Divorce courts hate dads.

There is no nicer way of saying it.

As if the lack of charitable support for fathers separated from their kids wasn’t punishment enough.

Partiality towards women in matters of divorce is wounding already-wounded men.

Designed to reign in deadbeat dads, the system ends up beating dads who want to stay tuned in, and keep turning up.

Family courts, it could be argued, are not in favour of fostering good fathering.


From firsthand experience, I’ve seen the negative impact a court’s favouritism towards mums has on fathers who want to be there for their children.

First to go is their mental health. Despair deteriorates any hope of fair play.

This lack of concern for a man’s mental health makes matters worse.

If the isolation – a sense of being cut off completely from his family – doesn’t destroy him, being kept from loving his kids, and his kids having a chance to love him back, will.

In his letter to Sixty Minutes, published by Dads 4 Kids in 2005, Matthew Reid exemplifies my point:

I need help and there simply is none available (with the exception of Lifeline phone support).

I don’t want to tell a story or get even with anyone. I am not interested in seeking publicity to badmouth any agency or my former partner. I simply want people to see why so many men quietly slip off the face of the earth…

Let me show you just how many departments, agencies and legal matters you have to deal with at any given time, and how you have to structure your whole life around these things while proving to the world that you are the model citizen and perfect parent.

I want you to see why men commit suicide, so you can show the world and somebody can stop it from happening. I can’t stop it by myself, and I don’t want to just quietly slip away without first trying all that I can to make it right.

Many dads go from being partial victims of a broken relationship, to full-blown villains.

While some dads genuinely deserve hardcore legal boundaries – mine did up to a point – the ones who don’t still get tarred, and feathered with the “toxic masculinity,” one-size-fits-all brush.

This could be avoided with the right care, applied to dads at the right time.

Holistic care for families shattered by separation, is the primary concern of non-profit, Fathers 4 Justice, who lobby government to end the divorce court’s inadvertent fatherless society.


F4J aims to stop men from ending their lives unnecessarily, because they’ve been the whipping boy of a dead-end judicial system that is supposed to be blind in its application of justice.

Passionate about getting equal care for kids, the non-profit aims to end fatherlessness, and ‘the cancer of family breakdowns.’

As well as ‘ensure children have a meaningful, loving relationship with their fathers.’

Founder, Matt O’Connor has been there, and knows what’s at stake.

He wants to win dads ‘a legal presumption of 50/50 shared parenting,’ and protect families against the ‘cruel and degrading treatment which can result in their forced separation in secret courts.’

Calling “fatherlessness an obscenity”, F4J said, “no child should be denied their human right to a father, yet nearly one in three children now lives without a father in the UK – that’s nearly 4 million fatherless children”. (Australia’s stats are one in six).

O’Connor began Fathers 4 Justice in 2001.

He was denied access to his two boys, and experienced the death-blows delivered by dad hating divorce courts.

Sharing his story, O’Connor testified to “fighting depression”, while trying to process powerlessness, and loss. He started to “drink heavily, and became suicidal”.

An epiphany pulled him back from the brink, and birthed what is now a pro-family organisation, “inspiring desperate dads to climb bridges, instead of throwing themselves off them”.

Fed up with being treated like a criminal, O’Connor walked out of the court after telling a judge, “he no longer recognised their authority”, because “the treatment of fathers in the family courts was a violation of their right to family life”.

The father of two’s non-violent protest ended in a resolution, allowing him to “re-establish a normal relationship with his sons”.

This success, and the hope it offers both dads, and concerned mums, powers the Fathers 4 Justice platform.

If this argument is used: “It’s not about dad’s rights, it’s about what’s best for the kids,” then 50/50 co-parenting, wherever reconciliation is impossible, should be the goal (see here, here and here).

As I argued in January, parental alienation is child abuse.

Families should be divorcing themselves from dad-hating divorce courts.

Kids need stability. The only way to ensure a stable home life is time well spent with mum and dad.


Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash.

Published On: April 27th, 20231 CommentTags: , , ,

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

One Comment

  1. patrick April 30, 2023 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Dear Sirs:
    During the last year caseworkers from the Department of Communities and Justice have come to interview us. They said that both Luke (aged 9 years) and Tina (aged 17 years) were malnourished, but this is a lie. Both children are well nourished. We have always looked after Luke and Tina; bringing them to doctors, dentist and any other appointments when necessary. We have enclosed our interactions with the department in the list of incidents.

    In addition, during our meetings with the Department of Communities and Justice, we have always complied to all undertakings they require us to do. We have engaged with all Government Services in a positive and constructive manner. However, with regard to the Department of Communities and Justice, we have been unfairly targeted, because we are Christians and are from Asian decent. My wife Hoan, and my children, were born in Vietnam and attend our local Catholic Church regularly.

    In conclusion, we were once a happy family, enjoying life and loving our Church Services. We are and always have been devout Christians. We believe that the Department of Communities and Justice have set out to intimidate, badger, coercive and threaten us. The Department have often lied and made-up stories about us during our meetings and correspondence with them.

    Finally, we need a Pubic Enquiry or a Royal Commission into the actions of the D.C.J. caseworkers. We need to get to the heart of this issue. Why are D.C.J. caseworkers so malicious, coercive, psychological violent and cruel ? Please reply to this document in an honourable and rightful manner.

    Yours sincerely,

    Patrick O’Connor

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