MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Disgruntled Dads and the Family Court

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 11:53 am Sun 28th May 2006

Muriel Newman’s newsletter is worth reading this week: Nature Knows Best

Over time, human evolution gave rise to the two-parent married family, often described as the most successful child rearing institution ever invented. But by the middle of the 19th century, socialism had begun its march and in its sights, the destruction of the nuclear family: in 1948 Carl Marx called for the ‘abolition of the family’ in his Communist Manifesto and, aided and abetted by the feminist movement, what had taken more than a million years to evolve, has, in just over 150 years been largely undermined.

Each step in this erosion of the family has been incremental: the establishment of no-fault divorce made it easy to walk away from the commitment of marriage; the introduction of the domestic purposes benefit with its built-in financial incentives rewarded mothers who split up from their husbands; the practice of awarding sole custody of children to mothers made it easier to consider separation (I recall seeing research some years ago which showed that around 70 percent of marriage break-ups were instigated by mothers who were confident they would gain sole custody of their children); the enforcement of a punishing child support regime which fails to take into account the financial circumstances of both parents or to ensure the money is spent on the children, often handicaps subsequent families.

Even better, the NZ Centre for Political Debate guest Forum has an article by Stuart Birks: Disgruntled Dads and the Family Court

The Women’s Consultative Group of the New Zealand Law Society has stated, in a submission to the Law Commission, “At the heart of the current law on domestic violence in New Zealand, as embodied in the Domestic Violence Act 1995, lies a very simple concept: domestic violence is about the use of power by men to control their women partners”. This is based on the Duluth patriarchal power and control model, which has been so influential as to dominate policy over all alternative approaches. It has a major failing, however. Numerous large-scale studies have found that women are as likely to be violent as men, and in many cases when one partner is violent, the other is also.

We could ask more generally whether the people who are employed to address family law matters are properly trained, not just in terms of domestic violence, but in the whole range of issues surrounding family relationships, care of children, relationship property, child support, and so on. Proper training requires a theoretical and practical knowledge of several areas of psychology, sociology, social work and economics, in addition to law. We might consider brain surgeons to be very intelligent, but we might be reluctant to have one fix our car. Similarly, even an intelligent lawyer may be poorly suited to deliberating on family matters. At the same time, other specialists may also have limitations. There may be a big difference between the way a psychologist, say, might interact with and assess a client, and the perspective required to obtain suitable evidence for a court. In addition, while courts may be able to make decisions on specific, one off situations (such as a crime, or the interpretation of a contract), it is far more complicated to address issues such as parent-child relationships, which consist of numerous small events spread over years, and which change and evolve as people grow and other life-events occur.


  1. Take the Evolution Religion and the Far Right out of Muriels writting and you have are very pertainet article here.

    Onward – JimBWarrior

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Sun 28th May 2006 @ 2:55 pm

  2. Note: 1948 should read 1848 – the year The Communist Manifesto (“Das Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei”) was published.

    Comment by John Self — Sun 28th May 2006 @ 6:18 pm

  3. To Jim.
    I can’t let your reference to evolution as a religion go unchallenged. Religions are based on faith and involve absolutist points that do not change in response to evidence. Indeed, the way religions have developed in the light of contradictory evidence was to become more vague and aloof from the real world, so that the current major religious tenets are largely untestable. Evolution is a model that arose initially from empirical observations, it has changed in many respects in response to further evidence and will readily change in the light of future evidence. It fits so well with what we know in biology, botany, archeology, fossils and every other life-related science that it is simply foolish to deny that it has some validity. But should new evidence show it to be incorrect or another description of the history and development of life on the planet fits the detailed evidence better then evolution would be discarded by scientists, and that is what distinguishes it from a religion.

    Comment by Empathic — Thu 1st June 2006 @ 11:49 am

  4. Empathic,

    Please re-write your note and replace the word religion with Evolution. Also go onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Thu 1st June 2006 @ 4:25 pm

  5. TO JIM
    the shift away from religion to atheism… ‘its uncool to go to church” attitude has given rise to a lot of unethical behaviour.

    i’d say reference to religion is very apt no matter what the reliugion is because the basis of all religion is to uphold truth.

    the atttude these days spouted from most are “reliion is an old fashioned idea”… “this is the 21st century… need 21st century ideas”…

    the result of 21st century ideas is what we are suffering from currently.. so i ask.. what is so good about 21st century ideas which results in our children being on the streets.

    Comment by starr — Thu 1st June 2006 @ 8:15 pm

  6. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site,
    how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal.

    I have been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered shiny
    clear idea

    Comment by té lé charger gta 5 — Thu 19th December 2013 @ 10:44 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar