Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

When Harry* and Annette* got divorced, each took half of the furniture and other things they accumulated in their time together.

Harry complained: “Annette ran off with half my stuff! How could the law support her in this?” Annette did not complain about her material losses. If you were to actually ask her: “How do you feel that Harry took half your stuff?” she would have been surprised at your reasoning. Those things, after all, were collected by her and Harry. It is inconvenient to lose some, but it is entirely just that he should take half of it.

Annette wanted custody of the children, Harry did not. Consequently, Annette got custody. Harry grumbled: “Annette ran off with my children!”

Because Annette had custody of the children, Harry was ordered to pay child support. The truth is, of course, that Annette had to help support the children from her salary too – both Harry and Annette financially provided for the children. Harry lamented how men nowadays are exploited by the cursed feminist laws that favour women above men and let him pay to support her new household. It is better, he said, for men not to marry at all.  Just look how women exploit men in divorce! The whole court system is set up to favour women!

If Harry were to see things objectively, he’d have had a use for these numbers:
Married couples accumulate much more than singles, even if the joint amount is divided by two to regard them as owning half each. Being married to Annette made him materially richer.

Divorced women end up a lot poorer than their married sisters. Divorced women end up a lot poorer than divorced men. Annette divorced despite financial implications, not because of it.

Divorced men, just after divorce, usually are about 2.5 times as wealthy as divorced women. Divorced men also make more money than never-married men.

Things got sour, and at one stage lasting two years, Annette made it hard for Harry to visit his children. Harry rightly blamed Annette. But he also blamed the “feminists who made the laws in such a way that it is hard to see my children.”
Are there any such feminist laws which make it hard for Harry to see his children? No, there is no law saying that Annette has the right to keep the children away from Harry. But it is hard to prove what Annette is doing, unless a police officer actually accompanies him on each attempt to visit his children. This is not legal discrimination against men (I have never heard of a court or a law treating non-custodial mothers, kept away by fathers, any differently). By the very nature of how things work, it is hard to enforce visitation rights of non-custodial parents. And women more often want custody, and so end up as custodial parent more often.

Are these really examples of horrible laws made by radical feminists to favour women above men? Or did Harry blame the courts for partly his own selfishness (in wanting to keep almost everything in the divorce) and partly Annette’s (in keeping the children away from him)? Are there any actual divorce or custody laws, in Western nations, that discriminate against one gender? Or are the laws just, but misused by some divorcees?


*Fictitious names, fictitious couple

Comments on: "Are there divorce and custody laws that favour one gender?" (24)

  1. There are many examples of the courts being friendly to perpetrators of abuse, and in many cases (not all) they are men, so the notion that men are given a hard time by the family court is just baloney. I know of someone who had a very difficult time pleading with the judge not to order unsupervised time for her son and her abusive ex, but in spite of having a criminal conviction, he appeared a sane and loving father. In the end, her fears were realized when he killed her son during one of the visitation times. I remember chatting with her during the time of her custody battle, and admiring her courage and strength in fighting for her son. Little did I expect that the court’s siding with her ex would result in such tragic consequences.


    • Anon, that is tragic. I get the idea, from that and many other things I read, that the court is so afraid of damaging a parent’s rights that they often harm a child’s safety instead.


  2. I believe there used to be law (at least case law) in many states explicitly favoring placing young children with their mothers; however, this has been replaced with the “best interests of the child” standard which generally results in the children staying with the parent who has been their primary caregiver. This, of course, is usually the mother but it’s not the court or the law’s fault that that is how the couple allocated tasks. Older children are often given some say in their placement.

    Really, though, in family law it all comes down to the individual judge and his or her prejudices and how he or she reads the situation. (Unfortunately it’s one of those situations where mistakes can have tragic consequences.) It’s not a perfect system, but then, there is no such thing.


    • It is very hard, and very much dependent on human judgment, to always know who is the best caretaker to get the children. When a system is designed to handle humans (mothers, fathers, children), I don’t think perfection can be achieved.
      But a child murdered by a father (or mother) while the other parent wanted to keep the child away, is really bad. That goes far beyond the understandable judgment errors that sometimes don’t see who is the better parent.


