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Do courts favor the mom?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
It seems to me that when a mom violates a court order it is not taken seriously. When is it going to be enough and aren’t judges getting tired of these manipulative moms that are trying to brake up the father /child relationships.
Does a court value father and child bonding?

I am wandering if anyone else is going through this or has and what they have done when a mother withholds visits, is very demanding, and tries to control every aspect of the visit.
post #2 of 28
I'm not sure that it's true. You sound pretty bitter, which I get, as I'm pretty bitter with my ex who treats his daughter shabbily to make his wife happier. According to him, I'm one of those manipulative moms you're talking about. Yet, I've never withheld visitation or communication, though communication has been withheld from me.

I think your bitterness is coloring the perceptions of all moms. I don't think you can make these blanket statements. I'm tired of hearing about this epidemic of mothers alienating their children from fathers. I think the situation is far more complex than placing blame on one parent or another.
post #3 of 28
They don't favour either parent, but they do whatever they can to keep the child with it's mother. Agree or disagree, it is devastating for a child to be taken from it's mother -- studies show...you can blame nature.
I know some pretty aweful situations where you can't help but wonder, "why the heck are they with the mom?"
That's how it is in Canada; I don't know about other countries...
post #4 of 28
Some courts favor the mom. In some states (and I'd assume, some provinces), the laws are written specifically to favor the mother (i.e. there's a presumption Mom gets custody unless she's unfit).

In other states, there is a "primary caregiver" presumption, which in most cases is the Mom by default.

Beyond that, every judge has his or her individual biases, and those biases influence decisions in one way or another. Some judges favor Mom, some Dad, some try to be so "neutral" as to impose 50/50 where it is not warranted (or in a way it doesn't make sense).

Also, as far as enforcing court orders goes...it really depends. Judges don't want to be bothered with the little stuff..."mom signed the kids up for ballet during 'my time'" will not be looked at by most judges (unless it's part of a much bigger pattern). "Dad moved the kids to California without telling or asking me" will. When it's in between, again, responses vary.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
maybe I am pretty bitter and if that is the case that is somthing I have to work on. At the moment I am just very frustrated with the situation.
post #6 of 28
from my personal experience, yes

(i have 5 stepkids, two step grandchildren and another on the way)
post #7 of 28
This is a heated question, that I tend to answer with a "yes, courts seem to favor moms". At the same time, we have to be careful saying "moms are manipulative", since I'm sure there are dads that are manipulative just as well, kwim?

If the law is written with "primary caregiver keeps the custody", then tough luck on being a dad. Women fight for equality in the workplace, but dads are fighting these days for the equality of parenthood. You will see your child eight days a month (if that) with four overnights, unless you and your ex can work out something peacefully.

Hence, that's why they have "fathers' rights" organizations. DP wanted shared physical custody of his daughter, he is by no means unstable, or unqualified parent. She didn't move in with us until she was old enough and brave enough to make a case for it with her mom and stepdad. No one cared for her wishes or the parenting style at the time of divorce, and that's a shame... Because in most cases dad will lose a house, will end up with CS, and will need permission to see his own child. I do see it changing slowly, though. As men become more and more involved parents, too many dads are not willing to silently give up their right of raising a child. As this becomes more of a norm, I see the laws changing.

Just my point of view.
post #8 of 28
As the number of two-income families and stay-at-home fathers increases, so, too, might the perception of mom as the primary caregiver.

Our lawyer points out to us that even when/if courts treat mothers and fathers equally, as long as society believes courts favor mothers then men will be less likely to believe they have rights to fight for in court. If men believe judges will always favor mom, they will be less likely to fight what they see as the inevitable outcome.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Some courts favor the mom. In some states (and I'd assume, some provinces), the laws are written specifically to favor the mother (i.e. there's a presumption Mom gets custody unless she's unfit).

In other states, there is a "primary caregiver" presumption, which in most cases is the Mom by default.

Beyond that, every judge has his or her individual biases, and those biases influence decisions in one way or another. Some judges favor Mom, some Dad, some try to be so "neutral" as to impose 50/50 where it is not warranted (or in a way it doesn't make sense).

