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

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The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

50% will never work, especially for the children.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

But hey, what do I know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stupid me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is such an offensive and ignorant statement. It sure seems like you made a poor choice and had a kid or kids with some player who royally left you for someone else and you’re mad. Just because you carried a child and gave birth doesn’t make you mom of the the year I dated until I was 37 and didn’t get married and have kids until 38 and have 4 now and as of March 15 2019 I haven’t seen my 2 little girls 3-5 yrs old as my bipolar wife whom became an alcoholic drinking her 2 – 13 oz mugs of Chardonnay 7 days per week while breastfeeding while on Zoloft and .25 Xanax per day took our 4 children 3,5,11,13 2 girls 3-5 & 2 boys 11-13 in July of 2018 to her parents outta state and after 2 weeks of parental alienation and verbal and physical abuse she let me get my boys as she knew her mom would escalate and I’ve been raising them for last 8 months and it sucks but like it better mom’s not here as I never knew how mom ignored them while I was working and always yelled and screamed at them when I was at work. So after my dumb ass believing she was going to come home she got residency and filed for divorce and all the times I offered to meet and pay her way to see our girls and our boys see their sisters as they miss them well mother in law and bipolar angry wife won’t let us I had to hire 2 lawyers one in my state and one in hers and all she does is talk all about her and her needs and it’s never about our kids who are so sad and my sick ex won’t even get our girls in therapy while I have our boys in for 8 months but I know I’ll get screwed as the system sucks and isn’t fair at all. My boys are terrified if they have to move to her parents state 11 hrs away. Thank God they are old enough to make their own choice but our girls I worry they will grow up to be man haters, abusers as my wife attacked me 5x and all addmitted in marriage counseling. I never once said a hand nor said eff u to her when everyday I came home to eff u, m effer, whimp. The system is so biased and I’m afraid my little girls will grow up and abuse men like my ex to be, a few if her sisters, her mom, her grandma. It’s generational and our little girls were such sweet hearts and I can see the change happening. It’s sad and pisses me off this system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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