Scott Adams
Scott Adams campaign leader

At least 28 federal class action suits in 28 states have been filed in the last two weeks on behalf of non-custodial parents (NCPs). The defendants are the individual states.

The plaintiffs claim to represent an estimated 25 million non-custodial parents — primarily fathers — whose right to equal custody of minor children in situations of dispute is allegedly being violated by family courts across the nation.

Family law is traditionally a state matter, but the federal government has assumed greater control in the area over the last few decades. Thus, the plaintiffs are appealing to the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court precedent and acts of Congress "to vindicate and restore their various inalienable rights."

In short, federal law is being asked to trump state practice in custody matters.

According to the suits, state practices appear to be "willful, reckless, and/or negligent fraud, deceit, collusion, and/or abuse of powers" with a "systematic pattern of obstructing, hindering, and/or otherwise thwarting the rightful and lawful conclusion of due process" of non-custodial parents in child custody proceedings.

In particular, fathers protest the widespread practice of almost automatically granting sole custody to mothers in divorce disputes.

The 28-plus class action suits are identical, as any future suits will be. The ultimate goal is for every state and U.S. possession to be represented in one large consolidated action. Indeed, Torm L. Howse — president of the Indiana Civil Rights Council and coordinator of the suits — says that paperwork is under way for submission to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, a legal body which has the authority to transfer such multiple civil cases to a single district court.

If this happens, every single non-custodial parent in America will be represented by the class action suit, which is nothing more than a lawsuit brought by one person or a small group on behalf of an entire class who shares a grievance.

What specific relief is being sought?

The sweeping legal goals are spelled out in a press release. The main relief sought from federal court is the immediate "restoration/elevation to equal custodial status" of all current non-custodial parents against whom no allegations of abuse or neglect have been proven and who have an ongoing relationship with the child.

The establishment of equal custody embraces several other reliefs.

For example, the "prohibition of custodial move-aways of minor children [more than 60 miles] from their original physical residences with natural parents." Also, the "abolishment of forced/court-ordered child support in most cases." Support of the child would be borne by each parent during their own parenting time.

The Plaintiffs argue for restoration of equal custody not merely for the sake of non-custodial parents but also for children's welfare. The press release cites a much-touted study entitled "Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements," which was published in the APA's Journal of Family Psychology. The study concluded, "Children in joint physical or legal custody were better adjusted than children in sole-custody settings, but no different from those in intact families."

Fox News

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