Close the pay gap? Reform child support? Get dads involved? 50/50 custody, no child support

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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.
  • Child support is unfair and needs to be reformed.

Here’s the answer:

Start all custody negotiations at a default 50/50 equally shared parenting time and custody, with no child support or alimony.

Why is child support so unfair to fathers?

While the world is changing for the better in many ways, the majority of child support payors are men. Here are all the reasons this is unfair to dads:

  • Child support is built on the presumption that one parent (mothers) care for the children while another (father) pays for them. This shoehorns men and women into sexist roles, with men forced to be the breadwinner.
  • Often, whether by law or practice, child support is tied to the amount of time a man is allowed to spend with their children — heightening an already adversarial family court system, and making men pay to see their children.
  • Child support calculations rarely factor in a man’s ability to afford payments, and in states where failure to pay leads to jail time, forces poor men trapped in a cycle of imprisonment, unemployment, and more imprisonment. Meanwhile, no money is paid in child support, and fatherlessness is perpetuated, as outlined in this New York Times article:

Though the threat of jail is considered an effective incentive for people who are able but unwilling to pay, many critics assert that punitive policies are trapping poor men in a cycle of debt, unemployment and imprisonment.

The problem begins with child support orders that, at the outset, can exceed parents’ ability to pay. When parents fall short, the authorities escalate collection efforts, withholding up to 65% of a paycheck, seizing bank deposits and tax refunds, suspending driver’s licenses and professional licenses, and then imposing jail time.

“Parents who are truly destitute go to jail over and over again for child support debt simply because they’re poor,” said Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights, which filed a class-action lawsuit in Georgia on behalf of parents incarcerated without legal representation for failure to pay. “We see many cases in which the person is released, they’re given three months to pay a large amount of money, and then if they can’t do that they’re tossed right back in the county jail.”

Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat. — The New York Times

While many assume child support mandatory in divorce — it does not have to be. If you settle out of court through a low-cost online divorce service, you can negotiate joint, 50/50 custody, equal parenting time, no or lower child support, and any other arrangements that you and your child’s other parent agree to.

If you go to family court, however, a judge will likely apply your state’s child support calculator, with no flexibility.

You and your child's other parent can always create your own parenting plan, for free, and filt it in your local courts:

District of ColumbiaFlorida
NevadaNew Hampshire
New JerseyNew Mexico
New YorkNorth Carolina
North DakotaOhio
PennsylvaniaRhode Island
South CarolinaSouth Dakota
West VirginiaWisconsin

Child support reform promotes father involvement

Fatherlessness is a public health crisis, that affects every facet of American life. Antiquated child support laws and collection enforcement are at the root of this issue.

A whole body of work studying lack of father involvement finds that when a child is raised without active involvement of a father, they are likely to suffer:

  • Diminished sense of physical and emotional security (children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives)
  • Behavioral and social problems, including with friendships
  • Poor academic performance. 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless
  • High crime, as 85% of youth in prison have an absent father
  • Fatherless children are more likely to have sex before age 16, not use contraception during first intercourse, and become teenage parents, and transmit STDs.
  • More likely to use and abuse alcohol and other drugs.
  • 90% of runaway kids have an absent father.
  • Mental health disorders (father absent children are consistently overrepresented on a wide range of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression and suicide)
  • As adults, fatherless children are more likely to experience unemployment, have low incomes, remain on social assistance, and experience homelessness)
  • Poor future relationships (father absent children tend to enter partnerships earlier, are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions, and are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership)
  • Higher mortality rates (fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the life span)

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

How to avoid child support

Search the Internet and you will find all kinds of shady and illegal ways to hide your income, get fired and other nefarious ways to avoid paying child support. Here are a few legal ways to get out of paying support:

  • Terminate your parental rights
  • Agree to allow another adult adopt the child
  • The child been emancipated or enlisted for military duty
  • Both parents agree to a settlement, including a parenting plan in which no child support is paid
  • Increasingly, despite what laws may be on the books in your state, judges are ordering equal parenting time with no or reduced child support.
  • If you current pay child support, but the time-sharing has moved to a 50/50 schedule, you can file for a child support review to have it revised. Here is a free child support review letter tempate.

50/50 parenting and time-sharing is better for all families, everywhere

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

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.

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.

Strong workforce participation by women is great for children, as studies have shown. Strong workforce participation by women is great for the economy, national security and societal stability.

