Fathers' rights vs. gender bias
February 05, 2009
Fathers everyday are being denied equal rights regarding their children in custody cases. Gender bias should be eliminated from family law and future legislation. BOTH biological parents should be responsible for the emotional well-being of their children, as well as assuming financial responsibility.

Child support orders should be reasonable--realistically reflect the cost of the basic needs of the child as well as the responsibilities of both parents in a shared parenting plan. When parents are given equal rights, equal responsibility follows; when parents have equal access to their children, and support levels are reasonable and reflect true cost of raising a child, parents will comply with court orders. When equity is created in our laws, the conflicts inherent in divorce situations dissolve and that in the end is the greatest gift that anyone could possibly bestow on children.

Children need their fathers, just as well as they need their mothers. I have heard several horrifying stories where a child is being starved by a family member who isn't even a biological parent or where one parent isn't involved, and it must stop! Fathers are being pushed away form their children due to their inability to pay child support; some are ridiculous amounts that not even three jobs could cover.

Fathers have as much love and tenderness as mothers do. It takes two to bring a child into this world and it should be two to love, support and care for the child as well. Judges who publicly espouse such fundamental hatred or misunderstanding towards fathers should not be on the bench, much less presiding over a judicial district.

I just wanted to say that I have been on both sides of child custody and child support situations. I am not a mad wife out for revenge. I have seen so many hurt and unable to spend time with a child they love, and it is not right. I also know there are dead beat dads out there as well, but that shouldn't ruin it for the good fathers who are willing to put forth every effort for their children. So many are in jail due to non support. I understand some situations may be justifiable, but the truth is that the children deprived of joint parental support are hurting the most. Nobody seems to care about that.

Divorced wives show more concern for how much money they are going to get than what is best for the emotional welfare of their children. Women are given the upper hand on child custody and why? Children need their fathers too.

Commentary by Mary Riefl'e, Neosho, MO

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