Sunday, August 28, 2005
It takes a lot more than testosterone to make a father out of a man.
"Part of a new generation of men who are redefining fatherhood and masculinity, Hudnut, who is 33, is unwilling to accept the role of absentee provider that his father's generation assumed. With mothers often being the breadwinners of the family, many young fathers are deciding that a man's place can also be in the home—part-time or even full-time.
According to census figures, one in four dads takes care of his preschooler during the time the mother is working. The number of children who are raised by a primary-care father is now more than 2 million and counting. By all measures, fathers, even those who work full-time, are more involved in their children's lives than ever before. According to the Families and Work Institute in New York City, fathers now provide three-fourths of the child care mothers do, up from one-half 30 years ago.
Is father nurture natural?
Many men and women wonder if all of this father care is really natural. According to popular perceptions, men are supposedly driven by their hormones (primarily testosterone) to compete for status, to seek out sex and even to be violent—conditions hardly conducive to raising kids. A recent article in Reader's Digest, "Why Men Act As They Do," is subtitled "It's the Testosterone, Stupid." Calling the hormone "a metaphor for masculinity," the article concludes, "...testosterone correlates with risk: physical, criminal, and personal." Don't men's testosterone-induced chest-beating and risk-taking limit their ability to cradle and comfort their children?
Two studies, which was recently published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggests that fathers have higher levels of estrogen the well-known female sex hormone -- than other men. The research shows that men go through significant hormonal changes alongside their pregnant partners changes most likely initiated by their partner's pregnancy and ones that even cause some men to experience pregnancylike symptoms such as nausea and weight gain. It seems increasingly clear that just as nature prepares women to be committed moms, it prepares men to be devoted dads.
"I have always suspected that fatherhood has biological effects in some, perhaps all, men," says biologist Sue Carter, distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. "Now here is the first hard evidence that men are biologically prepared for fatherhood."
The studies have the potential to profoundly change our understanding of families, of fatherhood and of masculinity itself. Being a devoted parent is not only important but also natural for men. Indeed, there is evidence that men are biologically involved in their children's lives from the beginning.
Is biology destiny for dads?
It's well known that hormonal changes caused by pregnancy encourage a mother to love and nurture her child. But it has long been assumed that a father's attachment to his child is the result of a more uncertain process, a purely optional emotional bonding that develops over time, often years. Male animals in some species undergo hormonal changes that prime them for parenting. But do human dads? The two studies, conducted at Memorial University and Queens University in Canada, suggest that human dads do.
In the original study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, psychologist Anne Storey and her colleagues took blood samples from 34 couples at different times during pregnancy and shortly after birth. The researchers chose to monitor three specific hormones because of their links to nurturing behavior in human mothers and in animal fathers.
Parke believes that the research suggests something even more radical: "Men are much more androgynous than we think. We have the capability to be aggressive and nurturing. The traditional view of men as predominantly aggressive really sells men short and denies their capability to experience the range of human emotions.
The research suggests that a man's hormones may play an important role in helping him experience this full range of emotions especially in becoming a loving and devoted dad. In fact, it offers the first evidence that to nurture is part of man's nature.
By Douglas Carlton Abrams
Last Reviewed: 24 May 2005
Psychology Today © Copyright 1991 – 2005”
People can read the article in its entirety following the link, as I just posted excerpts but it’s pretty clear where this is going.
One, it’s another of the continuing attempts to usurp women from the unique role that God, Evolution, nature etc., has designated as ours, which is as the mother of our children, the ONLY MOTHER. Allowing this re-definition of bonding to pass unchallenged can result in unrelated men or anybody really who is just hanging around a mother a lot during a pregnancy to suddenly claim they ‘bonded’ with a child and thus gain standing for a custody challenge as soon as child is born.
Even the clever wording in the article making no mention whatsoever of bonding vis-a-vis the mother carrying her child but only referring to 'hormonal changes' in the bloodstream has the potential to wreck havoc on the proper definition of bonding as a process that goes on inutero between mother and child ONLY. Like following the logic of this article, let's just give someone a shot and then just anybody can be your kid's mother.
