Despite the opposition from women's groups, judges, and the Tennessee Bar Association, the men's rights lawmakers continue their attempts to impose harmful custody and divorce laws on women and children. There seems to be no thought involved that this will lead to more deaths of women and children who will be unable to escape from abusive situations. Despite the token wording "except for in cases with abuse" as often put in custody bills to placate the domestic violence coalitions, this provision does NOT work because it is nearly impossible to prove abuse with the horde of father's rights attorneys and hired-gun experts who for a fee will malign the victim and undermine her credibility to the point where the victim is declared to either be a liar or mentally ill. This goes on every day in every state in family court. It's America's dirty little secret that women and children are treated just as badly in the United States if not worse than other more progressive countries.
This new custody bill is calling for 50/50 forced custody for children unless the parents can agree on their own plan. It seems the vast majority of divorces with children do create their own schedule per the Tennessee Bar Association's report on joint custody dated March 23, 2010. So this custody bill is the WORST idea ever as parents who can't agree generally have a reason and it is usually abuse. The abuser will claim to be falsely accused and say that the protective parent is an "alienator." The whole scenario repeats itself in case after case with horrible results that are going largely ignored in this fatherhood-exalting, mother-hating society. Please take the opportunity to view clips from a recent Dr. Phil show on the custody crisis.
Mothers who fear for their children's safety are being ordered under threat of losing their children or going to jail to turn their children over to abusive fathers. The worst case scenario has occurred many times over. So why are the Tennessee men's rights lawmakers pushing for a law that will only serve to help abusive men have access to children?
This bill has all male sponsors, Mike Bell, Stacey Campfield, G.A. Hardaway, Dewayne Bunch, and Bill Ketron. Tennessee does not have 50/50 representation of lawmakers, as in 50% men and 50% women so that it might be possible to actually represent women more appropriately. Tennessee has 8 female Senators out of 33, and 15 female Representatives out of 99. That is 24% female representation in the Senate and 15% in the House. There needs to be a law passed requiring that women have equal representation. The mother-child bond needs to be adequately protected and women's contribution of risking maternal death to bring another life into the world should not minimized. Tennessee is ranked 38th among the states for maternal health. Out of 100,000 births, about 12 women will die in childbirth. That risk is only taken by the mother, no one else, she bears that risk alone in bringing her child into the world. Besides risking death in childbirth, pregnant women are also at risk of being killed by the father of the child. Homicide is the leading cause of death of pregnant women (Chang, Berg and Herndon 2005). So instead of passing a bill that would help women protect themselves and their children, the sponsors of this custody bill want to make it next to impossible for women and children to be free from an abusive situation.
The best arrangement for a child is an individual one that brings the most happiness and stability to the child and doesn't serve to reduce the child to property that is divided like real estate. Also, give mothers the credit they deserve as they are the ones who can best determine whether there is an abusive situation.
The custody bill failed in the House, but has been placed on Senate Judicial Committee calendar for 04/27/2010.
Please contact your Tennessee Senators and tell them your opinion on this bill. Click here for contact information