The Democratic Party believes that women have a glass ceiling that prevents their access to healthcare, equal pay and just about everything else that men are entitled to. Whether or not you believe that is true, the one place where the woman’s side is usually taken is in child custody and divorce cases. When it comes to people splitting up, courts usually elect to give mother, the custody of a child.
Since the 1960s, feminists have been telling women that they are oppressed and undervalued, and that attitude has tainted the court system in child custody hearings. It’s not that it wasn’t necessary for women in the sixties to have an advantage in court. Not many women had the means to take care of themselves, which is why courts were heavily swayed to favor the well-being of both women and children.
The courts tended to see the value of the feminine role in custody hearings and undervalue the masculine one. That still has not changed. The push to put women first and believe that their primary care is in the child’s best interests might be hurting fathers’ post-divorce access to their children across America. Thanks to the feminist push and the of the 60s from their child custody lawyer, to always see the child’s best interest as being served through being raised by their mother, many fathers are completely left out of the equation in child custody cases — even when they want to have equal rights.
However, studies over the past several decades have shown that it is in the child’s best interests to be reared by both parents, not just one. Unless something is preventing a parent from being a suitable role model, then having both parents equally involved has time and again been proved to be the best model for raising healthy and well-adjusted children. The court system, though, is not following what reality is showing, and statistics show that they tend to negate “fathers’ rights” when it comes to divorce.
It’s rare to find a show on primetime television that doesn’t depict the father as an idiot who can’t seem to put a diaper on their child or tend to their child’s most basic needs. In an image created out of a feminist culture, men are seen as completely incapable of caring for themselves, much less an infant, which has tainted the way that courts across America rule when it comes to custody parameters.
Recently in South Dakota, legislation was on the table to change the presumption of a custody case. Although it’s not explicitly written in legal codes, when a mother and father enter the courtroom many fathers feel that they are at a disadvantage, and that assumptions are made that the children are better off in the mother’s care unless other proof can be given. A bill before the legislature sought to create a presumption that equal involvement for parents should be the standard, not that the presumption should favor the feminine role.
A version of the bill was passed but would not go so far as to put the standard in writing that parents should be equally favored. The bill states that unless there is a cause, each parent should receive no less than 35% of the time with their children. But it doesn’t explicitly say courts should equally favor both parents. It was just a change to the existing laws about how courts can rule and the proof needed to ask for specific custody rights.
Due to the 1970 Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, mothers have been given preferential treatment in raising children. Based on the Attachment Theory, it is assumed that children and their mothers bond earlier on in life and that the mother’s role was much more important than the father’s. But since that time, studies have time and again proven that when the father isn’t around in a child’s life, they are more predisposed to adverse effects across the board.
For courts to be fair in custody hearings, they have to truly take into account the best interests of a child, which can’t be solely determined by some psychological study from the 70s. Custody hearings should be decided upon on a case-by-case basis. When possible, if both parents want to be equally involved, they should have the right to do so without a judge determining who is best equipped to raise a child. Pop culture can’t allow the courts to determine child custody based on unfair assumptions created over five decades ago. The here and now are all that matter, and fathers want to — and should be allowed to — have the same rights to their offspring as mothers do.