Two, it has the potential to disenfranchise biological fathers as well who are not around during a child’s pregnancy, maybe don’t even know about it. So because they didn’t bond and maybe some other guy did, now’s he’s designated as the ‘bonded’ father. Actually biological fathers are at even more risk of losing legal rights through this nonsense, as they cannot even file for paternity UNTIL the child is is born. Meanwhile Mr. Bonding through Osmosis is there every day slowing absorbing a biological father’s legal rights.
It’s like something out of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine really with the Borg or some such assimilating your kid before you even know you have one, actually before you do have one.
Hey everybody, I'm 3 of 5 in the family tree now.
Frankly, I find it positively creepy.
Three, allowing unrelated persons to gain legal standing for a custody challenge through this sort of psychobabble nonsense puts many children at risk. I’m sorry to say it but children have become very valuable commodities today, used by many people to gain all sorts of advantage from child support payments, a shot at citizenship or even tax benefits of one kind or another. Barring abuse or neglect, biological parents should be the only guardians, custodians, caretakers, whatever of children that can legally exist. Not some self-proclaimed, quasi-bonded individual entering out of left field. Based upon some new gender-neutralized feminist definition of bonding through osmosis that has suddenly taken place, I can see a whole new category of parent emerging from this.
Again, creepy as all getout.
Last, but not least, this is just more of the campaign by these gender-neutralized feminists to continue building the androgynous society that is so dear to their hearts.
Men and women who go on to support this nonsense risk having new definitions of legal parenthood passed that could ultimately mean a room mate or boyfriend having standing to go to court and seek custody based upon this new creepy definition of bonding, if it’s accepted by the courts.
Frankly, why wouldn’t it be as our courts have accepted every other nutty idea that has come down the pike to them so far.
I can accept a unrelated person who invests time in raising a child being designated a psychological parent. But we already have this legal definition that Judges can use to designate a person as a parent because they have spent the requisite time with a child (usually around two years or so). But this is a totally different animal they’ve dredged up now. Trying to designate someone as a parent even BEFORE they put the time in based upon the fact that they hung around the mother during her pregnancy?
This is total creepy nonsense.
As Nancy Reagan often said, let’s just say no.
July 28, 2005
By Juliana Barbassa
Fresno, Calif. -- Marcus Wesson, the domineering patriarch of a large cult like clan he bred through incest, was sentenced to death for the murders of nine of his own children.
Judge R.L. Putnam Jurors accepted the recommendation for the death penalty made by a jury June 29 after hearing moving testimony from several members of Wesson's family Wednesday.
Wesson had been convicted of nine counts of first-degree murder and also found guilty of sexually abusing his daughters and nieces.
California law says the trial judge must uphold a jury's verdict unless it conflicts with the law or the evidence. The judge earlier Wednesday had said the evidence presented in the case supported the jury's recommendation of death.
Putnam also sentenced Wesson to 102 years in prison for 14 counts of sexually abusing his daughters, and the nieces who grew up in his household.
"Justice was served today," Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan said."
It’s interesting how little actual media coverage there was surrounding this case. Marcus Wesson murdered NINE of his own children. Some the product of incest with his own daughters and some of his sister-in-laws’ children that he somehow managed to get custody of; yet little or nothing was written or televised regarding the facts, the trial, or the ultimate sentencing of Wesson.
I suspect if Wesson had been the children’s mother; however, that this would have turned into a three-ring media circus similar to what we witnessed with Susan Smith or Andrea Yates.
We would have been taken through every funeral of the nine victims, complete with name, pictures and a short biography, including a graphic description of their final moments at the hands of the murderer. That would have been just for starters. We would also have been given details of the perpetrators past including how we were told that Andrea Yates had never had a boyfriend before meeting and marrying Rusty Yates in her early 20s.
All this, of course, in an attempt to make sense of what happened or how it could have been foreseen earlier and possibly prevented. I think this is correct. The community deserves to know these facts, as these murders are terrible and terrifying to other families. People are entitled to know the details of what lead up to this and possibly how it could be avoided in the future.
