The Family Law Council, Long In Coming But Will It Work?

The public relations committee of the Family Law Council held a press conference this week, our best guess is they were trying to counter the perception that Barbados’ law courts have an inherent bias against men in family matters. In this they failed miserably.

To quote the Nation news story:

“ABOUT 99 per cent of the men who challenge the paternity of children in child maintenance cases turn out to be the biological fathers.

Magistrate Faith Marshall-Harris, who is assigned to the juvenile and domestic courts, said men abused the court system by using DNA testing as a tactic to avoid paying child support for as long as possible…. (snip)

…”Some men unfortunately, protest paternity because they know if they do that, that will put us back several months before they have to do anything,” Marshall-Harris said.”

Now, we’re not saying that such abuse doesn’t happen. However, it would seem to us that before accepting what really is a lifetime financial and emotional commitment the prudent thing to do would be to ensure that it is in fact your responsibility. For a family court magistrate to dismiss this as a delaying tactic is not a particularly good illustration of lack bias on the part of the law.

Source: notesinthemargin

BU also read this article which appeared in the Nation Newspaper of 18 July 2007 and was appalled at the blatant gender bias which was evident. Can any reader provide information on the composition of the Family Law Council? We hope that MESA or men have been included on the council. So far we have seen and heard only women speaking to Family Law Council issues. It is noteworthy that in the article the learned legal luminaries have all focused on the few deadbeat men who challenge with paternity suits. We are surprise that MESA or our friends from the “Gated Mens Club” would not have triggered to rebut what was reported in this article.

In the BU household we know of several men who have been emasculated by the court system in Barbados. Contrary to what was reported in the Nation article court orders are frustrated every day by women whose hate for the their former lovers and partners finds its way to the fore to marginalize the relationships between fathers and their children. Judges who are comfortable presiding over criminal and commercial matters appear to be most uncomfortable when family matters are rostered to their courts. Don’t for a minute misunderstand us, we welcome the Family law Council and the focus it will bring to bear on family matters seemingly ensnared our court system.

It is time for men to speak-out at the injustices which the Barbados court system has perennially meted-out to them. It is a system overburdened by an insensitive to family law matters. In the same way that women cry-out at the inhuman management of “child support” so too men must respond to the second class treatment which they are currently receiving in our family law courts.

At the end of it all maybe there is some merit to the argument that the much needed family laws ,which are relevant are unlikely to be introduced__why you ask? The female policymakers who occupy our lower house are all barren! We have Mia Mottley, Dame Billie Miller, Elizabeth Thompson and Cynthia Forde.