Do Divorced Dads Get a Raw Deal?

Tom Matlack argues that guys get unfair treatment when they divorce. What do you think?

My friend Pedro taught me pretty much everything I know about being a dad. We both had big houses, important jobs, and angry wives with whom our relationships came to a sudden end. We also had kids; I had two, he had three. He had twins roughly the same age as my kids at the time, 1 and 3. He also had an older adopted daughter, Janet, confined to a wheelchair and with very limited verbal skills.

In the beginning I had no idea how to take care of my babies during my weekends with them, so I watched Pedro with his two toddlers and a special needs child. He did it with patience, joy, and perseverance. From him, I learned to roll up my sleeves and get dirty and treasure the smallest moment of bonding, with my own children and, eventually, others I met along the way.

In the end, Pedro’s ex-wife pursued a job out of state. She went to court to take Pedro’s twins away from him and, having no desire to have anything to do with a special needs child, left him with Janet. Pedro, an attorney, defended his own case—and lost. For the last decade he has seen his twins only on appointed weekends and has been Janet’s primary caregiver.

Dan is a bonds salesman. He lives in Massachusetts, where alimony has no expiration, and has three kids. After his divorce his ex-wife took up with another man, who moved into Dan’s old house with his kids. His ex didn’t marry her boyfriend—she wanted to continue the generous financial arrangement set forth in the terms of the divorce.

Dan got remarried and decided his only means of financial survival would be to quit his job. Eventually Dan hired an attorney who brokered a new agreement that put a time limit on the alimony terms. His ex-wife eventually married her boyfriend—but Dan, who’d been out of work for a year, had no choice but to get a job out of town, away from his kids.

Do dads get screwed in divorce? The stories of these two men, both close friends of mine, reinforced my own personal experience and led me to believe that the answer is, frankly, yes. But we wanted to hear what you think. Here’s what some readers have written in; please add your story in the comment section.

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Men absolutely, and often, get the short end of the stick financially in divorce. There is a big myth out there that men make out like bandits in divorce, and women get left in poverty. This is completely untrue. Ironically, it is this myth that causes women to resist fathers having more parenting time, as the less time the child is with Dad, the more money Mom gets. So fathers get the shaft twice: their time with their children is limited, and they get to pay for being pushed out of their children’s lives.

—Anne P. Mitchell, fathers’ rights attorney, founder, DadsRights.org,

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When I was presenting a workshop at a national judges’ conference I asked those judges whether there was bias in family courts during divorce. Their answer: Yes, but usually it’s against women, not men. Their reasoning makes perfect sense. Society expects mothers, not fathers, to be the natural nurturers. So, if Mom falls just a bit short of the ideal parent, we unconsciously penalize her. In contrast, if Dad changes a couple of poopy diapers, we unconsciously give him extra credit. So if that’s true, then why do mothers more often have custody? The judges explained that it’s not the court’s bias against fathers. It’s men’s bias against fatherhood and dads who run away from their responsibility. Those are the ones who are skewing the numbers. It’s the men who fight paternity or who are abusive who are making responsible fathers and husbands look bad. The fact of the matter is, when men actually want and ask for custody, they are much more successful than some would have us believe.

—Scott Hampton, director, Ending the Violence

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Too often judges and even lawyers have resigned themselves to stereotypes and a perpetuation of the status quo. The result is that the judicial system is prone to assume without proof that the mom should get the kids, that men accused of abuse are guilty of abuse, and, conversely, that men alleging abuse are lying or overreacting.

—Joseph Cordell, attorney, founder, Cordell & Cordell

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I married a guy with less education and in the end I had to pay him both child and spousal support. I know it’s a double standard, but a guy working the system to take support from a woman still feels wrong to me, especially because many items are not taken into account. For example, I have a large amount of student loans but as those were in my name only, none of that was part of the settlement and the payments were not discounted from my salary. In this case I got penalized for bettering myself and he got paid for having a lower earning potential.

—Shelly Walker, marketing director, mother

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Unfortunately, I do believe that dads get screwed during divorce. After describing my divorce to people, they are always shocked at how my ex and I did it so evenly. In the past, men left the marriage first, leaving the wife “helpless” with society feeling bad for her. His payment for the hurt was the house, the kids, and a significant part of his paycheck. Despite today’s new independent woman, men are still expected to pay.

—Monica Cost, mother of two boys

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While the court system claims gender neutrality, the reality is much different. Not only do men have to face the financial ramifications that come with divorce but also have to fight against social prejudice in regard to their children. Fatherhood is the single most important relationship a man can have, and this idea that women are automatically considered better caretakers needs to be examined. Who’s to decide that a woman is a better parent than a man, or that the role a father plays in his child’s life is somehow secondary to that of a mother?

—David Pissara, attorney, author

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I would say that women get screwed far worse than men in a divorce. The only way men get screwed is if they are the ones who are raising the kids—which is rare.

—divorced mother of two

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Like many other divorced fathers, my voice has been silenced and discouraged by the actions of the courts and my former spouse. We lived in two different cities during the separation when I was trying to get my sons. The process was challenging and expensive. It took more than two years and thousands of dollars to get a standard visitation process, but any small victories along the way gave me hope.

One of the most discouraging aspects is the court system’s focus on the money, not the time, especially if you have a high-profile profession such as a medical doctor. For example, my financial support when first divorced was based on a military officer’s pay, but when I went into residency for specialty medical training after the military, my income dropped over 50 percent. I petitioned the court to lower it until I graduated, but instead, they said I owed more for back pay for my son’s school—the money I was sending “didn’t count.” I was shocked but kept going. When I became a specialized surgeon, the court swiftly raised my support. This has been a 12-year battle, and I’ve seen my kids once in the past three years. My hope is that once they are adults, we can develop a relationship.

—Dr. Michael Joyner, hand surgeon, founder, Forever My Daddy

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My husband was tracked down to pay child support when he didn’t have custody. However, when he got custody of his children and the child support order was switched to his ex-wife it wasn’t as stringent. She went one year without paying. Every time he called the court they couldn’t understand how he could possibly have custody, let alone get support from her. They wouldn’t help him. The courts are not designed to favor fathers.

—Brenda Velasco, Biola University

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My ex-wife told the courts I beat her and the kids, and the judge threw me out and gave custody to her. The child psychologist determined it was a total lie, but the judge still gave my ex full custody. One by one, when reaching the age to choose, the kids came to live with me. When they arrived they were failing every class in school and two had arrest records. One by one I helped them turn their lives around. One is in the Army and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. One is married and in college, and the two youngest are in college. For almost a year I have been trying to collect child support for the youngest. I have no attorney, I lost my house, and I am essentially homeless. I did right by my kids and it cost me everything. There is no justice in America and there is no such thing as fathers’ rights.

—Phil Petree, 53, father of four

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Fathers are screwed if and when they fall into the drama games on the part of mothers, which are really tactics used to frustrate fathers. Fathers are screwed if they fail to understand that if they do not do the work and educate and empower themselves they will remain victims to the system and their children’s mothers. I have far too many success stories—including mine (I won custody of my then-7-year-old daughter nine years ago)—to believe that men have to be victims to the system.

