Is the family court system biased against fathers?

It is evident that the average person cannot afford the justice system and many times fathers are left out because they cannot fight for their rights. The system still favors mothers unreasonably and even if mental health issues are involved the father can't pay to prove it.

As a result the fathers often are forced to give up their children, resulting in long-term emotional damage to the child because mom says he "abandoned them" when she decided to live thousands of miles away to make it impossible for him to spend time with them.

Cost for travel and time off work is prohibitive. The system is a mess! If you are rich you have a better shot at being heard at least. It is easy to see why some fathers just walk away.

The emotional damage it does to them to not be able to fight their way into the lives of their children is just too much. There is increased depression and suicide as a result, besides the psychological damage to the children.

Do you think the system is fair or needs an upheaval?

  • It's fair - Keep it as it is
    Vote A
  • The system needs to be vastly improved
    Vote B
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • It's no mystery that the US courts favor women in every respect, but especially with anything related to parenting or reproductive rights.

    It is also clear that most women are incapable of seeing the bias for what it is, which is another example of how women want equality and fairness only when it benefits them.

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    • It's totally true. Men get absolutely no say in the matter. In fact a teenage girl that gets pregnant and has a child, can give that child up for adoption without needing any consent from the father.

      There's even been cases of fathers not knowing the child even existed and later found out and searched for them.

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    • QA - thank you for the BA.

    • you're welcome!

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What Girls Said 9

  • It's important to note that the vast majority of child custody cases (more than 90%) are decided *outside* of the courts (parents come to a mutual agreement about custody, with or without mediation).

    Secondly, the laws themselves are gender neutral.

    So, in the cases where a child custody dispute is heard in court, if there is a bias, it is coming from the judges themselves.

    Where does this bias come from? I would say it's the result of gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles.

    Women are stereotyped as caregivers. They are seen as more nurturing/caring than men. Thus, they tend to be seen as better parents (even if this isn't the case) or more integral to their children's lives (children need their mothers!).

    In terms of traditional gender roles, women are more likely to be the primary care giver. They're more likely to be the stay-at-home parent, or in cases where both parents work, women still provide the majority of child care (on average, mothers spend 12.9 hours/week on child care versus 6.5 hours/week provided by fathers).

    When we have a society that perpetuates gender stereotypes and gender roles, its not hard to imagine that some of our judges would also hold those biased views.

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  • I completely agree with you; the system needs to be completely changed.

    After my mom died, my father turned to alcohol and in turn lost custody of me and my brother. My father was sober for 2 years (and gained respectful employment, had a safe apartment, went to parenting and substance abuse classes, etc. aka all the requirements) and yet the only reason I was allowed to move back in with him was because my aunt hated me. That was about 3 years ago and my brother still lives with his aunt and sees our dad less than an hour a month and is no longer allowed to see or talk to me. Even though my dad did exactly what he was told to do, even still has no rights to my brother, heck he even pays child support even though my aunt makes more money and my brother earns a couple hundred a month from survivor benefits. Point of that story, the courts are f--ed up and choose the woman (my aunt who physically, verbally, and mentally abused me while I lived with her) over the man.

    However; I also babysit and tutor for a family where the parents are divorced (mother unmarried, father remarried and has 2 stepdaughters) but of the two children I watch, one is physically disabled (unable to walk, cannot control limbs, needs help with everything) and the other has severe allergies to dogs (father has a pet dog). The parents share custody but the father has more money and better lawyers which is why they still share custody. The father (and I know this from first hand experience) does not take any care to feed the children their required diet, does not give them their medication, and does not shower or assist with using the bathroom for the disabled one. By no means is he a capable father but the courts allow him to still watch them on a biweekly basis.

    The biggest problem is that 'we' consider the women to be the nurturing types and therefore we can't separate the children from their mothers unless there are extreme circumstances. Which is not always the case.

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  • Is The Family Court System Biased Against Fathers?
    Possibly considering it's seemingly based on patriarchal gender roles of males as providers and females as caregivers which can legally translate to males providing paychecks and gals getting child custody/child support.

