Friday, June 15, 2007

Okay, not really in keeping with the theme but. . .

Okay. So Time just put this up. Perhaps I'm crazy for being a stitch upset about it, but really, this article on the Friday before Father's Day?

Here's what I think is terribly wrong with this article, besides the incredibly poor taste in timing. The article quotes a fair number of statistics (never mind how crappy it does in providing sources) but offers little to only surface level analysis. The thesis of the article ". What's less clear is whether dads--at least as a group--have done a good enough job to deserve the honor," is then tacitly supported by these statistics.

This does a disservice to men and fathers in particular. Social customs and in many states, the legal system is not set up to be conducive to fathers having as a big role as possible in the lives of their children. If a father tries to pay court mandated child support, he is tied to working the job he's at or one that pays more. Most courts will not reduce the amount of child support owed if a father takes a job that pay less. Even if the purpose of that jobe is to go to school to be able to get a better job or simply to be able to spend more time with his children. To say nothing of the problems of mothers moving and taking the children with them. If mom moves to a smaller town (with correspondingly lower paying jobs) the father still cannot accept a lower paying jobe nearer his children.

The situation gets worse when the custody battle is not between once married parents or when paternity is contested. By the time court proceedings are started, the playing field is slanted toward the mother, who has retained sole custody the entire time.

The article, goes into none of this. It's irresponsible at best, and deliberately biased and slanted at worst.

But, of course, I could be nuts or overreacting. :) Y'all can tell me.

Oh, and I swear I'll get back to posting some actual writing soon. I promise.


Blogger Cherry Red said...

Hey there,
I was totally MIA on Blogger for a while and I missed this. While I was raised by my divorced mother who got roayally screwed by the courts (Dad was orderd to pay $15/week chil support in the 70's--and he didn't even pay that) I agree with much of what you said.

In spite of my mother's bad luck, she was in the minority. Most women win custody of their children and a fair amount of child support. Most men can't keep the ex from moving and taking his children away. A very good friend of mine and her husband are having a hell of a time dealing with a child support issue.

#1- one of his kids and then both of his kids came to live with him. The county said he still needed to pay the child support money to the ex wife. Why? I haven't a clue.

#2- He kept paying the money and she moved to another county--who turned around and billed him for the $ again! So, this poor man paid his child support twice, for kids his wife gave back to him to support. Really makes you angry doesn't it?

And, I totally agree with you on the timing of the article. Shameful. "Happy Father's Day, but most men are bad fathers and have a nice day." Hello?

Want new poetry grendel!


11:14 PM  
Blogger Grendel said...

Thanks for stopping by again. :)

I do agree that there's plenty of room for improvement in the absentee fathers problem. I was more annoyed with the article for never bringing up any of the causes of the problem, which are, I believe, more complex than merely men are jerks. :)

One of the other big issues in California that I've read of is actually false paternity claims. This comes about due to CA very easy process serving rules and a 30 day limit to contest a notification of paternity. Once paternity is assumed, it's much, much harder (and more expensive since it'll involve lawyers, courts and blood tests that he'll have to pay for) to get it overturned, if it's possible at all.

Of course, I'm also sure a majority of the people named as fathers really are.

I'm working on new stuff. I swear I'll at least get something up soon. :)

9:15 AM  

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