Fathers' rights movement


Fathers' rights movement

The Fathers' rights movement has been characterized as a civil rights movement,cite news | last =Sacks | first = G | coauthors = Thompson D | title =Why Are There so Many Women in the Fathers' Movement? | publisher = Star-Tribune | date =2006-06-21 |url=http://www.glennsacks.com/why_are_there.htm] cite book
title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
publisher =Cumberland House
year =2007
pages=259
accessdate=2007-11-02
] whose members are primarily interested in issues affecting fathers and children related to family law, including child custody and child support sometimes after divorce.cite book |last=Collier |first=R | coauthors = Sheldon S |editor=R. Collier & S. Sheldon |title=Fathers' Rights Activism and Law Reform in Comparative Perspective |year=2006 |publisher=Hart Publishing
chapter=Fathers' rights, fatherhood and law reform- International perspectives| isbn = 1841136298
] cite news | last =Collier | first =R | coauthors =Sheldon, Sally | title =Unfamiliar territory: The issue of a father's rights and responsibilities covers more than just the media-highlighted subject of access to his children |publisher= The Guardian | date =2006-11-01 | url =http://society.guardian.co.uk/children/story/0,,1935970,00.html |accessdate=2007-10-17 ] The movement has also been characterized as a social movement, [cite book |last=McKee |first=A |title=The Public Sphere: an introduction |year=2005 |publisher=University of Queensland |page= p. 47|isbn=9780521549905
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=GhsmSxmVDzoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0
] [cite book |last=Kenedy |first=R |title=Fathers For Justice: The Rise Of A New Social Movement In Canada As A Case Study Of Collective Identity Formation |year=2004 |publisher=Caravan Books |isbn=978-0882061085] but members of the fathers' rights movement disagree and state that these issues are "a question not of social science, but of constitutional government."cite book | title =Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =S | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=282 | isbn = 1581825943] The movement receives international press coverage as a result of high profile style activism of Fathers 4 Justice and other national organizations internationally.

