Male victim of domestic violence

Tutorial for Men on Effective Use of DV Allegations

Realistically, asserting domestic violence claims against women is not an effective tactic for men.

Everyone knows that men can’t possibly be victims of domestic violence.

If he claims he is a victim, he’s lying.

If he has injuries, he got them from the woman defending herself against his abuse.

If he’s dead, she was a Battered Woman who killed him in self-defense (even with 52 stab wounds in the back).

If you are a man who thinks he is a victim of domestic violence, call the local domestic violence hotline, and tell them what has happened to you. The conversation should go something like this:

HOTLINE: Domestic violence hotline, can I help you?

MAN: Um, I think I might need some help.

HOTLINE: What kind of help?

MAN: Well, my wife gets really angry and screams at me, and sometimes she hits me.

HOTLINE: Do you have any proof of that?

MAN: Well, no, she does it when no one else is around. She also threatens me that if I ever tell anyone, she’ll take our son and leave, and tell the police I’ve been beating her up and sexually abusing him.

HOTLINE: What did you do to make her so angry at you?

MAN: Nothing. She’s constantly critical of everything I do. She’s extremely jealous, calling me all day checking up on me. She accuses me of having an affair whenever I even talk to some other woman. And she won’t let me spend hardly any time with our son. She says I’m not good enough taking care of him.

HOTLINE: You must have done something to make her mad enough to hit you, that is, if she really did hit you.

MAN: The last time it happened I told her I wanted a divorce, and I wanted to have equal custody of our son. She screamed and swore at me, pushed me against the kitchen counter then started pounding on my chest.

HOTLINE: Well it didn’t hurt you or anything.

MAN: I don’t know, I was just trying to get away.

HOTLINE: Did you grab her or push her away?

MAN: I yelled at her to stop it. She got madder and madder, and just kept hitting me. Finally I grabbed her arms to get her to stop, pushed her back and ran out of the room.

HOTLINE: So you did assault her. Did she call 911?

MAN: No, she ran after me, grabbed my arm and hit me in the face with a meat tenderizer. I have a big red bumpy square mark on my right cheek. I told the guys at work I ran into a heating coil while I was working on the furnace.

HOTLINE: Well, we can definitely help you. Number one, don’t report any of this to the police. It will only inflame your wife and escalate the situation. Two, you need to move out, so your wife can have some personal space without you around. Obviously, your presence makes her angry and she can’t be a good mother when you’re creating such a hostile environment. Three, you need to go to counseling to control your inappropriate behavior. Violence against women is always wrong, and you have no right to touch her ever, for any reason. We have several batterers’ programs in this area that will know just how to deal with your controlling, abusive, violent nature. Men like you are always in denial, always blaming the woman for your actions. You need to be held accountable for your abuse of her. I just hope that you have not permanently damaged your son by demonstrating that violence is how to get your way.

MAN: Batterers’ treatment? I’ve never battered her. She’s the one who batters me.

HOTLINE: Don’t get uppity with me, buster. Guys like you get their way through brute force and intimidation. I’m not going to let you abuse me too. Now take down this number and get yourself into treatment before you hurt or kill more innocent women and children. 206-555-6666. Ask for the intake counselor and have your VISA or MasterCard ready.

MAN: OK, but shouldn’t she go to some kind of treatment too?

HOTLINE: Of course, we have battered women’s victim counseling, support groups, free housing, legal help, interior design services, discount car insurance, and dart boards with their husband’s pictures on them available for our women clients here at the coven, er, shelter.

MAN: OK, thanks for the help, I guess.

HOTLINE: Thanks for calling the Domestic Violence Hotline. [Click].

Content for this page has been provided by your friendly local taxpayer-funded domestic violence advocates. More funding is always needed to help innocent abused women. Contact your state and federal lawmakers and demand increased appropriations for these programs.

Violence Against Women: When Billions is Not Enough.

Happy children: twin boys

Why Shared Parenting is Important for Children

If anyone has any doubts about the value of shared parenting, I suggest you read Andrew Lancaster’s 50/50 Custody Benefits: Why Shared Parenting is Important. The analysis leaves readers in no doubt that shared parenting (or “joint physical custody”) is extremely beneficial for children.

Too often, people place caveats and conditions on when 50/50 custody is appropriate. After reading the Lancaster piece, I’m more convinced than ever that we should be looking at things differently. We should to try to get shared parenting in place as the default and find solutions to any barriers whenever possible.

Let’s quickly go through the list of benefits from shared parenting. Anyone who has tried a 50/50 joint custody plan might be aware of many or all of these advantages.

1. Children Benefit from Both Parents Being Involved

Father walking with daughter

For everyone who believes that children are best raised in a loving home with both their parents, the same principles applies when parents live apart. Children want and need to know their mother and father well. 50/50 custody is the best way to achieve that.

Joint custody indicates that both parents deserve to make decisions about the institution, religious beliefs, and so on. The term 50/50 is generally utilized to define a placement schedule, additionally referred to as shared placement.

Classified Mom

Having a close relationship with both parents allows a child to benefit from the strengths of each parent. They are also less likely to be damaged by the individual flaws of each. Furthermore, children appear to have a deep need to have both parents present in their lives, as evidenced by the often poor statistical outcomes for children raised without fathers.

2. Shared Parenting Boosts the Average Quality of Parent-Child Time

A big advantage of shared parenting is that each parent has a better chance of being at their best when with the child or children. 50/50 custody for example means half a parent’s time is spent resting and recovering from child caring duties.

When each visit comes around, a co-parent should be feeling prepared, energetic and eager to see their child. That’s much better than, as may happen with sole custody, a parent is often feeling tired and burnt out.

A child in a shared parenting arrangement must surely feel at least as loved as one who sees the same parents routinely day in and day out. The child’s experience may be of seeing parents who always seem happy to have him or her around.

3. Advantage of Having Two Homes

The children of separated parents are a little privileged in the sense that they have 2 homes. That means they have 2 bedrooms, twice as many living rooms, 2 neighborhoods, maybe a pool at one home and a games room at the other. They also live with more people.

Hopefully, separated parents aren’t impoverished by expensive family law proceedings. It also helps if parents re-partner with people who can help contribute financially. But, generally speaking, a child with co-parents will normally be better off living across their 2 homes than a child living in sole custody in one.

4. Benefit from Parents Trying Harder

Mother with two young children

Just about every parent hopes to fulfill their role as a mother or father to the best of their ability. But some competitive incentives can still help. Another advantage of shared parenting is that parents compete with one another to provide the best experience for their child or children.

