Read the Toronto Star’s Ontario mom in messy custody case wins in court but still faces battle

Anne’s story pales in comparison to the blatant discrimination that thousands of father’s face in the family and criminal court justice system every day. The very fact the Star decided to cherry pick this story about one mother demonstrates a disregard to the plight of so many father’s and reality that an overwhelming number of mother’s are granted custody.

We at the Canadian Association for Equality have consulted, counselled and heard from many fathers who were wrongfully accused of domestic violence during custody proceedings. Fathers who themselves were the victims of domestic violence at the hands of their female partner. Fathers who have gone above and beyond in providing evidence about a violent partner only for no one to take them seriously.

Fathers who have been paying child support for well over 15 years for children they have never seen or heard from. A number of father’s have discussed how their finances leave them unable to move forward in family court. Where they end up having to represent themselves and the fear and anxiety they experience in facing their partner’s experienced counsel.

Outrageous monthly child and spousal support payments have rendered some men on the verge of bankruptcy. Failure, to comply can result in legal action by Ontario’s Family Responsibility Office. In many situations child and spousal support payments remain payable even after their partners have moved on and are earning more.

Children’s Aid Society and law enforcement remain the biggest culprits of furthering this gender discrimination and the war on fathers. The father is automatically viewed as the aggressor and abusive simply based on the statements made by their partner absent of any factual evidence.

As a result, at the commencement of family law proceedings the father is already behind the eight ball. Unable to move forward in the criminal law proceedings many will end up accepting plea deals without fully realizing the ramifications.

A number of father’s have discussed how their partners were granted custody despite their opposition, oral and documentary evidence in their favour. Finally, the courts abject failure to punish a custodial parent for flagrantly violating access orders and only furthering parental alienation.

As a result, many of these father’s end up suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues that contribute to problems in their employment and personal lives. Many speak of their experiences leaving them broken and at times suicidal.