Now it is men who face discrimination in the family courts. Whistleblower Lawsuit: Age, Gender Bias In Howell Municipal Court Nicole Rosenthal 8/27/2020. Like our own Child Support Guidelines, this research also fails to consider the non-custodial father’s spending on the children. 25:891 today.11 In no greater sphere do these outdated gender roles persist than in our nation’s family court system.12 There, the state frequently not only denies the capability and desire of many men to participate actively and meaningfully in the care of their children,13 but also perpetuates the subjugation of women as mothers by deeming them 5 October 1998, Johnstone, J.] This was when I was on my own after losing my first lawyer because of lack of money. His wife had left with him with apparently no warning and had gone to live in a basement apartment. It is time to let the Canadian public know that men facing separation and divorce are not being dealt with fairly. v. But as gender roles have evolved in society, more and more mothers are working instead of staying home. Groups like FACT have a key role to play in the struggle to achieve true gender equality in our courts. Some of that testimony comes through in the Joint Committee Report; more of it was posted on the internet. However, in the area of the family court, particularly child custody laws, change has been lacking and complicated. Our highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada, has recently rendered a decision that has sparked unprecedented controversy across the land and has led to calls for the dismissal of an eminent appeal justice from Alberta and of Madam Justice L’Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court [ R. v. Ewanchuk, unreported, digested at  S.C.J. The presumption that women are more fit for parenting, or that they require more financial support than men is simply unfair and unjust. But the source of the bias is not in the courts – it’s in the marriage. She had no skills and no job prospects. There was no spousal support. The courts have judicially recognized in tort law the historical discriminatory wage practices between males and females. Still, there is much research that needs to be undertaken in order to provide strong empirical evidence that the bias exists. This specious and false allegation is thoroughly demolished in Cynthia McNeely’s article [Section III]. . But first, let us note what subsection 16(10) of the Divorce Act states. How many men have been looked at by judges and by lawyers as simply ‘another man’ bellyaching about “access”. 13, No. I heard from a dad in Quebec whose custody claim was refused because he did not have a job. I heard from heartbroken grandparents in Alberta. The Equal Opportunity Commission, the Government's own anti-discrimation agency have stated they are fully aware that men are being discriminated against in the Family Law Court based on gender alone, but have stated that the Family Law Court is immune from this agency and all others. Unreasonable denial of access, false claims of abuse, and other tactics which deprive children of a separated/divorced parent, are significant and tragic problems that call out not only for social solutions (as correctly advocated by the C.B.A. Her Honour states: “I cannot apply a flawed process which perpetuates a discriminatory practice.” Could such a sentiment … could such a noble and just sentiment be applied in child custody law? In most places, it is recognized as discriminatory if not illegal to pay a woman less for the same job that a man does. Men and women have to go to family court to resolve family-related disputes, including disagreements over child custody and child support. Their grandson had been subjected to second hand smoke, causing his asthma to severely worsen. L. Rev. To discuss your situation in greater detail, contact our Toronto family lawyers online or call 1-888-389-3099. Carey Linde Vancouver family lawyer "There is an inherent bias in the system. The plain fact of the matter is this – in order for a man to succeed in maintaining a decent relationship with his kids (and by decent I mean in terms of time with the kids and even some responsibility for major issues affecting the lives of the children), he has to be what I call, “super dad”. No wonder that the Fredericton lawyers jumped to the defence of the their Family Court judge! Gender Bias in the Family Courts of Canada: Fact or Fantasy? Make no mistake please about what I am saying. [Id. In fact, perceived bias against men in family courts has, in large part, provided the so-called “Men’s Rights Movement” with momentum. We have assisted countless dads in asserting their fathers’ rights in Toronto and throughout Ontario. For it seems that the Parliament of Canada, in proclaiming these sections into law, has acceded to the reality of some rather monumental changes in our modern day socioeconomic fabric. A gender bias argument should not be used by a divorced father unless he has personal experience and can back up that experience with proof. Where