    While it is amusing or me to see the patriarchy bite back on males I state possibly as it may not be bias that gals generally get custody since it seems most fathers don't seek custody (according to a study only 33% of guys even want sole custody of their kids) and it may not be bias that gals generally get awarded alimony/child support since both are financially responsible for the child and according to a study guys typically make about 25 percent more than gals of the same age. (Source: www.edivorcepapers.com/.../...-statistics.html )

    "The system still favors mothers unreasonably and even if mental health issues are involved the father can't pay to prove it."
    By this did you mean that a guy not being able to prove his claim that his partner has mental health issues is a case of unreasonable favoritism? If so that's a bit off to me as I don't find it unreasonable to award custody to a parent who has unproven/unsupported claims against them.
    Or did you mean that a gal with mental health issues getting awarded custody is a case of unreasonable favoritism? If so that's also off to me as I know plenty of fathers who have been found guilty of molesting their own kid get custody. Rapists even get child custody of their rape kid.

    My vote: "A. It's fair - Keep it as it is"... however I don't think it's fair I'm just for keeping it as it is as I'm a female and it doesn't seem to negatively affect my gender so I don't care. I'm not interested in helping or resolving male issues not in a society where gals are considered inferior, their word isn't to be trusted, and it's a common norm to use a derogatory insult like b*tch interchangeably for the entire female population

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    • Why would he seek custody when he knows the answer? If there were an idea to finally solve the problems, do you think men and women would side equally? How about firstly if they're going to have sex before marriage make good and marry the person and never divorce them, ever. And either caught cheating would do life in prison, him or her.

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    • @ThisAndThat
      In my opinion the problem can't really be solved as the problem is deciding which parent is more suited for the child and likely both think they are.

      I'm unsure what relevance cheating has to do with child custody/support. I get divorce considering the decision on who gets the child however in my opinion even divorce isn't the problem but who gets the kid rather than the never divorce them bit it'd be suited to have dual child custody and both equally put in finances.

    • @ThisAndThat
      If there were an idea to finally solve the 'problems' guys face I think guys and gals would side similarly if not equally.

      In my observations generally gals tend to be willing to solve male issues unlike guys who generally don't even acknowlegdge female issues or even belittle it Even the supposed male hating feminism solved the issue of men not being recognized as rape victims by legally changing the definition to include men being capable of being raped ala anal penetration.

  • It is biased, yes. But you then tell me, how would you fix it? It's intended to do what's best for the child - not the parents. And mothers tend to be more nurturing than fathers. So, tell me, how do you fix it?

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    • I don't know about that. I mean I have talked to some mother's who are clearly bad news. One mother I talked to is an alcoholic pothead who was doing everything in her power to make the father look like shit.

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    • My mother is an alcoholic/drug addict and my father won custody. I live in the US. Usually if the woman is that bad the father wins

    • Depends on if you can prove it. Alcoholism and drug addiction can be proven. Plain selfishness can't be.

  • In Australia at least it's very complicated. The standard approach is to strive for equal parenting rights. Realistically, courts are predisposed to give the mothers primary custody (e. g. kids during the week, fathers weekends, etc).

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  • yes i think it is very biased against fathers. very unfair.

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    • that exact scenario happened to my half-brother. his mom told him that our dad is bad and just left. the opposite of reality.

  • I agree, but honestly, how do you fix it? If there are two decent human beings both fighting for the rights of their children, do you just flip a coin to choose who gets it?

    People shouldn't be able to separate children from their fathers like that, but sometimes people have to move because of jobs or something, I mean, it can get pretty complicated. There are definitely changes that need to be made to improve the system, but the fact is people view women as maternal nurturers. It's an unfair advantage that men generally cannot compete with. It's complicated, and there's no all-fix. It's a case by case type of problem.

    I was raised by my father. I don't even want to think about what kind of person I would be if I had been raised by my mother.

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  • I voted B, but I don't buy into your sob story of what happens "all the time". Are there lots of dads who get screwed over by hostile ex-wives? Yes. Absolutely. Are there lots of moms who get screwed over by hostile ex-husbands? Yes. Absolutely. The system is broken and doesn't work because it's so vulnerable to manipulation. If two people wanna fight dirty in court, generally whoever has more money to pay lawyers and legal fees will win. Why? Because they can afford to keep lobbing accusations that the other party can't afford to defend.

