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The hidden half of domestic violence

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"Winner-Take-All" Family Court Injustice
 

Does Lord Justice Thorpe imagine that it is "not uncommon" for
fathers who have "sacrificed the opportunity to provide full-time
care for their children in favour of a highly competitive profession
to think again about their priorities" after a bigoted, ignorant and
incompetent judge throws them out of their house and children's
lives, and consigns them to a condition of indentured servitude,
precisely because they have sacrificed themselves for their family?

Family courts typically whitewash this massive injustice when they
do it to fathers by declaring the mother to be "the primary care-giver."
But the hypocrisy of this song and dance is revealed for all to see
when gender roles are reversed, and the father is the primary care-
giver.  Unwilling to consign a mother to the living hell to which they
routinely condemn fathers for "no-fault" of their own, this so-called
"Lord Justice" slams the door of justice in the face of another father
by declaring that the mother might be having "second thoughts",
and therefore ought to be able to abandon her career, take their
children out of private school, and move hundreds of miles away
to effectively terminate their relationship with their father.  Thus this
"Lord Justice" reveals the real principle under which he and all too
many ignorant and incompetent judges operate, that children are
the chattel possession of mothers, to do with what they will without
any accountability or responsibility to their children.

The "Lord Justice" is right about one thing - it would be a terrible
thing to treat mothers the way family courts routinely treat fathers.
The sad part is that these blind fools only open their eyes to the
injustice they are doing when they are about to do it to a mother.
Some of the strongest supporters of shared parenting are mothers
to whom this injustice has been done, and our heart goes out to
those mothers, as much as it does to fathers similarly mistreated
by a legal system that profits by inflaming conflict between parents
with a "winner take all" approach that is so harmful to children.

It is said in America that a "Philadelphia lawyer" is one who gets
two people to strip for a fight while the lawyers run off with their
clothes.  That is exactly what this hypocritical "Lord Justice" is
doing here.  It's a legal con game, pure and simple, designed to
line the pockets of a legal profession that could care less about
justice for parents, or the devastation it inflicts on children.

The crisis of families will not end in America, or any other country
infected with this kind of self-serving legal sophistry, until the public
wakes up, refuses to tolerate this kind of family court corruption,
throws these bums out on the street, and institutes a presumption
of shared parenting (absent abuse or neglect) that is truly blind to
gender, but protects the rights of both parents to a continued
meaningful relationship with their children, and allocates financial
responsibility fairly and reasonably between both parents only
after an optimal custody arrangement is determined for children,
hopefully by mutual agreement between the parents.

To those who say that shared parenting is "pie-in-the-sky" and
"doesn't work in high-conflict situations", we say it especially
won't work after a corrupt and incompetent legal profession
gets done inflaming an already difficult situation out-of-control
with it's current "winner-take-all" approach.  However bad the
situation was before the gender bias and prejudice so evident
in Lord Justice Thorpe's comments below, was injected into
the situation, you can guarantee that this kind of bigotry and
legal ignorance can only make it worse (to the advantage only
of the legal profession he serves).  The only proper standard
of justice, and the only standard that is worthy of the respect
of the general public or the respect of the parties in contention
in a case, is impartiality and neutrality between the parties.

The "Lord Justice" falls so far short of that standard in the
bigotry and legal ignorance that he demonstrates below, that
he simply is not functioning as a judge, but more like a nosy
neighbor taking sides in a family squabble and offering "free
advice" across the back fence.  Note that this couple had
actually reached an agreement to share time with the children,
until the widely known maternal prejudice of family courts
(that this buffoon "Lord Justice" only reinforces) caused the
mother to try to disturb a perfectly sensible shared parenting
agreement.  If family courts put half as much effort into
implementing a sound family policy, as they currently put into
an insane one, not only would cases that come to court be
reduced, but they would be far more easily resolved.  And
a sound family policy can only be based on the common
sense truth that everybody already knows, that children
need both parents.

