WHY MEN LOSE IN FAMILY COURT
Dear Friend and Fellow Advocate,
Thanks for visiting our site! Like most individuals you have probably come to our site for one primary reason. You are looking for answers to a specific Fathers rights family law problem. Let me assure you that you've come to the right place. We have the answers you need!
The subject of this article is "Why Do Men Lose In Family Court?" I have spent the last 23 years attempting to answer this question. After considerable research, case evaluations and client interviews I believe I now have the answer.
Twenty three years ago I went through a brutal divorce. Actually, at the time of divorce we were very friendly with one another and agreed to settle out of court. My Ex-wife, through a paralegal filed for divorce and like most men I simply agreed to the terms. I walked away with nothing! I surrendered the house, ($40,000.00 in equity) the boat, the car, furniture etc. etc...Everything I had acquired in 13 years of marriage was suddenly gone. We had three children and I wanted them to have the benefit of these items. Although I didn't realize it at the time I could have and should have made better agreements that would have benefited all members of my family in a much greater way. Looking back I simply didn't know what a good agreement was or how to make the deal. I was so concerned about maintaining a good relationship with my ex that I avoided anything that might have resulted in a legal battle. I should have filed my response with the court and requested an equitable division of property, custody, visitation and a support order that was based on my Real income. In general I should have been more attentive to the legal issues. This was truly a mistake!
Like most men I had adopted the common belief that men always lose in divorce proceedings so why not just surrender everything now and avoid the inevitable. What I didn't realize at the time was that I wasn't doing anyone any favors by surrendering everything to my ex-wife. Ignorantly giving up my property caused my wife to develop a false confidence in the legal system that would soon allow her to sue me again and again and again. Like many women she understood the prevailing thought of men that they always lose in family court and she capitalized on this belief. Therefore it didn't matter any longer how much I had given to her the fact that I didn't know what I was doing was extremely obvious. Despite everything I had surrendered, ignorantly failing to make fair and equitable agreements at the time of my departure from the family home was a colossal mistake and was a personal invitation for her to sue me later. I would in time realize that money and property are no substitute for a well-written, fair and equitable agreement of ALL issues. Like the American Express advertisement declares "Don't leave home without it!"
I had also surrendered a number of other rights simply because I was ignorant and wasn't aware of the significance of these rights. Mainly rights to my children. I had mistakenly believed that women always get custody of children and Dads always get the standard every other weekend visitation schedule. In fact I was so ignorant I actually thought this was the law! Little did I realize that even after I had given everything I had, I would still have to give more.
About 2 years later I acquired a new love interest and our "friendly divorce" turned into a legal nightmare! She went to an attorney and was advised to take me back to court to increase child support, decrease visitation, contempt of court and a host of other issues. Not knowing any better I went to an attorney, paid a $3500.00 retainer fee and went to court. It was my belief that we had fairly resolved all of our legal issues in the beginning and I really didn't understand why she wanted more or how she could get more.
After 3 court hearings and an additional $3000.00 in attorney fees (total $6,500.00) later I had gotten my butt kicked! My attorney did absolutely nothing! He was worthless but certainly richer. On the way home from the courthouse I realized how unfair the family law system of justice was for men and began a search for answers. Further, I realized that just having an attorney does not mean there will be a successful resolution. A few days later I saw a newspaper advertisement for a Fathers Rights support group near my home. It sounded interesting so I decided to attend one of their meetings.
The following Friday I arrived at the meeting discouraged and without hope. As I walked to my seat I passed a number of tables with pamphlets and books and other written materials all directed at men with family law problems. Most of these materials were advocating political reform of the family law system. I grabbed one of everything!
Once in my seat the meeting began with a number of men sharing their stories of severe prejudice and bias in the family court. The first thing I realized was that I was not alone in what I had experienced in and out of court. After two or three testimonies a gentleman went to the podium and addressed the crowd. The subject of his speech was "Why men lose in Family Court."
The gentleman opened his speech with these questions: "How many of you came here tonight because you are currently in a family law case and are looking for answers?" Everyone in the room raised their hands. "How many of you defaulted by not responding to divorce or hearing papers?" Many raised their hands. "How many of you are struggling to pay your child support?" Again almost everyone raised their hands. "How many of you are being harassed by the District Attorney (Child Support Enforcement) for child support?" "How many of you have had their driver's licenses suspended or taxes taken due to unpaid child support?" Many raised their hands. "How many of you only see your kids every other weekend?" About half the room raised a hand. "How many of you paid a large amount of money to an attorney to resolve your problems and still lost the battle?" Again almost everyone raised their hands. Finally he asked, "How many of you are happy with the outcome of your case?" The room suddenly became quiet and no one raised their hands.
