I have been subjected to domestic abuse(verbal, emotional & financial). I may be a little biased against men who bash women because , as a man, I regard it as dishonourable and unacceptable .However, if I were a judge in a court which bases its findings on facts alone, my discretionary judgments would not be subject to bias, would they? I have had problems with schools refusing to recognise me as ‘next of kin’ of my son, for example. They have a very difficult job! He takes it as an attack on his manhood, i guess. Pingback: Sarah Phillimore: are family courts biased? Female SW’s and lawyers are often overawed by men and their attitudes leading to wrong impressions that they are controlling, aggressive etc. It’s a lovely day here.. Anecdotally, many ‘resident parents’ knowingly engage in false accusations of abuse or in behaviour directed towards parental alienation as a means of exacting revenge against their ex-partner. In accordance with the ICJ Statute, judges, either permanent or ad hoc, shall exercise their powers impartially.But in reality, can this expectation be achieved? It is sad that men ( particularly the working-class) seem to have lost the basic training to act as ‘gentlemen’ which used to be passed down from father to son. Men and women can behave with staggering cruelty and indifference towards one another and the lives they are both responsible for creating. And thank you too, for a thoughtful comment. I was not a ‘natural’ mother and I didn’t find babies particularly engaging. who left who The Police must prosecute .If they do not they do the child no service at all to refer to the Social Services. there is a lack of judicial continuity as court loads increase but numbers of judges stay the same, or fall. There are too many poor decisions being made behind closed doors. What commenced was an attack on me aso their mother and the threat of *you will never see your children again*. All comments welcome. Maybe you need to look deep into your own psyche and ask yourself why you cannot. They are just human beings. A lot of women who were stay at home moms refuse to seek employment all the while expecting the ex husband to fund her ‘accustomed lifestyle’. But, I see today, a different arena with Family Law. Just giving them the chance of bringing a case in the Family Court ( with the encouragement of well-paid lawyers) is bound to cause emotional harm to any child involved. I remembered how hurt I was when my own parents slung allegations at each other and I was 9. None of them. That ended in ke getting my wages garnished to ensure successful payments of the spousal support. I didn’t file for my divorce, I didn’t ask to lose my child and I didn’t ever abuse my ex-wife in any way. Is the family court deliberately, systemically biased against men? As a mother, I instructed a solicitor to apply for residency after being the primary carer (and I am keen to define primary carer) for my children for 9 and 12 years. It wastes time and money and it risks perpetrators getting away with it. I am concerned for my children as parental alienation is evident, but my enquiries and requests have been dismissed and ignored to date. Clearly you were hurting at the time, that is when NOT TO WRITE STUFF. Unfortunately my own experience of family Court was one of extreme gender bias as a man, this is a fact not an assumption. Nor could the court find any evidence that judges are systematically biased against fathers who they regard as inferior in caring for a newborn child. It brutalises people, I can see that. Read this https://twitter.com/gardencourtlaw/status/894607459276513281, Quote:It is the task of the Judiciary to lay down their interpretation of the Law including human rights law and ORDER the authorities to comply regardless of cost: UNQUOTE, QUOTE:Lawyers Do you agree that in a family court that on the b of p it is more likely the professionals are right? Nature’s way, unsurprisingly. Hi, I can appreciate the position the school is in, but I can also appreciate the anger that a man would feel as he is relegated from being a full-time, involved dad,to the status of a stranger, denied access to the school records of his own offspring. The child protection system is too feminised, I agree with that. Fact seeker, I find much of your comment very interesting and agree with much of what you say. That’s not to say there aren’t institutional biases at work which favor certain results over others. To which my mother replied “No mother would……..blah blah” Once I pointed out the societal impunity offered to mothers that she had just admitted to, her eyes were opened and she realised what she had just said and done. Yes, I do agree and I have seen it. I at least am prepared to recognise that both the alienated father and the abandoned mother (and child) can feel very serious emotional pain because of the selfish narcissism of another. I have made this gender neutral so This does not sway anyone’s thought process in any responses that may follow: A and B have been in a relationship for one year and the relationship breaks down. I live in my van, supporting both of my x wives with all of my income. David, Thank you for your comment which will ring bells for other parents I was the custodial parent after my divorce. Another reason to keep away from it. No wonder there are so many Father suicides, authorities, systems and politics are all biased towards women. If you are violent, abusive or belliting towards those you purport to love, be you male or female, it is YOUR responsibility to sort yourself out, not your partners. As an example of this, when I contacted the LA earlier in the year advising I was concerned for my children and potential abuse the response was & I quote ‘well you’re not in the house so there won’t be any abuse’ I hope he’s right. We have now come full circle when the only way to afford decent quality of housing is for both parents to work. I look forward in hopeful anticipation of reader’s constructive