Background and history

The fathers' rights movement emerged in the West from the 1960s onwards as part of the Men's movement.cite book|last=Gavanas|first=Anna|title=Men and Masculinities|editor=Michael S. Kimmel, Amy Aronson|publisher=ABC-CLIO |date=200X|pages=289-91|chapter=Fathers' rights|isbn=123445677|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=jWj5OBvTh1IC&pg=PA291&dq=%2B%22Fathers%27+rights%22+%2Bvictim&lr=&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U1yD10pL9Izr1KZqJ_KKdjCM8ySog#PPA291,M1] During the 1970s fathers' rights organisations such as Families Need Fathers and American Fathers Coalition emerged. Some commentators see the rise of the movement as a 'backlash' to increasing female power in the family and in society, and the consequent challenge to men's traditional roles and authority. In this view, the movement is seen as part of a 'gender war' between the sexes. Others, such as law professors Richard Collier and Sally Sheldon, see several interrelated trends as leading to the growing prominence of the movement, and suggest that shifting household demographics, including greater fragmentation of families through the decline in marriage and rising divorce/separation rates, have increased the fragility of fathers' bonds with their children.cite news | last =Collier | first =R | coauthors =Sheldon, Sally | title =Unfamiliar territory: The issue of a father's rights and responsibilities covers more than just the media-highlighted subject of access to his children |publisher= The Guardian | date =2006-11-01 | url =http://society.guardian.co.uk/children/story/0,,1935970,00.html |accessdate=2007-10-17 ] In their view, the movement is a response to the frustration caused by society's expectations and demands that men become more involved as fathers at a time when it is more difficult for them to do so due to increased divorce and separation.cite news | last =Collier | first =R | coauthors =Sheldon, Sally | title =Unfamiliar territory: The issue of a father's rights and responsibilities covers more than just the media-highlighted subject of access to his children |publisher= The Guardian | date =2006-11-01 | url =http://society.guardian.co.uk/children/story/0,,1935970,00.html |accessdate=2007-10-17 ] The fathers' rights movement includes individuals and groups who are highly diverse in goals, methods and political views.cite book |last=Collier |first=R | coauthors = Sheldon S |editor=R. Collier & S Sheldon |title=Fathers' Rights Activism and Law Reform in Comparative Perspective |format= |accessdate= |date=2006 |publisher=Hart Publishing |chapter=Fathers' rights, fatherhood and law reform- International perspectives | isbn = 1841136298] cite book|last=Parke |first=Ross D. |coauthors=Brot, Armin A. |title=Throwaway Dads|publisher=Houghton Mifflin|date=1999|isbn=9780395860410|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=uKN8gCzWFscC&pg=PA148&dq=fathers%27+rights+organization&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U22Y_m8FKWm6Jb4UE4XjYI87NAiKg] Fathers' rights groups are primarily comprised of white, middle or working class, heterosexual men, [cite book|last=Messner|first=Michael A,|title=Politics of Masculinities: Men in Movements|publisher=Rowman Altamira|date=1997|pages=47|isbn=9780803955776|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=nG8MGcopgWQC&pg=PA47&dq=%22fathers%27+rights%22+white+middle+class&lr=&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U16ZDL0GKrhTUnGVSetPtJgvYcGWA] tend to focus on a narrowly defined set of issues of interest to their membership consisting mainly of divorced or divorcing men.cite book|last=Gavanas|first=Anna|title=Fatherhood Politics in the United States|publisher=University of Illinois Press|date=2004|pages=p.|isbn=9780252028847|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=HgzFZ4o0qnMC&pg=PA11&dq=fathers%27+rights+organization&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U0PMohmV4NBgVLNdoOeDA8mvlvFJQ] However, the movement includes women as well as men, often the second wives of divorced fathers or other family members of men who have had some engagement with family law. Such groups state that fathers are victimized by gender bias and discrimination in family law,cite news
last =Collier
first =Richard
coauthors =Sheldon, Sally
title =Unfamiliar territory: The issue of a father's rights and responsibilities covers more than just the media-highlighted subject of access to his children
work =
pages =
language =
publisher = The Guardian
date =November 1, 2006
url =http://society.guardian.co.uk/children/story/0,,1935970,00.html
accessdate = 2007-10-17
] cite book|last=Williams|first=Gwyneth I.|coauthors=Williams, Rhys H.|title=Social Problems: Constructionist Readings|editor=Donileen R. Loseke, Joel Best|publisher=Aldine Transaction|date=2003|pages=93-100|chapter=Framing in the Fathers' Rights Movement|isbn=9780202307039|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=BXIspcMwljIC&pg=PA93&dq=%22fathers%27+rights+movement%22&as_brr=3&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U1fW2UYbpqSj2nGk9gcBzBLI3IS6A#PPT1,M1] and that sole custody decisions are a denial of equal rights.cite book|last=Ashe|first=Fidelma|title=The New Politics of Masculinity|publisher=Routledge|date=2007|pages=58-68|isbn=978-0-415-30275-3|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=bvz-J8pqn6wC&pg=PA61&dq=%2B%22Fathers%27+rights%22+%2Bvictim&lr=&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U2vUwITgT-ikhud0Hah4jmbY2NFZg#PPA61,M1] cite book|last=Kimmel|first=Michael S. |title=The Gendered Society|publisher=Oxford University Press|date=2000|isbn=9780195125870|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=ExjWDtstbQYC&pg=RA1-PA142&dq=fathers%27+rights+organization&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U1RmX8dLV-Zgye4ACtxT7M6AOSoJw] Scholars state that some fathers’ rights advocates support equality with regard to gender roles, and maintain that joint physical custody is in the best interest of children based on the idea that both men and women can be breadwinners and caregivers. These fathers' rights activists state that they are remaining true to the original vision of feminism in seeking to free both men and women from stereotypical roles and from legal discrimination.cite book|last=Williams|first=Gwyneth I.|coauthors=Williams, Rhys H.|title=Social Problems: Constructionist Readings|editor=Donileen R. Loseke, Joel Best|publisher=Aldine Transaction|date=2003|pages=93-100|chapter=Framing in the Fathers' Rights Movement|isbn=9780202307039|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=BXIspcMwljIC&pg=PA93&dq=%22fathers%27+rights+movement%22&as_brr=3&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U1fW2UYbpqSj2nGk9gcBzBLI3IS6A#PPT1,M1] These scholars also state that in contrast, other fathers’ rights activists decry the breakdown of the “traditional” family and the gender-based specialized roles implicit within it, viewing feminism as an enemy. They maintain that joint physical custody is in the best interest of the child because men and women are not interchangeable, and thus access to both parents provides the best environment for children. Sociologists Scott Coltrane and Neal Hickman state that like other political advocacy groups, members of fathers' rights groups cast their personal troubles as pressing social problems,cite journal
last=Smyth
first=Bruce
title=Child support Policy in Australia: Back to basics?
journal = Family Matters
issue = 67
publisher=Australian Institute of Family Studies
url =http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm2004/fm67/bs3.pdf
accessdate=2007-10-10
format=PDF
] and that they use rhetorical strategies to elicit emotional responses.cite journal
last1 = Coltrane | first1 = Scott
last2 = Hickman | first2 = Neal
title=The Rhetoric of Rights and Needs: Moral Discourse in the Reform of Child Custody and Child Support Laws
journal = Social Problems
volume = 19
issue = 4
pages=400–420
publisher=University of California Press
] Michael Flood, a critic of the fathers' rights movement, states that its members support shared parenting only as a symbolic issue related to "rights", "equality", and "fairness." He further states that its members are not actually interested in the shared care of their children or on the wishes of their children, and he adds that fathers’ rights groups have advocated strategies and attitudes which are harmful to fathers, mothers and children involved in divorce and separation.cite conference
first=Michael
last=Flood
authorlink =
title=Separated Fathers and the Fathers’ Rights Movement
booktitle = Feminism, Law and the Family Workshop
publisher=Law School, University of Melbourne
date =
url=http://www.xyonline.net/downloads/Supportingseparatedfath.doc
accessdate=2007-03-12 |format=DOC
] The movement has become increasingly vocal, visible and organised, and has played a powerful presence in family law debates.

