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The state-of-the-art in what is best for children of divorce. Every parent, judge and family law attorney must view this video to save their children from the ravages of divorce. Click Here to Learn More.

Assembly Committee Stalls Vote on
Shared Parenting Bill, New Column


April 4, 2006

Assembly Committee Stalls Vote on Shared Parenting Bill

Despite media coverage and over 5,000 calls and letters, powerful members of the New York Assembly Committee on Children & Families are trying to stall voting on A330, the New York Shared Parenting Bill.

We recently suspended the thousands of faxes being sent to the Committee members through our campaign page because the committee members told us they were unable to get any work done. James Hays of the Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, which is sponsoring the New York Shared Parenting Bill, has now asked us to go back to emails to deliver the message. To email now, click here.

This bill has been locked up in committee for 12 years! Opponents of Shared Parenting cannot win this battle fairly

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and openly--they can only prevail through political maneuvers. If one doubts the correctness of our position, one need only read last week's clash between shared parenting advocates and the National Organization for Women in the pages of the Albany Times Union. Marcia Pappas, president of New York State NOW, wrote a column called Joint custody bill not in child's interest. The column in support of the bill, penned by Mike McCormick of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children and myself, was Supporting the child by order of the court.

The vote on the bill was set for March 28 but has been postponed twice. New York is a battleground state for shared parenting and fatherhood, and we want a vote on this bill. Again, to support the bill, click here.


The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children is dedicated to creating a family law system which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce.  Contact the ACFC at 1-800-978-3237 or visit them on the web at www.acfc.org.

Lisa Scott Launches RealFamilyLaw.com
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney Lisa Scott has just launched www.RealFamilyLaw.com to expose the truth about what is happening in our family law system. Lisa, the all-time leader in appearances on His Side with Glenn Sacks, says that she was "tired of having her stuff rejected by elitist bar publications and politically-correct newspapers" and decided to start her own website. www.RealFamilyLaw.com


New Column: Women Have a Choice--Men Should Too

My latest co-authored column, Women Have a Choice--Men Should Too
(Saginaw News, 4/2/06), discusses the controversial new "'Roe v. Wade for Men' lawsuit. The plaintiff in the case has taken a tremendous beating in the media-- with the exception of our new piece, the only column I've seen defending him and his suit is one that was written by his own attorney. Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"A 25-year-old computer programmer has done what has long been thought impossible--he has united the pro-choice feminist left and the pro-life right. Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Michigan is the plaintiff in a new lawsuit in which he seeks to wipe out the child support payments he is obligated to make to an ex-girlfriend. He says he had made it clear to her that he didn't want to be a father at this time, and that she got pregnant after she had repeatedly assured him that a physical condition rendered her sterile.

"National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy, conservative TV host Bill O'Reilly and numerous commentators from all sides have criticized Dubay's 'Roe v. Wade for Men' lawsuit. Yet when commentators make the arguments against choice for men--'if a man doesn't want to father a child he should have used birth control,' 'men need to take responsibility whether they wanted to have the child or not'--one can often detect a little confusion in their eyes, as if a part of them is whispering 'uh, wait a minute, but couldn't you say the same thing about women?'

"One and a half million American women legally walk away from motherhood every year by adoption, abortion or abandonment, yet somehow nobody labels them 'deadbeats' or 'deserters.' In over 40 states a mother can return the baby to the hospital within a few weeks of birth--completely opting out of motherhood with less hassle than it takes to return a DVD to Best Buy. Yet if the mother decides she wants to keep the child, she can demand 18 [or in some states 21 or 23] years of child support from the father, and he has no choice in the matter...

"Gandy, O'Reilly, Brown and others claim that the current system is necessary because it protects children. In reality, over time choice for men would greatly benefit American children--if women knew that they could not compel unmarried men to pay to support children they did not agree to have, the number of unwed births [and the huge social problems associated with them] would be reduced. Choice for men means better parenting because more men will be able to become fathers when they're married, willing, and stable--a huge benefit for children."

I endorse choice for men, but I also believe that this is a complex and multifaceted issue. Reasonable arguments can be made on all sides, including from feminist opponents on the left and pro-life opponents on the right. When a pregnancy occurs outside of the context of a stable, married family, there are no good solutions, only damage control.

To write a Letter to the Editor of the Saginaw News regarding Women have a choice and men should, too, go to letters@thesaginawnews.com.

We've discussed this issue on His Side with Glenn Sacks--to listen to the audio, click on Schwyzer v. Alkon: Should Men Have Reproductive Rights? (3/20/05) or Masculists, Feminists Rumble Over Choice for Men (10/19/03).

