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Joint Custody, Problems for Fathers

Make no mistake about it, DADS America encourages Father Custody. If a father never asks for custody, he will never get it. For fathers to gain custody they must ask for custody. We find opposition to this father custody concept baffling. Mother custody has been the norm, has been the default, for over 30 years and there has been no outrage. If you are outraged by father custody then you must also be outraged by mother custody, if not then there is discrimination. We are simply asking for equal time, an affirmative action policy to make up for past inequities.

If both parents agree on "Joint Custody" as part of their break-up or divorce with the "Parenting Plan" spelled out clearly, and the issue of "child support" (if any), satisfactory to both, then and only then will "Joint Custody" be of any value.

HOWEVER, when the parents do not want or willingly agree to Joint Custody, fathers will have problems. The problems simply appear as a delay of the causes of the breakup or divorce. A list of some of the problems that fathers have after obtaining "Joint Custody" are as follows:

  1. "By his asking for "Joint Custody" he is trying to take away a parent's right to ask for "sole Custody" of the children.
  2. He must still PAY CHILD SUPPORT.
  3. He is still regulated by a "visitation schedule".
  4. She still has the right to "move away", and take the child(ren).
  5. "Joint Custody" does not provide a "Dispute Resolution" process for the parents next dispute, then what?
  6. She may later bring claims or charges of abuse against the father for
    1. child abuse, and/or
    2. spousal abuse
    and the biggest problem of all..........
  7. By accepting "Joint Custody", the father has damaged himself in the eyes of the Court, because the father has never said that he could raise his children by himself, (without the mother if necessary) as a "fit and proper parent" (leaving open the question as to the father's abilities, and all other fathers).
  8. By accepting "Joint Custody" a father will also damage other fathers who have "Sole Custody" and do a fine job of raising their children, but getting no notice and/or respect from "Joint Custody" fathers, and the judicial system.
  9. By accepting "Joint Custody" without knowing, or asking "Joint Custody" advocates about the failure rate of "Joint Custody" among fathers in the past, Fathers will be betting on their children's future, based upon the word of the woman that just failed them and divorced them with "No Fault" divorce laws.
  10. The legal definition of "Joint Custody" is nebulous at best and is not supported by the U.S. Dept. of Human Services, nor any of the Welfare Offices of the 50 States. When a parent (mostly mothers) goes on welfare, she is not granted "Joint Custody". When a welfare check is cut, it is not sent to both parents. Fathers are continuously being mislead by the non-father Joint Custody activists masquerading as "Fathers Rights" activists. Furthermore, these non-father joint custody activist fail to say at any time in their presentations who will buy the child's food, prepare the meals, and actually feed their child. Joint Custody activists fail to say who will bathe the child, wash the clothes and deal with the child's cuts and bruises. Judges, and mothers see through this lack of attention to the needs of the child even though the activists will give meaningless platitudes about "children deserve two parents". Wrong! Children need two parents that are willing to work together for the benefit of the children, and not file papers that say that they have "Irreconcilable Differences", because from that point on, the children will be paying the price.
  11. Even Congress takes a dim view of Joint Custody, click and read here. HCR 182 - Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to child custody, child abuse, and victims of domestic and family violence. (Introduced in the House)
  12. Finally, there are no known large groups of mothers asking Law Makers or the Courts for "Joint Custody" laws, therefore, we must ask, who do these guys think that they are fooling, . . .themselves?


Hello- I found your site on the web. Can you help point me in the right direction. My 25 yr marriage ended last year. I own my small construction business. I have joint custody but do not see my three children as they have been turned against me for the time being. I was recently in family court to try to get my child support lowered. It was based upon the years I was doing the best for my wife and children. This last Jan 29, I broke my neck in an accident. I have not been able to work and subsequently just had spinal surgery on April 27. On May 8th in Family Court the judge ruled that my support payment will remain the same. He sited the reasons based upon his view that this was only a temporary condition in the same nature as being laid off. I am under orders of my Neurosurgeon not to work and he doesn't guarantee that I will ever get back to full potential. I am not trying to take advantage and hurt my children--- but I think it is unfair to make me pay out of saving (with no income) the same as I was when I had health, to say nothing of a loving wife and children to come home to everyday. Can you tell me how to find court case precedent that I can use before this judge? Surely there have been cases where a man was unable to earn the same amount due to serious accident? I have lots of time now here in my neck brace to do some research if I had help. Fair has little to do with many things in life.. Is there any recourse?

Charles Eddy


I share custody with my x-short term girl-friend. My daughter lives with her in Anytown, USA. I live in Portland OR. The mother is diagnosed bi-polar and I'm pretty sure she is doing drugs, amphetamines. My situation came to a head last night/ tonight when I saw her ex boyfriend/iv drug user/convicted sex offender go to her house.

I got a preminition and went over just in time to see him arrive. She had had a restraining order against him a month earlier for beating her. She spent the last month in a shelter w/ my daughter( 1 yr old) and just got into an apartment. I thought things were going to mellow, but she seems to still be spending time with this guy and unless I'm hugely mistaken doing drugs either with him or supplied by him.

I confronted my x after the guy left, he was there for about ten minutes. She became highly agitated and would not let me take my daughter. Here's the meat of my question. I called the police after I left there. They told me unless I'd seen actual drugs or utensils they couldn't do anything. Not even go over there with me so I could get my daughter. I was afraid to go get my daughter because A) I was afraid I would become angry beyond my best interests. B) I was afraid she would call the police and make it out like I had kidnapped her or something.

The Vancouver police did say that since we had shared custody, I had every right to get my daughter. What are the legal issues surrounding that type of situation? How can I make it so that when I get my daughter I don't have to give her back until her mother has kicked her problem or taken me to court?

Or can I even do anything like that? I'm going to attempt to get my daughter early in the morning while her mother is burnt-out, accompanied by my mother (moral support & a witness to say nothing bad happened.)

If you could respond immediately or sooner, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,
Jeff, Portland, OR


I was divorced about 5 years ago in Knoxville TN and accepted joint custody because at the time we had what was called the tender years doctorine which states any child under the age of 2 will automatically goes to the mother. Well that law has since been abolished and the joint custody has gone to shit. I have had nothing but problems from my X, now she has moved out of state without my knowledge or consent and I have found out today that she is in contempt in not one but may be 3 to 4 items and I am now proceeding to fight for sole custody. I just hope my funds are enough that is one problem with the legal system it is so damn expensive for the everyday class worker that wants to be a responsible PARENT.

Bryant, Tennessee


I'm a divorced father, who initially had full custody, but I thought it would be better for the kids if it was 50/50, and then 38 days later, she filed for child support on top of a healthy alimony payment she's already getting. Her attempts are to get every red cent from me she can. And my 3 boys(9,13,16) say the older 2 don't ever get anything from their mother, just the younger one. (The older 2 don't agree with her on a lot of stuff)

Garth, Vermont

"Father Custody" Alternative to Joint Custody

Single-Father Households on Rise - Washington Post
More Dads Raise Families Without Mom - Wall Street Journal
Single-Father Households - Oregonian
Fathers Count Act of 1998 - H.R. 3314

Ideas for Federal Legislation

Mississippi group fights child-custody law change

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