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MANY NON-CUSTODIAL DADS CHOOSE NOT TO SEE CHILDREN

I felt compelled to respond after reading the letter by Steve Pearl of the Western New York Chapter of the Fathers Rights Association. I would never deny that there are many cases where fathers are being denied full participation in their children's lives. I believe that non-custodial parents should be involved in all aspects of upbringing, and applaud those who make sincere efforts to do so.

That said, however, I really don't believe that those fathers are in the majority. While the courts may be "clogged" with custodial interference cases, they are overflowing with suits to adjudicate paternity and to establish and enforce child support and compliance.

Yes, a father (in the true sense of the word) deserves more than six days a month with his children. But those same kids deserve more than an occasional phone call, broken visitation for frivolous reasons and outright lies when the absent parent finally breezes through.

Far too many fathers don't spend time with their children -- not because the custodial mother prevents visitation -- but because their priorities lie elsewhere or they are "too busy." A father should be more than a "check in the mail." But a father also shouldn't bury his own assets to avoid fulfilling his financial obligations.

PATRICIA PENNY

BUFFALO

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