From a Daily Kos article written by Neal Rauhauser”
Go ahead. I know you want to say it. Just do it.
Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? You can visualize him, too, can’t you? Wife beater t-shirt in need of a good washing, right arm a little more developed than the left from twelve ounce curls, and can’t forget that tummy sneaking out from under the shirt, can we?
There are some guys out there who never should have been fathers in the first place and no mistake about that. If you look around you’ll find that for every one of those there are two others who’ve stopped caring about their kids, not because they’ve never loved them, but because whatever they might have felt is safer hidden when the custodial parent uses a child as a weapon to punish their former spouse. These guys aren’t hard to pick out at a support meeting – you hear them talk about their children using dissasociated phrases – ‘the child’, instead of ‘my child’.
I guess I’m one of the luckier ones. I hate my ex wife’s drug problem without managing to hate her very often, and it would never occur to me to use my children as weapons. I think she feels this is the case at times, but the worst thing that happens to the children who have parents with substance abuse problems is that they don’t know what is real. I try to keep it real and age appropriate with them and I think at times she feels like this is vindictive.
Like many other problems in the world, you can find the root of it by following the money. When two people get a divorce, at least in the state of Nebraska, they might as well liquidated their assets, give half to each attorney, shake hands, and walk away. My ex hired an attorney who played her like a fiddle – making noises about ‘what is best for the children’ every chance she got and making the situation just as awful for all parties involved as she possibly could. The attorney I picked tried the same stuff with me – I recall asking about how to handle one particular assets and mine said “The bitch doesn’t deserve anything”; a straight up attempt at winding me up. Had I been in the financial condition to do so I’d have fired him on the spot.
But enough about me, what can be done about this?
Many states now have something called presumptive joint legal custody; if there isn’t a genuine problem in terms of parenting skills the kids get both parents and the judges get more time to do other work. That more time thing is big; I’m told 85% of district court judge time here in Douglas County is … divorce work. I find that purely amazing.