When the speaker had finished asking the questions it was very apparent that most of the men in the room, including me, didn't know the first thing about avoiding or resolving a family law problem! It was a moment of realization that we had each failed due to our own ignorance. These men, myself included were like lambs headed to slaughter. None of us had a clue as to what we had done wrong or how we could still resolve our own legal problems! What a pathetic group of men! This wasn't what any of us expected.
The speaker continued by explaining why men lose in family court. "Yes there is bias, prejudice and discrimination in family court towards men. Yes the family court system is broken and needs reform. However, despite these problems most of you have failed because you didn't take the time to learn how the system works." As he spoke he gave numerous examples of mistakes that men make. (These Mistakes are discussed in the Fathers Rights Survival Guide.) "Men lose in family court because they simply don't do their homework and women do!"
Most men, myself included, believe they are capable of resolving just about any problem. Most have run businesses, negotiated purchases of homes and/or cars and have been successful resolving other large problems at work and home. Consistent with their success in other areas of their life, when their long-term relationship's end they believe they can "cut a deal" or somehow avoid a problematic legal case without making legally filed agreements. Call it male machismo or pride but in reality it's called arrogance! Failing to learn how the family law system works will doom your case. Like one leading motivational speaker has stated: "Failing to plan is planning to fail!" There is no substitute for correct information and knowledge.
The speaker closed the meeting with this exhortation: "I want each of you to make a commitment. A commitment to your friends, family, to your children and to yourself! I want you to commit to learning how the family law system works. I want you to commit to changing the outcome of your case! This week I want each of you to go to a law library or bookstore in your area and read anything and everything you can on family law. Once you have acquired the needed knowledge set a goal, form a plan and don't give up until you get what you want and need!"
As I drove home from the meeting I was filled with mixed emotions about what the speaker had said. On one hand I was encouraged that I could take control of my case, learn how the system works and resolve my ongoing legal problems. On the other hand I was very discouraged when I realized I had caused my own legal problems. I had lost in court because I had failed to learn the "rules of the game." Like millions of other men I thought I could strike an easy out of court settlement and go on with my life. How wrong I was! This was a very hard lesson for me! I was a college graduate. I was fairly intelligent and should have known better. My Ex-wife wasn't to blame, I was! I did this too myself! My failure was her victory!
The very next morning I decided to make the commitment to resolve my legal problems. As the speaker instructed I went to the local law library and read numerous books and articles. The following day I went to numerous bookstores and read many self-help books on family law. In addition, I searched the Internet and read everything I could about divorce and Family Law. The more I read the more I realized how mistaken I had been.
Over the next six months I continued studying family law and attending the meetings sponsored by the Coalition of Parent Support. The Fathers Rights movement and my own personal knowledge began to flourish. In fact, I eventually became a board member of the statewide group. After a few months, I even enrolled in paralegal classes at a community college. A year later I was so committed that I enrolled in law school. Boy what a turn around!
My first year of law school I did two important things. I started my own organization called Fathers Rights, Inc. I began offering self-help legal assistance and counseling to men. Also, I returned to court to resolve unfinished legal business. This time I was prepared for battle! I had done my homework!
On the day of court I discovered that my ex-wife had retained the same attorney she had used previously. When he saw me in the hallway I am sure he thought this would be quick and easy. After all I was so misinformed the first time. The attorney approached me and began telling me how ridiculous my request for hearing was and that he was going to "stick it to me" if I didn't drop the matter immediately. With confidence, I informed him I would not do so and would see him before the Judge. We did discuss the legal issues at hand and you could see that his attitude towards me was much different than before. The attorney made his routine offer of settlement that I promptly refused. He was now very concerned. He had recognized that something was very different.
About an hour later, we ended up in front of the Judge. Here's what happened: My child support went from $1,113.00 per month plus health insurance of $225.00 to $243.00 a month in child support and she paid the health insurance. Further, my visitation time-share with my kids went from 5% to 43%. It turns out that my ex-wife was earning over $100,000.00 a year. I had filed subpoenas with her bank and employers based on a rumor I had heard that she had a second job but I wasn't sure. The subpoenas revealed that she did in fact have a second job. She had not revealed this to the court. Even her attorney was unaware of this! In fact her "second job" earned her significantly more money than her regular job. Big mistake on her part! Needless to say I won the relief that I was seeking! My ex-wife may have won a previous battle but ultimately lost the war. Over the next six months there were other legal issues that I was able to resolve. I stopped her from moving out of state with the kids. In fact this did not even require a hearing. She accepted my legal explanation of what the court would in fact do and she decided not to move.
