Turnout was small tonight at the monthly meeting of "Nevadans for Equal Parenting." But these dads say that shouldn't mislead anyone about the significance of the battle they're fighting along with thousands of other parents across the country.
"We had a divorce," says Paul Mozen. "And we had a 10 year custody battle. It destroys everyone."
"Iit took me 7 years and two trips to the Nevada Supreme Court just to get to my son's baptism," says Mike Nance.
They say judges generally favor the mother in a custody trial, which led them to support SB 109. Senator Maurice Washington introduced the custody bill on behalf of fathers who apparently struggled to get custody of their children. It states that the court *must award custody to both parents jointly, if that's what the parents ask for.Right now, a judge can override parents who say they want joint custody.
Opponents agree with the current law, saying that even if both parents agree on joint custody -- it might not be the best thing for the kids -- and a judge should be able to make that decision.
But these father's say the real opposition is rooted in money, specifically the tax status of a parent with sole custody who can claim the child as a dependent.
"There are financial and social incentives for one parent to have sole custody," says Mozen.
They want another bill introduced that better defines their rights to see their children.
"We are going to push forward for that. We are going to have talks with Senator Washington and move forward next session with that."