I have written about men's reproductive issues on many previous occasions. Some of my columns include: Do Women Really Want a Male Birth Control Pill? (Newsday, 4/11/05) and 'Sperm Theft' Ruling a Step Forward for Men's Reproductive Rights (Houston Chronicle, 3/6/05) (co-authored with Jeff Leving).

Leving's Divorce Magazine
The second edition of Leving's Divorce Magazine, the new magazine for the modern divorced men, is now available online with articles focusing on issues such as men's reproductive rights (or lack thereof), Parental Alienation Syndrome and child support. Visit now and get a free subscription. 

Parenting Plan Calendar Software
Shared Ground (R) is an easy-to-use custody calendar software program designed for divorced families to track visitation schedules. Includes a built-in percentage calculator, schedule templates, free training and excellent customer assistance. Parents, attorneys, arbitrators and mediators can generate equitable parenting plans, which is especially useful for parents seeking fair division of their children's time. FREE TRIAL SOFTWARE AVAILABLE by clicking here.


Member of the Partridge Family Publicly Insults Me

It's not every day that one gets to be publicly insulted by a member of the Partridge Family. Last week it happened to me.

I was part of a forum on men's issues at a local university. I enjoyed it, but I was very out of place--apparently there was some sort of mix-up. The theme of most of the other speakers centered around why men are so screwed up and what they need to do to stop being so screwed up. Common themes included: men want to remain boys forever and won't grow up; men are like an extra child that their wives must raise; men would be lost without their wives, etc., etc.

In the middle of all of this I gave a speech about the many ways the media treat men unfairly, misrepresenting us as being irresponsible, lazy and immature.

I also did a point by point refutation of many of the awful stereotypes and factoids the media promotes. At one point I said:

"Since the Scott Peterson case the media has been telling us that we have an epidemic of husbands murdering their pregnant wives. Last year there was a series of articles from the Washington Post published across the country on this. Here were some of the headlines--'Pregnant women murdered at an alarming rate.' 'Killings of new, expectant mothers mount.' 'Many new or expectant mothers die violent deaths.' 'Violence trails expectant mothers.' 'Pregnant mothers often die of murder.'

"Anybody have a guess how many pregnant women are murdered in the US each year? According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly four million women give birth each year. Anybody have a guess how many? 100. That's right, one out of every 40,000 pregnant women is murdered every year by her male significant other. That's tragic, and when it happens we should get the guy and find a rope and a tree, but that's not an epidemic or anything close to it."

Radio and TV personality Danny Bonaduce (aka Danny Partridge) followed me and opened by mockingly repeating my words "Anybody have a guess how many pregnant women are murdered in the US each year?" and then angrily growling "too fuckin' many." I guess he didn't like my speech.

To learn more about the "fatal fathers" myth and the nonexistent maternal homicide crisis, see my columns New Report on Maternal Homicide Crisis: Myth-Making and Manbashing (Lexington Herald-Leader, 1/3/05) and 'Fatal Fathers' Myth Promoted in Wake of Peterson, Hacking Cases (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 9/17/04).

Help, Resources for Dads
The National Fathers' Resource Center is a division of Fathers For Equal Rights, Inc. (FER), located in Dallas, Texas, with offices in both Dallas and Houston. In existence for over three decades, it has services and resources for dads nationwide and is one of the largest and most active fathers' rights organizations in the U.S. www.fathers4kids.org

Learn About the 3 Forces That Make Men Weak, 'Nice,' and Passive
Paul Coughlin, author of No More Christian Nice Guy: When Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts Men, Women, and Children, takes aim at a cultural prejudice against men, a dangerous caricature of gentle Jesus meek and mild, and explains how passive people think and how they are made, not born. Says Dr. Laura, who wrote the forward, "This is a fabulous book. It's so clever, I think it will jump-start you guys--Christian or otherwise." Join the Good Guy Rebellion and start a better life today. Visit www.christianniceguy.com

A Good Point about Child Support Errors

Child support enforcement agencies are notorious for their mind-numbing incompetence, waste and incessant computer errors. These problems don't receive nearly enough media attention, and when they do the focus is usually only on the effect upon custodial mothers, not noncustodial fathers.

The most common complaint is that child support checks are dispersed late or lost altogether. It is true that this is a big problem for custodial mothers and children of divorce, but it's also a big problem for dads. Dads want to see their children get money, too. Jane Spies of the National Family Justice Association points out that these late (or nonexistent) distributions can also set off a destructive chain of events for dads. When the child support doesn't arrive, mom may report it to the child support enforcement agency, which in turn turns its wrath on dad. Given how difficult it can be to deal with these agencies, and how long it can take for the agencies to resolve errors and problems, this can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming.

