Family Court

HOW IT ALL STARTED
HOW IT ALL STARTED

FAMILY COURT

Family Court has become a nightmare for men in the United States. Each and every day, thousands of men stand inside courtrooms waiting for their lives to be determined by people who don't even know them. Attorneys, psychologists, court appointed guardians, and judges; all of these have the power to change a man's life, to decide who he is, in a few court appointed hours. Every representative of the Family Court has a part in judging the men who enter its parameters, and their opinions and decisions have a profound effect on the dissolution of not only a marriage, but more importantly a family. Mens rights have been diminished to nearly none by so-called Family Court. Women have all the advantages at Family Court, which violates mens rights, and proves detrimental to children.

When men are shut out of the lives of their children by Family Court, society suffers greatly. It is well known fact that the presence of a child's father in the family home makes an enormously positive contribution to the future success of children when they become adults. There is no argument that the most desirable state would be for children to be raised by both of their parents; hopefully in the same home.  Family Court's supposed purpose is to work out arrangements that are in the "best interests of the child." But what are the child's best interests, and what precautions are taken to make sure that the "child's interests" are truly taken into consideration?

At the least, Family Court should make a smooth pathway for a father to maintain an active presence in his child's life. Divorce and separation are difficult. It's hard enough for a child to comprehend, "Daddy doesn't live here anymore;" how much harder to comprehend, "You can't see him anymore." Family Court should acknowledge mens rights. Yet Family Court works actively against men by denying that mens rights exist, and thereby deprecates the relationships of fathers with their children.


ASSAULT VICTIM GOES TO JAIL
ASSAULT VICTIM GOES TO JAIL

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW

Studies show that domestic violence is perpetrated in equal numbers by and against men and women. Yet it is rare for a woman to be arrested for this offense because of domestic violence law. I know a man who was attacked maliciously by his wife twice—and both times he went to jail. It didn't matter that he hadn't raised a hand to her. The jail cell was waiting for him.

What happened was simple: a woman was angry because Dad was out with his friends. When he arrived home; she kicked him, slapped him, and clawed at his face with her fingernails leaving welts that streamed blood. When she was done, she ran into the bathroom, locked the door and called 911.

The man sat down calmly and started watching television; he was completely unaware that the police were on the way. He had no idea what she'd done. Moments later, two squad cars pulled up and the police came into the house. Their presence must have given her confidence, as upon their arrival she made her way out of the bathroom and declared, "He is angry and I'm afraid of him."

The man was bleeding from the clawing on his face and arms. The woman had not a hair out of place—but that was of no consequence. The man went to jail. He protested he'd done nothing wrong, that he hadn't threatened her or physically hurt her, but the police just shrugged and told him, "Whoever calls in, the other party goes to jail, pal. That's the domestic violence law." So they took him, and he was put into a 10X10 cell with maybe 20 crazy crackheads for the evening.

Meanwhile, victim's rights counselors visited the woman, and they told her it was imperative she file a restraining order. Why? Because in their words, "lots of men want revenge when they get out of jail." These counselors are well spoken, and may even seem to be well meaning, but if a woman hesitates, they apply pressure such as by asking, "You didn't file a false police report did you? Well, if you were afraid of him then you need to sign this paper now."


DADDY GOT ARRESTED BECAUSE HE WAS ANGRY AFTER BEING ASSAULTED
DADDY GOT ARRESTED BECAUSE HE WAS ANGRY AFTER BEING ASSAULTED

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW

The woman's initial lies, combined with the visit from the victim's rights counselors, resulted in the man being banned by law from coming within 100 yards of his own home. Worse than that, he was charged with violating domestic violence laws and ordered to stand trial. He hired a lawyer and told her emphatically, "I will fight this to the Supreme Court!"

But the lawyer knew the system well and told him, "You don't want to do that. You can't win." The man was incredulous! "I didn't do anything," he protested. "That doesn't matter," the lawyer said. "When you go to court there will be women's rights groups present who keep score on judge's sentences for domestic violence law cases. Mens rights are next to non-existent. The judge will have to give you a year in jail to placate the women's rights groups."

"But I'm innocent so I won't be sentenced because I'll be acquitted, " the man reasoned aloud, believing that all he needed was the truth. But the lawyer who knew better left him no hope when she responded, "Men rarely win any of these domestic violence law cases. The 120 pound woman gets on the stand and bawls her eyes out; the jury has 8 women on it. They look at you with a cold eye, 200 pounds and a man!"

INNOCENT DADDY GOES TO JAIL
INNOCENT DADDY GOES TO JAIL

MENS RIGHTS

In reality, there are many women who actually want their man to come back home. It used to be that many of these domestic violence cases were dropped because recalcitrant women refused to testify against the fathers of their children. It's the Feminist groups who have dramatically changed domestic violence law in the past decade or two (depending on the state).

Nowadays, the state prosecutes the man regardless of what the woman wants. They just use the police report to gain the conviction; it's all they need. Mens rights are negligible.

In this case, the man copped a plea to disorderly conduct, went to anger management sessions, and was placed on probation. If he would have gone back home, the threat of her calling the cops again would have hung over his head like the Sword of Damocles.

Why don't men call the cops first when they are assaulted by women? Because most men have no idea the danger they are in, and even if they did, most men are culturally conditioned to think it unmanly to complain about a woman battering them.

Eventual divorce opens another Pandora's Box.  The presiding judge will see an arrest for domestic violence law on a man's record and take that into consideration when determining child custody. Every cop that ever pulls the man over for speeding will be apprised of the prior arrest for violating domestic violence law. And if the man ever runs for public office, the press will have a field day with it.

How long will a domestic violence law violation be on his record? Forever. 300 years after he is dead, it will still be on record somewhere that Joe Smith was a wife beater. After all, he copped a plea, so he must have been guilty.

FATHER WITH HIS DAUGHTER
FATHER WITH HIS DAUGHTER

MENS RIGHTS

The biggest weapon given to women by family court, though, in the midst of an acrimonious divorce—and the most egregious violation of mens rights—is the big gun: to suddenly charge "suspected" sexual abuse of their children by their father. Despite having had no such suspicions during a ten-year marriage, all of a sudden, when the relationship is irretrievably broken, some women show just how capable they are of dirty, lowdown, excremental behaviors.

All a mother has to say is, "My 2-year-old daughter doesn't act right [big surprise when her parents are separated]. Something might have happened between her and her father."

Immediately, the father's contact with the child (and its mother) is terminated, and he is barred from his home. If he is lucky, he won't go to prison convicted on a false charge (after all, child sexual abuse by a natural father is extremely rare).

But the charge will be made public to both sides of the family (and others). The accusation alone is horrific, enough to taint a man forever by suspicion. Social workers will be brought in who have never met a child who was not sexually abused. The cops will investigate and tell the man, "OK. We believe you. We don't think you did anything. You're in the clear." Is it over? No, it's not."

 

SWEAT THE POLYGRAPH WITH YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE
SWEAT THE POLYGRAPH WITH YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE

MENS RIGHTS

A police investigation is only the prelude, Child Protective Services will then step in. They are the spoke in the Family Court wheel with the power to determine that a father can only have supervised visitation with his child. No matter that he hasn't laid eyes on that child for six months or more. In order to see his child, a court ordered 3rd party must remain within earshot of both he and his child at all times for another year or so.

The man will ask Child Protective Services, "Why? I have been found innocent of any wrongdoing!" Their pat answer: "We must err on the side of safety."

In other words, if they make one wrong choice out of a hundred, they could lose their jobs. So it all boils down to CYA.

In the mean time, Social Services will bring in their psychologist, who suggests things to children, and who leads them into giving the answers they want to hear. The psychologist embraces the word "maybe," and often keeps children hostage for hours, waiting for them to wear down. The method is to express disappointment with the "wrong" answers, and display absolute delight (with rewards) for the "right" answers.  Younger children may think its a game.  And a confused child might well say exactly what they've been programmed to say.  The psychologist can then declare that the father could be a danger of some sort (as could any person, of course). They may even tell a child, "Your Dad does bad things to you. We have to protect you from him."

