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The Many Images of Fathers in Family Court

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2012 | Child Custody, Fathers' Rights |

For men, divorce involves a difficult process of creating a new life and in some instances, re-establishing a life with their children. In the midst of this change, they may feel that the legal system is already against them.

Unfortunately, there may be some truth to this perception.

In matters where a successful, professional mother is pitted against a stay-at-home father, there is a presumption that dad should get a job (even if there is evidence of a mutual decision that he stay home with the kids). When the roles are reversed, this presumption commonly does not exist, and that staying at home with kids is an acceptable division of labor.

While updated child custody statutes have leveled the playing field to a certain degree, men must still be wary of the perceptions that can hurt them in family court. They include:

Being a control freak – This perception is especially common when the man is the sole breadwinner. His financial control of the relationship (and the household) is like a vice-grip, and he is unwilling to compromise or see any other point of view.

Being a bully – The old adage that applies to children also affects adults. In addition to being legal jurists, judges easily can spot someone who relishes control and intimidating people. They are less sympathetic to a bully’s cause and less likely to believe their story.

Master manipulators – Men are rarely seen as the proverbial “damsel in distress”. Those who play the “victim” card and blame others for their shortcomings are more likely to be viewed as manipulators who take a covert approach to bullying.

Essentially, by protecting your image, you can protect your legal position.

Source:, Five Musts for Dealing With Domestic Violence in Your Divorce, October 10, 2012