One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

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Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Terry Brennan: US and UK family courts cause heartbreak to separated fathers

When asked about opening his law firm’s first office in the UK, Scott Trout, Managing Partner of Cordell and Cordell, one of the largest family law firms in the United States, stated:

“It was a big step for us to go to the UK, I was over there pretty much for the last year and a half, going back and forth just trying to make sure everything was opened up, and one of the things I was interested in seeing was whether or not guys in the UK face the same situations as in the US. I didn’t think it would be, but it was amazing. If I didn’t know there was an accent, I would think I was in the United States. The same issues that guys face in terms of discrimination in the UK are the very same things that guys face and the troubles they have in the United States.”

Setting aside which of us has an accent for future debate, this statement is remarkable in its implications. The Managing Director of one of the largest family law firms in the United States has openly admitted that men face discrimination in both US and UK courts. Yet by any normative measure, the odds should be remote that the family courts of two nations with different juridical traditions and political structures would converge in creating precisely the same gender disparities in their practices.

Trout’s statement is significant, but unsurprising to me. A Co-Founder of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, an international child advocacy organisation focused on making shared parenting the cornerstone of family law, I bear witness daily to corroborating evidence from both countries shared with me by other parents.

It’s impossible to listen to the heartbreak caused by US and UK family courts as told by those (mostly fathers) separated from their children for all but “standard visitation” and continue to see the phenomenon as a coincidence.  It isn’t only fathers who suffer: The entire extended paternal side of the family is similarly disenfranchised, proving “child custody” is anything but a Woman vs. Man issue.

Clearly both countries follow the same “business model,” where special interest industry groups profit from the business’s rapid expansion at the expense of certain consumers. Which explains the equally transatlantic pushback by “anti-establishment” forces in the divorce industry. On fairness and equality grounds, shared parenting has overwhelming support – more than 70 per cent - in the general population. “The Best Interest of the Child” is paid lip service to in family law, but in fact it is the best interest of those who profit from an adversarial system who are served in fact.

Fatherlessness is an epidemic in the US and the UK, but in both countries is completely ignored by policymakers. It’s time they’re held accountable. Those responsible for implementing and defending current family laws often tell discriminated against fathers to “Man Up.” Turnabout is fair play. Please read and share your thoughts on my recent post which sets out the scale of the crisis in the USA and which are aimed at GOP - the nominal party of the family: Republican’s Should Man Up on Fatherlessness.

Terry Brennan is Co-Founder, Leading Women for Shared Parenting


  • weirdvisions

    There should be a fairer way but who will do the job of overhauling the Family Court system? And how many legislators would be willing to face up to the militant femiloons screaming blue murder to prevent such a perceived travesty?

    • LW4SP

      Patience and persistence, my friend. Although they often should, no social movement took place overnight; be it the suffragettes, African American movement, Indian independence movement or any other. What’s important is to evaluate the trend and in that regard, the movement for shared parenting is, undeniably, making progress. LW4SP and other groups are working diligently, to educate elected officials about how current practices hurt civilization and how shared parenting is best for children and families. Of course, there are politics and power involved, so it will take more than “education” and we’re pursuing those channels as well. Further, to use a business term, “Fatherlessness” is the “killer app” as its a well recognized epidemic and the costs associated with it are well known. Our people doing legislative interface are now reporting they are having harder times getting off the phone and out of meetings as elected officials are seeking more and more information. In the US, a bill reached the Governor’s desk in both the states of Florida (which was vetoed) and Missouri (pending) which never would have happened a decade ago. Its not going to happen overnight, but when it does, it will happen more quickly and more widespread than many might imagine. Thank you for both your comment and interest.

      • weirdvisions

        You’re welcome. My son was brought up in a stable, two parent family unit. A son from my husband’s first marriage has never been allowed contact with his father ( who wasn’t responsible for the break-up) despite court rulings to the contrary so I know how devastating this can be to a father.

        Not all of us women are misandrist femiloons. :0)

        Good luck.

        • LW4SP

          Couldn’t agree more. In fact, public support for shared parenting has consistently been over 70% with women and men supporting in equal numbers. That said, there hasn’t been a platform from which women could share their experience and show their support for shared parenting so we formed LW4SP. We are growing, and will continue to advocate to make a positive difference in the lives of children.

        • Rob

          is not so much the femiloons, but N.O.W. who had in the past demanded shared parenting, but now realising that they were going to lose the gravy train over this have opposed shared parenting.

  • Mazrick

    The time is long past where something should have been done about this. To men in America at least the message has been clear for a long time. Don’t marry or have children. There’s nothing in it for you. I’ve witnessed many men absolutely destroyed by divorce and family court. American women are the most mercenary people you will ever encounter. There are still a lot of guys out there that will risk it usually to their detriment, but the word is spreading.
    In the next twenty years I expect to see the marriage rate tank below 20%. Only when women can’t find a sucker, will even modest reform be possible. Right now, there are three roads a rational man can follow in the west to stay clear of the divorce meat grinder. One is MGTOW, a route I won’t espouse upon here except to wish those guys good luck on their journey. Another is to expat and marry a foreign woman from a more traditional culture. Most of my successful friends have gone this route. The third, for men that can, is learn game, hit the gym, and just do pickups. The third has been, for the most part, my choice and there are a few younger guys I befriended whom I’ve been passing on my accumulated knowledge to. This is the future of matrimony in the west. About the worst decision a man can make in his life is to marry and sire children with an American woman. It’s sad but, true.

    • KjempInari

      You can still choose children as long as you avoid marriage, child support is less punitive than alimony.

      Ideally with a women who is close to you in earning power.

      • Mazrick

        I had a vasectomy years ago. I’ve still had a number women try the ‘oops I’m pregnant’ scam. The looks on their faces are priceless when I call the bluff. ‘Sorry baby, the bun in your oven wasn’t made with my eggs and don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out.’

        • Rob

          I’ve still had a number women try the ‘oops I’m pregnant’ scam.
          ————————–
          should tell them
          “well you better run of and tell which ever man is was, thanks for proving to me that you are unfaithful and not nice knowing you”

          really could do with a website that names anyone who attempts the pregancy scam ( and yes I know doxing is not a nice thing to do, but then neither is pulling teeth)

  • disqus_QL05BqU79X

    American family courts were the first to witness the now-standard metal detectors installed at their entrances. Estranged fathers, many starving and destitute due to the levels of court-enforced support payments demanded for children the men were banned from contacting, were starting to shoot judges. Good for them.

  • Rob

    it is truly nasty to do this to children and parents( of any gender).
    had it done to me not by the UK courts( that is yet to come ), but by sharia courts in the gulf.
    Everytime I hear that cr*p about sharia is uniquely terrible to women, I can point them to my court case and every manipulated move and denial of court representation going.

    The EU were bloody useless in tackling this( will be glad to get shot of them and their funding for these activist groups that do this).

    i sometime wonder where all the SJWs and triggered regressives come from, now i have good idea( from the outcome of this vile behaviour)

  • Rob

    time to start putting opposers into the limelight
    in the US is the N.O.W. and their lawyers associations.
    now its time to start talking online and naming all the leaders of this organisation( who btw seem to be desperate to attract new feminist members) and the lawyers who support them.