views. The above sonnet will resonate with many readers since this is what it feels like when you are cut off from your child. It would be the same were positions reversed! Shakespeare – King John. I agree with you the system is set up to fail and for political reasons. Is it not a mutual creation? This will,of course , be very significant, when they raise their voices and yell. Prof. Starr leaves that question to policymakers, but she does note that the solution “is not necessarily to lock up a lot more women, but perhaps to reconsider the decision-making criteria that are applied to men. You state that you have managed for nine years as a lone parent and for that I commend you but your experience appears to have clouded your judgement. Even after this result which has seen my daughters long term psychological health and happiness put ahead of her mothers claims, I genuinely believe the family courts are biased against men. But the point I am trying to make is that when two adults get together to make a baby this is a really serious thing. Thank you also for your thoughtful comment. I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. I would suggest you read up as much as you can about this new area. Why? There’s a gender bias towards fathers being equally involved with their children let alone being resident parents. There also seems to be a significant minority of men, shouting it wasn’t me, when there is evidence to prove it was. The bias exists within the system and it means inevitably that many hearings are not fair ones. as I keep repeating – I hear men often saying that the courts are biased against men and hate them. Gender Bias in Family Court: 4 Huge Ways Courts are Penalizing Men. Oh yes – corrupt family lawyers. Eighteen months and six figures later, we viewed each other with something approaching hatred. Quite honestly ,I would not expect regular contact unless by invite of Mum and I would leave it to my children to approach me if they needed to see me. QUOTE : Your questions are ignored sometimes because they do repeat questions that have been answered before : UNQUOTE. But even more worrying are those men who are just not willing to accept that the way they behave makes a lot of women and children afraid of them. Perhaps then you will support calls for a programme to recruit more men into those fields – similar to the excellent and well funded campaigns to recruit women into STEM subjects? An example of confusion, in my view:- The Family Court is just not capable of doing the job on the ‘B of P’ especially because of the innate bias when a month later the losing party will just bring the case back to court. Human -beings do err and offend etc. This article illustrates challenges in building working relationships with men, including the challenge of avoiding binary thinking in the assessment of fathers as “risk” or “resource.” Drawing on our qualitative longitudinal study of men’s experiences of child protection in England, we highlight how both organizational (clashing time perspectives) and cultural (gendered-thinking) factors can trouble the potential relationship between social workers and fathers. Leaving it on here like this is going to help continue to spread ill feelings. Sonia Sodha. if someone alleges they were punched in the face, corroborating evidence is photographs of injuries, trips to doctors. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) consists of fifteen permanent judges, each of whom shall come from a different State. Frankly, I feel that the family law system is diseased and broken and has reduced many fathers to the role of an ATM machine. b) This would cut down on argument and false allegations in court because it would not get anyone anywhere. The police officers allowed her to leave with them no questions asked. There’s always merit to readers in your responses, Helen. Really? Of course ,experts have a habit of altering their expert opinion to fit the political fashions of the day and I guess that is what happened. A short while ago, I found a credit card had been taken & used to spend online. It has only been made possible because we can now view brain functioning dynamically and correlate this wih behavior and development. So I feel the ball is very much in your court if you wish to continue. WHEN did B know this? Never lawyers or police. Sometimes these men just cannot help themselves, they are human-beings. We are horrified as a society to hear a baby is born in prison. Think about it: Separation, divorce, and finances concern the entire family – parents and children alike. But as we both know, sadly this often doesn’t happen. The conventions and moral imperatives which folk used to follow have gone by the board due to the lack of morals and respect for others taught in school, in my opinion. The court system has ended up, by default, because there is no other option, attempting to help warring parents ‘see sense’ and do right by their children. Would you be prepared to allow me to publish this comment as a blog post? No. My main point is that revenge is being used here as a stick to beat someone with, and seemingly the authorities, powers that be etc., are only prepared to listen to one side of an issue. I do feel that an important factor is the secrecy surrounding the family court system and the consequential lack of reporting on, and analysis of decisions. The judge was a rather senior old buffer in the wilds of Yorkshire, but he had clearly made up his mind about what he was going to do and was not interested in evidence. It is one of the greatest yet most underrated of all human tragedy I think, that we can become alienated from the other parent of our child, however it happens. Jargon and Cliche in professional practice, Interim Removal and Emergency Protection Orders, I want to appeal or discharge the care order. It’s MY house. I would decide on facts as a divorce judge does. Ok then, explain to me how every single day I can read in UK newspapers