June 6th, 2009 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Not long ago I wrote a piece about a Texas man, Chris Taylor, who was learning some hard lessons about being a custodial father. I said that, because the family law system is so biased against them, fathers like Taylor provide a never-ending stream of potential supporters of fathers' rights.
Well, there's another group who perform the same function - second wives. Here's an article by a woman who's been divorced herself (amicably), but whose partner is going through the hell of divorce court (Alliston Herald, 6/2/09). In other words, she's seen both sides.
When Paulette McDonald and her husband were splitting up, she went to a divorce lawyer, and describes the smorgasbord she found there. "On the menu was child support, spousal support, pensions, extraordinary expenses, education costs and the list went on. It was all there and ripe for the picking."
But to her great credit, McDonald had a sense of personal integrity seldom seen these days. She was not about to take her ex to the cleaners. She wanted and got a good, amicable, long-lasting relationship with him in which her kids thrived. That's not a bad outcome in a divorce case, even if she didn't get all the money her lawyer said she could have.
By contrast, her partner is now undergoing the type of torture-by-family-court that McDonald's husband avoided. And McDonald sees the difference. She calls family courts "predatory" and "a legalized vehicle for the harrassment of men."
As surely as there are men like Chris Taylor, there are women like Paulette McDonald. Face it, there are scads of divorces going on all the time. And a large percentage of the men who get divorced, get remarried. That means there are second wives out there who are as mad at the family law system for its abuse of men and fathers as Paulette McDonald is.
That's another reason why the fathers' rights movement has such momentum. And it's why it will continue until the gross inequalities of family courts and family law are rectified.
(As an aside, I can't resist pointing out a delightful typo in her article. McDonald describes going into her lawyer's office to discuss her litigation strategy. It was there, she says that "the plan was laid out at my fee (sic)." She meant "feet" of course, but, like all Freudian slips, there's a revealing element of truth in the word she actually used that the correct one could never have had.)
Thanks to "Puma" for the heads-up.