Many arguments exist about the validity of the fathers’ rights movement. Many fathers claim that they face a gender bias in the courts when it comes to child custody arrangements, but others claim that such a gender bias is a thing of the past. A case could be made for each, but one case with abnormal circumstances could again raise the question of how fairly fathers are treated.
The case involves actor Jason Patric, his longtime girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber and their son, Gus. The child was an in vitro-assisted birth, and though Jason Patric donated his sperm to father the child, his name did not appear on the birth certificate. Patric claims that this was only to keep Gus safe from media attention, and that he always intended to be the child’s father. Unfortunately for Patric, a 29-page letter, which Patric wrote in 2008 or early 2009, tells a different story.
According to the letter, Patric wasn’t ready to be a father, but he offered to donate his sperm to his lover as a gift. Schreiber was awarded full custody, and she even sought a restraining order against Patric after he allegedly abused her physically, verbally and emotionally. Patric has denied the allegations and has spent over 150 hours battling for custody of his son, whom he has not seen in well over a year.
A Texas father could easily find himself in a similar situation and in instances where parenthood was not directly established, it can be very difficult for courts to discern how custody arrangements should fall. The best thing that fathers can do in such circumstances is prove to the courts that their involvement in the child’s life is what’s best for the child. Strong legal counsel can help fathers make a compelling case and show why they are fit to be the child’s father.
Source: Newsweek, “Parental Alienation Syndrome Isn’t in the DSM Yet, but It’s in Plenty of Arguments,” Chris Weller, July 10, 2014