have included the article on the whole.

        • J on October 11, 2016 at 4:25 am

          Thank you, Whitney! There are a TON of PD people out there. I was feeling a little triggered by thi post because I have been thinking of leaving myself as I have a spouse eith a very high chance of suspected PD. Of course, getting a diagnosis is not easy to do. 50/50 in a case like mine would NOT be good. The lack of ability to handle stress without devolving into poor behavior would not be good for my kids to be around. After a few hours of the stress, you can hear him start to “crack.” I think an extra emphasis on situations like this is warranted because there are SOOOO many people out there like this. I would almost wish there was some sort of psych testing for every divorcing parent so that we could weed out the truly disordered.

        • Angela on July 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm

          Wow. No. Men are accused of being the ones with PD, but women are just as likely to be abusive.

          Go work at the court house and read all the bullcrap FALSE no contact orders that are applied for on a daily basis to gain the upper hand on men.

          Work for an abuse counselor and see how many men get laughed at when trying to tell of emotional abuse that happens in their relationships. It’s already emasculating enough to admit there is abuse happening, but no one applauds a man for trying to seek shelter from emotional abuse. It’s saddening and the newest feminist movement which is really just misandry, is what’s to blame with the lack of resources for men to get help.

        • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:24 pm

          Why do you mention so much about abuse as though divorce and abuse of children are just expected? And don’t you know that female abuses children more often than men do? It’s a fact with you want to hear it or not.

    • Carol on May 6, 2016 at 9:59 am

      good idea on commercials as long as perspective is fair and neutral to good healthy co parenting with respect to roles and commitments

    • Been There Done That on May 9, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Oh, PLEASE! If your kids hate you and don’t want to be around you, there’s a reason why!! Most kids unless they are very young, get it . . . they see and hear things and they know who’s there, who’s not, and can figure things out for themselves. If you are a selfish, nasty a**hole, behave callously toward their mother, don’t invest the time with your children, or other equally narcissistic behavior, then don’t cry “parental alienation” for God’s sake. Kids aren’t stupid, and they don’t fall that easily for somebody else “badmouthing” a good parent. And fyi, the entire “parental alienation” crap has been debunked by both legal and psychological experts — and the sexual deviant pedophilia-supporting nutcase, Richard Gardner, who came up with this BS committed suicide. If your kids don’t want anything to do with you, take a hard look in the mirror and stop & ask yourself WHY!

      • Scully on May 10, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        Not always the case……I know of many adults who have later in life realised their farther was not the a-hole their mother portrayed him to be. I have heard it so many times, one friend openly told me they regret believing everything their mother said because the missed out on a potentially fpgreat relationship with their father
        Adults should behave as adults and not bad mouth the other parent in front of their children, no matter how they feel about that other parent. Bad mouthing the other parent is bad mouthing the child because the do after all have half the DNA of each parent
        Do not underestimate the power of manipulation from one parent

      • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Spoken like a true toxic feminist who wants to keep power and control over the kids for the money they bring! You are reprehensible and should have your children removed from you totally and permanently.

  7. Traci P on May 5, 2016 at 5:15 am

    As a divorced mom, I totally support this. I was a stay-at-home mom when we divorced. But you know what I did? I went to school, got a degree, and now make a pretty good living for myself. I dont want to be dependent on his child support money. I’d rather have him invest time.

    On my husband’s side, his ex stayed at home yet she cheated on him. The argument that “she stayed home to raise the kids so he should keep supporting her” is antiquated. And it doesn’t align with “no-fault” divorce.

    This needs to happen and the courts need to stop making assumptions that the stay-at-home mom is a helpless victim who can’t stand on her own.

    • Emma on May 5, 2016 at 6:53 am

      Really appreciate this perspective given your first-hand experience.

    • Been There Done That on May 9, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Well, of course it shouldn’t be about “she stayed at home to raise the kids so he should keep supporting her,” because of course that is illogical. BUT, what is perfectly reasonable and practical is that HE went to school, got his degree, and now earns $X amount of money per year while during this same time his wife remained home caring for the children as a full time CARE GIVER would do, thus she should be compensated for those years she sacrificed her time, her occupation, and her opportunity to continue her own education. Just as in any business arrangement, if one party has been placed in a more advantageous situation at the expense of another, the playing field must be leveled and the party who is in a less fortunate position granted compensation and an opportunity to recover from the loss. That’s not an “assumption that a stay-at-home mom is a helpless victim,” that is addressing the reality of the situation!

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Bravo! Well said!!!

    • TradCon on August 1, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Women should always get the kids. Men should pay support. End of discussion. The hell with all you feminists who think otherwise. Many of these men are divorced because they are selfish douche bags

  8. Heather Cook on May 5, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    As a child of divorce (and as a divorced mom) I believe custody should not be based on the parents desires but what is best for the children. I think it is warmer and have one home is the primary residence. They are not goods to be traded back and forth like possessions or argued about who “gets” the kids.

    • Carol on May 6, 2016 at 10:19 am

      agreed on primary home-lets be real 50-50 is more about the parents desire than whats best for child. I believe in co-parenting but primary home is more important. And at the risk of sounding like a religious zealous, which I am not, but I am a christian, and an imperfect human, unless the Mom has real relevant issues majority of time Mom is best, yes I said it Mom is best, with few exceptions. I don’t know why we try to change God’s design to the worlds desires of equality. God designed it that the woman gets impregnated and carry and nurture this child for nine months and bring the child in the World. The design is not 50-50, the physical, emotional toll is not 50-50, the effect and consequences to our bodies hormones and everything, most things are not not 50-50 but boom now if we don’t continue with God design of family which is to marry and stay together, raise the family the real co-parent…if we don’t do this Gods way now we have to count on the world to design it… 50-50…what a mess. I regret that I didn’t know better and I can say that me and my kids have suffered though I thank God for Gods Grace and Mercy and forgiveness. Let me stop now. Lets do whats best for kids, healthy families, and healthy parents. Please lets get it right…just maybe we need to follow the creators design…I’m just saying. It is what it is. But I still agree this idea on a case by case matter is a good option

      • David on May 6, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        God designed the child to have 50% genes from mom and 50% genes from dad.

      • Jimmy W on April 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

        “…Mom is best, yes I said it Mom is best,”

        While reading your comments I was trying to decide if I should dismiss your arguments entirely. Until I stumbled upon this, and you made the decision an easy one…

        • Angela on July 19, 2017 at 5:36 pm

          LMAO is mom best when she was home literally one hour a day with the kids because her social life and career was more important? Or is mom better when she is dating a man out of prison on parole for nearly stabbing someone to death?

          Or if mom never breastfed and only dad got up with them to feed them and change them in the middle of the night? Dad taught them to walk and talk and pray and be grateful and mom just ended up teaching them to swear and be angry… should they be with her then?

          My godparents are very active Lutherans and they absolutely do not believe the children should live with their mother. At all.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      OK, let’s make the permit home the fathers residence. Oh! What’s that? You don’t like that idea? Typical feminist response.

  9. Jennifer on May 5, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I totally agree! I am dating a man that is divorced and has two boys. He and his ex live only a few miles apart neither pays the other support, they split all cost and parenting time 50/50. It’s really amazing. They are great friends and she has become a great friend to me. I unfortunately am on the other end of the spectrum. My ex chose to move 3 states away and quit his job. Therefore our custody split looks more like 90/10 as he only has our kids a few weeks a year and his support was drastically reduced due to being unemployed. So I can see both sides of the coin. It’s a great idea of 50/50 but sadly it doesn’t work for all situations.

    • Emma on May 5, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Great perspective … this is a time of transition, and the more families we see like your boyfriend’s, the more all dads will be pressured to do the same. But we need the courts involved first.

      • gareth on May 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        I looked at the figures and I find it funny that you didnt bother to read/understand what was eing said. Yes 22% of fathers see their kids more than once a week yet 41% are in contact serverak times a week or more. How could you not make correlation between the two stats? You know nothing and decide to make an assumption, and it is an assumption thats these dads are crappy. You cant comment without knowing the reason why, and you dont

        • Emma on May 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

          We’re still in conflict about the 59% of dads who live apart from their kids. Why don’t those guys call or email every single day? You say, based on your anecdotal observation, because courts are unfair to the majority of men. I say, based on my anecdotal observation, because the majority of these men choose not to. Which renders them crappy dads in my book.

