Hidden Dangers of the Family Courts
While mothers can be abusive and the family courts can mistreat some fathers, extensive research shows institutionalised gender bias in the system. It can be an extremely unfair and harsh system for women and children and sexist attitudes are firmly entrenched. A pro-contact culture has developed; if an unaware mother raises court action to reduce or stop contact because of child abuse, the court case can turn into her worst nightmare. Abusers can fabricate evidence, frustrate the process, lie under oath, not pay awards of expenses, breach several court orders and get away with it. In contrast, mothers can get met with eye-rolling, disdain, and hostility. Mothers who fail to follow court orders face a reduction in contact, a charge of contempt of court and jail, or, in the worst cases, a transfer of residence and a severing of the relationship between them and their child. There is no remedy in law for a mother if an abusive father breaches a contact order; fathers generally don’t get held in contempt. The law appears to serve only one parent.