Also, as far as enforcing court orders goes...it really depends. Judges don't want to be bothered with the little stuff..."mom signed the kids up for ballet during 'my time'" will not be looked at by most judges (unless it's part of a much bigger pattern). "Dad moved the kids to California without telling or asking me" will. When it's in between, again, responses vary.
The bolded part, not exactly true. School called CPS on the youngest two DSC's mom. She bailed, moved state, the day before they were to interview DSS at school and her at home, no official ok. Court's been overlooking it for a long time, and still don't seem to care that she has an alcohol problem (she was even tested RIGHT AFTER a court hearing and registered that she'd been drinking and this court seemed to not care. It's just "hearsay" that my DSC get nervous and scared when we come anywhere near the alcohol section in the grocery store.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teenytoona View Post
The bolded part, not exactly true. School called CPS on the youngest two DSC's mom. She bailed, moved state, the day before they were to interview DSS at school and her at home, no official ok. Court's been overlooking it for a long time, and still don't seem to care that she has an alcohol problem (she was even tested RIGHT AFTER a court hearing and registered that she'd been drinking and this court seemed to not care. It's just "hearsay" that my DSC get nervous and scared when we come anywhere near the alcohol section in the grocery store.
Yikes.

Around here, moving 150 miles from the other parent, or out of state at all, without their permission or a court order is a BIG no-no. I'm sorry you've had a different experience.
post #11 of 28
IME and in our case YES YES YES
Dad gets less than 100 hours a month and has to 'ask' permission on bm's terms for more time. Currently he's being punished by bm so there is NO extra time granted!
We are in Canada and truly the courts do not recognize dad as having any more rights than everyother weekend.
post #12 of 28
I have tried to stay away from this thread but I need to comment. Until you are the mother in the situation you have no idea how the courts are. Making general statements like "controlling and demanding moms", and implying that all moms are trying to keep their children from their fathers is insulting and simply not true in most cases. When fathers fight for custody and they have been the primary caregiver (rare) the court will give them custody. Moms are typically the primary care giver so they are given custody more often still. I can tell you that there are many districts that favor the father at any cost to the child.

Making sweeping statements about all moms being manipulative or controlling would be like me saying all fathers are deadbeats, don't pay child support, and don't bother to see their kid. Thats my reality, does that mean that applies to all dads?
post #13 of 28
I actually have been on both sides of the fence and the courts did favor me. I never treated my children's father like my dh has been treated! I don't believe in sweeping statements either BUT the courts here in Canada do favor mom!
We have spent over $50,000 fighting bm and still she has COMPLETE control. She wants him to sign papers that she has rights to make all decisions and have all control. Dh has continually fought to make sure the school knows who he is, but as for the dr, dentist etc she will not give any info. The kids can come for a visit and say they were sick or for an appt but not once does she let dh know.
My kids are free to see their dad anytime they want to, they are now seeing on their own what kind of man their dad is!
In the end I do think the kids will see the truth or at least see that the other parent isn't evil!
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by manitobamama View Post
I actually have been on both sides of the fence and the courts did favor me. I never treated my children's father like my dh has been treated! I don't believe in sweeping statements either BUT the courts here in Canada do favor mom!
We have spent over $50,000 fighting bm and still she has COMPLETE control. She wants him to sign papers that she has rights to make all decisions and have all control. Dh has continually fought to make sure the school knows who he is, but as for the dr, dentist etc she will not give any info. The kids can come for a visit and say they were sick or for an appt but not once does she let dh know.
My kids are free to see their dad anytime they want to, they are now seeing on their own what kind of man their dad is!
In the end I do think the kids will see the truth or at least see that the other parent isn't evil!
For every situation like your dh's there are many many more where unfit and uninvolved fathers want to have "rights" to their kids but don't want to be involved until they feel like it, if that ever happens, are bitter at having to pay cs and constantly use the kids to threaten and manipulate their mothers. These guys go months and years without seeing their kids, rarely or never contacting them, don't pay child support, etc. Then suddenly they get a new girlfriend and want to play house with their kid that they have pushed aside for years and their is nothing as mothers that we can do to protect our kids from this kind of pain and mistreatment. There is no timetable for how long a father can go without seeing their kids, its their "right" not their "responsibility" or "obligation". They are not required by the court to care for their kids, see them and many times even support them. Its mom who has to pick of the pieces of the broken hearted kids who daddy has forgotten about until its convienient. I think that the courts are wise to this behaviour, that it is far more common in fathers, and that is why mothers are still favored in some districts. It makes sense, judges are human, the reality is (regardless of whether people like to hear it or not), mothers are the primary caregivers most times and are the parent who is much more likely to stick around. Fathers fall off the face of the earth way more than moms do. How can the courts ignore this? Its a fact. Maybe instead of putting energy into resenting the step kids mom and blaming her for everything, people should figure out why it is so easy for so many dads to fall out of their kids lives. Trust me, most times its not moms fault, thats just a convienient and popular excuse.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
Its mom who has to pick of the pieces of the broken hearted kids who daddy has forgotten about until its convienient. I think that the courts are wise to this behaviour, that it is far more common in fathers, and that is why mothers are still favored in some districts.
I think it's far more common in fathers because they are much less likely to get custody. It's an incredibly hard work to maintain a relationship with a child who doesn't live with you. The driving, the phone calls to the house where they are not wanted, the asking for permission to see your own kid, etc. etc. etc.

