I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New law could make fathers' rights come smoother in Minnesota

Kudos to Mr. Mahoney and his battle in MN to get the laws changed. Please note I have deleted some duplicate comments below.MJM

Dad tells of spending $30,000 to win time with his kids

By Erin Carlyle

City Pages

published: February 04, 2009

Joel Lombard carries a stack of photographs, half an inch thick, in his billfold. In one, a ten-year-old boy leans over a hockey stick, grinning proudly in his bright red jersey. In another, a seven-year-old grips her soccer ball. These are Lombard's children, and over the past two years he has spent just under $30,000 in a custody battle to make sure he remained in their lives.

"I'm a great dad," Lombard says emphatically, his hazel eyes bright, as he sits in a booth at a greasy spoon in Inver Grove Heights. "I might be a bad business owner or a bad husband, but I'm a great dad."

When Lombard and the children's mother, Carol, decided to divorce two years ago, he was certain that the negotiations over the kids would go smoothly and result in a 50-50 split. He was shocked when his ex said she wanted sole custody.

Lombard's lawyer advised him not to move out of the house because that might disadvantage him in the fight. So Lombard lived in the basement for 11 months, until a judge awarded both parents equal time with the kids and ordered Lombard to move out.

But the struggle wasn't over. Lombard's ex-wife requested a custody evaluation from Washington County. The result was the same: equal time with the kids for both mom and dad. Next came a divorce trial, where the custody issue was finally settled.

Ultimately, Lombard got what he wanted. But he's not happy about how much time—and money—it cost him. "All you're doing is pissing away a college fund," Lombard says of dads who go through protracted legal fights over their children. "If he wants 50-50, he shouldn't have to fight for it. Because that's what's best for the kids."

In Minnesota family courts, judges decide what's best for the kids on a case-by-case basis. But fathers' groups are pushing to change the law so that judges must favor shared parenting time, known as joint physical custody. Minnesota would become one of two states with such a legal preference.

Historically, the state's courts have not favored this arrangement because of concerns that shuttling between parents could be disruptive for a child. Custody often went to mothers, who tended to be the primary caregivers. But now, fathers are more involved. "I think in some ways it's a matter of the judicial system catching up with changes in society," says Melissa Froehle, policy and program director at the Minnesota Fathers & Families Network in St. Paul.

Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul) has made it his mission to change the law. Divorced twice, Mahoney paid through the nose to get joint physical custody. "But I thought everybody did that," Mahoney says. "It wasn't, 'Oh, I'm a wounded divorced father and I feel slighted.'"

He says conversations with his constituents convinced him that the law should change. Dozens of men have told him they pay child support but find it difficult to visit their children because of poor relations with the mother, he says. "They don't give a damn about the money. Mostly what they want to do is see their kids."

Over the past five years, Mahoney has introduced bills to change the law. His legislation has included an exception for victims of domestic violence, but advocates for battered women remain unconvinced.

Last year, Mahoney proposed a study group to look at the effect of changing the law. Mahoney's bill passed last spring after Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul) tacked it onto another piece of legislation.

In August, the study group met for the first time. Members included advocates for victims of domestic violence, parents, and fathers, as well as family law attorneys, academics, and two judges.

The study group reviewed academic research on divorce and custody and heard from people on both sides of the debate. The Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, several anti-domestic violence groups, and the Minnesota State Bar Association's Family Law Section opposed changing the law, and fathers' advocacy groups favored it.

While there were more than enough people willing to give their opinions on the idea, the study group faced a paucity of information specific to Minnesota. There are no studies that document if fathers are actually being treated unfairly in court. The state's only data shows that joint physical custody decisions increased from 6 percent in 1986 to 23 percent in 1999.

After four months of meetings, the panel could only recommend to the Legislature that more Minnesota data be collected and the issue studied further. Mahoney and co-sponsor Saltzman were sorely disappointed.

"Certainly I think that the deck was set," Mahoney says. "I think there were a number of people that were very uncomfortable with the idea going in." He estimates that about 70 percent of the panel was initially against joint physical custody.

