Bio of Darrick Lynn Scott-Farnsworth a Disfranchised Father and Son

I am a thirty nine year old US Navy vet, husband and father of three. I currently work as a Mail Processing Machine Mechanic for the United States Postal Service with 20 years of overall federal service including my Navy time. I have been an advocate for Shared Parenting for the past two years and am the Executive Director of A Child’s Right. My boys that live with their mother are 12 and 9 years old and my daughter that lives with my wife and I is 2. I have an Associate in Applied Arts and Science in Technology degree with a significant amount of education in Aviation Electronics, Management and Local Area Networking. As a child I was denied a meaningful relationship with my father due to my mother having sole custody of myself beginning when I was a few years old. As an adult the divorce industry and state has limited my ability to properly father my two sons with them both as well as I being left hurt. The state of Michigan’s decades old best interest of the child criterion and family law system failed me as an adult and as a child by not promoting fatherhood as being just as important as motherhood as well as a social mind set that places little value on fathering that the state still holds onto. HB 4564 is all about what is in the best interest of our children, social science studies and surveys have shown that substantially equal time with both fit parents gives children the best chance for success even when there is conflict between parents. Prior to my divorce I actively raised my children daily but most of my ability to interact with them has been taken away due to the cookie-cutter state allocated 15% child custody that I now have. With the courts denying my attempts to gain more time by using the “substantial change in circumstances” wall I have come to realize that the laws must be changed, because it is in all children’s best interest to have HB 4564 passed. I served my country and my state but when I needed them neither served me because they continue to deny my children more time with their father through the antiquated family law system with no relief available within the system. Here are some examples of why we now need HB 4564. 1. My lawyer, Mr. Bland informed me that I was in trouble because Judge Harry Beach was a pro-woman judge and this knowledge influenced his advice to me from that point on pressuring me to settle and is common in most divorces per surveys of family law attorneys. 2. Friend of the Court custody investigator C.J. Osborne informed me that since I worked and my boys’ mother did not that I was not going to get any custody and to not waste his time by insisting that he complete a custody investigation. This anti-father bias shaped my custody decision prior to the judge rendering a verdict and clearly points out that the current best interest of the child criterion heavily favors mothers by not valuing the time working fathers spend with their children. 3. Allegan County FOC Administrator Michael Day denied my grievance against Mr. Osborne based only on his verbal denial without interviewing others to see if he had done this before and then told me that if fathers were more like mothers they would get more custody time. 4. After my boys’ mother moved out of her boyfriend’s home and into her parent’s, moving their school district that they had been in for 2 years, claiming that she was sick and was not going to be able to take care of the children I filed for a change in custody with her getting 35% custody. With me they could go to a better school, participate in the after school activities they desired and have their own room and if the court refused to

Bio of Darrick Lynn Scott-Farnsworth a Disfranchised Father and Son
allow them to live with me, I requested that the court then award me 35% custody because they need more time with me than what the state allocates. I was informed by Judge Beach that moving homes, school districts and saying without proof that she was too sick to care for the boys is not a substantial change in circumstances and that my case is frivolous and that I just don’t want to pay my child support. The majority of custody cases are not ruled on by judges due to the bias I have personally experienced that discourages full investigations of custody and when judges do rule they too have bias against fathers. From the state’s own website, half of all divorces have custody evaluations performed with the state recommending sole custody to the mother in the super majority of cases. This FOC bias either in the investigation stage like I experienced or after the FOC custody evaluation pushes almost all parents into settling prior to final judgment and clouds the fact that fathers want to spend equal time with their children. This current family court system is not about what is in the best interest of the children it is about maintaining the system and is a betrayal of the state of Michigan’s families. HB 4564 will allow fit parents to agree on custody arrangements but will not allow children to be harmed by denying substantially equal access or much more equal time when parents don’t live in the same school district. This bill will raise the value of parenting in Michigan and begin the rebuilding of the state’s very social fabric by allowing children to be raised by both parents. Fathers that spend substantial amounts of time with their children are the most likely to support their children financially. Please think about the status of the state when it comes to the dropping marriage rate, out-ofwedlock births and sole custody children success and then ask: Are the laws that we have now truly serving our children? Thank you for your time and please feel free to ask questions of me.