Note from ANCPR: The following article gives the argument that all shared parenting advocates face every day, and many fathers face in the court room. Kind of a “if she’s saying it, it must be true” argument. The domestic violence issue always trumps any fathers’ rights argument or shared parenting right. The courts and bureaucracies are ready made to cater to this kind of argument. In fact, the entire divorce industry itself loves this kind of thing, since everyone gets into the act, and collects huge fees. In the U.S., Canada and the UK, we are so heavily invested in this kind of thinking that there may well not be any chance of reform.
Mothers protecting their children should not have to defy the courts
Violent fathers are not good role models. Judges should be tougher on their visiting rights, says Sandra Horley
Tuesday July 24, 2007
I read with concern that “senior judges have issued a strong warning to divorced and separated mothers”, who risk losing the right to have their children live with them if they defy court orders for fathers to have contact with their children (Judges get tough on fathers’ rights to contact with children, July 16). As you report, “the cases signal a tougher approach by the judges, who in the past have rarely used the last-ditch option of moving a child”.
In an ideal world, children would be able to have contact with both parents. But this is not an ideal world, and in many cases domestic violence is behind the denial of contact. At Refuge, we see many victims of such violence; and an automatic presumption that it is in “the best interests of the child” to have contact with both parents, ignores the courts’ responsibility to protect that child. (more…)