are you? If the other side is aggressive in court, don’t copy them. You were always accessible during the preparation of my case and prior to court appearances. Weathagirl March 19, 2017 at 9:53 pm. [Lenore Weitzman: The Divorce Revolution, 1985] This study has been cited favourably in numerous American cases as well as in a number of Canadian cases such as Keast (1986), 1 R.F.L. However, the time has come to speak out and speak out I will! Madam Justice L’Heureux-Dubé then stated [at para 89]: These comments made by an appellate judge help reinforce the myth that under such circumstances, either the complainant is less worthy of belief, she invited the sexual assault, or her sexual experience signals probable consent to further sexual activity. Here’s what you should know: There is so much to say and unfortunately, we cannot spend hours upon hours. A proper interpretation of the data revealed the following analysis: These statistics fly in the face of the common feminist wisdom that fathers who seek custody in court more often than not succeed. (4 th) 291, 120 Sask. Statistics. The trial court judge in the In re JRD case stated on the record that the SPO is “…the standard schedule that every other dad gets.” (emphasis added). The New Collins Thesaurus  gives the following synonyms for “bias”: ” n. 1. “On the contrary, I maintain that the problem of access denial is much more widespread than it should be or my colleagues in the Family Law Section apparently believe it to be. When we accuse a legal system, a judge or a lawyer of being “gender biased”, then this can be interpreted as an attack, an insult. In earlier times, it was assumed that men, by nature, are better suited to protect and provide for children. Gender Discrimination in Ontario Family Courts: #1 public policy failure in Canada today It is really too bad that in a progressive society with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms - the envy of the world - that grave injustices frequently occur to parents and children. Behind closed doors of the family court system, thousands of women each year lose child custody to violent men who beat and abuse mothers and children. Despite clearly required to by the California Family Code, the court offered her absolutely no help. Let me relate to you just a few quotes from this father’s email to me: The whole system is bias[ed]. Justice Goodearle also quoted extensively from an excellent 1985 article that had been published in the Reports of Family Law [Judith P. Ryan: Joint Custody in Canada: Time for a Second Look, (1985) 49 R.F.L. And should not such across the board application include such areas as child custody law and child support law? He stated: It is clear that the feminist influence has amounted to intimidation, posing a potential danger to the independence of the judiciary. [An Act to amend the Law relating to the Custody of Infants, 2 & 3 Vict. One of the main ones is a good news story: most couples separate amicably, The wording of the legislation is gender neutral and provides a number of factors for the court to consider when deciding spousal support. Another resource is Sanford Braver and Diane O’Connell: Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths, Penguin Putnam, 1998.]. Tuesday, March 16, 1999. [See: Armin A. Brott: Gender Bias in the Media: The Other Side of the Story, Nieman Reports, Winter 1994, Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, reproduced at: http://www.erols.com/jkammer/nieman.htm] But we do not have the time to engage in this fascinating historical analysis. We certainly need proper statistical studies. There was an excellent article by Donna Laframboise in the National Post on January 30, 1999. Justice Carthy felt that the trial judge’s reasons demonstrated “a complete lack of appreciation of the modern concept of equality of the sexes. [See: Anne P. Mitchell: The Hypocrisy of ‘Equality’ in a Family Law Context, reproduced at: http://www.backlash.com/content/gender/1995/5-may95/page15b.html. The truth about “gender bias” in Family Courts. The best interests of a child normally lie with the “primary caretaker” to whom custody should normally be awarded. The intimidation problem is certainly not restricted to criminal law. Do not members of the public have the right to respond publicly when a judge pontificates openly in a public court about men in general? Are Ontario’s Courts Gender Bias? 129, there have been profound changes in women’s labour force participation. 745, 959 (1994). Let us not forget the often sordid role of custody-access assessors. ” Treat all court staff, litigants, witnesses and Contact Gene C. Colman for a customized legal strategy today. A latent influence that disturbs an analysis.”. ’ re seeing in the Edmonton father ’ s reporting of the 900 complaints received involved. Patriarchy affects how custody battles are eventually ruled – and not on.. Who would, in their right mind, argue against such a process should be treated equally in the will! 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