Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich recently sat down with a contingent of Fathers & Families at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Seacoast Republican Women’s Breakfast. At which he explained how he sees the Family Law system as having an “Anti-Male Bias.” Deanna Marchand, a Fathers and Families member, took the opportunity to ask Gingrich about the current system:
“Family courts generally allow fit loving fathers only a few days a month with their children. This is not only harmful to children since it’s so important level of involvement by both parents in their lives, but it’s also a terrible civil rights violation when the government dictates how much time a father or mother can spend with his or her children. What are your thoughts on family court reform?”
Gingrich was not shy about his response, openly criticizing the system for it’s “Extreme Anti-Male Bias.” He explained that he was, “in favor of fathers having rights…We live in an age that is very different than 50 years ago and I think that it is very often very important…that we have a much greater sensitivity that both sides, both parents, both have rights and have responsibilities…”
However, the legal system surrounding family law is not one which can be changed across the board so easily. Family law is determined on a state by state basis so a fair question to ask would be, what can the federal government do to promote shared parenting?
The federal government helps shape states’ policies in many areas by the payment or withholding of federal reimbursement funds. It works the same way with family law—the federal government reimburses the states billions of dollars each year in child support collection funds.
One of the things a pro-shared parenting administration could do to greatly encourage shared parenting, and in turn promote fathers’ rights, is to tie those funds to progress in enacting shared parenting laws, implementing and encouraging shared parenting arrangements, and enforcing visitation orders.
If you’re interested in campaigns promoting father’s rights this upcoming election you may want to keep an eye on the Fathers and Families’ Election 2012 Campaign. It is a nonpartisan grassroots campaign with the goal of injecting family court reform into the 2012 election. Or, to find out more information on Newt Gingrich specifically you should visit his website directly.
Fathers, Families, Fairness. (SM)