Divorce is only now reaching towards equality because men cannot run away as easily as they used to. We now have the law chasing them instead of mothers without resources.
Deadbeat dads are not getting away as easily anymore.
When we have as many unwed fathers as mothers requesting the children, only then will the courts equalize what they do.
I cannot see men stepping up as often as women will and thus women will always deserve the highest returns.
I'm personally a father who was surprised by a divorce demand that seemingly came out of nowhere. Once I found out that she wasn't even interested in trying to attend marital therapy, I knew I had to let go, and my only requests were to have half custody of my daughter, and not to destroy me financially. She complied with the first request and was halfway on the second. She complied easily because she wanted to move on with her new relationship quickly and not be dragged down in a long court fight.
I never cheated, abused her physically (we had a few mutual yelling matches as things broke down), had any addictions nor did I ever get laid off or blow our money (though she did).
Here's an article, written by a female marital counselor who is famous for her appearances on various talk shows, talking about how 2/3 of divorces are filed by women.http://www.divorcebusting.com/a_walkaway_wife.htm
During my divorce, I read as many possible books on relationships and whatnot in any attempt to see if the relationship could be salvaged. I missed some obvious things I would have seen now, but didn't see then, largely due to being a theist at the time. But to me, I was totally blindsided. There were no ultimatums building up to this or clear communication of problems.
My ex-wife is still a devout "believer" in spite of cheating and rushing through a divorce.
After having gained more insight as to how relationships fall apart, but not being able to do anything to help my own relationship, I spent a few years on a relationship support site giving advice and trying to save some families. The devastation on a kids face when they realize their parents are splitting up is enough reason to try to see if a healthy relationship can be salvaged.
I don't think people should stay in an unhealthy relationship, but, I do think that people quit on relationships that could be made healthy again... they then take the same problems to their next relationships, which also fail.
In the years helping couples... I noticed the same problems coming up over and over and over again.
Men usually didn't come to communicate or ask for help at all.
Women came to the site to get validation for their decision to leave the relationship... they'd already met someone else and wanted sympathy rather than any kind of practical advice on how to possibly revive their current marriage.
You'll find that a lot of guys DO want their kids.
There are more guys in my situation than guys who beat their wives and ran off with a stripper.
If you are a financially responsible, loving father, and my child would happily vouch for my efforts and abilities to have the best parenting relationship possible, I hate to tell you this but marriage is a real risk for you.
If you meet a woman whose parents have failed to teach her financial responsibility, or who makes decisions based on emotion and faith instead of logic, and who can't rise above her lizard brain desires for a new mate after 5-10 years, then she will find a way to paint herself the victim and set you back a decade or more, financially.
I have half custody... but I still pay support, and I still pay for loads of things that my daughter wants to do. And frankly, I got a good deal.
I personally know dads who want more parenting time with their kids, and don't have the money left to fight for it.
There are literally law firms that make their entire business to cater to dads who are being divorced by surprise against their wishes, and have no choice but to suffer through the awful process.
I drive far out of my way every day that I have my daughter and I'm damn well never going to abandon her.
There are many, many, many, many guys like me who thought we did everything possible to be a decent husband and father, who were forced through divorces.
There are many, many, many women who know how to work the system to make themselves a sympathetic character when in reality, they've just lost those butterflies and found them with a new guy... who they will go on to lose the butterflies for after the chemicals wear off...
This is JUST as much of a problem as guys who are cheating dogs.
Women also are JUST as abusive as guys, possibly more abusive... they just aren't typically as capable of doing damage. In spite of never throwing a punch in any relationship, I have been punched by women.
Fortunately, since discarding my faith, I've made better choices about the type of women I'll entertain having a relationship with. I won't settle for someone who would physically hit me or use passive aggressive tactics. Since discarding faith, I've had better relationships. Even the relationships that ended, ended on healthy terms or even continued to have good feelings towards a person that maybe just wasn't quite the right match.
I'm now moving into a real committed relationship with someone who is great with my child, and seems to rise above her lizard brain instincts just as I do myself.
But please make no mistake, women have abused the system just as much as men... they just do it in different ways.
Men and women are both equally capable of doing damage and being hurtful, when, really, our goal should be to do as little harm to anyone else as possible.
Also consider that, if you're going to get a divorce... hey, fair enough, it may be needed... but if you've spent 10 years with someone, what would be the harm in investing 3-4 months of therapy to identify the breakdowns and see if they can be fixed?
Even in a case where a couple tries therapy, but the problems can not be fixed, at least the problems are identified so both people can grow moving forward and have a healthier "next" relationship. There can be closure and respect instead of bitterness and greed in taking as much as possible.
And again, this is not just from personal experience... there is significant data that backs this up. There's been a real shift. Women have much better equality now, which is great, but the laws still haven't quite caught up yet as far as divorce goes.
Here is one example to consider.
A man gets half custody with his ex wife... they both make 60,000 a year, but, she's considered the 51% and he ends up paying the support.
According to the divorce tables, he gets a small discount for having half custody, but they'll assume that the child should require over $1,000 a month, not counting daycare.
He'll end up paying half of daycare or more, + $500-600 a month. He'll still buy clothes, food, and put a roof over the child's head for his "half the time"
There isn't any possible way to spend that much money on a four year old child in a month... unless you're just crapping money at new shoes every month, $100 hair cuts for a baby, tablets, games, trips to Disney.
The support money comes in tax free to the person getting support.
The items paid for WITH the support are tax deductible like daycare costs or insurance costs.
I once told my ex-wife, if she really thought the arrangement was fair, I'd happily switch places with her and take the support instead... of course she declined because it's massively screwed in the direction of the person GETTING the support.
(unless you had a kid with a total deadbeat)
The laws which are designed to punish deadbeats end up crippling normal, responsible fathers.
So baby gets trips to Paris with mom while she gets trips to McDonald's playground with dad.
This crap really HAPPENS and it bothers me that I'm not sure you're aware of it, or that you might discount what I'm saying here. I'd bet my life on what I'm telling you though. It's really brutal.
The solution, IMO, should be that both boys and girls are taught more emotional maturity and relationship and communication skills at an early age. Neither sex should have to experience pain. Women have had the worse end of the stick for most of history, and now, pain can be inflicted badly in either direction.
It is not productive to be a vindictive person, whether that's a guy threatening his partner or a woman burning his possessions on the lawn and getting away with it because she can claim they are hers since there is a marriage contract in place.
(this didn't happen to me but I've seen it happen to non-cheating guys)
It's not that women are bad or evil or any of that garbage... it's just that they are equally capable of abuse as men. 100% equally capable.