Fathers' and Children's Equality
Who We Are
Fathers' and Children's Equality, Inc. (FACE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all volunteer, educational organization and support and self-help group for noncustodial parents and their families. We are not lawyers. We educate the public regarding our areas of interest pertaining to families. We educate our members as to their rights and responsibilities as parents, help them effectively represent themselves in court, and show them how to manage their own cases, regardless of whether or not they choose to use a lawyer.
Our areas of interest and expertise are:
- Child custody
- Parenting time (the ONLY real child support)
- Financial child support
- Financial planning for family court litigants
- Parental alienation
- Paternity fraud
- False allegations of child abuse
- False allegations of domestic abuse
- Services for male victims of domestic violence
Where can family court litigants learn everything they need to know? Court employees will say "I can't give you legal advice." Some court employees are interested only in getting information from you to enforce orders, but won't give any information to you. The court's on-line pro se documents tell you how to file papers, but not what you need to write in those papers. The judge will say "I'm not your lawyer," and urge you to hire one. Your lawyer, as an "officer of the court," is sometimes prohibited from telling you everything you should know and, in some cases, will withhold information because it is not in his best interest for you to know too much. Advice on the internet is usually unreliable, incomplete or inapplicable. Your friends who have not been through family court will tell you the way they think things should be, or tell you what you want to hear. Where can you get the information you need?
That's where organizations like FACE come in. We are not lawyers, but we do have First Amendment Rights to Freedom of Expression, so there are no limitations on what we are allowed to tell you. We are just a group of family court litigants with hundreds of years of collective court experience helping other litigants. Some of us have represented ourselves in court, usually successfully. Some of us have just used what we learned to help us manage our cases and manage our lawyer/employees. Sure, we've made mistakes, but we've learned from them. You, too, can learn from our past experience and not make the same mistakes we did.
The best way to learn about FACE and what FACE does is to attend some of our meetings, and meet and network with some of our members and other contacts. Send your full name, full address including zip code, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org , and we'll add you to our emailing list. Please also tell us how you learned of FACE.
The United States Supreme Court has upheld the Civil Right of similarly situated persons to band together, form a self-help group like FACE, assist each other with their common problems and legal issues, and/or hire or recommend lawyers to represent them, free of threat of being charged with Unauthorized Practice of Law. See: N.A.A.C.P. v. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958), N.A.A.C.P. v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963) and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Virginia ex rel. Virginia State Bar, 377 U.S. 1 (1964).
Although the name of the organization is Fathers' and Children's Equality, membership is not limited to men. FACE offers its services to all non-custodial parents and their loved ones regardless of gender. More than half of the initial calls received on FACE's hotline are from women, and approximately 20% to 25% of our members and supporters are women. These include not only non-custodial mothers, but also grandmothers, aunts, cousins, second wives, girlfriends, daughters and all the others effected by separation from extended family members.
Laws, court rules, court procedures and court customs are different from state to state. FACE is based in New Jersey. Our legal expertise is primarily in family court in New Jersey and, to a lesser degree, a few other nearby states. Although FACE welcomes all new members, we strongly suggest that you find and join and participate in a support group in the state that has jurisdiction in your case. If no such group exists in your state, we will welcome you to join FACE, and also recommend that you join one of the national noncustodial parents' rights groups. If you can't find such a group, contact FACE for referrals.
WHY we are
Fatherlessness impairs children's ability to learn. Fatherless children score lower on cognitive tests, and 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless. Fatherless children are 40% more vulnerable to sickness and 30% more likely to be injured in an accident.
Children learn from their fathers to put limitations on their own behavior. There is a correlation within a community between the percentage of fatherless households and the rates of violent crime and burglary. Five out of six delinquents with an adult criminal record are from homes where the father was absent. 60% of America's rapists, 72% of adolescent murderers, and 70% of long term prison inmates grew up without fathers.
More than 80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals are from fatherless homes, as are 75% of chemical addicted children, 90% of teenage runaways, and three out of four teenage suicides.