  3. Have you been over visiting Wintery’s blog again, Retha?


  4. Perfection is one thing, being ignorant about the dynamics of post-separation violence when there is an entitled or abusive person is another. Maternity hospitals aren’t perfect either, but we don’t have babies being routinely harmed or killed at the same rate.


  5. In Thailand if a woman divorces her husband, she does not get half the assets. He has to divorce her for claiming the assets. Stinks.


    • That is so bad, Lana. I can see feminism (the word, as used here, means giving both sexes equal rights, not all the negative things often ascribed to it) still has its work cut out in many places.


  6. Dapoet: Its not so much how a law is written but the way it is enforced that counts. Title VII, Title IX and VAWA are all written in gender neutral language but are interpreted and enforced in such a manner that gives women a clear advantage over men.

    Title VII of the civil rights code allows employers to actively discriminate against men. I was once told by the owner of a health food store – where I had applied for a job – that he didn’t hire men because they needed to be paid enough to support their families while women usually worked to supplement their husbands income. Had I been a women I could have sued but being a man Title VII allowed him to discriminate against me while appearing to conform to the law.

    Retha(Blog owner comment inserted later): Do you see this as evidence of discrimination against males? I see how this could discriminate against both men and women.
    It discriminates against men in that employers chooses other employees that can be paid less. It discriminates against women in that it pays them less and makes them unable to provide for a family alone. Such applications are unjust – a worker who is single and does the same job equally well deserve to get the same income as one who provides for a family alone. However, they are not directly related to divorce and custody and thus not on the topic. (You actually agree with feminists on this: If a law mean women can be paid less for the same job, said law is unjust.)

    DaPoet: African-American females are considered a twofer that allows a company to meet both gender and race quotas in hiring. Leading to the employment of lesser qualified African-American females over more qualified African- American males.

    It is has also led to gender norming in the military creating one physical standard – a higher one for men – and a second standard – a much lower one for women.

    Title IX has been used to take away educational opportunities from men and redistributed them to women. As well as allowed institutions of higher education to actively discrimination against men by creating a hostile environment for these decreasing numbers of men attending college.

    Retha(Blog owner comment inserted later): Affirmative action; gender norming, and discrimination (real or imaginary – your assertion contain no evidence and evidence for it will be off topic anyway) are not divorce and custody related.

    DaPoet: Once upon a time VAWA allowed women who were abusive towards their partners to be arrested. That is until the feminists protested and demanded that men be arrested in 100 percent of the cases; even when it is crystal clear to the arresting officer that the male is the victim and not the aggressor.

    Retha(Blog owner comment inserted later): You did not state any law or police policy that affirms your assertion. Nor did you link it to divorce and custody law.

    Dapoet: It is a well known fact that family courts in America, Britain, Israel, Canada, Australia and many other counties actively discriminate against men/fathers while favoring women/mothers in divorce and child custody. Women file for divorce far more often than men and receive custody of the children far more often then men.

    Retha(Blog owner comment inserted later): Yes, they do recieve custody more often. I’d say it is a) because they are more often the primary care giver. b) Because they ask for custody more often.
    If you want to convince me that it has anything to do with discrimination, you will have to get statistics – preferably from a neutral source not related to men’s rights groups – that say, for example: ”Women are primary caregivers in 80% of cases but get custody in 90% of cases when parents both want custody and neither have any risk factors that prevent them from getting it.”

    DaPoet: While family court operatives will uphold child support laws, hand out protective orders against men like candy on the flimsiest of evidence, knowingly sustain false allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse and paternity fraud. They throw men who are laid off from their jobs and can’t pay their child support into jail, take away the fathers ability to keep and maintain gainful employment by taking away both his drivers and professional licenses. While steadfastly refusing to uphold the father’s visitation rights to their children.

