It’s Not About Parents’ Rights- It’s About Childrens’ Rights

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It’s time to make changes. 

I’ve started to get a lot of emails and a lot of comments about my blog.  99.9% are supportive and encouraging.  Some are not and some leave me scratching my head in amazement.  When I started this blog, I wasn’t really sure of the direction it would take.  Some days it was a vent.  Some days I was trying to paint a picture of the past or give a glimpse into my current reality.  Some days I learned a lot just by sitting down and writing– ya know those “ah ha!” moments that come from reading a journal entry?  Sometimes I’ve learned to look at things from another angle which only came to light because of a reader’s comment.

In the past three months, I’ve had 20,000 views on my blog.  A lot of the messages I get come from Mother’s Rights Groups or Father’s Rights Groups.  Some are pretty extreme.  I’ve had emails from men who are angry because they’ve been wronged by the system and they want to poke a finger at me.  I’ve had email conversations with some of these individuals and most end in mutual respect and admiration for the others’ plight.

While I admire the passion and dedication that many of these groups have, I think that we all need to step back for a moment and focus on the true goal: the children.

The system is screwed up beyond belief.  There is no doubt about it.  It’s a fact.

I’ve heard so many stories that break my heart.  Parent’s are loosing their children daily at the hands of the courts who are too overwhelmed to really evaluate a situation.  Children are being placed in unsafe environments because of case workers who simply don’t care or are so close to retirement that they’ve mentally checked out.  I’ve heard stories of corrupt judges, attorneys and cps workers.  Then there are the stories that gain national attention such as the Susan Powell case and other stories that are equally horrific yet don’t make the national news.  The system failed Susan Powell.  The system failed Charlie and Braden Powell.  The courts had all of the information about this sick man yet they acted too late.

This isn’t about Father’s Rights and it isn’t about Mother’s Rights.  It’s about Children’s Rights.  In the 1970’s, when my parents were getting divorce, the courts automatically gave custody to the mother.  As time has progressed, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction in an effort to “be fair” to both parents.  The courts are automatically focused on giving 50/50 custody instead of looking at what’s best for the children.  This isn’t about the parents and what is fair to them.  This should be about the children and what is safe and healthy for them.

Just because a parent gave birth or donated sperm doesn’t mean they are automatically entitled to be in a child’s life.  The Family Court System needs an overhaul and it’s going to take a lot of parents to stand up and demand change. Start today by writing your local representatives and demand change— we need to prevent tragedy’s like the Powell case.

Children have the right to play, learn, laugh, love and be loved.  They have the right to be safe, nurtured and cared for.

Remember– it’s about the children.  Not “our” rights as parents. 

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8 responses »

  1. Grin.

    Ironically I was just thinking this a couple of weeks ago. Ended up emailing my Representative about it and referred them to the comments section of your blog as further proof of just how messed up the system of “Family Law” actually is.

    I’m sick of watching my husband’s anger escalate while not having the right to keep our daughter away from him. And his judgment where his girlfriend is concerned goes right out the window.

    Yet because of an accident of sperm, the court says he gets 50/50 custody despite the fact two marriage counselors felt I was not safe with him in our home. Really?!

    Hopefully if enough of us–and we all know there are literally thousands of single parents out there–contact our representatives and present our case in a clear, concise, unemotional manner with factual information judicial system might start considering how much our understanding of the psychology of abuse has changed since the 1950s, and update the idea of reasonable doubt to things that are actually, ya know, *reasonable*.

    It isn’t exactly a stretch to say a suicidal man who plays with knives to freak out his wife should not have overnight visitation……

  2. What I’ve learnt about Family Law is that affivadits are pretty much useless and are not considered evidence. They are only useful if something horrible happens, people can look back at them and say, “wow, look at the red flags”. Just like in the Josh Powell case. his mother knew her son and exhusband were mentally ill but the courts still gave custody to the father. So in my situation, I write my affivadits truthfully, but don’t expect the courts to care what I say, anymore than they care what my ex says. It is hard for them to determine who the master manipulators are…. I focus on third party evidence. emails, 911 records, criminal checks etc. protective parents have to think like lawyers, police, judges. they have to do the leg work for our kids sake. it is so sad, i wish i had a health coparent. problem is….mentally ill people exist on denial and projection. incredibility difficult to treat.

  3. When it comes to family law, there is no best interest of the children any longer……
    I am and will be continueing my fight for the rights of my children….. And so many others going through the same thing! I totally agree with you!!!

  4. Of course, I completely agree with you and very well said. It’s become the norm to think that “co-parenting” is always best and courts are loathe to deviate from that. Sure, when co-parenting works, that’s great – and most likely, those parents can work it out themselves without the help of a court. Every case is unique, and judges need to look at them individually.

  5. Interesting discussion. But would like to suggest a few thoughts to consider. Although, one may think I’m getting off point.

    Ever wonder why our US Constitution starts with “We the People” but goes into “Individual Rights”?

    Ever wonder why there are numerous legal statutes supporting “Individual Rights”, but No statutes referring to “Family Rights”?

    One might say, on a very small scale A Family is equal to “We the People” As one might say each “Individual” has Rights. And this in itself could lead to “Conflict”??

    But hopefully through Sharing, Caring, and Guidance, we as a Family can exist as a Healthy Caring Family, who recognize that each and everyone of us need to be “Responsible for Our Actions”.

    May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,
    GranPa Chuck
    Keeper of the web files for http://nfpcar.org

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