Spies is an expert on problems with the child support system. Last fall she caught a top Kentucky law enforcement official publicly humiliating a woman who he himself admitted was too poor to pay her child support. To learn more, click on Kentucky Top Cop Angry at Glenn Over Criticism of Campaign Against 'Deadbeat Dads.'

Tree House Solutions
As with the tree house of childhood, parents as well as children need a place of refuge and support to "see above" and to navigate what has been termed "high conflict" divorce. Tree House Solutions, LLC is a growing and evolving resource that is designed to meet both the emotional and the informational needs of parents who are going through divorce, as well as those who are divorced but still experience challenges in shared parenting with their former spouses.

Are You Really the Father?
Find out the underlying flaws in the DNA paternity testing system and learn how a man with results in the 90%, 95% or even 99% positive range may not be the father. Learn what most lawyers and judges don't know about paternity testing.

My Hero Writes a Book

I advanced the notion of the "hero father" in my co-authored column Not the Era of the Deadbeat Dad but the Era of the Hero Father (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 6/19/05). Family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"Fatherhood has changed dramatically in the era of divorce and out of wedlock births, and much attention has been paid to two unfortunate products of this era--the absent father and the deadbeat dad. However, there is another type of father this era has produced, one which has received very little attention--the hero father.

"According to the Children's Rights Council, a Washington-based advocacy group, more than five million American children each year have their access to their noncustodial parents interfered with or blocked by custodial parents. Behind that statistic are legions of heroic divorced or separated fathers who fight a long, hard but generally unrecognized battle to remain a meaningful part of the lives of the children who love them and need them."

I also discussed the Hero Father last year on Father's Day on His Side with Glenn Sacks--to listen, click here. I've publicly promoted numerous "hero fathers," including Gary S., Gary LaMusga, Jolly Stansby, Ron Davis, Edgar P., John Brumbaugh, Benoit Leroux, and others. Of all of them, David Chick (aka Spiderman) would have to be near the top. In my column In Defense of Spiderman (Cybercast News Service, 11/11/03) I wrote:

"The mayor of London compares him to Osama bin Laden. He's been dubbed a 'menace' holding a city for 'ransom,' as well as a lunatic and an extremist.

"What has 36 year-old David Chick done to arouse such anger? He loves his little daughter, from whom he's been forcibly separated, and he had the courage to do something about it.

"The now world famous Englishman recently ended his traffic stopping, six day, one man protest atop a 150 foot high crane near the Tower Bridge in London. Dressed as Spiderman because he is his two year-old daughter's favorite comic book character, Chick says his daughter's mother has not allowed him to see his girl for eight months and has tried to alienate her from him...

"Chick is one of hundreds of thousands of English fathers who have been cut off from their children after divorce or separation. Their voices have crystallized into a widely popular campaign by the activist group Fathers 4 Justice. This campaign seeks to reform the family law system to allow divorced and unwed fathers to play a meaningful role in their children's lives...

"Chick says:

"'[My daughter] is the most precious thing in my world. I was there for the scans when she was still in the womb, I was there for her birth. I fed her, bathed her, got up in the night with her, cuddled her when she cried.

"'Now I'm just another statistic--another dad who has no part in his daughter's life. For me, it is a living bereavement.'

"Today fathers in England, America and most of the Western world stand upon a foundation of sand, knowing that our loved ones can be ripped away from us and there is often little we can do about it. We invest our lives in the children we love and tell them that we will always be there for them. But in the back of our minds we can't help but think of a question which Spiderman no doubt considered before he began his ascent up that crane hanging over Tower Bridge: will we be allowed to?"

In a later column I noted:

"Chick had been to court 25 times and spent the equivalent of $30,000 in unsuccessful attempts to get English courts to enforce his visitation rights. Facing a prison sentence for his protest, Chick was acquitted by an English jury, some of whom were reportedly moved to tears by his testimony. In 2003, Chick came in second in the Evening Standard London Personality of the Year contest and was the runner-up Political Personality of the Year on a major English television station.

"In September 2004, Spiderman struck again, climbing the London Eye, an enormous 450-foot-high ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames. Chick spent 18 hours there--one hour for every month that had passed since he had been able to see his little daughter. Nearly 20,000 people were prevented from visiting the attraction because the police closed it down during the protest.

"Popular still, a London jury again acquitted Chick of causing a public nuisance."

(To give you an idea of how courageous Chick's London Eye protest was, once when I was talking about it on the radio one of the board operators told me that he had been in London the previous summer and planned to ride on the London Eye but he was so terrified of it he couldn't bring himself to do it. And here Chick climbed it and stood atop it for 18 hours. To see the London Eye, click here. It's monstrous).

