O’Shea states in her thesis on the family courts that there are particularly bad outcomes for male litigants. What she found striking about the system is the “relative invisibility of children” stating that “where children are caught in the crossfire of marriage and relationship break-down, the child’s perspective is often non-existent”.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Eamonn Quinn from the Unmarried and Separated Parents of Ireland – a support group for parents in relationship difficulties said that there was a huge disparity between the rights of women and men in the family courts.
“The biggest issue is expenses. I deal with couples living in the same home for months after they separate, just because it is jut too costly to move out. They are staying at home, where there are hostilities, and that is no place for a child to be.
“However, the other option is for fathers to move out and pay maintenance costs to their spouse,” said Quinn, who added that it is only right fathers support their children, but argued that the brunt of the costs is put on the shoulder of men.
“For example, in access and custody cases, fathers are told that they must have adequate accommodation if they are to have access of custody of their children, which is of course, correct.
“The point is that fathers are in a Catch 22 situation, as they often do not have the resources to pay maintenance towards their spouse and child, as well as paying for a suitable accommodation (usually a two bedroom apartment) in order to gain access or custody,” said Quinn.
Catherine Ghent of Gallagher Shatter Solicitors said there is a perception that the court favours women, but added that in order to ensure equity and justice there needs to be a judicial oversight group established.
Continue reading: https://www.thejournal.ie/family-court-series-3-1675920-Sep2014/