Politicians frightened to admit fathers are vital
Conspiracy of silence on value of marriage: Politicians frightened to admit fathers are vital, says top family lawyer. Supporting marriage has become a ‘no go area’ for our politicians says Baroness Deech.
She says an absence of fathers is ‘harming’ the next generation of children. Politicians are ‘too afraid’ of offending cohabiting partners or single parents.
By STEVE DOUGHTY
PUBLISHED: 18:28 GMT, 15 February 2013
Marriage is as important to the future of the nation as climate change and poverty, a senior family lawyer said yesterday.
Baroness Deech said the growing numbers of families without fathers was doing more harm to the next generation than other factors such as smoking, alcohol, poor diet and lack of exercise.
And she warned that a conspiracy of silence surrounded the issue because political leaders were afraid to say married families were better for children than cohabiting families or single parent families.
Lady Deech, who is head of the Bar Standards Board, made her remarks at a conference organised by the Marriage Foundation, a pressure group led by High Court family judge Sir Paul Coleridge. She said marriage was based on a public promise and evidence showed married parents were twice as likely to stay together through a child’s early years as cohabiting parents.
Children of single mothers have greater problems than those of cohabitee parents, and children of cohabitees have greater problems than those of married parents.
“Since this is so incontrovertible, why is it so brave, as Sir Humphrey would put it, to tackle the desirability of marriage over cohabitation, both for adults and children?’ Lady Deech asked.
“The topic has become a no-go area.
“We live in a world where we are encouraged to take care of our own and our children’s health: we are constantly admonished to take exercise, eat healthily, wear a cycle helmet, study the side of the package, stop smoking, recycle, combat global warming, brush our teeth, control our drinking habits and have health checks.
But when it comes to the one issue that does more harm to the next generation than any of these – the absence of a father in the family – there is a conspiracy of silence.
“Politicians fear to address it. It is time to place marriage issues up there along with climate change, poverty and peace as a topic pre-eminently relevant to the present and future happiness and health of all people.’
Lady Deech said those who favoured cohabitation often said marriage was “only a piece of paper’, adding: “It is clearly a very important piece of paper, nonetheless, of the utmost significance to life, equal love and happiness, say the gay community, when gay marriage is on the agenda.’
Other kinds of relationship are seen as lesser than marriage, she added.
“Children deserve natural parents who are prepared to make the act of commitment and aspiration found only in marriage, in order to demonstrate to those children that they intend to be there for them, without question, as they grow up.
“The wedding ceremony highlights the fact that marriage is the strongest bond ever invented to link together two people and two families, for now and posterity – intimately, legally, politically, religiously, civilly and publicly.’
Lady Deech added that same-sex couples who have entered civil partnerships are pressing to have marriage, which is seen as a “better alternative’.
Are men speaking out?
Why are the familycaught$ judges not hearing what you say?
Why are the familycaught$ judges “unaware” of NZ and international statistics about child protection (ie mothers versus fathers)?
I made an oral submission to the Law and Justice Committee, regarding Family Court Matters Bill and I got the impression that they weren’t listening to the women submitters either?
The women presenters were every bit as frustrated by familycaught$ and legal workers, as the men I have met.
The lawyers spoke to the Committee, as if they they were holding them in their hand. The Committee were not behaving in that manner and I had that turkey waiting for Christmas impression.
All of the legal-workers were playing slight variations on the theme of self represented litigants (men?) wasting their time and the judge’s time. (Note; it is illegal for witnesses to a crime to get together organise their presentations, but quite OK in presentations to Parliamentary Committees about familycaught$.)
Why are the public having so much difficulty hearing what is said about familycaught$?
It all looks like a bun fight, unjustly enriched versus taxpayers is about to get very nasty. I agree with the wrongly enriched legal-workers, that children will be disadvantaged. This is a bit rich, coming from them, as it is just what they have been doing for decades. This at the expense of hundred$ of thousand$ of children, without any apparent guilt on their part. They can put their self serving pleas to be protected, into the form of protecting children, but their actions put the lie to this.
I support Judith Collins working to make sure that taxpayers funding is put to the uses for which it was voted by Parliament. Where legal workers stand in the way of protecting children, then I do want to see them mercilessly steamrollered.