—Eric Legette, founder, Fathers With Voices

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It’s been well documented, and reflected in the courts, that children are best served when they have equal and open access to both parents. Add to that a Harris poll reports that “breaking ranks with their fathers, 71 percent of men between the ages of 21 and 39 would give up some of their pay to spend more time with their family.” Given those societal changes, if a father shows he’s been a caring, present, accountable, and responsible parent, especially since the separation, there is an excellent chance that he will be granted joint custody.

In most cases, the court will sign off on whatever agreement the divorcing couple brings to them. However, if the parents are “at war” with each other the situation shifts; the court becomes the “adult” and makes a decision for the family and might side more with the mother. The true key to achieving to a fair and just custody agreement, one that keeps the father in the kids’ life, is if mom and dad can collaborate with each other and put their anger and hurt aside for the benefit of the children.

—Paul Mandelstein, founder, AlwaysDad

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During the process, I certainly felt that the supposedly “unbiased” system treated me in a blatantly biased way. At times, the judge went out of his way to suggest to my ex what she should ask for as well as on how she should respond to certain questions. Although she’d moved out of the house two months before custody had been decided, and that my parents and I had raised our first child while she finished her last year and a half of school, the judge insisted that she was “closer” to both children. It clearly was his biased opinion rather than based on anything objective.

—Jeff, community college professor, father of two

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The reason men feel that they are not fairly treated is often borne out by statistics. For example, 85 percent of non-custodial or non-primary residential parents are men who typically see their children only two out of 14 days. In addition, 40 percent of America’s children will spend at least part of their childhood without their fathers living together with them. This translates to over 21 million children.

There is definitely cultural paranoia about each side having an advantage. Women think men have the advantage because, for example, it is hard to support the average family on a small percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. If Dad earns $2,500 net and there is one child, in many jurisdictions Mom would only get $500 for support. Understandably that feels unfair to her, as clearly she might need more to support a child.

—Judge Michele Lowrance, child of divorce, divorced mother, author

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In 1985, in Florida, in the middle of a protracted divorce and custody battle over my two children, I was accused of molesting my then 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who is now 29. I was arrested, spent two weeks in jail for a crime I did not commit, and went on to spend $150,000 over 10 years of litigation in six different courts in an attempt to reclaim my paternal rights. The ordeal induced me to author three books on how to protect men from false accusations of child sexual abuse, become an activist for parents’ rights, run for office in Florida, speak and give media interviews on this subject matter nationally, go on to obtain my master’s degree in Psychology and the Law, and become a noted expert in this field.

—Dean Tong, forensic trial consultant/expert,

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While my (then) wife and I never made it to the courtroom, I believe that the court system had a material impact on our divorce process. We attempted to work amicably with a single mediator in order to control costs, and as a soon-to-be single father, I lived in fear that my time with my children would be jeopardized; I also feared a crippling financial obligation. It soon became clear from the attorneys that my fears were founded. Whether it was my wife’s attorney’s attitude toward divorcing men or my attorney’s siege mentality, the message was reinforced that I was the underdog and was not expected to survive this next chapter of my life. The unexpected benefit of all this was that it, and the well-being of my children (then 6 and 1), drove me to do all I could to reach a fair settlement with my now ex-wife OUTSIDE the courtroom. Having accomplished that, I’m proud to say that six years later, my children are happy and well adjusted and enjoy the fact that their parents and new stepparents are friends and partners in raising them today.

—Michael, finance professional

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My ex had all the access in the world to his daughter, but he chose to completely avoid her once the new wife came on board. I’ve tried every way I can to get him to reconnect with his beautiful, loving, smart, and extremely capable child, but no luck. He didn’t even call her for her 21st birthday. It’s such an odd and devastating thing. I often wonder how this emotional abandonment will affect her long-term relationships. I know there are quite a few women out there who have experienced the same heartbreak for their children.

—Marianne O’Hare, publicist/producer

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Most men, unfortunately, do get screwed from women who are bitter and choose to use their kids as tools to hold against the fathers. As a woman who has been a single mom for over 19 years, I could be the first one to be bitter, and yet I am friends with both dads today. I truly, in my heart, do not understand women who have such hatred towards men whom they fell in love with once upon a time. Let’s be honest—it takes two to make it work and two to break it, so why be so angry at the other person? Both sides fail, but the children should never be victims.

I hope there are new laws that protect the fathers who want to be a part of their children’s lives and are not only seen as money machines for some of these women who are just too damn lazy and spoiled to go make their own money. For any woman who abuses her status as a mom and hurts her own children to punish her ex, I feel sorry for her because her own kids will turn against her when they get older.

—Helen Georgaklis, single mom

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Most states have gender-neutral laws; however, everyone knows that in practice fathers are not treated the same as mothers. From my experience in the courtroom, judges definitely prefer mothers. Dads get custody usually only when the mother has done something that makes her distasteful in the judge’s eyes or if the dad was a stay-at-home dad who was the primary caregiver. Courts are supposed to make custody decisions based upon what is in the child’s best interests, and of course that is a standard that doesn’t set up a 50/50 custody split.

—Brette Sember, former divorce attorney, author

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My sincere advice is to do whatever you can to get full joint legal and custodial rights, even if it means your children having to split their time equally between parents. Many psychologists advise against this and say the child should have a primary residence, but it is a slippery slope and in the end causes much more damage to the children if you are left out of their lives.

Ted Rubin, social marketing strategist and engagement adviser

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My divorce process began when I became aware of my ex-wife’s alcohol addiction. I could not jeopardize the health and safety of my two children, and when interventions and rehab centers could not help her out, it was time to end the marriage. During the divorce proceedings in 2003, my ex-wife’s addiction was mentioned and the judge told me, “Mr. McLeod, as of 3:00 today, you are the sole guardian of your children.” I was filled with mixed emotions; I knew my kids would be safe in my care, but I had no idea how to do this alone.

My divorce was finalized in 2005 and, tragically, in 2007, my ex-wife passed away unexpectedly. I discovered very few outlets that catered to single parents, let alone single fathers, and it inspired me to create a website designed specifically for single parents, as well as write a book describing my experiences and offering some tips to becoming a successful single parent.

—Bill McLeod, founder, SingleParentsTown, author

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I went through my divorce 13 years ago when I was 26. My ex was 27 and decided that he no longer wanted to be married and walked out on me and my son, who was only 10 months old at the time. He did not help financially with anything—not even food or diapers. Even though my ex left me for a 16-year-old, I did not screw him financially like most women would; all I got was child support and that is all he has paid all these years. For me it is principle.  I believe that we should all try to do the right thing and give each other a chance to start over and do what is fair, no matter the circumstances.

—Michelle Morton, entrepreneur

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Other responses to this story:

On the Dark Side

Perfectly Imperfect

—photo by jamesfischer/Flickr

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Other stories in this special package:

Buy the book here!


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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. No dad’s don’t get screwed – they’re not raising the children in most of the cases, and the woman ends up with the kids, the emotional toll and a lot more responsibility. By your own admission you didn’t know what to do on your first weekend alone with your kids – doesn’t that kind of say it all? The courts are stacked against women – parenting is measured in the amount of nights spent in the other person’s home but doesn’t take into consideration that the mother is there in the afternoons, most mornings, all summer, and for pretty much everything else.

