Wednesday, December 18, 2002
New laws on child custody should help fathersPeter Jensen
As a lawyer I feel I must add somewhat to your editorial by commenting on the massive systemic bias against fathers in our courts (Divorce law changes good for the children, Dec.16).
Too many fathers are estranged from their children by a biased and callous divorce system that apparently assumes that a father's love is of marginal value, that fathers are worthless except as cheque books, and that custodial whims of mothers must be catered to over any needs of the father and his relationship with his children. Thus we see bizarre cases where abusive and violent mothers are given child custody to "save their motherhood."
One sees fathers kept from the bedsides of dying children because their presence might upset the mother. One sees at-home dads deprived of their children because the working mother "can afford the children" and the "father must be free of the children to seek work."
A vast apparatus has been put in place to collect child support payments but nothing is put in place to help fathers maintain access.
Until the law corrects this massive prejudice in favor of the mother, then nasty divorces, harm to children and distant fathers will continue to be a reality in our society.
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