Dear Senator Brownsberger,
Several weeks ago my brother, Mark Gerber, testified at a public hearing regarding proposed changes to child custody/support legislation. I come to this subject as both a supporter of my brother’s cause and as a former family law attorney. He informed me that you were chairing the hearing and that you were one of the few Senators who seemed to be invested in hearing public comments from people, not just attorneys.
For so many years women have been fighting for the rights to be both caregivers of and financial contributors for their families. But the status quo of the Probate and Family courts do not support this ideal, regardless of what family law attorneys, who defend abused women, are testifying. I have seen too many cases where men are still not considered “parents” but only financial supporters of their children. All parents have rights and responsibilities, and if our courts do not begin to assume that all parents should share those responsibilities 50/50 our courts will continue to hurt children.
I am writing to encourage your support of legislation that assumes 50/50 custody and support, regardless of parental gender, in all cases unless abuse or neglect can be proven. This is not a woman’s issue or a man’s issue, this is a parental issue that needs to be addressed immediately to ensure our courts are working in a family’s best interest. No parent should have to go through the type of divorce my brother did simply because the courts assume that because he a man he isn’t a good parent. Good parents should NEVER have to fight to have equal access to their child. We have a flawed system that can be fixed, and I hope you will continue working on making our courts function in the best interest of families.
Thank you for your time.