This morning I read your comment on the WSJ about equal parenting time. Why should I agree to that when I have been the main caregiver of my kids since they were born?
I am not getting divorced but I’ve thought about it and I think making kids go back and forth like that isn’t fair to them. I brought up the 50/50 thing over dinner the other night because we have friends getting divorced and I was surprised my husband said he would absolutely want that.
First of all, he works. Second of all, I think a lot of these men are fighting for equal time so they don’t have to pay child support.
That’s my two cents. You are wrong on this issue.
Thank you for your letter and for chatting back and forth with me this morning. I was not loving the blog I was writing so you swooped in just in time!
Readers, here is the article Becky referenced in her email to me: Fathers Seek Parity in Custody Cases
Becky, while you did not ask me for advice, I’m going to give you some anyway:
Stop being an asshole, and stop claiming to be a feminist.
Readers will be interested to know this is what Becky told me about her life:
- She was an attorney until three years ago when she had twins. She isn’t sure she wants to go back to work anytime soon but plans to “at some point.”
- Her husband Robert is, according to Becky, a very good father who loves his kids and spends as much time as he can with them.
- Since she left work, he is obviously the sole income earner for the household. He works approximately 50 hours a week but is able to do some of that at home.
- When Robert is home he is absolutely hands-on with the kids and all the household chores.
- Becky identifies as a “feminist” and spent most of her career specializing in cases alleging employment discrimination against women.
- Becky is not the most happily married woman in the world. Specifically, she fantasizes about her husband dying in a car crash every morning when he leaves the house. I’m not joking.
- She has already met with an attorney to assess her options. Her husband has NO idea she is so unhappy and Becky describes him as “blissfully ignorant” regarding the state of their marriage.
I don’t understand that last one at all. How can someone be so miserable and not broadcast it to their partner? Becky must be a very good actress, her husband is thick, or both.
The Great Reward
People like Becky see the world like this:
If you work your ass off to support your family and to ensure one parent can be home with the kids, your reward should you divorce is very limited time with those children (not to mention alimony).
Are you listening, male readers? I especially want to get the attention of my younger male readers who have yet to embark on a marriage:
If you have a “traditional” marriage, also known as an “antiquated” one, you are basically fucked if and when you get divorced.
Becky, you are not a feminist. You are an opportunist and a sexist and a terrible person. True feminists believe men and women should have equal rights, opportunities AND responsibilities, not superior ones.
The reason you have been the “main caregiver,” as you put it, is because you elected to pause (or terminate) your career. You would not have been able to do that if your husband had not supported you in that decision.
Robert has given you the most precious gift of having choices. In return he can expect you to shit all over him with a custody battle when you finally work up the nerve to leave him.
Women like you give all of us a bad name. You should be ashamed of yourself.
When I asked you what you envisioned for a “fair” settlement, you told me you want the kids roughly 80% of the time, the child support that goes along with that amount of parenting time, and at least eight years of alimony, regardless of whether you go back to practicing law.
You’ve been married five years.
(Here I must give myself a time-out because my blood pressure is rapidly escalating and I’m actually panting with frustration)
You must not have poked around my blog much, Becky, because if you had you would have foreseen this delivery unto you of a brand new anal orifice. Either that or you are a glutton for punishment.
As for your assertion men only want more parenting time to lessen their child support obligations, I have two reactions:
- If we assume that is the motivation for the men, should we also assume that the women want more parenting time simply because they want more child support? Is that why you only want your children to see their dad 20% of the time – because you lust for more money in your pocket?
- Why did you have children with a man who is such a monster and who is motivated solely by money?
What’s that, you say?
“He’s a wonderful man and father,” you told me. OK, so not a money-grubbing jerk who doesn’t care about his kids.
You just “aren’t happy,” you told me.
You think your partner should be “more exciting and spontaneous,” you told me.
Your poor husband. My heart breaks for him.
Florida recently passed a law reforming
adult baby support alimony laws and establishing a 50/50 parenting time presumption. Walking, talking piece of shit and Donald Trump endorser Rick Scott vetoed the bill and ensured women like you can continue enjoyment of wildly unfair custody, parenting time, and permanent alimony rulings in family court.
As for you, Becky, congratulations on your transformation!
You have morphed from a professional woman who claimed to give a damn about equal rights into a hypocritical, greedy, and selfish one. You have made the unilateral decision for your children that they don’t need their father, except when it comes to money of course.
Since your husband would want far more parenting time than 20%, your unreasonable position ensures an ugly custody battle that will poison your co-parenting relationship and decimate the family finances while doing tremendous and long-term damage to your children. WHEE!
OK, I am going to be nice now. I really want you to hear me and I apologize for being harsh up there. Are you ready?
Put yourself in your husband’s shoes. Please.
Assume it was you who continued your career so your husband could stay home with the children. Assume it was you who missed all those precious “firsts.”
First words. First steps. First “pee in mouth while changing diaper and forgot to cover the wee wee-wee wiener.”
OK, maybe not that one.
Assume it was you whose heart broke a little bit every morning as you had to leave for the office. Assume it was you who paused at the door and lingered as long as you could, just to get a few more minutes watching your husband feed and bathe and play with your twins.
Assume it was your husband who came to you and asked for a divorce, telling you the marriage is dead because you aren’t as exciting as you used to be.
Finally, assume he told you he wanted the kids 80% of the time. In exchange, you would get to keep working, pay for his care and feeding, pay for your children’s care and feeding, but rarely get to see them.
How do you like them apples?
I urge you to get into marriage counseling immediately and be honest with your husband about where your head is at right now.
I beg you to keep talking to me or at least promise to practice empathy when it comes to your husband. Ask yourself over and over again:
How would I feel if the situation were reversed?
Too many people don’t do that in cases like yours. Too many. And the results are always the same:
A contentious, expensive and lengthy divorce battle followed by an ugly relationship post-divorce that hurts each parent but nowhere near as much as it destroys their children.