          • Helen Alford on May 9, 2016 at 6:38 pm

            I think we underestimate the extent of parental alienation that goes on and the impact it has on dads and kids.
            When my partners ex stopped him seeing the children he had a breakdown. He couldn’t face phoning in case he broke down in tears. He didn’t know what to say to them when they asked why he wasn’t seeing them – what do you say without turning it on Mum and messing with their heads even more?
            If we had lost the court case that followed and he had lost regular contact I think that the occasional phone conversation and trips to McDonalds would have been too painful. Try and put yourself in the position if it happened to you.
            I know so many dads that have been separated from their kids and drifted away because seeing them every now and then was more painful than not seeing them at all. We underestimate the agony that millions of men are going through but I believe the high suicide rates in men reflect this issue.

            • Tradcon on August 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm

              If these douchebag daddies are so concerned about their kids, they would have made their wives and family A PRIORITY. I know many women who divorced because their selfish douche bag husbands made them work. They should be awarded full custody, child support and punitive alimony imo. These men should pay for depriving their children of a mother. In fact, I long for the days of the mob when these men would have been dealt with swiftly.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      It sure worked very well when both parents are married! If the female decides to move away to practice her parental alienation then she should lose the time with the children. Why is it only fathers don’t have to lose time with their kids?

  10. Debra on May 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    While I like the idea in theory, I just have to laugh at the following phrases:

    “forced fathers to be true co-parents”
    “fathers would be forced to make the hard work-life decisions”
    “force both sexes to participate in the workforce”
    “forced by court or social pressure to parent equally”

    (Little heavy on the use of force, Emma. And why? Because yeah, it would have to be forced!)

    But unfortunately the courts do not do a very good job of enforcement in the area of family law. If one parent does not throw down money to go back into the ring and do battle, non-compliance with the divorce decree has no consequences at all, and barely has any even after a return to court by one parent or another. There are only two major tools at the court’s disposal, monetary sanctions and incarceration. Everyone recognizes that incarceration really doesn’t work in family law, and collecting a monetary sanction, especially across state lines, is a lot more difficult than imposing it. So where is this necessary “forcing” supposed to come from? Assuming your idea were to become the norm tomorrow, and then people do as people do, and one parent or another shirks out of their assumed parenting responsibility? Well, you’re probably back to monetary sanctions, aka child support.

    • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 7:04 am

      Ha- really great points. Maybe I should go back and edit “forced” to “pressure.”

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      We could force mothers to be fair to fathers just as a start…?

  11. David on May 5, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    The majority of new research (and that means within the last 10-20 years) all support shared parenting (whenever possible of course, true cases of domestic violence, for example, would not be in that category). Go to the Resources menu in that website to see the literature.

    I am glad that more and more women are realizing that this imbalance is hurting the kids and themselves, and therefore they are pushing for change. As a man, I know full well that there are many men that do not want or deserve having custody of their children. I can say the same about women. The fact is that in the current system, everything is so tilted against men, that even though they are perfectly willing and able to do their parenting responsibilities they usually don’t get a meaningful share of the parenting time (aka custody), particularly if the moms don’t want to give them any (and they have so many financial incentives to not do that).

    Finally I just want to say that this issue is not really between dads and moms. I have been working with many people (men and women) for some time now to realize that the fight is between parents and (divorce) lawyers. We have been fighting hard to introduce common-sense shared parenting languages into legislation and everyone who sees the bill will tell you that there is nothing wrong with asking the court to start with 50-50 assumption at the beginning of any divorce case, for example, which the court can change at any time if there is any valid reason. Who is the only party that doesn’t think this is a good idea? The Bar. Divorce lawyer associations. 50-50 presumption would significantly reduce the fight in divorce court and no fight = no business for divorce lawyers. Divorce is a 50B (that is billion with a B) business. Do you think they will let it go easily?

    • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Thanks for this perspective, and great website – I hope to be featured there one day!

    • Whitney on May 7, 2016 at 11:30 am

      The system in North America and the UK favours Fathers, not Mothers.

      50/50 as a blanket system will be awesome right after the patriarchy ends. Because, currently 50/50 refers only parenting time, not an equalized system in which both parents equally thrive. Then what is the message to our children? That we’re equal, except where burden, disadvantage and oppression are concerned and then it’s totally OK for women to bear the brunt of the load.

      50/50 parenting is a privilege reserved for the few, like being white, straight, having civil rights etc. and of particular relevance to our conversation having all of these things and being a man.

    • Morghan Richardson on May 13, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      I’m a divorce lawyer and I would 100% fully support a presumption that custody will be 50/50 at the start of every case. It would then be incumbent upon the parties to demonstrate why that should not be the case (which would allow for situations of DV or lack of willingness on one party or the other to participate at that level). Are there divorce lawyers out there who don’t care and just want your money? Sure. There are scumbags in every profession. But many of us are interested in how to effectively handle cases and this is a constant frustration of mine. The law should be consistent.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      You are not exactly accurate in your position, let me explain. Almost all fathers go in to court asking for 50-50, and almost all mothers go to court asking for 100% percent custody for the money it brings. This is why the corrupt courts have to already start at 50-50 arrangement. Mothers have been allowed to get away with murder far too long!!!

  12. Vanessa M. Rivera on May 6, 2016 at 1:06 am

    I see alot of this in regards to divorce, which I get is where you’re coming from with this, but would this work for unmarried couples? In Ohio common law marriage is not a thing. In most cases the father had already bounced out of the mother’s life. My personal experience child support is completely separate from custody in the state of Ohio, my brother is very clear on this point since that’s his job as a prosecutor. For parents in my situation the father has to file for custodial rights. The only issue i take up is the 50/50, because emotional abuse can be hard to prove but it is a thing and how would this be enforced would it be treated like abandonment? If the other parent doesn’t show up for three months without reason they lose all rights? What if the parents live out of state how would that work then? Also, what about spiritual practices I know that if my child’s father ever filed for custody he would fight me tooth and nail about taking her on pagan holidays, because he thinks the child should be raised under a “normal” religion. And if it’s automatically assumed 50/50 the neglectful parent tends to come and go at will. How would this be addressed during the transition? And while i agree don’t pay alimony (common in Denmark and a few other European countries) i think if you’re going to have 50/50 custody you should have both parents pay child support into an escrow account similar to a health savings account or dependent care reimbursement account. Where the funds drawn are only clearly documented use for necessities for the child i.e: school uniforms, doctor appointments, special foods of the child is on a medically prescribed diet, etc., etc. I know you say change the law change societal norms, but I’m of the belief that society makes the rules not the other way around the civil rights movement wouldn’t have happened if society didn’t make it so. I think that society needs to change before the laws do. And the best way to do that is by not doing these public service announcements that won’t do anything, but give dead beat parents an excuse to say that my child’s custodial parent is holding my child hostage and brain washing my child. But by starting a grass roots movement of the importance of breaking down the billion dollar divorce industry. Not by making divorce harder as someone suggested, but by making these issues very very public and being loud. Very very loud. Because someone pointed this out very accurately nothings changing because there’s too much money being made and not enough people screaming about it.

  13. Lynn Sherman on May 6, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Our society has no infrastructure of care — no paid maternity leave, affordable child care, etc. Many families simply can’t afford the cost of childcare. For wealthier families, two incomes push you into a higher tax bracket. That combined with the very high cost of high-quality childcare can make working more expensive than staying home with young children. I understand that might be a short-term price worth paying for a long-term career but it seems insane to have two parents working very demanding jobs for no extra money. At the same time, family life is being exchanged for high stress and the kids are being putting on the back burner. If families are using all their vacation days (if they are lucky enough to have them) for sick children, that is the end of any semblance of family life/time. I think it is a chicken/egg dilemma. Do we force the change and let a generation of families/children pay the price in the hopes of long-term structural change of the next generation, or do we do what is best for our families now and work toward a change that may or may not come. Until we have high-quality, affordable childcare, paid parental leave, paid family leave, a change in the tax code that doest penalize a second wage earner, etc. it will be very hard for many families to make this work.

    • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 7:02 am

      Very excellent points. “Do we force the change and let a generation of families/children pay the price in the hopes of long-term structural change of the next generation,”= yes – that is policy-makers’ responsibility to plan for the long-term, while of course individuals will rightly push back … but this is how social change happens.

      • David on May 6, 2016 at 8:08 am

        Very good point. People have always resisted change. ANY change.

      • Lynn Sherman on May 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

        What does a family do if a partner loses his/her job and needs to relocate for work? Should the parents live separately so that neither partner has to jeopardize his/her own career? Where do the children live? Who raises them?

        • David on May 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

          What do (responsible) dads do now when they lose their job? The child support (often beyond reasonable) will still have to be legally paid. Otherwise, he would risk being thrown in jail (and forever lose a career because he is now a criminal). He has to go to the court, pay the attorney, pay the court, to request change. In an intact family, the whole family suffer, and make do, if the breadwinner loses their job. In divorced case, only the breadwinner has to suffer. It is beyond ridiculous.

        • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:37 pm

          If the mother loses her job it’s too bad! She should’ve thought of that before she cheated on her husband which caused the divorce. She will just have to get another job in the same city. She must wait until the child is 18. Isn’t this the exact same thing they would have done if they stayed married? Of course it is! So why do we always favor the mother post divorce? When are we going to stop coddling the female?

  14. Sarah on May 6, 2016 at 7:50 am

    While I certainly agree that the solution you proposed would work for some families, I take issue with the idea that it should be the default. Although I recognize that my situation is definitely NOT the norm, I was during our marriage, and continue to be after our separation, the only meaningful income for the family. I have a fantastic job with great pay, that I worked very hard to get and that requires lots of late nights after the kids go to bed. I work really hard. However, my ex (by choice! I’ve offered more time, recognizing that a relationship with dad is important) falls into the “see them once a week” category. I have nonetheless built a stable, loving, down-right magical home for my babies, and i do not see how they would thrive if forced into a 50-50 arrangement. My ex, while he loves the kids very much, is not a family man, and spends more time buried in his phone than down on the floor playing when with the kids. He just doesn’t have it in him. I, on the other hand, value my role as mommy above all else – even if it requires me to put things into auto pilot at work for a few years and focus more time on family. My kids are my life. To try to fit my family into the 50-50 box to prove a point/further a cause would be destructive and inappropriate for me, my ex and our kids.

    • David on May 6, 2016 at 8:05 am

      This is the main confusion on this issue, which has been deftly used by the opponents of this cause (namely the divorce lawyers) to deceive the public. No one, NO ONE, from the proponent side of this shared parenting issue is asking the 50-50 arrangement to be the default arrangement. Take a look at this bill proposed in my state for example: It simply states that in determining the custody issue, there is a PRESUMPTION that joint custody, with approximately equal time, is in the best interest of the children (which I hope you would agree would be a fair starting point). THEN, the bill lists a whole list of factors, the same factors that are currently used, that the court could use to deviate from this arrangement. So the bill does NOT take anything from the court, it simply sets the starting point. Instead of 100-0 mindset that is currently being used by the court (Divorce case? Who is the best parent here? I’ll give the kids to her/him), the whole thing simply asks that the court starts by equal assumption (I am going to assume that both mother and father are fit and willing to be parent until you show me otherwise). It is called innocent until proven guilty. Not guilty (of being a dad) until proven innocent (after bankrupting all your resources) that is being used now.

      • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:19 am

        Thanks for this, David.

        Educate me here … how is your understanding of the law different from “default 50-50” ?

        Equal= half, yes? Default=starting point, correct?

        • David on May 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm

          Yes, I confused the terms. I was answering the question, where the term “default” seems to have been used to mean “automatically given” or even “mandatory”. Nobody is pushing to give 50-50 to EVERY divorce case. We know full well that there are men, AND women, who do not deserve any custody time. So again, NOBODY is trying to create a law that will force 50-50, that will make 50-50 mandatory, in every case. What we want is 50-50 as a starting point. The court will still have all the final authority to change this to anything the court wants. This will give many dads, the good ones who want to be with their children (and there are many out there), a fighting chance to get a meaningful level of custody. Currently, even if you have been an exemplary dad, it is such a long hard expensive legal fight to go from 0 to 50.

          Shared parenting laws passed the Florida House and Senate recently. By a large margin. The the Florida Bar realized that it will lose its shirt if this bill becomes law. They put all their weight toward the Governor, who then vetoed the bill.

      • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:41 pm

        You raise some good points but look now, even in the states that have gone to assumed 50-50 many times the children are still going to the mother because judges have always favored the female since the very first day. No matter what, the man will lose!

    • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Unless there is abuse, there is no reason the kids shouldn’t be with their dad half the time. I agree that a dad who pays more attention to his phone than his kids is not ideal, but that is the dad the kids get. Life isn’t perfect.

      • Sarah on May 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

        Wow. I have to call BS on that point, Emma. I can think, off-hand, of more than one reason my children shouldn’t be with their dad half the time, the most important being: 1. if my ex is required to spend more time with his kids than he wants, it will not be quality time, and my kids won’t look forward to dad time. If he gets to spend the amount of time with them that he wants, it is more likely to be time enjoyed by kids and dad alike; 2. because our economic situation is flip-flopped from the norm, with a female breadwinner, 50-50% custody would require me to pay child support, which effectively reverses the scenario you’re concerned about (not to mention the fact that it would require me to totally disrupt my kids’ current living situation, downsizing into a too-small apartment (probably in a crappy neighborhood), to fund two households); and 3. I am a great parent, and make the most of every minute I am privileged to spend with my children (all the while singing dad’s praises and speaking not a single ill word about him). Because of this, and the stable, routine, home environment I’ve worked so hard to provide, I have two awesome, well adjusted kids (why the heck would I upset the apple cart?!).

        I agree with some of your points – yes, women should have the opportunity to work outside of the home. Yes, dads should be given the opportunity to build (or maintain) an awesome relationship with their kids. However, speaking in absolutes on this subject is just silly when every family’s situation is so different.

      • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm

        And the mother who pays more attention to her phone then her kids? You forgot to mention that.

  15. Jessica Ross on May 6, 2016 at 8:46 am

    If the father wants 50/50 custody I say hell yeah. Is it hard to be away from my child those days. Yes. But I gotta pull my big girl panties up and deal with it. I always kept in my mind through the worst feelings towards my ex that my daughter deserves to have an equal relationship with her father. So I rose above my ferlings. Child support was a huge wedge between my daughters father and myself. But I needed it. It was either take the child support or work a second job and not see my daughter as much on my custody days. No way!! Wish I didn’t have to be dependent on it. Hoping one day I won’t need it. Actively looking for better paying jobs. But It closed the pay difference. Court looks at the parents as a whole for support for the child together or not. In the end I lowered it as much as I could to salvage our coparenting relationship for our daughter.
    I agree with the poster that says men generally make more. Until there’s more equality in pay. Child support is there to close the gap as a necessity. But there are women that take advantage of the situation. Financially destroying good men.
    My experience with Family Court was that they encourage 50/50 split custody. I guess it depends on the judges views. So it’s in transition.

    • Emma on May 6, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Jessica- I really appreciate your note. You get it. You’re an example of a woman who is in this grey area of transition. You’re taking one for the team and I love you for it.

  16. Carol on May 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Interesting perspective to consider and should be on the table but I don’t agree with it being a default decision. I think these matters should still be case by case because there is no one size fit all to this family challenge. For example for reasons to long and personal to fully disclose it would not work in my situation due to the character and proven track record of reckless inconsistent and dysfunctional parenting of my kids father, it would be detrimental to my kids though I work hard to keep him in their life. I do recognize the world has changed and I hope that today’s young women will learn from mistakes in choosing a man like I did, and that today’s young men will learn from our mistakes, both mother and fathers as well and commit to being an involved healthy father and co-parent. Hopefully this option will be a fit for more separated families and hopefully we will make better choices to lessen the number of separated aka broken families. We all would be better off.,

  17. jennifer on May 6, 2016 at 10:12 am

    If we are talking big picture, let’s get real. We are selfish, greedy and prideful because we have allowed childhood to be stripped to bare. Just so that we can buy with our time and money a sense of importance.
    Day care. The answer for every stupid adult decision for the last three decades.
    One nice way to build a sense of life accomplishment is by actually raising your own children.
    The double-parent economy is a slow train-wreck. Few benifit, and smallest of our country are sacrificed. Don’t tell me how much you give them. Tell me what you gave up for them. Tell me how you stood up for a parent at home and outside play time, and family time.
    Get everyone to pitch in equally, moms, dads, and we are still scrambling to live.
    Why? For What?

