Divorced dads get support from women's groups

Divorced fathers who want equal time with their children will be getting a boost of social support from a child custody advocacy group that is composed of women. The efforts, which are sweeping through Canada and the United States, are part of a comprehensive movement to improve custody equality for all parents.

The group, known as Leading Women for Shared Parenting, officially launches on June 16 - Father's Day. Leaders in the organization say they are interested in promoting both parents' rights to spend time with their children. Studies demonstrate the benefit of having both mom and dad involved after a divorce.

Members of the group include high-profile women such as members of Congress, social workers, teachers, attorneys, abuse experts and others. They theorize that the only way that men can finally achieve equal rights in custody battles is to have women advocate on their behalf; in that sense, the "fathers' issue" can be ameliorated by the action of mothers and other female relatives. Women throughout the nation acknowledge that custody reform has been long overdue in most jurisdictions.

Further, information shows that there is no difference statistically between men and women who support equal parenting provisions. Despite this widespread social agreement, laws are still woefully inadequate in supporting fathers' rights. Most parents end up in an immediate joint-custody situation that often favors one person over another, creating an awkward power imbalance. Women are generally the beneficiaries of this legal agreement, with about 70 percent of mothers receiving sole custody in some individual counties.

As legal reform progresses, experts say provisions must be included to accommodate for domestic abuse cases. Professionals in most organizations advocate for exemptions to equal parenting laws in the case of home violence.

If you are considering divorce, or if you are struggling with an unfair child custody agreement, consider seeking the help of a qualified family attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights and responsibilities both as a parent and in the courtroom.

Source:  www.startribune.com, "Rosenblum: Divorced dads get big gift from fired-up moms" Gail Rosenblum, Jun. 08, 2013

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