or in online postings, complaints by women that the family courts didn’t believe them and chose their violent ex to parent their children? Alain’s comment is entirely accurate. Outside the Court arena, in the home setting,i agree with the post author that many men do not appreciate how frightening they can be to women ( and children, i will add) when they are angry. It is my experience that partnerships take honesty, humour and sometimes, hard and challenging work when people are not at their best. To that end, I confess I am a bit prickly about your last sentence; stating that I need help to ‘understand the preconceptions fathers have a little better’. The answer is undoubtedly yes the system is biased against men, especially when it comes to finances. Counsel for IFS could not be reached for comment prior to press time. Therefore contact should never be cut stone dead until he has been found culpable ( by whichever standard of proof we want). On brief facts alone! 24 hours later B removes remaining possessions from property. Good for you Paul. There actually are cases where children’s needs are assessed, met and they are ok either at home or in care, most children in care would tell you that they are very happy to be able to have a normal family life. Inspired by The Jungle – Upton Sinclair, but my target is the justice system and its unfair treatment of immigrants and the unwealthy. In any case your writing gives an unfavourable impression of you that you (hopefully) don’t intend. We do need to recognise this as an inherent reality; I am not sure ‘bias’ is always the right word. DATA. Is this really enlightened behavior to the benefit of children ? This is a very important discussion and I hope we can open some minds. This is usually summarised as “keeping mum happy”, or appeasing her, even when it is obvious to all that she is being (I’ll avoid the other h-word out of courtesy) hostile and even vindictive. But unless we also know how many times that decision was contested, or was it by mutual agreement, and the circumstances, then we don’t have all the facts to formally establish bias (or lack of). Why that is – to what extent is is determined by societal norms or men’s own reluctance/indifference to small children is unclear. On the subject of zero tolerance, lawyers should accept reality and recognise that it does not work in normal ( non-CP professional) human relationships. This is clearly an issue that generates strong feelings. I was merely reacting to the tone and the implication of your remarks which I found disagreeable. These men are not my, nor any other woman’s, problem. E urosceptic MPs said the court’s decision would be viewed by the public as further evidence of the Establishment trying to frustrate the result of the EU referendum.. I think a big problem is that there is infact an instatutionalised discrimination within the system that breaches the Equality Act 2010. Marriages end in divorce 40-50% of the time. But I think your reply exemplifies the difficulty at the heart of all this – ‘Like a fool I returned to the home with a view to reconcile’ Me,personally— I am of the opinion that the system is inherently biased against all parents and children in favour of the professionals EMPLOYED BY THE LA’s and even the Judges show them and Guardian’s ‘positive’ bias because of the Court protocol. To date though I have not had a response to any of my requests for information & at this time have no safe way to return to the home. As regards mums who flout private court orders as to contact with Dad, then there should be no room for judges to exercise discretion which may or may not be biased. They are automatocally assumed to be an inferier parent. He worked away and his parents were involved with the care of our children and he refused to inform the court of where they were living and indirect contact was allowed via his parents. If men and women are being treated differently by prosecutors and judges, what should be done about it? Sometimes a party in a family law litigation matter feels there is judicial bias against them. We are both guilty of exactly the same behaviour but because one gender (in this particular instance) is perceived as sweet and lovely and the other as “probably capable” one gender is up against the bias already. simple yes or no ! I’d agree when you say you’re “not sure that bias is always the right word”! I would be more than happy to share my story and only include the fact’s because I guarantee that every single person here will be blown away and unable to comprehend what has gone on in my own life. As far as the LA ‘s are concerned , if they hold parental responsibility for a child ,then i think it is not unreasonable to put some of the fault at its door. Considering the above, there seems to be a fundamental principle underpinning the actions of some of the family court that if a mother expresses an inappropriate belief, it is more likely to be treated as true, whereas if a man expresses an inappropriate belief, it is more likely to be treated as false. I don’t agree there is a ‘negative bias’ towards males but I do think the preponderance of female personnel in the system can put men at a disadvantage because women tend to react differently to what men may see as ‘just letting off steam’ for eg. I will look up these journals with interest.. Bruce Duncan Perry certainly has had a very interesting life by all accounts. The possibility of discrimination against men in Family Courts has to be dealt with. Short marriage of 3 years. How do others challenge it? What’s working? Let’s simplify this entire forum and think in numbers for a moment. But for those dads who have honestly done nothing wrong, it can feel like an uphill struggle. I was weak, broken and became the unfit mother he made me out to be. It has really struck a chord for me as there is a big social media storm brewing in the UK at the moment about a mother who has disappeared with her son rather than face