Courts unfair to fathers


#1

I agree with you. I haven’t fought a custody battle through the courts in NC yet because I was advised by 4 different attorneys that aside from my wife being an axe murderer I wasn’t going to get custody. Of those 4 lawyers, 2 of them said it was worth the fight, but that I shouldn’t get my hopes up very high.

When that many attorneys are so intimidated by gender bias then it should make anyone realize that this type of bias does exist and is very strong.


#2

I agree to some what you are saying my case is alittle bit better I have a 50/50 with my children and will more then likely get full custody in a few months. My children do not even want to stay with her but until then I must wait.
I was told that the courts want the children to be with parents so they came up with this 50/50. The one good thing about this is that the ex can not get nothing now if she had full custody now she can get alot from the gov.
Hope the best for you


#3

we have 50/50 right now as well. I understand what you are saying though and agree the system is a mess.

  1. this gives the lower wage earner, usually the woman, no incentive to get a higher paying job ( or sometimese even to get a job at all) as it will just reduce the amount she receives in support.
  2. gives the person w/ primary custody (usually the woman) no incentive to give the the father more overnights/custody as it will reduce her support amount

So what you are left with is fathers who are broke and angry and don’t get to see their children and children who are hurt and bewildered by the situation.


#4

I agree for the most part on this also. We have 50/50 with equal time though I’m fairly certain that had it been pursued we would have gained primary custody. My husband had it put into the agreement that each would carry one of the children on the taxes and even which child each one carried, but this whole situation only worked out this way because they came to an agreement after the preliminary hearing for custody. Nothing really changed in that hearing. The judge left things as they were in their original separation agreement which include custody and child support. Most court cases I’ve heard about it seems that the one who has custody is the one that keeps custody. The courts like to have a very good reason to disrupt the children’s routine even though it would mean more time with the other parent. I feel like there are just so many cases that it is detrimental to the entire system. Instead of working through custody with the other parent and realizing that each of you play an important role in that child’s life, most parents get greedy and bitter and the children pay the price. I would think that about 70% of all custody cases heard could be settled outside of court if the parents would realize this and make some compromises.
www.f4j.com is a good site and it’s not necessarily just for fathers. There are people out there trying to get the laws changed…in the mean time, I applaud every parent who recognizes their responsibility to their children does not end with the finacial aspect and who is fighting for their rights as a parent to be with their child.


#5

I am going to play devil’s advocate. I have sole custody of my son, with “reasonable visitation” with his father. My son was 10 when everything was written into a seperation agreement, even though we were seperated almost a year earlier. My son chooses when he wants to go to his daddy’s. Usually every weekend depending if he has plans with friends in our town. I tried to have CS handled without going through the courts, but he was unreliable in making payments. He did end up owing more per month through the courts. As of right now, he’s over 8000.00 behind. That being said, the court was my only option. My ex did not explore gaining custody. I have not changed jobs to decrease income, as a matter of fact I had to take a second job to make up for his father’s irresponsibility. I have in no way put restrictions on their time together other than school, if he has family obligations, or my ex is unable to maintain a nealth environment. I am sure some people take advantage of the system as it is in place now. I know many fathers get the shaft, but there are mommas who have no other option than to go through the courts. One way you can be involved in your child’s life when it’s not “your time” is be involved in school and extra curricular activities. Go to ball games, attend science fairs, talk to teachers. This will give you a better prespective on your child’s life. It will also show in your favor if the chance comes to modify custody.


#6

Agree with above. I know there are wonderful dads out there and that marriages do end. BUT, I wonder how many stories are like mine where the father is going through something like a mid life crisis and becomes so selfish that his kids will suffer for that. When a couple decides to have children they make a committment to take care of them as a family and to do everything possible for the family to stay together. Sure, sometimes they don’t and that is OK. But in my situation, the father left the home, began living immediately with another woman and never looked back. He never agreed to marriage counselling and never agreed to go to counselling with the kids as they were devastated by his actions. He thought only of his needs. Like the poster above I had to go to court to get what was fair, as each month my spouse would send less and less to the family home. As far as seeing the kids, well if he had time and it didn’t interfere with his plans with his “new family”

I feel the most sorry for any fathers out there whose wife left them and took the kids and now they suffer. That would be the hardest to bear.