    Retha(Blog owner comment inserted later): Are those horror stories that contain unjust individuals, or are there laws that say, for example: ”You can throw a non-custodial father in jail when jobless and not paying child support, but you cannot throw a non-custodial mother in jail when jobless and not paying child support”? Or a law saying: ”Police should uphold reasonable visitation rights for non-custodial mothers, even if it takes man hours from the police, but not for non-custodial fathers?” I assert (and will do so unless the words of discriminatory laws are cited) that there are discriminatory individuals (parents of both genders sometimes have experiences which make me understand they feel slighted by the courts) but not discriminatory laws.

    DaPoet: All of this has been so well documented by web sites created by Men’s Rights Activists throughout the last twenty to thirty years. That in order to deny it one has to be willing to not only ignore the overwhelming evidence but to outright lie. Which is why the women’s movement is losing steam among enlightened and better informed women and it’s credibility with the general public.

    Retha(Blog owner comment inserted later): I did not deny anything said here. I said that none of it is a divorce or custody law worded to discriminate against men. The reasons for the situations you stated can be debated, but the way feminists write divorce and custody law is not the culprit.


    • Women recieve custody more often, but they also ask for custody more often. Do you have statistical evidence that there is discrimination when both parents ask for custody and were equally involved in child rearing?


  7. “Once upon a time VAWA allowed women who were abusive towards their partners to be arrested. That is until the feminists protested and demanded that men be arrested in 100 percent of the cases; even when it is crystal clear to the arresting officer that the male is the victim and not the aggressor.”

    The problem is that when domestic abuse is present, it is HIGHLY unlikely that the arresting officer will be crystal clear about who the perpetrator is. Even facilitators and professionals who work in this area don’t immediately identify the real perpetrators and victims, so it would be very unlikely for the arresting officer to be able to see through the manipulative tactics of an abusive person.

    I don’t know if “the feminists” were really successful in changing legislation this way, or what their argument was, but my guess is that while a male may be innocently and wrongfully arrested, the consequences of such an action would be less damaging than arresting a woman who is a victim because it appears that she is the aggressor. It means that male aggressor will be still on the loose and able to inflict greater damage than a woman who is on the loose. Statistics show that woman abusers are far less likely to resort to homicide or physical harm. On the other hand, a female victim will suffer more abuse and greater post-traumatic stress disorder from being charged and tried for battery.

    It seems there is still a lot of work to be done to reverse the thinking of society when it comes to the victimization of women, particularly in family law court. When you hear of the arguments put forward by the Mens Rights Activists, most of which are disseminated to discredit victims and twist the reality about what is happening in the family court, you know that we have a long way to go.


  8. Its a well known fact that feminists use the federal funds they receive under VAWA to promote the myth that men are always the perpetrators of DV and women are always the innocent victims when training law enforcement officers how to deal with DV cases. This myth allows female abusers to manipulate not just the law enforcement officer but the prosecutor, judge and the media as well into committing an injustice against her innocent partner in the vast majority of cases of DV.


    • Your “well known fact” – can you give us a credible source for it? Prove that they promote the myth that men are always perpetrators, and prove that an “injustice against her innocent partner” is committed in “the vast majority of cases of DV.”



    Police handcuffed by DV policy

    Benjamin Barr is a police officer with 28 years of experience in the field protecting our society from criminals. Sadly, he now finds himself in the position of trying to protect society from some of its own laws.

    Mandatory and pro-arrest policies pushed by radical feminists and the federal government regarding domestic violence have all but eliminated officer discretion on the matter throughout the country. Fear of the potential consequences for using discretion has our officers in a headlock. Few have the moral courage to exercise it resulting in many unnecessary arrests that consequently damage the American family.


    A woman has been drinking adult beverages throughout the evening. Her husband and she argue over finances. She tries to walk to the car and he grabs her by the wrist in order to prevent her from driving. She screams, pulls away and falls twisting her ankle in the driveway while the kids look on. The neighbor calls 911. Upon arrival officers separate the couple and interview them individually. The woman is crying. She has a red mark on her wrist and a swollen ankle consistent with her account of events and those of the neighbor, husband and children. The injuries are minor. She refuses medical attention. There is no history of domestic violence on file between the couple and the “victim” does not want her husband arrested. Despite her protests, he is arrested for domestic battery and the enhancement section – in the presence of children.