And why does this have to happen? Why would a woman go to such great lengths because she feels scorned, or has found another man? What purpose does it all serve? In the former case the motive is revenge; in the latter, the motive is to start life afresh without the excess baggage of a former marriage. The end result being that the relationship between a father and his daughter is ruined forever. A man can't relax and enjoy his children in the company of a court appointed babysitter who's job it is to "look for mistakes" and construe his motives. How long does it take for men to act normally around their children (or nieces and nephews for that matter) without fear that something or anything might be misconstrued.

And if a woman is proven to have filed false charges, what happens to her? Generally nothing.


FAMILY COURT
FAMILY COURT

FAMILY COURT

In Family Court, mens rights get the short shrift regarding custody, visitation, and child support. The unfair advantages given to women these days regarding the first two are a well known fact, but what about child support?

In many states, men have been forced—under threat of prison (at the barrel of a gun)—to pay 18 years of child support for children who are not even their children; conceived in adultery. In many states, husbands have no right to demand a paternity test at all. We might be talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars over 18 years paid to an adulterous wife.

And visitation has been completely separated from child support in Family Court. No matter if a man is allowed, or illegally denied, or hampered by his ex-wife from seeing his children, he still goes to jail if he falls behind on his child support—even if unemployed!


ONCE THE GAVEL SLAMS; THAT'S IT
ONCE THE GAVEL SLAMS; THAT'S IT

FAMILY COURT

All of this is much worse if a man and woman have a child out of wedlock. In such a case, the man has virtually no rights at all.

The moral for men? Be careful who you breed with!

How about abortion? Well, an unborn child is half of each parent biologically, right? The man has no rights whatsoever. If a woman decides to kill a man's child—even if he declares his willingness to raise it on his own—he has no say what happens to his offspring, his heirs, whatsoever. But if a man wants an abortion to be performed and the woman doesn't, he still has no say about the 18 years of child support he must pay.

A NORMAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A FATHER AND HIS DAUGHTER
A NORMAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A FATHER AND HIS DAUGHTER

FAMILY COURT

All of this is even more interesting if one considers that women file for 67% of all divorces. Why not? If they have found another fella, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And then she trains her child right away to call the new man "Daddy."

Additionally, it is well known that step-fathers (and live-in boyfriends) commit ten times the physical abuse and sexual abuse than do the natural fathers of children. How can a father stop this? He can't. He is helpless to protect his child.


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Comments 113 comments

advisor4qb profile image

advisor4qb 7 years ago from On New Footing

Ouch! (Someone has to defend the female gender here!)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

advisor4qb— Ouch is right! Thank you for being my first visitor! ;)


Sciantel 7 years ago

I have a nephew that is in this kind of situation. The woman he married is the complete boss of him and beats him and cusses at him whenever she feels like it. The Devil has come into our family. Please pray for my nephew Robert because she will completely ruin whatever life he could and should have had.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Sciantel— I will pray for Robert right now . . . Thank you for reading and commenting. I know this is a very sensitive subject.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

James, while I am sure that there are a few women out there who would perpetuate just some of this stuff you write about -- and have -- the VAST majority (and there are so many!) of women out there who live in daily fear of their spouses do not deserve this. Domestic violence is NOT perpetuated in equal numbers by both men and women. Here is a statistic for you:

Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%.

(Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003)

And another:

On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men.

(Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.)

I can see that you must have, at one time, been run over by a barracuda. I said just yesterday that it seems that women are committing more violent crimes or so it seems. I do not doubt that many men have been victims as well. Still, many women are not as strong as men, do not earn as much as men and are still very much under the thumb of some men. For all the women who are living in fear at this very minute, and there are so, so many, you do them a disservice to incorrectly report these statistics. As a young woman, I was also a victim of domestic abuse. Fortunately, I had a strong support system and options that many of these women do not. I was able to get out and get out alive. My ex-husband NEVER went to jail, still abuses women today and STILL has never been to jail. All we can say is shame on the women who use the system for their own gain. They are also perpetuating abuse on their fellow women by lying. The blood of the victim is also on their hands.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Connie,

You know I love you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_Tactics_Scal...

The 85% you site is REPORTED physical abuse. The study where I got my figure of 50-50 is linked above. Most men never file a police report, for obvious reasons.

I agree with you that for centuries men abused women with impunity. As so often happens with social movements, in the solving of a real problem the pendulum swings too far, there by entrapping many innocent men.

As for your personal experiences, I do not doubt them for a minute. There is little worse than suffering abuse from someone you love. Believe me, I know.

And I agree with you that as violence escalates, men, being generally more physically powerful, inflict more damage when pushed to their ultimate end. But I am addressing innocent men. And please believe me, there are plenty of them.


emohealer profile image

emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

I feel the pain...Ouch! I have actually been sitting in family court a lot lately and have not observed what you have written. I have in fact observed the opposite. I will not contend that there are basic beliefs that come into play and what you have written in this article is a great majority of them. Biases of opinion. Lumping people, situations and genders into categories. This article does nothing more than perpetuate more of the same things you are writing against. I am the oldest of 10 with 7 younger sisters, raised old school as they say, military background, I have seen every aspect available of what you are infering.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

You really are a sweetheart, James. However, it stands to reason that the same under-reporting holds true for women. Many women are afraid to report domestic abuse (more for fear of being dead than embarrassment!) and so these numbers are really even worse than they appear. It is also a well known and accepted fact that men commit more violent crime than women (more than 8 times!) which also bears out those statistics I quoted.

While I am at it... (I never know when to quit, do I?) when is comes to the sexual abuse of children, we simply cannot afford to trust a man who is a suspected abuser. When you say 99% of the innocent men...how do you know they are innocent? Because there is not enough evidence? James, sexual abuse by family members is not, unfortunately, as rare as you might think. Being a good man, and I think you are, you are taking your own emotions at an injustice done to you and transmitting it to family court without thinking about all the horrible people there are in this world who rape babies daily. Most women would NOT put her child through that unless there was suspicion. The few who would are despicable!


womanNshadows profile image

womanNshadows 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

James, it's after 2 AM and i can't sleep. today is my wedding anniversary, my first since my Marine died. i saw your hub and felt compelled to respond.

i have no statistics to quote. i didn't look anything up. i don't want to. i'm sure, as i've read above, that it will change or vary from site to site, month to month. i do know is this. the system that is in place fails everyone. there is too much paperwork. too much carved in stone for situations that are so unique from family to family that one general law cannot cover the bases or the variables.

i'm never surprised by the vicious and casual cruelties we perpetuate against each other, men to women, women to men, parents to children, and children to parents.

i know of a man who killed himself over the abject, purposeful cruelty of his ex-wife who had him jailed over and over again if she did not receive her alimony/child support checks by noon on the first of every month. she would leave her home and drive around so that she wasn't there for him to hand deliver it just so she could call and have him thrown in jail. it was a game of control for her, one she relished.

i personally have been a victim of domestic violence and been told only to "go home and fix your marriage." when i filed for divorce, i was told, "are you insane? how can you leave a man who makes that much money?" he got away with paying no child support and no alimony that he didn't wish to pay. when he did pay something, it was never per the financial table set forth by the state for his income and the number of children we had. and yes, i was one of those who was afraid to fight to get enough money from him to live on. i also didn't have the money for the attorney i did find to represent me to work on this more complicated aspect. so i received a one time payment of $5000 for 19 1/2 years of marriage, three broken bones, and enough criticism over my defects to last me 100 lifetimes.

my Marine showed me how gentle and loving a man can be. he and i have a marriage that is the stuff of poetry and legend. when my Marine died in February, my ex called specifically to laugh. it was a hollow victory for him because i love my Marine and now in death, he has grown to mythic proportions as has the memory of what our marriage was. for my Marine and i, it was a sacrament.

on the whole, i observe that we are a species of bored anti-intellectuals who do not hesitate to play games with each other to see how far we can take it and how much each other can endure. we can be either the frog on a cold skillet not seeing the heat getting turned up slowly so that we don't realize we're doomed or the lobster tossed casually into a pot of already boiling water so that we die violently in the dark under the lid. however it happens, we end up with no understanding of how it went so wrong without our seeing it coming.

as i said, i have no statistics. i believe on any given month, the mean number of who does what to whom varies. i also know this. some of us have very bad luck with the opposite sex. some of us have very good luck. and some of us, like me, get to experience both. without experiencing great pain and fear, one can never fully understand or appreciate the greatest of joys and know how very rare it is.

i've said too much probably so i'll end with this. thank you for your hub. whatever the numbers, your writing draws attention to an issue that, though you may not have realized it, speaks to both genders that something is very wrong. police, attorneys, and the courts all need to take their time and investigate the truth of each individual issue. truth is what is supposed to be the foundation of the court system. "the truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable."


