Sunday, August 20, 2006

Equal Parents Week Rally - Michigan

Dads of Michigan will be holding an Equal Parents Week Rally on September 27th.

Excerpts from the website:

DADS OF MICHIGAN will observe Equal Parents Week (EPW), September 24 – September 30, 2006. Equal Parents Week brings attention to the need for both parents to share their parental rights and responsibilities equally, the right of children to be raised and nurtured by both parents, and the right of families to exist and function as a family. These are civil and human rights inherent and inalienable to all families. Our recent national tragedies further highlight the importance of parents and family. Public and home candlelight vigils observing EPW and the victims of terrorism will also take place on September 27 across the nation and world.

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Big Bad Daddy

Philadelphia Weekly recently ran as their cover story - Big Bad Daddy: Is the system built to screw over single fathers?

You can read the article by clicking here: Family Feud


At the height of the women’s rights movement Margaret Mead once quipped that “fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents.”

There was a time when courts viewed children as property of the father. But in the 20th century custody was transformed by the “tender-years doctrine,” which assumes young children should always be placed with their mothers.

Both custody models—both inherently flawed—gave way to courts relying on a judge’s discretion to act in the “best interests of the child.”

In family law, observers say, there’s a presumption that the parent who serves as the primary caregiver should be the primary custodian, which usually means the mother. And that when there’s bitter conflict, the rights of the noncustodial parent—typically the father—are normally the first to go.

The fathers at FACE say both models leave them pleading to mothers and the courts for more time with their kids. As a result, Family Court has become an adversarial system in which fathers must prove that their children benefit from their involvement.

“You can get 50/50,” says Clemmons. “It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. One thing that’s really helped fathers’ rights is that judges really want to follow the best interests of the child. When I’m in court, I don’t say it’s the father’s right to be with the child. You have to switch it around and say the child is going to benefit by being with the father, that the father helps with homework, that he goes to teacher meetings, that he takes the child to activities, that he knows the pediatrician, to show the benefits for the child, not the rights of the father. Because let’s face it—the courts really don’t care.”

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NOW seems stuck in yesterday

NOW seems stuck in yesterday

This is the latest article by Cathy Young.


The feminists of 1966 were interested in justice for all. They were highly critical of the notion that breadwinning should be the man's sole or primary burden and that a married woman automatically should be entitled to financial support from her husband during marriage or after divorce.

In more recent times, however, NOW and its state chapters have tended in almost knee-jerk fashion to side with women in the debates over divorce, often advocating higher and more long-term spousal support.

While paying lip service to the idea of equal parenting, NOW steadfastly has opposed efforts to broaden the rights of divorced fathers.

With the exception of a few chapters, it has staunchly opposed such proposals as joint custody and mediation instead of litigation.

Ten years ago, NOW issued an "Action Alert against fathers' rights," which accused divorced men who seek a role in their children's lives of abusing power "in the same fashion as do batterers."

The top resolution adopted at its 1999 national conference was another call to arms against the fathers' rights movement, asserting that "women lose custody of their children, despite being good mothers, despite a lack of involvement of the father with the children, and regardless of a history of being the primary caregiver." (That undoubtedly has happened in some cases, but to this day it is still far more frequently fathers who experience such injustice.)

NOW's 1966 statement declared that women must seek equality "not in pleas for special privilege, nor in enmity toward men, who are also victims of the current half-equality between the sexes -- but in an active, self-respecting partnership with men."

Sadly, many of the organization's policies and practices have betrayed this principle.

Feminism is still needed in 2006, at a time when social conservatism is on the rise and when many conservative women's groups that claim to offer an alternative to the women's movement promote retrograde and limiting notions of gender roles.

But what's needed is a call for equality, not special privilege or enmity toward men. NOW's feminism is not its foremothers' feminism, and that's too bad.

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John Murtari Story

Please stop by Teri Stoddard's blog to read about John Murtari - a father who is currently on a hunger strike "to protest “gross and repeated injustice”by the court system in a custody battle over access to his son, Domenic, 13." (Borrowed from Mike McManus)


Saturday, August 19, 2006

How courts discourage shared parenting in N.D.

How courts discourage shared parenting in N.D.


The initiative addresses this issue by establishing a framework in which neither party has an incentive to go to court. Far from removing courts from the process, the initiative directs the court to put the appropriate burden of proof for removing a parent from their child's life on the parent who is objecting to the child keeping a substantial relationship with both parents.

Courts should not be in the business of picking winning and losing parents. They should maintain and uphold each parent's interest in their relationship to their children to the maximum extent possible.

Other articles about the shared parenting initiative in North Dakota:

Measure complies with federal law

State wants to protect revenue stream

Stand up to federal bullying, North Dakota

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Dr. Warren Farrell to Address National Family Law Reform Conference

From an ACFC email:

We are pleased to relay the news that Dr. Warren Farrell will be joining us for the National Family Law Reform Conference, September 15 -16, 2006 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

A partial list of confirmed speakers includes:Dr. Warren Farrell, Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, President - Eagle Forum, Glenn Sacks, Columnist, Michael McManus, Dr. Stephen Baskerville.....and many others......

Click here to register for this event.

You will come away with invaluable tools, contacts, and concrete steps to implement change and put family law reform at the center of your community and state agenda.

ACFC has negotiated a discounted room rate of $119.00 per night with the Marriott for the conference. This rate is per room, not per person, up to 4 people may share a room. Please contact the hotel directly at 703 920-3230 or toll free at 800 228-9290 to reserve your room. Indicate you are attending the National Family Law Reform Conference to receive the conference rate. A limited number of rooms are available, unbooked rooms will release back to the hotel soon (August 21, 2006), so reserve today.

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