Saturday, February 28, 2009

Frustrated father stages one-man protest

There is no end to the blatant inequality and discrimination by feminist judges or those trained by feminist sensitivity enablers. Here is a man with joint custody but clearly not equal shared - but still having to pay child - and get this - spousal support. What crime did he commit. I guess he married someone who has no ability to earn an income. Pity isn't it.MJM

February 18, 2009

By Jillian Follert

Ron Pietroniro / Metroland OSHAWA -- John Little pauses outside of the Michael Starr building during his

one-man protest of unfair family law decisions. Mr. Little, who has joint custody of his two daughters, has

been in a long expensive court battle with his former wife.

February 18, 2009.

OSHAWA -- John Little caught a few confused stares and a lot of sympathetic nods this week, as he staged a one-man protest in downtown Oshawa.

The local father of two spent hours in front of the Michael Starr building on Tuesday and Wednesday, carrying a large homemade sign that read "Another good father screwed by family court."

"I'm not a radical, I'm just a regular guy who doesn't know what to do anymore," he said. "I have nowhere to turn."

Mr. Little is frustrated with the state of family law in Ontario, saying he was stunned to learn that he has to pay both spousal support and child support, even though he has joint custody of his daughters, ages 10 and 12.

"I can't pay twice, I can't pay to take care of them when they're with me and pay to take care of them when they're with their mother," he said.

Mr. Little is on disability leave from his railroad job, saying the stress of the child custody battle made him physically ill. Now, about half of his $2,000 a month income is going to child and spousal support, which doesn't leave enough for his mortgage and bills.

"I'm behind on everything. I have to tell my daughters they can't do gymnastics or soccer anymore," he said.

Mr. Little said he hoped his protest would raise awareness of parental legal issues and grab the attention of politicians and bureaucrats.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giving parents equal parenting time by law ~ Washington State

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - Page updated at 04:13 PM

Giving parents equal parenting time by law

Special to The Times

For the third time in 22 years, Washington state is leading the nation in family law reform. This time, the report is called the Residential Time Summary Report prepared by the state Office of the Administrator for the Courts. This is a first-in-the-nation compilation of post-divorce breakdown of parenting time for children, mothers and fathers. The numbers are collected case-by-case and county-by-county.

Amazingly, 46 percent of children of divorce, statewide, are ordered to spend a minimum of 35 percent parenting time with their biological fathers. Parenting time is broken down by large percentages, and meaningful shared parenting starts in the range of 30-35 percent. This is about 300 percent better results than anyone could have expected from the time the Parenting Act was first approved. If there ever was any doubt, Washington state is now an official shared-parenting state for families impacted by parental separation.

In 1987, Washington required divorcing parents to detail parenting schedules in Parenting Plan documents that are filed with the court. Over 30 states have adopted this family law reform. Again, in 1991, Washington Department of Social and Health Services first developed and used the Paternity Affidavit for unwed, never-married, fathers. Staffers were pleasantly shocked and surprised with how forthcoming fathers were to provide financial information used to help create child-support orders.

However, the question has always been placed — how much post-divorce parenting time are children of divorce actually spending with their male parents? Now we see some actual results statewide and county-by-county.

The King County and Pierce County numbers are higher than the statewide average at 50 percent with Snohomish close by at 49 percent. The two highest counties are Whatcom at 66 percent and Skagit at 59 percent. Yakima County comes in the lowest at 28 percent.

The summary report and study was advocated for by fathers' organizations and shared-parenting advocates as a way of documenting why an official shared-parenting law is needed in Washington. Sen. Jim Kastama introduced Senate Bill 5342 addressing this issue but it has not moved out of committee.

The 46 percent is a great number. However, there are probably another 30 percent where the fathers and some mothers arbitrarily are restricted to the typical every-other-weekend. In these cases, the fathers and mothers with limited schedules actually feel more like aunts and uncles than meaningfully involved parents. The children are the biggest losers. The new law is needed for these other parents to avoid decisions that are strictly perceived winners and losers.

The report statistic that rings the loudest and truest is that 93 percent of the final decisions are by agreement of the parents. This means that good mothers and fathers are operating with one reality most in mind: These children had two involved parents before separation and this should be the end result as well. These good parents are sending society and our courthouse officials a loud message.

Unfortunately, our elected superior-court judges, appointed court commissioners and family law lawyers seem stuck in 1987. This is the time before the positive and encouraging language of the Parenting Act was approved and the Tender Years Doctrine was still operational.

Children of divorce are our most fragile social statistics: over 70 percent of high-school dropouts and pregnant teen girls come from fatherless homes as well as the 80-85 percent of male teens in juvenile justice centers and more than 90 percent of men in prison, all from fatherless homes. Society has paid a huge price to keep fathers away from their children. Now we see good dads fighting to stay involved and our children are better off for this effort.

The time has come for children of divorce to be guaranteed continuing parental involvement such as the children in the above numbers coming from homes where both parents are legally fit. It is time to stop divorcing children from one of their parents, most often the father. We can do better.