  18. Jennifer in ATX on May 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

    This is the arrangement I have had with my 6 y/o daughter’s father. The only difference is he is paying for private school–his choice–in lieu of child support. We are lucky in that we were older parents (40 & 53) when she was born, had completely finished with our educations, and established in our careers–he is an attorney, I work in government IT. While we had a turbulent and very unhappy family life together, he is an attentive father who wants to spend time with her. When they are together, I can enrich my life in ways that I couldn’t when we were together. Granted there were several major life changes: after may years of homeownership, I had to sell our marital home to pay for my legal bills and I had to drastically downsize into a small apartment in a city with a rapidly rising cost of living. My finances are in a bad state and my credit is terrible so I’ll have to stay where I am for the time being, but these are choices I don’t regret, and, who knows what the future will bring. Had I not agreed to 50/50, we would probably still be in court fighting it out rather than getting on with our lives.

  19. Lexie Brown on May 6, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    While what you said about 50/50 sounds good on paper to people like yourself or the court system. It is a joke…I am living this joke daily and so is my daughter. 1. It does not make your pay gap better for you as a Mom because the father is only going to pay for what they are instructed to. 2. My ex will not pay for anything but what the papers instruct him too. My daughter goes to private school and he won’t even buy her decent clothes or shoes for school yet buys himself designer clothes and shoes constantly. This 50/50 is NOT going to make a man be a better father just because you give them equal time. That is ridiculous. Anyone that believes that….obviously does NOT deal with an extremely difficult ex spouse. Fathers will become a better father because they WANT to be. My daughter has cried for the last 5 years wanting to stay with me more and my ex always tells her no if she asks to come with me. He uses this 50/50 as a weapon to keep her from me and she and I both hate it. Her dad never wants to pay for any extra fees at school or things like frozen yogurt day or anything extra. I spend lots of my money on her which I am glad to do and it is my responsibility and also on things that he should be doing for her but he won’t. I pay all of her extracurriculars because he refuses to help with that either. You can’t make someone be a good father by giving them 50/50…..that doesn’t make sense at all. My ex plainly didn’t want to pay any child support and this is why he fought me in court for over 3 years… wasn’t about the extra time for him and I have lots of friends who have had the same issues with their visitation plans. Yet my friend’s who are still on standard visitation with every other weekend and a night I the off week are FAR better off than me because they get child support ( and always have money while I constantly struggle to even make ends meet) and their children are happy because they get to be with their mom’s a lot more…..and their dad’s don’t want to be involved much anyway.

    • Rainey on May 6, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      I share Lexi’s concern. I have 50/50 custody, and neither of us pay support to the other. The kids’s dad loves his kids, but can’t get himself together to do simple shit like take his kids to soccer practice, help them with their homework (they are going enough that they really need adult help), and make sure they get to school on time. Sure, these are not matters of life or death, but when my kids are failing at school every other week because they are at his house, I can’t help but question if this is really best for them.

    • amalka70` on June 21, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Noticed Emma never replied. Don’t like to hear cases that don’t support her believes. I am as well divorced from an abusive husband and signed a 50/50 parenting plan just to get away. Dad only wanted more time to not have to pay child support. Live in a low income apartment that stinks, there is barely food on the table, sends son to school in dirty clothes with holes in them, wont pay for hair cuts or any extracurricular activities. I told him I will pick up the tab for them if he only would show up and bring our son to these activities. He wont even do that. I had coaches asking ME where he was last week why didn’t he showed up. Emma has no clue how hard is to explain to a child that after a week spent lingering around with dad non he has to go to day care that mom could work. And how much harder it is to find a day care that would except him on a schedule like that. Most of them wont a full month’s fee even your child is able to attend two weeks out of that month. How do we expect them to build meaningful relationships or participate in activities with a schedule like that? Not mentioning in four years from our divorce he fell from an healthy 80th percentile in his weight to 40 percentile at his last dentist check up had 12 cavities. When I tried to go back to court to get full custody non of these concerns were valid enough for the lawyer to have the plan amended.

  20. S on May 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    As someone who left a relationship that unexpectedly became abusive I find this offensive and frightening. Abuse can be damn hard to prove. A default like this could have negative effects for people who want to leave abusive situations. They may feel the have no way out if they’re trapped with no support in a 50/50 split. This position comes from a lack of understanding of what the realty is for many who spend months, years trapped–it’s hard to leave. We don’t need laws making it even harder. I haven’t even filed for divorce yet as the courts will require some kind of visitation even though my ex has initiated zero contact with my child since we left a couple years ago. He is not healthy and it’s not safe to leave my child in his care, but since it’s my word vs. his–I can’t really “prove” it in court.

    • S on May 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Realty = reality

    • David on May 7, 2016 at 7:59 am

      I am sorry to hear about your situation. There are many cases of domestic abuse out there (by men AND women). But it should also be said that there are many cases out there where one parent deliberately wrongly accused the other parent of domestic violence simply to gain the upper hand in custody disputes. The law should protect DV victims but it should also protect victims of wrongful DV accusations. The 50-50 starting point provides that.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Everybody knows that mother is abuse children more often than men do, it’s a proven fact. If a woman is going to abuse her child it doesn’t matter if she has 50-50 or 10-90 or whatever arrangement there is, during the days she has her child that will be the time she will abuse the child so why can’t we all just do 50-50 to begin with? The children like it, the father likes it, only the mother who would get less mommy-support is the one against it. Imagine that –

  21. shane sheil on May 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    A good article and theory. It could of been penned better in relation to using the words ” force Fathers to” believe me enough of us are in favor of shared parenting and financial obligation in relation to family law matters. This would get rid of both the man who thinks he can buy his way through parenthood and the Trophy wife/Partner whom gleefully collects her Maintenance payments before joining the girls down the beauty parlor.

  22. Anonymous on May 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    This is definitely an interesting article a lot of great points in the comments! While I do think a 50/50 custody arrangement should be encouraged where 2 parents both want it and are capable parents, there are some downsides. I have such an arrangement and sometimes it is just too much shuffling of the kids back and forth. While my kids are used to it, I can see the effects if we have a week where there is even more shuffling than normal due to changes in our schedules (family parties, holidays, work commitments, etc.). I also think it requires the parents to live in fairly close proximity and would be tough to do if the parents did not. It also requires flexibility because not everything in our life that we want our kids to be at fits neatly in the days we have our kids and not everything work-related or personal fits neatly in the days we do not have our kids. I also find that even though my situation is technically 50/50, I wind up handling a lot more of the responsibilities. I’m the one who is scheduling the doctors’ visits, dentist visits, researching summer camps, etc. If I don’t do it (and I’ve tried), it just doesn’t get done.

    However, I don’t necessarily agree that child support should automatically be nothing if it’s 50/50. I think it’s more complex than that and needs to be looked at on an individual basis. Prior to having kids and getting divorced, my ex and I both worked in high pressured jobs with long hours. After my second child was born, we decided that I would work a reduced (80%) schedule. I never call it PT because I worked hours more akin to a normal FT job, but I was “off” one day a week. I loved having that day with them and it was beneficial to all. We continued that arrangement for about 2 years even after we divorced. I then transitioned to a different job that while FT, has much more flexibility and a better work-life balance.

    As part of my agreement, I do receive a small amount of child support each month. It’s a small amount so I am not even close to being financially dependent on my ex. However, it helped make up for my reduction in salary when I worked a reduced schedule (which both ex and I did not have to pay for child care on the one day a week that I was home) and even in my current job. I make a decent salary, but I have a lot more flexibility. I am usually the one who is able to arrange my schedule if the nanny is out or one of my kids is home sick and needs one of us.

    So, I think it may be appropriate for child support to be paid in a situation where custody is technically 50/50, but there is a large disparity in income. For example, where one parent makes significantly more, it can make it difficult for the lower income parents to live closer to the higher income parents. It also can limit the childcare options. In my case, we need a nanny because of ex’s hours. We could never use a traditional daycare center. Child support can help make the overall arrangement easier for both parents. I also think it’s often that more responsibility falls on one of the parents regardless of the custody arrangement. And while it’s easy to say that the lower income parents has the same opportunities to earn more money, there are some professions that while they are great professions with excellent benefits, there always is going to be a ceiling on the salary (e.g., teacher, police officer, firefighter).

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      When the female makes more money than the man, will she pay support? Ha! ha! Ha! Dream on!

  23. Matthew Black on May 9, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I love it!!

    The other benefit would be less domestic violence. DV is usually about control. I believe that some men feel trapped inside horrible marriages and it they leave they lose their house, their kids, and ongoing income.

    This translates to a total lack of control over their lives. Which leads to them trying to control through violence.

    If they were guaranteed to get 50/50 custody and could go build another life, I’m sure many men would jump at the chance and move on without any violence.

    Same for women who perpetrate 30% to 70% of violence (depending on the study). They would have a clean break.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      When the female makes more money than the man, will she pay any support? Ha! ha! Ha! Dream on!

  24. Diana Dawe on May 10, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you so much for this insightful and we’ll articulated post. I probably came at it from an alternate point of view than most of your readers, but you were echoing and expanding on a discussion I’ve tried to have with fellow mom’s countless times.

    My husband is a stay at home dad, and I’m the only wage earner in our family. He is an amazing caregiver to our twin girls, and he also does about %90 of the cooking and housework. One of my pet peeves is when my female friends moan about how lucky I am that my husband is so amazing, but then they turn around and start henpecking or outright criticising their partner. You want an equal partnership? Shut the hell up and stop sending him the message that he’s less competent than you. Oh, he might put the baby’s diaper on backwards? Great, he can bathe and rediaper the pee-covered baby. He won’t make that mistake twice. Parents don’t have a chance to gain competency unless they’re forced to deal with the consequences of their mistakes, and that doesn’t happen when mom rolls her eyes and steps in to fix daddy’s mistake.

    I remember a friend explaining (fairly) that “I read the books, I develop the strategies and routines. This is where I’m pouring my energy – this is my area of expertise right now”. I understand what she meant…we all want to feel competent. But my answer is – you only have so much energy. If you are holding so tightly to your superiority as a parent and homemaker, you are missing the chance to reach out for anything else.

    My favourite quote from this article:
    “Just because the child lived in your uterus does not mean you get more say in how they are raised. Men will never step into their full father potential if we keep assuming they are the inferior parent.”

    I completely disagree with the people who claim that this is a sexist article that’s all about forcing deadbeat dads to step up. My take on a first reading was “let’s assume we’re equally capable”.

    Women are so quick to bemoan men’s lack of parenting, but so unwilling to acknowledge that they were the ones who sowed the seeds. Just picture a family gathering with a new baby. The women are all competing over who gets to cuddle and soothe the little angel (of course, grandma tends to get first dibs, but she’ll usually deign to share for short periods). God forbid someone hand that cutie pie to a man. But if anyone does, have no fear, the second that baby so much as coughs, a woman will offer to take it from him. We had twins, so this was less of an issue, since we always had a spare kicking around, but it still happened all the time.

    One of my proudest moments as a daughter was when my father was holding my fussy newborn, and my mother offered to trade him for the calm twin. He buried the baby into his chest, looked her in the eyes and said “I am perfectly fine. There is nothing that you can do for our granddaughter that I can’t”. I almost broke into applause.

    If that attitude was a cultural norm, the wage gap would finally start to improve.

    Kudos to you for encouraging both men and women to examine their blind spots, and to expect more from themselves and from each other. This kind of thinking will change the world.

    Diana Dawe, OCT
    Ontario, Canada

    • Diana Dawe on May 10, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      *well articulated. Not we’ll. Curse you autocorrect

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      Thank you! Thank very much!!!

  25. Chris Turner on May 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I fight to see my child and my ex says no I don’t see no reason for it and I don’t get my child on my schedule weekend cause she say no

  26. Jennifer on May 31, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Choosing to be a SAHM is no more a “wrong decision” than obtaining a degree for a career that becomes obsolete due to technological advances, outsourcing and insourcing. Honestly, have you read about the coming (or should I say current) robot revolution? Do you have any idea how many jobs are about to be lost to these technologies? And we’re not just talking blue collar jobs- every sector will be affected. Did you know that even journalists are being replaced? There is now software that can analyze data and churn out full page reports. It probably won’t be long until you have to go back to school, probably for repairing robots, because you “made the wrong decision”.

    Our society is completely doomed, mostly due to cheerleaders of capitalism like yourself. A woman’s place is in the home, but our government has been able to trick us into believing slaving away at work all day is “independence”. Silly feminists bought their campaign hook, line and sinker.

    I could say more, but I know it was pointless writing this much.

    • Emma on June 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Yeah, pretty pointless.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      I agree with everything you said and not just because it’s all true.

    • Annette Allen on May 27, 2018 at 1:22 am

      Jennifer, you are so right! This ridiculous blog has me so furious I can’t even type straight. I quit my career to stay home with my kids for 12 years while they were little. That was many years ago, and looking back it was the best and most important thing I have ever done. If divorced couples want to have 50 50 parenting time they can choose to do so! Legally forcing them is going to do nothing but cause horrible conflict and lead to endless battles in family court.

      • Emma on May 29, 2018 at 7:42 am

        Research in states like Arizona that has de facto 50-50 for years has proven exactly the opposite: take visitation battles out of the equation and the cost and conflict of divorced plummeted.

  27. Jenneke on August 24, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I’ m a single mom of a 7 year old son. I co-parent with his dad, usually 4 nights a week our son is with me, and 3 with his dad. We talk about his upbringing a lot, discuss rules, bedtimes and share confirmation. I trusted him with our son before we split up, there is no reason to change that opinion. He did not have to fight me for it, nor did I have to force him.
    We share the cost of raising him and even use our old joint bankaccount, to wich both of us have equal acces. Yes, this requires good communication. But it is up to us to raise our son well, so setting a good example is important to us both.
    I do agree that you need to trust your ex around children and both parents should keep any personal resentment out of parenting.
    I hope I can inspire people to at least seriously consider this option.

  28. Kurleegirl on October 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    50/50 only works where BOTH parents have the best interest of the children at heart. It’s easy to say 50/50 should be the starting point, but it really takes into consideration the best interest of the parents, not the children. I was separated from my ex husband for almost 3 years BEFORE filing for divorce. It has been over 5 years now. He never arranged to see his children more than every other weekend, 1 week a year vacation and many times missed even calling the kids for a week at a time. I had to call his parents who he lives with to jack him up. I had to enforce child support. 50/50 doesn’t make better parents…..he had lots of time to show interest in the kids, and he didn’t. So I filed and won sole custody and he has visitation and pays child support. He didn’t even fight for custody. I do not badmouth him to his children, even though the reason we split is that he was cheating for most of our marriage and even used the children to cheat. I never told them of the cheating even though he is still with the OW because I felt it would really hurt my kids. I kept the marital home to give the kids a stable environment and even transported the kids back and forth from visitation solely for 3 years until we had an agreement saying we had to split the time. My reasoning is that I have to do what is best for the kids…not him. I want them to have a relationship with their father, and they will figure out on their own that their father is a selfish brat.

    I do recognize that there are situations where 50/50 works and where things are more amicable, and for those situations, I say go for it….this is not one of them.

  29. Stacy on October 24, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    While I appreciate your opinion, I think this is a case by case judgment and not something you can cast a wide net over with one definition of how things should be done. In a perfect world your reasoning sounds great, but let’s not forget that not every mom and dad are perfect although we would all like to be. Notice I said moms and dads not just one sided. Please try to put a wider view on your statements, there are cases of abuse by the father, do you think then there should be 50/50? What about the mothers who leave their children to starve while they go out to party? 50/50 you say? My point is, you are choosing a solution that doesn’t suite everyone. The better statement would be work with the other parent through mediation to decide what is best for the child. You brought the little angel into the world, work together to grow a decent human being. If you did not want to dedicate your life to that child then be responsible and forgo having any.

