An article on the inherent bias in family court, by Pearle Harbour.
Our legal pendulum swings to yet another extreme. Gender bias runs rampant in our family court system. In the 1960's women, fought hard to get laws passed to protect women against domestic violence. It took many painful years for our legal system to recognize women as victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment laws were passed and enforced to protect "true victims." Many women lived through domestic violence; many died. Some went to jail for homicide; some were later pardoned. We, as women, finally got society to recognize violence against women.
Shame on all those women of the 1990's who now use these laws to their advantage in family courts to bring men to their knees; and to erase fathers from the lives of their children! False allegations by women of child abuse, domestic violence, and stalking are almost never questioned by judges for fear of being politically incorrect.
Women who feel justified in punishing men use these false charges indiscriminately. Children are forgotten and have become our newest victims with full cooperation from our Family Court system. Children need fathers too. A recent US Department of Education study, "Fathers Involved in Their Children's Education" (free for a phone call - 1-800-424-1616, option 3) will bear out these truths.
Women have become educated in the ways of our legal system. A new study purports women are filing 70% of divorces today. The first person to file usually wins. The unfortunate person against whom false allegations are charged must prove their innocence while a plaintiff proves nothing. As a paralegal and a woman, I am no longer proud of those of female gender who abuse our legal system.
An innocent father involved in a nasty contested divorce from a woman who vows vengeance is helpless in Family Court. Important child support laws enacted are now strictly, and sometimes unfairly enforced. There are stories of fathers who lost their jobs from downsizing and/or circumstances beyond their control. When the mother of his children insists on back child support, he is thrown into jail. Child support is based on his "earning ability." Debtor's prison has become our most recent politically correct means to control men. Here again, our Family Courts condone whatever women allege, accuse, and dictate to control men.
Should a husband make the mistake of remarrying, further angering his ex-wife, a second wife's income is used as "a way to show ability to pay." The mother of their children, on the other hand, can marry another man. The "other man's" income is never used to lower child support. Court's rationale - "they are not his children, not his responsibility." Since when did a mother bear no responsibility for her children? Today's women are earning more, and are becoming a majority in our workforce. The stay at home mom of the 50's rarely exists today. I knew of a man who ended up paying so much child support (plus child expenses) he had to move back home with his parents. Yet his ex-wife earned more than he did.
False allegations of child abuse by a vengeful ex-wife devastates not only children, but fathers. The wife files first to take advantage of all laws passed to protect true victims of abuse and violence. The wife charges everything from domestic violence to stalking to child abuse. Courts almost always believe a woman over a man today.
I know of a man who was falsely accused of child sexual abuse. By the time he was found innocent, he lost his job, his reputation, and everything he owned. Recent statistics do show women are becoming our primary child abusers, and yes, even killers of our children. Yet our Family Courts consistently believe, "the mother always makes the best parent."
Some mothers today emotionally blackmail and intimidate their children into fabricating abuse by their father. I know a man who fought two years to get custody of his son from a proven mentally ill mother who abused their son. Each time the court insisted "the mother is the best parent."
A large number of children are ordered to see a child psychologist when divorce is filed. Counselors and psychologists are encouraged by our system to give bad reports against a father. Fathers are automatically presumed capable of abuse before any mother.
Mothers are intentionally denying visitation to loving, child support paying fathers, who then spend money and time in court trying to get visitation enforced. I know a man who hasn't seen his son in 14 years, but religiously pays his child support. He stopped pursuing visitation in court when the mother threatened harm to the son. Is this fair? Why is there no press on "intentional denial of visitation"?
One of the saddest true stories I know of is a little nine year old boy who was put in a mental institution by his mother until he stopped saying, "I want to see my daddy." There are too many stories of children committing suicide. I personally know of a woman who kept her teenage son up night after night crying about her divorce, repeatedly telling him "children ruin marriages." Her son turned to drinking, drugs, and dropped out of college.
Divorce is a reality. It is currently a billion dollar a year business. Contested divorce is guerilla warfare whether people want to acknowledge it or not. Everyone wants fuzzy warm answers to harsh reality. There are none unless we all recognize the gender bias against males perpetuated in Family Court today, and the undeniable damage it does to our children.
Years ago women had a disadvantage in our domestic courts. Now they can feel quite happy knowing most women win. They can manipulate child support into "backdoor alimony," deprive their children of their fathers, and ruin their husband. Truth no longer exists in our legal system.
Yes, we have come a long way. Women can be proud of the laws they fought hard for 30+ years ago. I am personally grateful for these laws. Let us not blaspheme those women who died for the very laws that many women are abusing today. We must stop abusing these laws, or one day our legal pendulum will swing back and our true victims will not be believed again.
You think you are beating men? You are beating yourself; destroying your children; and making the racketeers in our legal system rich. You are creating a generation of children who think love is conditional and possessive; who learn that violence by proxy and misuse of the law will make you a winner.
I will never be associated with any "feminist" movement which advocates false allegations, destroying children, and eliminating good fathers.
Let's remember that it is children, not women, who are the real victims of the gender bias in our family courts.
Pearle Harbour is the author of Guerrilla Divorce Warfare