Activities

The movement's primary focus has been to campaign (including lobbying and research) for formal legal rights for fathers, and sometimes for children, including changes to family law related to child custody, support and maintenance, abuse and violence as well as the perceived inequities in the family court system themselves. Fathers’ rights groups also provide emotional and practical support for members during separation and divorce.cite book
last=Flood
first=Michael
authorlink = Michael Flood
coauthors =
editor=Stacey Elin Rossi
others=
title=The Battle and Backlash Rage On
format=pdf
accessdate=2007-09-16
year=2004
publisher=Xlibris Corporation
chapter=Angry Men's Movements
chapterurl = http://www.xyonline.net/downloads/backlash.pdf
]

Some fathers' rights groups have become frustrated with the slow pace of traditional campaigning for law reform. Groups such as Fathers 4 Justice have become increasingly vocal and visible, undertaking public demonstrations which have attracted public attention and influenced the politics of family justice.cite book
last=Collier
first=Richard
authorlink =
coauthors = Sheldon, Sally
editor=Collier, Richard and Sheldon, Sally
others=
title=Fathers' Rights Activism and Law Reform in Comparative Perspective
format=
accessdate=
year=2006
publisher=Hart Publishing
chapter='The outlaw fathers fight back': Fathers' rights groups, Father 4 Justice and the politics of law reform- reflections on the UK experience
chapterurl =
] In the late twentieth-century, the growth of the internet permitted wider discussion, publicity and activism about issues of interest to fathers' rights activists.cite book|last=Carrol|first=Bret E.|title=American Masculinities : A Historical Encyclopedia|publisher=Sage|date=2003|pages=166-68|isbn=9780761925408|url=http://books.google.ca/books?id=E0R9lLtv8i8C&pg=PA166&dq=fathers%27+rights+movement+men%27s+rights&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U2UnBMG5-Xs66Su_V5pm3Wf9f-5PA#PPA166,M1]

Some fathers’ rights groups have been short-lived and unstable, as members and leaders do not remain with the group after they have been helped.cite journal | last =Kaye | first =M | coauthors =Tolmie J | title =Fathers' Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law | journal =Australian Journal of Family Law | volume =12 | pages =pp 19–68 | year =1998 | url =http://sisyphe.org/IMG/doc/doc-656.doc |accessdate=2007-03-24 |format=DOC] Infighting within groups has occurred. [cite news | url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article531077.ece | title = Fathers 4 Justice split by infighting | publisher = Times Online | last = Coates | first = S | date = 2005-06-08 | accessdate = 2008-09-03]

Fathers' rights activists in various countries have been accused and/or convicted of criminal activities, including stalking and harassment. [“Stalker: lesson learned”, Herald-Sun, 30 September 2004] [cite news
last =BBC News
first =
title =Australian militant fathers under fire
publisher = BBC
date =25 July, 2002
url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2150665.stm
accessdate = 2007-03-24
] [“Threat to crack down on vigilante group.” The Age, 25 July 2002] [Militants harassed woman, daughter.” The Canberra Times, 6 August 2002]

Main Issues

Fathers' rights and government

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that governments are engaged, by accident or design, in a campaign against fathers and fatherhood, which, in their view, lies at the root of a larger problem that undermines parents, threatens marriage, destroys families and damages children.cite book | title =Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =S | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=18 | isbn = 1581825943] Stephen Baskerville, a former President of the American Coalition of Fathers and Children, states that replacing parents with judges and police undermines democracy and accountability throughout society by creating an army of officials who have power without responsibility.cite book | title =Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =S | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=287 | isbn = 1581825943] He adds that it is the removal of the father from the family through divorce that initiates problems for which the government is perceived as the solution rather than the problem, and that these problems are then used to justify the continued existence and expansion of the government.cite book | title =Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =S | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=287 | isbn = 1581825943] He also states that modern divorce involves government officials invading parents' private lives, evicting people from their homes, seizing their property, and taking away their children.cite book | title =Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =S | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=20 | isbn = 1581825943]

No-fault divorce

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that laws establishing no-fault divorce did not stop at removing the requirement that grounds be cited for a divorce, so as to allow for divorce by "mutual consent"; they also allow either spouse to end the marriage without any agreement or fault by the other.cite book
title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
publisher =Cumberland House
year =2007
pages= 45
accessdate=2007-10-21
] They also state that no-fault divorce should be referred to as unilateral divorce. [cite web
title =Phyllis Schlafly's keynote address
publisher =American Coalition of Fathers and Children
month =September | year =2006
url =http://www.acfc.org/media/video/2006nflrc/ka/ka-schlafly.wmv
accessdate=2007-05-12
]

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that laws establishing no-fault divorce can be seen as one of the boldest social experiments in modern history that have effectively ended marriage as a legal contract.cite book
title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
publisher =Cumberland House
year =2007
comment = page 46
accessdate=2007-10-21
] They state that it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family, adding that government officials can, at the request of one spouse, end a marriage over the objection of the other. They state that no-fault divorce has left fathers with no protection against what they describe as the confiscation of their children.cite book
title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
publisher =Cumberland House
year =2007
comment = page 44
accessdate=2007-10-21
]
Stephen Baskerville describes a proposed amendment of no-fault divorce laws that would create a rebuttable presumption that custody of any minor children be awarded to the respondent [who is innocent or does not wish to divorce] regardless of gender. He also notes the predictions of Tim O'Brien, the author of the proposed amendment and a Libertarian, who states that the proposed amendment would result in a plummeting divorce rate and reduced negative consequences for children.cite book
last=Baskerville
first=Stephen
title=Taken Into Custody—The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
publisher=Cumberland House |year=2007 |pages=298 |accessdate=2008-09-13
]