Panelist Molly Olson founded the Center for Parental Responsibility, a group that advocates for joint physical custody. She says study group membership seemed biased from the start. "People are either from organizations that have opposed this, or have opposed this individually," she says, "or they don't work with fit fathers."

But other panelists said the group was open-minded and fair. The problem was not bias, but rather a lack of information, says study group member Jeff Edleson, a professor at the University of Minnesota who researches domestic violence. "There were grievances of both moms and dads who were concerned about their cases," he says. "What I wanted to see, and I didn't see, was any data."

One of the judges on the panel, Heidi Schellhas of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, also found the lack of information frustrating. "Shouldn't we figure out whether there is a problem, and if there is a problem, what is it?"

But Mahoney says the issue needs to be addressed, and soon. "My intent this year," he says, "is to move this bill forward."

Comments:
  1. Why does this "article" read more like a press release? Where is the research, or background information. Although the twice-divorced legislator is correct, everyone pays; the new law won't change much because a judge still has to determine the best interests of the child after a question is raised. Please review the number of dead kids listed by state, mostly killed by their fathers, at www.FamilyLawCourts.com/kids.html Sadly, this "article" is missing several key elements.
    Comment by Bonnie from All cities on Feb 4th, 2009, 08:06 am
  2. I feel for Mr. Lombard because I am a mom in the same situation. Unfortunately, I do not have $30,000.00 so I can't afford the luxury of an attorney to keep my rights with the children in tact. I tried to represent myself to obtain joint custody and I lost time. I feel that there should be a better way for the children and parents involved to resolve these issues. I do not think that it is a gender issue as much as a financial whirlwind through the court system. One party could keep you in court until the children are each 18 years of age. I agree with Mr. Lombard again that those funds take away from educational opportunities for the child and the family. It is an unneeded stressor to enter the family structure. I applaud the parents that can make it work for the children's sake.
    Comment by Tiffini Marie Flynn Forslund from Brooklyn Park on Feb 4th, 2009, 12:02 pm
  3. Ummm, that's not a picture of Minnesota State Rep. Tim Mahoney. Looks like you are confusing him with the Florida Congressman.
    Comment by Doctor Gonzo from St. Paul on Feb 4th, 2009, 14:37 pm
  4. There is a website that gives much more information about this biased study group. http://jpc-now.wikispaces.com/NCFM+Says+Study+Group+Biased
    Comment by charlie from mankato on Feb 4th, 2009, 20:53 pm
  5. This is a HUGE victory for all males And This is a wake up call to all males Join us The National Coalition for Men (NCFM) is committed to the eradication of harmful sex-based stereotypes. http://www.ncfm.org/ Ron Belec Seattle
    Comment by Ronj Belec from Seattle on Feb 4th, 2009, 21:11 pm
  6. Looks like the opponents of the presumption of joint physical custody want to study this issue to death some more. There is plenty of evidence of the value of having both parents continue in the lives of children after divorce or separation. Unfortunately, lawyers, judges, psychologists, guardian ad litems, child support collectors, and the state Department of Human Services all live off of the current adversarial, winner-takes-all system. Thank you to a few courageous legislators for trying to end this system.
    Comment by charlie from Mankato on Feb 4th, 2009, 21:25 pm
  7. As a father who has Joint Physical Custody I can tell you that not only does it work, but it is much better for the children. Also, there is less fighting between the parents, because no one parent has more control than the other. It is kind of like a stale mate or checks and balance. I would highly recommend though that the children switch homes every month rather than every week. We tried every week at first and it did not work that well. Once we switched to monthly exchanges it worked perfectly! I am happy, my ex is happy and the kids are happy they can spend quality time with both of us!!
    Comment by Darin on Feb 5th, 2009, 01:10 am
  8. We certainly need something done!! According to records my son's attorney has found, the judge in my son's case has never giving custody to a father and does not believe in joint custody..What is he thinking???
    Comment by joyce from isle on Feb 5th, 2009, 10:10 am
