The Importance of Fathers:
The leading experts, in social science and psychology after divorce or separation, gathered together for the first international conference on shared parenting in 2014. They came to the overwhelming conclusion that maximizing parenting time with BOTH parents is in the best interest of children following divorce or separation. They also came to the conclusion that the current Family Law practice of awarding primary or sole custody to one parent is NOT in the best interests of the child.
Research shows that children raised in single-parent families are more likely than children raised in two-parent families to do poorly in school, have emotional problems, become teenage parents, commit crimes, abuse drugs, and have poverty level incomes as adults.
How many of those children were denied the equal love and companionship of two parents because the current practice in Family Court is ordering primary or sole custody to only one parent?
The Devaluation of Fathers in society:
Society stereotypes fathers as distant, immature, emotionally detached parents more focused on their career than their children. This is a holdover from the 1950s- 60s. Today more men are becoming stay at home fathers. They realize the important impact they can have in their children’s lives.
“We can’t keep telling Fathers to have equal responsibility, and not give them Equal Rights.” ~Benjamin Zephaniah
When brought into the realm of Family Court, fathers are arbitrarily and instantaneously stripped of their children and relegated to the role of a second class citizen based solely on their gender and not their parental fitness.
It is time the legislature, Family Courts and society catch up to what the roles of fathers are today.
It’s not just enough for fathers to achieve legal equality but also the stigma associated with fathers has to be changed.