Why does this competition exist? In short, because children are regularly moving between homes. Neither parent wants to be in a position where your child is consistently a little disappointed to be arriving at your place and happy to be leaving.

5. Shared Parenting Boosts Living Standards

Shared parenting boosts child living standards by giving a child exposure to the lifestyles of both parents. As well, joint physical custody allows both parents to work full-time.

If anyone thinks child support is a good financial alternative to shared parenting, they need their head read. Child support creates a race to the bottom. By setting up an unhealthy financial relationship, you get behavior such as parents reducing incomes and fighting to dominate custody.

Children with shared residence tended to have more resources than those living with one custodial parent. This is in line with some previous studies.

Fransson et al

Another thing about shared parenting is that you guarantee that a child spends a good amount of time with the higher-earning parent. That is usually not the case with sole custody, especially since custodial parents often find it difficult to work full-time.

6. Children Continue to Benefit After They Grow Up

Shared parenting provides a lifelong advantage compared to sole custody. A “child” is likely continue benefit from the financial resources of both parents after reaching adulthood. An involved father, for example, is more likely to help their son or daughter with things like college expenses and a first-home deposit.

Furthermore, shared parenting helps ensure a child builds and maintains strong relationships with both sides of their family. Family connections matter and shared parenting, especially when combined with cooperative parenting, is clearly the best way to support them after parents separate or divorce.

Happy teen daughter

6 Tips to Co-Parent With Your Ex Successfully

I’ve done it for more than 15 years: co-parented with my ex. If you’re interested to know what I’ve learned, read on. Here are 6 tips for how to co-parent with your ex successfully.

Background: We’re Not Exactly Friends

The mother of my daughter hates my guts. She doesn’t just dislike me; she loathes me with a passion. And yet, we have no choice but to learn to co-parent together.

To be perfectly honest, she’s not really my favorite person in the world, either. However, strange as it might seem, it is more common than we might want to think in this world that you can share your greatest love with your worst enemy.

1. Put Animosity Aside for Your Child

Tip 1 is to put animosity aside for the benefit of your child.

While her mother and I are barely civil to one another, we have never allowed this to influence how we set ground rules for our daughter. This fact alone has allowed us to navigate the last fifteen years of our daughter’s life with a mutual understanding and respect, while maintaining a safe distance from one another.

I am proud to say that my daughter is a sweet, charming, thoughtful and delightful young lady who graduates high school with honors next month. Her mother’s and my early decision (we separated when our daughter was less than two) to keep our personal feelings for one another out of the parenting equation apparently had good results.

We didn’t have to like each other to keep teaching our child to make good decisions. In a way, we are very fortunate that we were both raised with the same general principles, social mores and taboos, though we often have very differing opinions about them.

And while there are certainly grey areas and some difficult negotiations along the way, we are both coming from basically the same place. We want our child to be happy, and we want to support her growth in learning to think for herself and make choices that will serve her best throughout life.

2. Find a Custody Arrangement that Works for Your Child

The challenge of coming up with a child custody solution is perhaps the main reason why separating parents get caught in long mediation and court processes. It touches on the delicate subject for many parents of how a child’s time should be divided. Tip 2 is to work hard to come up with a workable custody plan.

Custody negotiations depend a great deal on how close parents live to one another. If you, like me, you can stay close to your child’s school, you can look at shared parenting, including arrangements such as 50/50 custody or 60/40 custody.

On the other hand, long travel times means your child really needs to have a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent. In other words, your child lives with the custodial parent and visits the non-custodial parent (usually on weekends). Time with the non-custodial parent might be limited to 30 percent or less, which is no more than four overnights per fortnight.

3. Allow Each Other to Parent in His or Her Own Way

While we worked hard at putting aside our feelings and personal biases in discussing what is best for our kid, we’re polar opposites in the way we manage our personal lives. We both take responsibility for exposing our daughter to both the good and the bad of our own personal choices, so that she might make up her own mind.

For instance, my daughter has been raised religiously non-denominational for the most part. This is not because her mother and I don’t both have our individual beliefs; but that they are not the same beliefs. Rather than force one upon our child, we decided to just let her make her own choices and make ours available to her.

Her mother is a non-practicing Catholic who still celebrates Christmas and Easter; I am a reasonably practicing Jew — which is to say, I observe high holidays and try to at least acknowledge Shabbat.

The fact of our different heritage has another interesting aspect for raising our daughter. Since Catholicism is passed down patrilineally, and Judaism is passed down through matrilineally, our daughter does not belong inherently to either religion. This oddity in our religious backgrounds actually forced her mother and I to take this issue very seriously and were probably some of the longest discussions we ever had concerning her upbringing.

Note that the other big issue for us became medication, as our daughter was diagnosed with ADHD early in her life. It has been an area where we disagreed on appropriate treatment, which in turn forced us to have very passionate dialogues about what was important to us.

While religion could have become a really difficult part of parenting, instead it became perhaps the most important aspect for us in learning how to parent together while separate. Because this particular aspect of raising our daughter was a bridge that could not be crossed, what we had to learn early on was how to share our differences to our daughter without making the other party out to be “wrong”.

Now, in some ways, I have to admit that this particular aspect of my parenting might leave others angry or questioning. Even from members of my own faith, I have experienced a small and subtle backlash in choosing not to push my personal beliefs upon my child. Still, I am fortunate that her mother shares similar views.

So we choose to focus instead on things that we both agree are important. Instead of teaching about Jesus or God (or Buddha, Mohammed, etc.) we talked about sustainability, responsibility, compassion, conservation, philanthropy and other core values we mutually consider important. These are principles that are demonstrable and have proven results.

4. Agree on Important Principles

We are also pretty solidly agreed on our lessons concerning work, school, play, friends, and a host of other subjects, so in the grand scheme of “what our kid needs to know”, religion really is pretty low on the totem. We feel that we can talk about religion when she brings it up.

I believe the only truly morally responsible act to take as separate parents is for both to strive to keep the welfare of the child or children the most significant part of any communication. Strive to create harmonious outcomes (or at least ones that are fair compromises) concerning consequences and rules. Documenting what you have agreed on in a parenting plan is also a good idea.

Whenever possible, you should agree on basic principles and expectations and be consistent in both homes.

  • If a behavior is not allowed at one house, for example, it shouldn’t be tolerated at the other.
  • If a punishment is meted out by one parent, it should be upheld by the other.
  • Curfews should be consistent, as well as what “grounding” means in your home.
  • Don’t try and out-do one another on things like allowance and tooth fairy visits – take turns or divvy them up, but always keep them equal.
  • Compromise on things like healthy eating and the amount of sugar intake, have zero sugar at one house and a veritable treasure trove of gummy bears at the other won’t help anyone.