Yet somehow when a father is involved with one of these horrific crimes, these details are very sketchy or skipped altogether.
For instance, I can’t tell you how many times a horrific crime has been committed by a custodial father like Marcus Wesson, yet I have to search for weeks before finding out the true status of one of these murderers. As rarely do news reports make this clear. We never get to hear from the mothers of these children or other maternal relatives who might shed some insight on this for us. I mean what is this, the news media deciding that the public is not entitled to this information for some reason?
Inquiring minds want to know and are entitled to know about these issues. As more important then the fact of the actual murder is how these dangerous idiots had custody of these kids to begin with. After all most parents aren’t murderers, so I’m not thinking that this is a nationwide problem of murdering parents, fathers or mothers out there. Yet many of us if we become parents could be put through the devastation of a custody trial which will include an evaluation. With a 50% divorce rate of first time marriages it’s pretty likely that many of us are going to be facing this at some point in our futures.
So how a murderer obtained custody of children could signal a problem with the evaluation process being used in family courts. That ANY of these deviants was deemed a fit parent at some point is just freakin odd, to say the least. I mean none of these so-called professionals noticed anything strange about their client after putting them through a whole battery of psychological testing during the evaluation process, a home study and interviews by various court personnel?
What’s up with that???
We saw in the Jessica Rhodes murder case, for instance, a perfect example of this.
How the news coverage focused exclusively on trying to smear the mother here. The mother who had her child kidnapped from her as a nursing infant and then was forcibly prevented from seeing her for years. Actually the last time this mother saw her child was when she was being buried after being stabbed in the face, neck and head 16 times by one of the abductors. Yet instead of the news trying to get to the bottom of how that happened, naming some names and pointing a few fingers at the court officials involved in this, they waste their time trying to smear the child’s mother while ignoring real potential problems in family court in that upstate county.
That’s what really gets lost when the media decides to selectively censor facts in certain cases. We need to know everything about these cases just as we did with the Susan Smith and Andrea Yates murder cases.
For instance, I don’t even know even ONE of Wesson's victims names, those children he murdered nor have I seen a picture of them. It’s hard to connect with a victim or experience any rage against the perpetrator of these crimes AND HIS ACCOMPLISHES without seeing any of this.
Frankly, I believe that is the point here, to keep these cases low profile and thus protect the people and institutions that allow the Marcus Wessons of the world to exist and flourish.
Inquiring minds want to know why Marcus Wesson wasn’t outed earlier? How did he manage to get custody of SEVEN other children as well as his own when he was such an obvious misfit? Does California even do home studies any more before awarding custody? If they don’t, they need to start doing them again. Was Wesson evaluated? If so by who and how did he pass said evaluation?
People want and deserve to know if Wesson was just a fluke or if there are thousands of other kids out there in dire situations because the instruments family courts are using to evaluate people are flawed or if there exists bias in the family court system in California. Perhaps trying to be politically correct certain gender-neutralized court officials are ignoring obvious warning signs and giving custody to dangerous men who are unfit to be given custody.
Thus, ignoring the implications of the Wesson case is a mistake that could lead to more children being put in bad situations. The news media has no right to self-censor certain cases. People should be given ALL the facts and then we'll judge what is relevant and what isn't.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
My first question would be: Why would you even invite a step-person on a show of this nature? Obviously it was to try and slander this mother Delores Kesterson due to her anti-war opinion. Most of us were interested in the opinions of this dead Iraq soldier’s MOTHER, not a step-person. So obviously the only motive I can discern for O’Reilly to even have a step-person on his show would be to try to discredit Delores Kesterson. To make it appear that she was an unfit mother to begin with (which would be the ONLY reason acceptable to most people for a mother to NOT have custody of her child) and thus ultimately implying that Delores Kesterson had no right to even grieve for her son now as an adult dead in Iraq OR TO VOICE DISSENT ABOUT THE WAR.
It was outrageous really.
Which by the way, this step-person didn’t shut-up once during the entire segment. I was ready to throw up all over my tv set if I heard her say one more time: ‘our son’. No lady, not your son, Delores Kesterson is the grieving MOTHER here, not you.
