St. Catharines Standard

Saturday, April 1, 2000

Fathers' rights are ignored in most family court cases

Keith Weave
Letter to The Standard
The St. Catharine's Standard

As was stated by Supreme Court Master Doug Baker, referring to the recent travesty of justice that resulted in the apparent suicide of divorced father Darrin White, family court decisions are based on standardized guidelines.

Those guidelines, written and formulated with much input by feminist special-interest groups and no input by fathers' groups, for all intents and purposes tell judges that females appearing before them are to be believed with or without evidence, while males must have overwhelming evidence.

Even that may safely be disregarded if that evidence would result in a decision that would go against the woman.

The well-being of the children and the husband are disregarded in almost every case that appears before a judge in family court.

These same guidelines allow judges to strip a man of all assets and enforce support payments in excess of the man's gross income. Is it any wonder that these political hacks refuse to explain their decisions? Master Baker, the judge who refused to accept evidence that White was voluntarily supporting a child from his first marriage, decided that White, who was collecting $950 per month in disability payments, would have to pay more than $2,000 per month in child support to his ex-wife and their three children.

This, despite the fact that the ex-wife held the same qualifications for work as her husband, a $60,000-a-year job as a locomotive engineer. She chose to remain at home, and the judge did not consider that she could return to work after the separation.

Master Baker knows that his decision was morally indefensible and impractical, so it is little wonder that he hides behind his position as a judge and refuses to explain why a man was driven to suicide.

One of the reasons for this travesty is that the Canadian family law system is highly politicized and judges rule without any accountability to anyone.

Another reason is that the federal government, well aware of the inequality of the Divorce Act, has refused to act. Justice Minister Anne MacLellan, after intense lobbying by feminist organizations, has shelved any implementations of the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Custody and Access.

My prediction is that if this situation does not improve, the anger and despair that currently is being turned inwards and resulting in suicide by men who are railroaded into these star chambers will one day be turned outwards, and the end result will be blood flowing in those courtrooms.

I hope it doesn't come to that, but the danger that this prediction will come true increases daily. If that happens, politicians will act.

Unfortunately, it seems that change in our legal system can only take place after thousands of lives of children, women and men have been ruined.

This is the cost of the politicization of the justice system, and the years of pandering to radical feminism.

Keith Weaver

Doncaster Boulevard

St. Catharines