    What do men do? They remarry, replace and go on.

    • But the other stories mentioned do prove that men get screwed in courts. A family friend of ours, Tim, tried to gain custody of his daughter’s child because there were sign’s of neglect. His daughter accused him of molesting her, and lo and behold, he was jailed and has been jailed for several years. I don’t know where the heck they could have gotten the evidence that he molested his own daughter, but even today I have a tough time believing he ever did or could have. She claimed he molested her when she was in elementary school. How do you gather evidence for something like that???

      • The Establishment do not need any evidence to convict you of a sexual crime.

        Please read some of the horror stories at antimisandry or false rape society and you will learn this very quickly. Your friend is just another statistic in the war on men.

    • Truth is it can happen either way. I don’t see anywhere here where Tom is claiming that women are not screwed. On the other hand you are reading actual evidence that men do get screwed and just shrugging and saying it doesn’t happen.

      …parenting is measured in the amount of nights spent in the other person’s home but doesn’t take into consideration that the mother is there in the afternoons, most mornings, all summer, and for pretty much everything else.
      Nor does it take into account the time away from home that fathers put into working outside the home in order to provide for their children.

    • “No dad’s don’t get screwed – they’re not raising the children in most of the cases, and the woman ends up with the kids,”

      Simple answer – start working for joint custody and equal parenting as the default ruling and that inequality will go away.

    • I am looking for people who have had experience with “Walk Away Wife Syndrome.”
      It is more talked about in the US — and relates to the high percentage of women who
      now initiate divorces in North America.

      Here is the scenerio:

      A couple are married and the female seems to have a lot of complaints. She wants more
      intimacy, more talking, more sharing — she nags, gets frustrated — then at some point goes quiet.
      The male thinks all’s well – all has blown over. Then days, months, years down the road she
      delivers the divorce papers. Turns out she gave up and shut down and planned her escape for some time. The man is left shocked. He had no idea she was unsatisfied. At this point many many reach out, try counselling, spending more time with family, returning to church – or other efforts they’d neglected.
      But in many cases at this point the woman has literally shut down – formed a hard cold wall.
      Nothing seems to reach her.

      It’s called : Walk Away Wife Syndrome.

      Does it ring any bells for you? Have you experienced this?

      I’d love to chat with anybody who has feelings about this.
      This is in aid of a documentary on the topic.

      Thank you.

      Yvette Brend
      Bountiful Films
      [email protected]

      • What you’re referring to is “the wife told her husband she was unhappy, and per usual, when she’s punched herself out and can’t talk anymore she shuts down.” Then the man is “blindsided” because all the griping stopped, and then she left. With most men you have to pitch a fit to get their attention, so we find out it does no good just to express concern because he’s not going to change his behavior unless he gets knocked in the proverbial head. Also, please don’t use the word “nag” to describe a woman pointing out issues that bother her. With men it’s “he’s expressing his concern/opinion about something that doesn’t set right with him.” But when it’s a woman doing the same, it turns into nagging.

  2. Female Feedback says:

    A disturbing trend in all these posts – in many of them, its about the men and women and not about the children. Some people claim their children are doing better with them than the other parent, and that the children are choosing them, but I don’t see any of these posters showing any understanding of the children’s authentic experience, as in “My son was sad and angry for a long time about the divorce.” or “My daughter is scared and hyper-conscious about school and I worry she faced trauma from the divorce.”

    Tom starts this off by acknowledging he did not know how to parent. This is the most adult of these posts, although I wish he would acknowledge that because he and his ex-wife set their family up in the male breadwinner/female unpaid primary caregiver model, this is why the divorce often ends up with the man owing $ and the mother getting custody.

    In attempting to prevent this problem, I found Marc & Amy Vachon’s book “Equally Shared Parenting” helpful. It’s about setting up the marriage to begin with in a way that prevents these outcomes. BUT it does not work if boys are not raised to have nurturing skills – including emotional availability – in addition to earning focus (this is harder to learn later in life than if it’s part of your upbringing) OR if women’s careers are not considered as important as men’s.

    In sum, I’d like to start talking about solutions and get out of finger-pointing. One of the primary purposes of feminism was to get conflict between the sexes on the table (rather than being subconscious as it often was). We’ve had 40 years of getting in on the table. Now let’s get the peace negotiated. :)

    • Completely agree. Find my post at http://perfectlyimperfectlifecoaching.com/blog/text/13144395 for additional thoughts.

    • “A disturbing trend in all these posts – in many of them, its about the men and women and not about the children. ”

      That really stands out doesn’t it? And I think it goes back to what Tom says is the American mythology of marriage, that’s it’s supposed to be a love affair, in other words, about the adults. I thnk for most people in the actual daily lives this is new, maybe only since WWII, although it was the dominant meme in literature a lot earlier.

      I certainly don’t think the “purpose of mariage is reproduction” or all that, but by the same token, it’s not all moon in June either. And once kids enter the scene, priorities should reflect that.

      • I think it’s one of those things where you have to watch that you don’t fall too far on either side of the line. Of course, children need love, support and attention, and if you choose to have them you should be prepared to deliver that. On the other hand, you can’t let yourself become devoted solely to your children, or you can lose your own identity outside of that. It’s a trap that women tend to fall into more, defining themselves by what they can do for others (most often husbands and kids), and it’s a dangerous one. We all need to be able to put ourselves first once in a while–it’s not healthy for us or the people who rely on us to ignore our own needs for too long.

        Custody itself is too important to be about anything other the kids first, but in more general terms it’s better for all involved if the kids take a backseat to Mom and Dad once in a while.

    • Children are commodities to a feminist. If in inconvenient, abort. If illegal, drop anchor. If married, convert husband into personal ATM machine. If not married, convert taxpayer into personal ATM machine. If too masculine, dope with Ritalin.

      The MRM fights for father’s rights because it is the RIGHT thing, not the convenient thing.

      • Female Feedback says:

        AntZ – If MRMs want parenting rights, they can start by showing parenting capacity. I’ve not seen that in your posts or those by other MRMs on this site. One place to BEGIN is the way Tom does, by saying he did not know how do it.

        Simply demanding the right without also demonstrating at least interest in learning how to do it is likely why you are disregarded . Perhaps you inability to acknowledge that you don’t know how to do it is why you strike out at the broad category of “feminism” in self-pity.

        • “… One place to BEGIN is the way Tom does, by saying he did not know how do it …”

          Just another hate-filled feminist bigot who assumes that every man, just because he is a man, cannot parent.

          Fact: Children are SAFER with their fathers than they are with their mothers.
          Proof: Mothers kill thir own children TWICE as often as fathers (287 women and 159 men killed their own children in 2005)
          Source: US department of health and human services “Child Maltreatment Report 2005″, table 4-5, page 67.

          Fact: Children are HEALTHIER with their fathers than they are with thie mothers.
          Proof: Mothers abuse and neglect their own children TWICE as often as fathers.
          Source: The same US report.

          Note: For some reason this reply got moved to ” new comment”, so I re posed it.

        • And of course all women seek out ways to be good parents? Or does it come naturally to them? That could be considered sexist you know!