    This scenario illustrates how unnecessary arrests set in motion a chain of events more damaging than anything that took place prior to law enforcement being called: The husband is arrested in front of his family and neighbors. A No Contact Order (NCO) is issued forbidding him from seeing his kids and wife or contacting them by phone or through a third-party. He has to pay for bond or will miss work. He must spend money living out of the home and even more money for an attorney unless he qualifies for the public defender. He cannot possess a firearm or ammunition while the NCO stands.

    Peace officers sometimes seize these items stripping the suspect of his Second Amendment right without Due Process; as if a man is less deadly without a gun. The humiliation, family separation and financial burden stemming from this unnecessary arrest are a strain on the family brought about by overzealous arrest policies. Unnecessary arrests damage the American family and contribute to its further breakup. Not to mention the countless number of otherwise innocent men that are processed through the criminal justice system and who will be forever stained and stigmatized with an arrest record that can affect their employment, future job prospects, and other avenues of advancement.


    In President Obama’s new proclamation “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2011,” he misstates several key facts on men, women, and domestic violence. Harvard-trained public health specialist Ned Holstein, MD, MS explains:

    “Obama tells us that ‘One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.’ In reality, over 200 studies have found that women initiate at least as much violence against their male partners as vice versa. Obama’s 3.25 ratio is actually 1-1. And men comprise about a third of domestic violence injuries and deaths.”

    The most recent large scale study of DV, published in the American Journal of Public Health, surveyed 11,000 men and women and found that, according to both men’s and women’s accounts, 50% of the violence in their relationships was reciprocal (involving both parties). In those cases, the women were more likely to have been the first to strike. Moreover, when the violence was one-sided, both women and men said that women were the perpetrators about 70% of the time.

    Dr. Holstein, Board Chairman of the national family court reform organization Fathers and Families, says, “Obama’s distortion is no mere quibble over statistics—the myth that ‘only men do it’ has crept into family courts, leading judges to put children into the custody of dangerous mothers whose violence is ignored because of the pervasive myth that women do not injure or kill.”


    • “The most recent large scale study of DV, published in the American Journal of Public Health,”
      You do not mention who did the study. There are indeed some studies out that back up what you say. However, those I’ve seen are done by father supremist folks who have a bias.

      Information that is also going around father supremist groups is to purposely do things to provoke their wives to strike first. They verbally harass and keep on harassing and harassing, blaming, chewing out etc. They also block access to leave, etc. In other words, if a husband blocks his wife from going out the door, and she pushes past him, they say she “struck first.” If he is screaming in her face, threatening her, and she punches him to get him out of her face, they would claim she “struck first.” And the questions on the “research” are worded to get both genders to say the same thing, that she was the physical agressor. In truth, his blocking her from leaving was the physical aggression. The fathers supremist groups talk among themselves on how to control their partners without leaving any marks.
      Check out So many women lose contact with their children because the courts believe it is in the best interest of the child to place the children with their dads who are their emotional, physical and sexual abusers.

      Father supremist groups believe it is the father’s right to control his wife and children by whatever means necessary. Therefore they are angry when they are prevented from acting according to their perceived rights. As Christians it is important to note that the only place in the whole Bible where husbands are given control of their wives is in Ester–the command was given by a pagan king. Do you really want to follow a pagan king? Or would you rather follow Christ, who commanded that we treat others as we want to be treated, and that we do not exercise authority over others?

      Also, in the previous post the “scenario,” would be very rare indeed. Most domestic abuse occurs behind closed doors. It is rare that a neighbor calls the police, because the neighbor doesn’t see the abuse. Also, grabbing his wife’s wrist IS abuse. He left red marks, so it is NOT a minor incident, was not a “loving” touch. Husbands are NOT the policement of their wives.



    • I asked for a credible source, you give ”men’s rights” links. Your first is a story with a hypothetical scenario and no real numbers to how often it happens. But to prove your ”vast majority” assertion, numbers are needed.

      The second is statistics on DV from your sources, and does not prove feminists promote the myth that men are always perpetrators, nor that an “injustice against her innocent partner” is committed in “the vast majority of cases of DV.”

