I’d like to thank the Divorce and Child Custody: Free Information for Fathers blog for this story from the Concord Monitor. In Men Need Some Help, Allison Steele reports that New Hampshire’s Commission on the Status of Men, established in 2002, recommends in their first report that the state “devote more resources to correcting the gender biases men face in divorce and domestic violence cases, as well as promoting the role of fathers in families.” An excerpt from Allison’s piece:
Much of the report is concerned with what commission members describe as the biases leveled against men in divorces, child support arrangements and custody disputes. In research and in meetings held over the last year, the commission found that many fathers feel they are treated unfairly in family court disputes. Many complained of judges who automatically side with mothers, child support guidelines that leave the father with little income, and a general lack of understanding of the benefits of a father-child relationship.
“As women have had difficulty establishing their role as important contributors to the workplace, men have had difficulty establishing themselves as important nurturers for their families and children,” the report states.
The report also discusses domestic violence. Men told the commission that some women accuse men of assault so that the judge will award the woman custody of the couple’s children. Judges tend to take the woman’s side, the report states, which can make it difficult for the man to dispute the charges later.
The commission also studied the traditional assumption that all domestic violence is caused by men, and it found studies suggesting that women assault men just as often. Domestic violence education and advocate training programs tend to compound the bias by referring to perpetrators of violence in male terms.
“Efforts to get relief from the domestic violence problem have been unduly influenced by special interests who have successfully sold the problem as solely a responsibility of males over the years,” the report states. “The whole truth on this emotionally charged dichotomy isn’t being fully revealed.”
As a first step, the commission wants the state legislature to renew the Violence Against Women Act – but only if the language in the law is made gender-neutral.
Now isn’t that what we’ve all been saying all along? Geez…
According to the Stand Up Today blog “The Kent County Circuit Court and Kent County Friend of the Court (FOC) are monitoring internet activities of individuals involved in family court cases within their jurisdiction or that are speaking out against them.” Lary Holland, father of two who is involved in a domestic relations case involving his two children and who has been outspoken about the operating procedures of the Kent County Circuit Court Family Division since 2003, including the Friend of the Court operations states, “The conduct of these officials has led me to believe they act unethically in discharging their duties.”
Holland was able to demonstrate that there exists a conflict of interest between State courts and individuals because for every dollar collected by courts they receive additional monies from the Federal government, making child support profitable for State courts and their FOC employees. “It’s how they get paid. High support orders, high arrearages, and long delays mean more Federal money to justify their [FOC and judges] existence,” says Holland, “The courts are uncomfortable with people being able to collectively speak out on issues that can affect their pockets. Why else would they be monitoring a website pertaining to their possible misconduct while being involved with my case?”
If you believe your family law reform website or blog is being monitored, or if you want more information, please visit these additional sites: LaryHolland.org, Serendipity, LHolland360 or write to
I’m not sure how far this will go, but I’d like to thank Madison at PBS for her personal email exchange with me about the airing of the bias film Breaking the Silence, the Children’s Stories. When I asked how fathers might get their own documentary aired she referred me to this webpage. When I asked her about rebroadcasting Fatherhood USA: Dedicated Not Deadbeat she was kind enough to look it up, but found out they no longer owned the rights. Thanks to Marc Snider at New Hampshire Custody I then asked her about rebroadcasting the April 7th edition of New Hampshire Outlook called Family Law, (video) and doing it nationwide. After watching that video, my heart goes out to Zachary and his dad. I’m hoping for a positive reply. PBS owes all fathers. This would help.
I love hearing from women who see what is happening to fathers and who, like me, are determined to do right by them. So many of these guys feel the majority of women have turned against them, as society has. I try to tell them that most women have no idea what is happening to fathers in their name. Along those lines I’d like to share these words from a woman named Nicole. In a note to fathers she wrote:
You have been, en mass, dismissed as insignificant in the raising of children. In NH, eleven out of twelve of you will only get to participate in your children’s upbringing if you have the mother’s permission. She has to agree to share the children (otherwise joint custody is all but out of the question) and, if she doesn’t, you will only get to see them when she allows it, in spite of any court order for “visitation”. Women rule in the world of child custody.
And in a note to me she added:
One of my very oldest friends was a speechwriter for N.O.W. [National Organization for Women] when I met her. She has just told me that there will never be any peace between the genders (or for the next generation of kids) until fathers are recognized as equal parents…But those of us who followed Gloria back then were only looking for equal wages for equal work — not to hijack the next generation of kids. We didn’t HATE men (like so many women seem to today) — in fact, we wanted to be able to share their world and their success. Now women won’t let men share in their own children’s world. Not the same thing. We were adult — these are kids.
I know there are many women who feel like we do. Yes, we want equality. Just equality. Are you listening…you other feminists, the ones I call “radicals”…we only want EQUALITY, not domination.
I was very pleased the other day when I was able to educate a phone solicitor, a woman working for N.O.W., about the reality of the organization she was promoting. After more than an hour in which she repeatedly commented that she agreed with me, I hung up with a smile on my face and the knowledge that my message of truth wouldn’t stop with her. And I do hope she took my advice and found a new job.
Until N.O.W gets it’s act together and respects American men’s right to equality with the same enthusiasm it has for American women, same sex couples and women in other countries, it really is quite “THEN.”
For more information on fathers’ and family rights visit the Feminist4Fathers (and mothers) blog.