How SAHMs divorce

How 50/50 parenting and time-sharing affect the pay gap

When parenting time is shared equally, single moms would have so, so much more time to invest in their careers and businesses.

When parenting is equal, moms are not the default caregiver when kids barf in the night and need to stay home from school.

50/50 custody means 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 equal time affords 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.

This survey of 2,279 single moms found a direct correlation between time-sharing equality, and the women’s income and attitudes about motherhood: more time equality meant more income, and more satisfaction with parenting.

When dads not only have equal parenting time, but also equal parenting responsibility, fathers are forced to make the hard work-life decisions that women have known for generations, leveling the workplace playing field.

Decisions like whether to take time off after having a child, or scale back a career to nurture young children — the very hard decisions that women have made for generations, and are at the root of the pay gap.

Finally, joint physical custody equalizes parents not only in separated and divorced families, but all families. Laws supporting 50/50 custody change family culture. If equal parenting were the norm, this would create a collective mind shift at home, work and in the bedroom.

After all, time and again when asked how we will ever close the pay gap, experts cite affordable child care. Having half of the time off from your kids, who are in the safe and loving care of the other parent, is as good as it gets. No expensive state or federal budgets required! No politically charged policy to pass! JUST SPLIT TIME EQUALLY BETWEEN PARENTS!

4 examples of 50-50 parenting schedules

Celebrities practicing 50/50 equal co-parenting:

Common concerns about 50/50 custody, no child support

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%.

A review of 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.

However, if you work on practicing equally shared co-parenting, you may find that both parents can grow in their parenting — and know that their children benefit from it. More tips on how to co-parent in this post.

Men will never step into their full father potential if we keep assuming they are the inferior parent. In fact, many men and women both attest to the fact that fathers really improved their parenting after divorce. These parents say that this happened because:

  1. They were forced to — the mom wasn’t there all the time to swoop in when parenting was stressful. This is hardly surprising. Parenting is not rocket science, and men and women are born equipped for the job. Keep in mind that humanity has thrived based on the model of very young, uneducated people raising other to adulthood. Parenting is not a higher calling requiring of special skills or education.
  2. There was no mom nearby micromanaging his parenting. Now alone with the kids, the dad now had room to grow into the father he was meant to be.

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 to file for divorce 101

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.

What to do if your ex shows up late or not at all — all the time

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.

If today you commit to 50/50 parenting starting at age 1 with increased time with the father now, that defuses conflict and builds trust that the spirit of your agreement is indeed fair.

A broader societal move to default, equal parenting and no child support will not be painless. But they are necessary steps in an evolution towards financial and parental equity.

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% of children in an unequal visitation arrangement had lost complete touch with their non-custodial parents, which are nearly always the father.

How to be a successful single mother

Bottom line: Why not to fight your ex for child support, alimony or other money

Money is often cited as the No. 1 thing divorcing couples fight over. Financial disagreements clog the courts and wrack up attorney bills — not to mention burn untold units of stress and misery for each party, their children and anyone within earshot.

This money-related financial tension carries over after breakups and divorce. Often, women tell me that they can't move forward with their lives because they are stuck financially because of money their ex owes. They tell me: I can't afford to go back to school / advance my career by traveling or taking additional responsibilities because there is no money for child care — because he won't pay. 

He may very well owe you that money. Morally and legally, you may be entitled to it.

But sometimes you can be so right, you are wrong. After all, the average sum of child supported ordered monthly is less than $300, and total child support owed is actually paid just 40 percent of the time. What if you let that all go and focused on earning big, big money. I want every woman to understand what it feels like to be financially independent. Only then do you truly step into your power, and live your life in the biggest, most authentic way possible.

15 signs your wife or husband is ready for divorce—and what to do now

Life is not fair. There are laws designed to protect women and children in divorce, and there is also the universal law of what is just. But there is also the legal system, and it is messed up, unfair and is designed to support mainly the rich. Unless you're Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods, there is often a very low threshold to cross before it stops making sense to spend money on lawyers to get what you are owed. Do the math. Then take a deep breath. Let the breath go. And let that money go, too.

2. You're fighting for money he doesn't have

You can't get blood from a stone, as the old adage goes. Sure, he may owe you tens of thousands of dollars in back child support. You could have the courts take his car and send him to jail. But if you honestly know that he doesn't have that cash, do you really want to do that? Yes? What do you get in return?