It was clearly an attempt to alienate this mother from her son, even in death, by trying to imply she had no right to her grief and thus, of course, no right to an opinion on the WAR.
Like I said, I was very saddened and disappointed at Bill O’Reilly for doing this.
Sadly the No Spin Zone is spinning now, hate to have to be the one to tell him.
It was interesting during the Bridget Marks fiasco, Bill O'Reilly was very kind to Bridget Marks when she went on his show YET she was far more at fault then Delores Kesterson for her predicament. I guess to get any respect as a mother these days, you have to be a model who poses nude in Playboy, gets pregnant by your married boyfriend, conduct yourself like a total nitwit throughout the custody trial, finally culminating in making a public spectacle of yourself and your children on nationwide TV after the fact.
Then you get treated with respect as a mother on Bill O’Reilly’s show.
Here's the link if anyone is interested.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
“Researchers at the University of Washington and Columbia University said Friday that child support laws' power to reduce single parenthood is an unintended consequence of a policy designed to help children and cut public welfare costs.”
Often the unintended effects are bad, so it's refreshing to see that," said lead study author Robert Plotnick, a University of Washington professor of public affairs. "Women living in states that do a better job of enforcing child support are less likely to become an unwed mother."
The really GOOD NEWS is that this clearly demonstrates that women do NOT have children to get child support; as the states that collect the MOST child support have demonstrated a 20% DROP in single motherhood. So if women were having kids to collect support you would see just the opposite happen with a 20% increase in single mothers to match the child support collected.
So another urban myth shot down.
This could be more BAD NEWS for those who hate mothers and like to spread lies about us.
AND MORE BAD NEWS:
Additional research will now be required to ascertain if actual population NUMBERS in any particular community are being impacted OR if this study's results just means more mothers getting married now, so no drop in overall population for any community has occurred. Although somehow I suspect this drop in numbers of single mothers is mainly translating into lower population within the African-American community.
AND one must always suspect any public policy where this is the ultimate outcome.
Thus the search for truth continues.
Study Ties State Laws, Unwed Child Births
By REBECCA COOK, Associated Press Writer
Sat Jun 18, 2005, 1:52 PM ET SEATTLE - Tough child support laws may dissuade men from becoming unwed fathers, as states with the most stringent laws and strict enforcement have up to 20 percent fewer out-of-wedlock births, a new study shows.
Researchers at the University of Washington and Columbia University said Friday that child support laws' power to reduce single parenthood is an unintended consequence of a policy designed to help children and cut public welfare costs.
"Often the unintended effects are bad, so it's refreshing to see that," said lead study author Robert Plotnick, a University of Washington professor of public affairs. "Women living in states that do a better job of enforcing child support are less likely to become an unwed mother."
The percentage of unmarried births in the United States has increased from 10 percent in the 1960s to about a third of all births today. Because children of single parents run a higher risk of poverty, academic failure and other problems, lawmakers are always seeking policies that will discourage unwed births — usually focusing on the mothers.
Researchers said their study recognizes the father's responsibility. "Decisions about sexual intercourse and marriage involve two people," said study co-author Irwin Garfinkel, a Columbia University professor and one of the nation's top experts on child support. The study, which has not yet been published, looked at a nationwide sample of 5,195 women of childbearing age using data from 1980-1993.
It didn't show whether tougher child support laws prevented pregnancies or encouraged marriage. Plotnick said the data limited the researchers to observing a strong correlation between tough child support enforcement and fewer out-of-wedlock births. Whether that's caused by fewer unmarried people getting pregnant or more couples marrying when the woman is expecting, he could not say. But he said the findings warrant further study.
"It's been very hard to find conventional programs that reduce unwed childbearing that work," Plotnick said Friday. "If you found a program cutting nonmarried births by 20 percent, you'd be happy."
Researchers noted wide disparities in child support policies. For example, in 2002 — the most recent year for which data were available — only one state, New Jersey, collected at least 80 percent of owed child support.