  9. Like Joel, I recognized the financial strain as robbing my daughter's scholastic future. My dissolution is approaching 3yrs. in May, and there is still no Decree. This process has got to change and soon. The delays in legislation will introduce hundreds more parents into the already recognized flawed system. This legislation has been delayed for over 5yrs., while the argument continues to grow and that it's passing is long over due. The effect of this legislation is not just on the Judges that have the ability to decide on the functions of divorced parent's and their children. Evaluators play an intricate role in the current process. They may influence the courts with their reports that are often slighted, in such districts as Anoka Co.. Without going into great details of my encounter, I must note the bias. The Evaluator had suggested that I didn't follow the rules during the home visit. Being, that she showed up 15mn early when she knew I had an extreme time crunch to accommodate the visit(due to my ex suddenly making me drive 1hr 45mn one way to get my daughter from her grandparents) and I only get 3hrs time with my daughter as it is. So when there was a mere 5 mn left of the home visit and we took our usual after dinner walk, it was noted as uncooperative. Yet in the rules of the home visit "no one not living in the home shall be present for the home visit". My ex however decided she would have her son(whom never lived with us in his 17yrs, not even part time) babysit that day and train my daughter on card games an remain there for activities with the evaluator. I had on several occasions expressed my "concerns with my ex's son never living with her "ever"", so the evaluator had ample knowledge that ex's son should not have been there for the visit! But her report never suggested that mom didn't follow the rules of the home visit.
    Comment by Father For Justice from MPLS on Feb 5th, 2009, 11:13 am
  10. Oh the times they are a changin....and I see that a woman can still excercise her choice, her reproductive choice. It won't be long till most of us choose artificial insemination as a way to offset the chances of custody going to an abusive father. Children have rights too, they are supposed to start once the fetus is viable, their first right is to safety, if that can be accomplished with both parents involvement that is great. I have not seen that in families with joint custody, it either spawns abuse or exaserbates it, at least in the couples I have known.
    Comment by carol on Feb 5th, 2009, 12:55 pm
  11. I'm rather disgusted with the DISCRIMINATION set forth by beliefs and comments made by "some" women. So generally stated, suggesting that any father who gets joint custody will become a raging murderer. So as to say absurdly that I would become a raging murderer if I get JPC! What a disgrace to liberation groups to have come this far only to abuse their influence by taking a worthy cause (womans rights) and using it to attack fathers. The presumption of joint custody would be for the "normal" divorcing parents that are thrust into battle because of the cohesion of payouts and likely just the fear stricken in them when sitting in front of that lawyer telling them all the whose. Just like the "regular" mom doesn't like to hear of that MOM driving her car in to the pond intentionally drowning her 4 children. Or even the mom leaving her toddler in the tub to drown while she surfs the Internet...fathers don't excuse this conduct. There are so many of these cases that are "extreme", should they really be the backbone for normal citizens to be guided by? No, these unforgivable crazies that kill their children should not be the rule that guide the system for the rest of us.
    Comment by Andrew Dupay from MPLS on Feb 5th, 2009, 15:16 pm
  12. At a very young age I was taught a lesson by my Dad (a man who by the way was not my father) - “He always said that when you are pointing a finger at someone and telling a lie, remember you have three fingers pointing back at you” - meaning the lie you are stating is actually the truth about yourself! This is a lesson that rings so true when we are dealing with the people who defend the “Family Law / the Divorce Industry*” system as they voice talking point that bring “Personal Power & Profit” for themselves! Facts they don’t bring up: DHHS Report 03' Child Maltreatment http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm03/index.htm Fatalities by Perpetrator Relationship: “Almost one-third (30.5%) of fatalities were perpetrated by the mother acting alone.” Additionally note that the total for a mother and other (meaning someone she has introduced the child to) equals 38.7% vs. 19.1% of child fatalities were by their fathers acting alone or with others( (Page 78) Perpetrators of Maltreatment: “Approximately two fifths(40.8%) of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone;” (Additionally note that the total for a mother and other (meaning someone she has introduced the child to) equals 47.1% vs. 19.9% of child victims were maltreated by their fathers acting alone or with others) (Page 46) Perpetrators by Relationship to Victims: “Female perpetrators, mostly mothers, were typically younger than male perpetrators, mostly fathers. Women also comprised a larger percentage of all perpetrators than men, 58 percent compared to 42 percent (figure S–7). Nearly 76 percent of all