Anti-father bias in family law needs reform, Dad says


Winnipeg’s father, Frank Manet, describes his experience with the Canadian family law system as “absolute hell” after experiencing a tedious and costly court battle to prevent children from moving far. doing.

Mane and his wife split after 14 years of marriage after his wife had a relationship with his boss. They raised their son and daughter together for two years, after which the mother and stepfather began legal action to move their children to Seattle, where the stepfather was born.

“There was no reason to go there for employment. It was only for selfish and selfish reasons. And the process was hell. It was just hell,” Manet told The Epoch Times. Told.

“All the lawyers involved were about prolonging their views from the dispute. There were reports from experts, but nevertheless. [report] I recommended that the children be with me, but the judge didn’t hear anything, “Manet said. “The judge was clearly on another planet.”

Renamed mane to protect family privacy, despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to prevent it, allows children to leave for Seattle with their mother and stepfather It is said that it was done.

“I’m a very resilient person with happy DNA, but it just killed me. Losing my child was devastating,” he said.

Visits to see his children were scarce for the next two years, not only because of distance and expense, but also because the mother and stepfather were reluctant to accommodate such visits. Eventually, Mane got a job in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and visited more often. Eventually, his daughter and second son chose to live with a mane who had subsequently remarried.

Carrie Linde, a Vancouver lawyer who has practiced family law for 49 years, says the family law system is biased towards fathers and men are facing difficult battles.

“The courts are still very good, but they are gender-biased everywhere …. There is still a deep-seated prejudice against Dad. There is also a bias in credibility issues,” Linde said in an interview. rice field.

“Whenever a father makes a mistake, the court considers it sufficient to reduce parenting time with the child, but if the mother makes a mistake, it is a mistake.”

Linde said financial hurdles are preventing many fathers from getting reasonable results.

“It’s expensive to be able to fight as much as you need,” he said. “In the early days of the war, fathers can lose many battles, but with the will and money to bring them to trial, they can still win the war.”

At least 34% of all active divorce cases deal with one or more of the four issues of access, custody, property, and support, according to an analysis by Statistics Canada in seven states and territories in the late 2000s. I did. Custody was a problem in at least 39% of cases, but access was confirmed in at least one-third of problematic divorce cases. In addition, divorce cases were rarely brought to justice.

“So many men are suffering.”

Christopher Salo, a professor of economics at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, investigated this issue after facing the issue of post-divorce custody and support. In 2014, he wrote a dissertation for the Fraser Institute, which gave a disadvantageous assessment of federal child support guidelines. Since then, many fathers have contacted him on their own story.

“Over the years, I’ve heard from so many, many men who have experienced this … so many men are suffering,” Sarlo said.

“There is a lot of pain there. There is suicide. Men just don’t know where to look.”

Canadian divorce law states that child support is “guidelines are based on the principle that spouses have a joint financial obligation to maintain a married child according to their relative ability to contribute to the fulfillment of their obligations.” Stated.

However, in his dissertation, Salo stated that these “relative abilities” were not considered in child support guidelines that depended on “many unrealistic assumptions that make them unfair.” rice field. He also said they were “gender-biased”, “supporting mothers everywhere and punitive to fathers” and “promoting discord and proceedings.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had 14 formulas for a fair approach to child support under consideration in the 1990s, but chose one in 1997. In consultation with social policy advocates, we chose a formula that assumed that the first child would be added to the household by 40%. Cost and additional 30% per child added. Nevertheless, economic analysis has shown that the 40-30 model is accurate only if parents have low pre-tax income but are identical and both remain single after parting.

According to other DOJ analyzes, most single-parent families add 25 percent for the first child, 13 percent for the second child, and 15 percent for the third child. Subsequent DOJ reports showed that in 2004, mothers gained custody in 90% of the cases disputed in court. So, arguably, it was the father who most often paid the excess amount.

Last year, Sarlo testified in a case in Alberta where his father challenged support guidelines based on this.

“This particular challenge was brought about by a fairly wealthy individual whose wife divorced him,” he said. “He thought the framework of the guidelines was inconsistent with divorce law.”

Salo said the lawyers involved in the challenge were facing a difficult battle.

“At the Department of Justice level [there‚Äôs] Many resistances, and they are fighting in every possible way [against] You can hear this at the highest level, “he said.

“I think the Justice Department and many of the people in charge of policy there are concerned. [changes] It will be considered unpleasant, especially for women’s rights groups. “

Multi-generational impact

Mane says the family law system needs to be reviewed and points out that the way things are done now has widespread adverse effects, especially for children.

“This is the greatest abuse of children in our country and it is made possible by the states. It is devastating to the people our society feels every day and for generations. It has a lot of influence, “he said.

However, he said, the leaders are “afraid to enter women’s groups and the legal industry” and have no political will to change the system.

Both Linde and Sarlo believe that federal law would result in a default of 50-50 co-custodial rights if parents break up.

“Immediately after divorce, all sorts of preparations need to be made to bring moms and dads geographically close enough so that they can spend half the time with their parents,” says Linde. increase.

“If it should be the default position and one parent insists that it should not be the result, they have an obligation to prove it.”

He states that the “universal” child support formula is separated from the actual needs of the child and is so rigorous that the reality of the post-divorce situation cannot be acknowledged.

Mane describes Canada’s family law system as “an elephant in the room when it comes to our society.”

“I’m not conscientious about what’s going on,” he says. “We must change the law to stop this madness that is hurting children and everyone else.”

Lee Harding

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Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.

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