According to Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, 31 states collected 41 percent to 60 percent of child support orders. The District of Columbia collected less than 20 percent of all child support owed.
Information Custody of Divorce Reform Page at: http://patriot.net/~crouch/pro.html
So reformers are concerned that 90% of divorce that are by mutual consent give mothers custody w/o child support? Which obviously demonstrates that this is probably a deal worked out between the parents, where what is important to EACH gets negotiated between them. The US had the same situation as well until the 70s, but then decided to listen to a bunch of busy bodies (reformers they called themselves) convince us to change what we had for what we have today, which is now total chaos.
The end result is that now every separation or divorce where children are involved ends in a bitter custody battle. Millions of mothers have lost custody of their children. Many Americans, who never committed a crime in their life, have become criminals for being assessed high child support they cannot pay. Abduction of children by their parents numbers in the hundreds of thousands now and the FBI actually has a website exclusively devoted to parental abductions.
Not to mention that Japan is already facing declining birth rates which this is going to do nothing to help. Since as soon as women figure out what's going on (and it doesn't take long) many of them will decide it's just not worth the risk of having children, just like what is happening here.
So please let us leave the Japanese alone and not start them on the American path to ruin that we have put ourselves on.
Just ONCE can we keep our nose out of another countries’ business.
Most divorces in Japan are amicable precisely BECAUSE everybody gets what they want. Mothers get custody of their children and fathers are not forced into poverty paying mandatory child support. Illegitimacy there is low as there is no financial incentive to get pregnant and little to divorce unless you are literally in crisis, as there are no financial rewards to that route either.
Thus as a wise old man once said: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
So tell those reformers and assorted other eggheads to MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. Leave well enough alone OTHERWISE Japan will be facing the same mess the US is in right now.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Supreme Court made it easier Friday to terminate the parental rights of fathers who fail to live up to their responsibilities for children born out of wedlock.
The court further defined who is a parent under state law by finding a man who is the biological father of a child born out of wedlock qualifies even if a court has not ruled he is the parent.
Courts can legally designate a man as a child's father, often for child support.
In its ruling Friday, the court upheld a Milwaukee County Circuit Court's termination of the parental rights of a man identified in court records as only James P. for his daughter.
James P. had a relationship with the girl's mother, who had told James P. the girl's father also could be another man she had been seeing. Still, James P. was at the hospital when the girl was born, his insurance paid for her birth and he listed her on his medical insurance policy as his daughter.
He later did not see her for extended periods of time, and county officials sought to end his parental rights for abandonment after they had taken the girl away from her mother.
James P. argued the abandonment statutes do not apply to an "alleged father" of a child. But the circuit court disagreed. He was later determined by a court to be the girl's father.
Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said the ruling only applies to situations in which a man believed to be a child's father helped raise the child but then later disappeared from the child's life. He said it gives county officials another avenue to terminate parental rights.
"The bottom line is we're not going to wait for a court to designate someone as the father," Binger said. "We're going to hold you responsible for all conduct even though the court hasn't said you're the father."
Excellent ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Excellent. It will finally put a stop to this nonsense being pulled by men lately where they decide NOT to sign their child's birth certificates for YEARS and thus perserve their option to turn up anytime, anytime to proclaim their legal 'rights' to disrupt a child's life.
Just as mothers have a time period where if they abandon their children their rights are terminated, so too men should be held to the same standard. Six months to a year is the typical period allotted to mothers and the same period of time, and NO MORE, should be allotted to fathers before termination begins. AND of course, this should include those savvy fathers trying to work the system by delaying establishing paternity to the most optimum moment in time for THEMSELVES.
The bottom line is that the ONLY time that a prodigal father should be allowed to begin paternity proceedings in court PAST THAT SIX MONTHS TO A YEAR TIME PERIOD is if 1) both parents agree; and 2) father can prove that child was hidden from him and he had no knowledge of the birth.
Other then those two scenarios above, no exceptions should be made. So men like John Aylsworth, for instance, who was at the hospital to see his daughters after birth, yet chose to request a DNA test and get paternity established THREE YEARS after the fact should no longer have the option to do this.
