You can now click on the above “LISTEN ON SPOTIFY” (WHEN AVAILABLE) to hear this in audio!
I stumbled upon another interesting Tedx Talk YouTube video that I decided to review. The YouTube video is entitled, “What Representing Men in Divorce Taught Me About Fatherhood“. The Tedx Talk was given by attorney Marilyn York from Reno, Nevada. Marilyn works within her family law practice as a Men’s Rights Family Law firm. Marilyn’s law firm has worked with over 2,000 men, including over 650 fathers, since 2001. The law firm also employs another nine female lawyers that exclusively fight for men’s rights in family court. The law firm has two main reasons for only representing men. Firstly, men are considered absolutely crucial during the process of bringing up children. Additionally, men are considered the disadvantaged parents both in family court and amongst society. The law firm bases their reasoning on statistics with more than 17 million American children who are growing up without their fathers. Her law firm chooses to represent the “underdog” during a divorce. I shall review Marilyn’s lessons learned as a men’s rights attorney for the past 20 years. Here is Ms. York’s Tedx Talk video so that you may review it as well:
“Fathers are the forgotten contributors to child development”. -Michael Lamb, child psychologist
The first lesson that Marilyn has learned, during her pursuit for equality and justice in divorce, was that men parent differently than women. Yes, I believe that wholeheartedly. I learned different lessons from my mother than my father. There are some lessons that both parents taught me such as a strong work ethic, do not steal, be honest, religious studies, proper hygiene, and how to cook (yes, my dad was a great cook) and how to manage tasks inside and outside the house. I did learn many behaviors and lessons from my mother. However, it was my father that had given me the most powerful life lessons. My dad taught me about credit (it was the devil and just have cash) and how to save money for what you want or need in life. My father took me hunting (sometimes for an entire week), fishing, crabbing, skiing, boating, swimming, and many other activities. He taught me how to live off the land and many survival skills such as field dressing a deer. I went with him to the truck shop and learned hardware sizes, how to change oil and transmission fluid, changing or plugging a tire, maintaining an 18 wheeler, and driving an 18 wheeler. The woman I am today is because of the life lessons I received from my father.
A second lesson Marilyn learned was the role a father plays in a child’s life is that it is crucial for the development of that child. According to the 2016 Census statistics, two out of five children have to grow up with no father. Oftentimes, the court system gets hung up on a parent knowing a child’s every detail. A court will use specific details a mother typically handles to determine a father’s competence in caring for a child. Admittedly, I could rattle the name of the pediatrician, doses, allergies, physical dates, teachers, and other pesky details. However, the details that men know about lie within the child’s imagination and how they express themselves. A father will know a child’s biggest super hero, their fears, their dreams, and their limitations with sports and activities. I am sure that no matter the details that I think I may know, my son’s father will have a varied data set than mine. I have always felt that a father is super important in a child’s life. I cannot imagine not letting him being involved in his life. As a young widow, I saw the impact that no having a father can have on my eldest son. He suffered an internal battle that I have yet to realize the magnitude of loss.
A third lesson learned, during the divorce process, was that fathers too also have a genetic bond and instinct with their children. Marilyn illustrates that out of the 100 men who underwent a paternity test, only two came back as not the biological father. This genetic bond is vital for the happiness and contentment of a child. Statistics has shown that a lack of that bond can be disastrous amongst our youth. Despite knowing this, society and laws make it appear that fathers are not important. Marilyn spoke about a legal principle, known as the Tender Years doctrine, that had served as the family court’s standard legal principle all of the way up to the 1980’s. The legal principle predecessor came from England as the Custody of Infants Act of 1839. These principles came during a time when the children were home with their mothers and created a presumption for maternal custody for children aged seven and younger. In England, the presumption went as far as age 16 years old for maternal custody. The more modern child law that replaced older legal principles is the Best Interests of the Child doctrine. It appears the family court legal system is slowly evolving to society.
A fourth lesson that Marilyn learned was the number of high statistics that have a deep impact on young kids- courtesy of the Center for Disease Control. The common denominator for 71% of high school drop outs, 90% of runaway kids, and 63% of youth suicides is not having a father. Children are coming from divorced parents at a high rate. There are an average of 2.5 million divorces per year in the U.S. This means that someone is getting divorced every 13 seconds- let that sink in for a bit. On the other hand, there are a sizable number of children not coming from a divorced home. Each year in the U.S., there are 1.5 million babies born to a couple out of wedlock. Of those babies born out of wedlock, 40% of them do not have a father in sight. According to various child psychology research studies, children who have fathers test better in a variety of development categories. Research shows that children with fathers have stronger cognitive and motor skills, elevated physical and mental health, become better problem solvers, are more confident, curious, and empathetic.