ACFC

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/04/19/ncust19.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/04/19/ixnewstop.html

The Telegraph
19 April 2002

Custody ruling deals a blow to house husbands
by Matt Born

The principle that children should be raised by their mothers won
the overt backing of the Court of Appeal yesterday after it rejected
a house husband's attempt to win custody of his two children.

The father, who had raised the children in their 1 million home
while his wife enjoyed a successful career on a salary of 300,000,
argued that he was the victim of sex discrimination.

But the court refused him leave to appeal against a High Court
decision which granted custody to his estranged wife.

Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lord Justice Buxton, said that
despite the "unusual" role reversals in this case, they could not
ignore the "realities" of the "very different" traditional functions
of men and women.

The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had wanted
the children to live with him in London while his wife, the family
breadwinner, continued to maintain them.

He also opposed her plans to give up her career and move
hundreds of miles away with the children, who are both aged
under six. Richard Tott, the father's barrister, asked the court to
imagine the situation in reverse.

He said that if a male breadwinner proposed giving up his job,
taking his children out of private education, moving far from
London, and replacing the mother as the primary carer, "his
application would be looked at with extreme scepticism".

But in his ruling, Lord Justice Thorpe said that this submission
seemed "to ignore the realities involving the different roles and
functions of men and women".

The judges heard that after the couple split up last year in "fraught
circumstances" each had applied for custody.

The husband moved out of the family home, while the mother cared
for the children briefly. However, they soon reached an agreement to
share time with the children. The husband moved to a nearby rented
house, paid for by the mother.

But the mother now wanted to give up work in order to spend
more time with her children.

His belief that her desire was genuine was the decisive factor in
rejecting the father's claim, Lord Justice Thorpe said. He said it
was "not uncommon" nowadays for those who have "sacrificed
the opportunity to provide full-time care for their children in favour
of a highly competitive profession" to think again about their priorities.

The judge added: "[They] question the purpose of all that striving
and whether they should re-evaluate their lives before the children
have grown too old to benefit."

--
External links:

The Equal Parenting Council
http://www.equalparenting.org/

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/

Related articles:

 8 August 2001[Family]: 'I'm a father of the nappy revolution'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/main.jhtml?xml=/family/2001/08/08/fmdad08.xml

 20 October 2001: Custody drama sparks motorway chaos
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/10/20/un05.xml

 15 October 2001[Family]: 'I fought for the right to see my son'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/main.jhtml?xml=/family/2001/10/15/fmdiv15.xml

Other external links:

 One Parent Families
http://www.oneparentfamilies.org.uk/

 Dads UK Helpline
http://www.47return.freeserve.co.uk/

 Gingerbread
http://www.gingerbread.org.uk/

 National Family and Parenting Institute
http://www.nfpi.org/

 One Parent Families Scotland
http://www.opfs.org.uk/

 Families Need Fathers
http://www.fnf.org.uk/fnfindex.htm

 Information on Probation Officers in Welfare Work
http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/inpoww.htm

 Children Act 1989 - Her Majesty's Stationery Office
http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1989/Ukpga_19890041_en_1.htm

Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.
Telegraph Home: 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
===
stilladad.com: a divorced dad is still a dad

"The young of all animals need to be nurtured.

Uniquely in the animal kingdom however human young require in equal
measure an additional input they need to be socialised conditioned to
understand the advantages and constraints of living in a society with its
set of rules.

Humans have evolved in societies as a result of the caring by both parents
in balance. the nurturing tendency of mothers and the socialising tendency
of fathers.

It is how well this combination is acknowledged and respected which
ultimately measures the success and well-being or otherwise of a society"

Roger Eldridge, June 2000. Foreword to "Things for Dads to do with Kids"
by Sam Carroll.

fwd fyi...

Quote: The principle that children should be raised by their mothers won the
overt backing of the Court of Appeal yesterday after it rejected a house
husband's attempt to win custody of his two children.
===
Related comment:

Mothers matter more
At last, a judge in a child custody battle has dared to acknowledge the simple
truth
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,687599,00.html
by Dina Rabinovitch -- The Guardian, 20 Apr 02
[an ACFC analysis of this comment will be posted soon]

 

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