Father Support Groups Aim to Make a Difference

As the divorce rate goes up in the western world, many fathers feel that they need support groups to help them.

father support groupsThese groups exist to give emotional support and practical advice. Fathers find themselves in situations where there is conflict over custody and visitation rights. They may be widowed or a lone parent or have sole custody. Many fathers feel isolated and a group of men in a similar situation can offer shared experiences. In divorce, custody is usually given to the mother and some fathers feel short changed with the arrangements for visiting the child.


In the UK, the charity Families Need Fathers is a respected organization that helps parents of either gender.

Members are mostly fathers and the central concern of the group is to promote the children’s well being at times of family break up. They are working with the courts to persuade divorcing parents to put the interests of the child above their own.

Custody battles are especially stressful for the children caught in the middle. Families Need Fathers hopes to encourage mediation rather than adversarial action.

Families Need Fathers hopes to encourage mediation rather than adversarial action.

One of the more controversial groups to emerge from the rights for father’s movement is Fathers 4 Justice. Another of the fathers’ support groups to start in Britain, it now has branches in the USA, Canada, Holland and Italy.

The members feel very strongly that fathers are treated unfairly with regard to contact with children after divorce. There has been a series of publicity stunts in the UK to promote their cause. Protesters have dressed up as comic book superheroes on occasion, as when Batman and Robin scaled Buckingham Palace and Spider-Man stood on top of a crane. Members dressed as Santa Claus invaded the Royal Courts of Justice. The most publicity was gained when some men threw flour bombs at Tony Blair as he spoke in the House of Commons.

A number of organizations with their origins in the United States also strive for equal rights for fathers. These fathers support groups include the Million Dads March Network, Parents Without Rights and The American Coalition of Fathers and Children. All these groups believe in the importance of the father child bond.

Men, fight the bias in Family Law and Divorce with tactics and strategies to get a fair and favorable divorce settlement

So often, fathers and children have minimal contact or no contact at all. The movement campaigns for shared parenting, whereby joint custody arrangements can become the norm instead of the exception. This would mean that both parents have equal responsibility for the child and equal access and the need for fathers support groups will decrease.

Posted in: Child Custody and Support

2 Comments

  1. RUSSELL A. LEIGH says:

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

    I AM A DISABLED FATHER WITH 3 BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS THAT I LOVE VERY MUCH. I AM ON A FIXED INCOME AND CAN’T AFFORD A LAWYER TO ENFORCE MY7 DEVORCE DECREE VISITATION RIGHTS. MY EX-WIFE REFUSES TO GRANT ME VISITATION AND PLAYS HEAD GAMES WITH THE ISSUE. MY DAUGHTERS MISS ME AND ARE VERY UPSET BY THIS ALL THE TIME. I HAVE TRIED LEGAL AIDE, RI BAR ASSOC.,DISABILITY LAW CENTER ETC AND NO ONE WILL HELP ME BECAUSE I HAVE NO MONEY. IF THIS WAS HER SHE WOULD GET A LEGAL AIDE LAWYER TO HELP HER BUT I CAN’T GET ANY HELP. THIS IS NOT FAIR AND I FEEL SO HELPLESS. SHE DOES NASTY THINGS AROUND MY GIRLS AND EVEN MARRIED AN INDICTED CHILD MOLESTER BUT DCYF IN RI WON’T DO ANYTHING. I HAVE E-MAILED THEM, CALLED THEM, FAXED THEM ETC. AND NO REPLY. UNBELIEVABLE HA! I CAN’T SEE MY KIDS BUT AN ACCUSED CHILD MOLESTER CAN. I AM GOING CRAZY AND I AM SO HELPLESS. IF ONLY I COULD FIND A LAWYER WHO WOULD HELP PRO BONO BUT I CAN’T FIND ONE. I AM SORRY I VENTED LIKE THIS BUT I SAW YOUR SITE AND I FIGURED I’D GIVE IT A TRY. THANKS FOR LISTENING.

  2. Caroline says:

    Dear Russell,
    Very sorry to hear about the challenges you face, worsened by your financial situation. I would like to recommend you contact the following organizations in Rhode Island and also that you try to do the following. FIRSTLY, separate your feelings for your ex-wife from your main objective – obtaining visitation. This is difficult but it is essential to recognize that you cannot change your wife and focus your energies where they can make a difference. It will also help you regain a sense of dignity by extricating yourself from an evidently vindictive “game.” Importantly, it also makes it easier for legal organizations to help you when they are dealing with facts and a clear-headed “client.” Remember, they are not emotional counselors. SECONDLY, be absolutely clear that you DO have rights as stipulated in your divorce decree. Work on gathering evidence that they are being violated – evidence of visitation requested and denied. For instance, emails and letters, and witnesses to phone calls and obstructive events. THIRDLY, be patient and accept that enforcement of your rights may (and probably will) take time. Pursue the contacts I have given below. As I said, they will be more than willing to help or to suggest who can, and all the more so if you stick to facts and practical issues rather than expecting them to help with your emotions too! Don’t lose hope. Be patient and pursue all posibilities to the utmost. FINALLY, in the meantime, maintain contact with your children in any way you can – by email, telephone or letter. Do not on any account criticize their mother. Remember that you are your children’s parent for life – you are not going to miss out of the many, many important events in their adult lives. In the meantime, do your very best to be part of their childhood lives too. You CAN be but you MUST put poisonous and ultimately pointless emotions to one side – rise above them! Wish you the very best.
    Caroline
    DealWithDivorce.com

    RHODE ISLAND LEGAL SERVICES
    800-662-5034
    401-274-2652 (Providence)
    401-846-2264 (Newport)
    http://rils.org/programs.cfm?programid=6

    JUSTICE ASSISTANCE
    Telephone: (401) 781-7000
    http://www.rijustice.state.ri.us/voca/VOCA/Justiceassistance.htm

    RHODE ISLAND BAR ASSOCIATION
    General Phone: 401-421-7758
    Intake Phone: 800-339-7758
    http://www.ribar.com (their website appears to be down at the moment so suggest you call)

    VOLUNTEER LAWYER PROGRAM
    Rhode Island Bar Association
    General Phone: 401-421-7758
    Toll Free: 1-800-339-7758
    TDD: 401-421-1666
    http://www.ribar.com (their website appears to be down at the moment so suggest you call)