    • Emma on October 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      I addressed this: “this presumed, equal and fair arrangement relieves courts of the endless bickering and petitions that distract from extreme cases — like actual abuse and neglect — for which deviation from this rule would be appropriate.”

  30. Scott on November 6, 2016 at 11:31 am

    This is interesting. Custody of my son started out at 50/50. My ex (never married) girlfriend refused to work after we split. She was awarded child support. Now that I have sole legal and sole physical custody of my son, I receive no compensation at all. I was awarded sole everything when she had a mental incident. It have been over 16 months since I was granted custody and she hasn’t paid a single cent toward out son. We have been in and out of court 3 times since and the Master would not address child support. There is so much of a double standard in the system, it’s shameful. I was actually told, in court, that I needed to get a part-time job to support my other 2 children because my ex-wife stated I could be making so much more money than I was. We have shared custody of those 2 and I still pay everything the “xourt” desired I should pay. Yet nothing for my youngest that I support completely. I still pay support for my other 2 children. The mother of my youngest will not even offer to help. We have another court date in February to discuss custody. I do not believe she will get the 50/50 she wants due to her instabuility. So, without her having a job and mentally unstable, I will likely be paying her support come February and custody would remain the same. Your article was woman biased. There are more fathers out here that do the right thing for their children. Some over and beyond. If the roles were reversed, and I were the woman, I would have sole custody of my son with supervised visitation for the father, every other weekend. And the father would be paying some insane amount of support. Where is the equality of it all???

    • Frank Lee on March 7, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Did not spewing children from every female you meet ever cross your mind?

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      “There is one thing we’ve learned about deadbeat dad’s. They’re not always deadbeat, and they’re not always dads” Robert Franklin Esq.

  31. Daphne on November 9, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    No offense, but this blog article is crap. Every situation is different. In my state, 50/50 custody is the starting point in court. This tremendously hurts children when the parents live far from each other, are high-conflict, and when abuse is involved. Regarding child support, until the pay gap is truly equalized, child support will be necessary. For women, like me, who gave up their careers to focus on building a family – with husbands who promoted that structure, we lose out if there is no child support after divorce. If men know they can have children and get them 50% of the time with no child support after divorce, they may take advantage of women more than they already do. And abused women (like myself) will be afraid to divorce since they know they’ll not only lose their kids, but also be even more financially harmed.

    Moving forward, women will have to decide to put themselves and their careers first. No compromises for men. The roles and incomes within the marriage must be equal if they will be equal outside of the marriage. So many men think they are father of the year, but that’s because the standards for fathers are so low. If a man is seen changing a diaper, doing a child’s hair, or taking them to a doctor’s appointment, they are applauded. But women, not so much. If we work outside the home and can’t do these things, we’re stereotyped and shamed. Men who don’t want to pay child support are deadbeat, in my eyes. Those who have children with a woman and leave her, then look down on her for not making as much money as they do, are trifling. Many men also quickly remarry or date, finding a substitute to take care of the children when they are “with them.” It’s all very crazy and unfair and the children ultimately lose. Blanket laws regarding child support and custody only hurt women and children. Each situation should be evaluated. Otherwise, more smart women will not choose to have children “naturally” at all, affording sperm banks. The family structure as we know it will become antiquated and marriage will be avoided. Bad, bad, article.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      50-50 arrangement does not hurt children, it only hurts your income from mommy support. Frankly I find your post reprehensible.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      50-50 arrangement does not hurt children, it only hurts your income from mommy support. Frankly I find your post reprehensible albeit typical of most females. .

  32. Tim on November 23, 2016 at 5:46 am

    It pretty much seems to me that divorce is little more than a change of personal style these days. Then, oh, this new style was too contemperary, I’ll try a different one.
    Maybe we should go back to being real people who are just a little more far sighted instead of throwing the whole family under the buss just to see if there is greener grass on the other side of the fence. It’s like a person is looked down on for not having the more happiness for me right now attitude.

  33. Marian on December 30, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    While I agree with the basic argument and definitely, with the benefits of 50/50 custody, I think child support is a highly individual matter. I share 50/50 custody with my spouse. I also receive child support. I work full-time. I am not lazy and I am not being held back. But, for 10 years I sacrificed so he could get ahead in his career – paid for his schooling, paid for our mortgage, etc. I make significantly less than he does and we separated when I was pregnant due to his infidelity. As a teacher, my ability to “just make more” is limited. I feel like your argument for no child support doesn’t fully take into account the many varying circumstances couples face as they divorce and years, or decades, or financial and other support to one spouse is something that should be considered. While we all enter into marriage knowing “the risk” we surely wouldn’t make the kind of sacrifices many of us do if we thought we would one day be left.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Funny, you would never talk this way if the positions were reversed.

  34. Trevor Casperson on March 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Speaking from a law standpoint, asking for no child support isn’t really an option in Utah. Parties can’t waive child support. I suppose it’s possible, but not without some other agreements on the two parties’ incomes.

    I think 50/50 custody is a great goal for parents to share. Typically they share all other things equally, why not share custody of the children? I disagree with the motivation here though. I think children benefit most from 50/50 custody when both parents are invested in raising their children, not looking for an arrangement that allows them equally the most time away from their children. In that case, they may be better off primarily with the parent who is most invested in their welfare.

    • Emma on March 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      People can work around that … in NY where I live, my ex (the non-custodial parent), is required to pay the minimum $25/month child support, which he auto-pays between our checking account. since we agreed he’d not pay any support, I just refund that sum.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      If you live in Utah and you have to pay support payments then let’s all agree to let the female pay for a change. Let’s all agree to get 80% custody to the father and 20% to the mother and she can pay support. I don’t see anything wrong with this. The reverse has been true for over 50 years!!!

      • Trish on September 5, 2018 at 12:17 pm

        You are almost as bitter and dumb as the author. Isn’t it wierd that the people who disagree with this article only discuss the children, and those who agree with it talk about how THEY have been victimized? Or worse, the douche who is actually complaining about her husband being victimized by having to pay support to his ex. This, dear author, is why your nimrod idea will never work. Because those who have to pay care about thier money over thier children. Court has also seen that for 50 years too.

    • Trish on September 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Exactly. Kudos to you. When couples split the objective should be to disrupt the kids lives as little as possible. I love your from-a-law perspective. From a mother nature perpective I’m not afraid to say that MOST OF THE TIME, not always bc there are plenty of men who love n care for thier kids without ulterior motives and step up when needed or even just bc…but MOST of the time YES, the dad is the inferior parent. That’s why women can give birth. The day men can start ejecting humans from a hole in thier body will be the precise moment I change my mind. I don’t mean that as an insult although I realize people might see it that way. ..I just think the fact that there has never ever ever been a case of a person born as a man giving birth means a lot. Guys, you just can’t do what we do.

  35. Nina on April 1, 2017 at 12:49 am

    This is complete rubbish. Kids are not property to be divided in half. 50/50 is selfish and has nothing to do with the best interests of the child. Its about the ‘rights’ of the parents. Kids need one house that is theirs not ‘mums house’ ‘dads house’. Its usually pretty obvious which parent should the main carer and the other one gets a significant and substantial amount of time. 50/50 responsibility sure but not residential. A very misinformed article.

    • clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Ok. Let’s let the kids stay at dads house. Even a typical rabid feminist like yourself cannot dispute how great an arrangement that would be!

      • yeah right on October 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        When I started the divorce process I sent my son to stay with his grandparents on his dad’s side because they offered and I *didn’t* get any sort of windfall. I reasoned that at least he’d be with family and he’d get to see his dad, which I foolishly thought would benefit him. See, I actually believed that a man can be cruel to the mother of his child without also being cruel to the child.

        Stupid me.

        They screwed me, wound up keeping him, then adopted him (I was going through all this in complete poverty), and ON TOP OF THAT, his dad decided to have nothing to do with him anymore because he wasn’t a perfect child. I suspect it’s rather that he reminds his father too much of me. Mike is a coward like that.