          I’ve read many of your posts relating to this twisted notion that MRAs do not display the characteristics of a good parent, mainly citing our lack of ‘emotional availability’ which you still haven’t defined.

          Do men need to prove to YOU that they are good parents before we can demand equality under the law?

          • You are as likely to get through to her as one of Mengele’s patients was to find sympathy from his “doctor.”

          • Contributor says:

            Yes, men do need to show parenting capacity – as do women. Many men do show good parenting skills, but many have been abusive, which MRAs are curiously unwilling to acknowledge and which suggests to me they are caught in a cycle of abuse themselves and will repeat these problems in their children.

            Under patriarchy, men have not focused on parenting but on competitive achievement, gaining resources, fighting with other men, etc. Nurturing/mentoring is a completely different orientation. Women are usually socialized with some parenting skills, men have not been until recent years.

            I recommend John Badalament, Stefan Poulter, Jeremy Adam Smith, Marc Vachon, Joshua Coleman as examples of great fathers. They have written books about what they do. The contrast between their attitudes and the MRAs is striking.

            I’ve been keeping my eye out for an MRA who shows some ability to parent – haven’t seen any evidence of it on this sight – and especially not on Glen Sacks site.

            I would also suggest being careful who you marry and who you have sex with. If you have sex without protection with a woman who has no means in the economy, you are signing up for being the sole provider of money for the child and must be prepared to accept the consequences of that.

            • I absolutely adore the way you try to tarnish all MRAs with the same brush, and your characterization of what you call ‘MRAs’ is not only wrong it is clearly ridiculous. You do realise that all MRAs are individual, free thinking people; that aren’t bound by the same twisted ideology that you and your feminist friends are?

              ‘MRAs are curiously unwilling to acknowledge that some men have been abusive?’

              Read the very first paragraph of the most popular post on my blog, just click on my name. This is not true at all. To claim that there aren’t SOME men who are abusive would be absurd, (which is why I don’t do it) but to claim that it is something that comes naturally to them is even more absurd. Isn’t that what feminists do? Don’t feminists claim that women don’t abuse men or children or lie about rape etc? Isn’t that… hypocrisy?

              ‘Under patriarchy, men have not focused on parenting but on competitive achievement, gaining resources, fighting with other men, etc.’

              Focused on? hmmmmm, I wonder why men needed to try to gain resources… let us think, for one second….

              Is it to provide for their children? (ie parenting) Maybe, don’t you think? You seem to forget that ‘under patriarchy’ (lol) men didn’t have a choice in the matter, did they? Or can men focus on parenting? Are you saying that there aren’t or haven’t been great male rolemodels and fathers throughout history? Some might call that sexism you know.

              ‘I’ve been keeping my eye out for an MRA who shows some ability to parent – haven’t seen any evidence of it on this sight – and especially not on Glen Sacks site’

              How many MRAs do you know personally? Have you ever seen one with children? How on Earth can you say this WITH ZERO EVIDENCE AND/OR EXPERIENCE OF THE MATTER?

              You certainly aren’t going to see one trolling the internet on feminist ‘sights’ like this!

              The overwhelming majority of MRAs have become activists because they aren’t allowed to see their children, never mind the opportunity to be good parents.

            • So sad but so true

  3. Matt Hastie says:

    Tom, I absolutely agree that the family court system is biased against dads, which isn’t to say that there aren’t fathers who do receive fair treatment. This is the one issue where I have found myself continually siding with the MRA movement as I have been learning more about it this week. By the way, thanks for that.

    I wanted to take a quick minute to point you to some information about the language we use when speaking about people with disabilities, particularly the phrase, “confined to a wheelchair.” There is a growing push within the disability rights movement in the US to ask members of the media to try to always use be conscious that the language they use when talking about people with disabilities is not overly sensational. A good place to start to learn more about the issue is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People-first_language While not all people with disabilities agree about the best language to use, I am told time and time again by people with disabilities that the phrase “confined to a wheelchair” is particularly offensive because it paints a picture of the person using a wheelchair as somehow less than those who don’t, and because it is factually inaccurate. The people I know who use wheelchairs tell me they would be confined if they didn’t have their chairs. Their chairs are the very things that help them remain independent, valuable, contributing members of their community. They tell me the wheelchair does NOT confine them. Rather, the chair sets them free.

    All that being said, we should always take our cues from the people with the disabilities, themselves. If Janet or Pedro would use the phrase “confined to a wheelchair,” then that is absolutely the phrase you should use. If not, you may want to replace the phrase with, “He also had an older adopted daughter, Janet, who uses a wheelchair and has very limited verbal skills.” I know this comment is a bit off-topic, and I hope you’ll forgive that. But, disability advocacy is what I do on a daily basis, and I would be remiss to let it pass without comment.

    Again, thanks for the article and all the MRA coverage this week. It has helped me continue to think more deeply about what it means to be a good man, and how each of us can and should work harder to achieve that ever elusive ideal.

    • Anonymous says:

      I prefer “wheeled American” myself.

    • Jalestra says:

      I don’t care what you call me, as long as when I go to the DMV or my doctor they have to make sure to have something there so I can understand them. I wish less time was spent on the “nice” way to say I’m deaf and more time was spent making sure that my doc understands that I’m bleeding out.

  4. Not only yes, but hell yes. Family courts are known as “The House of Pain” by lawyers who practice there. The modus operandi is that women are good and that men are bad. There is another syndrome that you need to be aware of and that is called “Parental Alienation Syndrome”. This is where the woman who is always granted custody brainwashes her children into hating dad and not wanting to see him for visitation. The courts do nothing to women who refuse visitation while they can imprison a guy who does not pay child support. I could go on and on. The courts are the absolute most sexist thing in our society.

    John Wilder

    • Hear hear! I love it, men are waking up and saying “ENOUGH”.

      When you say enough to a generation of abuse, say it loud!

    • Any man who has been through the family court knows its a rigged game.
      Women are allowed to commit perjury without any fear of consequence..
      Men are assumed to be incompetent and evil, until proven otherwise.

    • My mother worked with a woman whose ex-husband was in the air force. The service moved him around the country so she couldn’t find him to get her lawfully adjudicated child support. I remember one time she found out he was in a base in Texas, and the guards detained her while the ex-husband was put on a plane and flown to another state.
      Also, I remember the good old days in the 70s when my parents split. Bare minimum of sustainable support ordered. My father was able to buy a cessna plane while my mother couldn’t pay my dentist bill – this is just one example; I could go on, but the word limit would tap out. Yeah those poor men just get raked over the coals by those money grubbing gold diggers…
      I know none of the good guys reading this blog would ever behave in such a manner, but please remember if the courts are stacked against you, it’s because it’s a response to the patriarchal legal system we have had for a couple of millennia. I’m still searching for some of those gold digger women who make out like bandits, but I don’t seem to know any – no sarcasm this time just the people I know.

  5. Some men do get screwed. And I think the legal system does not treat men or women equally when getting divorced. Some men really want to be there for their kids. Some men and women really want to just screw each other, and are so focused on hurting their former partner they don’t think about the consequences for themselves, their partner, or their kids. Then, some people just do it to be awful.

