Fathers' Rights


After reading through some threads I wonder if anyone believes in fathers’ rights when it comes to child custody. I read of many women who are stay-at-home mom’s getting the better end of the deal. I have a male cousin who’s wife had an affair. This cousin was the stay-at-home parent for his dd while his wife went to school, yet he wasn’t even able to get a change in jurisdiction for his custody battle (even though both his and his ex’s family lived in the jurisdiction he wanted to change to). Now, his dd has to travel a total of 6 hours twice every other weekend to be with her dad (my cousin).

Then there are the women who don’t want the father’s to be involved at all, unable to seperate husband from father. My dad was a HORRIBLE husband to my mom, but is a WONDERFUL dad to me. He bent over backwards to be involved in my life given the situation. He bends over backwards to be involved in my life now given that he lives out of state. Had my mom lingered on her hurt and tried to prevent me from having a relationship with my dad I’m sure I would have eventually resented and hated her for it. I’m blessed that both of my parents were able to see past themselves for the sake of their children after the divorce (and I am so happy that they didn’t stay married because they both now have the opportunity for happiness, something that couldn’t be achieved married).

I guess this is more of a rant, but just am curious about other’s thoughts?


It largely depends on the judge. Here in Illinois, most judges want to see the couple go through mediation, and want joint custody in the decree.

However- My ex-SIL felt he should have visitation when he felt like it, without having to inform my eldest daughter, simply because he was in the Navy. He avoided paying child support to which he agreed at the time of the divorce. He didn’t show up for two and a half years, not because he was at sea, but because he had other things to do, and honestly expected the court to order the children be turned over to him for two weeks, right after he got the order from court. He was going to take them to his home state- just load up their clothes and carseats, and take them away. Daisy was 2, and had seen this character only when she was born. Meg was 4 and did not remember him. The judge was not pleased, and wanted the two parents in mediation. He not only tried to violate what he sat and mediated, but stiffed the mediator with with bad check for his part of the mediation. He had two visits on one weekend, and was supposed to go for counseling and parent training. He never did that. Jump ahead a year. He then got a transfer to Great Lakes, and wouldn’t even drive the hour and a half to see the girls. He was there for 3 years, never even went to the counseling sessions, never got a visitation supervisor, never sent them Christmas or birthday presents.

His only concern when we asked him to terminate his parental rights so we could adopt them- actually, his new wife’s concern- was the locale of my eldest daughter. When they found out she was not dead, and there was no social security check or insurance money, as my daughter was not dead, he freely signed away. He’d been trying to do so for a year prior to that, on his own, to get out of any child support arrearage.

Unfortunately, there are all kinds of good dads out there. The courts only see the minority of men who are losers. Too many place ALL men in that category, and it’s wrong. A man needs a good lawyer, and might need a second job for a bit to get one.


my county in PA has one of the highest paternal custody rates in the nation. In my situation, both us kids were over 14, and th judges listened to what we had to say. We wanted to be with our dad, and so thats how it was. Like said above, it really depends on the judge and circumstances. since most divorces happen early on, when kids are young, they usually go to the mother out of a nurturing perspective…


I guess that is why God hates divorce. The children are the innocent victims. I would say that you are one of the few people that her father is a “WONDERFUL dad”. Most of the divorced women that I know would love for the child/children’s father to be involved in their child’/children’s life and truly exercise the “father’s rights”. I know of a man who fought for custody of his child and won. When he got custody and the child was with him 24/7 then his true colors came out. I thought that he was a wodnerful father until until Grandma ended up raising/taking care of the child.


Sometimes, moms are concerned about the moral influence the dads will be bringing into the children’s lives, and the moms are trying to keep the children’s innocence intact. I see what you’re saying, though, about being able to have a good relationship with your father. But it is difficult to be the mom and know your kids are going to have to be under the same roof with daddy shacking up with another woman, and other stuff. So it’s not always that the mom can’t separate husband from father…sometimes there are legit moral concerns the mom is trying to protect the kids from.

Glad your situation worked out though! :slight_smile:


I remember a case where a drug addict with at least one (possible more) sentence for child neglect was not taken away child custody. The father of that child, based on what little I knew, was an average guy. She was dangerous and unstable, to the point of throwing stones (or whatever it was) at him or his car. The claim to take away custody from her didn’t work out. I fail to understand what concerns could be more important than a child’s physical safety when determining custody.


It has been getting much better over the years and continue to work to get better. But it will take more time.

As a Sheriff’s Deputy, I have seen this tendancy in the courts myself. However, I will say that we have plenty of women in jail for not paying child support. And we have had women jailed for child custody issues. So judges are taking notice and making poor mothers keep up their end of the deal. Not that we want this for mothers or fathers, however. I know of several cases where father’s have sole custody and are paying child support.

However, some of the things I have seen still to this day amaze me. I once booked in a guy for non-payment of tens of thousands of dollars of old child support who told me he hadn’t seen his son in many years and had no clue where he was even living anymore. About an hour later, the inmate workers came to serve dinner and the inmate worker who fed him was his son. It was a very interesting family reunion.

Also, the age of the child can make a big impact in child custody decisions. The older the child, the more say they usually get. When my parents got divorced, I was 17. I simply said I am living with dad. My mom’s lawyer told her to not to even bother fighting it, because unless there was a huge serious reason not to let me live with my dad, the judge will usually allow a child of that age to decide for him/her self.


I’m struggling with this issue right now. My boyfriend has custody of his daughters, but his wife took them away a few weeks ago and won’t return them. He’s distraught, but everyone around us keeps saying things like, “aren’t they better off with their mother anyway?” :frowning:

I’m sorry, but the ability to keep a baby in your womb for nine months or so does not automatically make you a good parent. People’s expectations of fathers are so low, while mothers are considered naturally nurturing and supportive. It ain’t always so.

It breaks my heart that people keep telling him that his kids are better off with their mother, and that he should just give up custody. More than one person has told him that since he can always have more kids with me after getting married, why not let his ex-wife have these ones? :banghead: As if fathers can give up their children so easily and painlessly, while mothers can’t!


I understand your point and I do sympathize with the parents (male or female) that’s in a situation of trying to protect their child(ren), in a divorce situation, you give up that control unless it’s something that’s physically or emotionally harmful to the children. When we choose someone to marry and make children with, we deal with the situation as it is regardless of whether it’s the way we would want it after divorce.

I am single, no children; but I’m the product of divorce. That’s why I’m really careful about who I will potentially marry and make kids with.


There is a great disparity in how parrents are treated by the law.

Fathers have an obligation to support the children while a mother can give the child up for addoption, drop the child off at a one of many no questions asked child abandonment centers, or even kill the child. All within the law many times with out the permission of the father.


Please realize that one can exchange the place of “father” and “mother” in this statement and it can still be true. In fact, a close family member is actively seeking full custody of his children precisely because of this. It is so sad. She seemed like a wonderful person until she was married and had a child, thereby having her “Hooks” into her husband. Then her true colors showed. I am aghast at the way it is assumed the woman is a poor victim and the man a brute until proven otherwise. Frequently it is quite the contrary.

closed #12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.