#7

To kateyoung OM- I thought that I was the only one who went through the same thing you have been though. My ex did almost the same thing but what a shame that good people have to go though a thing like this.
For dads out there you will win it will take time I wish the system would look into how both sides are now a days. Maybe then they and we can see how it really is and how the children feel and what they are going though.
This is so sad to me that a dad wants to be with his children and the other is so mean. I am sorry but this is how I feel and yes do I feel and think that they do things like lower income and not work this all wrong. But there are woman who will do all and will get though this because they are winners just us men who work so hard and want to have the best for there children. We are winners not losers like my ex she wanted the children last weekend because she was going on a trip I said ok but I asked her to give me an email that said that if the children do not here from you while you are on your trip its ok (court order)and she would not do this. But the last day she had them, guess what she did not spend no time with them I am not mad but I think she could have spent some time with them that day.
Wish the world would wake up and show love not hate. Thank you


#8

In response to these forums , I must say that all is lost. How is it that until men get equal rights that the women get everything. My wife cheated , gets me thrown out of our home , moves a man and his family in , we go to court , the judge signs papers banning this action , and then what happens. NOTHING. My faith is gone from Nc law makers . They ar totally unjust in there protection of our rights as men. 10 years ago most men probably were the cause for divorce in families, but with age of the internet and the use of cell phonesthat has changed. I cannot believe that a man in this state cannot hhave equal rights when it comes to divorce and custody precedings. I still cannot understand how the child support is come up with. When my ex and i were together ,I figured it cost us about 600 dollars to raise our children. And with that being the case if WE HAVE JOINT CUSTODY THEN SHOULDNT IT BE SPLIT IN HALF?Why is it that the man pays the full amount just based on his income level? that has no bearing on how much it took a month to raise the children. I personally dont care about that so much as the fact that the money im paying is taking care of anouther man and his family to live in my house. I would rather pay this money into to an IRA for my children or some other type of account that they can use instead of my ex. Why on earth do people die for our freedom and we do not have any rights in our state.Please forgive my ranting ,but I feel I have been stepped on not only by my wife but by my government also.


#9

“There are many fathers who pursue joint physical custody and desire to be as active a parent as they can. But how can father’s be all they want to be with their children when the court will only allow them limited time with their children?”

---------> Exactly

“This puts a great financial burden on the father, who now cannot afford to buy the things he wants to for his children or take them places where they have the opportunity to spend time together & bond.”

--------> That’s the way the other parent wants it. Trying to make you look as if you are the bad parent.

“The mother gets all of the tax breaks and the father gets none. The father is paying a hefty amount in child support, and that comes out after taxes. But the mother does not have to show this as income, though she gets unrestricted use of the child support money.”

-------> Yep, CP isn’t “told” that they “have to” spend XXX amount on the children. It is presumed they will.

“A mother can manipulate the system in any manner she sees fit, and the courts will not hold her accountible. All a mother has to do is play the innocent victim, and the courts will stick it to the father.”

------> That’s what some CP do, not all. Of course they wouldn’t want to be held accountable because they never planned on following through in the first place, which is reason you are in court to begin with.

"When the courts set up the child support enforcement system, it was definately needed due the number of deadbeat dads who were not supporting their children. But instead of the the lawmakers setting up the system so that it is fair to the mothers, children & fathers, it was set up with the mindset of “now we’re going to stick it to those men and make them all pay for what they’ve done to these poor innocent mothers. Most of us know that marriages end for many reasons, and the wives are responsible just as often as men are.”

