Presidential Candidates Call For Changes To Family Law System

Presidential Candidates Call For Changes To Family Law System

presidental candidates fathers rightsOur friends fighting for father’s rights at Fathers and Families have spoken with at least six presidential (or likely presidential) candidates who have come out in favor of leveling the playing field for men.

The candidates’ platforms range from criticizing family courts of having an “extreme anti-male bias” (Newt Gingrich) to admitting there is a need for reform but it must be done on the state level (Rudy Giuliani).

At the very least, it is commendable that all six candidates approached by Fathers and Families realize the importance of having fathers and two-parent involvement in a child’s life.

Here is where six of the candidates stand on the issue (note: Fathers and Families is non-partisan; the fact that the only candidates being asked about family court reform are Republicans is because the Democrats have an incumbent running).

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson:

“[Family court] is an area that is really ripe for reform…I understand this issue and have researched hundreds of these cases.”

“Family court injustices are one of the great injustices of our time.”

“Anything I could do on the federal level I would do, as president, to address [this] real inequality. I recognize it, having been governor of New Mexico. It’s a huge issue…the courts rule…usually [if not] always against the fathers…[in these rulings, fathers rights’] are obliterated, they’re nonexistent. I recognize that…I’m open to ideas [on fixing it].”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich criticized the combative family law system for its “extreme anti-male bias” against mens rights.

“We live in an age that is very different than 50 years ago and I think that it is very often very important…that we have a much greater sensitivity that both sides, both parents, both have rights and have responsibilities.”

Read the article about Gingrich’s stance on fathers rights.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty:

“[O]ne of the most significant determining factors of how children are going to do in school and more broadly in life is the degree of involvement and engagement of their parents in their lives. We want to encourage that to the fullest extent possible.”

“And so the laws…as they relate to the relative balance between custodial and non-custodial [should reflect] that we want both parents engaged and productive…in their children’s lives.”

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman:

“I totally agree with [the] assessment on the need for children to be able to bond and interact with their parents. When they’re there, they do better. And when they are estranged, they do worse. There is something about a parent figure that is so critically important and indispensable in the lives of families.”

“I’m somewhat familiar with some cases that have played out in Utah where fathers in particular were estranged from their children. Unfortunately, caught up in the legal system, caught up in bureaucracy, we did what we could do. But I understand where you are coming from and if you have any specific solutions on how we ought to be looking at this issue, I’d love to hear them.”

Businessman Herman Cain:

When Fathers and Families members laid out the problems with family court to Cain, he told them “You’re preaching to the choir.” He added, “I sympathize and I understand,” and said he’d like to have further discussions about father’s rights.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a 2008 and potential 2012 presidential candidate:

“Family courts absolutely need reform.”

However, Giuliani said family law is a state matter, not a federal one. Fathers and Families argues that there are many things the president and federal government could do to promote shared child custody since the “federal government helps shape states’ policies in many areas by the disbursement or withholding of federal reimbursement funds.”

Fathers and Families is resolutely non-partisan and works successfully with legislators on both sides of the aisle. For more information on the candidates’ positions and what the federal government could do to promote shared parenting time, please visit the Fathers and Families website.

If you feel your rights as a father are being ignored by the family courts, consult with a Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney to find out your options. Additional divorce resources are available at

Men's Rights Editor

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