perpetrators of sexual abuse were friends or neighbors and 30 percent were other relatives. In addition, less than 3 percent of all parental perpetrators were associated with sexual abuse.” (Page 20) 04' AZ State University Study http://www.public.asu.edu/~devra1/matt&jenessa.pdf “The most explored and obvious factors by which consequences differ are: (1) the parent with custody vs. the one without custody of the child(ren); (2) the gender of the parent; i.e., the mother vs. the father; or (3) the person who initiated the divorce vs. the one who didn’t (and often didn’t want it); i.e., the “dumper” vs. the “dumpee”. It turns out that there is a great deal of overlap between these three dimensions: mothers generally are the parents that get custody; and mothers generally are the dumper.” (page 2, paragraph 1 & 2) “Legal Consequences of Divorce: Gender Differences As a result of the processes leading them to resolution of the issues they must finalize, mothers and fathers typically experience far different legal consequences of divorce. According to a recent national study (Nord & Zill, 1996), in 75% of divorce cases, mothers become the sole custody parent, and fathers the nonresidential parent; in about 4% of cases it is reversed” (page 5 paragraph 4 and Page 6 paragraph 1). 03' U of M Study for DHS http://www.f4j.us/fileadmin/user_upload/News_Articles/UofM_DHS_CSstudy_1_.pdf According to a report prepared for the Department of Human Services by the University of Minnesota in 2003, sample data showed that mothers were awarded sole physical custody 94% of the time, with fathers receiving sole physical custody 6% of the time. (Page 12, Table 2) (Affirmed again in 07’ by the Child & Families Studies Dept., St. Cloud State University http://www.mnfathers.org/DoWeCountFathers.pdf) 01-06 Newsweek Cover Story “One of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed or fail in high school rests on a single question: does he have a man in his life to look up to? Too often, the answer is no. High rates of divorce and single motherhood have created a generation of fatherless boys. In every kind of neighborhood, rich or poor, an increasing number of boys - now a startling 40 percent - are being raised without their biological dads.” (Paragraph 20) Jeff Edleson and all the other biased people in this story on the so called study group are looking for data in all the wrong places!!!! “The Removal of a Fit Loving Parent From a Child IS Child Abuse!” Les Jobst Fathers-4-Justice MN Coordinator 763.300.9766 "Anyone who sees a father's positive role in a child's life as a threat, certainly has a agenda and children are not on it! Children deserve having equal access to both parents!" FIGHTING FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE & EQUALITY IN FAMILY LAW
    Comment by Les from Andover on Feb 5th, 2009, 22:49 pm
  13. My ex-wife and I divorced in 1998, though the process began in 1996. When we were going through the process, I had the hopes that I would be able to continue seeing my kids at the level I was used to. I spent my nights, weekends - I even re-negotiated my employment contract to allow for Fridays with them. I was in for a huge, nightmarish awakening. I ended up being served with an order for protection. Never in a million years could I have imagined that occurring. While it was dropped before the hearing, I asked my ex- why she would do that. She responded that Carlton County officials told her that if she filed that order, she would be bumped to the top of the list for free or low income housing, be given full medical benefits and assistance with schooling if she wanted to go back to school. While she dropped it right away after I asked her if she knew that was the kind of thing that destroyed reputations and would make it impossible for me to ever adopt a child, or potentially even work with children - she said her Legal Aide attorney had told her none of that but later confirmed it when she confronted her. I went to three separate law firms in the Duluth area asking about joint custody. Each literally laughed. Two were honest enough and up front and told me I was welcome to spend the minimum of $5000 to $6000 for the retainer - and that the process would cost much more - and that I was virtually guaranteed to lose. One told me candidly - "You're a white male, you have a job, and you love your children - you're screwed." My children are in their teens now. Access to them has been spotty at best, even when my youngest begged to come live with me. I've watched them grow up as a series of snapshots, not the running movie that my ex- and her family have had the blessing of seeing. When they were younger my visits were when it was convenient to my ex-, as they got older she would tell me to work through them, she's not getting involved. Thus when they choose not to return my cell texts, emails or calls - the only recourse is to attempt to go back and get the court's to enforce something that isn't worth the paper it was written on. The custodial parents has complete and total power - power over