Time for a change
Excerpt from Bolden vs. Does: Eviscerating the parental rights of unwed fathers | Law Blogs :
Quilloin was decided in 1978, at a time when sex role stereotypes permeated every aspect of the American psyche and culture, including jurisprudence. Although some progress toward gender neutralization of custody law was being made, the maternal preference was still an explicit part of the statute and/or case law of every jurisdiction. Most people, including judges, believed that women are simply born with an instinctive desire and ability to raise children, while men are not. To the Quilloin Court, therefore, it made sense to place the burden of proof of willingness and ability to parent on fathers while at the same time giving mothers the benefit of a presumption of willingness and ability to parent.
This issue affects Unwed Biological Fathers all over the world!
This video was originally planned to come at the end of the video “Gender Equality, Patriarchy and Fatherhood ” but I felt the point fully deserved a video of it’s own. To support my work please click here. Click here for the other video.
The central point of this video is that it is unreasonable of us to expect fathers to commit emotionally to children as much as mothers do (biological differences aside) when they have nothing like the same sense of security in their relationship with their children. As individuals we look to commit less emotionally when we know the risk is greater of getting hurt. The risk, as a father, is almost always much greater than it is for a mother, because the relationship between a father and his children is more precarious and unsupported (by society and the state) than it is for a mother and contingent, in many cases, upon the relationship with their spouse, rather than seen as immutable and with primacy over all others.
I contend we can never expect to see father’s entirely “step up to the plate” and be the best and most emotionally committed they can be, towards their children, until we start to afford them the same levels of respect and protection as we do with mothers, otherwise what we are asking for is both unachievable and totally unreasonable. Links: VERY interesting read, this one — Rights of Unmarried Fathers in the UK
Finally some information related to the unfortunate decision of the government not to press forward with a presumption of shared parenting (it seems, as a society, we just deem men with too much suspicion ………… I mean, as a society, we might say fathers are equal to mothers, that we ought to treat every parent on their own merits, but when it comes down to it, putting our money where our mouth’s are, we don’t really believe it…… very very sad)
Judicial rulings are supposed to be based on evidence, not unsupported assumptions. If a state were to require only female candidates to pass physical and psychological tests in order to become police officers, on the basis of an assumption that men – and only men — are born with a protective instinct and naturally superior physical strength, it would clearly be denying women the Equal Protection of the laws. It should be just as clear that state laws requiring only male parents to demonstrate ability to parent in order to retain parental rights violate the Equal Protection clause.
It is truly baffling that judges still cannot, or will not, see that. It’s 2015, folks.
Reducing acrimony and litigation
Understandably, not many family law mediators are enamored of the word custody. Fewer still are fans of the winner-takes-all, adversarial approach it connotes. Because neither parent wants to be the one who is deprived of that title and relegated to the role of “visitor,” it is a significant source of impasse in mediation. In many cases, it may actually be the only source of impasse. For this reason, many mediators will not address the issue (if they address it at all) until after all discussions of the details of the actual parenting time schedule and decision-making allocations have been completed.3
Any family court judge or attorney can attest to the fact that the lion’s share of litigation in family court involves a contest for ownership of the custody “prize.” If this incentive were removed, it stands to reason that there would be a sharp decline in litigation in family court. Parents would save literally thousands of dollars in attorney fees and related expenses like custody evaluators, forensic experts, witness fees, and so on.
Removing the winner-gets-the-kids concept would also remove the incentive for parents to focus on each other’s faults, and to “dig up dirt” on each other. It may not be reasonable to expect divorcees to co-parent blissfully, without conflict, but getting off to a less acrimonious start, one that encourages cooperation rather than competition, would certainly seem to have a greater chance of serving the interests of children than the existing system has.
Source: Should Custody Law Be Abolished?