Men should NOT be given the right to wait for years and then decide they want to play Dad of the Year and toss everyone else's life into turmoil. Sorry this is unfair to mothers, as well as children. I have personally known mothers who have had their child's fathers disappear for years without signing the child's birth certificate. These men frequently have started other relationships, maybe even gotten married or fathered other children THEN suddenly decide to coming roaring back into a mother and child's life (whom they previously abandoned) and start with a clean slate because they never bothered declaring paternity earlier.
Furthermore, courts are allowing them full custody trials as soon as paternity is finally established with no thought whatsoever of the trauma mothers and children are put through by allowing a virtual stranger to invade their lives. Not to mention that this is a violation of state laws which have already stated that a substantial change in circumstance in the CUSTODIAL parent's household is supposed to be the ONLY situation that launches a custody trial. Not some Daddycomelately having a guilty conscious because he carelessly abandoned a child some years earlier.
If these men want to soothe their guilty conscious, let them negotiate with the child's mother.
Instead, Judges allowing these men to work the system, are permitting them to go over the child's mother head to court and then force her into having to accept the decison of some gender-neutralized, child-free, feminist Judge (whose best friend is probably her cat). This is pretty much the scenario we saw play out in the Bridget Marks situation in New York with all the horror that involved for her, her twins and the millions of other mothers in the same situation. Suddenly these mothers had to worry that some prodigal father was going to show up on their doorstep one day and be permitted a full custody trial; even though mother had been raising their child for years alone due to abandonment by said prodigal.
So let's end this double standard in all 50 states right now just as Wisconsin has done.
Fathers should lose the right to establish paternity after six months to a year UNLESS both parents agree or father can prove he had NO KNOWLEDGE of birth. They should be treated just as mothers would be treated if they abandoned their children and no more of this double standard.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
The article below demonstrates how any legal agreements drawn up basically just appears to protect financial assets (and men still generally make more then women so this favors them) but as far as child custody, visitation and support issues (which children are what women contribute to marriages still) well these issues are left out in the cold to be decided by a Judge AFTER the fact.
Thus, mothers who go into these arrangements risk the possibility of having some gender-neutralized, child-free, feminist Judge in charge of what will happen to your children in the event of separation and as we saw with the Bridget Marks situation, this can't be good.
Living Together Makes More Sense Than Marriage
Scott Reeves, 08.03.05,
6:00 AM ET
NEW YORK - Kids change everything. Adding children to an unmarried domestic relationship makes life richer--and more complex--than your first live-in relationship back in your graduate school days. If children are part of your life, they need to be part of your financial planning, too.
Unlike most graduate students living together, middle-aged couples have assets, including savings, mutual funds and retirement accounts as well as a house and a car. Like their younger counterparts, it's generally wise for middle-aged couples to keep assets separate in an unmarried relationship. But think about life insurance to help your partner, and the kids, if you die prematurely.
Seven reasons middle-aged couples might not want to marry.
"If one partner is not the legal parent, the best thing to do is to draft a co-parenting agreement," says Sheryl Garrett, a certified financial planner and co-author of Money Without Matrimony: The Unmarried Couple's Guide to Financial Security. "Like a domestic living agreement for younger couples, it spells out duties for each partner and how things will be handled if the relationship ends."
Such an agreement can guide the domestic-partnership relationship, but may not stand up in court if the couple splits. In general, the courts determine what's best for the child when ruling on visitation."
So basically as I understand it what they are saying is draft a c0-parenting agreement BUT it probably won’t be honored in court anyway.
"Garrett says the level of complexity kids add to an unmarried domestic relationship takes drafting an agreement out of the do-it-yourself realm that can work well for younger couples. She therefore recommends getting legal advice. A good starting place for background information to help define the issues is www.nolo.com or www.lawdepot.com.
In some respects, the parenting agreement is similar to working out the details of joint home ownership. In both cases, the couple must decide who is responsible for what, how much, when and how. The possibility of a split must be considered in both instances: Who retains the house? If the house is sold, how are the proceeds split? Does one partner have the option to buy out the other's interest and remain in the house? How soon does one partner have to vacate the house? What about relocation expenses? What about child visitation? Medical bills? Or even custody?