Bill Harrington from Pierce County was a commissioner with the US Commission on Child and Family Welfare.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Family policies 'dad-proofed' to give fathers bigger role - but no extra paternity leave

This is a most interesting development for the UK. They are behind most countries in most areas when it comes to father involvement and many, many countries treat men as not necessary at all - so it isn't saying much about the UK. Nevertheless, if this is implemented its a positive step.MJM

• Minister says services are too 'mother-dominated'
• 'Dads' dialogue' website will mirror

Ministers have ordered Whitehall to "dad-proof" its family policies, amid concerns that schools, hospitals and other services are preventing fathers from taking a more active role in their children's lives.

Civil servants have been asked to make sure the government is targeting its parenting initiatives at fathers as well as mothers to break the current "mother-domination" of family policy.

Plans already under way include an order to schools to send children's reports to their absent fathers as well as their home addresses, and moves to encourage maternity wards to let fathers spend their child's first night at the hospital instead of being sent home alone.

Campaigners for fatherhood welcomed the plans but were unhappy that the government was still refusing to improve paid paternity leave beyond the current two weeks.

Beverley Hughes, the minister for families, said: "Everything is so mother-dominated in public services and we're trying to change that. The benefits for children of fathers being involved in their early lives are considerable: not just for boys, but there is a particular effect with sons. The relationship with the father is important for a boy's attainment, behaviour and emotional resilience."

She said she wanted to change attitudes because, for some men, the school gate or children's centre could feel as alienating as male-dominated workplaces are for women.

"When we had small children, my husband would sometimes be asked at the healthcentre where the mother was. I hope that level of suspicion is not there now, but fathers tell me there is still some resistance," she said.

Policies being developed include:
• Plans for schools to send children's reports to fathers who live elsewhere.

• A new government-run website for dads to mirror, the online community for mothers. Its working title is "dads' dialogue".

• The Department of Health is looking at ways hospitals can make it possible for fathers to stay the night after their partner has given birth.

• Activities at children centres will target fathers specifically.

• A dads' version of a baby handbook which has in the past been given to new mothers is being published with the slogan: "Because they don't come with instructions".

• A campaign to get employers to allow more fathers to work flexibly.

• A drive to encourage dads to read to their children.

• Training for all professionals who work with children on how to communicate with dads as well as mums.

• Promoting childcare services to black and minority ethnic fathers.

Evidence shows that today's children are spending increasing amounts of time with their fathers, although mothers still provide the bulk of the childcare.

The last major survey of parents' roles was the Office for National Statistics time use survey in 2001, which found that mothers accounted for more than three-quarters of time spent on childcare activities during the week and two-thirds at weekends. On average, fathers of under-fives spent one hour and 20 minutes a day on childcare activities during the week and two hours and 30 minutes a day at weekends.

Duncan Fisher, founder of the Fatherhood Institute, said: "Fathers' influence on children is crucial to their development, and if you ignore that, you sacrifice a chance to help children.

"The current health and education systems engage with whatever parent turns up. This new plan is to make the effort to talk to both.

"Many fathers feel like the odd one out at the school gate. Fathers are marginalised from the very beginning."

He added that the biggest change the government could make would be to extend paid paternity leave for fathers, who currently qualify for two weeks' paid leave. They can also take up to 13 weeks of unpaid parental leave, but many families cannot afford that option, he said.

"The paternity system is hopeless. We have the biggest deficit between men and women anywhere in the world. That sets the scene for mums to scale down their careers, and fathers to become the breadwinners. It makes a formidable economic force for mothers to leave the workforce. It's hopelessly unfair and it pushes parents apart."

Hughes said that the government was currently challenging an EU regulation which prevents benefits being removed, so that it can replace some paid maternity leave with shared parental leave, allowing mothers and fathers to share paid leave as it suits them. Simply adding extra paid paternity leave was not being considered because of the "financial consequences", she said.

F4J USA ~ 2009 Rallies

Go directly to the F4J USA link at the end to sign up. This page for info only.


Upcoming F4J Events
There are three major National events set for 2009. Get involved, Participate, Be Heard!

JOIN US in our 2nd annual ***NATIONWIDE*** Fatherless Day Rallies which will be held again at all 50 State Capitols on June 19, 2009.

Take the time to lobby in the morning, speak and rally in the


For more information contact the event organizer:

Donald Tenn

(916) 838-6291

Fill out the form below for more information about Fatherless Day
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DC Festival

This year Fathers 4 Justice US will be participating in the Second Annual DC Festival from Thursday July 23rd through July 26th 2009. The “Parents March” will be on July 26th.

DC Festival Tentative Schedule

Thursday July 23rd -Lobbying begins

Friday July 24th- Lobbying continues and Speakers start in the Afternoon, training in the evening

Saturday July 25th- Speakers during the day, Training in the evening.

Sunday July 26th– Parents March

Fill out the form below for more information about the DC Festival
or contact Brian Holladay at 440-388-4023
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Nationwide Micro-Rallies

August 29th is the 3rd Annual nationwide Micro-rallies. Keep it simple, small groups of two or more is good.
For more information or if you have questions fill out the form below
or contact Brian Holladay at 440-388-4023
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The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie