American Mothers Losing Custody (and other Punishments for Being a Girl)

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Mothers across the US are losing their parental rights in the family court system in unprecedented numbers, as women are forced to make a heartbreaking decision:  work and feed their children, or be a full-time mother and watch their children starve.  This epidemic of having to force over custody is not unknown to me personally: I had a Magistrate overlook 8 Florida Statutes that protected my parental status in favor of my abusive ex-husband during my shore-duty Active Duty military status, citing that though I loved the children and had been the primary parent for over 7 years, my working interfered with my ability to parent.  I was NEVER deployed, and was ALWAYS either in Florida or Maryland.  I was given the opportunity to be SHORE DUTY ONLY, a gift from the military (in my opinion) to assist me with my single-parenthood prospect.  My ex-husband, in the meantime, ceased working altogether, and lived off of my child support payments and his married girlfriend’s generosity.  He cut our children off from my family, and would no-show to visitations, or simply refuse to put the kids on a plane (airfare for which I personally paid).  When it came time for me to re-enlist, I had a serious decision to make: Continue my career? or Fight for my Children?  Now, after my homecoming, while having my children for two months straight, I am still paying an astronomical amount of child support to my ex-husband for the simple privilege of being with my children on a daily basis and involved in their lives.

Our society is becoming more and more patriarchal and organizations such as NOW (National Organization for Women), have been taking note of the dismal prospects of working mothers facing custody proceedings.  The reality is, over 50% of custody is being handed over to fathers, many of which have histories of abuse, arrest records, and immoral behavior (aka “parenting style” within the court system).   Fathers have massive advocacy groups, and there are even attorneys here in Palm Beach County that advertise for MEN ONLY custody representation!  The lobbying presence is large: in a quick Google Search I found 5 major lobby and advocacy groups for father.  ZERO for mothers’ parental rights.  That’s right, NONE.

In my personal case, my biological pre-teen daughter was handed over to my ex-husband, her adopted father.  With my friends and family left shaking their heads in total confusion, the Magistrate, now retired, simply stated that my full-time job out of the area was not in the best interest of our children.  Four years of refused visitation with myself and my family, thousands in child support and legal fees, and a relentless slew of insults and bashing of me by my ex-husband of almost ten years ensued.  The effects of this court decision, based on the recommendations of a Guardian Ad Litem (friends with my ex-husband’s married girlfriend) without investigation or questioning of ANY of my family or friends cost our family dearly.

The Michigan Chapter of NOW warns women of the hidden agenda behind the Shared Parental/FORCED joint custody, and the Florida Chapter addresses this crisis as it relates to the treatment of mothers by the courts http://www.flnow.org/custody.html.  Yet this isn’t in the news, and you have to dig on the internet, weeding out the fathers advocacy groups, in the hopes to find support systems for mothers whose major downfall is that they pursued an education, and work to support their children and contribute to their households.

Meanwhile the US Federal Government forces those same Single Mothers’ Tax Dollars to fund the “Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative” amongst other sexist federal programs focused on idolizing the role of the father, and devaluing the role of the single mother.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/fatherhood_report_6.13.12_final.pdf

This program also touts forcing education of the mother to identify the importance of fathers – even when domestic abuse has been present – as a part of not only this initiative, but also through the “Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.  The only program for women is the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns, which assists women already on Medicaid and WIC, pre-delivery and during infancy.  See a gender disparity yet?

What options do mothers have?  Fall in line with the Nanny State and stop working?  Do we warn our daughters that if they work while in a marriage that produces children, they should be aware that it doesn’t matter if the husband rapes, degrades, beats, or cheats – your parental rights will be under siege so long as you self-sustain?  Perhaps instead of the Department of Justice focusing on whether the civil rights of a thug were trampled, they should focus on the systematic destruction of the civil rights of the American MOTHER.

About imaconstitutionalist

Single mom, US Navy Vet, honorably discharged after awarded for meritorious military service. Former professional musician. Owner of a strategic digital marketing, design and development firm. Volunteer. History and economics major. Staunch Constitutionalist and capitalist. Advocates for women, education, innovation development, legalized medical marijuana, and against parental alienation, the socialist agenda, and misogyny. Extremely proud of my family's patriotic history. Daughter of the American Revolution. Fan of Adam Smith, with a not-so-secret crush on Milton Friedman.
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12 Responses to American Mothers Losing Custody (and other Punishments for Being a Girl)

  1. Shawn West says:

    Washington State is the only state that collects family court statistics last I knew, do you have a credible link for the 50% custody rate of divorcing fathers?

    http://www.courts.wa.gov/wsccr/docs/ResidentialTimeSummaryReport2010.pdf

    According to the Washington State Center for Court Research 85% of all divorces here end with the mother awarded primary custody. Those are official state figures reported by our family courts.

    • That is correct. Right now, WA is the only state that reports those statistics, which is a shame.

      However, there’s a difference between agreed time sharing vs. awarded custody after a dispute. The Leadership Council is a great place to start looking.

      Another report, though rather old, is the Mass Gender Bias report: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/Massachusetts_Gender_Bias_Study.htm

      The numbers are quite skewed. In fact, almost 70% of FATHERS that apply for sole or primary custody in a disputed case, are in fact, awarded such.