5. Recognize that Your Child has More Information than You

Your child might seem innocent and you are confident they have been brought up well. But the urge to play one parent off the other, especially when the parents hate each other and can barely communicate with one another, is just to delicious and irresistible to a child who wants something really, really bad.

Manipulation becomes easy and, before you know it, they will master the art of lying and managing affairs to get their own way. Don’t ever underestimate how smart they are. And don’t make the mistake of thinking they aren’t listening and seeing what is going on when you least expect it.

6. Bring New Partners on Board with the Strategy

Tip 6 is to make sure your new partners respect your wishes with your ex, and are on board with your plans in being consistent. It isn’t a competition.

If you aren’t in agreement with your ex, and your new partner supports you in that decision, you can escalate very quickly to a situation that is not manageable. Cooperating with your ex is essential to avoid being in a constant state of anger and frustration, or heading back down the very expensive road of court costs.

You don’t have to like your ex, but you have to work together where the kids are concerned. After all, you made them together, right? Well, now you have the responsibility of raising your kids together… and that means getting on the same page when it comes to parenting, even if in no other aspect of your relationship. You owe it to your kids.

Father and son

Bias in the Custody System

Men sometimes don’t stand a chance against family court biases.

I remember clearly the first meeting I had with an attorney after my ex told me she wanted a divorce. When not at work, I spent nearly all my time with my family and was heavily involved in my children’s daily lives.

I was shocked when the attorney told me that, as the working father against a stay-at-home mom, I should understand that I was very likely to lose any custody debate and to accept the best outcome of alternating weekends with my children.

Looking back I understand the honesty the attorney was trying to present by preparing me for her opinion of the most likely outcome. At the time, though, I was enraged. I stormed out of the office and never spoke with that attorney again because I realized –  there is bias in the custody system. If it was a battle the courts wanted, then I was ready to give it to them!

A Battlefield Not of Your Choosing

Was I about to face a bias in the family court system? For wisdom in a battle, like a custody battle, modern theorists still look back to Sun Tzu. In the late sixth century BC he wrote his famous, and still valid, book based on his war experiences, The Art of War. In it he wrote, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Included in Sun Tzu’s wisdom, beyond knowing the enemy, is knowing and choosing the battlefield. Unfortunately in divorce the battlefield is chosen for you in the family court system. It’s handy though because it makes it easy to learn what to expect.

As a numbers man, I chose to search out the statistics of the courtroom battlefield as well as today’s fatherhood involvement rather than rely on lore.

Bias Shows in Child Custody Statistics

When talking custody, there are two types; legal and physical.

Legal custody determines which parent can make the major decisions in a child’s life. The results out there are pretty clear that the vast majority of legal custody is joint.

The custody that matters when determining how often you get to see your children is the physical custody. Joint physical custody doesn’t mean an equal split. What determines the time is which parent is designated with primary physical custody.

While the data depend on the source, there is a pretty steady range that paints a similar picture. Around 85% of the divorced households have the mother with primary physical custody, and about 15% are the fathers. Blended into those statistics are about 10% of divorced households operating under a shared physical custody.

The definitions vary across the country but, no matter where you are, you can count on a bunch of movement of the children back and forth when talking shared physical custody.

Mothers Keep Winning Custody Battles

Looking strictly at the numbers, it seems pretty clear that, in roughly 5 out of 6 divorce cases with children, the mothers are gaining primary custody and more time and influence with the children. That would make sense decades ago when the courts operated under the tender years doctrine, which basically stated children are best raised by their moms after divorce.

By the end of the twentieth century, though, all states have shifted over to a best interest of the children standard. Many states have even determined any discrimination based on gender in custody is in violation of the Constitution’s fourteenth amendment. With the law today clearly pushing for equality in custody determinations, the statistics seem oddly out of balance.

A Reflection of the Natural Division of Time?

The best interests of the children determination is weighed heavily on each parent’s involvement in their children’s lives.

The American Time Use Study depicts an interesting disparity in the time spent in our children’s lives between mothers and fathers. In simple terms, even though the split has improved in the last fifty years, mothers still spend about twice as much time taking care of the home and the children than fathers.

Looking deeper into the weekly breakdown in the Time Use Study, when you normalize both parents’ work time to the average woman’s work time while also normalizing both child and home care time with the average father’s time, the remaining hours can be grouped into additional time taking care of kids and home, self, and additional work.

Both mothers and fathers spend roughly the same time taking care of self, so that time difference is neutral.

The remaining time can only be divided into additional kids and home care time and additional work. The fathers pick up the work, and the mothers pick up the additional home and kids care.

It seems, based on the Time Use Study data that our society still holds somewhat to the old roles at home. Neither parent is going above and beyond. The kids and home obviously need the additional care time, so the mothers pick up that role. The family unit as a whole also NEEDS the additional income through work, and the fathers are picking up that role.

Error in Comparing Intact Families to Separated Parents

For each family unit, these roles don’t just happen. The parents assume the roles and assign them to each other. Prior to any discussion or idea of divorce, each parent is picking up the extra requirements that the family needs.

Yet, when divorce occurs, the two areas that needed additional attention, home/kids and work, are looked at historically by the court to determine custody and support. The best interest of the children standard is being determined based on the manner in which each parent used their additional time, often with the concurrence of the other parent.

The idea of assigning custody based on the best interest of the children is correct. But the mistake is to continue to enforce our societal standards that fathers assume additional work time to provide the required income for the family.

Reinforcing pre-separation behaviors results in a bias in the system when making custody decisions. While fathers can easily develop their own unique parenting style and adapt to a co-parenting relationship, too often they are denied sufficient opportunity.

Legislative Reform in the Best Interests of the Child

Today, many states are actively working legislation to increase the time spent with each parent, some going so far as setting shared custody as the default, such as New York. There, anything other than equal time must be explained as to why the awarded custody is in the children’s best interest. Essentially, either parent that wanted more time must prove the parenting fault with the other parent, which can be difficult to prove with solid evidence.

On paper, these types of legislative victories sound great for fathers. But, if the courts continue to use role history as their method to determine the best interest of the children, the record of custody will likely remain unchanged.

Professional studies of children today enforce the benefit children reap from equitable time with both parents after divorce. The current method of determining best interests needs to catch up with the science and remove the bias.

One better method recognizes the need to phase in the adjustment to the children’s lives while also looking strategically to the long-term benefit the children will receive from equitable time with both parents.