David Chick has now written a book about his experiences and his long, hard fight to see his daughter and be a part of her life. The book is called Denied Access--to learn more or to order it, click here. According to the publisher:

"Like all of us, [David Chick] believed that the law was there to protect him. But when he needed it, he found the law was against him. His crime? Being a father.

"The first line of the Children Act of 1989--'The best interests of the child are to be considered paramount' sounds great in theory, but why does it leaves thousands of fathers and children isolated and in despair?

"Sometimes, to be a good dad, you have to be prepared to stand up and be counted. David Chick stood up in the name of his daughter, in the name of the children."

In the book Chick describes nightmarish "visitation centers"--the only venue in which he was permitted to see his daughter until after his protests. Chick also quotes from The Future of the American Father, my address to the 2004 Men's Rights Congress in Washington DC in June 2004:

"With one bold and courageous act, an uneducated, unsophisticated window washer achieved something which none of us has ever been able to accomplish--to focus the attention of a nation on the greatest social injustice in the Anglo-American world today--the way decent, loving fathers are driven out of the lives of the children who love them and need them."

Chick's heroics won him something, though not as much as they should have. Chick, who went 18 months without seeing his little daughter at all because he couldn't get his visitation order enforced, now sees his daughter on regular visitation, and will be spending eight consecutive days and nights with her early this month.  That's progress, but it's a sad indicator of how bad our system is. Chick had to repeatedly risk his life and risk prison just to get less than what every fit parent should have automatically upon divorce or separation--substantially equal physical time with one's child.

Chick also sent me a "recent picture of my little princess and I for you to see how we're getting on." To see the picture, click here. Chick's daughter looks very happy, and she's almost as beautiful as mine...

Chick's website is www.spidermandad.com. To write to him, click on

Online Support for Men Going Through Divorce
Don't feel isolated, frightened, confused or alone when going through your divorce.  Get the help and support you need without leaving your home at the Ottawa Divorce Forums www.OttawaDivorce.com/forum/

The Levine Breaking News E-LERT is Hollywood's premier Breaking News e-zine sent every day  to approximately 100,000 "influencers." Referred to as "part CNN-part Variety-part Drudge Report"--to sign up, send an email to MLasst@LCOonline.com.

More Child Support System Insanity

I recently received an interesting letter from a reader named Mark about my co-authored column Schwarzenegger Should Sign Bill to Reduce Prisoner Recidivism (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/21/05). In the column family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"With AB 862 California Democrats are promoting a common sense way to reduce prisoner recidivism and facilitate ex-offenders' reintegration into society. By contrast, the California State Assembly Republican Caucus has chosen to play politics. Governor Schwarzenegger has until October 8 to put sound government over partisanship by signing the bill.

"AB 862, introduced by Assemblywoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), adds a section to the Penal Code which would require that upon incarceration, every inmate under the authority of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation receive materials assisting them in lowering their child support obligations. Currently inmates--many of them mothers incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses--rack up thousands of dollars in child support arrearages while they are incarcerated. The vast majority of these arrearages are not owed to custodial parents, but instead to the state to reimburse welfare and foster care costs.

"Everybody loses under the current system. The state tries in vain to beat huge arrearages--sometimes $20,000 or more--out of dead broke, unskilled, and uneducated ex-offenders. Because interest and penalties accrue rapidly, many former prisoners struggle under a staggering debt they could never hope to pay off. Some return to jail because of nonpayment of child support. Others are re-incarcerated after turning to illegal activity to support themselves, because at their low wage legal jobs 40 or 50% of their paychecks are garnished to pay their arrearages and current support. For ex-offenders interested in and capable of playing a meaningful role in their children's lives, these debts often make such a role impossible.

"In all cases, the costs of the crimes committed and of re-incarcerating the ex-offenders vastly outweigh the puny sums the state collects in back child support. According to former California State Controller Kathleen Connell, the average annual cost of state-level incarceration in California is $21,000 per prisoner. By contrast, AB 862's total cost to the state is only $80,000 a year.

"The current system is also unfair to ex-offenders. Child support is based on income and the ability to pay. Incarcerated parents have neither. Prisoners pay for their crimes with their time behind bars and should not be subject to other punishments which are artificially extended beyond their sentences."

Mark's brother is the living embodiment of the problem AB 862 is designed to address. He writes:

"Thank you for you column on the issue of trying to get child support out of people just getting out of prison. I couldn't agree more with you and the ideas presented in the article.