------> The same laws meant to help these children financially are the same laws that are preventing visitation from happening. In many cases parents obviously cannot afford BOTH the CS & visitation costs, so ultimately they are “forced” to choose between going back to court and spending MORE money, or not see their children at all.

It’s no wonder some of these fathers give up!


#10

“My son chooses when he wants to go to his daddy’s”

----> Why do you let your son choose? Now if your son went to his fathers and decided he wanted to live with him permanently, would you still let him make that choice?

“I have in no way put restrictions on their time together other than school, if he has family obligations, or my ex is unable to maintain a nealth environment.”

----> Isn’t his father considered a “family obligation”?


#11

I agree that there are some fathers out there who get an unfair deal. However, there are lots of situations like mine with a father that thinks he is above the law and can do whatever he wants whenever he wants to me and the child and thinks he can get away with it. When I separated 9 years ago, I felt it was very important for my daughter to have a relationship with her father and I still do even though he tried to get joint custody and it was obvious he was only trying to manipulate the system to pay less child support to me and the judge. I got primary custody and he get a very liberal visitation schedule, every other Thursday - Monday, Wednesday nights in between, two weeks in the summer, almost two weeks at Christmas that kind of thing. My train of thought was I was never going to be the one to limit his visitation. Well guess what he followed that for about 6 months. And now how often does he get his daughter and has he gotten his daughter for the past 8 years…every other weekend Friday evening - Sunday evening…that’s it! He has reduced his visitation down to that on his own accord even though our papers and I have always allowed liberal visitation. And what does he do when he does get her usually dumps her at his moms or the step mom is spending the whole time with my daughter while he is out golfing. In addition, he has for nine years completely slammed me to my daughter telling her I don’t allow him to see her, telling her I am a bad mommy…the list of insults goes on and on. I’m sorry guys but I think the system sees through the bull alot of times and it may not be perfect but justice does usually prevail. I’m currently in litigation to get the exs visitation modified to what he actually spends with his daughter and has for the last eight years every other Friday - Sunday. Don’t get me wrong I have sympathy for alot of the fathers on here because I definitely think it is deserved in some cases…but noone should be wronged that truly wants and deserves time with their kids, mother or fathers, and the kids shouldn’t be denied that either. If there is anyone good fathers should be angry at it it is fathers like my ex that do things to give up their rights and make it look bad for all the good deserving dads out there.


#12

I understand your frustration…but dont’ forget there are 2 sides to every situation. What about the business owner father who claims he makes a fraction of what he really does and doesn’t have to pay nearly what he should in child support. Children DESERVE their child support. Children DESERVE their fair share, whether or not it goes to mom to pay for necessities. Not all moms get manicures, shop to excess, and take their boyfriends out on YOUR dime. What about the father that does that to their kids? 2 sides. Men complain about child support, but it is to help the children with expenses and necessities. Do you really have any idea how much it costs to raise a child? I think we are a bunch of experimental fools waiting to see with each generation, will this screw up kids and will that screw up kids. Kids should have consistency. How would you like to be brought up in a one week on, one week off home. Do you think you would have a feeling of security…be for real. Divorce stinks…I understand that. Children should be with the MOST fit parent. Every relationship has one. Children should not be expected to bounce back and forth like a freekin" basketball. In 20yrs from now, we are going to have a bunch of messed up kids and counselors saying…well guess we were wrong…kids need one primary home…the bouncing did cause more harm than we though. Think about your job if you travel. Do you really like living out of a suitcase…that is what kids are MADE to do…it is NOT their choice. Do you really want instablity for your children???


#13

For those of you who believe that the NCP should not have any input in the children upbringing or have time with them, think about it. Most NCP only get to see their kids on average 6 days a month, and they pay a FORTUNE in child support to the CP, regardless if the CP actually allows the visits.

Yes, I think children deserve their fair share financially but more importantly, I believe that they deserve a fair share of TIME with the other parent.