The courts could look at a phased custody adjustment, where the initial custody is based on historical time use. However, there should be a point in time where the custody becomes equitable (and more cooperative). During the time leading up, the visitation days with the father could gradually increase to allow both the children and the parents to adjust to the new roles and the new norm for their family going forward.

Fathers Concede to Avoid Wasting Time and Money

Sadly, too many fathers see the writing on the wall and know the conclusion the biased system will reach.

Looking at the statistics for divorce very recently, the indisputable fact is that women initiate the divorce far more often than men, with nearly all of these being filed for no-fault, meaning the father did not abuse, commit adultery, go to prison, or abandon his family.

Fathers did what was right for their family prior to divorce, they met their family’s needs and, after heading down a path to divorce not of their choosing, they get punished. As a result, in an effort to end the pain and flood of money into the legal support system, they settle. Well over three quarters of the custody decisions today are made outside the courtroom.

Change Dads Must Fight For

It’s shameful that, as a nation that seeks to shine for equal rights worldwide, we allow this to happen. The system needs to catch up and go the extra mile for equality and the best interest of the children.

A switch won’t happen tomorrow. Anyone who has experienced a Department of Motor Vehicle’s line knows the speed of the Government.

While we wait, as dads, if we can increase our time with our families and force the decisions to run the distance through the system, we can start to see a shift towards more time with fathers.

We will never see the issue challenged in court if we continue to settle for less! Come on dads, press forward, don’t settle, demonstrate your ability and desire to devote more time with your kids, and win the time you believe is best.

By fighting the full distance, you start to change the trend for the dads that will follow you in the system.

Female family lawyers meeting

Confessions of a Family Law Reform Activist

When I graduated from law school in 1987, the Parenting Act had just been passed by the Washington State Legislature. I began practicing family law shortly thereafter, under the new law. The Parenting Act introduced a comprehensive new way to address disputes between divorcing parents over their children. It replaced the terms “custody” and “visitation” with a detailed “parenting plan” addressing residential time, decision-making and dispute resolution. The Parenting Act was supposed to be the end of custody battles between parents. They were supposed to work things out, for the best interests of their children.

Well, apparently, a whole lot of divorcing parents didn’t get the memo. Within a few years of beginning practice, I had been involved in numerous custody battles. Not just disagreements between spouses, but knock-down, drag-out custody wars with all the trappings: allegations of child abuse, neglect, drug abuse, alcoholism, mental problems, and that 800-pound gorilla of them all: domestic violence.

Virtually every time I represented a father in a parenting case, he was accused of abuse. I began to anticipate the dreaded “crimes list,” that litany of alleged wrongs committed by my client against the wife and children, beginning with “he kicked me in the stomach while I was pregnant” (15 years ago) culminating with “his abuse is escalating,” “I’m fearful for my safety,” and of course, “he’s inappropriately touching the children.” It’s as though these allegations were produced by the same scriptwriter, since so many of the buzzwords were repeated over and over.

As I would learn later, they often were produced by the same writers, the “battered women’s advocates,” who appeared to be taking a few extreme cases of domestic violence and applying them across the board. Men who physically battered their wives started by verbally battering them, so in their twisted logic, every man who verbally “abused” his spouse necessarily must be physically battering her too. Women who wanted an easy way of out a marriage, and to assure custody of the children, eagerly signed up for “victim’s benefits.” All the woman had to do was say she was abused, and the domestic violence advocates eagerly welcomed a new customer. Never mind that the wife was playing fast and loose with the real facts: she was routinely abusing the husband and children, had mental or substance abuse issues, and/or was having affairs with everyone from the milkman to the soccer coach.

It became clear to me that the Parenting Act had been hijacked by the domestic violence industry. The good intentions of the Act’s progenitors had been overcome by single-issue extremists. Every factor determining the children’s residential time with each parent could be trumped by one nearly irrefutable claim: domestic violence. And even if domestic violence were not determinative, fathers were still losing. The Parenting Act, although written in gender-neutral terms, was usually being interpreted to favor mothers receiving primary residential care, even when both parents were substantially equally involved in parenting.

After several years of custody battles and beat-dead dads as clients, I decided I had to do something. In 1998, I co-founded a reform group called TABS: Taking Action against Bias in the System. TABS’ goals were to eliminate gender bias in the family law and domestic violence system, promote shared parenting rights and responsibilities, and reduce the incidence of ugly divorce and custody battles.

Over the past few years, we have supported shared parenting and friendly parenting bills in the state legislature. Shared parenting provided that each parent was presumptively entitled to at least one-third of the residential time with the children. In the eyes of the reformists, this would avoid many of the battles over residential time by ensuring a substantial amount of time was afforded to the “non-primary residential” parent.

Friendly parent would add a factor in determining residential placement of the children. So long as limiting factors (such as child abuse, neglect, mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence) were not determinative of the schedule, the court was required to also consider “which parent is more likely to allow and encourage the child frequent and continuing contact with the other parent.”

Essentially, the concept is that all other factors being equal, placing the children with the parent most likely to foster the children’s relationship with the other parent ensures that the children benefit from healthy post-divorce relationships with both parents. The 1999 Washington State Parenting Act Study, by Dr. Diane Lye, concluded that no particular post-divorce residential schedule was best for children, but that high parental conflict was the number one detriment. Friendly parent was promoted to encourage parental cooperation and cut down on the custody wars so often fought by divorcing parents, replete with false allegations of abuse, game-playing and dirty tricks.

Several friendly parent bills have been introduced, and different versions have passed almost unanimously by both the House and Senate. But despite being a reasonable bipartisan reform, politics has prevented it from passing both houses in the same legislative session. Some opponents of the bill portrayed it as the coming of the apocalypse. They claimed it was a stealth weapon to be used against, you guessed it, domestic violence victims, who would be forced to share parenting time with their abusers. Thanks to a few brave legislators who stood up against the domestic violence perpetrator lobby, the Parenting Act was saved from defilement.

Other opponents claimed friendly parent would actually increase conflict between divorcing parents, resulting in parental one-upmanship, to see who could be the “friendliest” parent. With as much conflict as the system has already, why it would be bad for parents to compete over who could be the nicest, I could never figure out. One famous anecdote used against friendly parent was a mother who was judged to be “unfriendly” because she would not let her child go see the father immediately after the child had heart surgery. If the mother had a statement from the child’s doctor recommending he not go anywhere, I can’t understand how she could have been faulted.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Parenting Act

Over the last six years, I have spent hundreds of hours working on family law reform issues, meeting with legislators, testifying at committee hearings, writing letters and articles, organizing events, talking to and assisting people, many on a pro bono basis. Both on a system and individual level, we have had some successes.

