Joel Bernheim: Kids Come First in Fathers' Rights Movement

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A new report highlights the problems that parents can run into following a divorce—but father’s rights advocates like Joel Bernheim are quick to note that even single moms and dads can still offer excellent provision.

There is an old adage that says, nobody ever plans to get divorced—yet any divorce rate statistic will make clear that divorce is a very real, and very common, occurrence. Even so, a new article from CNBC notes that many newly-divorced men and women face obstacles as they seek to carry on their lives without the help of a spouse—and in many cases, divorced parents face the toughest obstacles of them all. According to father’s rights advocates like Joel Bernheim, however, divorced women and men are very capable of providing high standards of parental provision and care—an important fact that Bernheim says is too easily forgotten.

Joel Bernheim has offered a response to the new article on post-divorce parenting, in the form of his own statement to the press. According to Bernheim, divorce does not have to mark the beginning of a dark time for parents and their children, but can instead be viewed as a new chapter in the family’s story. “My favorite quote of this article is, ‘If you think providing for your children after divorce is basically about diapers, dentistry, and diplomas, you're in for a life of surprises,’” notes Joel Bernheim. “The simple truth is that while many married couples with children believe that divorce is the end, it is only the beginning!”

Bernheim goes on to offer his own advice for post-divorce parents—noting that it is the child who should come first in these circumstances. “The need to work together, communicate at a high level and share the responsibilities of raising happy, healthy and well-rounded children is just as essential for a divorced couple as it is for a still-married couple,” says Joel Bernheim. “In fact, I would argue that it is more challenging. It can be done well, but this requires that divorced parents learn to place their interests aside while elevating the needs of their children above their own needs and wants.”

In the end, Bernheim says, successful parenting is a matter of working together—even following a breakup. “On the surface this appears no different than the commitment we make when we get married and have children, but being divorced greatly elevates the bar of difficulty,” notes Bernheim. “The bottom line is that it requires a devoted mother, and no less importantly, a devoted father.”

Joel Bernheim is a long-time advocate on behalf of the father’s rights movement, a movement that seeks to bring fairness and equity to child custody laws, which historically favor mothers. Bernheim notes that the movement is not fundamentally a matter of woman vs. man, but is instead a matter of providing the best options for the children—including the presence of a mother and a father alike.


Joel Bernheim is the Executive Vice-President of Operations at the Illinois Company Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC. As a single father, Bernheim is well-versed on the nature of divorce and parental rights. He is an activist focused on the advancement of the fathers’ rights movement, and contributes to related charities and organizations.

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Michael McGarety
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