The increase in fatherless families is due in part to fathers who have walked away from their family responsibilities. But the increase is mostly fuelled by the rising level of divorce - over 70% of divorce proceedings are now initiated by women. The problem is compounded by the growing numbers of mothers who never married in the first place. There should be no surprise about this since women know they will be provided with generous state support, such as child benefit for lone parents as well as child support payments from the father. In addition, they are likely to retain the family home, or be given priority in the allocation of a council property. As a result it now appears tantalisingly attractive for many women to bypass the traditional vehicle for child support which earlier generations knew as marriage. At the heart of this problem is the fact that the state controlled child support structure is, by its nature, inimical to bolstering support for marriage, since it facilitates a relatively painless escape route from it for women.
In the past women could reasonably claim that the law treated them unfairly. However, with the capture of our institutions by the politically correct class this has now changed almost out of all recognition. There can be no question that family law is now institutionally (in the true sense of the word) biased against men. In the words of Melanie Phillips 'The whole justice system ….is driven by a feminist agenda, which stretched from the humblest family lawyer through the politically correct Law Commission, to reach all the way up to government and the senior reaches of the judiciary'. An example of the latter is the first female Law Lord, Dame Brenda Hale who specialised as a family lawyer. This extraordinarily fast tracked law lady is on record as being in favour of 'gay' adoption and 'marriage', improved legal rights for cohabitees, and for removing all notions of fault from divorce law. This judge-cum-unelected politician appears eager to promote an anti-marriage agenda that would end any meaningful distinction between marriage and cohabitation, a process that is near to fruition. Again, in the words of Melanie Phillips she is the 'principal architect …of the Children Act, which by giving children ‘rights’ has helped destroy the authority of adults and made it impossible for teachers, social workers or even parents physically to restrain children from mischief without the child reporting them to the police.'
A good example of the open discrimination against men, under the current family law regime, is the way in which the children of separating couples are routinely given into the custody of the mother rather than the father. Sir Bob Geldof, who went through a bitter legal battle for the custody of his children, describes his experience of the law as one 'that treats men with contempt, suspicion, disdain and hostility'. One of the main causes behind the publicity stunts carried out by the campaigning group Fathers 4 Justice, is to highlight the plight of fathers denied access to their children by mothers who defy court orders and largely escape punishment. As a result, over 100 children lose contact with their children every day, a process in which both fathers and their children are near helpless victims, a glaring instance of 'child abuse' that goes largely unrecognised by our politically correct, feminist controlled, children’s charities. The driving force behind family law 'reform' is the Law Commission which has regularly promoted an anti-marriage agenda and whose proposals frequently turn into new legislation. This body has been consistently hostile to marriage over the years, pushing for easier divorce and for cohabitation rights. For example it has declared that 'there was no more need to support marriage than ‘any other living arrangement’, and dismissed the high rate of divorce as 'of no great cause for concern'.