But, looking back at our efforts over the past few years, I now realize that I was naive, misdirected, and even manipulated, by the so-called family law reform movement that I so eagerly embraced.

“Family Law Reform” is just a thinly-disguised front for the Father’s Rights Movement. I was duped into supporting this radical agenda by greedy, controlling fathers who just wanted out of child support payments, and to further abuse their victims.

I now see the error of my ways. I now see the fraud that is friendly parent. It’s not about the best interests of the children, it’s about selfishness and greed. If passed into law, it will require thousands of mothers of children with heart defects to be forced to send their deathly ill children to visit their insensitive fathers. Not to mention their no-good, child-abusing, domestic violence-perpetrating, non-support paying deadbeat sorry-excuse for a parent.

“Shared parenting” is really just a code-word for no child support. Fathers demand more time with the children only to get residential time credits, plummeting their child support payments from $800.00 per month to $49.95. Then they palm off the children, and all the costs, on the mother. Fathers complain that the child support table does not credit them for any direct financial contribution towards the children even when they have 25 per cent of the time. However, this argument lacks any factual basis in most cases. Since when does it cost anything to live in a van down by the river?

Numerous studies, interviewing both men and women, have concluded that men still don’t equally share household and childcare duties. Toilet-plunging, gutter-cleaning, and spider-killing and carcass disposal, while essential household tasks, are not listed parenting functions under the Parenting Act. Oh, men may do a few things here and there, but generally they’re just useful idiots, waiting for step-by-step instructions from their wives on how to do the most basic things. They’re barely able to follow their wife’s grocery list. Dads may take the kids to daycare, but it is the mom who researches, chooses and monitors the provider. If it weren’t for mom’s meticulous attention to every detail, dad would have the kids babysat by the registered sex offender down the street.

Ask a dad who the kids’ doctor or dentist is, and most likely he won’t know. He might be able to point in the vague direction of the children’s school. But ask dad for the win/loss ratio of every team in the NFL, and he’ll be able to recite it flawlessly.

Moms plan and prepare nutritious, balanced meals. Dads zap hot dogs in the microwave and pop open a can of cola. They don’t know fabric softener from cough syrup. If you don’t believe me, check out most TV commercials for household products, showing the husbands as big dummies when it comes to even the simplest task. The true nature of men: they wouldn’t be able to punch themselves out of a Ziploc bag to save their lives.

Dads may buy the kids clothing occasionally, but they’ll let a 9-year old girl wear fishnet stockings and lipstick to Sunday school. Moms never make inappropriate wardrobe or grooming decisions, if you don’t count nose, eyebrow, tongue, or body-piercing. Besides, Dads who don’t let their kids jump on the bandwagon of every new fad are abusive, controlling and punitive.

The family law reform movement, i.e. father’s rights, has tried to make the Parenting Act more “fair” and less “biased.” But the only ones ever complaining were men, who because of the gender-neutral language of the Parenting Act, thought they had an equal shot at getting custody of their children. But the Parenting Act, with all its good intentions, can’t change the basic nature of men and women. The Parenting Act recognized parenting functions as important and even anticipated that men might be able to do them once in a while. It’s clear to me now, fathers just aren’t qualified to parent their children without intense supervision by the mothers, or some fundamental change in the nature of men that would qualify them to be custodial parents.

So, rather than continue a losing battle to reform the Parenting Act to make it more (father) friendly, I’ve decided that the only way to make any progress is to change the way fathers function, both before and during divorce. Everything they need to get custody of their children is right there in the Parenting Act. It’s been there all along, and women have used it to the hilt for years. It’s time for men to stop whining about reform, step up to the plate and show that they are just as capable of being the best parent. There’s no bias in the system, just laziness and incompetence.

Fathers, how can you use the existing Parenting Act to get custody of your children? Make the Parenting Act work for you. Millions of women have been happy to accept the benefits of the culture of victimization. It’s almost intoxicating, being exalted, praised, and getting all the attention, but none of the blame. Men can get these same benefits too. First, find your inner victim. Start seeing a counselor who can help you recover memories of being abused. Dig deep down into your psyche. You were abused by your parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, coaches, family dog, cat, ferret, and now, by your spouse. Wallow in your life-long suffering. Courts love to give custody to damaged people.

Discover the efficacy of pre-divorce tactics. Call 911 whenever you feel “afraid” of your spouse. Cry rape whenever she demands sex. Call your friends and family constantly and report her unrelenting abuse. You’ll need their declarations in court later. Get in her face and provoke her into punching you (or just say she did; remember no evidence is required when you’re the victim). Have her arrested and removed from the family home, then go get a domestic violence protection order to keep her away.

Before you and your spouse separate, quit your job and go on unemployment for as long as possible. Cite job stress, nebulous medical problems, or the need to “find yourself.” Then you can claim you are the “primary caretaker,” assuring you can win custody over your two-job-holding wife.

Get in touch with your feminine side. Stay home all day and watch Oprah and Martha Stewart. Start talking about potpourri and decoupage. For that extra touch, start cross-dressing. Just don’t take your wife’s clothes. Go buy your own. No one will criticize your alternative lifestyle. Have your children start calling you “mommy.” No matter what ideas your wife comes up with, or how well she does things, constantly criticize and demean her for her incompetence. Complain about how she doesn’t make enough money. By the time the divorce starts, she’ll be too depressed and dejected to go for custody.

Overdraw the checking account by thousands of dollars, then claim your wife is abusive and controlling when she never lets you touch the checkbook again. If you’re having an affair and get caught, immediately accuse your wife of domestic violence. Get her arrested and tossed out of the house. Then move your girlfriend in. Be sure your girlfriend uses your wife’s treasured personal things and redecorates immediately. Encourage your children to start calling your live-in “mom.” Go to their school and take their mother off the contact card. Tell them she is an abuser and not to let her near the children.

Go to court and get child support from your wife, based on when she was working two jobs to get the family out of the mountain of debt you helped run up. Continue to avoid employment at all costs, and spend the child support check on booze, gambling and internet auctions of collectible cabbage-patch dolls.

If your true nature does come out during this process (i.e. your intrinsic domestic violence tendencies), all is not lost. If you slap, scratch, bite, or knee your wife in the groin, use one of these sure-fire excuses to evade any consequences:

“I was only defending myself from HER abuse; I’M the real victim here”
“She taunted me into hitting her”
“It didn’t hurt her anyway”
“Lee Press-On Nails are not weapons”

Once you have obtained a protection/no-contact order against your wife, call her constantly, then report her to the police for violating the order. When you can’t get red wine stains from your alcoholic binges out of the upholstery, call your wife and sweetly ask her to come over and help. After she has successfully gotten the spots out, get into an argument loud enough for the neighbors to hear, so they’ll call 911 and get her arrested. When she protests that you invited her over, insist that she constantly pressures you to let her come back. Remember, you are the victim of domestic violence and can do no wrong.