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Wow, don't think I am qualified to comment on this one.


bgpappa profile image

bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

James, another articulate hub . . . however

I will agree with you that many times a father's rights are secondary to that of the mother's. Father tend not to receive custody of children et cetra.

But your statistics on do add up as pointed out by Connie. If cases are not reported, then it is just pure speculation offered by your source.

As for your story, there are horror stories out there like that. But they are the exception rather than the norm. A judge can only make decisions based on the facts before him or her. The standard in custody cases is the Best Interests of the Child. One of the factors is whether there has been abuse. However, it is almost impossible for a parent to lose all rights when it comes to children, even if there is abuse. But there will be hurdels.

As for the lawyer who kept telling the client that he can't win, he should be disbarred. Yes, those cases are hard, but a lawyers job is to advocate on behalf of the client. sounds to me this lawyer was trying to take the easy way out, which is both unprofessional and unethical. The standard for lawyers is to be a zealous advocate, not to predetermine a case based on what they have seen before. Experience should have told him to change the means, not the ends.


robert 7 years ago

James,

I have been a victim of the courts when it comes to custody of children and child support. I was threatened with jail for asking if I could speak in the courtroom. My ex-wife used this to her full advantage while she falandered with types you don't want to know. I agree with womanNshadows that we are a race of beings that know no boundaries when it comes to mistreating one another. And to the let the courts and hokey lawyers decide only makes matters worse. You have a great following of readers with ittelects that will allow us to examine this issue in great detail. I look forward to the journey. Keep bringing the light James.


rcisophie profile image

rcisophie 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

well, maybe only now Family court become a nightmare for men, but for sure it has always been a nightmare for women. I'm not here to bring numbers or to defend women's right against men's rights in any subject. This may just be a phase that the system is in... all this subjects are recent. The divorce, custody of children, pensions... this started when? 50 or 60 years ago? and during this time we always saw women going against the system to defend themselves. What happened then is that we got the victim and the bad guy - and this become a standart view. With the changes in society womem started to behave in the way we traditionally relate to men. The paradigm is shifting, in real world the distinction men-womem in behaviour and thinking is collapsing but it seems we do not accept that. And the institutions are allways a reflex of previous events and decisions. So... maybe this is a time of change and instead of having in courts men vs women we'll have person vs person. The questions are very deep and goes in the individual psychology - a case is always a case and numbers don't show us all the things implied.

While the Person I am does not recognize and respect the Person that the other is, this kind of situations will not end.

But of course when you are, were or will be in the middle of the problem none of this reflection probably makes sense.


Sharon 7 years ago

I totally agree with your article. I have two sons and a daughter. I am getting ready for work, but I definitely have some input on how true this article is - and yes there is a lot of battered women out there but nobody knows about the men and how unfair they are treated because it never gets published or talked about. I will be back later to explain a few situations and how bad the system. Thanks for this article James, as it gives me a place to write the things my sons have experienced with the system. I will respond tonight.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

The laws vary in the UK but most are still weighted in favour of the mother with family disputes.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 7 years ago

Hi James

I concede to the fact that there are quite a few battered men out there. I know because I've bonded out a few females for this offense. Women that do batter men can be truly malicious to the point where they batter themselves - when the officers show up it helps back up their story. That being said - I don't agree with the statistics cited.

I see a lot more men being the agressor. I don't know about other states but in Florida when a call is made someone is going to jail. The officer after his investigation will determine whom it will be. Its not based on who makes the call. Interesting Hub.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

emohealer— I agree with you that people are individuals and each case is different. If you spend a lot of time in family court, you would be more knowledgeable about it than I am. So, thank you for your insights.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Connie Smith— I appreciate your level-headed commentary. Since you are a good woman, you may not be aware of the level of vindictiveness going on these days among younger people. Young females are fully aware of this power. If they move on to another man, they don't want the old one around. And it is easy to get rid of him with Family Services cheering them on.

Perhaps I have overblown it. At least it is being discussed here. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

womanNshadows— Oh . . . your first anniversary without your Marine. I am so sorry.

Your Ex actually called to "laugh" when your husband died?! That is unbelievably cruel. Well . . . I very much appreciate your insightful commentary. You have seen the worst and the best, it sounds like. I would say people need to be more careful who they get involved in. The entire problem we are talking about smells of some kind of sickness in our society itself that I attribute in part to so many broken homes and moral relativism.

Thank you and God Bless You.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

BrianS— Well then . . . I appreciate the visitation anyway. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

bgpappa— You speak wisely. There is a growing movement to fight for Fathers Rights. So, apparently injustice may be more widespread than all of us realize. Hopefully, none of us will have to see any of our loved ones endure these biases. I appreciate your thoughts on the subject. You make good sense.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Robert— I empathize with you for what you went through. I know quite a few men with these types of horror stories. This is not to minimize the equally, or more, terrible stories, women have suffered. That is talked about a lot. This subject I rarely see addressed so I thought I would provoke a conversation about it and see where it goes. Thank you for your keen comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

rcisophie— Yes, I agree with you. There has been a profound change in the behavior of women since the feminist revolution. And men are changing, too, in reaction. The problem is, I don't see many of these changes as resulting in a positive outcome for society—especially the children involved. I agree these family court policies came about to address real problems. Many times, social engineers go too far the other way. Perhaps we can find the center. Thank you for your sharp analysis.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Sharon— Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you for taking the time to read this piece. We will look forward to hearing more from you later tonight. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

ethel smith— Thank you for the UK perspective. I appreciate your readership. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Bail Up!— Since you are in the bail bonding business, we will have to yield to your expertise. I am sure you see all kinds of scenarios unfold. Thank you very much for your remarks.


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

James, I am a tiny bit disappointed. I was looking forward to this hub when you commented on one of mine, that this was in the works.

It "feels" bitter as opposed to objective, which is a first that I have seen in your hubs. I am assuming you are close to some of these situations either for yourself or someone you care for.

I do believe that Father’s get the short end of the stick in many cases, having witnessed two brothers being put through the ringer in a divorce. But I am surprised that you paint the picture that women are out to use and abuse. Until a few years ago (relatively speaking), the very same could be said about men in general.

I agree the Family Law does not treat both parties equally, and yes there are people of both genders who are out to take what they can get and then move on, and those whose nature it is to be brutal, but it does no good to paint either gender with a tainted brush.

You speak of specific cases to your point. Rest assured there are just as many if not more that have not been told at the other end of the spectrum.

Our laws are not perfect and the horror stories are there in abundance to prove it.

A better purpose would be to find out what, if anything, we can do to change them. It might be an uphill battle but one worth fighting. It would be ideal if we could find or create a platform where men and women could and would work together to find the answers.

Just my thoughts


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago

hmmm....well I definitley agree that the amount of men bullied and beaten by women is far less than the opposite. And I too have been there. But the courts are not always kind to the mothers. I know someone who for the past 8 years has been getting $200 a month in child support, for 4 children. He "hides" his money as many many men have learned to do. He has his beautiful house and cars and boat and she has been struggling with their children. My sister gets, on occasion, $85 a month for her 7 year old son. His dad is an alcoholic and sometimes there's money and sometimes there isn't. She tries not to report him and give him a chance, but PA. is strict with that and it is out of her control. My husband was supposed to pay $650 a month for our son but he kept struggling so I told him to just pay $400. He didn't have to stick to the agreement if it was just between us. Some months he couldn't even afford that and sent $200.00. I was okay financially and didn't see any point in making his life more difficult if I was capable of taking care of my son by myself. Ours was obviously an amicable divorce and we continue to maintain a close friendship. I have another friend going through hell right now with a guy over their beautiful little girl. He is clearly using this child as a tool for control and it is disturbing the stories she tells me. He keeps telling her he will win because he has the money.