However, it will take much more than tinkering with rules, which are largely ignored anyway, to sort out this thievery.
A huge bright neon elephant in the room is ‘no fault’ divorce. When a conversation about fatherlessness harming children gets underway the spotlight shines ever closer on this elephant. No wonder some folks don’t want to broach the topic.
Besides why would court staff want to open up a discussion which ends up highlighting their complicit destruction of the family in NZ which is their bread and butter existence?
I think Cohabittees are far from deluded. They know the score. They are perfectly correct in a sense – marriage IS just a piece of paper, at least legally, in that it has no teeth meaning it’s as easy to end as the ‘no fault’ divorce process as there’s no legal pressure to stay married. People can and do often divorce for entirely frivolous reasons. Long gone are the days of “in sickness and health, til death us do part”. Nowadays the guy who stands up to his wife for entirely good reasons always risks being dumped, the guy who loses employment may very well find he also loses his family as his wife divorces him and substitutes him for government as breadwinner, or she may just become ‘bored’ and encouraged by pop feminist culture want to move on ‘up’ from marriage. Or any number of superficial reasons – fill in your own blanks.
Then there’s the whole topic of female hypergamy.
A discussion which apparently hasn’t even gotten underway with many folks in New Zealand, certainly not amongst the court crowd as far as I can see.
If you don’t know the term hypergamy, then I suggest dear reader you google it. Then some important insights may fall into place for you.
The upshot of all of this is that word is getting around, and really savyy guys see marriage is a dud, a really bad deal for them. I certainly would discourage any guys in NZ from marrying, unless they like walking on eggshells with the possibility of losing everything including kids in a divorce. And I don’t think my view is unusual amongst men in NZ, just not a view the courts for their own selfish reasons want to entertain, which is kind of dumb of them as a marriage strike by men is inexorably going to mean less business for them anyway.
Personally I think there is a role for the family court in NZ if it is brave enough to seize the nettle. It would have to be bolstered by fresh legislation which does away with ‘no fault’ divorce laws and thereby bolsters the institution of marriage in the first place mind you. What I envisage instead of the current star chambers we euphemistically call family courts is a place where people can go, not to throw their marriages away all too often rendering children fatherless in the process, but a place to get assistance to keep their marriages INTACT instead.
I know. Radical idea right?
Yet the current system clearly fails children miserably and as the old counseling maxim goes – if what you’re currently doing doesn’t work, it’s time to change what you’re doing.
My 2C worth.
I would not take a droit de ravage approach to nettles although I do understand they may have a medicinal quality to assist with urine infections. I think the term you are looking for is grasping the nettle and yes, that would make your two cents worth – a prime candidate for further discussion.
When you think about it – it would be good if we had some women in parliament instead of a bunch of wannabes handing off the skirts of last century’s crusaders. Parliamentary TV might be worth watching then.
I believeat the time of seperation a far closer look is needed at theattachmentsthe children have formed. At the disolution of marriage/civil Union (2 years later) far to much water may have passed under the bridge to remedy a bad situation. Harsh “Rules” (i.e. attachment theories) are unrealistic. No matter how many lettersa person has after their name or how much experience they claim, The child(ren)’s natural family is always the best at determining this!
You only have to look at the Child Support Bill – when it comes to getting women to vote for something that might happen next year – they have to be a gullible bunch.
I want to help a few fathers here in OZ get in touch with their kids.
do you know of any groups that can facilitate mediation and contact there?
I am willing to act from this side but i need a contact i can count on there.
Again i have no idea how to start this but am willing to give it a go so fathers and kids can be re-united.
I normally use Dads in Distress
Thanks for sharing Murray. It shows the ignorance in NZ IMO.
Marriage for people who have children has nothing to do with Gay marriage IMO but I am pleased to know this group exists.
I think not.
