A growing fathers’ rights movement is aggressively challenging what it sees as the courts’ assumption that the mother is the only real parent states an article in Slate. Men’s rights activists air their grievances about unfair child custody laws on sites such as A Voice for Men and on subreddits like Men’s Rights and The Red Pill. Last year, Ken Cuccinelli was tied to a men’s rights group advocating for divorced fathers. “Men are angry at losing their kids in the divorce court and taking their dream of raising them and reducing it to a child support payment and every other weekend,” writes one men’s rights blogger quoted in Michael Kimmel’s 2013 book Angry White Men. And that view is shared by the broader public. One recent study showed that people are generally in favor of joint custody, but they believe that divorce courts are seriously slanted toward mothers.
But is this actually true? “There’s a real perception—even women share it—that courts are unfair to fathers,” says Ira Ellman, a custody expert at Arizona State University. But in fact the great revolution in family court over the past 40 years or so has been the movement away from the presumption that mothers should be the main, or even sole, caretakers for their children. Individual cases like Patric’s may raise novel legal issues, but on the whole, courts are fair to men if they fight hard for the kids.
The problem is that the many fathers had less contact with the kids during the marriage; or the wife denies access of the kids to the the fathers during the divorce and the fathers don’t do enough about it. The courts get fixated on the status quo- that the kids have been with the wife more often and got used to it and thus, don’ want to “upset the apple cart”. Unfortunately that belief that the kids will be harmed if the custody apportionment is changed, is not supported by the majority of psychologists. The key to maximize custody, is to fight for custody during the marriage and during the divorce.