Honestly, I cannot report the other side as I do not now and have never known an abused man or a man who got fleeced by the courts, although I am certain they absolutely exist and I must agree that young women in particular are dangerous and stupid. They want revenge, power and control. I often wonder what happened to these generations of young women..?

I am a product of a "broken home" and in 1961 when my father left my mother he took us with him and we were raised without her involvement at all. We never saw her. We turned out to be pretty decent people I think. It is not if you have 2 parents, it is HOW you are raised and WHAT you are taught, one person alone can do a helleva job.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Duchess OBlunt— I am sorry to disappoint. I agree that women have had vastly more injustices to deal with for centuries. That has been widely discussed, of course. I rarely hear these issues discussed. And yes, I know people well who have been through exactly these scenarios. And when you first hear the details, it is shocking. The first reaction is, "That can't be true! Can it?" It is true. It is happening. But few seem to care. After all, they're men. They can take punishment, right? Some feminists believe men come out of the womb deserving of punishment.

I agree with you. A better idea is to try to make things better. We have a platform here to discuss it at least. Perhaps I will do some editing to make this Hub less bitter sounding. I kind of feel bad that you are disappointed in me.:(

But I appreciate your candid commentary. Thanks!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— $85 a month child support? Wow! I pay $500 a month for one child and have for years and years. It must be a lot different in New York.

I also come from a broken home and my father had custody of me. I can't say raised me, since he was rarely around. I am lucky I am not feral. I raised myself. Between them my parents were married 11 times. :)

But I don't recall this sort of thing in their day. This seems to be rather new—in the past 20 years.

People sure are mean to each other. I suppose the real problem is a problem of hearts.

Thank you for lighting up the room when you came in.

:)


A.M. Gwynn 7 years ago

I can mimic in words, sentiments experiences (and statistics) many of the responders here. So I will just say that regardless of how I personally feel, or what I personally think, the reality is... the whole damn thing has come undone.

Families as a strong unit... moms and dads as partners or just two loving people period raising happy kids.... it's been busted for so long.

The court system sucks big ones. I've been there done that too. The Law is equally unfair on some things, disproportionately unfair on others. And I have seen men who stay with women who abuse them too, not only emotionally but physically as well, for the sake of keeping close to their kids.

At least there are some men who care more for their kids than the next skirt that happens by.

But I do understand why you wrote the hub. Not that you were diminishing the suffering women have had to go through for so many years.. but because you want to bring to light the plight of good fathers who are not recognized as such, and are getting the short end of the stick.

I hear it is MUCH harder "out there" now. From people I know who date. It's hard. And I know it is.

But Fathers rights have been changing for a while now. And maybe they have to fight a little harder. The track record of all the full of nothing dead beat dads, that has been going on for decades.. has forced the Law to extend in order to protect women and children. But I know of the Father's Right's entities you probably already know.

It's a good thing. Fathers fighting for the rights to take care of their kids. Providing they are not abusive to mother and child, either mentally or physically, and if they help financially, then these are the good ones that the Law will eventually recognize and nurture.

You have to speak YOUR truth, so I can appreciate that. And I know how you must feel. Thanks for speaking your mind without fear.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

A. M. Gwynn— Profound words written here by you. It has come undone. Families are busted. I find it encouraging that some fathers are interested enough to fight for their parental rights.

Thank you very much for your kindness. And you are welcome.


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

James, insightful, correct and gutsy! I figured when I read this Hub you would actually get more disagreements, but it looks like it isn't going to badly. I know that men get the short end of the stick. I have seen it many times. I have also known a woman who beat herself in the face to leave a fat and bloodied lip and a bloody nose, then went to a phone booth and called the police to turn in her husband. She should have left one of the times he really was guilty! I was almost called in to testify against her because I knew the truth. Anyways he was picked up, jailed, she left with all of the kids except one. His parents bailed him out, he plead to a lower charge so as not to have his daughter have to be dragged into the court room to testify against her mother. The only good thing he ever did! He was put in mandatory anger management, probation and did 30 days in jail. This was not his first trip through the system. She was wrong in what she did. She could have left without the false charges. He was a bad guy. But what she did was also bad. She had affairs during their marriage too! Another case was a friend, his wife accused him of molesting his boys, he was exonerated in court, CPS still stepped in and gave him only supervised visitation. His ex-wife died of cancer, her sister was given custody of the two boys. He fought for custody and never got it. He finally quit fighting after 5 or 6 years of losing. All because of the molestation accusations that the court exonerated him from! People are also forgetting that women commit acts of sexual abuse. It is just not talked about as often. I have another friend. His wife was awarded 600.00 month child support for 3 children. Only 2 are biologically his. He married her when she had a baby and was already pregnant with the second baby, knowing it wasn't his. Then they had one together. His name is only on the birth certificate of the last one. I see women hitting and slapping men all the time. You are right, men don't turn in abusers. They think it makes them look less like a man. Abuse is abuse. A man is capable of caring for a child and should be awarded custody if he can and will do a better job. CPS needs to keep their noses out of the pictures if a person has been exonerated of charges. Child support should be awarded on the basis of biological status, and on an equality for all percentage basis. Both parents need to be able to live. A lot of changes to the system need to be made.


L.L. Leiva 7 years ago

Great Article. I can honestly say that I have seen this from both sides and you couldn't be more correct. It would be wonderful if we could protect women and children that really are abused without forgoing the rights of men that vindictive women feel the need to abuse and then take advantage of a system that was put into place for a completely different purpose. It is a sad state of affairs.


gusripper profile image

gusripper 7 years ago

Some old people used to say:You must bit women ,maybe you dont know why,but the know sure.Sorry ladies.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Kebennett1— Thank you for sharing these sad stories. I agree with your recommendations, too. Large segments of our society have gone mad ever since radical humanism, secularism, and Darwinism became the basis of the curriculum in public schools and universities. The results do not look too good to me, unfortunately.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

L. L. Leiva— I appreciate you for the visit and your wise words. It would be good to find a balance that is best for everybody, especially the children.


Kim Garcia 7 years ago

An interesting but sad article to say the least. The children are the ones that hurt the worst in these situations. My husband and I are wedding photographers and we photographed a "wedding planners" wedding....and within a few years she became a divorce attorney. True Story. Peace ~ K


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

gusripper— Bit? As in put a bit in their mouths like a horse? Or do you mean bite? I had a girlfriend once who demanded I bite her but I wasn't into it. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Kim Garcia— You are so right. What are we doing to the children in this country? And what will become of them when they are adults? People used to consider posterity prominently but no more. It's all about the here and now; and all about "me." Thank you very much for your support.


gusripper profile image

gusripper 7 years ago

beat i want to say beat my friend


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

gusripper— Beat! I don't think so. I have two daughters and I don't want them beat.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago

I don't want to pry, but in light of the Hub perhaps it is not inappropriate to ask...My father had custody of me because he took me with him and my mother didn't care, she never fought it, Thank God. How did your dad get custody of you?

Good job raising yourself there James...perhaps you were lucky, perhaps they wouldn't have done as good a job as you did. After all, 11 marriages? There had to be some serious issues there.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— My Dad got custody of me exactly the same way.

There were some issues alright. Both of my parents all well-loved people still today, with lots of friends. They have great stories to tell and are great story tellers. Really unusual and colorful characters. Rolling stones that gathered no moss. :-)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

James A. Watkins, I understand the problems that you are describing, although I don't agree with your implied solution.

I practiced family law in the state of Texas for nine years, and I saw many horrors. By and large, the system favors the more dishonest and manipulative of the marital partners, of whatever sex. The children are the ones who suffer the most.

I don't believe that two people who are each equal before the law should be able to share custody of a child. That's a right and a responsibility that cannot be shared.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Aya Katz— "By and large, the system favors the more dishonest and manipulative of the marital partners, of whatever sex. The children are the ones who suffer the most."

I could not agree more with your statement. Thank you very much for bringing the perspective of one who has practiced Family Law. You have made a valuable addition to this thread.


