March 05, 2008

Paternity Laws . . .

I'd love to see some of them structured so that the genders are treated somewhat equally, and rights were actually weighed against responsibilities. It seems that mostly what we get are laws that either tilt toward men, or (more often these days) laws that tilt toward women.

Insty got me thinking about it. I remember having some sort of conversation with a male blogger once in which he mentioned the presumption of paternity within a marriage as an "anti-male" law. I told him I didn't see it that way: I perceive that as a protection for the husbands, who might otherwise have their children wrenched away from them in the event that their wives had had affairs.

He couldn't see my point: in fact, he seemed to regard fatherhood as a matter of contributing genetically to the formation of a child. No, no. That's not it, at all.

These matters shouldn't be defined strictly by biology, but by a parent's willingness to play a role in his or her child's life.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 5, 2008 06:31 PM | TrackBack

I'm a father of 4 daughters... my oldest is mine from a previous marriage (I've had sole custody of her since she was 2), the middle two are my wifes from a previous marriage, I came into the picture when they were ages 1 and 2, and the youngest we had together.

If (God forbid) something were to happen to our marriage, I would have no right to visit my middle two children. As far as I'm concerned, they're MY girls. I've treated them as such for 12 years now, and I know my life would be much poorer without them.

I learned the lesson well during the fight with my Ex over my eldest daughter, custody laws dramatically tilt towards the mother. Good intentions and fairness have no place in divorce court.

Posted by: Chris at March 6, 2008 08:33 AM

The problem with the paternity laws has its root in the problems with the divorce laws. As matters stand, marriage is the only contract where the government actively assists the person who wants to break the contract.

One person wants to walk away from the relationship, but they want to retain some of the benefits of staying in. That attitude needs to be opposed by the law.

(Well, campaign promises are another such contract...)

Posted by: John at March 6, 2008 12:55 PM


Posted by: Darrell at March 6, 2008 01:19 PM


Are you saying that most marriages end because the woman wants out?

Just trying to get clarity . . .

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