If this is soley “about the children” take the money out of the equation… now what do you have???
A bunch of parents forced to support their children when they have them.

If visitation and child support were enforced the same way…no doubt that NCP would be seeing their children more.


#14

I understand to a point, but don’t forget there are always more than one senerio. What about kids that hate to go to their fathers.(or mother for that case). What about the idiot parent that takes their kids around the side action. It’s these idiots that give men a bad name. Reality is that we are a bunch of stupid experimental fools. How would you like to be brought up in a divorced home, shuffled from home to home, one week here one week there…look at the big picture. If people would really look at what is best for kids it would be nice. I have not come across one person when putting selfish reason aside, does not agree. Always think, how would you like to have grown up this way. In 20yrs we are going to have a bunch of messed up adults that have issues because of never having stablity growing up. Kid youselves all day that this one week on one week off crap is ok…it’s not. There is always one better parent in most every senerio. If not, yeah, mom usually gets it. Sorry you weren’t born female, that is the way it goes. There are many things women have to sacrifice and men have the attitude…sorry you are not male. Suck it up people. If you thought about kids more, there wouldn’t be so much divorce rampant. Cheaters should have NO rights whatsoever. Male or female…you cheat…you lose…consequences would be a nice change. Maybe people would think twice about the stupid actions they have and right and wrong may come into play. Yes, I agree a person struggling as it is it sucks. Then there is my moneybucks that screws over everyone or the businessowner who can shuffle to make his $500,000 a year income look like 20,000. It’s these schmucks that make it hard for everyone. That is reality


#15

You can’t take finances out of the equation. Kids have to financially be taken care of. What about the people who agree…mom should be home with the kids. I never would have had children if I had known the idiot didn’t mean it. You have kids…you agree…best for mom to stay with kids…now idiot decides to cheat around. Why should me and my kids suffer for his stupidity. We agreed best for mom to be home with kids…dad can suck it up and pay since he decided to make a “huge” change in the plan all by himself. Each situation is different, but if this is agreed ahead of time…buck up and deal and give the kids what they deserve instead of always trying to take it away!!! Do we really consider what is best for kids? 2 parent working family seems to be really messing up everyone. If possessions weren’t so important, maybe we would have better family lives.


#16

stressedmom…I respectfully disagree with your statement that kids are messed up because they come from divorced homes. I can provide ample evidence of kids from perfectly normal homes being just as much, if not more messed up.

I was a child of divorce myself. It was a difficult adjustment at the time, but that passed. I do not regret my parents’ divorce. Now, 20+ years down the road, it amazes me (and them) that they ever married in the first place. My presence aside, I think they probably regret that they ever married in the first place…at least my mom does. My dad has taken it as a life lesson.

I put myself through college, have a good career, and I donate my time to organizations. I’ve never been in jail and I pay my bills. I had a husband, but we agreed that we married too quickly, not fully knowing the other person, and divorced. We talk occasionally, although we aren’t as close friends as we once were. I would consider myself reasonably well-adjusted, and probably better adjusted than some people who come from intact families.

When I think back…my father was a much more nurturing personality than my mother, who was a perfectionist. It was my dad that I ran to when I lost a boyfriend or was sick. But, on the flip side, my mother left me with a strong sense of self, a dose of self-reliance, and the drive to learn. I needed both of them in my life to become who I am today.

I look at my BF’s family…I can’t say that the kids are really better off staying at home with mom. She cannot budget, chooses to go out drinking/dancing rather than pay her bills, and will not get a job to assist supporting her kids. There have been times that she has made the eldest child babysit while she is out drinking. Throughout the marriage, the children were put in the position of watching their mother berate and hit their father whenever she was disatisfied with her life. Yet, to all outward appearances she puts on a wonderful show of being “mother of the year” and she cries “victim” so persuasively that most people believe her. I probably would if I hadn’t seen the behavior for myself.

