The Men’s Rights Group of Arizona has an interest in all men’s rights issues in our state. Our research interests include false domestic violence cases, Conducting social research, issues in education, false statements in courts, role of men in society and child custody/visitation issues. However, our main focus is on a father’s relationship with his children before and after a divorce.
The list of social issues for men is long and sadly, growing. While we recognize women have social issues that affect them, billions of dollars a year is spent by the federal and state government to aid women in the workplace, healthcare, education and within the legal system. However, men's issues are completly ignored in Arizona and nationally.
Fathers have historically been denied equal parenting rights with mothers. The 19th Century “tender years” doctrine, which explicitly gave mothers custody over children ages 13 and younger, was later replaced with the “best interests of the child” doctrine, but the gender bias persisted. As late as 1971, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s handbook advised lawyers and judges that “except in very rare cases, the father should not have custody of the minor children. He is usually unqualified psychologically and emotionally.” Time Magazine, 11/11/03, “Father Makes Two,”
To this day in the U.S., fathers usually ask for 50% custody while mothers ask for, and get, 80% custody. Fathers become mere visitors and must pay draconian support amounts with little enforcement of their parenting time. See, Cynthia McNeeley, “Lagging Behind the Times, Parenthood, Custody and Gender Bias in the Family Court,” on the statistics and also debunking the myth that fathers get custody 70% of the time when they request it.
According to an Urban Institute study entitled “What About the Dads?”, child protective services attempted to contact fathers of children at risk in their mothers care only a little over half the time, even though they knew the father’s identity in 86% of cases.
In many parts of the world, discrimination against fathers is still explicit in the laws. For example:
Research also shows fathers are equal with mothers in nurturing instincts and capabilities.
Research on the laws in Holland, Belgium and Germany that controls for pre-existing conflict shows presumed joint physical custody is the best solution and reduces conflict.
Although we often hear about “deadbeat dads,” maternal resistance to father involvement (or, “maternal gatekeeping) is a significant factor in the shortage of father involvement. See
In fact, research shows most men would quit their jobs or lower their pay if their partner could support the family. Despite strong negative stereotypes against teen fathers, research shows most teen dads are anxious to participate in parenting, and that 82% reported having daily contact with their children, 74% said they contributed to the child’s financial support, and almost 90% maintained a relationship with the mother. “Teenage Fathers: The Missing Father Myth,” Time Magazine, 6/21/05.
Fathers also face widespread false accusations in child custody cases. Many state laws have automatic presumptions against custody when restraining order issues, creating an incentive to lie. The California State Bar has expressed concern about restraining order abuse. Now with "red flag laws" spreading accross states, this is simply another avenue for a vindictive ex-wife or girlfriend to violate men's rights to risk their employment.
We are working to protect men's rights in Arizona and nationally.
We provide services to men (and some women) who are experiencing divorce, child custody, false allegations, and domestic violence issues in Arizona.