I read with
interest The Weston Town Crier June
15 opinion article by Madeleine Jacobson,
"Fathers and sons." I only
wish the title of her opinion article
were "Fathers and sons and daughters."
I believe much of what Ms. Jacobson
wrote about the effect of absent fathers
also applies to effects on daughters
too when fathers are absent.
People need to be educated on the
reality of divorce in Massachusetts.
This past November in Weston, and
across many parts of this state, voters
approved by over 86 percent that in
the event of separation and divorce
that children should be able to be
raised by both parents equally. People
often asked, isnít this the norm?
Much to my and many peopleís amazement
joint custody is not the norm in Massachusetts,
and in many parts of the country.
Joint custody is the norm when both
parents put their kids first and they
agree to parent their kids jointly.
However, when parents canít agree,
or as it is termed, there are custody
issues, the courts intervene, and
in the majority of cases, primary
custody is usually awarded to the
A presumption of joint custody would
reduce the litigation in divorce situations.
However, divorce is a huge industry
in this country. Litigation helps
to destroy families, both emotionally
and financially. The Legislature,
made up primarily of lawyers, some
who practice divorce law, are not
willing to change a system that helps
to feed them. Many people do not know
that the committee taking up the bill
on shared custody, here in Massachusetts,
has many divorce lawyers sitting on
its panel. To many, this might appear
as a conflict of interest. It is.
Ms. Bellowsí story is of a boy whose
parents divorced at 2. She stated
that Adam suffered from "father
hunger." This "father hunger"
has been documented to occur not just
in boys but in girls, too. Here children
long to have more contact with their
dads. One would think that society
would do everything to encourage continued
contact with fathers. The reality
is so far from the truth. Walls are
put up. It is equivalent to extortion.
Legal moves, such as motions, legal
delays and many legal tactics, are
often used to keep fathers, and sometimes
mothers, away from their kids. One
just has to go to the number of parent
web blogs on the Internet to see how
pervasive this is. Alienation of kids
from fathers and mothers too is more
prevalent than many of us can believe
The last paragraph of Ms. Jacobsonís
article is the most telling. She correctly
states that "Men no longer are
just the providers and protectors
of their families leaving the child
care to women. They are also nurturers
providing a different quality of care
than their wives."
Boys and girls of divorced families
need both their mom and their dads.
I urge you to speak to our local State
Sen. Susan Fargo, D-Lincoln, and Rep.
Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley. Tell them
to pass the shared parenting bill.
Tell them kids do need a mom and a
dad. Legal maneuvers that keep children
from one parent of the other are not
in the best interest of kids. Kids
do suffer from "father hunger,"
and sometimes in some cases "mother
hunger." Tell everyone, kids
really do need and benefit from two
fit parents in their lives.
Peter G. Hill