Family Law | A Gender-Neutral System

Many men feel they get a raw deal from the Family Court system, particularly in relation to arrangements regarding their children.


There are many stories about fathers who pay a high amount of child maintenance and rarely see their children.


Why is this the case? Is this because children need their mother more than their father? Is this because a mother is much more capable of caring for a child than a father? Or, is this simply because of gender-based discrimination that no one wants to speak about?


We read daily that we, as a society, need to make progress regarding gender equality in a number of areas, particularly in relation to women’s rights, but I feel that the dark area that nobody seems to want to discuss is a father’s rights within the Court system.


Whilst the family laws are gender-neutral, there is no doubt that Courts and lawyers interpret those laws based on a belief that a woman is considered the more natural caretaker. Should we not be making progress regarding gender equality in that respect also?

Most men are just looking to be more involved in their children’s lives than the typical “every other weekend contact”. We see arguments daily whereby mother’s claim that father’s need to be more involved, but when fathers seek that involvement which then results in more overnight contact, sometimes that sought involvement is revoked when it is made mindful that child maintenance will be reduced upon a father receiving more overnight contact, and then it simply becomes a financial privilege or entitlement. Not in all cases, but many.


Is this really gender-neutral? Is there not underlying sexism? Of course, many will see this post as sexism towards women and a movement for the misogynistic men. However, to suggest that men asking for fairness in the family Court are guilty of anti-feminism or sexism is beyond the point. This needs to be about fairness.


Is this not gender inequality at its finest?


This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each matter requires careful consideration in our view by a person fully qualified before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.


Emma Aslett

Penn Chambers Solicitors

0207 183 4595


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