    My parents divorced when I was in college. It was August and I about to go back to school to start my junior year. My Dad asked if I would go for a walk with him. I said sure, we were close, we often went on walks to together. He took me to Baxter Blvd. on the Back Bay (I live in Portland Maine). It was a gorgeous summer day, lots of people walking, dogs, babies, etc. He choose to tell me then and there that he was moving out. I had no idea this was coming, was completely blindsided. I immediately started sobbing uncontrollably as the reality of the consequences of him leaving sunk in. He got mad at me. He got mad at me because I was upset. He was happy, exuberant even.

    The divorce was ugly. My father had inherited several million dollars from his parents, and he wanted all the money. He also wanted all the retirement savings both my parents had saved. He wanted the house. He wanted everything, but us kids. The only thing he wanted to give my mom was his children (I have two younger brothers who were 14 at the time). He effectively stopped being a father.

    He has re-married and has to pay life-time alimony. I don’t feel bad for him. I missed him, I still miss the father he was. But I also don’t miss his emotional instability or the verbal and emotion abuse he subjected us all to. Something I didn’t realize until he moved out and a giant weight was lifted.

    Something about the way divorces are adjudicated needs to change, because there is too much injustice. And I think a lot of it has to do with perceptions about mothers and fathers which often are no longer true.

  6. America’s family courts assign primary custody to the mother 95% of the time. I think that speaks for itself.

    To be honest, this issue is so painful for most MRM. We have trouble talking about it. If this comes to a flame war, the feminists will likely win it, simply because the pain of loosing their children because a wife decides she needs to “eat, pray, and love” is too close to most men’s hearts to speak of it.

    The entire MRM movement is based on protecting our children from the feminist anti-boy war.

    • Yeah and think of the daughters too! Why do I never hear the MRMs are concerned with how their daughters will turn out – like the xtian right, it’s all about ensuring the boys have a good father! Also, you didn’t address Jacqueline’s comments about her father’s terrible behavior. Off on a tangent about the 95% of mothers who get custody.

  7. Carla Smith says:

    My husband and I were the stereotypical “last ones anyone would expect” to divorce. In hindsight I think we responded in either shocking clarity or gut instinct but from the moment we told the kids, who were 10, 12 and 13 it was always with their welfare first that we made decisions. We had a distrust of lawyers who were profiting from our pain and as much as it was wrenchingly difficult, we tried to negotiate with each other, our own agreements. It took maturity that we didn’t have at the time. I lost my Dad when I was 15 and I knew how much daughters need their Dad. It took recognition that children need two healthy stable parents equally. It took recognition that none of our values had intrinsically changed, nor what we wanted for the kids. As does a marriage, it took give and take in big ways on both sides. I still hate the ‘divorce’ label. Eleven years later it still feels like a big ‘fail’ despite consciously knowing differently. It is still uncomfortable being any kind of divorce advocate, or arguing from a “someone got screwed” vantage point because that attitude inevitably colors your life. Once our agreement was written up we agreed that we ultimately trusted each other to do the best for the kids, that we would never ever speak unkindly about each other or their new relationships. As a stay at home parent my earning potential had changed and coming to an agreement about what those years at home were worth, and what we wanted for the kids in the future was very very difficult. We would reinforce to the kids how good the other parent was. They were, after all, the one you CHOSE to be the parent of your child. I can’t count the number of times it would have been easy to voice negativity. I am sure my ex-husband would say the same thing. We chose to live within a few blocks of each other and of the kid’s school. We discussed extracurricular expenses regularly. We swallowed the ‘little under 50.00” things and believe me with three girls, there can be a lot of those. But while we were married he organized skiing, running, kayaking, hiking. His relationship with them was built on activity and I knew the expenses built in there. These are things we just assumed. Trust and expectation were critical. And the ability it keep your pain private. Why pile on. In the end we are still friends.

    It’s a funny thing. I had read an article, written, by all people, by Bruce Willis about how they had managed their divorce. How they lived close. How they both attended all festivities and led by example. How they wanted their kids to know that they had ‘more’ love than before, not less. How they showed their kids it was ‘okay’.

    The girls are at university now, thriving. I don’t know how much our divorce changed them but they are bright, resilient and thoughtful girls with great relationships with both of us. Though the ‘divorce’ label still has the power to smack me upside the head the way we our tiptoed our way through that particular minefield of is one of the things I am most proud of. Our friends hold us up as examples of how it “should be done”. So do men get screwed? Maybe, sometimes. Everyone gets screwed. Sometimes literally. But hopefully two people who are mature enough to let it not be the kids.

    • What answer do you expect from your “eat, pray, love” diatribe? Is this the narrative that you have conjured to justify your actions?

      • Antz, screw you. This woman is a great example of someone who dealt with her divorce maturely and even handedly. There is nothing about this story that even remotely resembles the novel “Eat, Pray, Love” which by the way is a work of FICTION and one I doubt you’ve even read.

    • thehermit says:

      .” So do men get screwed? Maybe, sometimes. Everyone gets screwed. Sometimes literally. But hopefully two people who are mature enough to let it not be the kids.”

      You don’t get the matter, do you.
      Since the family courts are biased against man, nothing prevents the women from screwing their ex over, IF THEY WANT TO.
      You’re a woman, it is biased in your favor, so you’re ignorant.

      This is what a feminist looks like.

  8. Do Dad’s get a raw deal?

    Is this article a joke? Well very funny haha

    • You’re too clueless to be worth talking to.

      Dismissed.

      • Why bother then, Jim lad?

        My reluctance to add anything of any intellectual value on this subject is because it is so glaringly obvious that men get a bad deal from divorce that the fact that this article utilizes a question mark in its title is, at the very least, questionable. Surely only satire would mock the plight of these men?

        Well done, however, in contradicting yourself in your only sentence.

  9. Morrisfactor says:

    National statistics tell an interesting story. Divorcing women get the children 84% of the time (93% of the time in Canada). Women initiate divorce in 70% of cases. A recent, large study says that 61% of those women knew they would get the children and knowing that outcome was the deciding factor in their decision to initiate divorce. 80 to 90% of all TRO are placed by women (often with the suggestion by their attorneys) to get the husband out of the house so they can initiate divorce from a position of strength. Divorced men routinely have to pay child support for non-biological children (this happened to my brother, in fact.)

    The term “joint custody”, which many men believe will give them equal access to their children, has been completely bastardized by the legal system. It bestows no “joint” power at all – all power resides with the parent who has “custody” of the children. Only the newer term “shared parenting” has any real merit for men – and most feminist groups are strongly against that (N.O.W. is actively against shared parenting, for instance.)

    The custodial parent (84% of which are female) will receive the child support, can move out-of-state or out-of-city pretty much at will, can “gate-keep” the children to torture the other parent, or even perform outright parental alienation on the kids, may not spend any of the child support on the children – and Family Courts will seldom do a thing about it.

    These stats alone should make it obvious that Family Courts discriminate against men.

    I live in Washington State. As the first state in the union to give women the vote, it has led the feminist charge for the past hundred years. Electing Democrat governors (both male and female) for the past several decades have led to an extreme feminist shift in the appointment of judges and introduction of laws affecting divorce, child support and spousal maintenance.