Alissa1985 profile image

Alissa1985 7 years ago from Arkansas

Ok well let me start on my behalf, I have been wanting the kids to live with me all of the time instead of half of the time. My ex and I have joint custody, and when I say joint I mean half the week the kids are with me and half of the week the kids are with him. In which, this would be fine, if we didn't live an hour apart. When school is in it gets difficult. Anyway I have tried to talk to him to have the kids here during the week and he can have them on the weekend. He didn't want any part of it. I even told him he wouldn't have to pay child support. He still didn't want any part of it. This is because the kind of person he is. He wants to be able to brag about how much he had the kids. Anyways to make a long story short I don't want to put the kids in a custody battle. He is not going to give an inch. So for now I have to leave it how it is.

You are right about the step father being more prone to abuse their step children. Having gone through this experience myself made me very careful in chosing who I married.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Alissa1985— Your story amplifies the sadness I feel about the disintegration of our modern society. Some step parents are wonderful to the children but you are right—this is a selection that must be made with great care. I am sorry for what you are going through. I am surprised joint custody was awarded over such a distance. Thank you for adding the voice of personal experience, thereby enriching the conversation.


Alissa1985 profile image

Alissa1985 7 years ago from Arkansas

Well when we got a divorce we agread on the joint custody. Neither of us contested our divorce so it was pretty simple. To be honest I didn't know I was going to move to another town, but I did. So I guess it is partly on me for moving. Anyways I just wanted to show you that not all women are out to get their exes. It can be civilized.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Alissa1985— Well, if the parties to the divorce can agree that is much better. It saves a lot of money and is far less stressful. I agree with you. I don't think the majority of women are out to get anybody. Thank you for sharing your story.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Fantastic hub again James. Although statistics can be argued, it is true that men are now pariahs in American society, and the system comes down too hard on the side of the mother. There was a good reason for this when men in authority started to acknowledge women's plights and rights, but too many times I read about men who are treated unjustly and it's true, we have much to fear from the system and its benefactors.

After my home church was taken over by a new pastor, I would visit from out of town once in a while and the last time I went, a lady member spoke and laid down the law concerning child care. Men not only had to go through background checks, (that might be justifiable for both sexes), but men could only help out in the child care department if they were supervised by a woman.

My opinion is that women are naturally better at child care, but to automatically accuse every man of being a sexual predator shows how sick our society has become. I have never returned to that church, I was utterly disgusted by that betrayal and if that had happened today, being more outspoken about my opinion, I would have stood up right there and shouted at the top of my lungs that that was outrageous and walked out. The congregation was clapping by the way when she made the announcement- sheeple.

I have seen enough to know that a woman is at a disadvantage normally, but injustice seems to affect both sides. It won't be right until Jesus comes! Thanks for a stimulating read on a touchy subject.


David W profile image

David W 7 years ago from Next Door on the Net

Hello everyone,

My son has one child by his only ex-wife. This lady married my son, then someone else, then someone else, then… anyway, to shorten this story; she has four children by three different men. After my son and she divorced he began paying child support. Then eventually, she remarried and my son moved out of state, but kept paying the support.

Sometime later she went to court and requested a payment raise for her child support. Because he was out of state (hundreds of miles away) he did not attend (couldn’t afford to take off work).

The court by the suggestion of the children’s child support services got the judge to change the payments to $138.00 a week ($7176.00 annually) which was double what he was already paying. My son was making $10.00 an hour at the time. After child support and taxes he said that he enjoyed about $200 - $210 a week for himself (roughly 50 to 55 % of his pay) to pay rent, eat, car payments, insurance, etc. Plus, out of his couple hundred dollars a week he was ordered to pay for health insurance for his son.

The most interesting thing about his story is, that his ex told him on the telephone (after the payment hearing of course) that she and the women at that State operated agency had conspired before the court date to stick it to him because he was out of state and they knew he probably wouldn’t be in the court to object to there plan. The ex-wife thought that it was quite funny that she had the power to rob him with the court system complicity. To refuse her demands was to be in contempt of court! HA!! HA!!!

Anyone with any sense at all knows that it makes it completely impossible for him to meet all of those expenses and to have any kind of a future for himself!

Not surprisingly he has gotten behind. So how does the court system help him? Do they adjust his payments to a fair amount? No! They take his drivers license. Oh, this is a real help, now he must pay for and insure a vehicle that he cannot drive and pay someone else to taxi him to work etc. instead of making easier for him to keep current, they help make it harder. Now, he goes to court again tomorrow and they are threatening to put him in jail. They not only expect him to pay the $138.00 a week, but to also pay his arrears.

Jail will certainly help him make ends meet? Not many employers want to keep employees who take unexpected leaves of absences. Getting him fired must surely be the way to get more child support, what??? Did I miss something or is it ludicrous to think that destroying someone’s ability to work or get to work will make them richer and thus, more able to support their child?

It this just my opnion? No! This is the facts.


asalvani profile image

asalvani 7 years ago from London, UK

Another treat James, thanks for sharing this. I think men and women are equal, and how they act with others depends on their power in the given situation. As with good and evil, that is in all of us. I'm really happy that i live in an era where women and men have an equal opportunity to fight for their rights and succeed in doing so. But the big issue about it will continue. Is like talking about religion where everyone has their own God.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Alexander Mark— Thank you, brother. That McMartin case seemed to start this whole hysteria. Not that there aren't crazy people out there. There are. But that case caused a wave of paranoia to sweep across the country and thousands of men were falsely accused and spent time in prison before being told, "Sorry, we made a boo-boo." Then that whole "repressed memory" thing started with psychology and a lot of damage was done in families before that faded out. Normal, healthy affection between men and children became suspect. Hopefully, things will return to normal. Thanks for your fine commentary.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

David W— I really feel for your son, Brother. :(

Unfortunately, I have heard dozens, if not hundreds of stories, just like this. That is not to minimize your son's predicament. I know that causes you personal pain. I just wish we could say it's unusual. It is not by any stretch. And what you said is exactly right—how can you pay while in jail? Many times the guy can't get out of jail unless he has a family member or friend willing to pay the balance in full. Some guys are that lucky—but many aren't. Thank you for this sad commentary. You get what I am talking about, surely. And she thinks it's funny.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

asalvani— I also believe in equality. I'd better—I have two daughters and five younger sisters! You did hit on something: Most people tend to misuse power over others. I suppose that is human nature, sad as it is. I appreciate your fine remarks.


hubpageswriter 7 years ago

This is a very good topic. The main basis is trust. Trust between family members, trust between each other as fellow humans.

I definitely agree that this is a good article and well-researched. Unfortunately, there are people whom break the family trust and kill and hurt their own..


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

hubpageswriter— I agree with you. Trust is a key to healthy relationships of any kind. Excellent point. I look forward to reading your work. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.


Sharon 7 years ago

I have been reading all the comments to your article. I do believe that men are discriminated against with the legal system when it comes to family law. I have experienced and seen the woman who cries out and says she has been beaten or threatened and uses the children as a "prize" - then even turns around and tells her minister she made the story up after her husband/boyfriend has spent a few days in jail and possibly lost his job, as the Court doesn't care. The prosecutor will tell the woman that if you don't testify - your children will be taken away from you. Just trying to get a conviction - even if it isn't true. Someone stated the Judge goes by what he is presented - that is pure "hogwash"!!!! I work in the legal system and I have seen a lot of scenarios where the man cannot even speak. I know a case where a woman even bruised herself to put her ex-husband behind bars. A woman can stay home - live off welfare - and the man is expected to pay child support to cover the entire welfare the woman is living off of - or depending on his income pay alimony or maintenance" and if he can't do it - due to the economy he is offered a "nice" 45 days in jail, on top of that, being charged to stay in that jail. I am not knocking women by no means - being one myself. I divorced at an early age and my ex-husband wasn't the nicest person - but I would have never lied to get him in trouble or go to jail or not see his children. There are a lot of woman out there who abuse their children and have even lost their rights to the children forever due to abuse or neglect, but have seen a Judge turn around and give her the rights to help raise her boyfriend's children and take parenting classes - something she couldn't do for her own birth children. Now if that was the man in front of that Judge - it would be supervised visitation if even that. I think there needs to be stricter laws and equal laws for people going thru a divorce. Our system does not protect our children whatsoever. They are always waiting to see hard cold evidence before trying to prevent it from happening. I only hope that I live long enough to see the system change for the better.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Sharon— I hope my article is not construed as "knocking" women either. As I have said, I have five younger sisters and two daughters—and a mother, too. I love women. But I have seen the very things you describe and personally know a lot of men who have gotten a raw deal in family court and it changes their lives forever. They become cold and callous—cynical. The children's lives are changed forever. They are told, "The judge doesn't think you should see your Daddy very often." Kids think if a judge said that my Daddy must be a wrongdoer.

