“Family Law” and other euphemisms
By Guy Shepherd

"Family law" is just another empty phrase. Biased against men, unconcerned about children, in "family law," fathers are always guilty and families always pay the price.

“Family Law” and other euphemisms


Every generation gets to decide who's going to be happy: Adults? Or children?

It's a mutually exclusive choice. Unless the choice is "both". But that's a choice impossible in "family law."

Fathers are important.

That’s the conclusion Divorce Attorney Marlyn York comes to in the wonderful discussion I’m passing along to you today. 

“The occurrence of fatherlessness is epidemic, the effects are catastrophic, and the causes are male gender-specific.”

Marilyn shows the value of specialization.  Her Nevada-based firm only represents men.  At the time of her talk, she had represented two thousand men–640 of whom were fathers.  Her profession, and her focus have given her a unique perspective on fathers, fatherhood — and divorce.

So, what has twenty years of representing men in family law while living my own reality show as a wife, mother, and daughter taught me about fatherhood?

She makes a four-point defense of fatherhood.  It’s a Ted Talk, so she starts with her second point and ends with her first.

Second: “Men parent differently than women. Big surprise! But their influence is crucial in the development of their children.”  

Men might not know the name of doctor, dentist, principle—the details of daily life and its management—but they can easily answer these: “If your son could be a superhero, what would his power be?” “What kind of monsters do your kids fear?” “How high does your daughter feel comfortable flying in a swing?” “What makes your son feel defeated?” 

Third: “Fathers, too, have a genetic bond and instinct about their children from infancy.”  

She asks audience—a jury of sorts — to close their eyes and go through a thought experiment that gets to the root of the issue. “Think about your childhood. Picture your father, his smiling eyes, his strong hands. Hear his deep voice. What did you love about your dad? Did he throw you high into the air? Teach you to ride a bike? Carry you home when you got hurt? Push you when you tried to give up? What did it feel like to have a daddy?  Secure?  Fun?  Challenging? Now, go back in your memories and erase your father from every scene. This is what 40 percent of people’s childhoods look like.” 

Very powerful stuff.  

Fourth: What I can tell you is that the data unequivocally tells us fathers are vital and yet laws and society undervalue their importance, making it harder for them to be in their children’s lives.… Children with involved fathers have stronger cognitive and motor skills, elevated physical and mental health, become better problem-solvers, and are more confident, curious, and empathetic.”  

If you want to see the data that adds up to a social catastrophe, look below at the list of “UnFun Facts” that her argument is based on.

First: “The most significant thing that my career has taught me about fatherhood: family court is one of the critical places where fathers are disadvantaged, and this hurts kids...(T)his long-standing bias against fathers still occurs in the enforcement of custody orders, in child support rulings, and it exists in paternity laws. All the while, the number of kids growing up without dads continues to rise.” 

“The occurrence of fatherlessness is epidemic, the effects are catastrophic, and the causes are male gender-specific.”

“The law, its application, and society at large disfavor fathers. The law is improving, but the statistics are not. So, what can you do? If you work in the legal field, help us continue to progress, change the laws, and ensure that they’re enforced to protect fathers and their children.” 

UnFun Facts:  

  • Nearly two of every five children in America — that’s 17 millionkids — are growing up without their fathers, according to the 2016 census. 
  • According to the Center for Disease Control, children from fatherless homes account for 90 percent of all homeless and runaway kids, 71 percent of high school dropouts, and 63 percent of youth suicides. 
  • Every 13 seconds, someone in America gets divorced. That equates to almost 2.5 million divorces a year. 
  • More than 40 percent, or 1.5 million babies, are born out of wedlock each year in the US
  • Between 1960 and 2016, the percentage of children growing up with just mothers nearly tripled, from 8 to 23 percent. 
  • A woman can knowingly list the wrong father on a child’s birth certificate, deceive him, and a short while later, in many states, the wrong man becomes that child’s legal father with all the legal and financial obligations that implies — forever
  • Each year:
    • 1,000 fatherless children are murdered. 
    • 3,000 fatherless children die from drugs. 
    • 3,200 fatherless children commit suicide
    • 14,000 fatherless children are incarcerated. 

It’s worth repeating:

“The occurrence of fatherlessness is epidemic, the effects are catastrophic, and the causes are male gender-specific.”

Here she is:





More From Marilyn York

Marilyn York
Follow Marilyn York