On another occasion the principal of the school that my children attended felt she had no obligation to provide me with copies of my children's report cards and other information. (Emergency medical contact information, Notice of parent-teacher conferences, transcripts etc. etc...) It's significant to note that my ex-wife's mother was the vice-president of the school board. The principal, vice-principal, teachers and school nurse were aware of this. No doubt that the decision to deny my parental rights was directly related to my mother-in-laws powerful position. Well, I filed a suit in civil court naming the principal, vice-principal, school nurse, the entire local and county school boards, and the California board of education.
At the hearing the County's attorney spoke with me and expressed regret that this matter had to be filed. He agreed that the schools position could not be legally supported based on the family code. He informed them that their position was in error and the policy of preventing a parent with joint legal custody from viewing his children's school records was illegal and should be instantly changed. The matter was settled in the hallway and never made it to the Judge and for good reason.
Here is the best part of this story: After successfully resolving the legal issues my ex-wife "got the message." She realized that I would never again allow myself to be used as a legal punching bag. There would be no more rolling over. No more defaults, no more passivity. I had become a pro-active participant. I had finally learned how the system worked and would vigorously defend myself in any future issue that might arise. And guess what? Once she understood she could no longer win automatically, Lo and behold we never had another legal dispute! Immediately following the last court hearing our conversations became civil but solely limited to the lives of the kids. Exactly the way it should be! (And should have been from the beginning)
My children are grown now and my personal family law struggles are over. I learned the hard way that what you do now will determine the quality of the relationship you will have with your children in the future. People forget that children are only in the custody of either parent for a relatively short time. After they reach the age of majority is when the real relationship begins! I was fortunate in that I discovered my failure in time. I was able to reverse a never-ending trend of court hearing after court hearing with no end in sight. It all changed that one evening after the meeting when I decided to commit to making needed changes in my attitude and approach to my case. I had learned a valuable lesson. Know the rules before you play the game! Once I discovered the rules of the game it all changed.
Now let me ask you! Why have you come to this site? Are you looking for answers to your family law problems? Are you the Parent, Grandparent, girlfriend, sister or new wife of a man having problems in family court? Are you confused? Lost? Frustrated? Angry? Let me give you the same advice I was given years ago. Your case (or the case of the person for whom you are concerned) will never be resolved until you (they) take the time to learn how the family law system works. Unless you are Bill Gates and have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on attorney's fees you need to learn how Family Law works. You can be sure your Ex has! In fact, if you don't take the time to learn how the family law system works no attorney or other legal professional can ever help you! Now I'm not suggesting that you need to take paralegal classes or go to law school as I have done. But you must commit to learning the simple steps you can take now to resolve your present legal issues and avoid additional issues in the future.
There are now two ways in which I can help you:
First: While I was in law school I began writing a guide for men that would teach them how the family law system works. While I was writing the guide I read every book I could on family law issues. I interviewed State Congressmen, Senators, Judges, District Attorney's and numerous private attorneys. I reviewed client case files and spent hundreds of hours on the Internet researching family law related web sites. Additionally, for the past 15 years I have received over a 150 e-mail's and/or telephone calls per day from individuals all over the United States who are seeking information about their particular family law problems. I've heard it all!
After considerable research I wrote a series of nine booklets on every major family law issue. It's called the Fathers Rights Survival Guide. The guide contains sections on Divorce, Child and Spousal Support, Child Custody and Visitation, Child Support Enforcement problems, Contempt of Court, Restraining Orders, Move-away Issues and The Truth about Family Law and Attorneys. This information was written so that a ten-year old boy could understand its content. It is filled with very revealing information that is critically important to any man facing family law problems. Further, it is all you will need! You won't need to spend time at law libraries or bookstores. You won't need to spend countless hours on the Internet reviewing information that is often confusing and difficult to understand. I have done this work for you! Also, the information in the guide is good in all 50 States!