      Furthermore, a disproportionate number of those men applying for sole custody have a history of being abusers or involvement in domestic violence.

      News reports and personal, first-hand accounts are showing a significant change in the tide for mothers. The states do not report the statistics on a regular basis – nor does the military which has been MASSIVELY impacted by the fallout of mothers losing their children – often time, to abusers that, due to their gender, their lobby groups and political presence, have strong-armed the courts into removing women from their roles as primary caregivers, which is, historically what we as mothers are.

      http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/1.html

      Other areas to seek out further information is NOW, as well as various gender bias studies (Mass Supreme Court has some excellent reports as well).

      The Federal Government is funding father’s advocacy programs while consistently diminishing the funds and programs available to mothers. In fact, there’s not one program other than the WIC program, that focuses on bettering the lives and situations of underprivileged mothers.

      I have no problem with fathers having joint custody, or even sole custody when circumstances require, however, the reality is that good mothers are being punished for having careers to sustain their households.

  2. Shawn West says:

    Your post is about family courts taking away custody from mothers not joint custody or shared parenting.

    Here when a mother wants custody she gets it 85% of the time from divorce and 100% by default if she is unwed. That’s as reported by our family courts and documented by the state 2010 latest figures.

    The U.S. Census shows only 17% of ALL fathers are primary custodial as of 2012.

    • Interesting. A Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at CUNY, a published authority on this topic, disagrees with the federally funded census data.

      Here’s a link:
      http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/1010/mothers-on-trial

      And if I recall, wasn’t that Census data focused on Child Support Awards?

      I was not actually specific about type of custody, which I should have better outlined for you evidently.

      My post is about mothers losing their inherent right to MOTHER, and that we are being forced to make unconscionable decisions between survival and motherhood. I detail that I witnessed a magistrate ignore 8 state statutes that were implemented by the FL Governor 6 months prior to my case, that would have protected my personal status as primary custodial parent, and instead, blatantly punished me for having a career that would sustain the children and I.

      I further outlined the countless advocacy groups for fathers, many of which are federally funded (that means those same working, single mothers are paying for men to learn HOW to be fathers). A representation of that same treatment for mothers is severely lacking. Actually, it doesn’t exist. There is a gender disparity here, and we are brainwashed to think that fathers deserve more and greater representation and funding than women as though they are some sort of victims of circumstance. The reality is, that most of the fathers that attempt sole custody are former abusers. The post wraps up that it is an absolute attack on the civil rights of Mothers to MOTHER.

      The gender disparity exists and when facing custody litigation the reality of this treatment of mothers in today’s courts is very real – in fact, my personal experience and that of many women I know (that work) are that they lose both primary custody and their identity as mother through a system that has exalted working men (fathers) and demeaned working women (mothers). Working women are treated MUCH differently, and clearly punished for working (that’s stated in my personal paperwork from a Magistrate). In other words – if you are a man, and you work, you have a greater right to fatherhood than I, a woman that works has to motherhood. The language is CLEAR in mine, and several of my colleagues cases.

      I’m sure, along with further data from organizations that participate in the funding of father’s advocacy programs, we can find a slew of material explaining away this phenomenon. Until we have the same organizations working on behalf of working, single mothers, there will continue to be a disparity.

      • Shawn West says:

        Oh, I will be one of the last to stand up for the Census as one stop shopping. I have written about how those numbers can be juggled in a blog article also.

        But even with that according to the NOW website almost all men try and get custody to avoid child support. So if 70% of them get primary custody then the Census should still show a 60%-80% unwed father head of household not 17%. If it was by child support order and not tax filings then it would still be up in the 34% range.

  3. Pingback: American Mothers Losing Custody (and other Punishments for … | Battered Mothers - A Human Rights Issue

  4. David M. Green says:

    Feminists are well known for designing self fulfilling studies that gives them the desired result, out right lying and cherry picking statistics. Your case is the exception and not the rule since the family court system was designed by feminists to take away the fathers rights to his children while raping him of his financial resources.

  5. David M. Green says:

    My perceptions in regards to feminism and women have always been and always will be based on reality – as I am foremost a realist. On the other hand the perceptions of feminists and women in general have always been based on out right lies and intellectual fraud; resulting in an unjustified paranoia towards the male gender and its intended political, physical and financial enslavement by feminists. The truth is that the family court system of today operates under The Principles of Feminism in order to further the feminist goal of destroying the two parent family composed of a man and a woman. By enabling women to divorce their divorce their husbands against their will – to this end there is no act no matter how unjust or immoral to which officers of the family court system will not restrain themselves from committing – in order to rape the men brought before them of their children, homes and financial resources.

    • Again. All I can do is offer data, both current and historical, which CLEARLY states otherwise. I’ve outlined for you the actual framing of the Family Court system, which is very difficult to misinterpret when looking at timelines, Supreme Court case law, and legislature. I cannot help your personal platform, or your personal bitterness and frame of reference that is clearly based on outward hate of women and mothers in general. Sitting back and getting angry isn’t your answer, I assure you. From my studies in history, economics, and the legal system, I can only say, that you’ve watched too much Mrs. Doubtfire and listened to the rhetoric of father’s advocacy groups that are funded by the federal governments and “Dads-Only” lawyers……and not read enough actual data. Best of luck in getting over your resentment.

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