Nothing equal about Minnesota custody laws

Most men do not fight custody laws because there is no hope of changing them.

In response to the Sept. 28 column “Feminism is alive while men are dead,” my husband and I spent a year fighting for his right to legal and physical custody of his son who my husband has raised and cared for over 50 percent of the time since birth. Due to Minnesota’s custody laws, my husband had to spend over $10,000 and go through a year of struggle just to be recognized as a legal guardian.

My husband was lucky because the child’s mother only asked for 50 percent physical custody so that was what the evaluator “suggested.” The child’s mother also lied throughout her affidavits and was continuously exposed in those lies. The evaluator dismissed all of that and considered my husband’s request for sole physical custody “concerning” despite over two years of domestic abuse in the mother’s household documented by 9-1-1 calls and arrest records. My husband has no domestic violence record and is able to provide a safe and stable home for his child. Nevertheless, due to child support laws and since the child’s mother chooses not to work, my husband is listed as a “non-custodial” parent because he pays her “child support” even though the custody order lists him as a “joint custodian.” The child lives with us 50 percent of the time, goes to school in our neighborhood and is claimed as a dependent on our taxes but my husband is still seen as a lesser parent according to the state of Minnesota.

The mother has not paid for any medical expenses even though the court order says she is responsible for half. There is no recourse for us to take, yet if my husband missed a “child support” payment he would lose his license or go to jail. There is nothing equal about Minnesota’s child custody laws. They need to be changed but most men don’t fight them because there is no hope for winning. Women can prevent men from seeing their children and there is no punishment at all. Women are given sole physical custody because the state of Minnesota can collect billions of dollars in “child support” payments that get funneled through a giant bank account unnecessarily. It is a corrupt industry that benefits lawyers, politicians and court officials at the expense of Minnesota’s families.

Kim Wetteland is a resident of St. Paul. Please send comments to [email protected]