The final fifth lesson that family court has taught Marilyn- fathers are the disadvantaged parent in a divorce. It is unfair in society and in family court what mothers can legally get away with in life. A mother does not have to put a father on a child’s birth certificate nor does she have to notify the father that a child exists. Many people wonder why that omission is just a moral issue and not also a legal issue. There is no legal recourse for a mother to falsely declare a man as the father who is in fact not the biological father. Upon discovery, the mother does not have to endure legal issues for lying or taking child support under false pretenses. In some states, the declared father, despite DNA proving he is not the father, continues as the legal father of the child. Now the child is not aware of the health risks that lie on the paternal side. Not having access to your biological father is a travesty of justice for the child. However, if a father suspects a mother of not being fit, they must submit documented evidence. If the same father feels that the child is in danger, removing the child from the home would result in felony kidnapping charges. In these many examples above, yes I believe that mothers do have the home field advantage in family court. How the court proceeds should always be in the best interest of the child. This is why the father oftentimes is short changed in family court. Forcing legal or financial action on any mother that lied would deeply impact the child. One may say that the lesson learned for the man is to choose better with whom you deposit your seed in a woman going forward.
The question Marilyn posed at the end of her talk was how society can help with the process of fathers being in their child’s lives? Society needs to recognize that fathers are of equal importance. Employers should allow sick days and encourage fathers to attend events for the child via affording time off. In some states, fathers are included in paid family leave so that is helpful. Every man should be encouraged to attend their child’s delivery. Every man should be allowed immediate time off at home to also bond with the child. Society should not question a man’s desire to be involved in his child’s life. Taking time off should not be disguised as “helping the mother” while serving as an excuse for the father to play video game marathons during bonding time. Mothers should encourage their children to engage with their fathers and seek guidance. How parents care for their kids today will show the fruits of their labor in the generations to come.
I was a fan of Marilyn’s talk and I didn’t find anything find anything I disagreed with at all. I usually listen to people and usually take away a few goodies and toss back the sentiments that I do not agree with at all. Ms. York was very professional, laced with humor and sarcasm, rather animated with her delivery, offered some solid talking points with statistics, had not overly emotional with her thoughts, and clearly passionate about the subject matter. I can see myself getting along with her and being a friend. I look forward to discussing the matter with my co-host Melissa. I am honestly not sure what her take will be on the talk. Obviously, you have to tune into the #VerballyDisastrous podcast on Spotify to get her opinion on the topic. We have opposing views on some topics yet very similar in a lot of life viewpoints. If you have any input on this subject, I would love to hear it. If it has changed your thoughts on the topic, let us know as well.
Leslie M. Jasper
-Author & Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast on Spotify (coming soon)
*I am going to write a future post about the qualities that modern men want to see in modern independent women in order to determine that they are marriage material. Stay tuned!*
#WhatRepresentingMenInDivorceTaughtMeAboutFatherhood #MarilynYork #attorney #mensrights #mothers #listen #TedxTalk #fathers #TenderYears #genderequality #topic #tough #childrights #equality #familycourt #UnitedStates #teen #troubled #fatherless
#Scholastic #nonfiction #bookstagram #DropEverythingAndRead #SpringBookFair2021 #LoveOfReading #Reading #ConstructionTales #books #funny #NYC #podcast #Spotify #VerballyDisastrous #bookfair #bookjoy #ReadAnywhere #LoveToRead #AllForBooks #Adult #FBF21 #LBF21 #BEA21 #IKBF21 #KLF21 #HKTDC21 #GBF21 #IIBF21 #LATFOB21 #SIBF21 #FILBO21 #EIBF21 #BAIBF21 #MIBF21 #BIDLDSP21 #BS21 #BBF21 #HIBF21 #IBTAF21 #IBBF21 #ITEF21 #JLF21 #JIBF21 #LBF21 #NDWBF21 #TiBE21 #TIBF21 #BCBF21 #LIVREPARIS21 #SDLDM21 #HBF21 #FIL21 #IIBF21 #SBF21 #BuchWein21 #VIBF21 #ADIBF21 #AIPF21 #bookstagram #book #bukuislami #b #bukumurah #islamicbookfair #buku #booklover #bukusejarah #buchberlin #booklove #cher #bookshelf #internationalbookfair #bookholic #jualbuku #jualbukumurah #reading #obralbuku #bukuindie #bukujogja #tokobukumurah #buchmesse #langka #pasarbuku #bukulangka #bhfyp #jualbelibukuonline #onlineshop #jualanonline #booklovers #anresbooks #readingbooks #booksofinstagram #boekuitstalling #buch #bookish #buchberlinkids #tokobukuonline #boimela #lesen #bookworm #poetry #gontor #fbm #bazarbuku #bookreview #berlin #read #writer #berlinerbuchmesse #buchmesseberlin #author #instabooks #boekverkoping #virtualbookfair #bookaddict