Here is my commitment to you: If you will commit to learning the simple steps you can take to either avoid or resolve family law problems and purchase the Fathers Rights Survival Guide (or purchase one of the The Advocate Plans) I will make a personal commitment to help you! If you purchase and read the Fathers Rights Survival Guide I will make myself available to answer any questions you may have. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond. Where can you get this kind of help for $60.00? And you get Free Updates for Life! To order the Fathers Rights Survival Guide click here!
Second: In the Free reports I shared with you my own personal failure in Family court 20 years ago. I shared with you that it wasn't until I met another man, a father's right advocate and attorney that was willing to help me that I overcame a very difficult legal case. As I look back, the single greatest factor that changed my case was that I found someone to teach me and guide me. Someone I could contact anytime to discuss my case, my questions, fears, feelings. Someone that would be direct and honest with me. Someone that would tell me the truth about every aspect of my case! A Personal Advocate.
And now I am very excited to be able to offer you the same. It's called "The Advocate Plan". In fact there are now two Advocate Plans to choose from: The Advocate Plan Basic and The Advocate Plan Lifetime. Each plan contains an opportunity for you to speak with me personally. And hopefully you will let me become your Personal Advocate.
The Advocate Plan-Basic Provides you with a thorough and state specific consultation on all of your legal issues including child support calculation. Once completed we will tell you exactly where you stand on each and every issue, answer all of your questions and give you your specific legal options. It also allows you to have unlimited e-mail correspondence with me after the consultation. The Father Rights Survival Guide is included. The Advocate Plan Basic is fully up-gradable should you decide to do so later. (You only pay the difference in price)
The Advocate Plan-Lifetime- This is truly the ultimate legal service plan. It doesn't get any better than this! This plan provides everything contained in the basic plan and unlimited telephone conferences at no additional expense for the life of your case! Further, the Advocate Lifetime has an emergency contact feature called ERR-911 (Emergency Rescue Response) whereby you can contact us and receive a call the same day! Remember, family law cases remain open until there are no issues to resolve. In other words there will likely be other legal issues that arise in the future. This may not be the last time you will face a court action related to your case. Therefore, wouldn't it be great to be able to consult with me anytime for the life of your case? It could be that your ex will try and raise child support in the future, or perhaps you will want to try and get custody of your children. What ever the issues you will always have someone to speak with directly who will guide you each step of the way...for life!
How do the Advocate Plans work?
The Advocate Plans begin with a thorough discussion about your case. During this discussion I will answer all of your questions and concerns. Second I will thoroughly analyze and evaluate your case facts. Third, once the evaluation is complete I will give you your legal options and together and we will form a legal strategy for resolving all of your issues. Fourth, both the Basic and Lifetime plans include unlimited e-mail correspondence with me for the life of your case. Fifth, you will receive the most recently updated version of the Fathers Rights Survival Guide and free updates for life. This guide is known as the "Father's Rights Bible" and contains cutting edge information on every family law issue. Further it teach you how the family court system works and prepare you for current and future issues. All legal information and guidance is based on your states specific family law statutes and case law.
Whether good news or bad, YOU WILL LEARN THE TRUTH! The truth about your Ex, your children, your attorney, the Judge, the mediator, custody evaluator, opposing attorney, counselor and any other significant person or issue involved in the future of your case! And here is the greatest part! The cost of The Advocate Plan Basic is just $135.00. You will also receive unlimited e-mail correspondence with me. If you prefer unlimited live telephone conferences and communication rather than e-mail then the Advocate Plan Lifetime is the best choice for you. The price of The Advocate Plan Lifetime is just $299.00. Where can any man go for this kind of legal assistance for this price? If you are really serious about winning or significantly improving your case just order an the Advocate Plan and let me become your personal advocate today!
The Advocate Plans are a game changer!
I realize it may difficult for you to fully understand at this moment just how significant The Advocate Plans are and just how much I can help you if you will allow me to do so. What I am asking you to do is: Let me help you with your case! Let me become your advocate! Let me be the person you come to when you have legal questions and need answers now! Let me evaluate every aspect of your case HONESTLY and TRUTHFULLY! Learn where you stand today! Again, whether you are just starting a case or have been to court a number of times, whether you are or were married or never married but have children let me help you maximize your legal options. Finally, family law problems affect not only you but your new wife/girlfriend, parents, grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, employer, friends and most significantly your children! Don't wait any longer! Don't wait until it's too late! Make a commitment now to change your life and the lives of all who are around you by purchasing the Fathers Rights Survival Guide or one of the The Advocate Plans.
Good Luck and I hope to hear from you soon!
Mike L. Weening