I didn't even get into "Child Alienation Syndrome." That would take an entire hub to explain.

Thank you for your hard-hitting commentary. I thank you for posting it here.


DBrewer profile image

DBrewer 7 years ago

You should do some research on mandatory arrest laws for domestic abuse in states such as Ohio.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

DBrewer— I went to look as per your recommendation and found this site: http://www.abanet.org/domviol/docs/Domestic_Violen...

It shows 21 states with Mandatory Arrest including Ohio; and "preferred arrest" in most of the others (whatever that means).

Thanks for the tip.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

James, I'm sorry that someone has hurt you this bad that you can state these kind of facts...but (there is always a but)

Women (actually single parents might be better because these laws are for both parents now) for the longest time have had to fight for whatever little rights are in place right now. The laws might be slightly different between the US and Canada but generally not much.

I got a separation and divorce after 8+ years of abuse etc...This was quite a few years ago when it wasn't fashionable to be divorced (1982) I was awarded full custody of my two children (aged 10&7) and he was told to pay 100 dollars per month support...(50 each) not a lot of money even in those days but well better then nothing, I guess.

He had visiting rights twice a month. I raised my children while working 60-70 hours per week and his gracious 450 dollars total over all the years and a stack of bouncy checks enough to wallpaper a medium sized room. He made dates with the kids to take them to places and never showed, he broke their hearts 9 times out of 10. The few times we saw him he was either abusively cursing or strung out on drugs, booze or maybe even both... He had money for that kind of crap... but no money to clothes or feed his children... (They didn't do without, they didn't go hungry I saw to that)

The courts didn't do anything to help me or my children.

Today the laws have been put in place, single parents are finally helped a bit by the law. The financial help that is being awarded to either moms or dads that are looking after their children is in accordance to what their wallet can afford... if they do not pay, their wages can be taken by the courts... Like I said it has been a long time in the coming.

Having lived through the ordeal when help was not yet readily available I commend the courts and say Good job to all who fought for the rights.

No matter what you say here and try to portray moms as money hungry grubs there is no way in hell that you can convince me that the courts are wrong in all those cases of arrests etc. and that old saying comes to mind that 'there really is no smoke without fire'...all those men can't all be falsely accused

Hope you can heal, I know it will take time because it took me years

take care, kindest regards Zsuzsy


Sharon 7 years ago

I don't think for one minute you construe knocking women. What is right is right - and what is wrong is wrong!


one2recognize2 profile image

one2recognize2 7 years ago from New York

Wow, this was some hub, and the feedback is amazing. I, however have to be impartial to both sides as I grew up in a household filled with domestic abuse every night my step-dad got drunk. My mom was his personal punching bag for many years, and there came a time when he overstepped his boundaries by placing his hand on my butt. I was eight years old, and since I was blessed with older sisters I knew about sex, and when a touch was wrong because they talked to me about it when I was just five. I won't get into full detail about my experiences growing up in a house where domestic abuse was considered the norm because I intend to write about it soon; but I will go on to say that a lot of men do get the short end of the stick due to false accusations women conger up because they are basically pissed. It is terrible that some would even go as far as to make up stories that would eventually keep the father out of reach, and the child growing up with abandonment issues because of it. The tragic thing is that even after the breakup both men and women alike tend to use the kids to get back at the other. As a parent I hope that if my husband and I ever break up that we can always, as we do now place the child's needs first. I am sorry for all of your bad experiences and just reading Connie's responses brought back so many bad memories. The court system fails a lot of innocent people and ruins thousands of lives each day, and I'm sure you only meant to bring out the father's perspective, so I will not judge you. Overall you brought up a lot of issues that many men face. Domestic abuse is wrong in either case without a doubt.


op 7 years ago

James

Tis true what you say in this hub, although it was much worse in California before NO Fault Divorce was enacted in 1970. Now that doesn't mean that men are treated much better in the Family Court.

One of the things that many people don't know is that Family Court started out as a Court of Equity and not a Court of Law. The difference is that Equity was used to circumvent the injustice found in a court of law.

The good old boy judges in the Family Court want to protect the woman. Many times this is not appropriate or justified but Chivalry lives in Family Court.

The other problem with Family Law is that it is filled with the newbies of attorneys. They pass the bar and now they jump in to Family Law. The problem is that some very senior and expensive legal talent also lives in this law jungle. Women seem to gravitate to these Kings of the Jungle while the men get the pawns.

People are people, male or female, they all have their good, bad and ugly people. Women have gone into Family Court with the presumption of being good and men with the presumption of being bad. Sometimes these presumptions are correct but not every time.

Marriage is basically a contract, and now that the states are up to their eyeballs in it, there should be an actual contract. That contract should spell out termination and what the parties must pay for breaching the contract.

Every time a child is added to the family, the contract should be amended to include the child's rights.

It this necessary or proper? Yes, if you want fair play.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Zsuzsy Bee— Well . . . your personal story is horrifying. Thank you for sharing it here to add balance. There are three sides to every dispute some say. I am very sorry you and your children suffered this kind of long term abuse. I know there have been millions of stories like yours over the years, too. I have nothing but compassion and empathy for you and for them. God Bless You.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Sharon— I am with you. You said it: What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong—no matter who is involved. Thanks for your comment.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

one2recognize2— You have covered a lot of ground with your wise words. Since I had 7 younger 1/2 brothers and sisters with a variety of step-parents I agree with you. I too have seen terrible physical (of boys)and sexual (of girls) abuse by step-fathers. What I was attempting to point out is that by the good intentioned efforts to correct this problem, which has a long history, many innocent men have been caught in the web because of over-zealousness. The unforeseen terrible consequences of good intentions.

And it is used as a weapon, leading to, as you say, issues of abandonment for children, and the far too easy banishment of natural fathers—not step-fathers—from their children's lives. I know fathers who have spent tens of thousands of dollars to restore rights they should have had all along. But I know more fathers who just give up. And that's it.

Both sides tend to use children to "get back" at their exes. A pitiful state of affairs.

Thank you for your insights. I cannot disagree with what you said because it is true.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

op— That contract idea of yours just might work. Could be an improvement over the mess we have now.

You have made some outstanding points in your commentary. I appreciate these keen comments you have added to this thread. It gives us much to ruminate over. Thank you very much.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

James you misunderstood I didn't post my case for you to feel sorry for me and my kids. We did it. I've raised fabulous kids that have become even better adults.

Why I posted is that I want you to understand why the family law needs to be there, why it need to be reinforced and not undermined...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Zsuzsy Bee— I did not understand you to be asking for sympathy. How could anyone with a heart not feel for your and your children after reading your story?

I never questioned the need for Family Law to exist. I simply do not feel that innocent men should be railroaded, falsely accused, presumed guilty by the system until they can prove a negative—unconstitutional in itself, separated from the lives of their children IF they have done nothing wrong. I would assume you would agree?


charmainpr 7 years ago

Dear Mr. Watkins,

Contraversial subject you seemed to have chosen here.

I greatly appreciate the release of this research. "The other side" (of many situations) is rarely seen or considered when it comes to law of this sort. I believe 100% in the biases that law produces. Law is, after all, overseen by humans that make mistakes and see things in their own way like everyone else.

After years of defeat, helplessness and oppression (as far as women), it seems reasonable to believe that there is bound to be an imbalance, after all, with so much of the attention that has been paid to women.

I don't deny being a bit of a feminist myself, but I don't doubt injustice towards men. So it seems, even from the comments on this page the bias is there, that men have the upper hand in abusing. I don't understand why it's difficult for people to see through the stereo type for one moment. I hope people see from your perspective, as well as opening their minds to many others.