visitation, power over child support in a system that gives the non-custodial parent not only less rights, in many ways it strips our constitutional rights out from under us. The biases and incorrect beliefs in the State of Minnesota - and this country - need to stop. Leave it to the parents to devise a schedule that's not disruptive to the child's life yet gives both time with the child and do that by not immediately removing one person's 'power' by giving the other complete custody. As a side note - I'll bet if those that want to study this to death created a test group - and tied cooperation and visitation time to child support payments using an intermediary to ensure fairness -- I guarantee there would be a quick change of attitude among the custodial control group in their willingness to allow us access to our children.
    Comment by Jeff Tucker from Duluth, MN on Feb 6th, 2009, 13:39 pm
  14. I dont think custody battles should be handled in court, and I dont think a judge has Jurisdiction, if so does that mean all children are a ward of the state and the state has a senion interest in everyone's family. Divorces should be resolved in mediation. The courts favor many women, however Ive seen some women get hammered too. I think both parents and the children have a right from a creator, unaleinable, to be involved in our childrens lives and government should not interfere with that right. Now that so many people have been divorced and been through the courts, its taking a huge affect on our society, people dont want to commit, dont want to get married, dont want kids...why?? Because of all the horror stories. Marriage is a contract and should be upheld as such.
    Comment by troy from lakeville on Feb 6th, 2009, 20:19 pm
  15. Thank you so much for writing this article. More and More people need to read and hear what is happening in Mn Family Courts. People automatically assume that "Family Court" means that the Judges and Lawyers are looking out for the best interest of our children, but I tell you from having sat in these court rooms that this is not true. They are only interested in the money. As a grandmother denied access to my grandchild I tell you that our laws need to be changed. The courts should not be deciding to place children in sole custody of one parent when neither has been proven unfit. Children need both of their natural parents, especially if both want to be involved in their lives. This extortion of money for Fathers to see and spend time with their children is just that "Extortion". If a father has been taking care of his family until the divorce why would he not continue without a court order if he is still a parent and taking care of his children. Both parents need to assume responsibility and share their children just as they did before they violated their contract with each other. As an adult of divorce and parental fighting, I tell you that I loved both my parents and wanted them both in my life. I did not care that they hated each other and did not want to hear about that, but I wanted to spend time with them when I needed or wanted them to be with me. Please continue letting people know what is happening in this venue and thank you again for this report. I am in favor of Joint Physical Custody!!!!
    Comment by Brenda Pence from Maple Grove on Feb 7th, 2009, 12:16 pm
  16. I see that Fox9 has changed their site that contained my blog that speaks of the nature for which this article was published. Funny how that happend just days after I built the blog. Well here is what I wanted to put on it! This is are outrageous examples for those men bashing feminists that assume Father is always the raging murdrer! NY mom who drowned kids apparently reaches insanity plea; Father of 2 victims `shocked' http://www.startribune.com/nation/39239437.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMEaPc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU Upstate NY woman found guilty of poisoning husband with antifreeze, trying to kill daughter http://www.startribune.com/nation/39148312.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMEaPc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU Fla. woman accused of abusing adopted children, taking $1M in subsidies, sentenced to 20 years http://www.startribune.com/nation/39142957.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMEaPc:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU Hamtramck woman calls police herself, is charged with torturing kids, 4 and 5 years old. Police said Valentino's husband, Randy, wasn't home and there's no evidence that he abused their children. The license plate in the window of the family Cadillac reads "Best Dad." But a 4-year-old girl told police Mom wasn't nearly so kind. The couple has three other children, two boys believed to be 7 and 8 years old and an infant who is about 8 months, Bielecki said. All five children are in foster care and doing well, he said. Martin said police removed them from the house about a week ago. http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090206/METRO/902060381/&imw=Y What I entirely don't understand is why aren't the kids with DAD instead of fostercare? If anybody remembers the lady this past summer who negglected her children and in turn resulted in her infant child drowning in the tub. The Judge actually susspended her prison time so she could go back home to be with her remaining child for the rest of the summer.
    Comment by Andrew from MPLS on Feb 7th, 2009, 16:14 pm
  17. I want to thank City Pages for covering an issue of such great importance that presents unending obstacles, and affects tons of fathers and thier childrens relationships and lives. The majority of people do not have the time or really care about the issue until they are put in the situation and see how unfair the family court system really is towards fathers. With Minnesota's no fault divorce process the finger cannot be pointed at the mother or the father. Joint custody is the only option unless there is some substantiated cause proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law which would protect the children from either the convicted mother or convicted father. I think about the how African Americans were totally discriminated against such as not being allowed to vote, drink out of the same water fountain or ride in the same area of the bus as white people. Females were also extensively discriminated against and treated similar fashion including not being allowed to vote. These were clear and common sense violations of their constitutional rights. I, and the majority of society, wonder what the heck people were thinking back then. When the members of this panel come up with a front/stalling tactics saying more studies, data, and proof that joint physical custody is appropriate they are 100% wrong. Did we need studies, data, or proof that black people should be able to drink out of the same water fountain as whites, or women could vote. Absolutely not--because it was just common sense and a total violation of their constitutional rights. In my case my ex-wife deprives me of my parenting time, leaves profanity filled scream fests on my voicemail, and blatently admits she is violating our divorce decree. If I did any one of these things the police would be knocking on my door, she would be granted an OFP, and the judge would fine and possibly jail me. As a father you are expected to blow these types of violations off and toughen up. There is most often no recourse for her and no free legal help for a father with limited parenting time and no money. People and mothers who don't support joint physical custody in the majority of family break-ups are promoting violating the children's and father's constitutional rights to be together on an equal basis as the mothers. The current system is based on greed for time, showing power and control to not let the other parent have time, and a sytem that is nothing but a great money machine for the state. With perseverance by people who care, Joint Physical Custody will soon be established. Then when the children of future generations look back on the treatment of African Americans, women, and fathers---they will ask "What the heck were they thinking?"
    Comment by Dan from St. Paul on Feb 8th, 2009, 13:39 pm
  18. Why does this "article" read more like a press release? Where is the research, or background information. Although the twice-divorced legislator is correct, everyone pays; the new law won't change much because a judge still has to determine the best interests of the child after a question is raised. Please review the number of dead kids listed by state, mostly killed by their fathers, at www.FamilyLawCourts.com/kids.html Sadly, this "article" is missing several key elements.Comment by Bonnie from All cities on Feb 4th, 2009, 08:06 am HERE 'Bonnie' the lawyer: MOST CHILD ABUSE AND PARENTAL MURDER OF CHILDREN IS COMMITTED BY MOTHERS, NOT FATHERS. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Child Maltreatment 1997: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (Washington DC, :GPO, 1999). See: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/ncands97/s7.htm. Child abuse perpetrators are 62.3% female. Child fatality perpetrators are 62.8% female. The mother/father ratio is actually greater than this, because many of the male abusers counted are not the biological fathers but instead step‑fathers, boyfriends, etc. Source on murders of children by single parents: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, Third National Incidence Study Of Child Abuse and Neglect: Final Report Appendices (Washington D.C., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1997, pp. A‑63‑A‑64. The estimated total is 264 parental murders of children committed by single custodial mothers and 11 by single custodial fathers. There are roughly five times as many single custodial mothers as single custodial fathers. Source: Warren Farrell, Father and Child Reunion: How to Bring the Dads We Need to the Children We Love, Penguin Putnam Inc, 2001, pp 75-77.ACCORDING TO THE US.S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES' NEW REPORT 'CHILD MALTREATMENT 2004, WHEN ONE PARENT IS ACTING WITHOUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE OTHER PARENT, MOTHERS ARE ALMOST THREE TIMES AS LIKELY TO KILL THEIR CHILDREN AS FATHERS ARE, AND ARE MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO ABUSE THEM. Source: Child Maltreatment 2004, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to Figure 4-2 “Perpetrator Relationships of Fatalities, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004” here, child fatalities perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 40.6% of all child fatalities. Figure 4-2 also shows that fatalities perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 15.6% of all child fatalities. According to Figure 3-6 “Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004,” here child abuse perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 45.6% of all child abuse. Figure 3-6 also shows that abuse perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 19.5% of all child abuse. IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER 'QUESTIONS' THAT REQUIRE A RESPONSE PLEASE POST.
    Comment by PJ Lem from Kalamazoo on Feb 9th, 2009, 14:39 pm
  19. "It won't be long till most of us choose artificial insemination as a way to offset the chances of custody going to an abusive father." "Children have rights too, they are supposed to start once the fetus is viable, their first right is to safety", if that can be accomplished with both parents involvement that is great. I have not seen that in families with joint custody, "it either spawns abuse or exaserbates it", That sounds like a good idea Carol. Those who don't want to do whats best for the children in divorces don't have to worry about men. Divorce spawns abuse, Joint custody would be no more a catalyst then that. Where abuse is proven it's not going to happen anyway. 1 major issue i see with this is that there are already an insane amount of people crying wolf when it comes to abuse anyway. Look no further then that nutter Holly Collins. Isn't most abuse against children by mothers, especially single mothers in exactly these cases? I know my mother was and she did what I see allot of mothers doing. Turned me against my father while abusing the crap out of me.
    Comment by John from Saint John on Feb 9th, 2009, 14:37 pm
  20. Comment by carol on Feb 5th, 2009, 12:55 pm : Oh the times they are a changin....and I see that a woman can still excercise her choice, her reproductive choice. It won't be long till most of us choose artificial insemination as a way to offset the chances of custody going to an abusive father. Children have rights too, they are supposed to start once the fetus is viable, their first right is to safety, if that can be accomplished with both parents involvement that is great. I have not seen that in families with joint custody, it either spawns abuse or exaserbates it, at least in the couples I have known. PJ : CAROL, CLEARLY YOU ARE OF THE OPINION THAT YOUR 'RIGHTS' AS A WOMAN TRUMP THOSE OF INNOCENT CHILDREN AND IT FOLLOWS INNOCENT FATHERS TOO. PJ : CAROL, YOU ARE COMMENTING IN TERMS OF NARCISSISTIC ENTITLEMENT AND THEREFORE IT FOLLOWS THAT YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF CARING ABOUT WHAT IS BEST FOR CHILDREN .... According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' new report Child Maltreatment 2004, when one parent is acting without the involvement of the other parent, mothers are almost three times as likely to kill their children as fathers are, and are more than twice as likely to abuse them." Source: Child Maltreatment 2004, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to Figure 4-2 “Perpetrator Relationships of Fatalities, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004” here, child fatalities perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 40.6% of all child fatalities. Figure 4-2 also shows that fatalities perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 15.6% of all child fatalities. According to Figure 3-6 “Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004,” here child abuse perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 45.6% of all child abuse. Figure 3-6 also shows that abuse perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 19.5% of all child abuse.
    Comment by PJ Lem from Kalamazoo on Feb 9th, 2009, 14:46 pm
  21. The average taxpayer wonders what is happening with their tax money. All of the groups opposing shared custody in Minnesota are at the tax trough, and it is quite the feed for them, a veritable free-for-all. What is being proposed would save government a huge amount of wasted tax money - being paid to these groups to politicize the family law system, to present society with a false picture on how their social engineering is coming along ( kids are better than ever; according to their good work ) but most importantly to protect their Golden Eggs paid for by taxpayers.
    Comment by PJ Lem from Kalamazoo on Feb 9th, 2009, 15:03 pm
  22. For thousands of years, nature has clearly shown us that human children do best with the love and support of TWO parents who are actively involved in their lives. Modern research has only proven what nature and common sense should have already told us by providing a whole laundry list of statistics illustrating the problems that children from single parent households face. If you truly love children, shouldn't you want what is best for THEM? As for all of the chicken littles screaming that joint custody will cause more children to be abused, you really should get your facts straight. As others posting here have already pointed out, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' report Child Maltreatment 2004 clearly indicates that when one parent is acting without the involvement of the other parent, mothers are almost three times as likely to kill their children as fathers are, and are more than twice as likely to abuse them. The government's own research proves that the idiotic assumption that "mommy always knows best" when it comes to child care simply leads to more child abuse. With regards to the legions of judges, lawyers, politicians, and government employees involved in the divorce industry who loudly moan about the absence of fathers on one hand while actively seeking to prevent loving fathers from having an active, meaningful role in their children's lives: shame on you! Obviously you do not value a father's involvement with his children beyond his ability to provide $$$ for their mother and you apparently care more about keeping the $$$ from fathers flowing into the pockets of the divorce industry than you do about the welfare of our children.
    Comment by NikkisDad on Feb 10th, 2009, 08:08 am
  23. Thank you for publishing the article "New law could make fathers' rights come smoother" I actually know Joel Lombard because he and I attended Early Childhood Family Education classes with our children. Joel is a great dad. We were the only dads in the class and were praised by staff and moms for taking the time to be there for our kids. Being a great Dad like Joel is strangely a detriment it seems in Washington County family court. They system is motivated to discount and discriminate against one parent so that is can maximize its child support collections, enabling the county to apply for funds through the Federal Child support enforcement act. Then double dip by putting mom and the kids on welfare and applying for even more federal money. Family law in Minnesota is very simply corrupt government and lawyers helping themselves to the spoils of the fractured family. It will only stop when great parents, Dads like Joel Lombard, and countless Moms who agree to joint physical custody stand up to the politicians, lawyers and the courts and say "STAY OUT OF MY FAMILY" and refuse to squander life savings and college funds on the broken process that is Family law.
    Comment by Michael Fry from Stillwater on Feb 10th, 2009, 14:22 pm
  24. Thank You for printing this article this problem needs more attention and definately needs to be addressed with a presumption of joint custody. I am a great father who is being denied a frequent relationship with our children. I just want to be the loving and involved father my children need and deserve. This injustice is hurting our childrens well being.How can any body not want to stop hurting our children when the courts take away either parent. This problem effects millions of people and families and hurts our great nation. Please help stop this injustice. Thank you sincerely a concerned Father
    Comment by Roger Thompson from Eagar on Feb 12th, 2009, 19:42 pm
  25. Shared custody doesn't seem to work at all. See www.FamilyLawCourts.com and in particular, the number of men who kill their kids, at www.FamilyLawCourts.com/kids.html
    Comment by WriteNow from All Cities on Feb 17th, 2009, 17:59 pm
  26. I note some references here to a web site called Family Law Courts. This is not a judicial site but a propaganda site used by feminists and the DV industry to support their entitlements to "ownership" of children and fattening their money supply at the expense of dads. The stats which have been provided on mother abuse and mother killings far in excess of dads are consistent over many years. 2006 is the most recent year. Follow the links given by previous posters. All studies of repute show children do better in a two parent relationship and in shared and equal custody. It is a myth their lives are in turmoil by changing residences. Two parents whose agenda is to help their children can manage this well. What I find to be unequivocally corrupt is the notion by these posters with personal agendas that offer opinions and information that are complete unadulterated lies. It is beyond contempt they would abuse children and an innocent spouse for no other reason than selfish, narcissistic purposes. If they are currently parents - pity the children.
    Comment by Mike Murphy from Sault Ste. Marie, ON on Feb 26th, 2009, 11:32 am

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