"My brother is a drug addict, now in recovery, who has been in and out of prison/jail for the last 14-15 yrs. Before that he was in active addiction leading up to going to prison. He has 2 daughters and is required to pay child support which he hasn't paid. He owes over $100,000 in back child support. I know that's wrong of him not to pay that.

"The last time he got out of prison was in 2000 and he was out for about 5-6 years. One of the things that kept him from getting a legitimate job was the fact that the state would garnish his wages and take half of his paycheck. Like the article said, he is uneducated and unskilled, so he would not be making a lot of money anyway. He eventually finds these bad jobs getting paid under the table.

"The job situation is only one of many pieces of the pie that facilitate him going back to drugs, specifically selling drugs. He told me once that selling drugs is his only career option, knowing that will land him back in prison. He only hopes he has a good run while he's out."

This is another fine illustration of the insanity of the child support system. In the column on AB 862 I criticized the Assembly Republican Caucus and Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), who said "The state should never aid and abet a convicted criminal in avoiding child support." Both are fine examples of the political grandstanding and yahooism that creates and protects such abuses by the child support system.

Spitzer went ballistic after seeing my column and accused me of coddling deadbeats and criminals while he (of course) stands on the side of children. To learn more, see California, Kentucky Politicians Blast Glenn Over Columns.

How Does Sex Discrimination Affect Men and Boys?
The National Coalition of Free Men is a non-profit educational & civil rights organization that looks at the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys. NCFM helps provide men a unified voice on important political and social issues. www.NCFM.org

Help for Boston Dads
Boston family law attorney Nick Palermo is a shared custody advocate who believes that divorced dads are parents, not visitors. The Law Offices of Nicholas Palermo is a dedicated and committed trial law firm which has worked to make shared custody for all fit parents the law of the land.

Who's Crazy, Naomi Wolf or Me?

Some of the letters I've received in response to Are American Husbands Slackers? (Tallahassee Democrat, 3/22/06) have been of the "you men have it easy--you're not the ones who have to get up in the middle of the night with a scared child" variety. In fact, getting up in the middle of the night with a child is one of the feminists' favorite "victim" claims for women, voiced by prominent feminists Naomi Wolf, Anna Quindlen and others.

Now tell me if I'm crazy. I can honestly say that some of the greatest moments of my life occurred at 2 AM. My little girl would wake up with a bad dream, call for "dada" or "yaddy" and, once I woke up and got to her bedroom, clutch me like I was the most important and wonderful person in the world. I still miss those moments. Who's crazy, Naomi Wolf or me?

Are You a 'Rescuer'?

Therapist Shari Schreiber, M.A. has an interesting new article called Do You Love to Be Needed, or Need to Be Loved? Schreiber writes:

"An extraordinary number of males who grew up without fathers or in homes where the father was abusive or emotionally or physically unavailable, had to assume the complex role of meeting their mother's needs, and have developed powerful inclinations to 'rescue' women. If a woman's relationship with her mate is insufficient or lacking, her needs are projected onto her children and [typically] the eldest or male child in the family is chosen to fill whatever void exists.

"This dynamic is generally kept in place for the duration of one's life or the life of one's parent, and often beyond. Emotional fallout from this can acutely interfere with the Caregiver's ability to construct an independent, successful, emotionally healthy lifestyle without significant feelings of guilt and remorse over 'perceived' inadequate attention/support to his parent [no matter how much is given or provided].

"These attitudes and behaviors were essentially implanted during the earliest part of his formative years, and usually remain alive indefinitely. If specific professional help is not engaged to dismantle these constructs, they are projected onto all future relationships. Hence, a man who appears to fear commitment may actually be trying to avoid engulfment, because he has no other frame of reference for what it means to experience closeness."

I often see men get into these types of situations, even if they didn't have the childhood family dynamic that Schreiber describes. It's interesting stuff. Schreiber, who has endorsed many of our campaigns over the past few years, has also written a gut-wrenching piece about losing her father to divorce as a child--see A Woman Who Lost the Father She Loved in Her Parents' Divorce Speaks Out.

Time for Family Fun Without the Burning Sun
Have hours of the outdoors with our children's fun but functional sun protection. Don't let sunburn, heat or insects get in the way of lifelong memories!  Save 10% off your order with the coupon code SACKS. www.babysunprotection.com

4TRUTH IDENTITY: The Leader in Fast, Accurate DNA Tests
If you're looking for a paternity test, Paternity Fraud crusader Carnell Smith's 4TRUTH IDENTITY offers guaranteed, 100% accurate identification services in virtually every US state and in several countries. Call (404) 289-3321or click here.

Are You a High Earner Paying Child Support?