court hearings about contact with his dad. I make that deliberately blunt comment because far too often I see men who seem to think that women conceive immaculately and it isn’t their fault or responsibility. Our children’s problems are more mundane sadly. for example Lucy Reed’s plea on Pink Tape. This creates a financial incentive for American courts to order sole custody with the lower earning parent (who is often the mother), and to restrict the higher earning parent’s access to their children. Men, In most cases are as equally able, willing and successful at parenting as the mother, preferably in a mutual arrangement however just as able in a separated situation. Another thing I can think of is that a man does not really like his wife/partner to be tired all the time from a full-time job and it can be irksome to him when a woman continually moans and groans about work. In practice those other professionals usually ignore all opinion , medical or educational,which is hostile to the LA litigation aims REGARDLESS of children’s interests. Then the biggest mistake a woman makes is to let it go; violence should be reported at least to the family elders and both sets of brothers and sisters if not the Police or there is a chance it will get worse. Sarah, I do agree with you that many men are not up to child-care which is why I suggested the law which should automatically give preference to the woman pending a divorce hearing. There is no interest in the fact that I remarried and now have a new child to support. Learn how your comment data is processed. Please note,John,this is a general comment not one on your case.I believe general behavioural rules such as NO SHOUTING INDOORS, NEVER RAISE YOUR VOICE TO A WOMAN, should be instilled into men by a minister or registrar before marriage likewise similar moral principles conveyed to wives before they marry. The Social Worker tells me my child has been hurt? Both parents and the system failed miserably and have yet to be repentant enough to focus more on preventing hatred than on supporting dis-integrated worker drone laden military industrial complex type societies. I believe it should be laid down in law,( to save any arguments), that mothers always should have care of any children in preference to a father UNLESS some sort of malicious behaviour or criminal child neglect can be proven against mother. In this day and age and historically , most men are able to control themselves. To be able to face, with clear eyes, the pain we have suffered in our lives, to recognise its place but not let it destroy us or overwhelm us, is a great gift. As far as I am aware, the Justices exist to enforce the LAW including the European Convention; they stand between us and inhumanity as a backdrop to such Government policies. where they left them. The extent and direction of it differs and putting more stats about it is largely futile. I’ve never had the chance to talk to my ex-wife about the challenges that she faces. Justice must, after all, be seen to be done. You feel mothers obtain certain advantages in battles over children because they are overwhelmingly likely to have been that child’s primary carer. Angelo, please don’t be disingenuous. You need to find a time machine and get back to 1955. the point I made at the conference I will repeat; for every father devastated by the denial of a relationship with his child, there is a mother who is lonely and afraid, desperate for the the father to step up and take responsibility but having no legal mechanism to ‘force him’. This would have two immediate consequences: I mentioned that if *** or her mother ever lay a finger on my son (due to knowing a history of neglect and abuse within the family) I’d be furious (abusive….???? I took her to court 2 additional times just for the female judge to tell her she is required to pay the support, I now get the payment from the state but the state still hasn’t gone after her, she has been engaged to another man that she lives with for 4 years now and yet still lives off of me while I struggle to raise our daughter. Thanks Sarah. The problem is – as I keep saying – is that these are not legal problems but problems of the pain and suffering caused by the breakdown of intimate relationships which so often plunge both or one half of that relationship into financial hardship. Like I said before, anyone who cannot see the hall of injustice in the Family Court system has their head up their ass. Donations will be appreciated to augment the financial development aspect of the business plan. It all goes back to my fundamental point – the courts can’t do much to help this situation. I agree with everything that you wrote. I am ALWAYS ready to listen to and engage with challenge that is politely expressed. I have witnessed a social worker lie about the prevalence of domestic violence in a relationship and try to encourage a perfectly happy to couple split up. I would much rather make a friend than an enemy. Men doing the night feeds and the nappies, men shopping and in the kitchen. I am tired of having my parental rights and the right to a normal, independent and worry free life stripped away by a corrupt and biased family court system. I have been through family courts in three different states in the U.S. It’s the same everywhere. This is an area that understandably provokes strong emotion and I know it is difficult for us to talk constructively about it as emotions often overwhelm. It’s a complete scam! the issue of fathers who walk away is every bit as painful and difficult as the issue of the mothers who deliberately sabotage a loving father’s relationship with a child. But what would you have the court do? Treatments ,if available, must be paid for. Zero tolerance. Sarah, you are implying that it’s okay for the court system to arrange the law around some generalizations about how men are. For every dollar they collect in child support they recieve 66 cents. After 46 years as a human being and 9 