Members of the fathers' rights movement propose "reasonable limits" on no-fault divorce when children are involved.cite book
title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
publisher =Cumberland House
year =2007
comment = page 298
accessdate=2007-10-21
]

Family court system

Members of the fathers' rights movement criticize the family court system. They define court-determined custody as not a right to parent one's children but as the power to prevent the other partner from parenting,cite book |author=Baskerville, Stephen |title=Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family |publisher=Cumberland House Publishing |location= |year=2007 |pages= |isbn=1-58182-594-3 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=] and they state that family courts are biased against fathers and shared custody. [cite web | title =Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs Fourth Report |publisher=House of Commons, Parliament UK |date=2005-02-23 | url = http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmconst/116/116we23.htm | accessdate =2007-03-18 ] cite web | last =Charalambous | first =Mark | authorlink = | title =New research shows bias in restraining orders |publisher=The Fatherhood Coalition | date =2005-07-10 | url =http://www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/newreadings/2005/MC_Gardner_Study-2_050710.htm | accessdate =2007-04-14 ] [cite web |title=The Operation of the Family Courts |publisher=House of Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee Family Justice |date=2004-11-08 | format = pdf | url =http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmconst/116/116ii.pdf | accessdate =2007-03-18 ] They state that the outcome of divorce is overly one-sided, divorce is initiated by mothers in more than two-thirds of cases, and that divorce provides advantages for women, such as automatic custody of the children and financial benefits in the form of child support payments.cite journal |last=Baskerville |first=Stephen | authorlink = |title=Divorce as Revolution |publisher= Salisbury Review | volume = 21 | issue = 4 | year = 2003 | url =http://www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/newreadings/2003/Divorce_as_Revolution_SBsum03.htm | accessdate =2008-08-31 ] They also state that that family courts are slow to help fathers enforce their parental rights, [cite news | last = Sacks | first = G | coauthors = Brass R | title =National Fatherhood Initiative's Ad Campaign Insults African-American Fathers |publisher= Daily Breeze |date=2004-05-25 | url =http://www.glennsacks.com/national_fatherhood_initiative_ads.htm | accessdate =2007-03-14 ] expensive and time-consuming.cite web | last =Baskerville | first =Stephen |title=The Fatherhood Crisis: Time for a New Look |publisher=NCPA Policy Report No. 267 ISBN #1-56808-136-7. National Center for Policy Analysis. |month=June | year=2004 | url =http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st267/st267.pdf | accessdate =2007-03-18 |format=PDF]

Members of the fathers' rights movement including Stephen Baskerville state that family courts are secretive, censoring and punitive of fathers who criticize them, and they also state that employees and activists within the courts support and benefit from the separation of children from their parents.cite journal |last=Baskerville |first=Stephen] | title =The Politics of Fatherhood | journal = Political Science and Politics | volume = 35 | issue = 4 | year = 2002 | url =http://www.childrensjustice.org/politics-fatherhood.html | accessdate =2007-03-15 ] cite web | last =Baskerville | first =Stephen | title =Family Violence in America The Truth About Domestic Violence and Child Abuse | month =May | year =2006 | url =http://www.acfc.org/site/DocServer/familyviolence.pdf?docID=641 | accessdate =2007-03-14 ] cite book | title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =Stephen | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=24 |accessdate=2008-09-13 ] Stephen Baskerville further states that family law today represents civil rights abuses and intrusive perversion of government power.cite book | title =Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family | last =Baskerville | first =Stephen | publisher =Cumberland House | year =2007 |pages=24 |accessdate=2008-09-13 ]

Critics of the fathers' rights movement contest these conclusions, state that family courts are biased in favor of fathers and also state that the lower percentage of separated fathers as custodial parents is a result of choices made by fathers rather than bias of family courts.cite book |author=Baker, Maureen |title=Families, labour and love: [family diversity in a changing world] |publisher=UBC Press |location=Vancouver |year=2001 |pages= 198-9|isbn=0-7748-0848-9 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=]