    Incoming judges in this state are strongly encouraged to attend the infamous Gender Equity Task Force meetings – held over several days at a luxury hunting lodge in eastern Washington – where they listen to feminist lectures and videos between sumptuous meals and vacation activities. The videos and talks are purely anti-male and anti-father in all regards – presenting highly cooked statistics and testimonials.

    The newly indoctrinated judges then return to rule in Family Court cases.

    The Gender Equity Task Force is a private feminist agency that masquerades as a quasi government agency to protect and grow women’s interests. It now operates in over thirty states, quietly affecting how judges view men/fathers and thereby affecting the outcomes of hundreds of thousands of court decisions. If your state does not have one, it soon will.

    I think we can safely answer Yes to Matlack’s question.

    • 100% correct. Just the facts. And the facts are a terrifying indictment of a system that is irreparably tainted by the feminist ideology of hatred and by the presumption of female privilege and male disposability.

    • The only stat you provided is how many women get custody… uncited. The rest is your two cents.

  10. Ava says above ” No dad’s don’t get screwed – they’re not raising the children in most of the cases, and the woman ends up with the kids, the emotional toll and a lot more responsibility. ”

    Ava, if having custody of your kids is such as emotional toll, why don’t you hand them over to dad, who I am sure would be more than happy to raise them? While you’re at it, you can send him approximately 35% of your net income every month and you won’t be getting any more tax free income from him (child support) or money from the gov’t for the pain and suffering you’ve had to endure “raising your children”. Oh, and you won’t get to claim them on your taxes anymore, so your household income, minus all that, will probably be about 1/2 what it is now. But don’t forget, your kids are still going to need you to have a home for them. Make sure you’ve got the extra room and furniture, clothes, sheets and feed them too. And if dad lives far away, you’ll be the one to pay for access to see them, make sure your car is big enough to transport all of you!

    It’ll be great being the non-custodial mom. Kids were so expensive, I am sure your lifestyle will be much more lavish on 1/2 the money you used to have, cause we all know how much kids cost and what a pain they are to raise!

  11. Articles posing this kind of bigotry as a question to debate, along the lines of “Do slaves have a raw deal? Let’s hear both sides!”, make us avoid marriage all the more.

    Some of the bigotry dripping from respondents to the article make it clear that avoiding marriage and the whorehouse that is family court is definitely the right decision.

    Is the “Good Men Project” really interested in objective discussion? Or is it a vehicle for the absurd bigotry that feminism embraces when addressing family law issues?

    That’s not at all clear.

  12. This is a bunch of mess! You might be the same person that wrote in the history books that Columbus discovered America.

    I am a man and do not agree with one word you have written. Men do not get screwed in divorce. They screw and most of the time walk out on their families and just start over.

    Look at what a man has to pay in child support. Most of the time it doesn’t even pay for toothpaste for the children and it ruins the lives of the children.

    I have a government contract where I run a job readiness training program. 95% of the population I serve in this TANF(Temporary Assistance for Needy Family) population are WOMEN! WHO GOT SCREWED and left with children to figure it out on their own.

    Trust me we all have to own our choices and men just need to stop crying and everyone needs to stay together when they get married because people don’t change after marriage…we just need to see everyone for who they show us to be not who we want them to be and STAY MARRIED!

    ANYWAY

    Thanks for the article even though you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    ODC

    • So what you’re saying is that your personal experience is proof that Tom’s personal experience and the experiences of the other people he got quotes from for this posts did not happen? Please. You definitely sound like one of those people that have been trained to believe that when a woman is treated unfairly everyone must band together to help her but if a man is treated unfairly it all hi fault.

    • 1. ‘Men do not get screwed in divorce. They screw and most of the time walk out on their families and just start over.’

      Women initiate the vast majority of divorces, how does this fact escape you? It’s easily searchable.

      2.’Look at what a man has to pay in child support. Most of the time it doesn’t even pay for toothpaste for the children and it ruins the lives of the children’

      The level of maintenance far exceeds that which you describe: http://www.csa.gov.uk/en/setup/how-maintenance-calculated.asp

      3. ‘Trust me we all have to own our choices and men just need to stop crying and everyone needs to stay together when they get married because people don’t change after marriage…we just need to see everyone for who they show us to be not who we want them to be and STAY MARRIED!’

      Men just need to stop crying? What a progressive attitude you have. Regarding staying married… see above.

      I think you will find sir, that it is you who doesn’t know what you are talking about.

  13. “… One place to BEGIN is the way Tom does, by saying he did not know how do it …”

    Just another hate-filled feminist bigot who assumes that every man, just because he is a man, cannot parent.

    Fact: Children are SAFER with their fathers than they are with their mothers.
    Proof: Mothers kill thir own children TWICE as often as fathers (287 women and 159 men killed their own children in 2005)
    Source: US department of health and human services “Child Maltreatment Report 2005″, table 4-5, page 67.

    Fact: Children are HEALTHIER with their fathers than they are with thie mothers.
    Proof: Mothers abuse and neglect their own children TWICE as often as fathers.
    Source: The same US report.

  14. My Wife’s Ex Husband has beat the system – he’s several thousand behind on child support refuses to get a job so he can’t have insurance on the kids which was part of their divorce decree. Every time my wife tries to get him to pay the attorneys always come back with he’s not making enough for them to garnish. Yet my late brother-in-law who TRIED to pay all the time was always raked over the coals…

    I’ve seen both extremes. It is a sad reality that we live in a horribly imperfect world and decent people will normally get screwed over by the better scheister, but luckily Good People do occasionally win out as well.

  15. namae nanka says:

    “Men absolutely, and often, get the short end of the stick financially in divorce. There is a big myth out there that men make out like bandits in divorce, and women get left in poverty. ”

    It was a flawed study, if not an outright lie:
    http://antimisandry.com/why-were-here/feminist-sociologist-academic-named-lenore-weitzman-created-myth-13692.html

  16. “I married a guy with less education and in the end I had to pay him both child and spousal support. I know it’s a double standard, but a guy working the system to take support from a woman still feels wrong to me, especially because many items are not taken into account. For example, I have a large amount of student loans but as those were in my name only, none of that was part of the settlement and the payments were not discounted from my salary. In this case I got penalized for bettering myself and he got paid for having a lower earning potential.”

    After reading countless stories of guys who go hosed paying for the “accustomed lifestyle” of an ex-wife, all I can say is…ha ha ha.

    Now, if you’re ready to get behind some legal reform to end alimony altogether, we have something to talk about.

  17. @ Shelly Walker

    “a guy working the system to take support from a woman still feels wrong to me”

    But I suppose a woman working the system to steal a man’s earnings is perfectly fine. Un-fucking-believable.

  18. Bill Lennan says:

    I didn’t get screwed at all – in fact, my ex (and the mom of my kids) has become one of my best friends after our divorce.

    She asked for the divorce, and I spent over a year with her and therapists trying to hold it together.

    When I finally got that she wasn’t going to change direction, I decided that taking care of the kids – with 50/50 custody was the goal.
    She agreed and everything we’ve done since has been to support that goal.

    I also did enough work to see how I’d contributed to her dissatisfaction and apologized profusely.
    I NEVER accused her of being the cause of the split (he_said/she_said is a loose/loose play).

