This page used to be called "Anti-Father Bias in Mississippi", but we just kept getting reports like this from all over, hence the change in the title.
As we get more examples of anti-father bias, we'll post them here so you can see them.
The following is a letter sent to us by a father in Mississippi. Our comments are in italics. If you've ever doubted that there is an anti-father bias in divorce court, read on.
"On July 29th 1998 I took my Ex to court for full custody on the grounds that the children were being raised in an unsafe and unnurturing environment. I had expert tesimony from teachers and daycare workers that the children were oftentimes presented to school in various states of uncleanliness and with serious injury patterns, i.e. bruises, cuts, etc. My eight year old son was admitted twice to a Psychiatric Hospital in March and April for Severe Depression and Suicidal Ideation."
This alone, in our opinion, should have been enough to cause ANY unbiased judge to award custody. Repeated incidences of bruises and cuts on young children? "Hello, Mr. Judge, Hello?"
"I presented evidence in the form of Medical records, photographs depicting bruises, 3rd degree sunburns, and the manners in which they were dressed for school. I presented evidence concerning my Ex's current husband who served time for sale of cocaine and his brother who was recently paroled from prison on a conviction for Burglary, Kidnapping, and Rape."
My goodness, this certainly sounds like a wholesome family environment to me. Perhaps this evidence rekindled fond memories in the judge's mind of his childhood. Or perhaps this judge thinks that burglars, kidnappers and rapists are good people to have around young children.
"The medical records, criminal history, and important points of testimony were not allowed by the Judge. The Defendant, under cross examination, readily admitted to allowing the children to watch R-rated movies, leaving them for days at a time with relatives, leaving in plain view sexually explicit videos and sex toys, not utilizing safety restraints, allowing them to go hunting with high powered rifles and no supervision (these children are 3, 8, and 10 years old). Her testimony as well as that of her witnesses was blatantly perjurious."
Again, this sounds like a really wonderful environment for kids. Read that paragraph again- the mother "readily admitted" to allowing (some would say promoting) this kind of dangerous and inappropriate home life and environment. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that had the father admitted this kind of irresponsible behavior under oath, that custody would have been immediately taken from him?
"She is a Bacalaureate prepared RN that has been terminated from 7 institutions in one year (again, discovered under cross examination). The Judge's decision was as follows: Joint Legal custody, the children will reside with me beginning 5 days before the school year starts until 5 days after the school year ends with the mother having visitation every other weekend, the children will reside with their mother beginning 5 days after the school year ends and ending 5 days before the school year begins, during this time I will have visitation of every other weekend. By decree the mother is NOT required to pay ANY support or maintenance including medical, school, dental, extracurricular, clothing, etc. I am reqired to carry the health insurance as well as life insurance. During her visitation in the summer months I am required to pay her an as of yet undetermined amount of support and maintenance."
A grudging "win" for the father, followed immediately by letting the mother off the hook financially. So, she "loses", but she doesn't have to pay for it. Read it again: Mom pays NO support and pays NO medical or dental coverage for the children. On top of all this, the father, the custodial parent, has to pay the non-custodial parent child-support during her summer visitation! Again, does anyone out there think that the judge would have ruled this way if custody had been granted to the mother? This is as clear a case of court-sanctioned discrimination against a father as I've ever seen.
"The Judge was quite rude to my witnesses and seemed to enjoy sustaining the defense's objections, while overruling the objections of my attorney for the same situations."
At this point, I don't think anything this judge did would surprise me, including wearing his KKK uniform into the courtroom.
"While my main objectives were partially met I feel that the Judge's ruling was quite biased and very unfair. How is it possible that I am denied any support or maintenance and am responsible for ALL expenses throughout the year while she gets support (and I suspect a large amount) during her visitation."
How is it possible? It's simple: HE'S A FATHER. And fathers get treated like garbage in divorce court. Mississippi has a long and well-established record of trampling the rights of fathers, thanks to people like Judge Butthead.
"I am feeling quite screwed in that respect. I do plan on filing an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court, but with backlogs I don't expect to be heard for at least a year. For any Fathers who are contemplating a custody battle in the state of Mississippi, my advice is to move to a more Father friendly state."
(Name withheld by request)
I don't think I need to comment on this paragraph; this father has stated it as eloquently as I ever could.
Here's another story, horrific in that it shows that when a child is involved, if anyone is going to get abused by the court system, it's a father. The following text was originally posted on DivorceNet, and is used with permission by the author.
My email address is: (Withheld)
Well folks. I told ya'll about my story, how my 3 year old son was brutally abused, destroying 1/2 his brain while in the custody of his mother, 3 days after I last saw him SO I can without a doubt be exonerated of child abuse. My wife receives custody and I am given SUPERVISED visitations one day a month.
In searching for a new attorney, I tell them my story. As soon as they hear I have supervised visitation they assume there is proof that I abused my son. It doesn't matter that I had no contact with him for 3 day and the last I did it was in public.
In my search for answers, a member of the judiciary here sat me down and told me the "facts of life".
He told me
1. that judges here base their decisions on political affiliations and the amount of campaign contributions the judge receives from the attorneys before him....My wife's family has money....
2. that it would not matter if I had videotape evidence of my wife beating my son to the brink of death because in the eyes of the court, a mother cannot harm her child nor will allow harm to befall her child.
He finished by telling me that being an engineer was appropriate because I was about to be railroaded.
On a sad note. Today was my daughter's 3rd birthday. I didn't even get to talk to her :-( It was 9 weeks today since I last saw my children :-(
If anyone is interested, I have written about my son's fight for life and posted it at Jamie's Story.
Follow the Jamie's Story links, I update it periodically with another week. I make no mention of the circumstances of the injury.