I am sure she means single mothers instead of single parents and anyone who thinks the government is afraid of offending single mothers must be living under a rock. Even MP Paula Bennett ran off and got married to distance herself from being a single mother and Her own daughter would probably be married if the father of her child wasn’t in prison. (I’ve heard he is in prison)
Neither climate change or poverty seem of importance to right wing at the moment. lol
I guess we respect family court lawyers enough to believe what they say without any proof. After all, the family court doesn’t need proof – just one person more qualified than the other to say what their interest group wants. (balance of probability)
Yet, she is right to say single parents are growing for that’s what NZ statisticians are predicting. Unfortunately she conveniently leaves out the growing number of single fathers.
Thing is, forcing marriage is not best for the most vulnerable children and they are the ones that matter at the moment. There’s no reason well to do, well educated, and well careered women and men who are senior family court lawyers, judges, etc need to get involved – oh, silly me, family breakup is their career, is why they are educated and well off.
I guess this particular interest group is pissed and thought National would go further backwards than they are.
My gosh, I had no idea judges and senior lawyers had this pressure interest group.
Funny that gay marriage is based on love.
Also funny that people make their own vows now and it has nothing to do with saving tax payers money, global warming, poverty, etc.
Duh, of course.
Yet forcing all those in relationships who are not married prior to pregnancy into marriage will not help anyone, especially the children. And certainly not men.
Bring this on. Put the proof on the table and allow single mothers a voice.
With due respect to all good men, I think everything should come out in the open. For starters, how many interest groups are involved in the family court?
Sorry i was not too clear. That group only deals in Australia. I am trying to bridge NZ and Australia. i.e few fathers here in OZ get in touch with their kids in NZ.
You might get some help from big buddy
Hi Down Under
This seems to be focussed on boys only. I am trying to establish contact between fathers and their children regardless of gender. Do you think they can help??
You might try Jimmy Bagnall.
He had a group Project Reunion but I don’t think it has survived and Jim isn’t a computer person so you won’t fine him here.
Project Reunion is or was a trust – it may still exist but it is definitely non-functional. It was originally part of Union of Fathers back in the old days and I don’t think anyone has tried anything similar, that I am aware of. If the trust still exists, it might be a starting point. Jim’s number is (09) 8187437
thanks guys will follow it up
Dear Kiran Jiharr, please give me a call 649 6387275 and I will pass on several contacts, thank you. MurrayBacon.
Can you email them to [email protected] please?
did they do anything or was it lip service..
That was a good article, good in that it shows someone out there knows it’s happening. Don’t think we should analyise the problem with family court by looking at those distruat by veridcts enough to commit suicide, theres plenty of men out there feeling the same way but don’t do anything like this.
We need to look at the grass root issues around divorce and decisions of parenting. Etc.
Policies and practices that forced the separation of parents from their children which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering.
Shameful practices that denied you your fundamental rights and responsibilities to love and care for your children.
Forced to endure the coercion and brutality of practices that were unethical, dishonest and in many cases illegal (sounds all too familiar).
It seems one politician, learnt an important life lesson.
“Bridges says the frightening experience was the catalyst for him to last week announce his retirement from politics and begin a new chapter in his life together with his family, which also includes his young daughter Jemima, and son Emlyn.”
I think he can do well, out of politics.
Someone will need his skills, offering a job.
This time, with a better parenting role.
Even the coveted political job, was not enough.
To have one, he couldn’t have the other.
Being a father to his child, or an absent father.
How heartbreaking is the emotion, of losing something precious.
How precious did it become, saved from being lost.
It was no more or less precious, it was always the same.
Now from experience, now it is easier to see.
#20 In an alternate universe, let’s say before anything happened to his son, his wife filed for separation and custody. She cites he was an absent father for many years and she had to sacrifice her career to raise the children. Simon would be paying child support and spousal maintenance faster than a national leadership change.
In goes without saying many men sacrifice time with their families/children in order to provide for them now and for their future. Who would have thought that when a marriage turns south, these sacrifices are used as a weapon to cripple a man.
Back to reality, I wish Simon and his family the very best.
Having a kid in hospital after an accident is a frightening experience for any parent – I’ve slept in a ward at starship hospital, I can confirm that, but it didn’t cause me to make any life changing decisions.
Any committed father wouldn’t be looking back thinking I wasn’t doing enough.
It makes me wonder if it was an accident or “an accident”.