7. The law itself does not include any legal bias toward the mother over the father. This article is by Ben Parfitt, a former client of BLB Solicitors. But the source of the bias is not in the courts – it’s in the marriage. And up until the 1980s, this was mostly true. When my ex-partner left the family home I was determined that my daughter would in no way go without anything she was already accustomed to. Dr Maebh Harding, from the Warwick … In fact, perceived bias against men in family courts has, in large part, provided the so-called “Men’s Rights Movement” with momentum. I was also the one who stayed at home when my ex-partner went out with work friends. “And although the overall number of residence orders made for mothers was higher than those made for fathers, this was because a large number of such orders were made for mothers as respondents in cases where the father sought contact. More famously, Fathers 4 Justice was founded on the experience of Matt O’Connor who was denied access to his two sons leaving him, in his words “shocked by the cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment of dads in Britain’s secret courts”. A 2015 study by the University of Warwick concluded that family courts do not discriminate against the father. Family court has for some been disastrous for families more so for father’s. The argument that Men's Rights activists make doesn't hold water. Whether it’s the ballet teacher talking about asking the “mums” for help at the summer show, school newsletters mentioning “mums” in the playground or Brownies asking “mums” for help sewing, barely a day passed when my apparent abnormality was not thrust upon me. But any legal process is conducted by people, and people are biased – even sometimes those who professionally obliged not to be so. A recent report based on research by the University of Warwick examined nearly 200 family law case files from 2011 to investigate whether the family courts in England and Wales have a gender bias against fathers. And by this country, I mean England and Wales rather than the UK as a whole. Not based on the statistics above, anyway! There is no Family Court bias in favor of mothers for the majority of fathers who divorce. A recent report based on research by the University of Warwick examined nearly 200 family law case files from 2011 to investigate whether the family courts in England and Wales have a gender bias against fathers. Home News. Report dispels myth that UK family courts are biased to mothers Family law solicitor Barry Bunyan discusses the theory that English and Welsh family courts are biased to mothers and its impact upon Child Arrangement Orders. Although it left me exhausted! For legal advice on all issues to do with divorce or separation, please contact the family team at BLB Solicitors. This will be a particular norm among older members of the judiciary, of course. How does remote working affect your home insurance and mortgage? The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Gender Bias Task Force also uncovered substantial evidence of gender bias against mothers in family courts. no family court orders , mother deluberatly takes child out so father cant see him , calls the police for harassment when he arrives to pick him up , she stating baby wet and hungry and crying on return , not true , ever we got different nappies now , what are his rights , baby in his name . 'No court bias against fathers' A recent fathers' rights protest Claims that family courts are biased in favour of mothers have been rejected by top judge Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. Individuals and groups have complained about this bias of the courts for several years, but it’s simply a fact that unless the circumstances are exceptional, the child or children will stay with their mother under a residence order.”. Contact applications by fathers 'overwhelmingly successful' There is no evidence that family courts in England and Wales are discriminating against fathers because of gender bias, a new study by the Universities of Warwick and Reading and funded by the Nuffield Foundation has found. This website uses cookies. As she points out, there is a danger of abusive men simply silencing mothers and children who oppose contact arrangements, by using the counter allegation of parental alienation. If you’re a dad and in a situation where your claim for custody is a rightful one, there’s no legal reason why that shouldn’t be the case. Indeed, in 2014 the Government pressed through The Children and Families Act 2014, Section 11 which enshrined in law the desire for “parental involvement”, which ordered courts “to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of that parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare”. A BBC report suggested that in 2011 men accounted for just 8% of the UK’s single parents. I referred to research (Fortin, Hunt and Scanlon, 2012: Taking a longer view of contact) which suggests the courts should not assume that children reluctant to have contact have been brainwashed by the non-resident parent. While I’d always done a lot around the house I was suddenly in the position of having to do it all, and I quickly drew up a mental roster of everything I’d need to do to keep the ball rolling – cleaning, laundry, school uniform ironing, packed lunches, sewing ballet shoes, shopping. It’s worth noting, however, that any potential bias toward the mother is in many cases perfectly justified. Patriarchy affects how custody battles are eventually ruled – and not because the court is particularly in favor of women. Mothers and children get approached with unfounded suspicion, and children are suffering the cruel consequences. 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And, not the reason many fathers aren't involved in their children's lives post … Study finds family courts not discriminating against fathers. By law, custody decisions are made purely based on what is best for the child. But in these modern times it’s no longer reasonable to assume this is always the case. And when you are a single dad, there are plenty of times you face being a little marginalised. 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 … We hear a lot about how the courts are biased in favor of mothers when deciding child custody. It’s true that mothers are more likely to receive custody of their children in a divorce. Fighting for custody and your child’s best interests, What to expect when your custody case goes to court, 9 Tips on Introducing a New Partner to your Child, Image (cropped) by Ruth Hartnup under a creative commons licence, Authorised & Regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. Three elderly female magistrates. “Transfers of sole residence were rare as the courts sought to preserve the status quo and where they were ordered they were disproportionately likely to be transfers from mum to dad and to feature welfare concerns and children’s services involvement.”. 636644), Probate Registry delays continue as online applications become mandatory. A slightly raised eyebrow, perhaps a small smile. Working mothers face a ‘wall’ of bias—but there are ways to push back. I also quickly became used to the look I’d get when people learned I was a single dad. Campaigner whose sons were murdered voices delight at MBE. 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