Yes, they had agreed that she should stay home with the kids, but when the bills got to be too much, she refused to go back to work to help out and struck him when they argued about it. Are you going to sit there and tell me that he needs to suck it up and pay what SHE thinks is right? When he agreed that she should stay home with the kids during their grade school years, that didn’t mean that he agreed to perpetual servitude.

Yes, he needs to support the kids. But he should also get to make decisions on what that support encompasses during the periods that he has the kids. He also has a right to be able to do fun things with and for the kids, which he can’t do when she financially bleeds him dry. What has resulted is a situation where she can buy iPods and video games for the kids then yell at him because she didn’t put enough aside to pay for her house payment while he can’t even take them out to eat at a cheap restaurant once in a while.

It’s just a matter of some people are master manipulators and work stereotypes and other people’s perceptions/emotions to get whatever they want. Sometimes it’s the guys who get away with murder, sometimes it’s the women.


#17

Well, considering my “popularity” on this forum, I would like to inform those fathers who are paying through the nose, that it does not always work out in that fashion. One of the posters indicated that her “ex” made the choice to “leave the family” with his cheating behavior. In my case, same thing, with major bucks involved. However, dear ole dad got off very easy and manipulates the system to his advantage because he does indeed have the “big bucks”. The consensus on this forum is that I need to do the best that I can. “Better myself” if you will. However, no one seems to think of my children who suffer because of a selfish, self-centered and greedy man who walked away with virtually everything. I am the one with no rights where my child is concerned although it’s 50/50 on the books. But, my kids are “learning”. Hopefully, they will see the crooked system, but maybe not. They’ve learned the sanctity of marriage does not matter. They’ve learned Mom has to do the best that she can while dad walks away. They’ve learned greed and avarice win every time. My child support doesn’t keep me afloat. So, for all of you guys who are suffering financially, I am sorry. But, rest assured, it is not like that in every case. Normally, the woman’s standard of living decreases by at least 30%, which means, so does the child’s. I have no semblance of my former standard of living which means, neither does my child when he is with me. And the judge keeps on hitting me and hitting me and hitting me…and teaching my children…


#18

I do not agree that fathers get a raw deal. Because my boys father hates me for leaving and then remarrying AND since his parents are very very wealthy and my new husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, well he is using these to his advantage to PUNISH me for ending the marriage and remarrying, even though it has been 5 years he has me tied up in court with his fancy lawyer and me with noone. He has freely admitted to me and my current husband that he is pursuing custody because of all I have put him through. And the system is letting him wage war on me using my innocent children as artillery. It is hurting my children badly. I have offered to settle out of court and he refuses. Hewants to put me through as much hell as he can for as long as the system and his moms money will let him. What he should realize is that my kids are getting old enough to recognize what is going on. They do not know about us going to court but because I asked for a GAL they know there is conflict. They already resent their dad for many reasons. If this continues to hurt them they will only end up hating him and not wanting anything to do with him as soon as they have the choice. As much as I despise him, I never want my children to feel that way about their father, that is why I have tried to settle out of court. But even when I offered to consider ANY change in the arrangement he wanted, just to quit dragging the kids through this, he said no… he wants me to suffer…he does not care what it means for the kids, he thinks they do not have the right to have feelings or opinions about anything in their life and even tells them as much, leading my oldest to need therapy. But necause he has as much money as he needs he is getting away with it!!!

Erin M Cunningham


#19

In my experience, the NC court system as it relates to child custody & support is heavily weighted in favor of mothers and detrimental to a father’s relationship with his children.

Financially:

Child custody: 99% of the time the court will award primary physical custody to the mother, regardless of circumstances unless they are very seriously detrimental to the children. The father will get every other weekend and one night every other week. There are many fathers who pursue joint physical custody and desire to be as active a parent as they can. But how can father’s be all they want to be with their children when the court will only allow them limited time with their children?

