One of the most offensive arguments against presumptive joint-custody is the proposition that fathers only want joint-custody so they can reduce their child support payments.
Naturally, this mean-spirited argument assaults the very nature and soul of all men... and fathers in particular.
Such a vicious argument portrays fathers as shallow, selfish, un-loving, uncaring scum who really care more about a couple of lousy bucks than their "insincere" protestations that they "love their own children" seem to indicate. The unspoken thought: "we all know that fathers don't really love their children, don't we?" is implicit every time the argument is raised. But, what the joint-custody opponents don't seem to realize, is that when they raise this argument they expose something very revealing about themselves.
You see, the theory supporting child support is that the non-custodial-parent (NCP) is not supporting the child and therefore the custodial parent (CP) must do so, justifying transfer of the NCP's funds to the CP, for that purpose. Because of this theory, most states base their child support guidelines on "zero" direct-support from the NCP.
Where there is joint custody, the former NCP is spending money directly on the child, that the CP would be spending on the child if the NCP were not doing so. Therefore the support amount paid is the same, the support is being spent directly on the child. It is just the need to transfer the funds that then becomes unnecessary.
Most joint-custody parents spend more than any offset they may get through reduced child support payments. Keep in mind, we are talking about reduced child support transfer payments, not reduced child support. The only way that one parent can possibly gain an advantage and reciprocally, that the other parent lose, is if the child support guidelines contain a profit for possession of the child and are not solely based on the cost of supporting the child.
If the profit-factor is true, as the opponents of joint-custody are inadvertently alluding, then the child support guidelines are illegal, morally bankrupt and unconstitutional. They would amount to nothing more than legalized extortion! Worse, it would be one of the most heinous forms of extortion... holding one's child for ransom without providing any hope of ever allowing them to be meaningfully reunited with each other.
Yes, the next time someone says "fathers only want custody to reduce their child support payments," bear in mind what they are really saying is "I believe I am making a cash profit from a gravely immoral act... and I want to continue to do so."
In psychological terms, this is called "projectionism." Projectionism is where someone projects their own noxious qualities on someone else, then despises the recipient for now possessing those noxious qualities, and sees themselves as totally blameless in their own eyes.
With this in mind, the next time you hear "fathers only want joint-custody to reduce their child support," realize that what you are really hearing is "I am a selfish, immoral person who would rather make a profit on my child than allow the child to have a meaningful relationship with his or her father." It's that simple.
Kids love, want, and need two parents. Life is tough enough for kids from separated, divorced and unwed families. Our government needs to be about the business of maximizing two-parent involvement in children's lives... not repressing that involvement for morally bankrupt reasons.