And don’t worry about that pesky Rule 11 or signing declarations under penalty of perjury. Blatant lying is rampant in the family courts, and never punished. Why else is it referred to as Liar’s Court or the Perjury Calendar?

If, after you have successfully thrown your wife out of the family home, gotten her on trumped-up domestic violence charges, and messed with her mind, she still might try to go for shared parenting. Not to worry. Ensure that shared parenting will never be allowed by sabotaging cooperation and constantly creating conflict. Oh, and be sure to blame her for it. Even though you’ve spent most of the years of your marriage saying “Yes Dear” to your wife, now your stock response is No, No, No. No matter what she does, says, or wants, it’s wrong. She wants more time with the children? NO. She wants to participate in their school and extracurricular activities? NO. She wants to talk to them on the telephone? NO!

Be assured that accountability of the custodial parent is not part of this process. When the children end up on drugs, pregnant or in jail by the age of 15, you still get to blame the non-custodial parent. Just repeat the mantra that if it weren’t for her years of child abuse and domestic violence, the children wouldn’t have turned out that way. If things get really bad, agree to sign custody over to her, but on condition that you don’t have to pay child support.

So, there you have it. There’s absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with the Parenting Act as it exists today. You can get anything you want. You just have to know how to use it to your advantage. Reform anyone?

Man contemplating do don't

Cooperative Parenting: The Number One Parenting Skill

Here is a list of many of the do’s and don’t’s of cooperative parenting.

DO encourage your child to spend time with the other parent.

DON’T deny access to the other parent for no good reason.

DO come up with a co-parenting agreement that allows the child to have a close relationship with both their mother and their father.

DO let the other parent spend time with the child when you are not available.

DON’T purposely schedule the child to be elsewhere when you are not available and you know the other parent is.

DO be flexible in making changes in the schedule. Children grow and change on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Be responsive to their changing needs.

DON’T tell the other parent that the child cannot come to the telephone when you know he or she can.

DO encourage your child to telephone the other parent when he or she is with you. The other parent will return the favor when the child is with him or her.

DO talk to the other parent and work together to facilitate both parents’ time with the child. Be especially cooperative during holidays and special times such as birthdays. Remember you are creating lasting memories for your child; help ensure they are good memories.

DON’T fight over scheduling in front of the child.

DO speak positively about the other parent in front of the child; you can always find a positive aspect of the other parent.

DON’T bad-mouth the other parent in front of the child; no matter what personal animosity you have about the other parent. Children have an annoying habit of loving BOTH of their parents! Your efforts to alienate the child from the other parent may backfire on you when the child realizes what has been done to his or her relationship with one of the two most important people in his or her life. When you denigrate a child’s parent, you are denigrating the child, who is a product of both parents.

DO tell your child you love and cherish him or her, and reassure him or her that this has not changed due to the divorce.

DO praise your child when he or she does well or behaves well. Do so in front of the child and the other parent.

DON’T allow your child to denigrate the other parent. Encourage him or her to speak positively about the other parent. If he or she is having a problem with the other parent, help your child solve the problem.

DON’T discuss financial issues with or in front of the children. Do not allow them to see court documents or overhear you discussing the legal case.

DON’T leave messages for the other parent on his or her answering machine that might upset the child. Children often overhear messages, or may have access to voice mail.

DO make an effort to stay geographically close to the child’s other parent, existing schools, neighborhoods and extended family.

DO keep a set of clothing, school books and supplies, and your child’s favorite things at each home. Facilitate the child’s transfer of items between homes when necessary.

DON’T be petty or possessive about things you have purchased for the child. If you have given an item to your child, let him or her take it to the other parent’s home.

DON’T keep score on every little thing you pay for. Not every financial contribution needs to be reimbursed or matched by the other parent.

DO exchange school records and information with the other parent. If possible, ask the school to send duplicate information to each parent.

DO attend school conferences together, if possible. Teachers are usually very pleased to see divorced parents attend the same conference. Make an effort to attend as many conferences as possible. Talk to the teachers about your child’s progress, and frequently discuss this with the other parent.

DO coordinate the child’s school work and projects with the other parent.

DO remain in close contact with the child’s teachers, counselors and medical providers, and keep the other parent informed of any information. Try to coordinate appointments so at least one parent can accompany the child.

DO make an effort to meet your child’s friends and their parents. It is important to keep up on your child’s activities, especially when the child lives in two different homes. Let other parents know you are an active and involved parent.

DO talk to the other parent about problems the child may be experiencing or difficulties between you and the child. Children can be very adept at taking advantage of conflict and lack of communication between parents.

DO be accessible to the other parent. Give him or her your work and home numbers, pagers, voice mail, etc. If you don’t like to talk to the other parent, use letters, faxes or e-mails. Provide a list of emergency contacts for the other parent and the child.

DON’T engage in game-playing in contacting or responding to the other parent. Respond promptly when necessary. Be open and up front about issues that need to be discussed.

DO encourage the child’s relationship with extended family, on both parents’ sides. Be pleasant and cordial to the other parent’s extended family.

DO involve each parent’s spouse or significant other in issues relating to the children. Step-parents are important members of your child’s family: they serve as an authority figure, role model, and friend for your child. And don’t get hung up on labels. If your child begins to call a step-parent “mom” or “dad,” don’t be offended. Be pleased that your child can form emotional attachments to other people and that there are more people in the world who love and care for him or her.

DO coordinate with the other parent on discipline issues. Decide in advance on acceptable methods of discipline, and which methods both parents will use. Be consistent in both households. Present a united front.

DON’T undermine the other parent’s authority with the child. If the other parent has imposed reasonable restrictions or discipline on the child, continue those measures at your residence. Let the child know he or she cannot escape consequences of his or her actions by seeking shelter at the other parent’s home.

DO decide in advance on what extra-curricular activities the child will be allowed to participate in. Both parents should support mutually agreed activities. Both parents should attend the child’s events and show mutual support for the child.

DO decide in advance on how you and the other parent will deal with alcohol, drugs, curfews, dating, driving, clothing choices, allowances, home safety and security (latch-keys) and the child’s independence and privacy. Don’t argue over these issues in front of the child; agree on the boundaries in advance and stick to them. Agree to revisit them periodically, in special meetings with both parents and step-parents. Older adolescents should be involved in setting and re-setting limits.

