Divorce Civil Rights

by Joseph E. Cordell Divorce lawyer and founder of DadsDivorce.com

As a society, we find profiling — painting a group of people with such a broad brush — to be wholly unacceptable.

Except when it applies to men in family courts.

Quite frankly, men’s rights has become a civil rights issue. When you think of the progress we’ve made in civil rights, men’s rights as it pertains to the family have been neglected.

Profiling of different groups based on skin color, age, disabilities, etc., is not permissible. We regard these generalizations as being deplorable in virtually every sphere of civil rights, but for some reason these generalizations and assumptions are permissible as they pertain to men in domestic scenarios.

There is an institutional family court bias, but we can’t simply blame judges. Sure, they are human beings and have preconceptions like everyone else, but it goes much further than that.

The family law industry as a whole — from attorneys to social workers — makes presumptions about men and fathers.

Historically, women have usually been the primary nurturers. Judges and opposing counsel can quite persuasively argue that statistically moms more often than not are the ones that are the primary caregivers.

Yet the problem with stereotyping, as civil rights leaders pointed out, is that stereotypes are built on probabilities that do not give fair opportunity to others, to the innocent in that group.

Ironically, the feminist movement, which was largely in response to men’s cultural and economic dominance, cast aside men whose roles in family courts were already tenuous. Dads were victims of being male at a time when the movement was not sympathetic to their position.

Men generally were less the subject of the civil rights movement than the obstacle, and for that reason there weren’t many sympathetic ears turned toward men, particularly in family court.

As a result, a group think has emerged that has unfortunately elevated the interest of women above the interest of men.

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