Child custody - Shared parenting

Stating that "children need both parents", members of the fathers’ rights movement call for greater equality in parental responsibility following separation and divorce.cite web
last=Ballard
first=Travis
authorlink =
title=Mitigating the Effects of Divorce on Children
publisher=National Congress for Fathers and Children
url =http://www.ncfc.net/chldcncl.txt
accessdate =2007-03-15
] cite web
title =Shared Parenting Council Membership
publisher=Shared Parenting Council
date =
url =http://www.spca.org.au/join.htm
accessdate =2007-03-15
] They call for laws creating a rebuttable presumption of 50/50 shared custody so that children would generally spend equal time with each parent unless there were reasons against it.cite web
title =Why Howard suddenly started to talk about custody battles
publisher=theage.com.au
date=2003-06-21
url =http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/20/1055828492831.html
accessdate =2007-03-15
] cite web
title =Shared Parenting Council Membership
publisher=Shared Parenting Council
date =
url =http://www.spca.org.au/join.htm
accessdate =2007-03-15
] They point to studies showing that children in shared custody settings are better adjusted and have fewer social problems such as low academic achievement, crime, pregnancy, substance abuse, depression and suicide,cite web
title =Shared Parenting: Common Objections versus the Facts
publisher=American Coalition of Fathers and Children: The Liberator Volume 32#3
date =Fall 2005
url =http://www.acfc.org/site/DocServer/4web.pdf?docID=481
accessdate =2007-03-15
] cite web
coauthors = Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks
title =HB 5267 Will Help Michigan’s Children of Divorce
publisher=American Coalition of Fathers and Children (also Lansing State Journal)
date= 2006-05-08 (printed in Lansing State Journal)
url =http://acfc.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=Lansing_State_Journal
accessdate =2007-03-15
] and state that shared parenting is in fact in the best interests of the child. Members of the fathers' rights movement and their critics disagree about the correlation of negative developmental outcomes for children to sole custody situations. Critics of the fathers' rights movement and researcher V. C. McLoyd state that father absence covaries with other relevant family characteristics such as the lack of an income from a male adult, the absence of a second adult, and the lack of support from a second extended family system and conclude that it is the negative effects of poverty, and not the absence of a father, that result in negative developmental outcomes.Citation
last =McLoyd
first =V. C.
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title=Socioeconomic Disadvantages and Child Development
journal = American Psychologist,
volume = 53
issue =
pages =185–204
date =
year=1998
url =
doi =
id=
] On the other hand, members of the fathers' rights movement state that although the consequences of poverty and having a single parent are interrelated, each is a risk factor with independent effects on children, cite web
last =Hart
first =Craig H.
title =Combating the Myth that Parents Don’t Matter
publisher=The Howard Center for Family Religion and Society
year =1999
url =http://www.worldcongress.org/wcf2_spkrs/wcf2_hart.htm
accessdate =2007-03-28
] and that the negative outcomes for children in sole custody situations correlate more strongly to "fatherlessness" than to any other variable including poverty. [ cite web
title=Deconstructing the Essential Father
publisher =SPARC
url=http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/deconstruct.php
accessdate=2007-09-22
]
Members of the fathers' rights movement criticize the best interests of the child standard currently used in many countries for making custody decisions, which they describe as highly subjective and based on the personal prejudices of family court judges and court-appointed child custody evaluators,cite web
last =Schlafly
first =Phyllis
authorlink =
title =The Fatherphobia of Family Courts
date =2005-02-02
url =http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2005/feb05/05-02-02.html
accessdate =2007-04-24
] cite web
last =Newdow
first =Michael
title =Family Feud
publisher =Slate.Com
date =2004-06-18
url =http://www.slate.com/id/2102650/
accessdate=2007-04-30
] cite web
title =New York Times Press Gives Major Press Coverage for Fathers
publisher =Fathers & Families
date =2005-05-08
url =http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/site/news.php?id=54
accessdate=2007-05-27
] cite web
last =Schlafly
first =Phyllis
authorlink =
title =Children's rights should include life with both parents
date =2007-07-23
url =http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=21639
accessdate =2007-09-30
] and that courts are abusive when more than half custody is taken away from a willing, competent parent.cite web
title =An APPEAL to the PARENTS of AMERICA about the DESTRUCTION of the AMERICAN FAMILY
publisher=American Coalition of Fathers and Children
url =http://www.acfc.org/site/DocServer/ACFC2saved.pdf?docID=181
accessdate =2007-03-15
] Members of the fathers' rights movement including Ned Holstein state that a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting is supported by a majority of citizens,cite web
authorlink =
Publisher =Fathers & Families
title =Testimony in Support of an Act Relative to Shared Parenting
date =2003-09-25
url =http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/Publications/Test%20HB%202464%20Custody.pdf
accessdate =2007-10-14 |format=PDF
] and members of the fathers' rights movement including Stephen Baskerville state that proposals to enact such laws are opposed by divorce lawyers and by feminist organizations, the latter by invoking the specter of domestic violence and child abuse as propaganda directed against fathers and fathers' rights groups.cite book
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
title=Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
publisher=Cumberland House
comment =page 21
year=2007
accessdate =2007-10-22
]

Critics point to research suggesting that joint custody arrangements are good for children only if there is little parental conflict. [cite web
last =Govorun
first =Olesya
authorlink =
title=Joint-custody arrangements good for children of divorce -- but only if there is no parental conflict
publisher =Ohio State Research News
date =2002-11-21
url =http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/joincust.htm
accessdate=
] They state that if shared parenting were ordered, fathers would not provide their share of the daily care for the children. Critics also question the motives of those promoting shared parenting, noting that it would result in substantial decreases in or termination of child support payments. [Citation
last =American Bar Association
title =Guide to Family Law: Effect of Joint Custody
year =2000
url =http://family.findlaw.com/child-support/support-guidelines/joint-custody-support.html
accessdate=2007-03-15
] cite web
coauthors =Irene Weiser and Marcia Pappas
title=Fathers' Responsibilities Before Fathers' Rights
publisher=NOW-NYS
date =2006-07-29
url =http://www.nownys.org/fathers_resp.html
accessdate=2007-09-09
]
Members of the fathers' rights movement state that shared parenting has been demonstrated to reduce parental conflict by requiring parents to cooperate and compromise, and that it is the lack of constraint by one parent resulting from the ability of that parent to exclude the other, that results in increased parental conflict.cite book
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
title=Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
publisher=Cumberland House
comment =page 305
year=2007
accessdate =2007-11-02
] They add that only when child support guidelines exceed true costs do parents ask for or seek to prevent changes in parenting time for financial reasons, adding that any argument that a parent is asking for increased parenting time to reduce child support is at the same time an argument that the other parent is making a profit from child support.cite book
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
title=Taken Into Custody - The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family
publisher=Cumberland House
comment =page 249
year=2007
accessdate =2007-10-30
]