    But your assertion that DADS, as a group, are specifically the victims is complete and utter bullshit.

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  • I don't think it's all like that, they're a bunch of states that rule in the favor of the father. Most cases end up with joint custody, and I don't see how that isn't fair to both parties. It is just as hard for a mother to prove a dad unfit as it is vice versa.

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What Guys Said 13

  • I read a case of a psychopathic and vindictive mother who had friends in high places in the local courts. She maliciously deserted her husband and divorced him. However, the child's father was a better parent in every imaginable way. The little girl then dared to announce that she loved her father and that her mother was a bad parent.

    The mother immediately set to work to get revenge on the little girl, not only slapping her, but threatening the father to say: "I'll show YOU what a 'model citizen' he is!"

    In spite all this, the judge agreed with her to change the terms of child support payment that the father made - and not tell him. That way, the judge and ex-wife could turn around and accuse him of overpaying on child support. He was not aware that he was overpaying under the new terms (that he was never informed of nor agreed to.)

    In spite being able to show in court this obvious frameup for what it was, the judge still sent the father to jail for paying too much money.

    At this rate, I'm surprised there aren't judged running scared hiding under rocks with mobs after them with torches and pitchforks. That's how rotten the system is.

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  • If a woman wants an abortion and a man wants to keep the child, he gets no say in the matter and the child ultimately meets an unfair end.

    If instead the woman wants to keep the child and the father doesn't, then the child is born and the father is forced to pay child support for it.

    Im not saying men shouldn't pay child support but when you put it in that context it does seem very unfair.

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    • Plus the defense they use for the abortion is "her body her choice"

      but for the man they say "well if you didn't want to pay child support then you shouldn't of had sex with her"

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    • What she said. And makesure to use your own - some women (and some men too) poke holes in them.

    • That's true Adam. This crazy bitch tried that with one of my friends.

  • Fathers have no rights but are expected to support kids they dont get to see because some women are not fit enough to have kids. They use their children as weapons to damage the father and complain when the father has nothing left but to walk away. Its wrong and immoral and women are the ones who need some rights removed. Because it sure does seem like some women believe they have the right to use kids in this way. It is sick parenting.

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  • It's not because they're a father, it's because they're men.

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    • There's no need to get bogged down with semantics. Your time would be better spent using your cerebral cortex.

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    • I agree. The system has got to go. Its days are numbered.

    • Exactly why I answered they way I did

  • I think because it's too easy for a girl to make herself out to be the victim that they can get away with a lot in court. Guys are stereotyped as insensitive and such.

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  • only in the case when the female has rage, animosity, very uncooperative as a parent, uses the children as ponds vs being concerned with there new family situation and making it the best possible for everyone. but there are quite a few women in general that are fair. just not your ex or mine. you gotta have the money and your schedule cannot conflict with there school schedule. and she can't hate you lol. just my experience.
    it's like the guy has to prove everything and she only needs to imply things..
    totally unfair for everone,

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    • In general, I agree with what you've said -- except that guys have to prove everything while women only have to imply things.

      But I'm curious about you saying "your schedule cannot conflict with there school schedule". Did you mean to get custody? Visitation? Don't *all* parents have to adjust their schedules to accommodate the kids' school schedule? It doesn't go the other way around.

    • if your a single dad or mom and there are 2 adults in the household, both can assist in dropping/picking up the kids, in a 1adult household if the kids get out of school at 3pm and mom or dad is at work, thats not gunna work out if dad gets out at 6pm rtt.. they need resources to accomodate the children or they can't have that time it's a conflict. just from my own experience though if parents have no animosity and can work together for the benefit of the child/children then all should b good

  • There's a reason men are 9x more likely to commit suicide than women after divorce.

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  • In Switzerland they have realised the problem. In the case of a divorce or separation with children involved, both parents get equal rights of custody of the child. So they have to both agree on where the child lives, goes to school, etc.
    Single parent custody has to be claimed in court which means that the parent, no matter if it's the father or the mother, who wants to receive the custody has to prove that the other parent is really uncapable of taking care of the child. Since then the number of single parent custodies has decreased from about 70% of all cases to less than 5%.