        But even in my own experience as a child of divorce, again, my dad got custody of me. He was career Navy, though. Which meant he didn’t raise me. My stepmom did. A genetic stranger. Someone who had zero responsibility toward me at all. I was away from ALL my family since mom and dad were from the same home state, and I’m STILL estranged from them because my life was so different from theirs that we don’t understand one another at all.

        F?!k “paternal rights”. Men just want to be able to say they own kids for the least amount of financial expenditure. I fail to see how that’s different from a woman wanting financial support from the father to help raise their kids. If anything, it’s probably worse. Oh my god, you had to write a check. Not like you were gonna change the poopy diapers.

  36. on July 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Daddү wins!? The twins declаred.

  37. clay robertson on August 14, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    50-50 arrangement is hardly ever awarded because the corrupt family court gets a cut of fathers monthly extortion payments. Don’t believe me? Look up title IV-D of the Social Security act for proof. Thecfederal government gives the state courts monies collected out of father’s monthly extortion payments. Why do you think 50-50 arrangements are so hard to come by? The amount of money that the anti-family court makes per year is estimated to be in the billions! And with 80% of all divorces been initiated by the female you can see there is a never ending supply of male victims. The number one reason that females give for asking for divorce is I knew I would get the kids” and of course all the money they bring. Let’s not forget alimony; most people don’t realize there are several states that have lifetime alimony! You read that correctly, some fathers pay for The rest of their lives! !!!

  38. Mel on August 15, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    OMG so true about these leechs who will leech on someone forever for money…their parents, their ex-husbands, their kids and later the government… I’m a woman by the way. My ex and I have shared 50-50 custody and no child support or alimony and splitted 50-50 everything by ourselves, no lawyers, no court dates, just paperwork through the mail. I was the one who suggested going without lawyers and doing everything ourselves because you’d be stupid to have to split 50% to the lawyers and only have 50% left to split up. My current husband’s ex fought him in court, made many false accusations, wanted 100% custody, ended with 60% custody and a lot of his paycheck. She still does not work full time because she gets so much money. I hated when women keep saying “I sacrificed my career to stay at home”…That is bull shit! His ex has a bachelor degree but worked at a retail store before they got married, hated her office job before that…so she was more than happy to stay at home after they had their first child. These women are freakin lazy and never wanted to work in the first place. And she never cooked or clean the house either, they eat fast food every day.

  39. David on August 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    What kills me is when married the wife sings praises about how great a dad I am…enter divorce proceedings…all of a sudden mom is in the best interest. I spent half the parenting time when married! She was commuting! And I maintained the house too! She got 80% time. What a joke.

  40. yeah right on October 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm


    One, if you have a very young child and especially if you’re still breastfeeding, 50/50 will screw all that up.

    Two, this isn’t going to throw any sort of monkeywrench into Dad’s work/life balance because he will just foist childcare off onto his girlfriend, new wife, sister, or mother. They nearly all do that, and you do not have a similar advantage, not without paying someone.

    Three, the fact you’re not getting child support or alimony does not mean your boss will suddenly feel sorry for you and pay you more in wages. If you’re a business owner instead, you are not suddenly going to pick up hundreds of new customers. I’ll concede that there’s a better CHANCE of the latter if you’re able to work more but it’s still something of a crap shoot.

    All that and your kids get to feel cut in half too.

    They’re YOUR kids. They came out of YOUR body. YOU provided them with their first cells. (A sperm cell is a glorified gene injector, and disappears after fertilization.) If you didn’t want to be responsible for them you shouldn’t have had them. Even if you’d never divorced there was always a chance he would become disabled or die. Either way you should have been ready for this.

    But hey, what do I know.

  41. Wiser one on January 15, 2018 at 12:03 am

    I came here just to say this…. I pay a substantial amount of child support and alimony. My ex makes more money than me because of this. I can’t afford to live and can’t afford to buy my daughter a slice of pizza. I don’t have a bed for her and I can’t afford to pay the “add on’s” for day care during the summer and for her camps. I’m behind on my payments and at risk of going to jail. Ready for the real kick in the nuts? I AM THE ONE WHO HAS CUSTODY. I have my daughter 4 nights a week. I get her on the bus, I make the snacks for school. I’m there for the pta meetings. The problem is that I earn more money than my ex who is working off the books. Basically, because I’m the moneyed spouse, I am paying her the same amount of child support and alimony a father who isn’t involved in his child’s life at all pays.

    Why is this? In NYS the state legislator ruled with FEMINIST GROUPS that the person who has money pays child support unless the custody arraignment was significantly different from 50%. The crazy thing is that I had my daughter 3 days a week and paid child support and for day care for her when I was at home and fought in court to have her every day I didn’t work and spent thousands to have her with me instead of paying for day care while I’m at home. I won custody and the judge stuck it to me anyway. My daughter now basically lives in poverty in both houses becauses I am forced to pay full child support because I have a job.

    Child support keeps woman home and out of the workplace. They don’t want to work because it would reduce their income since child support isn’t taxed and in 2019 alimony won’t be taxed either.

    So, overall, I’m sorry to say, woman who complain after divorce can suck it. The courts in many states are dedicated to screwing over fathers and keeping them in arrears because the family courts in many states are funded based on how much they can strip from parents.

    You’re points are somewhat enlightened, but not consistent with reality. The reality is that feminists are the ones fighting to keep the status quo. My financial life is ruined. My daughters future is set back because the greatest predictor of success is the financial resources available to her. In my case, my judge had the discretion to

  42. Tim on February 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    As a man separated from his wife and questioning whether to go through divorce this article makes me say “exactly!”. My fear with going forward is that even though we currently split time evenly that a court will reward her child support and an unequal split just because she’s the mom. I’m self-employed and attend every single event my two kids have. I’m scared to death to go through with this in fear that it will cripple my ability to provide for my kids how I want to and remain a huge part of their lives. I want her so badly to be successful just so that she can realize she doesn’t need my financial support. Unfortunately she seems content just to rely on me and everyone around her to pay the bills.

  43. TiAnna m Sharon on March 1, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Why is it my fault that the father keeps harassing me keeps threatening me and i left state with my kid trying to make it very very clearly I do not want nothing to do with him I clearly want him in my life. pick-up drop-off leave me the hell alone and a co-parent. I work 35 hours a week I I make 7.75 an hour I do not ask my daughter’s father for not a dime all I ask is pick-up drop-off leave me the hell alone and co-parent he does not even want to do that he complains about driving 900 miles but yeah he does not pay for child support he does not pay for childcare he does not pay for her food her utilities she does not pay for s*** the only time that he pays is for him to come get her bring her back and the time that she had and that he has with her. and says that’s not fair. What’s not fair is not being left the f*** alone. I’m sock of it men think just cuz they make more money that they deserve our kid I’m sorry I was there since day one I did the diaper changes the bathing the feedings everything so that he could go to work and provide for us. I did what he couldn’t do and he did what I couldn’t do that is shared parenting and that’s all that I’m asking now but no it’s always too much but yeah he wants 50-50 no child support.

  44. John on March 27, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Hello. I am a dad that has 50 50 custody and i pay child support. I agreed to the terms in the divorce decree to get the divorce over with. She filled not me. I work long hours and still manage to get my kids (3 boys) on my weeks when their mother lets them come over and doesnt try to get them to stay with her bc she can afford to take them places and do more than i can afford paying all my bills, child support and also i pay her car payment also i agreed to pay to get the divorce finalised. Im not saying im the best dad or that i know what im doing 100% of the time but i am trying to take care of my kids and it is hard. I am not making enough to pay everything i need to plus buy them the stuff they want like their mom is able to do. I make decent money and have a career in the oilfield but i still struggle to make ends meet. Im trying to get childsuport lowered so i can afford daycare for after school and not have to meet up at the police station to exchange our kids. I meet their mom everyday on my week to get the kids from her. She works for the school so she gets them after school and this has caused alot of problems bc she belives she should have more money bc she has them on my weeks for an hour or two after school until i get off work. If anyone has any helpful sugestions to what i could do please help. Oh and now that im trying to get lower childsuport she is trying to get full custody now that i asked for it to be lowered. I dont want to loose my time with my kids i just want to be able to afford what they need and want. I have always been in my boys lives and thats not about to change. I just need help.