Critics state that some fathers' rights groups are more interested in enabling men to re-establish authority over their children and ex-partners and that issues of power and control in cases of domestic violence and child abuse are ignored. [Citation
last =Michigan National Organization for Women
title =Mandated Joint Physical And Legal Custody Bill
year =1996
url =http://www.michnow.org/jointcus.htm
accessdate=2007-03-24
format =Dead link|date=June 2008ndash [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=author%3AMichigan+National+Organization+for+Women+intitle%3AMandated+Joint+Physical+And+Legal+Custody+Bill&as_publication=&as_ylo=1996&as_yhi=1996&btnG=Search Scholar search]
] cite web
last =Callander
first =Debbi
authorlink =
coauthors =Martin Dufresne, Janet Menezes and Ellen Murray
title=On Abuse, Shared Parenting, & the System
date =
url =http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/questions___answers.html
accessdate=2007-03-24
] Members of the fathers’ rights movement state that fathers have a constitutional right to shared control of their children and through political action they intend to establish parental authority for the well-being of their children.cite web
title =Fathers' Rights Are Fathers' Duties
publisher =FatherMag.Com
date =1998-2000
url =http://www.fathermag.com/803/action/
accessdate=2007-10-14
] They also state that a rebuttable presumption for shared parenting preserves a child's protection against unfit or violent parents.cite web
title =Position Paper of Fathers & Families
publisher =Fathers & Families
year =2007
url =http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/Publications/Legislation/2007_HB1460_SB994_Position_Paper_Shared_Parenting.pdf
accessdate=2007-10-06 |format=PDF
]

Child support

Members of the fathers’ rights movement campaign for the reform of child support guidelines, which in most Western countries are based on maintaining the children's standard of living after separation, and on the assumption that the children live with one parent and never with the other.cite web
title =Comments on the Child Support Guidelines
publisher =F.A.C.T. Fathers Are Capable Too: Parenting Association
date =
url =http://www.fact.on.ca/fin_supp/factcs7.htm
accessdate =2007-04-12
] Activists state that the current guidelines are arbitrary, provide mothers with financial incentives to divorce, and leave fathers with little discretionary income to enjoy with the children during their parenting time.cite web
last =Wilson
first =KC
authorlink =
title =The Subversion of Child Support
publisher =IFeminists.Com
date =2004-09-15
url =http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2004/0915wilson.html
accessdate =2007-03-17
] In their place, fathers’ rights activists propose guidelines based on a Cost Shares model, in which child support would be based on the average income of the parents and the estimated child costs incurred by both parents.cite web
last =Rogers
first =R. Mark
authorlink =
title =The “Cost Shares” Child Support Guideline: A Working, Superior Alternative
To Current Guidelines
publisher =Guideline Economics
date =2001-05-05
url =http://www.guidelineeconomics.com/files/CRC20010505.pdf
accessdate =2007-03-12 |format=PDF
] Critics of the Cost Share Model guidelines including Laura W. Morgan state that it focuses on the relative living standards of divorcing parents rather than the best interests of the children and financially supporting them at the same level after divorce. [cite web
last=Morgan
first=Laura W.
authorlink =
title=The "Cost Share" model of child support guidelines
date=2005-02-15
url =http://www.supportguidelines.com/articles/art200407.html
accessdate =2007-03-24
]

Noting research that cultural communities emphasize different aspects of fatherhood, members of the fathers' rights movement state that the law should value a broader definition of fathering for poor fathers by reducing the focus on collecting child support and encouraging the informal contributions (such as groceries, clothes, toys, time with the children) of these fathers, by counting these contributions as child support. [cite web
last =Maldonado
first =Solangel
authorlink =
title =Deadbeat or Deadbroke: Redefining Child Support for Poor Fathers
year=2006
url =http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/articles/Vol39/Issue3/DavisVol39No3_MALDONADO.pdf
accessdate =2007-06-21 |format=PDF
]

Members of the fathers’ rights movement state that child support should be terminated under certain conditions, such as if the custodial parent limits access to the children by moving away against the wishes of the other parent, gives fraudulent testimony, or if paternity fraud is discovered,cite web
title =Recommendations for Child Support Guideline Revisement June, 2001
month=June | year=2001
url =http://www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/2001/CSGuidelineRecommendations2001.htm
accessdate =2007-04-15
] adding that two men should not have to pay child support for the same child.

They state that it is often difficult for fathers in financial hardship or who take on a larger caregiving role with their children to have their child support payments lowered. They also state that unemployment is the primary cause of child support arrears, and further state that these arrearages make the father subject to arrest and imprisonment without due process.cite web
last =Baskerville
first =Stephen
authorlink =
title =Is There Really A Fatherhood Crisis?
publisher =The Independent Institute
date=Spring 2004
url =http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?issueID=13&articleID=35
accessdate=2007-05-01
]

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that the purpose of child support should be publicly determined, and enforcement programs must be designed to serve that purpose, observing the due process of law.

