October 18, 2007 - An independent filmmaker and controversial author is seeking congressional legislation which he feels would address the child support inequities that he perceived during his very ugly divorce with his wife.
Michael Holland has claimed that his ex-wife tried to deprive him of being in his two children's lives during their divorce process and thus became an advocate for father's rights when it comes to child custody determinations.
Holland has charged that there is gender bias in custody determinations, with judges more prone to award custody to mothers rather than fathers. He has challenged "the manipulative use of restraining orders" (his words) as a means to keep fathers out of the lives of their children and also called for more support of a father's rights to an unborn child.
A custodial parent of two young boys, Holland has proposed two bills and a congressional amendment that he believes would better represent fathers in custody cases.
Holland's three drafted items include:
Holland has written that the main purpose of The Holland Bill is to get family law courts, which he describes as being a machine, to stop making custody decisions based on gender and to rather come to these determinations based on the best interests of the children involved. The Holland Bill also strives to make it a crime to use restraining orders under false pretenses to affect child custody and visitation, something he charges his ex-wife of doing.
As for The Paternal Protection Act and The Paternal Protection Amendment, Holland essentially calls for the father's right to have a relationship with his unborn child.
In addition to this controversial legislation, Holland has previously written a book entitled Why Husbands Kill Their Wives and Boyfriends Beat Up Their Girlfriends.
While not advocating such actions, Holland's book details how he was the alleged victim of abuse from his ex-wife. The book has earned him guest appearances on Oprah, Dr. Phil and other shows, nonetheless for an explanation of its controversial title.
Holland has described the book in terms of the need to examine why domestic violence occurs and how couples need to sit down and have serious talks about the warning signs of this abuse before it takes place. In an interview, Holland provides a more detailed explanation of the book, its title and cover, which features a picture of his ex-wife in her wedding gown.
While Holland may have perceived injustices during his divorce case, one has to question his motives and messaging at times. While it's more than fine to be an advocate of father's rights, Holland raises much concern with his book's title, which has definitely caused alarms upon first notice.
While Holland has said that he wanted the title to challenge people, does it go too far? Such a title crosses the line of making a message and seeming like a very bitter person, especially with his ex-wife being on the cover of the book.
It will be interesting to see how Holland's drafted bills get interpreted, especially considering his rather loose use of some quite serious language on the title of his book.
Because when you use words like "kill" and "beat" on a title of book featuring your ex-wife's picture, it becomes easy for people to wonder whether you are truly an advocate for something or rather a fanatic looking to get that last dig in at somebody.