Family law reform activist Josh Gonze is looking for high-earners who are paying child support. He says his state has no ceiling on child support and that he is "searching for published legal precedent where a court placed a limit on child support on the grounds that the statute produces excessively high child support." Those interested can respond to Gonze at reformfamilylaw@hotmail.com.

Dads, Learn to Take Charge of Your Case in Family Court
Go to www.Liberty-Bell-Union.org to take a comprehensive ONLINE course that teaches you how to handle your case - with or without a lawyer. Learn to Fight for your rights and your children -all for one-hour of a lawyer's fees. Learn to tell public about the tyranny that fathers face in these courts: Reason for Revolution: The Tyranny Against Fathers, Family, and Freedom.
Has Your Career Been Impacted by Custody Issues?
After empowering people's careers for over 20 year, I was duly initiated into family law just like you--through a 30 month, $520,000 custody suit.  From corporate transitions to home-based business options, know that there is a way for you to shake the financial shackles and experience a "no limits" career.  More than ever, your kids now need a free and available parent.  Be there for them... and for yourself.  Darrell W. Gurney, www.CareerGuy.com

Sacks, ACFC Debate NOW President on NY Shared Parenting Bill

Mike McCormick and I squared off against Marcia Pappas, president of the New York State Chapter of the National Organization for Women, in a point/counterpoint on A330 in the Albany Times-Union today. McCormick is the Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.

Our column is Shared Parenting Bill Would Help New York's Children of Divorce (Albany Times Union, 3/28/06), published as Supporting the child by order of the court: Family law proposes to keep bonds strong. Pappas' column, in which she called A330 the "worst joint custody bill that the National Organization for Women--New York State has ever seen," is Joint custody bill not in child's interest. 

To write the Times Union, a 100,000 circulation paper in New York's capital, click here.

The Second Wives Club
The Second Wives Club is what women in blended families are looking for: Remarriage, divorce, child custody, and step parenting discussed in a solution-oriented, mature, and intelligent way; articles and news written by thought-provoking experts and journalists; personal accounts and advice from some of life's most interesting women.

The Secrets of Happily Married Men
How can a man achieve a long and happy marriage? If you've been checking out  advice columns or seeing a therapist, you may have been looking in the wrong place. Despite all the advances in brain technology, and all of that we have learned about developmental psychology--men and women are given the same advice about solving problems. But when we ask men what works for them, we hear a different story.

Albany Times-Union Covers Campaign to Pass A330

The Albany-Times Union covered efforts by FaFNY and its allies to pass A330, the New York Shared Parenting Bill, in Michelle Morgan Bolton's Assembly bill amplifies rift over parents' rights: Shared custody legislation draws praise, heat from followers of divorce struggle (3/22/06).

The article pits John Joel, the Albany County coordinator of FaFNY, and I against the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Lisa Frisch of the Capital District Women's Bar Association.

Frisch said "The parent who's provided a home for the child should be the presumptive custodial parent." The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence "opposes changes they say would tear children from the world they know best." 

In other words, it is the mother who has "provided a home" for the children. Dad, who works hard to be the primary breadwinner and still manages to spend time with his children at the end of his long workdays, deserves second class status, if that. And somehow spending substantial time with dad after a divorce is "tearing children" from their world.

One of the reasons we will (sooner or later) win shared parenting as the norm in family court is that, with more and more women devoting themselves to careers, the family court norm of "help the primary caregiver/throw away the breadwinner" is increasingly untenable. I switched the genders in my column California NOW Takes Stand Against Working Mothers (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2/23/04).  It's funny how, once the gender switch is made, all of the feminist arguments in favor of the current sole custody seem so outrageous. In the column I wrote:

"My wife is a successful career woman. She has moved up rapidly in a competitive field, and is advancing her career by attending law school at night. I work out of our home and I do most of the child care. If I decide I don't want her anymore, should I be able to move our kids 2,400 miles away from their mother?

"The California National Organization for Women thinks I should.

"California NOW, the California Women's Law Center, and the dozens of other feminist organizations who recently argued the LaMusga move-away case in the California Supreme Court support granting primary custody to the children's primary caregiver (that's me), and contend that custodial parents should have the presumptive right to move as stated by the Court in its 1996 decision in In re: Marriage of Burgess."

I concluded:

"Of course, there will be no divorce in my home. Even if there were and I had the upper hand, I wouldn't dream of hurting my children by moving them far away from their mother and pushing her to the margins of their lives.

"Yet today hundreds of thousands of fathers have been pushed to the margins of their children's lives because of move-aways. My wife and mothers like her don't deserve to have their children taken from their lives simply because they have pursued careers and supported their families. And if mothers don't deserve to be treated this way, neither do fathers."

