UTICA —.Local advocates for the rights of fathers are asking New York Governor David Paterson to form a human rights commission to look at what they call unfair treatment of fathers in divorce proceedings in the state.
“I am calling upon you to assemble a non-partisan commission of New York residents to study and remedy ongoing violations of human rights in our domestic relations courts,” National League of Fathers Director John Kalil Jr. said in a letter to Paterson dated Monday.
He cited what he termed “the systematic removal of mainstream fathers from the lives of their children,” and said the way the laws are structured now create a financial incentive for governments to perpetuate the system.
Laws relating to custody and child support are often biased toward mothers, New Hartford resident Kalil said.
Utica-based lawyer, Leon Koziol who is the organization’s attorney, agreed.
“They are bankrupting fathers and forcing them out of their children’s lives,” he said.
Both Kalil and Koziol are divorced fathers.
Part of the problem is that the laws are outdated Koziol and Kalil said.
Today, women have found more equity in the work place and have better paying jobs than in the past, but the laws have remained the same, Kalil said.
“Antiquated custody laws that make it difficult for fit parents who want to participate in their children’s live on an equal basis,” Kalil said.
The group is holding a meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18 at the Hotel Utica