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The consequence of bias in divorce

Walking Away

I had an interesting conversation with my friend Jon in the UK the other day, in which he sat down to have a heart-to-heart with his nephew and essentially told him “Don’t get married“.

Although this was in the context of a particular, rather neurotic young lady, his argument was in a wider sense that it is no longer in the rational self interest of a man to enter into marriage with any women as the consequences of making a bad decision are catastrophic for both parties, but more so financially and emotionally for the man due to the inherent bias of Western divorce laws.

I must admit that I was a bit saddened by his approach, but with hindsight it is not very surprising either. Previously, I had only been aware of the concept of a “marriage strike” or “marriage boycott” in the context of Indian marriages (where it is more about the threat of divorce on ancestral properties) and within the American mens movement, which although it started as an equal rights movement, seems to have devolved into a forum for misogyny, which helps no-one and just pours fuel on the fire set by virulent feminism.

At the heart of this debate is a sincere argument that marriage is the single-most important institution for raising children and when the foundations of that institution are undermined, the whole of society suffers, not just the individual families involved.

Marriages fail for all sorts of reasons and it is in the best interests of the children that they continue to be supported by two loving parents even if those parents are no longer together. The difficulty we have today is that divorce has fixated on a substantially distorted view of “what is in the best interests of the children”, which usually means (in Western societies) that the mother is given sole-custody of the children, whereas the father is given the responsibility of providing for them financially, even if his time with his own children is limited to a few hours a month (or not at all in many cases).

Time and again, studies have shown that if fathers are given reasonable access to their children, this helps to minimize the emotional fallout from the divorce on the children and increases the likelihood of child support commitments being fulfilled.

Father Absence and the Welfare of Children – Olin Business School

Where a mother gains full custody, there are many circumstances where she attempts to cut her divorced husband out of her life and the lives of their children, even when this violates the settlement terms of the divorce and even against enforcement action by the courts themselves.

Father with no rights: Mother stops him seeing daughter for 12 YEARS – despite 82 court orders demanding she back down

From the personal perspective of the divorced woman, this is understandable, she wishes to get on with her life, possibly even establish a new life with a new partner and the shackles of her former marriage, especially child access agreements prevent her from doing that.

But if we are to acknowledge that the rights of the children are paramount then there must be genuine equality in divorce.

Until this in built bias is removed there will be growing numbers of men telling their nephews, brother, cousins, friends and co-workers “not to get married” and the shattered remnants of that institution will continue to be further undermined to the detriment of the family and society as a whole.

Dr. Helen Smith on “Men On Strike”

20 Comments

  1. dcardno says:

    I think the advice was more properly “don’t have children” since whether married or not, if the relationship breaks down the consequences for the father will be roughly the same.

  2. John Galt says:

    “I think the advice was more properly “don’t have children” since whether married or not, if the relationship breaks down the consequences for the father will be roughly the same.”

    Perhaps, but since the widespread introduction of contraception, the decision to have children or not (pill, coil, morning-after, abortion, etc.) has largely resided with the female rather than the male.

  3. Paul Marks says:

    The divorce laws and the “Family Courts” (whose procedures violate the principles of Common Law).

    This 1960s (and post 1960s) stuff just does not work.

    The only question is – was society sabotaged by “unintended consequences”, or was this mess intended from the start?

  4. John Galt says:

    Fair point. I’ve always thought that the divorce laws, especially in the UK, but elsewhere as well were somewhat of a pendulum, prior to the 1960′s the divorce laws were biased in favour of the father on the basis that he was responsible for the children, but this led to unfair decisions against the wife.

    We’re now in a situation where the man retains much of the responsibility (especially financial) for the children, but has no control over divorce settlement (even where he is the wronged party or in no fault divorce cases) or the ongoing welfare of the children.

    We need to restore the balance in terms of not always giving custody to the mother and leaving the father with only the financial burden and limited or no access.

    The minions of the state, in the form of social services and child support organisations have pushed their own political agendas to the extent of deliberate distortions of the truth and out-and-out perjury.

    This bullshit must end, not because of the isolation of the fathers, but because it destroys families, which is what the “Family Court” is allegedly trying to protect, but it does a piss-poor job of it.

    The consequences might be unintended from the perspective of politicians, but they are bloody deliberate and destructive on the part of the social services and child support organisations.

  5. single acts of tyranny says:

    As usual, the state interferes between two adult, freely contracting parties and things are worse

  6. John Galt says:

    …and their rationale (as usual) is “Won’t somebody think of the children!”.

    I don’t think there is any way to totally withdraw the state from their position as enforcers in this regard, but if the state actually acted as an unbiased arbitrator rather than a psychopath with a political agenda it would help.

    But of course, to do so would be like trying to un-break a smashed vase.

  7. single acts of tyranny says:

    Well there may be a way, asset wise anyway. Vest the ownership abroad where UK court directives have no meaning and marry where pre-nups are observed. Not perfect and not easy but better than the default.