Progress in the Media

As John Joel points out, the fact that the point/counterpoint and the news article on A330 were printed is a sign of progress for the movement in New York state. FaFNY has long complained that the Times-Union, a 100,000 circulation newspaper in New York's capital, has a pro-feminist/anti-male slant.  The Times-Union gave PBS's Father-Bashing film Breaking the Silence and the Battered Mothers' Custody Conference in Albany, which plays a large role in the film, sympathetic coverage. However, to their credit, they also printed my co-authored column PBS's Breaking the Silence: Family Law in the Funhouse Mirror on the day the film aired. Bolton's piece and today's point/counterpoint is a further sign that the Times-Union is moving towards balance on these issues.

DadsDivorce.com informs fathers about their rights during divorce litigation while providing them with concrete, practical resources to get results in the courtroom. DadsDivorce.com is a popular meeting place for fathers facing divorce.

Congressional Candidate Takes Strong Stand for Noncustodial Parents' Rights
In 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik had a strong noncustodial parents' rights platform.  Badnarik is clearly aware of and sensitive to the basic problems fathers today face, particularly the sole custody norm and the denigration of noncustodial parents to "second class parent" status. Badnarik is running for Congress in 2006--to learn more, go to www.badnarik.org.

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New York NOW Defends Mothers' Veto over Fathers' Fatherhood

Pappas wrote a revealing letter to a shared parenting activist explaining her opposition to A330.

(Some of you may have noticed a few weeks ago that Pappas wrote a column on family law in the New York Times in which she cited husbands who wanted divorces because dad's "girlfriend is pregnant"--typical of the contempt and disregard feminists show for divorced dads. Some of you may also recall that I debated Pappas on Fox News' Day Side with Linda Vester last year. We discussed comments by a New York judge that family courts are biased in favor of women, which Pappas hotly denied. We invited Marcia to continue our debate on His Side with Glenn Sacks but she declined our invitation).

In opposition to A330 Pappas writes:

"Many women who are victims of domestic violence and women who have had to endure watching their children be abused, would disagree with [the bill].  Many women have said, 'forced joint custody sent my children right into the arms of their abusive father.' We believe that joint custody should be agreed upon by both parties and if one party disagrees, then there is usually a  good reason. A woman who is  victim of violence should not have to be victimized again by the courts. This is what forced joint custody does" (emphasis in original). 

The old domestic violence bugaboo. A330 only applies to fit parents--abused women would get sole custody.

Pappas' views amount to this--if mom wants a dad to remain a dad, fine, but if not, too bad. Feminist family law proponents essentially seek to give mothers veto power over fathers' fatherhood.

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Legal Help for Fathers
If you live in Los Angeles, Riverside or Orange counties and you're facing a divorce, separation, or a child custody issue, the law firm of Oddenino & Gaule can help.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence's opposition to A330 is a fine example of your tax dollars at work--the coalition receives government funding, probably from the Violence Against Women Act.

One of the things about VAWA which I find the most objectionable is the fact it results in state-funded radical feminist lobbying. Whenever our movement tries to bring fathers and children together, these groups are always among our most vocal and influential opponents.

In California, for example, they opposed AB 1307, the California Shared Parenting Bill, and were instrumental in defeating it last Spring. These groups were also among the leading opponents of Gary LaMusga, a heroic father who fought an eight-year battle all the way up to the California Supreme Court to prevent his two boys from being moved out of state.  To learn more about the LaMusga case, click here.

To learn more about the way VAWA and the domestic violence establishment have distorted reality on domestic violence, see my columns Domestic Violence Treatment Policies Put Abused Women in Harm's Way (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 11/7/05) and Domestic Violence Lawsuit Will Help Secure Services for All Abuse Victims (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 12/28/05), and the His Side with Glenn Sacks show Congress to Vote on Renewing Anti-Male Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (July 3, 2005).

To learn more about how VAWA and the domestic violence establishment have helped encourage anti-male law enforcement policies, see my column Baseball Player's Domestic Violence Arrest Demonstrates How Men are Presumed Guilty in Domestic Disputes (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 8/8/02) and VAWA Renewal Provides Opportunity to Stop Destruction of Innocent Cops' Careers (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 7/19/05).

To learn more about how VAWA and the domestic violence establishment have helped create and fund policies which violate men's constitutional rights, see my co-authored column Letterman Case Shows Problems with Restraining Orders (Albuquerque Tribune, 1/17/06) and the His Side with Glenn Sacks  shows Restraining Orders: Saviors of Abused Women or Child Custody Tactic? (2/27/05),  Father Spends 3 Months in Jail for Returning Phone Call (9/7/03),  and Liz Taylor's Son-in-Law Says Taylor, Daughter Kidnapped His Two Year-Old Son (4/11/04). 