DON’T discuss residual issues relating to the divorce, or dwell on anger or disappointments either parent suffered. Focus on the common ground of raising a healthy, well-adjusted child to adulthood.

DO discuss issues civilly and reasonably. Be cordial. Treat the other parent with kindness and respect. If the other parent is not ready to do this, reach out to him or her. Be the first to offer an olive branch. Children learn by example. Be aware of what messages you are sending to your child about dealing with other people.

DON’T make exchanges of the child a negative event. Don’t simply drop the child off at the curb in front of the other parent’s house and speed away. Make an effort to go to the door, exchange friendly words with the other parent, and wish your child a warm goodbye. Don’t telegraph real or imagined agony over leaving the child with the other parent. Your child should never be made to feel guilty about spending time there.

DO listen to yourself. Examine what you are saying and how this could affect the other parent.

DO listen to the other parent. Try to understand where he or she is coming from.

DO perform unsolicited good deeds for the other parent. You will receive return dividends 10-fold. Occasionally exchange gifts, even if token, at Christmas or other special times. The good will you create could last a lifetime.

DO practice the Golden Rule: If you have majority time, don’t abuse the position. Treat the other parent the way you would want to be treated if you were the non-majority parent. You may experience that role before your child reaches age 18. Think carefully how you would want to be treated by the other parent, and how it would affect your relationship with your child.

Man drawing a blank

Tutorial for Fathers on Winning Your Child Custody Case

When we actually find something you can do to win, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, watch for these upcoming REAL seminars for divorcing guys:

Living in Your Car and Liking It

Disaster Preparedness for Men: Knowing When Hurricane [Insert Name of Your Wife Here] is Going to Hit and Getting Out Fast

How to Find a Bail Bondsman at 4:00 a.m.

Giving in to Your Wife’s Custody Demands: They Won’t Know Their Father Growing Up, But At Least They’ll Get to Go to College

Sneaky woman

Real Custody Tactics: Tutorial for Mothers on Winning Your Child Custody Case

If you are facing an upcoming divorce and custody battle, this tutorial is for you. Gals, in this day and age, it’s not enough to just say, “I’m the mother, therefore I get custody of the children.” Fathers have come a long way since Ward Cleaver’s time, when dad disappeared for hours on end then came home and spent the evening reading the paper and complaining about the wife’s meatloaf.

Some modern fathers have the annoying habit of actually being involved in their children’s lives. While this frees you up to spend more time shopping at the mall and gabbing with your friends on the cell phone, it also creates a threatening track record of paternal caregiving. And we can’t have that.

Fear not, there’s a lot you can do. Short of contriving a case of domestic violence against him (see Domestic Violence Tutorial), you can still jam a wrench into his parental machinery. Here are some surefire tactics that are bound to put you in the driver’s seat in your custody war.

Prevent Him Being an Involved Father

Intercept all communications from school personnel and health care providers. Hide school announcements such as parent-teacher conferences, school open-houses, and sports events (especially tournaments where there are lots of witnesses to his absence). 

Write fake dates on the calendar in pencil (a few days after the actual event), then when he misses it, re-write it on the real date and erase the fake one.  After a few times he’ll be so befuddled he won’t even try to get to another event.

If your husband does somehow find out about the event and comes home early to get ready, flee immediately, slamming the door on his foot, thus rendering him incapable of attending the event. 

Schedule medical and dental appointments for the children during days and times he can’t possibly get away from work. Be sure to have the doctor write in the chart that only you were there, and bemoan the fact that the children’s father is so uninvolved.

Change the school information card to ensure that only you are listed on the emergency contact section. Instead of their father, list your boyfriend, your hairdresser, or your second cousin twice-removed.

Confuse and Besmirch

Intercept mail from your husband’s company, bills in his name, and any legal notices. Shred them immediately. By the time he finds out what he missed, he will be spending so much time trying to fix the problems that he won’t have any time to spend on parenting.

Visit internet porn sites on his computer, then send the links to his boss.  Buy hardcore porn and plant it on his desk (this is especially effective just before a visit from the parenting evaluator).

Tactics After You Separate

These tactics generally work only when you are still living with your spouse. Once you have separated, you have to get even more clever. Here are some additional techniques you can use to increase your chances of total victory.

Quit your job, citing vague health problems (but not too severe to interfere with your parenting), then file for spousal support from your husband.  This ensures you can stay home all day and be there when the children come home from school.

Once he’s slapped with maintenance payments plus child support, he’ll have to get two jobs just to stay afloat. This will virtually guarantee he won’t have any time to spend with the children. Even if you and he shared parenting before the separation, your status as “primary parent” will be unassailable. 

Before you separate, be sure to capture your husband’s e-mail passwords and remote telephone codes (too many dufuses leave these things on sticky-notes pasted to the computer).  This will ensure that you can check up on all his activities even after you’re living apart.

Once you can access his e-mail or messages, you can erase important ones, or gather crucial intelligence on what he’s doing to further his case.

Continue waging war without looking like it. Engage in psy-ops procedures whenever possible.

Just when he thinks things have settled down, sabotage cooperation at every opportunity.  If he wants to have the children Christmas Eve, demand that you get them, because your family has traditionally had Christmas Eve for years (even if you never have; remember, this is war, and you can’t let a pesky little thing like the truth get in the way of winning). 

If he proposes splitting the winter vacation in half, declare that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard of, and tell him you’ll alternate by year.  Argue with him over every conceivable issue relating to the children.  Eventually you’ll beat him down psychologically to the point that he will give in to your every demand.

Parental Alienation

And don’t forget that a little parental alienation can go a long way. Whenever the children mention their dad, feign distress and scold them for bringing up someone who is so detestable to you. 

When they return from seeing him on a weekend and want to tell you about how much fun they had, cut them off immediately and remind them about how hard it is for you to be a “single parent.” And be sure to meet them at the door, hug them dramatically, and cry “Thank God you’re safe!” 

Eventually, they’ll stop saying anything positive about their dad in front of you. Because you’ve thoroughly ingrained it into them, this will also be their attitude when they talk to the parenting evaluator or guardian ad litem.

After Winning Custody

Now, after you get custody of the children, you actually want to maximize the children’s time with their father (up to a point, you can’t let them live with him or anything). 

Once you have the child support nailed, the more time they spend with him, the more he has to pay for them out of his own pocket, on food, entertainment, school supplies, clothes, shoes, coats, etc.  This ensures that you get to spend the child support money on what’s important to you: you.

Domestic violence accuser

REAL Domestic Violence Tactics: Tutorial for Women on Effective Use of DV Allegations

In order to maximize the outcome of your case, whether that be custody of the children, possession of the house, getting a better deal on maintenance / child support, or just plain getting revenge, this tutorial will help you achieve the best results.


