Dear Editor: Absent fathers are a cause for many social issues in our society. This is clearly a nonpartisan issue. There are many reasons for this, such as negligence and abandonment. Unfortunately, our court system and its subordinates are also a contributing factor. High-conflict divorces make up roughly 25 percent of divorces in the U.S., and roughly 70 percent of these divorces have underlying substance abuse or psychiatric problems (per Our Family Wizard website).

The consequences for children are real and unfortunate. Guardians, psychologists, judges, family court commissioners, child therapists — mitigating these divorces in the best interests of the children requires patience, fortitude, an ability to clear confusion, lack of bias, and wisdom. It really is a tough test for one's interpersonal skills.

Unfortunately, I believe we are failing our children here. One would think that the strong desire of a loving father to be a large part of the lives of his children would be a high priority for the family court; however, this is not always the case. For the journalist who digs into this, maybe does some data analytics to provide much needed quantification of potential bias, and investigates the bureaucracy in the system — this person has a Pulitzer Prize coming. This is much overdue. Not to be cliché, but our children deserve better.

Michael Smith

Whitewater

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