Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Toronto Star Editorial September 18, 2008 on court reform

A path to court reform
September 18, 2008

The last thing families in the throes of divorce need is extra red tape. But depending on where they live in Ontario, that is exactly what many face when they turn to the courts for adjudication.

In much of the province, including Toronto, two different courts deal with family law. That means estranged couples often have to shuttle between a provincially appointed judge at the Ontario Court of Justice and a federally appointed judge at the Superior Court of Justice to sort out all the issues a family breakdown raises, from child custody to the splitting up of property.

In response to the confusion and inconsistency caused by these jurisdictional divisions, pressure is growing to install "unified family courts" across the province. Currently operating in 17 communities, including Newmarket, Hamilton and Barrie, unified family courts offer one-stop shopping for all family law matters, as well as various support services to help guide families through breakdowns.

Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler last week used a speech marking the opening of the province's courts to push for the expansion of unified family courts. "(Family breakdowns are) complex social problems that require multidisciplinary and co-ordinated responses," he said. "The time has arrived to implement a properly serviced unified family court system that meets the needs of all Ontarians."

Attorney General Chris Bentley supports unified family courts, but he can't go further without co-operation from Ottawa. The federal government appoints and funds Superior Court judges who staff the unified family courts. Bentley says his government has been asking Ottawa for 12 new federal judges to "relieve pressure" on the province's family courts, but so far has received only six for that purpose.

The ball is clearly in Ottawa's court.

Fathers Are More Than A Paycheck

The Family Law System views fathers as little more than a paycheck to be garnished. Child support payments are derived from government tables based on pre-tax income payers will never receive. The income of the person receiving the payments is not taken into account. Mothers look like heros since money forked over for the kids for activities, dinners out, and “extras,” are all “on Mom.” That Dad’s child support has contributed to those very things is never acknowledged. Many fathers have so little discretionary income left over, that “extras” for the kids on Dad’s time are hard to come by. In 1997, the courts decided on a two-tier support system. Child support payers who divorced before 1997 can deduct those payments from their tax returns. That system at least remedies the disparity of pre-tax support calculations. For anyone who waited until after 1997, that equalization was eliminated.

Posted by Suzanne Carlson at 6:03 PM Thursday, September 18 2008

your right

The last thing that any couple needs when in difficult times is, first a lawyer and then three differant court systems to choose from. lawyers to drain the bank accounts and perpetuate the couples differances. The courts to suck any life and dignity they may have left, from dealing with the lawyers. Pretty much a self serving system. Throw a few more billion dollars at it to see if they can't get the system to be totaly self serving. Thanks from a regular Guy can say that

Posted by kcw316 at 5:38 PM Thursday, September 18 2008

A path to family destruction

Chris Bentley orchestration of family destruction is opening doors to more social problems in Ontario. In response to the “For the Sake of the Children” child study: In 1999, Liberal Justice Minister Cauchon, shifted 40% of Ontario's Courts to the Unified Family Court. This experiment failed. Our son has been there since 1999. My family have lost confidence in the “Unified Family”. We have transformed from an equal parenting arrangement to no contact with our son. The system was designed to speed-up the process; my family have waited eight years for a case conference. Mr. Bentley’s confidence in the Unified Family Court is short-sighted. Mr. Bentley should re-read the child study, shelved by the Liberal Party of Canada. The Conservatives have introduced Motion PMM-483. The McGuinty Administration points to more Judges, lawyers and grandparents going to their graves without nurturing their grandchildren. Mark Bogan Yellowknife, NT

Posted by whosmyson at 4:22 PM Thursday, September 18 2008

Bentley is being disingenuous but then he's a politician

Unified Family Courts are only one piece of the puzzle in reforming family law. The laws themselves are stacked for the female and biased against the father. Currently the mother gets custody in about 96% of divorce actions - in and out of court - and fathers about 4%. If this were a case of a visible minority or if roles were reversed and women were 4%'s newspapers such as yours would be screaming with 6" headlines about racism, discrimination et al. The Star would be doing a great service to children caught up in divorce disputes to do an investigatory piece on the dysfunctional, misandric family court system. It is similar in every province in Canada and not for the reason's Bentley ascribes. Instead of passing the buck he should be looking at his own legislation.

