f/k/a . . . the archives

February 26, 2004

UK Dads Angrily Protest Divorce Lawyers

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:53 pm

Claiming that divorce lawyers “pour petrol” on the flames of divorcing couples, and deprive children of the care of their fathers, members of the group Fathers 4 Justice have been staging dramatic protests in the United Kingdom.  For example, according to The Huddersfield Daily Examiner:


Fifteen fathers wearing white contamination outfits stormed the offices of Parker Bird solicitors in Queen Street, Huddersfield with sirens blaring, whistles blowing and flags waving.

 

fireman hose gray flip 

The article (“Angry fathers in law firm protest,” 02-26-04, via law.com) also noted that F4J bestowed the Golden Petrol Can award on Parker Bird.  In addition:


  • The protesters claim the firm helps prevent fathers from maintaining their parental responsibilities and abuses the human rights of children and fathers in Huddersfield.
  • “We feel that many solicitors manipulate family law against fathers.”

Let me be frank:  I’m surprised this sort of protest hasn’t happened more often in the USA.  My sympathies are with the fathers.  As a Law Guardian representing children and as a divorce mediator, I have seen far too many instances of divorce lawyers needlessly fomenting anger and prolonging proceedings, to the detriment of the own clients, the opposing party and, especially, the children.  As lawyer-mediator Leonard Marlow has pointed out in Divorce and the Myth of Lawyers and The Two Roads to Divorce, the only winners are the lawyers.


p.s. For some practical advice on parenting after separation or divorce, see my essay Tips on Parenting-Apart.  For advice on getting through the grief process of divorce or separation in order to be a healthier person and better parent, see my 1997 monograph, Good Grief  Both articles were written while operating Project PAX: the Parenting-Apart eXchange, in Scotia, New York.

17 Comments

  1. Sadly, a seminar about so-called reverse discrimination like that outlined in this post would not qualify for Elimination of Bias credit in Minnesota. Here is a post on the subject:
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    Comment by Peter Swanson — March 4, 2004 @ 1:22 am

  2. Sadly, a seminar about so-called reverse discrimination like that outlined in this post would not qualify for Elimination of Bias credit in Minnesota. Here is a post on the subject:
    http://599to1.blogspot.com/#107838118786826125

    Comment by Peter Swanson — March 4, 2004 @ 1:22 am

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  13. [...] david giacalone – October 8, 2006 @ 4:10 pm · Resources-Consumer, Viewpoint The newest Nolo Law in Plain English podcast was posted yesterday, and asks the question Do Dads Get a Fair Shake in Divorce? (with Paul Mandelstein, author of “Always Dad: Being a Great Father During & After Divorce,” (Nolo). The podcast ”discusses issues of custody, fairness, ‘right speech,’ and the effect of past actions on divorce decisions.”  (Oct. 7, 2006, 12 min.)  Although it’s a good one (ask ethicalEsq), I don’t want to opine on the question presented by Mandelstein.  Instead, I want to suggest that divorce (or custody/visitation) mediation can often be the best way to create a parenting plan that is fair to both of the parents and to the child, while avoiding some of the worst aspects of litigating family law issues. Admittedly, I’m biased on the issue of litigating vs. mediating divorces (even though retired): Volunteer work for the D.C. Superior Court “Multi-door” Family Mediation program, in 1987 and 1988, led me to switch from antitrust to family law, with the goal of creating a divorce mediation practice.   Then, representing scores of children in Family Court custody and visitation disputes, and in contested divorces, gave me a close-up view of how wrong-headed litigation (and lawyers) can be in such cases — while my own mediation practice demonstrated that even two angry people can very often be helped to reach agreements that, for the sake of their children, they both want to make successful.    [...]

    Comment by shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » divorce mediation: mutual self-help — October 8, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

  14. I agree – it’s definitely important to have a father figure involved in a child’s life. Divorce can often tear families apart in this way, sadly.

    Comment by Tips On Parenting — November 16, 2007 @ 3:57 am

  15. You are correct in that the courts favor the birth mother over the father. I have represented fathers that have gotten full custody of their children, but it can be an uphill battle to prove those facts in the divorce case.

    Comment by Shannon Cavers — June 27, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

  16. [...] f/k/a . . . » UK Dads Angrily Protest Divorce Lawyers – Claiming that divorce lawyers pour petrol on the flames of divorcing couples, and deprive children of the care of their fathers, members of the group Fathers 4 Justice have been staging dramatic protests in the United Kingdom. Fifteen fathers wearing white contamination outfits stormed the offices of Parker Bird solicitors in Queen Street, Huddersfield with sirens blaring, whistles blowing and flags waving. The article ( Angry fathers in law firm protest, 02-26-04, via law. [...]

    Pingback by Are Lawyers Part of the Problem in Parent Custody Cases? | Parent Custody Blog — August 29, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  17. I also agree – it’s definitely important to have a father figure involved in a child’s life. Divorce can often tear families apart in this way, sadly.

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    Comment by Lytron — November 13, 2008 @ 10:40 am

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