How Feminism Has Affected Divorce and Child Custody

By Julie Garrison

Special to DadsDivorce.com

Never in the history of man has a gender-driven movement such as feminism brought more confusion into the family structure and ultimately into the divorce and child custody process.

The real problem with the feminist movement is that it never sought to improve emotional or psychological relations between men and women.

It sought to bring women “equality” and even “supremacy.” It ignored the fact that men and women are innately very different.

Instead of improving society and accepting men as being male and women as being female, it worked overtime at bringing about equivalency or sameness.

In the old days, Mom stayed home, while Dad worked. Mom took care of the domestic scene, while Dad brought home the bacon.

If the two of them had irreconcilable differences and divorced, the same financial structure stayed in place. Dad paid Mom alimony and child support for the children that they had produced together.

Then came the 1960s, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and the rest. Women wanted more. But things like housework and children were noticeably absent from the ideal. The house was supposed to clean itself, and nobody knew what the kids were supposed to do.

Society was ill-prepared for the evolving roles of men and women, and there were precious few role models for either of them to draw from. More marriages skidded off the track and the divorce rate exploded. Now, roughly 50% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.

Worse yet is the fact that second marriages have a much greater chance at divorce than first marriages. Enter the modern trend of serial matrimony, where men and women marry and divorce two, three or more times within their lifetimes.

Now, in many states, attorneys advocating for husbands will fight to get their clients a cut-off date for alimony payments to an ex-wife. Just as women were emboldened by feminism, men discovered that they could be empowered, also.

For example, in California men have the Gavron warning.

Kevin Morrison, in his family law blog, explains the theory behind it:

“The Gavron warning is frequently issued to the supported spouse at the time the permanent spousal support order is made. The warning essentially compels the supported spouse to make all reasonable efforts to become self-supporting, within a reasonable time. If, in the future, the supporting spouse feels as though the supported spouse has failed to make such reasonable efforts, the supporting spouse can request to modify his or her support obligation downward, based on the failure to comply with the Gavron warning.”

This means that an ex-husband will pay alimony for approximately five years. Then, for the next five years, the amount of alimony payments are lowered each year until the ex-husband pays nothing.

Of course, this type of arrangement is only instituted when there is a divorce after a marriage of 10 years or longer. Over the time that the wife is receiving alimony, she is required to learn a job skill and enter the job market.

Why should a man have to pay an ex-wife alimony forever?

 

At Long Last – Joint Custody:

Finally, joint custody – but not equal custody – is becoming the rule rather than custody being automatically granted to the mother and reasonable visitation to the dad.

Joint custody is, in part, an unintended byproduct of feminism. (Sorry ladies. We asked for equality, and we got it.)

Now whoever spends the most time with their children is the parent who receives child support – even in the case of joint custody. Depending on financial obligations and work schedules, this may vary from time to time. But the days of “She got the mine; he got the shaft” are fading into the past.

Now a man who shares joint legal custody of his children has an equal say in decisions regarding his children. He also has a say in medical concerns, has the right to see his children’s report cards, and attend parent/teacher conferences and his children’s athletic events.

Before women’s liberation, men often became strangers to their children from a defunct marriage and had very little knowledge of their children’s activities and needs.

 

Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.

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4 comments on “How Feminism Has Affected Divorce and Child Custody

    Seriously?? You’re going to blame bad parenting and two adults who can’t make peace with each other for the sake of their kids on feminism?? And you think *you* have a clue as to what’s wrong with feminism as a movement? I have news for you: the movement was and is about women being able to make the same choices that men do and get the same opportunities. it was never about divorce. And the business of healing relations between men and women is not the job of the movement but the job of individual people forming those relationships. Part of the problem in a lot of divorces is that individual people often don’t want to take responsibility for the mistakes that brought them to the point of divorce … in some cases, mistakes that happened when they agreed to marry the wrong person. By the time they had kids, they were stuck. And none of this is the kids’ fault.

    I suggest you focus on helping people to grapple with their own shortcomings and relationship failings first and leave feminist analysis to historians and sociologists.

    What Does Joint Custody Mean?
    Joint custody usually means the divorced dad has his share of custody on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Sole custody usually means the divorced mom has her share of custody every day of the month except the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Either way, Dad pays Mom child support until the kids are 18. Joint Custody is not 50/50 shared custody — and that is what children require. Kids need both parents!

    What Does Joint Custody Mean?
    Joint custody usually means the divorced dad has his share of custody on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Sole custody usually means the divorced mom has her share of custody every day of the month except the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Either way, Dad pays Mom child support until the kids are 18. Joint Custody is not 50/50 shared custody — and that is what children require. Kids need both parents!

    What Does Joint Custody Mean?
    Joint custody usually means the divorced dad has his share of custody on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Sole custody usually means the divorced mom has her share of custody every day of the month except the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends. Either way, Dad pays Mom child support until the kids are 18. Joint Custody is not 50/50 shared custody — and that is what children require. Kids need both parents!

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