DSD's mom was a regular mom when dsd lived with her, and did all things that an average parent / mother does. Stayed home while dsd was little, took her to doctor's when needed, left most school conferences to us, but still showed interest, etc. Since DSD moved in with us, she has seen her 10 times or so (and I'm being generous here) in 7 months, and she hasn't called in 3 weeks now and counting.

I'm not suggesting that all mothers would do this, but what I am suggesting, is that it takes more work on the part of a non-custodial parent to stay involved with school, and doctors, and spending time with a child than it does on the part of a custodial parent. If dads are "seen for what they are" and are not allowed to have primary custody (as it was in our case, and the case of 2 of dp's brothers), it becomes a self-fulfulling prophecy of "dead-beat" dads, kwim?

As I mentioned before, though, I forsee changes creeping in slowly but surely. Many dads want to stay involved, and it will pay off.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Yikes.

Around here, moving 150 miles from the other parent, or out of state at all, without their permission or a court order is a BIG no-no. I'm sorry you've had a different experience.
Thanks. I just wish this were the case, we were sure it would have been, but it's been ridiculous. This situation's been going on for a looong time. Still not over. Probably will never be. I mean being drunk during court and they still won't confirm her drinking problem?

IME, courts have favored the mom, but that's not always the case. The mom is not always the best person for the kids, although they many times are, so I understand from where it comes. It's just really frustrating for the situations where the dad is the far better custodial parent, because the judges don't look at the individual cases as much as you'd think they would. They all have their biases.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
Maybe instead of putting energy into resenting the step kids mom and blaming her for everything, people should figure out why it is so easy for so many dads to fall out of their kids lives. Trust me, most times its not moms fault, thats just a convienient and popular excuse.

If you look around and read many of the posts within this forum, they are very contradictory to the "blaming Mom is just an excuse."

I agree full heartedly with Oriole... it is much more work for the NCP to stay involved, and when you are trying to work with a CP who really doesn't care, it makes it even harder...

You can only take bending over backwards and being a doormat and doing your best to be a prescence in someone's life when the door keeps being shut in your face over and over again.

I would say DH was the primary caretaker of DSD before the divorce. He worked nights and watched her all day for a couple of years. But his lawyer told him flat out he had no chance at primary custody because he worked nights, and because he left the house, which courts see as child abandonment... where the judge wanted him to stay in the house when he came home to find another man in his bed is beyond me! :

But anyway... He has always been an involved Father, but beyond our control DSD's Mom has found ways to keep cutting our time short. We don't have money to just take her to court to enforce the custody agreement... nor from what I have read here will it likely do any good, just a waste of money.

