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Fathers' rights movement counters no-fault divorce epidemic

Women's rights may have come a long way but recent political events have indicated new support for the fathers' movement. The former president of the American Coalition of Fathers and Children has released new ads speaking out against child support and widespread granting of custody to women post-divorce. The fathers' rights movement claims child support rulings can take unfair advantage of fathers and alleges that men have been victims of false domestic violence accusations. Activists of the movement have lobbied against no-fault divorce, which they state encourages the mother to walk away, taking her children with her.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has introduced one bill that would have prevented a parent from obtaining a no-fault divorce if the other parent objects, and another that would have encouraged judges to penalize a woman who asked for a no-fault divorce in custody and visitation battles. Women's groups have long considered no-fault divorce a milestone in women's rights. They claim it has been a leading cause of reduced rates of suicide and domestic violence against females in those states that have adopted it in the 70s. A no-fault divorce allows a woman to divorce her husband without having to prove adultery or physical abuse. Supporters of the bills claim they seek to counteract what has become a crusade against fathers' rights and unfair child custody claims.

While the fathers' rights movement has been controversial, proponents of the movement contend it supports efforts to maintain a healthy paternal influence in the lives of their children and prevent what amounts to a type of subsidy on divorce. In a recent Washington Post article, supporters of the movement have indicated political ties with leading fathers' rights groups and have conducted widespread campaigns to support them. Spokespersons for the movement have thus far declined to comment on the issue, but have indicated they will not apologize for their position on fathers' rights issues.

In cases of divorce, painful experiences are present on all sides. Many experts believe that children can become unwitting victims in custody cases, and can be best served by maintaining both parents' influence in their lives. Healthy relationships can be maintained by keeping the family unit strong.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Progressives Tie Ken Cuccinelli To Fathers' Rights Movement" Laura Bassett, Sep. 05, 2013

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