How to deal if you're a woman/mom paying child support

3. You're building a lifestyle around someone else's money — that you may never get

When you create a budget based on money you get from someone else, you are dependent on them. This is never a good idea. For financial reasons, that money may never materialize — or suddenly disappear. Men's child support and alimony doesn't show up if he loses his job, becomes disabled and cannot work, dies, refuses to pay for whatever reason, or has another child and is allowed by the courts to pay less. Plus, don't you just want to stop fighting and earn your own money? Doesn't that sound really, really delicious — to never be dependent on him or another man again?

Why alimony hurts gender equality

Close the pay gap? Get dads involved? No child support and shared parenting

4. You're fighting for money in divorce out of spite

Anger and spite are normal. God knows I've spent a lot of time being pissed at my ex! But exuding all that negative energy to take revenge is not a good reason to fight for money — even if you're entitled to it. Good reasons include providing a better life for yourself and your kids and/or because the money is genuinely yours.

[7 single-mom stereotypes that keep women broke, exhausted and alone]

5. He needs the money more than you do

Maybe each of your financial situations have changed. Maybe you have indeed moved on and are now killing it financially. Maybe he lost his job and is struggling. Maybe you're both stable, but you see that the money in question could help him out a whole lot more than it could help you. And now that you've moved forward, and you are no longer spiteful and angry, you have the energy to do the right thing.

[Highly paid work-at-home careers for moms]

6. Fighting for money is exhausting and bad for the kids

Divorce is one of the most stressful, draining crises a person can go through. In many cases — especially if there are children and significant assets involved — it is worth taking your time with a good lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement. But until the mailman delivers the manilla envelope containing your signed divorce decree, you will likely feel that your whole world is in limbo. Letting some stuff go moves everyone forward — including the kids.

After all, the more conflict between you and your ex, for whatever reason, means the children suffer at the hands of it. He might legally owe you, but sometimes you can be so right you're wrong.

Co-parenting is your priority now, and that is hard to do peacefully if you are fighting over money. Read my tips on how to co-parent with your ex, peacefully, as well as all the science-based research on why equally shared parenting is best.

One of the first co-parenting apps, and widely used app, OurFamilyWizard, which features chat, information storage (like pediatrician and teacher contact info, prescriptions, etc.), and financial record-keeping. 30-day free trial,  discounts for military families, and a program to provide OurFamilyWizard free to low-income families. Each parent can add unlimited numbers of other people for free, including children, grandparents, step and bonus parents, as well as attorneys.

Try OurFamilyWizard for free for 30 days now >>

Read OurFamilyWizard review on

7. You hold yourself back when you fight your ex for money

Deepak Chopra tells us that human beings have infinite energy, and I accept that to be true. But we are also physical beings living in the real world, and a girl only has so much energy to go around.

When you are dependent on his money, you are dependent on HIM. Dependence is never healthy. It holds you back, keeps you embroiled in a romantic relationship that is over, with someone who you likely don't care for much.

You have a choice: Spend your time, energy and power to fight with him, or invest that time and energy and power in yourself to earn far more money than he owes you from his 401(k). After all, when it comes to earning and building wealth, the sky is the limit!

7 ways to get your single mom money act together this month—once and for all!

5 tips for a quick divorce

My mantra: The best revenge is living well.

Divorce Corp and Erasing Family documentaries

Kickass Single Mom, Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children, By: Emma Johnson

Blend, The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, By: Mashonda Tifrere

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You, By: by Amy J. L. Baker, PhD and Paul R Fine, LCSW

Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, By: Dr. Richard A. Warshak

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

Why is child support so unfair to fathers?

Child support is built on the presumption that one parent (mothers) care for the children while another (father) pays for them. This shoehorns men and women into sexist roles, with men forced to be the breadwinner. founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.


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

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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 –

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

“…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…

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.

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

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“..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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 :)

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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

“… 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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


Everyone is different, in my case for example me paying support for my shared custody takes time from my children because I work more to make ends meet. It also burdens me to work more because support goes up which then takes more time from my children when its equal financial obligations? My goal as a father is to be with my family. I understand not all men are that way but I’ve heard of woman on that same boat too. Why am I obligated to sacrifice my time and she isn’t? She can be a stay at home mom for her new seperate family and increase my financial obligations pulling me away from “our” children. It’s biased, broken and it’s kind of sad.

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