So who should we really blame? Not Mom? I certainly don't see anyone else to blame...
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
I have tried to stay away from this thread but I need to comment. Until you are the mother in the situation you have no idea how the courts are. Making general statements like "controlling and demanding moms", and implying that all moms are trying to keep their children from their fathers is insulting and simply not true in most cases. When fathers fight for custody and they have been the primary caregiver (rare) the court will give them custody. Moms are typically the primary care giver so they are given custody more often still. I can tell you that there are many districts that favor the father at any cost to the child.

Making sweeping statements about all moms being manipulative or controlling would be like me saying all fathers are deadbeats, don't pay child support, and don't bother to see their kid. Thats my reality, does that mean that applies to all dads?
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
If you look around and read many of the posts within this forum, they are very contradictory to the "blaming Mom is just an excuse."

I agree full heartedly with Oriole... it is much more work for the NCP to stay involved, and when you are trying to work with a CP who really doesn't care, it makes it even harder...

You can only take bending over backwards and being a doormat and doing your best to be a prescence in someone's life when the door keeps being shut in your face over and over again.

I would say DH was the primary caretaker of DSD before the divorce. He worked nights and watched her all day for a couple of years. But his lawyer told him flat out he had no chance at primary custody because he worked nights, and because he left the house, which courts see as child abandonment... where the judge wanted him to stay in the house when he came home to find another man in his bed is beyond me! :

But anyway... He has always been an involved Father, but beyond our control DSD's Mom has found ways to keep cutting our time short. We don't have money to just take her to court to enforce the custody agreement... nor from what I have read here will it likely do any good, just a waste of money.

So who should we really blame? Not Mom? I certainly don't see anyone else to blame...
My dad blamed my mom for all his years of not being involved, my ds's sperm donor blames me for not seeing "his son" for almost three years (my son isn't yet 4). In both cases it is an excuse, its bulls**t.

My brother and his wife divorced, he was the primary caregiver of his two daugthers. He got joint (50/50 now) custody and joint legal. He fought for it, its tiring for him still, to have to deal with all the crap and all of the roadblocks that his ex puts up. She just recently switched my nieces school without telling him, they live about a mile apart. Is is frustrating for him, yep, is it a hassle to have to go to court and file a complaint, yep, but he does it, every.single.time she violates the order. Thats why he has equal custody now. He doesn't use an attorney to file the complaints, he doesn't need one, he can do it on his own.

For those fathers who are dealing with an uncooperative and difficult mother, like my brother is, I know its tiring and frustrating. But you know what, so is raising a kid on your own, so is having to explain to your kid why he doesn't know his dad. I don't care how tiring and frustrating it is for dad, ITS YOUR KID. You bend over backwards as long as you have to, you get treated like a doormat as long as you have to, ITS YOUR KID. How many moms do you see throwing in the towel because they are tired of dealing with the drama that comes with dealing with their kids father? Its few and far between. Its not impossible, I get so tired of hearing how unfair the court system is to fathers. It may take time and work, but ITS YOUR KID, you do what it takes to see them and stop blaming the mom, she does not have all the control, it may just take a little extra diligence on his part, as it my brother's case. If he had the attitude that it wasn't worth it to file complaints against his ex for violations he would rarely see his kids. It was and is worth to him but it doesn't come without a little work and diligence. Kind of like raising a child.
post #20 of 28
I don't even think we can make blanket statements about Canada either. I'm in Alberta, and the trend I see here is more euqitable time. Many parents I know are doing the one week on one week off schedule and that seems to be the trend around here. Generally, the cases I've seen go to court here are trying to be more equal if possible.

The unfortunate thing about courts is that they cannot make a parent be a parent. They do not have the time, energy or resources to ensure there each parent is doing as they are supposed to do, playing by the rules, etc. That's the myth of court, because I know many people think if they have the court ordered agreement, everything will move along like that because it's written. Written is one thing, proof is another, enforceable is often another thing too.

Divorce is hard for everyone. Discussions like this are difficult because everyone has their own emotionally charged story. That's why generalizations are so difficult too, because for every story we can tell one way, we can tell it the other way too.

I don't have any easy solutions or answers to the questions you've asked. Divorce can be difficult for everyone at different times and in different ways. I hope you can find a way to rise above what's happening and find a solution that is best for the child(ren) first of all and everyone else too.

I wish you peace & love.
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