  8. John Galt says:

    That doesn’t really alter the family side of things though does it? Or should we be like the lawyer who kidnapped his child from the custody of his German ex-partner in Austria and flew him to Sark, where unmarried mothers have no rights?

    British lawyer snatched his son, four, from Austria and flew him by private jet to Channel Islands – where unmarried mothers have NO custody rights

    Because that is a shitty solution to an admittedly shitty problem.

  9. Johnnydub says:

    T!he American mens movement, which although it started as an equal rights movement, seems to have devolved into a forum for misogyny”

    That’s a fairly sweeping statement for a broad range of informal social commentators. most of whom the readership of this blog would at least acknowledge some common observations and interpretations..

  10. John Galt says:

    Yes, but while they may have some valid points, I won’t support any movement whose fundamental characteristics are hatred for others based upon their not possessing a “Y” chromosome.

    Equally, I don’t support the virulent feminists for exactly the same reason, that their radical agenda is a form of misandry.

    As I keep banging on in other blog postings, the fundamental principle of any genuine democracy is that “All are equal before the law”.

  11. Johnnydub says:

    JG – It’s my impression that a lot of the “men’s movement” has arisen precisely because of the misandry enshrined in modern legislation – and we come full circle in terms of the topic of this post…

  12. Ed P says:

    “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. As the case above, with 82 court orders granting the father access, there is no guarantee that the law will be upheld when faced with difficult mothers. In my (bitter) experience, women change as soon as they have the children they wanted, after which the father is just a meal ticket with no rights. (I’m not bitter!)

  13. John Galt says:

    I suspect that much of the problems with access could be altered if the presumption was joint custody rather than maternal sole custody. Equally, in the case of the woman with 82 court orders, at some point it becomes more important for the court not to be held in contempt (as it surely was in this case), even if there is a temporary pain caused to the child by the mothers absence.

    Your point about men being treated as walking ATM’s seems pretty accurate in some circumstances, but I would argue that it is not inherently the women at fault, but the system itself.

    As my Economics 101 teacher used to say “Incentives matter” and the delusional behaviour of the state is incentivising exactly these behaviours by rewarding them.

  14. Popov says:

    It is the same advice i will give my son when he is older. My ex-wife did radical feminism at University, which i was unaware of until she disposed of me (but bless her she retained our son and most of the money).

    The difference between ‘misogynistic’ men and the feminists is that men don’t go to University to perfect their hatred.

    Anyway, after years of court orders that she broke without condemnation from the courts, she died and I now have my son. I am a lot poorer for the experience of marriage but a lot wiser. Sadly i will never trust a woman as i know the damage that they can inflict with virtual impugnity from our femnised justice system.

  15. John says:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of
    its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    – C.S. Lewis

  16. Wildgoose says:

    I have a son and two daughters. I have told my daughters that they MUST get married. I have told my son it is much safer for him if he DOESN’T get married. Hypocritical? Perhaps. I prefer to think of it as a rational approach to the horrendous bias inherent in the existing system.

  17. John Galt says:

    Hypocritical? Perhaps, but you are acting in the best interests of both your daughters and your son, which is what a loving parent must do against the depredations of the state.

    In its current form marriage is a 3-way agreement between the husband, the wife and the state with a limited upside and an unlimited down-side (both financially and emotionally) for men.

    Until the balance is restored, it is simply a foolish undertaking for men.

  18. Mr Ed says:

    Well look at this,get divorced, co-habit and still get stung for 50% if you separate afterwards, and the comments suggest widespread approval for what can only be punitive awards. The makes a mockery of the rule of law even putting aside the 50/50 share at divorce.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548223/Ex-partner-handed-6m-payout-millionaire-businessman-moved-lover-home-asked-say-HOUSEKEEPER.html

    When I studied matrimonial law, I was the only male in a tutorial group of 12, my fellow students lapped up the asset ‘sharing’ exercise with what I can only call glee, and I remarked about it at the time, the only time I have seen students actually look excited.

  19. John Galt says:

    You’ve got to admit though, that the actions of this man were pretty foolish.

    To get divorced in the 1990′s, but then continue living together – that doesn’t exactly make much sense? Then a decade later to move your new partner into the house and ask your ex-wife to remain as housekeeper? Seriously?

    The ex-wife says “she found the suggestion ‘very demeaning and upsetting’”, quite right as well.

    The man behaved foolishly without social grace and without reasonable consideration for others for which he has been punished. In earlier periods it would not have been a court imposed financial sanction, but ostracisation within the community.

  20. Mr Ed says:

    Yes JG, a complete fool, soon parted from his money, but a fool for thinking that he could ‘get away with it under the law’ but the law never used to award solatium, compensation for hurt feelings, which is what this looks like, combined with a punitive intent, and frankly, he was offering her a roof, is he to be condemned for that? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t?

    “All my goods I with thee share” might be a vow, but share does not need to be 50/50, and the poorer spouse might be expected to lose any rights if that spouse has repudiated the contract. That’s the problem with the fixed marriage contract, virtually no sanction for breach. One case where no financial award was made that I recall was where a wife dumped her husband to move in with his father.

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