Child Support: Because of the practices of the courts as stated above, these cases use the “calculator A” in determining support. This puts a great financial burden on the father, who now cannot afford to buy the things he wants to for his children or take them places where they have the opportunity to spend time together & bond. Not only does the father not get to spend much time with his kids, he also cannot afford to provide for them. This is now left to the mother to provide for most of their needs, and this gives the mother all the power to make decisions that affect the kids welfare. There is a far too great imbalance here, and it’s bad for the kids.

Taxes: The mother gets all of the tax breaks and the father gets none. The father is paying a hefty amount in child support, and that comes out after taxes. But the mother does not have to show this as income, though she gets unrestricted use of the child support money.

Manipulation: I have dealt with this also. A mother can manipulate the system in any manner she sees fit, and the courts will not hold her accountible. All a mother has to do is play the innocent victim, and the courts will stick it to the father.

When the courts set up the child support enforcement system, it was definately needed due the number of deadbeat dads who were not supporting their children. But instead of the the lawmakers setting up the system so that it is fair to the mothers, children & fathers, it was set up with the mindset of "now we’re going to stick it to those men and make them all pay for what they’ve done to these poor innocent mothers. Most of us know that marriages end for many reasons, and the wives are responsible just as often as men are.

The NC court system as it relates to child support and custody needs a major overhaul. It’s weighted far to much in favor of the mothers with no consideration for the fathers. The effect of this is detrimental to the children, just the ones the system says it is in the best interest of.

I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I had to get my 2 cents in.


#20

I agree with the posters that the North Carolina Courts are unfair, biased, uncaring, and gives the impression of being rigged against fathers. The reason I have made this deduction are the following: the child custody courts mandated every other weekend–a total of 6 days a month visitation for the father; take home pay is $1000 and child support is $400 a month; as far as the mother, her income is 2xs that amount–his income is low because he had to change job vocation due to injury. Without going into all the details, she is not a nice person, was unfaithful, and has dumped off the child at friends homes for months. Yet, the court awarded her custody.

When it was brought up to the judge how can a person survive on $600 a month, there is rent, utilities, transportation costs, food, and when the child visits–food, clothing, diapers, etc. The judge stated coldly that he never knew anyone who went to jail for not paying rent or utilities. In trying to have the amount changed to be affordable, it has been one closed door after another. The penalty for not paying the full amount is you loose your license–so now how can you drive to work? So you pay taxi which now leaves you with less money to pay child support. Now you are even in greater debt to the courts…so they claim will put you in jail for non-payment. Now you loose your job, homeless, and the court takes all your personal belongings. But that is O.K. because the court will graciously keep you in jail until you can pay off this debt. They have work programs that you can do in jail until your debt is paid off. Then when your child reaches 18, your still in jail because your still in prison working off your debt. In the meantime, your child never has a relationship with his father.

When you finally get out of jail, you are still homeless because now you have no credit, no ID, and no money to support yourself. If you think I am over exaggerating, look up the dhhs North Carolina law concerning support payments.

Now, some of you think why not get another job. Well, if you make more money, you end up in another tax bracket paying more. Spoke to an accountant regarding this. You are not only in another tax bracket, but the monthly payments are increased and you end up in the same situation. When would you have time to spend with your child.

I was always for the woman…but after seeing what NC does to good men who want to be part of their children’s lives, NC does everything in their power to prevent this. No wonder men quit seeing their children…it is absolutely HOPELESS! Oh, did I mention that when the wife gets a raise, that means a recalculations of your combined income, even if you make the same but now you are obligated to pay more when the the courts do their reviews every three years. Call that fair? Seriously, read the dhhs of NC on-line child care support payment site.

Anyone out there have any suggestions, experiences, advice? And that previous blogger who claimed her husband’s attorney done her wrong, who was he? Because he must be one good attorney if he was able to get the courts to favor the father. Don’t get me started on grandparent rights.

One last comment. How come this unfair law hasn’t changed?