      For the sake of argument, I will take your ”women are as likely as men to assault” as true: Assuming 2 groups are equally like to assault – the claim your groups make in the second link – and assuming, on top of that, that group B is arrested more often, it still don’t mean group B is more often treated unjustly. If, for example, a group A member assaults verbally and a group B member physically, or A assaults mildly and B to the degree of grievious bodily harm, then it will be entirely right that B is arrested and not A.



    Otherwise, it’s pretty much a clean sweep for moms. They get majority parenting time in 65% of all cases and 64% of those in which there are no parental “risk factors.” Dads get 17% and 15% respectively.

    Risk factors are things like findings or admissions of domestic violence, drug or alcohol dependency, abandonment of the child or abuse or neglect of the child. Ten percent of dads had at least one risk factor compared to 4% of moms. That makes it strange that 17% of all dads got majority parenting time but only 15% of dads did in cases in which there were no risk factors. I’d have thought the percentage would go up.

    In 26% of cases in which dad had no risk factors and Mom had one, Dad got full custody. But reverse the sexes and Mom got full custody 44% of the time. When dad had no risk factors and Mom had two, he got full custody 42% of the time. Again, when the sexes were reversed, Mom got full custody 63% of the time.

    So, in divorce court, risk factors like the ones mentioned above have differing impacts on custody depending on whether it’s a mother or a father doing the bad acts. Fathers are penalized more than mothers and the penalty comes in loss of parenting time with the kids.


    • Those numbers were not correlated with how often fathers and mothers actually asked for custody. I, for example, know a mother who have way more things I consider risk factors than her ex. Yet, courts gave custody to her because the father never wanted it, and never asked for it in court.

      I know mothers ask for custody more often, and any numbers that tell me how often the sexes has custody have to correlate for that. Because only in cases where both actually ask for it can there be discrimination.


  11. Without exception I always hold women to the exact same standard they hold men too:

    From what I have read so far your beliefs like so many other so called Christians I have encountered fail to pass muster compared to what the Bible actually teaches.

    From the very beginning – long before men began to organize into groups – research into domestic violence has refuted the claims of the feminists. Indeed feminists have phoned in death threats to the homes of these researchers and bomb threats where they were speaking.

    While growing up I witnessed and/or overheard on more then one occasion my father being physically and verbally abused by both of my stepmothers.

    My father died when he was 55 yrs old as a result of an STD infection given to him by one of my stepmothers while the other one drove him into financial ruin.

    Not only did both of my stepmothers abuse me physically, emotionally and verbally my mother knowing allowed two of my stepfathers to abuse both me and brothers.

    Our second stepmother falsely accused one brother of sexually molesting her son and convinced by father to force him into a mental institution for an evaluation which both cleared and vindicated him. She also falsely accused my other brother of raping her daughter after he’d entered the military and threatened to press charges which sent my brother into a deep depression during which he seriously considered committing suicide.

    My brother from my mothers second marriage committed suicide about a year or so after his daughter told him to his face. That she would have no problem with falsely accusing him of hitting her – forcing him to surrender his parental rights to his children.

    Throughout my thirty-one years plus of marriage my own wife has attempted to control what I think, read, watch and write. She has subjected me to emotional, physical and verbal abuse throughout our marriage. Knowing full well that with one phone call and one lie she could have me removed from our home, server my relationship with my son and destroy me financially.

    While attending school two female teachers intentionally grabbed my arm to prevent me from walking away from them.

    I was physically assaulted at the Stone Mountain Georgia Wal-mart several years ago when a black teenage female intentionally walked into me without warning and rubbed her breasts across my chest.

    Before the laws in regards to rape began to be reformed here in Georgia during the 1990’s a female teacher who seduced and raped an under aged boy could not be charged, prosecuted nor convicted of rape and sent to prison.