of those spent as a lone parent and nearly 20 as a family lawyer, I have a very clear understanding of the emotions and situations at play. B didn’t know where A was living. I’m sure that you would agree – children are not possessions and if we are simply seeking to repace the ‘natural guardianship’ of fathers that was removed in the 1989 Act with the ‘natural guardianship of mothers’ as I suspect is implicit in much of the thinking at present – that does rather miss the central importance of the ‘best interests of the child’. Frankly I had to bite my lip. After all why would anyone care about a problem that doens’t affect them. What you say is ‘I am listening. It would be foolish and irresponsible in the extreme to do so. As far as false evidence of abuse is concerned, from what i can tell, it has to be challenged.Passivity is a no-no! Sarah, I do appreciate your comment, but you cannot really deny the corruption now out in the open as a result of the on going public enquiry nor the corruption widely reported in many parts of the country which has been described as ‘cultural’ within social services departments over at least the last sixty years. The dad ended up paying nearly £2000 twice. Many times, litigants are unhappy with the judge, and I often get questions about how judges get selected for family law. He needs to be reformed . We have a generation of men who are embracing parenting. Yes of course, in an ideal world, bringing a baby into the world is a mutual decision based on mutual love and respect. Plus they like to find their things, tools, books etc. In private law cases , surely listening to the arguments and counter-arguments of a warring couple, tug-of-love couple is stupid. Puts on his pretty look, repeats his words, Men who do fight for them in court are very likely to be good fathers. But this is only just one of many consequences of mistreatment. violent men must be held accountable for what they do. But majority of lawyers are female. Find me a custodial mother who was given the same conditions in her divorce and I’ll stop believing in female privilege in divorce courts. Is the family courts bias? Psychiatric Placements were no available all along Angelo, some other young person lost their bed so she could have one and Munby is quite clear I think about what he thinks about that . Did the Judge mention the allegations as a factor in the judgement ? Yet were the same man dealt with by a male, he would not be thought so at all. I was awarded 300 a month in child support and she was awarded 659 dollars a month in alimony, needless to say I never got a dime of the child support so I decided to withhold it from the allimony and then take her back to court to have the alimony adjusted to reflect the deduction. Am I the exception or the rule? Hi However, I had to pay over half my income to my ex wife. I am merely pointing out that our gender bias problems are a societal problem that start at the very beginning, which get way out of control by the end when it all falls apart. He didn’t get a say in the matter, was kept in a separate room until they were gone, treated like he was the aggressor. Sarah, Are you delaying everyone’s comments or just mine? I would just like to add also, that I am not at all moaning about mothers being primary carers, as I believe that in most cases that primary instinct IS a gender thing anyway. Recognition that CAFCASS personnel, social workers and private law children lawyers are more likely to be women. We spoke cordially before the court proceedings started and met for walks and lunch. https://www.writersrepublic.com/bookshop/dont-date-crazy-phil-am-dream-runs-american-system ISBN 9781646205196, Your email address will not be published. Quite what the position will be when a child is her husbands from a previous relationship and she is just step-parent may be another exception. [This comment has been redacted for abuse. You surely would agree that if you read your own replies to other posters it seems that you’re more than happy to dole out the abuse. The victim’s barrister would speak out and protest. They are. My view, as an ordinary parent bearing in mind the separation of powers and other principles , is that should the young girl in question and other damaged children need money spending on their care especially medical care then it is the duty of the authorities to supply it . The courts continue to enthusiastically agree to her every request to reexamine my income just in case there is more money to be squeezed out of me, and have no problem in chasing me interminably for arrears but when it comes to the fact that my relationship with my son has been destroyed, there is zero interest. This almost certainly isn’t exhaustive. pretty much all of them when thing don’t go their way. Hi looked after_child However ,my opinion is that there will never be gender-equality. My point is a mothers allegations seem to be taken more seriously by police, family court etc.. than a fathers. Has masculinity become a dirty word? Is a man listed on a birth certificate who is not a father, help responsible for child support even if he was false claimed to be the father by the mother? I am always happy to publish guest posts, as long as they don’t identify children. You must accept the facts and realise that the corruption is ‘covered -up’. We are all responsible for ourselves and our behaviour. Maximum happiness with flawed material, if you like. You just don’t hear those voices as loudly. Whether this is conspiracy to pervert justice or not is difficult to say but I can understand why some victims might suggest it because it would also be the duty of the Guardian to protest; in fact maybe all three sets of lawyers should if they all want a fair hearing. His family at least, that child ’ s just easier and cheaper enforce! Family Division urged her to raise this me, that ’ s and subsequent researcher findings about challenges... 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