Thank You


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

charmainpr— I suppose this one did ruffle some feathers. I greatly appreciate the gracious tone of your comments. Everyone certainly does see things their own way. Your remarks show a reasoned wisdom that is good to see here. I will look forward to going over and reading more of your work. Thanks and you are welcome.


Madame X 7 years ago

James - an accurate and insightful hub as always. I've read about this and it's appalling. Somebody somewhere came up with the ludicrous idea that fathers are no longer necessary to raise a child. Gee, you think that's why we're in the mess we're all in? Is it that idea that makes it ok for homosexuals to adopt a child? This nonsense could only have come from the left coast and Berkeley in particular where if you're a guy and you look at a woman sideways, you'd better run and hide.

It just sickens me to see the depths to which women have sunk. I don't deny that there are men who are abusive, but this is so far over the line it comes under the category of mental illness - which, of course, the left then makes into law.

But let's be clear - this is NOT real feminism. Real feminism is about equality of intelligence, talent and abilities, and to have that recognized not just in law, but in society. I think that goal has been accomplished. Yeah, there are still some who regard women as inferior, but they are fast becoming the minority - or they're muslim. To keep it all stirred up is a divisive tactic and should be recognized for what it is. Good show James.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Madame X— You are so discerning. Fathers are viewed as superfluous by many. And it shows in sociological statistics that this is entirely wrong-headed. It is amazing how the radical left has imposed their worldview on America and any protest is met with, "You're trying to impose your worldview on me!" I am not sure they even perceive reality. Meaning, I am not certain their views represent genuine malice toward our society but rather simply represent sheer ignorance of the history of the world and how the world works.

I am absolutely for equality of women. I love women! Naturally, since I am a red-blooded American man.

I am in your debt that you have graced this thread with the profundity of your thinking. Thank you! :)


Madame X 7 years ago

Oh, and one more thing - my heart truly goes out to those women who have suffered through the nightmare of abuse. It has been my experience that many men do indeed get the short end of the stick. It seems the legal pendulum has swung too far in the other direction as of this point in time. But to those women, God bless you and my thoughts and prayers are with you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Madame X— Certainly. I have known abused women and my heart goes out to them with you. Thanks again.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Abuse unfortunately happens from both males and females. Notice I am not using mother and father here because in some cases that name simply does not fit.

We had a family member who was a disabled vet...won custody of his baby girl but the abusive mother kept harming the girl on her all too frequent visitation. Visitation was slowly cut down...but the abuse continued for years.

Upon getting the divorce all the assets and liabilites were divided. She had plenty of money to pay off her share of the debts but did not. Guess who they went after to collect the rest? You are right...the father.

He was very active in the Equal Rights for Fathers movement.

This affected our entire family!

You are SO RIGHT in warning people to be careful in whom they marry...muchless who they choose to bring babies into this world.

I like the idea of that contract. Wonder if it would ever hold up in court?


A Texan 7 years ago

James, as a former Police Officer I can tell you that arresting someone for family violence is done differently in Texas and California, how do I know about California? Thats where Texas gets about 90% of our laws. If an officer comes to a house and see's that violence has occurred an arrest MUST be made! Usually the one arrested is the one with less attack marks, thats usually a sign they were the aggressor.

That usually is the man and most of the ones I arrested did not claim they were innocent, I have arrested a few women for FV but mostly men. In Texas the officer will be the complainant and that solves the problem of women or men having to sign a complaint they may later drop.

I actually write about the time I was arrested for FV in one of my Hubs and no it was not against a woman for anyone wondering, it was against a male roommate, and it took a couple of years to settle but I eventually won. Good Hub I just wanted to give my experiences I have no idea what the stats would be.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Peggy W— Well, prenuptial agreements seem to hold up in court. And you mentioned something I forgot to mention: I know a lot of guys who have had their credit ruined during or after divorce because the exes ran their credit cards through the roof and used their social security number to get credit they never intended to pay.

I thank you for your great addition to this conversation. Always great to hear your wisdom.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

A Texan— In Florida an arrest must be made if the woman says she is afraid of potential violence that has not occurred. Anybody can say that, obviously. I am not saying that if the police come to a house and see a beaten woman the man shouldn't go to jail—of course he should. Also, in Florida, a woman cannot "drop the charges." Now, it is the state against the man.

You made great comments and I appreciate your visit. I think these laws vary substantially from state to state. It is a pleasure to have an officer of law add to this thread.


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

I can see you have hit a chord for a good debate, if not a 'healthy' discussion. This issue is a sensitive one, but not something we can ignore, because it's real. We have a very dear friend who married a woman who had a dark agenda, and she provoked him verbally and to fight physically. He lost in the battle legally because no one believed him. At the end, she got what she wanted-his money! Keep up the good work!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

IslandVoice— People are mistreated all over the world. Sometimes those people are men. :D

I appreciate you coming by and sharing that story. I appreciate you doing so.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hi James, "Family" Court should be renamed "Anti-Family" Court. NO ONE wins there. Thanks for sharing your personal pain and for bringing to light the plight of men. Whem marriages break up it's bad for all concerned. Alimony and child support are just monthly financial reminders that "you failed as a husband." Who wants that reminder?

Overall, I think both women and men are capable of gaming the system in their favor. Whoever gets the better lawyer and is willing to lie their ass off in court or with the mediator. The whole thing makes me want to cry.

Trying to think of a song to capture a positive spirit about families. How about 'Our House' by Crosby,Stills, Nash & Young. Peace, friend. MM


A Texan 7 years ago

In Texas if the officers feels that violence may occur after he leaves the scene he can ask one of the parties involved to leave for the night, if that person returns then an arrest can be made. I disagree with the State being the complainant too many men are arrested and tried without all the facts in, if the victim was responsible for filing then maybe those who are lying will drop charges, Maybe.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Mighty Mom— So nice to hear from you again! I love that song written by Graham Nash, I believe. I agree with all of your words as written. This is a sad world. But I appreciate the visit and your insights. Thanks!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

A Texan— Asking a party to leave is fine. I always appreciate the wisdom of a fine patriot and Texan. Thank you.


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

I had to laugh at that credit card comment, James. I was the one who ended up paying for credit card debt run up by my ex-husband (years ago) when he applied for a card and put my name on it. Though I had never signed anything (like the application), I was held responsible when he did not pay. With two young children at the time, no child support payments coming in, it took me several years to pay it off so my credit would not be ruined. It seems like life can be unfair to both sexes, does it not?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Connie Smith— Yes it does. You are the first woman I have ever heard express this problem. It goes to show, we can't assume too much when it come to human affairs. Thanks for presenting the other side. Your comments are always welcomed. :)


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

James - so many of your commentators have horror stories to tell, from both 'sides'. On a happier note, I'd just like to say here that Mr & Mrs Paraglider have been happily married for 32 years and on best terms with each other, children and grandchildren. So it is possible. I think that as a society we have let our expectations slip to the point where younger folk expect marriages to fail or turn abusive, which is hugely beneficial for the legal profession, of course.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Paraglider— Congratulations! That is an awesome report. I am happy for you. I agree, expectations are low. I have actually heard people say, "I'm getting married. Yea, I figure I'll give it a try and see how it goes." Pretty firm convictions there. :-)

I appreciate you coming by and leaving your encouraging words. It is always a pleasure when you do.


Hi James 7 years ago

Congratulations, another thought provoking hub. There are many personal aituations represented in both the hub and the comments. As a 63 year old man divorced in 1980 after 13 years of marriage I also have a story.

When my ex first broached the subject of divorce in a serious manner I was shocked. I thought we had a good marriage. There had been no violence, there had been no cheating, I always supported my ex both emotionally and financially. We did have dissagreements but all people have dissagreements.

After several months of discussion I told my wife" I didn't twist your arm to marry me, and I won't twist your arm to stay with me". My only condition to granting divorce without opposition was true joint custody of our two daughters.

That is how we worked it. We had true joint custody. I had never been a weekend father. We agreed to share custodial time 50-50, we consulted one another on situations involving our children. I actually wrote the costody agreement in English (not legalese) and we both signed and dated every page. A lawyer translated this agrement into legalese, which became the West Virginia model for couples in the state of West Virginia in similar circumstances.

