Dear every other weekend Grandma:
Unfortunately, that will be the future title of millions of you because of one simple fact, you had a son. Likely, you haven’t thought much about this potential future for many reasons. You lead a busy lifestyle, your son is still an infant or toddler, his marriage seems healthy or any of a host of other reasons.
Further, from the time you were small, you’ve been taught that the Court system is “fair” and “justice” will prevail, even if he finds himself there. After all, your son is a good person and will be a good future father, so he`ll not be made a “visitor” in the lives of his children. “Why worry about this?” you think, as you tell yourself your son will never get divorced anyway.
You should worry because of what you already know: decades of legal precedents in Family Courts favor mothers when custody of children is to be decided. Many times, fathers are left out, even completely alienated from their children, with no recourse. But this situation doesn’t only impact fathers; “collateral damage” includes their Mothers (You!), Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunts and indeed, your entire family. If the long standing statistic of 81.7% of “Custodial Parents” being Mothers doesn’t change, and if your son is unfortunate enough to experience divorce, expect it to have a devastating impact on everyone around your Thanksgiving table.
What are the chances your son will get divorced? Again, you already know the percentage of marriages which end in divorce and the more sons you have, the higher the chance this will be your personal future. So if you already know how many marriages end in divorce, and how many fathers are allowed meaningful time with their children, should you be comfortable that you’ll never be made an “every other weekend” grandma? Finally, as if “every other weekend” wasn’t bad enough, you should also know paternal grandmothers are considered at high risk for losing complete contact with their grandchildren after divorce. Can you honestly imagine the depths of hurt caused to these grandmothers, whose only “crime”, like you, was having a son?
Enquiring about this future from those who work in the Divorce Industry will generate nebulous responses beginning with “In my experience…” or “From what I’ve seen…”, but no evidence-based results.
After all, divorce lawyers from Nebraska said the same things before a 10 year analysis of timesharing found children received an average of 5 days a month with their “non-custodial” parent. You’ll also hear comforting statements like “Joint Custody is the default”, but not that they`re talking about “Legal Custody” and not “Physical Custody” (i.e. time with the children). You’ll be told “we don’t use visitation anymore, we call it parenting time.” Will this provide any comfort to you or your future every-other-weekend grandchild? You’ll hear divorce lawyers are only concerned about the “Best Interest of the Child” even though 110 of the World’s top experts now agree that Shared Parenting should be the norm for children of all ages and others have found Shared Parenting lessens conflict between divorcing parents. Finally, you’ll be told that although the divorce industry is compensated to “argue” and write documents, unlike every other industry, divorce attorneys aren’t financially motivated by these incentives, but instead would gladly minimize their own income to do what’s right for children.
“This can’t be right” you think as you’ve been told for decades that it’s only your daughters who need advocacy and that your sons will lead a life of privilege simply due to their gender. Never mind the plethora of evidence based statistics assembled by the Commission to create a White House Council on Boys and Men stating your sons need immediate help.
Since there has been a similar Council for girls and women since 2009 and since the Boys and Men Council has been stonewalled for four years is evidence enough your sons don’t need advocacy, right?
The media has told you again and again that abortion is the only gender issue worthy of your attention and has scarcely covered that your sons will be granted only 39% of college degrees; in adolescence will have a suicide rate of 4 - 5 times that of girls; are far more heavily medicated than your daughters; or that the life expectancy gap between genders has grown from one to five years. Politicians and ivory tower journalists have told you your sons don’t need your help, so you’ve got no reason to worry, much less act; right?
“I’ll advocate for him if he ever has any of these problems” you think “as that’s when my help will be useful.” Perhaps that’s true if you are a prominent attorney but if not, and you wait until your son is ensnared by the system, you already know it will likely be too late for him… and for you. If he is ensnared, it will almost certainly cost tens of thousands of dollars and immeasurable heartache, all because of one simple fact; you had a son.
If systemic bias is wrong against one gender, why should it be tolerated against the other? After all, what’s wrong with advocating for BOTH girls and boys? Well, if you’re an arms dealer, war is profitable, and some politicians, academics and ideologues have generated a fortune in on-going votes, articles, volunteers and income by constructing the “gender war.” They have an interest in creating it, perpetuating it and in ensuring the only messaging you hear will help it thrive. Further, any man who dares to advocate for himself or his son is immediately labeled a misogynist for even questioning this fate and his voice is thereby marginalized.
Fortunately, courageous Women across the globe, a number of whom have sons themselves, are speaking out to challenge the socially engineered obstacles your son may soon face. These courageous women are fighting to ensure your son receives fair treatment if he ever encounters the system…and that you receive fair treatment as well.
To fight for your ability to have a relationship with your grandchildren, Leading Women for Shared Parenting was started to enable mothers to advocate for themselves and for their sons. Our membership even includes a number of truly honorable and admirable practicing Family Law attorneys. Why are they so admirable? Because, although there’s a plethora of research showing Shared Parenting results in the best outcome for children, legislation is continually opposed by attorney groups (Bar Associations) whose members generate billions in “revenue” by forcing parents through an adversarial system designed to have parents fight over their children. To overcome these organized, well-funded groups, mothers need to advocate for their sons, by eradicating these systems long before he ever experiences them. To help us do what’s right for you, your son, and children everywhere, we encourage you to read the information available at www.lw4sp.org and to sign the statement in favor of shared parenting being used as a cornerstone in family law.
Unfortunately, there will be some who read this article, do nothing, and will later be emotionally distraught when they become a future “every-other-weekend” Grandma. Having now been made aware if this potential future, the only question remaining is; will it be you?