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    • Varies from state to state, but that's basically how it is in a lot of the states here. The default rule is joint 50/50 custody. The parties can agree to something different if they want to. But if one parents wants sole custody and the other party doesn't agree to it, they have to take go to trial. The problem is a lot of people back down, cave in, agree to the deal they don't like, and then cry "victim of the court" when the court had nothing to do with the decision.

    • I didn't word it well in my first post: Every custody agreement has to be confirmed by a judge but the normal case is that judges here overrule such agreements and decide on a 50/50 custody. Single parent custodies are only granted if there are grave reasons (like abuse by one parent, or one parent unable to care for the child) that dictate so.

  • Is this about the American Justice system or from another country. I've heard the justice system differs from state to state in the US, so it can be just like your from another country even if you live in the same country. Weird.

    Anyways, where i'm from, the laws in place here protect the children above the parents, but in reality do favor the mother more. I have heard cases were the mothers are total dipshits and still got full custody of the kids, because the dad had one problem, he didn't have a full time job. Nuts, yet he still needed to pay child support, even when he was judged not to have a full time job.

    I do think that mothers get most favor in many parts of the free world, but that's because overall it's mostly common that the mothers are the victim along with the children. Only in countries where women rights are still low grade will you see the fathers win custody of the kids, which is also bad if the dad's are totally incompetent as well.

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    • You're not from the US according to what you. You must of heard that from a female answers. Civil and criminal law favor females. I'm not aware of one single state in the US that doesn't favor a woman over men in the judicial system, not one. Men lose 99.9 percent of the time by default. And if you were a man in a dispute and called the cops because she was physically stabbing you, I guarantee you when they arrive it's you who's going to jail no matter, if you're still alive.

    • You make a good point, ThisAndThat. This gender privilege is not isolated to Family court. It seems to be the product of feminism - they are not fighting for equality anymore, but privileges for the female gender.

  • No. The law is more biased for males in American society.

    *Throws up all over keybaouhowuehtb*

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  • It isn't fair. I think all the evidence supports that throughout the majority of the western world.

    What bothers me , though , is that it is portrayed as a gender issue - it really isn't.

    I'm a father who was screwed over quite badly - but my child is a girl. My mother , niece, current partner are also all female. They are all badly affected by the effective loss of my daughter and the behaviour of my ex wife. There are more female victims in my story than male. It's just that I'm the one who is initially disadvantaged in court.

    It's a gender bias that is as damaging for women as it is for men.

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  • It's most definitely is bias. We have to change the mentality in our society to change it, but I'm not so sure as to how to go about doing that. First step, though, has got to be recognizing that men face issues in our society and just because we are men does not mean we have to "suck it up" or "man up" to the fact that no one cares about us. Obviously that's a figure of speech, because some people do care, but generally speaking. No. I think these changes happen over generations and we won't see a huge change in the court systems until our grandchildren are becoming adults.

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  • It is literally insanely biased against men, when you look up family courts.

    To the point where woman literally can (and do) sue successfully for child support for children conceived literally from statutory rape. We're talking about older women who comitted statutory rape against underage boys, were convicted of said crime, then successfully sue for child support. Google it.

    And rounding that out as even more insanity, women can literally give the child away for adoption without the consent of the father. There's a lawsuit going on in Utah, about a dozen men suing that their children were literally taken to Utah by the mother and given away for adoption without their consent.

    Let's reverse that, just to demonstrate how insane that is, for the ridiculous folks.

    Imagine a man, convicted of statutory rape against a young girl, successfully suing for child support from the woman.

    Imagine men literally taking the children away from their mothers and giving them up for adoption without the mothers' consent.

    We'd have riots in the streets and heads would roll. But it happens against men, so it's fine and dandy.

    men literally have no rights as far as children and the court system goes. The children belong to the mother 100%, and the father has no rights, just the responsibility to pay.

    "Well, if you don't want to have a kid, use protection." Some say.

    Let's keep in mind that in the USA, women have literally aborted the population of SPAIN worth of children.

    And who is the irresponsible gender in this nation?

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