Posted by Mike Murphy at 1:54 PM Thursday, September 18 2008

Edmonton Sun ~ Mindell Jacobs prints responses to her column "When Dads are Bad"

September 18, 2008 Divorced from reality


I inadvertently stoked the ever-simmering gender war last week when comments I reported from a domestic violence conference unleashed a fusillade of male outrage.

From California to Massachusetts, American men flayed me for painting a picture of male abuse while ignoring the flip side - that women are also perpetrators. Canadian ex-husbands and fathers also poured out their wrath.

Well, as I e-mailed back to many of my readers, don't shoot the messenger, guys. I didn't endorse the remarks of the head of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, who told a women's shelter conference that some leaders of fathers' rights groups are abusers who wield their positions like an ideological hammer against women. Incendiary comments are going to get reported. And I have clearly acknowledged in past columns that spousal violence is perpetrated by both men and women. But there is no denying that women are much more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe physical abuse and spousal homicide.

Still, the men want their say so let's proceed. I received countless e-mails from wounded men (both physically and emotionally) who said they'd either been assaulted by unhinged wives or falsely accused of either harming their wives or molesting their kids.

"I'm a guppy in a sea of really big and angry fish," wrote one man who said he was falsely accused of sexually abusing his two-year-old daughter.

Men wrote about being assaulted by their wives - with no subsequent charges by the police. They complained about the nasty games women play to cut them out of their kids' lives.

Former Edmonton lawyer Grant Brown has heard it all. He quit practising law in March after only four years as a lawyer because he's sick of dealing with what he describes as a dysfunctional family law system."I couldn't hack it anymore," says the 50-year-old who's writing a book called Deadbeat Judges.

"The thesis of my book is that judges actually create the deadbeats. They make such harsh orders against fathers and give fathers no rights," he says. "A lot of (dads) just give up."

Several of his former clients have signed waivers allowing Brown to write about their cases. He's had female clients who were unfairly treated by the courts but he says it's mostly men who get shafted.

Police, prosecutors and judges are generally harsher with men in domestic abuse cases, says Brown. And, he adds, judges rarely punish women who violate court orders.

He recalls appearing before the same judge four times in two months because of a woman who wasn't giving her ex access to the children. The judge warned her there would be consequences for breaching a court order - but he never followed through.

"Dads can spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to see their kids and the judges do nothing to make it happen," says Brown.

To some extent, judges are faced with an impossible task, he acknowledges, because the court system is adversarial. "Everything hinges on proving that the other parent is a badass of some kind."He'd like to see mandatory mediation in bitter divorce cases as well as a legal presumption of shared parenting."The money should be going to the kids instead of paying for the lawyers," says Brown. "The more you can cut lawyers out of it, I think the better off the system would be."If a woman's ever tossed in jail for the weekend for refusing her ex court-ordered access to the kids, let me know. Now that's a story.

From: Mike Murphy
Sent: September 18, 2008 9:35 PM
To: ''
Subject: Mindy Jacobs Divorced from Reality Column

To the editor:

Ms Jacobs makes this comment in her column Divorced from Reality, on September 18, 2008 (was that a reference to us men by the way):

“But there is no denying that women are much more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe physical abuse and spousal homicide.”

She offers no attribution for this comment. Please provide it so we can believe she has the real facts and their source. I have this on my blog:

Domestic Violence it is less than 11% of all violence in Canada
For every 6 battered women there are 5 battered men in Canada
Men form more than 65% of the victims of violence in Canada
For every 1 murdered woman there are 3 butchered men,
For every 1 woman who ends her life, 3 men do the same *(did you know men are six times more likely to do this than women after being marginalized and sent into poverty by the misandric and dysfunctional family court system)

William Levy-FRA-Montreal, Quebec

* Authors comment not attributed to Levy

Mike Murphy

Video of F4J-Soo

A video is now working on the Sault Star website of our presence at the Soo court house on September 4, 08.

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie