Men’s and Father’s Rights
What you need to know:
  • Introduction: In the 1967 satirical comedy Divorce American Style, Dick Van Dyke captures the sentiments of many men who go through a divorce. Van Dyke pays George Harmon, a formerly prosperous man who struggles to live $87.30 a week after his take-home income has been devoured by alimony. In one scene Van Dyke laments his situation and lamely jokes: "She got the mine, and I got the shaft."

  • The Displacement of Men: The displacement of men from the lives of their children either through divorce or single motherhood is part of larger cultural shift in American life. This shift has left a considerable number of fatherless children who are much more at risk of failure as they mature.
  • Child Custody: Men Feel Cheated: In 90 percent of the divorces involving minor children, courts award physical (or primary) custody to the mother, who becomes the custodial parent, and visitation rights (now often called "parenting time") to the father, who is the noncustodial parent and who also pays child support.
  • In Search of Compromise: Shared Custody: Men's and father's rights advocates argue that what is called shared custody works to alleviate the inequalities of the traditional custodial-noncustodial parent routine. Shared custody enlarges the idea of joint legal custody. In this regime, both mother and father share physical and legal custody and work out a parenting plan that reflects a division of the child's time.
  • Children as Weapons: High Conflict Divorce: Without a doubt, the arguments of men's and father's rights movements find traction among men who experience what are called high conflict marriages and divorces, that is, marriages that end in divorces where each spouse escalates the level of conflict. .
  • Irony of History: The Tables Are Turned: Fathers' rights groups argue that the liberalization of divorce works unfairly against men who want to be good parents to the children. Men's groups point to the 90 percent compliance with support orders for men with shared custody as evidence that most men act in good faith in dealing with former spouses about child support.
  • Paternity Fraud: Who's the Father?: Both father's men's rights and fathers' rights groups have focused on paternity fraud - a term which came into use in the 1990s, where in a mother names a man to be the father of her child, usually for the purpose of collecting child support.
  • Men at the Margins: The marginalization of men, often most noticeable among working class men who have lost good-paying jobs in a manufacturing and industrial economy, suggests far-reaching consequences. The churning of family life that accompanies this marginalization -- single parenthood, step-parenthood, half siblings, unstable live-in relationships – takes its toll on children.

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The Men's Rights Manual for Divorce The Men's Rights Manual for Divorce
What you are experiencing or contemplating is probably going to be the most difficult time of your life. Separation and divorce can break anyone emotionally and financially if you let it. Your future is in your hands. This manual gives you easy access to your rights, which will provide you the needed protection for you to have a successful divorce.

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RELOCATION BLUES -- Some noncustodial fathers come to believe they are unfairly treated when custodial mothers move the children beyond easy visitation. Problems happen when the custodial mother relocates, with the approval of the courts, and the children now live far from the noncustodial father. 

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