    • Please, daPoet, if you say “your beliefs fail to pass muster…like many other so-called “Christians’ ” without even saying what beliefs from whom, you do not keep to the “avoid personal attack” rule for commenters, stated in the top right of my blog. This is the second time I had to speak about your attacking people, not topics. (For my other commenters, the other time was on the “Myths on gender roles” subpage on Gen. 3:16)
      I am very sad to hear of how your stepmothers and stepfathers abused you (and if your wife abused you and it is not just your perception or even just your story, I am sorry about that too), but it not on the topic of this blog entry. Nobody – male or female – should abuse another.

      And while I find it right for female teachers to be arrested for sexual violence against male students, even that is not on the topic of this thread. Stay on topic. (I find it strange to see the words “seduced and raped” in one sentence in your post – seduce is to getting someone to consent, rape is, per definition, sex with force. I don’t know about American law, but where I live, you can only be accused of rape on someone who said yes if the yes-sayer is under 12. On 12-15y.o’s, consent make it a lesser crime than rape. On over 16s, consent make it legal.)


  12. Waneta, after reading many claims from fathers rights groups, I decided to do some extensive research myself. It seems like unless one does the research to get to the real data, it’s hard to see the true picture, especially when rival groups are vying for attention and some are using covert manipulative tactics or arguments filled with logical fallacies to try to press their point. In fact, every time a post like that appears in the cyberworld, it doesn’t take long before a comment appears, with a long diatribe consisting of assertions that are either vague or have been debated and debunked. It is therefore pointless to quote articles or studies here because someone will come up with something that is dubious, and you could go on ad finitum. Those who really want to know can do their own research, provided they can apply critical thinking to the process.

    Typically, very few stick to the subject, which in this case is whether courts discriminate against a particular gender. I take that to mean wrongly discriminate, or discriminate in a way that brings about injustice. Anecdotal evidence as well as a plethora of studies point to the reality that women are victims of injustice in the family court system. It is indeed far better for a victim of domestic violence to avoid court, because the chances of a fair outcome is slim, and if keeping your children safe and well is the priority, then do your best to keep them out of court. After all, when they are harmed, it may be irrevocable and there will be no recompense from the courts, judges, experts or anyone else involved.


    • Anonymous, I wish there was a solution to how parents can keep children safe in divorce. I wish those in the legal process had the eyes and heart to do what is best for children.

      I think that the things men’s right guys quote are red herrings. Yes, there are anecdotes of mistreated men. But there are also stories of women who drew the short end of the stick when doing nothing wrong.
      I never heard one anecdote from online men’s right proponents that say ”…and my child died because the court favored the mother.” (I once read one in local news, the mother’s live-in partner killed the child after the father asked custody.) Many of the anecdotes I’ve heard of disbelieved mothers include a dead child. Anecdotes is not statistics, but I’d like to see a) the amount of children killed by mothers after fathers asked sole custody, vs. b) the amount of children killed by fathers after mothers asked sole custody.

      But the main thing I get from those anecdotes is that so called men’s right activists tend to speak of themselves: ”I get a bad deal, they discriminate against me, I am treated wrong.” But women tend to say, unlike the kind of men who complain they do not get custody: ”My children get a bad deal, my daughter is unsafe, my son is treated wrong.” And the selfish focus of men’s rights proponents tell me the courts are probably right not to give them custody. (Please note that I spoke of the selfish focus of men’s right proponents, not of men in general.)

      And their numbers of how many mothers get custody vs. fathers do not prove anything if it include couples where only one parent asked for custody.


  13. A few weeks late, but DaPoet mentioning A Voice for Men is a HUGE red flag and can’t be ignored. The guy who runs that site wrote an article 12-18 months ago (I think – been a while since I read it) where he said that if he was ever a juror on a rape case he would find the perpetrator not guilty EVEN IN THE FACE OF PROOF just because he thinks that women make false rape claims and so all women should be punished for that. And if that means that a rapist goes free, well then women deserve it. I’d search for the article to link to, but it was just too sickening and I don’t want to subject anyone to more than my brief synopsis.
    But back to the divorce and custody issue, and again unfortunately I can’t remember where I read it, but I did read stats that, if a man applies for custody, he is more likely to be awarded it than the woman. So it seems that courts aren’t really biased like men’s rights people like to make out.


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