    Folks, this takes balls – you have to man the f up and decide how you want you life to be 5 years after the split decision.
    I did not want to be whining about being screwed by my ex and made damn sure I did everything to have her perception of me change dramatically.
    We split kids expenses 50/50, we split custody 50/50, I’m flexible to her work schedule.

    The pay-off? She tells any woman I date that I’m a prince, watches the kids anytime I ask, checks with me on her travel schedule, and generally is a huge cheer-leader for me.

    Was it hard – yes.
    Was it worth it? Absof’n lutely.

    BTW, my kids rock. They have 2 family households, get tons of love, and are totally happy with either (of both) of us together.

    If I can do it, so can you.
    B-)

  19. I can see your point on many of the issues, but sometime these “Good Men” lie. Not everyone tells the whole story. Take your reader “http://onthedarkside.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/divorce-step-dads/”, he does an excellent job of appearing as a sympathetic soul, but I personally know better.

    I won’t bore you with details right now, but as sympathetic as I am about the real “Good Men” getting screwed, many of those supposed men have more than screwed their ex’s, but as with most, we never like to look at ourselves. Courts no longer automatically side with the women. Let’s face it, men and women alike get screwed in the ugliness of divorce. Unfortunately, statements like what I have read in your forum portray all women as beast and seldom do we get a fair shake in an all male forum.

    Just food for thought,
    L

    • While “L” makes good points, she fails to mention she is the ex wife discussed in my essay. I am glad she has had tthe chance to read my feelings and respond. Maybe the next poor bastard will fare better.
      Regardless it was a good exercise and subject that needed to be examined. It remains a shame that men and women can not seperate without one or the other causing hurt & financial damage.
      J.K. Dark

    • “I won’t bore you with details right now, but as sympathetic as I am about the real “Good Men” getting screwed, many of those supposed men have more than screwed their ex’s, but as with most, we never like to look at ourselves. Courts no longer automatically side with the women. Let’s face it, men and women alike get screwed in the ugliness of divorce. Unfortunately, statements like what I have read in your forum portray all women as beast and seldom do we get a fair shake in an all male forum. ”

      Yeah maybe lots of thise men lies, and screwed their wife over. But at the same time, alot of thise “good” wifes, also lie and they also screwd their men over. Dont belive just because she is a woman, she is a angel. BTW in a all female forum, men usually get depicted as beast to.

  20. New Show Seeks Divorced Dads says:

    The company that brings you, A Baby Story, Whose Wedding is it Anyway, Mystery Diagnosis… is now seeking Couples Willing to Share Their Stories for a groundbreaking new show.

    Coming soon to a major cable network, this new television series will explore the psychology of infidelity. This is NOT a talk show; it is a documentary series and will take an impartial approach to the content.

    The show will use first person narrative and psychological input to educate the viewers on the deep internal issues both parties deal with leading up to an affair and after the revelation. 



    We are currently looking for individuals who have dealt with a complex instance of infidelity and would be interested in retelling their story on our show. It’s important to us that the couples are well past the initial hurt and would be able to discuss their situation and resolution so others can learn from it. If you are interested in hearing more about the project or have any feedback please contact me at [email protected] and I’d love to discuss everything in more detail.

  21. Anna Minus says:

    I know not all fathers are useless parents, but this: “In the beginning I had no idea how to take care of my babies during my weekends with them, ” says a lot about why judges might have a bias towards mothers as caregivers. No, it’s not an absolute truth, there are many mothers who are usless as well. The stereotype exists for a reason.

    Stop whining. Grow up and act like adults. Once the majority of men start acting like caregivers without being *forced* to, judges will come around to treating parents fairly. How often do we hear men talk about ‘babysitting’ their own children? Wake up, please. This is almost comical.

    That said, I do really feel for men who do care for their children, and do want to be active parents, yet are not able to spend equal time with their kids. I do feel for any parent who is financially drained in an unfair arrangement. The world has a lot of unfairness. We should stop telling our children it’s unavoidable, and start acting like we give a damn.

    • “Stop whining. Grow up and act like adults. Once the majority of men start acting like caregivers without being *forced* to, judges will come around to treating parents fairly. How often do we hear men talk about ‘babysitting’ their own children? Wake up, please. This is almost comical.”

      Whining? grow up? comical? social tragedy are comical and you think you can solve it with the grow up? man up?

      I think this is the problem men face, social hostility from men and women. If men are struggling they get the ‘ grow up’ rutine. You know what I think? I think the majority of men are far more responsable adults than the society gives them credit for (you to included) and in front of injustices, they have the right to “whine” and fight. Meanwhile the society as whole has the moral duty to support them. Not complain about them.

      Anyways, this is a serious social issue, that gets often and far to often glissed over. And the only possible explanation is because it affect only or mostly men. Contrary to feminist doctrines, men in the society are lower placed than dirth. Are man are worthy of respect if he is succesfull, if he loses, than he is nothing. That is in clear contradiction of the all encompassing feminist teaching, where men should be on the top. Since it is a anomaly, it gets ignored by everyone. And if the guys complain, they gets from malevolent or ignorant people, the ‘grow up’ line.

  22. Screwedtwice says:

    Men are screwed from the very beginning. In my case my ex-spouse wanted her own life and I fought against a divorce for 2 years and I finally gave in. At the hearing I was instructed to pay more than I could afford, but that did not matter. I barely survived for 4 years after that and when I remarried I was much better off when my children grew up. Now my second spouse has put her mother and family first over our marriage and has decided on a period of separation. I have a child with her and it looks like it might not work out. Screwed again, this time she is listening to her mother and family and it seems that I will fight. I hate just thinking about how this is going to affect my child, but I will fight until the very end. If it falls about this is going to be the last time…better to date and live alone than to get screwed again!

  23. Robert Bradfield says:

    I am a divorced father of 2 girls in Michigan. As much as I hate to say this state hates dads. I have been honest about everything I am supposed to be abd had never missed a child support payment. When I became disabled, everyone and their mother tried to have me thrown in jail. My ex got an attorney to div me. She and her lawyer scheduled the hearing on my birthday. I paid her over 4000 in support before it was even ordered. They gave her the house I served my country for the loan forit, 3 cars, and almost 7000 in cash. Most importantly they took my litle girls from me. Now after 11 years my daughters say I am mean to them and last weekend they didnt want to come over anymore. I find out that they dont interact very much with their mom at home and I try to make the most of my 4 days a month with them. One is a teenager and my other daughter is 11 but it seems I am just in the way of their wanting to be left alone and do what they want. I am but one dad that has lost everything because of a biased system in Michigan that has cost me precious time with my children. I am sure there are moms out there that feel the same way but I very rarely hear of them. The system is broken and causing damage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. My wife decided to divorce me after 17 years. We separated two years ago and the divorce is not yet finalized partially because of the changes to pension regulations in Ontario. I get a raw deal because I make twice as much money as her, and because she has to support our kids, she gets the house, spousal support, and child support. Now I make about $10K LESS than she does net. She wanted the divorce but made me initiate it formally. I found out that the person I married was not at all that person, it was mainly an act to support me, get me where I was financially, and then get out and lay claim to have of everything I had. One of the things I should have noticed is that all of her close friends were divorced. They have rallied round her to help her out. She didn’t even have to get a lawyer. She lied throughout the process and neither my lawyer nor the court have even batted an eyelash no matter what I say. Needless to say we are not on speaking terms, everything is done by email or text, and we probably never will be. So sad because she always said throughout the marriage that we would never part and that we were our soulmates. And I bought it. And now I’m paying for it.