Fatherless adolescents, having grown up without healthy male role models, tend to make irresponsible decisions in their relationships with the opposite sex. Fatherless girls too often have difficulty distinguishing the difference between affection and sex, and account for 71% of teenage pregnancies. Adults raised without fathers are far less likely to ever develop a healthy, loving, long-term relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
No research exists showing that one parent is better than two, nor that sole custody of children offers benefits that joint legal and shared physical custody does not. Yet our family courts continue to ignore all of these facts. They "award" primary residential parent status to the mother in about 90% of cases, reduce their father to a "visitor" and a paycheck, and claim to have done so "in the best interest of the child."*
Children are not property to be owned nor prizes in a game. They are human beings. FACE supports every child's right to a full, loving, nurturing relationship with two parents, four grandparents, and all of the aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family, regardless of the parents' marital status. This right to enjoy a parent-child relationship has been recognized as a Liberty Interest and upheld as a Civil Right by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The trend toward fatherlessness is destroying our families and the social fabric of our nation. Join FACE and find out what you can do to reverse it -- in our laws, in the courts, and in your family.
* Nowhere in the law is "in the best interest of the child" defined.
Who we are NOT
As you surf the web, you may find other websites that promise to solve all your family court problems and give you the information you need to "win"* your case. They say just send some money (usually a few hundred dollars or more) and they will send you a packet of documents containing winning strategies, or papers you can file to "restore your rights," or (for some more money) access to them as "legal consultants." Some will offer their services as "paralegals" and say they will write and file your papers, or maybe even present your case to the court for you.
An envelope-full of photocopies of magazine articles and webpages from a stranger far away is not a solution. It's a SCAM, often perpetrated by an "organization" of only one person, who would take advantage of others in their moments of desperation or helplessness. New Jersey law does not recognize or authorize "paralegals" (except in certain circumstances, working for and under the direction of a licensed attorney). A non-lawyer who accepts money to prepare legal papers or represent you in New Jersey is committing the crime of Unauthorized Practice of Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-22), a crime of the fourth degree, and is subject to fines, incarceration and/or civil damages.
THERE IS NO QUICK FIX; THERE IS NO MAGIC WAND. A satisfactory resolution to child custody and other family court issues takes education, proven winning strategies that have worked in your state, tenacity and vigilance. Deal only with legitimate support groups.
* Actually, no one "wins" in family court -- not mom, not dad, not the children. The only winners in family court are the judges, the lawyers, the psychologists, the social workers, the child support workers, etc., etc. They are the only beneficiaries of the multi-billion dollar family destruction industry.
Family Law Reform PAC
FACE is a grass-roots, all-volunteer organization. We operate with a very small budget. Although much of the change FACE supports and promotes involves family-friendly legislators being elected, family-friendly laws being enacted and some existing laws being changed, to protect and preserve our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, FACE does no lobbying.
Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization remains eligible for tax-exempt status so long as "... no substantial part of the activities of [the organization] is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)) ..." The "no substantial part" test is generally considered to be spending not more than 20% of its annual budget on lobbying. The IRS defines "lobbying" as "attempting to influence legislation or influence the outcome of an election."
Some FACE members, acting individually as private citizens, may elect to exercise their First Amendment Right to Freedom of Expression by petitioning the government for redress of grievances, or supporting or opposing certain pieces of pending legislation, or supporting or opposing the election campaigns of certain candidates for political office. If they do this, such activity is completely independent of and unrelated to their membership in FACE.
In the mid-1990s another New Jersey-based parents' and children's rights support group formed an independent political action committee (PAC) under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. This has evolved to become the Family Law Reform Political Action Committee (FLR-PAC). Unlike a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a PAC's purpose is to influence legislation and the outcomes of elections. Although the PAC is tax-exempt, contributions to the PAC are not tax-exempt for the donor. Membership in the PAC is open to anyone who makes a modest annual non-tax-deductible donation. Individuals who would like to lobby or otherwise become politically active, but would be more comfortable working within a group, might consider joining FLR-PAC.
FLR-PAC is no longer active. Please see the announcement of the formation of the new Family Advocates Network Political Action Committee on the FACE "Headlines" page.
FACE IS A SELF-HELP GROUP. WE ARE NOT LAWYERS. WE DO NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE. WE CAN NOT AND DO NOT REPRESENT ANYONE IN COURT. If you find a competent, capable lawyer who fully understands your and your children's rights, who is willing and able to tenaciously fight to secure those rights, who completely understands the facts in your case, and who you can afford to pay, you should hire that lawyer and seek that lawyer's advice. If you cannot find or afford to pay such a lawyer, we urge you to seek all available resources to aid yourself in securing these rights.
This page last updated 1/18/2017.