The children were told that we are both still your parents, though we are divorcing one another we are not divorcing you, and we both still love you.

There are many other details far too numerous to mention. The most important outcome is both daughters turned out GREAT. Both college graduates, both working as professionals

(social work, and psychology), and both with their own families.

I do however believe one of the greates factors in causing the divorce rate in this country to skyrocket was the trend towards making divorce easy through "No Fault" implimentation. Thus your title "Family Law" which is not family friendly.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Hi James— Congratulations on your success story. This proves things can work out OK if both people are reasonable and considerate. Your work became enshrined in the law of your state!? WOW! Now that is something of which you can be proud. I so appreciate you adding this positive commentary to this thread. It is a story of Hope and Lord knows the world needs more of it. Thanks!


Chris Eddy111 profile image

Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

James, you created a hornets nest with this topic but it gets us talking and seeing the many point of views.

I'm sure the laws for each state must vary there in the U.S. I'm not sure what they are here in Ontario, Canada but I do know that some of the imbalances do exist where the child during divorce is more than likely to be given to the mother. It has to be looked at on a case to case basis and what is in "the best interest of the child".

However where spousal abuse is concerned it's good that police are now erring on the side of caution after the legislation change and removing the partner who is suspected of the abuse and prosecuting to the full extent of the law. When it was considered just a little old domestic situation nothing was done to help the injured party .

Anyways, thank you for this topic.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

Chris Eddy111— Thank you for the visit. I appreciate your fair and balanced point of view. Good comments. Thanks!


vanderhaven profile image

vanderhaven 7 years ago

I am glad to see this hub, it has sparked quite a lot of interest as I can see from the comments. Personally, I tend to agree with you on pretty much everything you said. I will be reading more of your hubs soon. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

vanderhaven— Thank you! It has sparked some controversy and some accolades. I appreciate the concurrence. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 7 years ago from North Texas

My husband once slapped me on the cheek. I did not retaliate (some women would have!) Actually, I felt anger, so I left our house for a couple of days to stay with a relative. I really feel this is the intent of what A Texan is telling us about how Texas police officers may react in a domestic situation. I think I handled it well, living in Texas as I do. There were no marks on me. It just so happened that we were in the process of counseling at the time, so we simply went to our male counselor, who confronted my husband appropriately.

By the way, he never did anything like that again. We are divorced, but for totally different reasons.

What was really difficult for me was, four years later, studying the Beatitudes in the book of Matthew for a group Bible study. The memory of being struck was so vivid, and I was trying so hard to get through the passage where Jesus talks about turning the other cheek. But I do have a better understanding of the spirit of the Savior's words now, and I'm glad I studied this section of our Holy Word. I did not share my experience in the discussion group, because I know there were probably women there who had gone through constant abuse at some point in their lives.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

gracenotes— This is quite a commentary. Thank you for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading your words here. We can find the answer in the Scriptures. If you would like me to pray for something specific, send me an email.


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 7 years ago from North Texas

Thanks, James. Please feel free to do the same.

I meant the Sermon on the Mount in my comments (oops!)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago Author

gracenotes— That's the same thing, isn't it? Yea, it is. You're good. You're welcome and thank you for visiting my Hubs.


KC Santiago profile image

KC Santiago 5 years ago from Texas

Noticed how long ago the last comment was posted but I have only recently started on Hubpages. Truths like this do not often see the light of day. Excellent article.

Another point about child abuse, more abuse is inflicted by mothers. BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) had a great commercial on this.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

KC Santiago— Yes, this is one of my older Hubs. I never thought it got the Page Views it deserved—compared to the rest of my Hubs, that is.

I agree with your thoughtful comments. Thank you for visiting. Welcome to HubPages! :)


John Cornett 4 years ago

I have to post here after reading some of the posts. My ex wife has abused me verbally for many years and whenever I would have enough of it and argue back with her, she would threaten to call the police. One day I finally had enough and moved out. She was fine with it until I had my paycheck direct deposited into a new account. She confronted me and attacked me...yelling verbal abuse and pushing me. She then took my keys and would not give them back. I grabbed the keys and she began tugging violently and fell at which time the keys pulled from her hand leaving a paper -cut sized cut on her little finger. The police arrested me and while heading to the station, they apoligized saying their hands were tied and that it was obvious that she was the antagonist. I had to ultimately take an ammendment to disorderly conduct to keep my security clearance, even though she attacked me. I have a VERY STRONG feeling that many if not most of the reported cases are false and are a form of control from these types of women. I never called the police because I am a big boy and don't see the need to drag the authoities into personal affairs. It seems that women are programmed to make the call automatically. The District attorney in the case considered me guilty because as he said "If you two got into a stand-up fist fight you would win". All this is saying is that the man has to take whatever abuse comes from the woman to avoid being labelled a domestic abuser himself. This is extremely unfair. I have never laid a hand on that woman. I am now over $10,000 in debt due to legal fees from being dragged into court over everything she can think of. I think it is funny that to ensure that innocent people are not wrongly convicted folks like OJ and Casey Anthony walk free, yet in domestic cases they error on the side of caution for the woman...regardless of the evidence. The judge (before I appealed to circuit court) basically said that she did not see enough evidence to find me innocent...isn't this backwards? I understand that the truly abused need to be protected, but at what expense? Our constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? They seem to trump in every other type of criminal case to the point that the guilty walk free. Now if you get into an argument with your spouse and a neighbor calls the police, someones life is ruined...even if both parties are swearing that no harm was meant by either. It is really getting ridiculous.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

John Cornett— I cannot thank you enough for your outstanding comments, which are the best I have received on this topic. I agree with you wholeheartedly and I sincerely appreciate you sharing your story with us.

James


jonathan Dockery 4 years ago

I am starting a petition on change.org requesting that DMV 3 (harassment) be changed to harassment after the probationary period. Domestic Violence in the charge carries a stigma that can lower your odds of attaining a job and call also be used in family court for leverage to gain custody of children.

Since the law was passed empowering police to press charges independently of the alleged victim and often threatening the alleged victim with incarceration if they did not sign evidential papers written by the police.

This link is not for promoting another hub or site but for a petition to change DMV 3 to just harassment removing both the stigma and the use of the conviction to be used in family court.

Thank you in advance to all who sign.

http://www.change.org/petitions/government-change-...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

jonathan Dockery— I just now signed your petition. Thank you and you are welcome.

I totally agree with your position. I very much appreciate your powerful comments, too. You wrote that a "law was passed empowering police to press charges independently of the alleged victim and often threatening the alleged victim with incarceration if they did not sign evidential papers written by the police."

This is a travesty. This is not right, my friend.

Thank you for visiting my Hub. Good luck and Godspeed.

James


jonathan Dockery 4 years ago

Thank you for helping with my petition James.

Hopefully, others on this site will see with their eyes open on how the law is being twisted and join in my cause.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Dockery


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

jonathan Dockery— You are quite welcome, friend. I am more than pleased to announce my support of your effort.

Yours Truly,

James A Watkins


paul baker UK 3 years ago

ONLY IN AMERICA WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE IN AMERICA

IT ALWAYS HAS HAD BY FAR THE WORLDS LARGEST PRISON POPULATION.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

paul baker UK--- I don't know about always, but you are right that we do today. I know this, ever since God, the Bible and prayer were kicked out of the schools in the 1960s, violent crime has risen 800%. Ever since the feminist movement--also vehemently anti-Christian--got their way and declared fathers unimportant in the lives of children, violent crime has risen 800%.

Maybe we are just better at catching criminals than other countries? Also many other countries have much more homogeneous populations than the US.

All that said, one reason for so many in prison is the so-called "War on Drugs," and to that I have always been strongly opposed. That is half of our offenders right there and that is a damn shame.


Pedro 3 years ago

I have been meaning to try out Hub Pages. Cool to see you doing it. And I think that you are right that hoentsy is key in parent child relationships. Kids can tell when parents are hiding things and they lose trust.BTW, on a different subject, I have been meaning to answer the last e-mail you sent me, but last weekend's family stomach virus has me way behind on everything, including e-mail!

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