  25. Jessica says:

    During the divorce my husband wanted 50/50, but the ex-wife did not agree. They hired a GAL and he also agreed that it should be 50/50, but the judge disagreed. My husband fought and fought for his rights as a father and the judge just would not give him time. Now because of that he is devastated that he can’t spend time with his daughter (he does get 30%) and has to pay more in child support even though we struggle more than the mother. It just doesn’t make sense to me!

  26. I am divorcing my ex, the mother of my two beautiful children. This is the kind of woman that makes every interaction as difficult as humanly possible. I live in louisiana, i’m 29 years old, my kids are 5 and two. I know how to care for them, have established a seperate and accomodating household, and i want them terribly. The only thing keeping me from having them is her. She keeps them from me for several reasons. First, very simply, money. Second to cause me pain. When i do have my babies my oldest immediately starts asking me questions that quite obviously have been fed to her. The state i live in awards custody to the father in < 3% of the cases where he seeks it. My babies will never live under my roof again, and all i did was leave their emotionally unstable and abusive mother. I have no delusions, i won't even fight. I can only hope that as they grow they'll understand the reasons for my behaviour, and possibly give their father the chance the court system would not. If i thought that she really cared about their wellbeing above her own this would be a lot easier to swallow.

  27. Kevin St. Germain says:

    My wife was and is a phycho. We were married for 17 years when she decided to have affairs. I didn’t know the guys were under age until 2 years after the divorce. We had 3 children from the marriage. My oldest son at the time was 14, and came to me about catching his mom e-mailing men and having sex talk with them over her headset while the children were there. She homeschooled the children while getting her early childhood degree from college. While the children were at the homeschool site, she would meet up with them and have her fun. When I confronted her on the affairs, she accused my oldest of being a liar and a traitor. Naturally he came to live with me. The other two a boy 12 and a girl 10, were persuaded to stay with her. My son and I moved out, and the other 2 were quickly filled with poison.

    The courts screwed me over and over. I lost my house, The ex wanted me to pay child support, and the morgage. No one would listen to my accusations of her having under age sex. They were extremly biased, and even when I had an attorney they steamrolled me. My seperation started in September 2005, The same year her new wiccan husband graduated high school. She is 17 years older than him. And he is 3 years older than our oldest.

    Somebody needs to get the states to stop childsupport from happening, unless both parties ensure visitation, and that there is a genuine need. She basically got the children to say to the judge that they want my money, but not me. I miss my children, and think the courts are corrupt, along with the attorneys I have had to face. By the way, my middle son won’t graduate til he’s 20 because she never parented him. He and my youngest daughter will share the stage together, I hope.

  28. Haven’t seen my kids in five years. They live on one coast I live another. She took the kids then violated a court order and did it again. In the end I just gave up. The best outcome I could see at that point was her in jail. The worst was much more troubling.

    I don’t know how I got through the first few years but I did. At first we talked on the phone everyday but as time passed one and then other child didn’t want to talk to me. I can’t blame them. There was no real hope that we’d ever have a normal relationship. No other contacts (video, pictures, mail, email, gifts) were ever allowed. The kids weren’t allowed to talk about school, their friends, their health or anything of substance. Time after time calls ended in my ex screaming at the kids for telling me a secret I wasn’t supposed to know.

    The courts can’t do anything about the real issues and if I push to hard we go back to square with me worrying that the kids will get hurt. It would take years for me to build any kind of case and during the whole period the kids would be in the middle.

    I’m actually glad the kids gave up it just made things worse for them.

  29. I need urgent help. The lawyers don’t seem to be able to resold this case. My x wife worked for the SAPS and she knew all the laws and she used in my lack of knowledge of the law . I signed agreement documents and now I must provide her with a house that cost me what most people wish to pay each month and she can stay there with her boyfriend, husband, girlfriend who ever she wants to stay with in that house for as long as I live. The lawyers tell me that the high court do not change what according to them was settled. Is there someone out there that know something or someone that can help me to get out of this situation.

  30. I got screwed out of being a Dad to my Daughter during a Five and a half year custody battle, where I was just trying to be my kids Dad and to be the best Father I could be, and I did the best I could for as long as I could, while my former spouse pulled (literally almost) Evert trick “in the book” (so to speak) — falsely accusing me on at least five different times and making over 40 false statements to the court and/or its officials: who were too busy stuffing their pockets with Cash to care about what they were doing. And when I refused to pay them any more money to be my own Kid’s Dad, the judge told me to “get a job that pays more” … when I told her that I was literally out of MONEY.

    I have since heard MANY other stories like my own — including from mothers as well.

    And when I told the President of the National Coalition of Men President, Harry Crouch that he must know “hundreds of other fathers like me” “who also got screwed in their Divorce,” he said “Thousands! … I know thousands of fathers just like you who also got screwed in their divorce: just from San Diego to Escondido (a town about 30 miles north of San Diego).

    This is why Alec Baldwin wrote a book on his experience with our Divorce courts: and also tells us in the book that he spent 1,500,000 Dollars fighting to be his kid’s dad: while his ex, spent a similar amount — to harass him to no end.
    I haven’t seen my own kid on almost six years: not because I didn’t want to be her father, but because I refused to “Get another job” to pay the crooks, who could care less whether I ever see my daughter again. This is also why I hired to professional Cartoonists to help expose what they are doing.

    Randy B.

  31. No one wins in divorce, particularly the kids. However, we can move on, be happy and get past it. No one needs to be a victim. http://perfectlyimperfectlifecoaching.com/blog/text/13144395

  32. Tell that to the 70% of women who divorce their husband, take his children and his property, transform him into state-enforced ATM machines, and run into the arms of the “bad boy” lovers who they craved all along. And maybe pick up a copy of “eat, pray, love” while you are at it. Feel good feminist fantasy, where the devastation of their hatred and selfishness is sanitized by the invisibility of male suffering.

    Beta bank and alpha bang. That is the fuel that runs feminism.

  33. You haven’t a friggin’ clue. My dad walked out on us and never paid a dime. He moved outta state and was never heard from again. No one to enforce anything we lived a hard scrabble life while he was out doing god knows what.

  34. Great,. Then let’s screw over all the men who do try to be with their children.

    Maybe that will make you feel better.

  35. goldenfetus says:

    Maybe he knew what was in store for him if he stuck around.

  36. OH! Well, then obviously since your one anecdotal experience doesn’t neatly coincide with the article, that must therefore mean that every other experience that is contrary to your own must therefore be FALSE because you, YES YOU Henry, have the one TRUE experience.

    Check please!

  37. Does this still hurt? Is this the reason you want to make men ‘good’?

    It would seem to be a personal experience you are discussing, that is if the personal pronouns are anything to go by…

    How old are you, and how does this relate to the standards applied by the family court system today?

  38. @ Henry btw

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