Domestic violence and Child abuse

Supporters of the fathers' rights movement assert that some women make false claims of domestic violence or child abuse in order to gain an upper hand in divorce, custody disputes and/or prevent fathers from seeing their children, and they state that lawyers advise women to make such claims. They state that false claims of domestic violence and child abuse are encouraged by the inflammatory "win or lose" nature of child custody hearings, and that men are presumed to be guilty rather than innocent by police and by the courts. They oppose the use of certain definitions of violence in child custody hearings that are based on fear, harassment and/or stalking, viewing them as vaguely defined and difficult to refute.cite web
title=An Epidemic of Civil Rights Abuses: Ranking of States’ Domestic Violence Laws
publisher=Respecting accuracy in domestic abuse reporting
month=September | year=2006
url =http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/Ranking-of-States-DV-Laws.pdf
accessdate =2007-05-05 |format=PDF
]

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that the paternal risk of child abuse is minimal. They add that when child abuse occurs, the perpetrator is not likely to be the father, and that the child abuse most often occurs after the father has been separated from his children. They state that government policies are creating child abuse by separating children from their fathers.

Supporters of the fathers’ rights movement point to domestic violence studies based on the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), which suggest that men and women act violently toward their partners in about equal percentages.cite web
coauthors = Michael Flood
title=Claims about Husband Battering
publisher=American Coalition of Fathers and Children also Omaha World Herald, Daytona
Beach News-Journal and the Louisville Courier-Journal
date=Summer 1999
url =http://www.xyonline.net/husbandbattering.shtml
accessdate =2007-09-21
] cite web
title =Controlling Domestic Violence Against Men
coauthors =Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., Martin S. Fiebert, Ph.D., and Erin Pizzey
publisher =Equal Justice Foundation
year=2002
url =http://www.ejfi.org/DV/dv-9.htm
accessdate =2007-10-04
] cite web
coauthors = McCormick, Mike and Sacks, Glenn J
title=October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month Ignores Many Victims
publisher=American Coalition of Fathers and Children also Omaha World Herald, Daytona
Beach News-Journal and the Louisville Courier-Journal
month=October | year=2006
url =http://www.acfc.org/site/PageServer?pagename=octobers_dv_awareness
accessdate =2007-03-15
] Members of the fathers' rights movement including Michael McCormick and Glenn Sacks state that men comprise a "significant minority" of the victims of domestic violence,cite web
coauthors = McCormick, Mike and Sacks, Glenn J
title=Equal Rights Amendment Yes, ‘Women’s Equality Amendment’ No
publisher=GlennSacks.Com, also the Louisville Courier
month=October | year=2006
url =http://www.glennsacks.com/equal_rights_amendment.htm
accessdate =2007-04-15
] and other supporters call for more services to be provided for male victims of domestic violence. Critics of the CTS dispute its reliability. Taft, Angela, Kelsey Hegarty and Michael Flood, 'Are men and women equally violent to intimate partners?' in "Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health" Volume 25 Issue 6 Page 498-500, December 2001] Archer, John, 'Assessment of the reliability of the Conflict Tactics Scale: A meta-analytic review', "Journal of Interpersonal Violence", 14(12), December 1999, pp. 1263-1289] Michael Flood states that the CTS definitions of domestic violence obscure "variations in the meaning, consequences, and context of violent behaviors in families and relationships."Flood, Michael, 'The Debate Over Men’s Versus Women’s Family Violence' in "Australian Institute of Judicial Administration", Family Violence Conference, Adelaide, February 23rd to 24th, 2006]

Supporters of the fathers' rights movement propose that domestic violence and child abuse must be adjudicated as criminal assault, observing due process protections, and that government funding for programs addressing these issues must be made contingent on such protections.

Parenting time interference and Parental alienation syndrome

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that some mothers interfere with the father's parenting time and that such interference should be stopped.cite web
coauthors = Thompson, Dianna and Sacks, Glenn
title=Equal Parents Week Highlights Need for Family Court Reform
publisher=GlennSacks.Com also Lansing State Journal 2002-09-26
date =
url =http://glennsacks.com/equal_parents_week_pf.htm
accessdate =2007-03-15
] They state that parenting time interference can result from the custodial parent's relocation beyond a practical distance from the noncustodial parent and they campaign for a rebuttable presumption prohibiting such relocations.cite web
title =AB 400 Will Help Wisconsin's Children of Divorce
coauthers =Jeffery Leving and Glenn Sacks
publisher =Glenn Sacks
date =2005-06-17
url =http://www.glennsacks.com/ab_400_will.htm
accessdate=2007-05-12
]

