Our Mission, Vision, and Core Principles
Fathers and FamiliesTM improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting the child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.
Fathers and Families’ vision is a society in which
- Children are happier and more successful because their loving bonds are protected after parental separation or divorce;
- Children have a natural right to be nurtured and guided by both parents;
- Society treats fathers and mothers as equally important to the wellbeing of their children;
- Shared parenting after separation or divorce is the norm;
- The courts arrange finances after separation or divorce whenever possible so that both mothers and fathers can afford to house and care for their children and themselves;
- Our society understands and respects the essential role of fathers.
Our Core Principles
Shared parenting is the best solution for most divorced and never-married families. Shared parenting provides children ample time with each parent and both extended families. Shared parenting motivates and empowers both parents. Child support compliance increases. Children thrive.
The states must modify their child support orders to promote shared parenting. Whenever possible, the courts must preserve both parents’ financial ability to house and care for their children. Unrealistic child support orders often make this impossible for one parent.
When one parent moves far away after a divorce, shared parenting usually becomes impossible. The burden of proof should be high before allowing move-aways.
Courts must enforce their orders concerning parenting time.
Occasionally, shared parenting is impossible. In these cases, judges must choose the custodial parent without gender bias.
Evaluators must assess charges of domestic violence and child abuse without gender bias. The courts often impose severe restrictions on fathers’ access to their children based on undocumented allegations.
Respect for Human and Property Rights
Family courts routinely curtail the parenting rights of fit parents by choosing one custodial parent and one “visitor.” This must stop. The Supreme Court of the United States has found that “the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children…is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.” (Troxel v. Granville, 2000) This precept was first declared by the Court over 75 years ago, but has been routinely ignored in custody determinations.
The courts must grant the same due process protections to defendants accused of domestic violence or child abuse as they do to defendants in other civil matters. Children must not lose a parent because of false allegations of domestic violence.
The abuses of child support enforcement agencies must be reined in.
Family courts should treat property rights with more respect in dividing assets, in evaluating prenuptial agreements, and in distributing assets bequeathed by earlier generations.