The first thing you have to remember is that all women are assumed to be victims of domestic violence. Years of lobbying by the “domestic violence industry” for harsh laws and state and federal funding have paid off.

Most states have draconian domestic violence laws that are there to protect women from abusive men. Mandatory arrest, primary aggressor laws, no-drop policies, monolithic protection/no-contact orders, and harsh penalties for DV crimes are there to punish men, whether guilty of DV or not.

Once the system gets him in its tentacles, he will be so messed up you will have a veritable cake-walk to your ultimate goal: total victory.

Here are some time-honored techniques on how to work the system.

Get a Plan Ready at the First Sign of Impending Divorce

As soon as you sense trouble in the marriage, you must take action. This is especially true if you have been at fault (having an affair, mismanaging money, drug/alcohol abuse, etc). Even if there is the slightest possibility of your husband resisting your demands for everything, you need to play the DV card.

Call the domestic violence hotline for advice. They will give you step-by-step instructions on how to get help with leaving, getting a protection order, filing for divorce.

They have free counselors, will give you referrals to free or low-cost legal help, and will put you up in a nice hotel for at least a few days, if not more. (Don’t worry if YOU are the domestic violence abuser. This is about helping women, period. Even if you are a CONVICTED DV ABUSER, the DV advocates will help you, not him).

Throw the Bum Out

First step is to contrive a DV incident where your husband gets arrested. Provoke a fight, and hope he responds physically. You can even try asking him, directly or indirectly. “I bet you’d really like to slap me right now.” Some men will oblige, although stupidly for sure.

Anyway, you don’t need to have been hit, pushed, slapped or punched to get him arrested. Call him into the bedroom to talk, and when he comes in the doorway, scream “stop harassing me and let me leave.” When he says, “huh?” dart past him out the door, then call 911.

Be sure to tell the dispatcher every detail of what happened, his past abuse, threats, and how afraid you are of him. They’ll send two or three squad cars out to your house pronto.

If you attack him first, lose your balance, fall back and bump your head, even better. Now you have “evidence” of his assault.

When the officers arrive, tremble and cry, and say he lunged at you while threatening to kill you. No proof of this is available, of course, but that doesn’t matter, only your word is needed.

After they remove him in handcuffs, start packing up his things and leave them on the front porch. The court will let him come by with a police officer to get his personal property, and it will go much faster if you’ve already put his stuff in big garbage bags.

Next day, go to your local district court and file for a domestic violence protection order. Be sure to ask for the works: no contact with you, the children, no coming back to the house, no going to the children’s school, daycare, sports events, etc. If you’re not sure what to say, just ask for a DV advocate and they’ll help you with the script.

Acting Tips for DV Victims

When you get to the court hearing on the full order for protection, be sure to follow these tips to maximize your effectiveness as a victim.

When you see him come into the courtroom, dramatically flinch and shrink back.

Cry, tremble and shake while you’re giving your testimony (this is especially effective when you have papers in your hands that rattle loudly).

Be sure to ask that an armed deputy come inside the courtroom during your hearing. Have him stand between you and the beast, along with a DV advocate or two.

Maximizing Aggravation of Your Protection Order

When you apply for a DVPO, be sure to ask for outrageous restraints against him, such as prohibiting him from being “5000 yards” from your residence, workplace and the children’s school. Go online and use a mapping program to draw a large circle around anywhere you’ll be, and make sure he has to drive miles out of his way to avoid being in violation of the order.

If he has established a separate residence not far from the children’s school, so he can easily go to and from, you can even make sure he can’t be at his own home without risking arrest.

Increasing the Chances of Getting Him Arrested for Violation of the Order

First, make sure the order is written badly, and has confusing and contradictory provisions that even a family lawyer can’t decipher.

Next, call him incessantly, and when he answers and says even a word or two to you, report him for violating the order.

Contrive an emergency so he will have to come back to the house. Tell him that your car won’t start, and ask him sweetly if he could please come over and help? Promise not to turn him in for violating the order. (Remember, YOU are not prohibited from contacting him, so if he gets arrested and complains that you invited him over, he is still screwed and there are no adverse consequences to you).

Playing with Fire and Not Getting Burned

The occasional falsely accused man will become violent solely due to the injustice perpetrated against him. Use your judgment about how far you want to push him. (Check with the NRA on firearms self-defense training).

Having your husband arrested, charged, convicted and jailed can affect your standard of living. If he is the sole financial support of the family, be sure to have an alternate means of supporting yourself and the children during his incarceration. He will certainly have lost his job by the time he gets out.

The stigma of being a convicted DV abuser will prevent him from obtaining a comparable position. Child support and maintenance arrearages will quickly rack up while he’s in custody, but don’t count on collecting them anytime soon.

DISCLAIMER: It has come to my attention that some people believe that this article (and some others on this site) is serious and that I am actually advising people to engage in these tactics. I am absolutely, positively, NOT trying to help people get away with phony claims. If there is any doubt about this please read the rest of this site. This article is what is called “satire” and it uses humor and absurdity to make a point. The point here is to warn people about the dirty tricks some people use against the other party in a case and to watch out if the other party tries them on you. The point of this article is not to teach people how to use dirty tricks (although the word “tutorial” does mean teach, that too is satire). I am illustrating how easy it is to create a case out of thin air and how eager the system is to believe it. To repeat: Don’t do these things. And don’t let anyone do these things to you. Thank you.

Divorcing couple

Lisa Scott’s Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Divorce Wars

  1. Parents don’t read statutes to learn how to be parents.
  2. When threatened with losing their children, people get very vicious. Think Marlon Perkins’ wildlife films of animals protecting their young. 
  3. A man who yells at his wife is not automatically a domestic violence abuser. A woman who has an affair is not necessarily an unfit mother.
  4. Parents are rarely as bad as they can be portrayed on paper by their spouse’s attorney.
  5. If parents knew they would spend $50,000+ each in a custody battle they might just cooperate on a parenting plan, and they MIGHT reconsider divorce.
  6. Children almost always want to see their parents get back together. The next best thing is to see them being nice to each other.
  7. Blood is thicker than water. Families almost always back their own in custody battles. The ensuing family-wide bitterness never fully goes away.
  8. Divorce lowers your standard of living. No one gets a financial free-ride from his/her spouse.
  9. Children love and need both parents. A Child Support Check is not a substitute for a parent. Ask any child.
  10. When the legal case is over, the attorneys, the judges, the guardians and the mediators go away. All that’s left are a father, a mother, and their children, who must live with what has been done to them.