They state that parental alienation is a well-documented phenomena and that Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a valid syndromecite web
coauthors =Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks
authorlink =
title=Protect Children from Alienation
publisher=Ifeminists.Com
date=2006-07-12
url =http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2006/0712sacks.html
accessdate =2007-10-13
] cite web
last=Bone
first=J. Michael
authorlink =
title=Parental Alienation Syndrome: Examining the Validity Amid Controversy
publisher=Parental-Alienation.Com - The Family Law Section, Vol. XX, No. 1, Fall/Winter 2003, p 24-27
date=Fall/Winter 2003
url =http://parental-alienation.com/articles/article0004.htm
accessdate =2007-05-04
] in which a child is alienated by a parent against the other parent for the purpose of gaining or retaining full custody of the children, and they offer advice to fathers about what to do if their access to their children is affected by parental alienation.cite web
last=Hayward
first=Stan
authorlink =
title=A GUIDE TO THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
publisher=UK Men and Father's Rights
date =
url =http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/pas.htm
accessdate =2007-03-15
]

Critics of the fathers' rights movement and of parental alienation syndrome note that it is not considered a syndrome by the American Psychological Associationcite web
title =Statement on Parental Alienation Syndrome
publisher =American Psychological Association
date =2005-10-28
url =http://www.apa.org/releases/passyndrome.html
accessdate =2007-03-11
] and state that it is nothing more than a legal strategy that has been rejected by some members of the legal community.cite press release
title =Child Abuse Experts Applaud Legal Community for Rejecting Parental Alienation Syndrome
publisher =The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence
date =2006-07-12
url =http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/PR_PAS.html
accessdate =2007-03-12
]

Critics and members of the fathers' rights movement agree about the danger that claims of parental alienation syndrome may be used by abusive fathers as a weapon against appropriately protective mothers in order to win custody.

Unwarranted Termination of Parental Rights and Adoptions

Parents' rights advocates state that many parents' parental rights are unnecessarily terminated, and that children are separated from fathers and mothers and adopted through the actions of family courts and government social service agencies seeking to meet their own targets, rather than looking at the merits of each case. [cite web
title =Unwarranted Adoptions
publisher =BBC
date =
url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3662494.stm
accessdate=2007-06-05
]

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that government employees harm children by disregarding the loving bonds they share with their fathers, when social workers place children in the foster care system without informing their fathers. [cite web
title =Choosing foster parents over fathers
coauthors =Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks
publisher =The San Diego Union Tribune
date =2007-07-11
url =http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070711/news_lz1e11leving.html
accessdate=2007-10-05
]

Fathers' rights movement by country

Issues related to the fathers' rights movement in specific countries are included in Fathers' rights movement by country.

Fathers' rights and issues with language

Fathers' and parents' rights campaigners state that "parenting time" should be used to replace "contact", "visitation" and "residence". The term "visitation" is particularly objectionable to fathers' rights activists, who believe that this term reinforces the idea that only one parent "raises the children." It is perceived that there is a stigma associated with treating one parent as "resident" and the other as "non-resident". The use of the terms "absent parent", "putative father", and "non-custodial parent" have also been challenged.

Members of the fathers' rights movement state that child support should be referred to as parental transfer payments. [cite web
title =Phyllis Schlafly's keynote address
publisher =American Coalition of Fathers and Children
month =September | year =2006
url =http://www.acfc.org/media/video/2006nflrc/ka/ka-schlafly.wmv
accessdate=2007-05-12
]

Notable supporters

Public supporters of the fathers' rights movement and their issues, include divorced (and subsequently widowed) Live Aid founder, Bob Geldof, [cite news
title =Bob Geldof
publisher =Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK
url =http://www.spig.clara.net/geldof.htm
accessdate =2007-05-01
] Irish writer and journalist John Waters, ex-UK Home Secretary David Blunkett and Karen DeCrow, former president of the National Organization for Women [cite news
last =
title =Welcome to California Shared Parenting Alliance
publisher=California Shared Parenting Alliance
date =
url =http://cspaonline.org/
accessdate =2007-03-18
] cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors = Tim Fittro and Stephen Baskerville
title =Family law reform helps children
work =
publisher =Sunday Gazette Mail (West Virginia)
date =
url =http://www.wvgazette.com/section//2007022517
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-03-18
]

ignificant writers

*Bettina Arndt
*Warren Farrell
*Michael Flood
*Michael Green
*Wendy McElroy
*Glenn Sacks
*Phyllis Schlafly
*Christina Hoff Sommers

Books

*"Divorced Dad's Survival Book: How to Stay Connected With Your Kids" / David Knox & Kermit Leggett (2000) ISBN 0738203173
*"Father and Child Reunion: How to Bring the Dads We Need to the Children We Love" / Warren Farrell (2001) ISBN 1585420751
*"Elusive Innocence: Survival Guide for the Falsely Accused" / Dean Tong (2001) ISBN 1563841908
*"Fathers after Divorce: Building a New Life and Becoming a Successful Separated Parent" / Michael Green (2002) ISBN 1876451009
*"Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex" / Richard Warshak (2003) ISBN 0060934573
*"Torn Apart: True Stories of Excluded Fathers" / Tim Willis (2005) ISBN 1904977308
*"Without Authority" / Barry Worrall (2006) ISBN 1900080095
*"That Bitch: Protect Yourself Against Women With Malicious Intent" / Roy Sheppard & Mary Cleary (2007) ISBN 1901534103
*"Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family" / Stephen Baskerville (2007) ISBN 1581825943

References

External links


*DMOZ|Society/People/Men/Issues/Fathers'_Rights/


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