I imagine that everyone will have a comment once they read this article. It seems fairly straightforward, by stating that boys are suffering in many ways from not having enough time with their dads. I’d go further than that and state that any child missing either one of their parents is likely to suffer the same fate. But the article isn’t about that, it focuses solely on the impact of fatherless boys.
I would agree with the article where it states that our courts favor the mothers. Given the exact same of facts, judges do typically lean to the mother’s side. More time is given to moms, and the reasoning is always that it is in the best interests of the children. But is it? As family law practioners, we hear that the best thing for the children is the continuity of the day to day routine. And spending time with dad, especially overnight, disrupts the routine, and is therefore not good for a child. I often wonder which is worse though, having the child’s routine disrupted or having limited time with their father.
I know every case is different, which makes our job all the harder. There is no set formula and no parenting plan drawn up for one couple works for the next set of parents. Divorce or a break up is not in the best interest of the child generally (excluding domestic violence or excessive fighting in the home), so why does one parent get to fall on the “best interest of the child” standard and have most of the parenting time? I can only imagine how it must feel for the child to not only lose their intact family situation, but then to be told that they are now going to see their other parent four overnights a week.
I have some clients who effectively implement a parenting plan where their kids stay with them one week and then go to the other parent for a week. Is it optimal? Of course not. But is it any better for the child to see the other parent on such a limited basis? I too would like to see the court divvy up the parenting time on a more balanced schedule as every parent is important to the child.
For the courts to take dads more serious though, the dads need to step up. All too often we see dads who are willing to walk away and not fight to see their children. This type of dad hurts the dads who are actively fighting to see their kids. When an intact couple is having problems in the marriage, 9 times out of 10, the dad moves out, leaving the mom with the kids. I rarely see the moms leaving the home. Moms typically fight harder to be with their kids and their fight has rewarded them with the most time with the kids. Dads need to step up their game if they want more recognition in the courts.
Whether you agree with me or not, the article is an interesting read.