Survey Highlights Gap Between Perception and Statistical Reali…

Survey Highlights Gap Between Perception and Statistical Reality

NEWTON, Mass., May 31 LAWFUEL Press Release Service — Do divorcing dads get a raw deal in court? According to a recent survey of
( users, the answer is a resounding yes. 1,255 users weighed in on the question, “Do Divorce Courts Treat
Fathers Fairly?” More than 81% of survey respondents answered “No” while
less than 19% answered “Yes.”

Custody and visitation are still fighting words. While divorce lawyers and judges are beginning to use the less confrontational term “parenting schedule” which signals a different approach to an age-old problem, this
survey indicates that most respondents feel there is still
work to be done toward getting mothers and fathers on equal footing.

“While the family law system has made significant strides toward
equality of treatment for fathers and mothers, clearly there is room for
improvement,” said Sharyn Sooho, co-founder of “We’ve found that there is significant — and increasing — interest and discussion around the topic of fathers’ rights, so we expect this to be a key challenge for divorcing parents and the courts going forward.”

Activity on the fathers’ rights bulletin board actively reflects this conflict. After analyzing the conversation threads,’s moderator and editor-in-chief have identified the most
controversial fathers’ rights issues:

* Why shared custody is not automatic

* What rights fathers have when mothers and children move out of state

* Men making child-support payments when DNA tests show they are not the
biological fathers of their wives’ children

* Mothers having the final word on child-rearing

* What a father can do when the custodial mother alienates children
from him

The survey and bulletin board activity highlight a
disconnect between perception of fathers’ treatment and the statistical
reality. Figures released by the Census Bureau show that the number of
single fathers raising children increased approximately 25 percent between 1995 and 2003, outpacing the growth of single mothers. There are now approximately 2.2 million single fathers, up from 1.7 million in 1995. As more and more fathers have expressed an interest in being active parents, the courts have abandoned traditional biases related to gender in parenting and all 50 states have made their custody statutes gender-neutral.

“Ultimately, the law may actually be ahead of the curve in erasing
gender as an issue from child custody,” Sooho added. “However, this survey demonstrates the loss of control felt by divorcing parents — especially fathers — and how easily children’s interests can become secondary to those of the parents.”

Founded in 1995, is the leading provider of consumer- focused divorce information, seeking to empower women and men undergoing divorce. Consumers can access objective, credible and trusted
divorce-related general and state-specific articles, support communities,
interactive tools for managing divorce, and a nationwide directory of
divorce lawyers, mediators and financial professionals.

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