  45. Doug on March 30, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Hmm this does not work since I pay about 30% of my net income to my ex for child support I have to rent a room as a roommate. I have no money to do anything nor a place to have my kids so yah forcing parents to be parents won’t work. Besides when your gold digging ex can survive without your free check she will still want it even if she works. I can’t wait I have 55 months @ 801 to go and 13 more at 400. So I’ll ask my ex what she has to show for the 50k tax free she received and it will be 0 saved she’s that bad with money.

  46. Mater Gloriosa on May 31, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Mothers with 100% custody are the only ones with economic freedom. Eliminate courts. (Abuse can go to criminal.) Child support laws cost women and children more, so eliminate them or let accountants and banks divide assets and income, free from lawyers and Judges.

    50% will never work, especially for the children.

  47. alain smithee on June 14, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I would LOVE to be more than a support check who is allowed to visit with my children’at their mother’s whim. I have also repeatedly asked for shared custody, and our family court judge’s response is that “children belong with the mother”.

    At our most recent child support modification hearing, my voluntarily unemployed ex-wife kept repeating that “we need the money” while asking for more child support. It turned out that her …paramour’s hours had been cut, which is why they wanted me to pay more child support .

    The substitute family court judge actually told my ex-wife that she needed to disconnect herself from the internet and get a job. I have no doubt that i f our regular family court judge had been there, I would be paying more child support now.

  48. Jeremy on July 9, 2018 at 10:06 am

    My ex has full custody of our daughter, but I still have her over 2-3 nights a week. We have worked out child support without the court system, but I have been struggling recently to make ends meet and she is now saying she is going to take me to court. I rent a bedroom and work 55 hours a week in NYC. She lives with her parents and pays no rent. And has no responsibilties at home except for caring for my daughter. All she wants to do is live off people and Im so tired of paying for her to eat out and spend money on fruitless things. She lives outside of her financial means while I barely make it each week. She is planning on commiting welfare fraud soon by claiming she is homeless so the city will fast track her and Maisie into a home that she could never afford. She is willingly going to put herself and my daughter in a homeless shelter. It’s disgusting and makes me sick honestly. She has a job, but only works a few days a week and its under the table. She just takes and takes.

  49. Elizabeth on July 14, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Gawd this struck a nerve. My ex has insisted he’d rather go bankrupt than pay me a dime in child support. We’ve been separated for over a year and I haven’t received one cent from him. I agreed to 50/50 parent, which my children absolutely hate. I gave him the house because he makes 3 times as much as me and I didn’t want both of us to be broke. But I also live in an apartment and am borderline low income when the kids are with me. I eat cereal for every meal when they’re not with me so I can afford healthy stuff when they are. We’re getting ready to file for divorce and he realizes now that he’ll have to pay child support so now he wants to out it off. I pay too much taxes married filing separately so I want it done.

    Yes, it is my fault for giving up my career for 7 years to raise the kids. But my kids suffer with me because we live in a rinky dink apartment where none of us feel comfortable or safe most of the time. My husband has our family home where the kids have a yard and a hot tub and luxuries. So by him not paying child support the kids live two very different lives every other week. How is that fair to them? And even so…they’d still prefer to live with me full time.

    Yeah, I know…get a better job. Well, I work for one of the best companies where we live and this is what it is. Not so great pay. My ex works for the government. If he’d allow me to move back to where we’re from I’d be making great money, but he’s trapped me here and I’m at the end of my rope.

    • Trish on September 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Hi Elizabeth. I’m sorry your having such a difficult time. DON’T listen to this article. I think a man pretending to be a woman wrote it. Instead, go thru court, STOP the 50/50 custody- bc its CRAP and doesn’t work-as you know, and make the courts hold your ex accountable and responsible for the family value your kids were born into. I have NO PROBLEM w dingaling exs wanting a new life, they are totally entitled to it. So long as they aren’t forcing a new life on everyone else and they maintain thier basic responsibilities to thier old life. In my opinion choosing to be a stay at home is way harder than the tool who wrote this article could ever pull off.

      • Dj on October 2, 2018 at 1:48 am

        I can tell you are ugly… No doubt. Sorry about that. :/

  50. Pj on August 9, 2018 at 11:53 am

    50/50 split does not work to pay no child support when the mom was a stay at home parent over a decade. She goes back In to the work force making much less than the man typically. Let’s take my scenario as above ex makes 13 an hour full time I make 25 full time. Before I left all of my 25? An hour was spent nothing left when she did the budget. Now I rent a room elsewhere fir 400 a month she can’t afford the house and her current debt on 13 an hour when 25 barley paid these things. So when I left she went after my money she gets 1100 a month for child support in Alabama they use both incomes to get this formula. It’s cheaoer for me to fish out 1100 than to have 100% gone which was the case for over a decade with my gold digging ex.

  51. SJ on August 27, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Oh my goodness. I love this post in so many ways. It’s refreshing because you never hear this point of view. I live in TN and when I got a divorce, I told my lawyer that I wouldn’t consider giving my ex every other weekend or anything like that. My ex was horrible to me but the kids need him and he loves the kids. I did get child support based on the calculator from the state because that’s what’s required. I think that’s a good thing because it helps to balance the standard of living in both homes. Did my $220 every two weeks get me rich? No. Did it help with my groceries? Yes. Now that I am booming in my Nashville real estate career, I am volunteralily going back to the lawyer to get rid of his child support. We make the same amount now, so that’s fair.

    I love your point that we need to hold men to a higher standard and have a 50/50 balance with the kids. Nursing moms and babies are a totally different thing, but if we are ever going to balance the power in our society (which would be a very good thing for everyone), we must have balance in the children’s division of households.

  52. TRISH on September 5, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Wow. FORCE the dad into spending 50% of the time with the kids. You knew the risks when you got married. Dad will resent you for having to pay ANY child support.
    I’m starting to think Emma Johnson has a penis, left his wife and kids and wasn’t able to get the 50/50 shared custody arrangement that would let him off the hook for child support and force his exwife into giving up their original family values as quickly as he did.
    This article is a JOKE. There’s nothing wrong with having traditional family values where one parent works and the other stays home to raise the kids. I find it offensive that you look down at women who choose to give up thier careers to raise thier children- everything else you say is plain stupid (FORCE dad to take kids half the time? How would that be good for the kids dipshit? It’s do monumentally DUMB), but thinking I’m inferior to you bc you sacrificed your children’s sense of family and well being to prove you can work is just insulting and awful. I gave up my career knowing my kids would benefit from ME being thier MOTHER, and I knew crap stains like you would think I’m pulling the women’s lib cry down by doing it. But I’m not, I didn’t. Tards like you make me proud that I made THE REALLY hard choice of being a stay at home. Just because I CAN work and pan my kids off to whomever doesn’t mean I should. What your suggesting isn’t nearly as hard as having to stick to thr original family values children are born into after a divorce. Wtf? My ex doesn’t want anything to do with me OR his kids, which is fine- but he’s paying for it. He’s more than welcome to start a whole new life elsewhere – but thankfully the judge didn’t absolve him of his responsibilities to his old life.
    You are so bitter sounding. Please, take some yoga and find a therapist. Then ask your kids how they are doing. IF you can handle the response. You might not like it. If you do that just means you beat thier self esteem down so far they will only tell you what you want to hear.

  53. Bobby Dad on November 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    It’s hard for me to spend time with my son because his mother has all my money. When I do have him, of which is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday every week, I never have any money to go hang out and do stuff with him. Plus his mom takes all the money I give her and gets him video games. I dont have video game systems in my house, we love the outdoors. So when he is at my house all he wants to do is play video games. He now says he’s bored at my house and would rather stay with his mom, due to her having full influence in that Manor. I’m still his baseball coach. I chose Tues to Thurs every week to be more involved with his studies. Im a teacher, health and pe.. if we are to teach our children to be fair, we must teach them how to share.

  54. Sergio machado on February 17, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    What a fantastic article! Visionary, objective and balanced. Every judge in every court, every family law attorney and every state legislator should read it. Completely agree — society is always in a state of flux, change is constant and yet family law is locked I. Antiquated precepts and creating lots of problems. With divorce rate so high in this country, laws need even more change. The system is setup to allow exponential abuse and in the end, lawyers win and children are the big losers. Well stated Ms Johnson!!

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