Concerned about Financial Issues in Your Divorce?
If you're concerned about financial issues in your divorce, contact Jim DiGabriele of DiGabriele, McNulty & Co by email here or at 973-243-2600. 

The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness... and Basically Everything describes the rise of feminism from the mid '70s to the present, through Ellis' personal experiences and is loaded with outrageous stories.

FOX News Covers Campaign to Pass New York Shared Parenting Bill

FOX News columnist Wendy McElroy covered the campaign to pass A330 in her recent column Societal Shift in Role of Fathers (FOX News, 3/21/06). McElroy accurately called the upcoming vote on the bill an "important moment...in the general trend toward recognizing the societal importance and legal rights of fathers."

McElroy also provides interesting commentary on several other current fatherhood issues, including paternity fraud, child support reform, and the February California Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Yana

Wendy writes that  the "Brown decision effectively reverses the 2004 LaMusga v. LaMusga ruling." I think that's too strong. In my co-authored column California Supreme Court Takes Step Backward on Children's Rights (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 2/9/06), family law attorney Jeff Leving and I wrote:

"The California Supreme Court took a step backward on children's rights Thursday by issuing a ruling that will make it more difficult for children of divorce to retain the loving bonds they share with both parents. In Brown vs. Yana the court ruled that Anthony Yana, who was trying to prevent his then 12 year-old son from being moved from San Luis Obispo to Las Vegas, did not merit an evidentiary hearing on how the move will affect his son. The decision creates another hurdle for noncustodial parents who are trying to prevent their children from being moved out of their lives...

"The underlying problem is that in California the legal presumption on relocations points in the wrong direction. If a parent wants to move a child far away, he or she should bear the burden of showing that the move is not detrimental to the child. In this way many frivolous, selfish, or vindictive moves would be restricted, while still allowing for legitimate ones, such as in cases of abuse, dire economic need or when noncustodial parents show little interest in their children.

"Brown vs. Yana is not an outrageous ruling, and Yana had harmed his case with slipshod legal work and erratic behavior. The decision is, however, sadly illustrative of a common mentality in family law which places a custodial parent's convenience above a child's love for his mother and father."

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Glenn Appears on FOX News' Big Story Primetime

I discussed the controversy over business executives entertaining clients at strip clubs on FOX News' Big Story Primetime on March 25. I debated feminist Columbia University professor Kristal Brent Zook--to learn more about the controversy, see Should business execs meet at strip clubs? (USA Today, 3/22/06) and also click here

I have mixed emotions about the issue. On one hand, I believe that taking clients to strip clubs lacks taste and is not particularly gentlemanly. On the other hand, as I pointed out on FOX, this is not driven by what businesses want, but instead by what their clients want. If a business feels that taking a client to a strip club will help close the deal, I defend their right to conduct their business as they see fit without government interference and feminist moralizing.

Also, there's a big difference between a company entertaining its clients at a strip club and a company specifically excluding its female employees from entertaining clients at a strip club. Most strip clubs don't exclude women.

I also question the belief that strip clubs are offensive to women. In some ways they are, but in others they're more degrading to men than to women. In a strip club a man is of no sexual value, and must pay for the privilege of female company. The women are of value, the men aren't--that's degrading to men.

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Female-to-English Dictionary
Dr. Shoveen goes behind the words that women use to reveal their hidden meanings and thought processes.

Glenn Discusses LaFave Case on 700 WLW in Cincinnati

I discussed the Debra LaFave case on the Scott Sloan Show on 700 WLW in Cincinnati on March 23. I pointed to the obvious gender bias in the case, and the disparate treatment of male and female offenders.

I cited a five-year study by a Kansas State University professor who found that male teachers are likely to get 15 to 20 years in prison for sexual relations with students, whereas female teachers usually are placed on probation or go to prison for one to three years. I also quoted the head of the National District Attorneys Association, who said:

"There is no question it's more likely that as a case winds its way through the court, in more cases the woman is going to get probation, whereas the man, under the same circumstances, is going to get prison."

We also discussed the danger that if a woman became pregnant from the statutory rape of a boy, the boy would likely be on the hook for 18 years of child support. I noted that in 2004 a Michigan appeals court ruled that a man who had conceived a child with an adult when he was 14 must pay her child support. Though the court acknowledged that the sex act which produced the child was probably a crime under state law, they decided that the case should be resolved "without regard to the fault of either of the parents."

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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