Blended families--"yours" and "mine"--are difficult enough to manage, but adding "our" children to an unmarried relationship requires careful planning. Children of unmarried couples are no longer classified as "illegitimate." But Garrett, who wrote the book with Debra A. Neiman, says a child of an unmarried couple may face difficulties later in life when seeking disability benefits, death benefits or inheritance from an estranged biological parent.
The situation becomes more complicated if an estranged father dies without a will and the child has no proof of paternity. Without such proof, the mother has little leverage if the father decides not to support the child after a split. Garrett therefore recommends that both parents sign a declaration of paternity and get it notarized to avoid future problems. The statement can simply include the child's full name, date of birth, sex and place of birth. Both parents provide their full names, Social Security number, place of birth and address at the time of the child's birth.
Garrett says listing the father's name on the birth certificate doesn't necessarily obligate him to provide future financial support for the child. But a notarized declaration of paternity signed by both parents will ensure child support if the couple later splits. However, the declaration of paternity doesn't automatically guarantee visitation rights."
So again, what is the point of drawing up these things as they appear to guarantee nothing except the financial aspects of a relationship.
Everything involving the children; however (which will be the primary concern of mothers) is left up in the air. So again what do women get out of the deal? Men, who still generally make more income and have more assets then women get their income and assets protected through drawing up these agreements, but women get nothing tangible vis-a-vis the children.
"Garrett says male partners in unmarried relationships should be cautious before declaring paternity if they're not the biological father. Doing so makes the male partner liable for child support until the child turns 18, even if the relationship dissolves.
It's time to think about insurance when you're young and healthy. This is especially important for unmarried couples because they don't receive many of the legal protections afforded married couples. Unmarried partners who don't provide for each other in the event of death leave the survivor on his or her own. Remember that, in general, only spouses are eligible to receive Social Security survivor's benefits and pensions.
Garrett says life insurance can be the key to providing for your partner. If you die, it can replace lost income for your partner and family. The survivor's benefit isn't subject to the gift tax. Life insurance can also help offset inheritance and estate taxes.
Domestic benefits are becoming more common, but are far from universal. The U.S. Census Bureau says the number of unmarried couples living together increased 72% between 1990 and 2000. But in 2004, only 34% of employers offered some type of domestic partner benefits to opposite-sex partners. Unmarried partners generally aren't covered by inheritance tax laws. In most states, when an individual dies and the partner is listed as the estate's primary beneficiary, the assets are hit by an inheritance tax because the partner isn't the legal spouse. The maximum tax, amount subject to the tax and possible exemptions vary by state.
Accurate record keeping is basic to developing a sound financial plan and critical to unmarried couples, especially at tax time. Save all canceled checks and credit-card receipts, and key them to a log listing all payments in chronological order. This will help establish your eligibility for tax deductions. At some point, it may be simpler to get married--especially if children are involved.
But there's one major benefit to remaining unmarried: You don't have to assume your partner's debt, including credit cards issued by major banks such as JPMorgan Chase (nyse: JPM - news - people ), Wells Fargo (nyse: WFC - news - people ) and Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ), and cards issued by major oil companies such as Exxon Mobil (nyse: XOM - news - people ) or Chevron (nyse: CVX - news - people ). That's not the way it works for married couples--when you tie the knot, you've married the other person's debt.
No matter how devoted you are to your partner, remember this basic point: If you're not careful, risk and liability will overwhelm love."
So basically this whole living-together and drawing up legal documents appears to be a variation of the classic New York City "Bait and Switch" scheme, at least as far as mothers are concerned. It functions BEST to protect the financial assets of men (and that's probably WHY men like it so much) as it's easier to work the system and not have to pay anything to a faithful partner, no matter the duration of the live in relationship.
As always women as mothers must be particularly careful NOT to be taken in by one of these situations without careful consideration especially vis-a-vis her children now or any she might have in the future.
As she's guaranteed nothing in this situation, nothing, not even custody of her children.