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The System

Established to protect children and safeguard their best interests, judges in the family court system have one of the most difficult jobs in the world… administering justice for broken families. While there are slight differences in legislation from one state to another, the law—as it is written—clarifies that child custody decisions should grant preferential treatment to neither the mother nor the father. It’s supposed to be a check-and-balance: the legislative branch informs the judicial branch. The goal of the law is to grant judges the authority to make custody decisions that prioritize children’s best interests. When THIS is the driving force behind a judge’s ruling, the law is upheld, and the children receive the best possible outcome.

Sometimes, court officers miscommunicate the truth and judges are manipulated into making misinformed decisions. Even if they haven’t been manipulated by quid pro quo court officers, some judges toss today’s legislation to the side to subjectively show preference to the laws of yesteryear, making archaic rulings that minimize the importance of consistent paternal involvement. Every day in family court, judges make rulings that indiscriminately favor mom. Meanwhile, the statistics on children being raised in fatherless homes prove that these rulings bastardize the importance of a father. As it is designed today, there are no levers within the family court system to ensure that children from broken homes receive the best possible future. Is there anything we can do to protect our children from this tragedy?

The Bad

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (5x the average).
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (32x the average).
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes (20x the average). 
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (9x the average). 
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes (14x the average). 
  • 75% of all teenagers in substance abuse centers come from fatherless homes (10x the average).

The Good

  • Children with involved fathers are 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school.
  • Children with involved fathers are 70% less likely to drop out of school.
  • Children with involved fathers are more likely to get A’s in school.
  • Children with involved fathers are more likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities.

Family court lawyers and judges are familiar with these statistics, and yet every competent American knows that family courts are inclined to grant preferential custody arrangements to mom. Why? How can we reconcile this disparity? As with so many unsolvable puzzles, let’s follow the money. Think of a calculator; basic mathematics: when the players of any system are financially incentivized to prolong involvement, getting involved doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. The system may sometimes want what is best for children, but all too often, the system truly wants what is best for the system.

Family Court is Seldom Best
Between case backlog, appeals, changing life circumstances, stress, exorbitant cost, and the likelihood of sub-standard outcomes for children, it’s almost always best to come to a reasonable co-parenting plan with mom and forego the insanity of throwing our family’s well-being to the mercy of the family court system. Every family court lawyer knows full well that each parent has no goal more important than being involved in their children’s lives… all too often the flames of animosity are fanned, along with an attorney’s hourly pay. Is there any way we can make peace with mom so we can guarantee victory for our children?

Corruption & Quid Pro Quo
British historian, Lord Acton, wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

While the family court system has been established to protect children, many custody arrangements are made by omnipotent judges who do not actually care about the best interests of the children. If it’s possible, work things out with mom—children need their father.

“Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment. A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them.”
—Proverbs 24:23-25

PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.