The Telegraph recently interviewed Cordell & Cordell divorce solicitors in an article highlighting the firm’s commitment to representing men and fathers in divorce.
The story explained how laws in the UK affirming the equal rights of both parents have replaced outdated statutes such as the Tender Years doctrine, but attitudes still lag behind. Separated and divorced fathers are often granted fewer rights than grandparents, professional carers, siblings and other trusted third-parties.
“It’s a cultural mind-set that … can manifest in judges, but also lawyers, the clients themselves, the experts that are appointed, mediators, everywhere,” said Cordell & Cordell partner Barbara Johnson-Stern, who moved from the U.S. to head up the UK operation. “We don’t see it in every case, every court, every expert of course, but it is there.”
Cordell & Cordell British solicitor Karim Assaad pointed out that one of the most telling aspects of society’s attitude to men’s rights is its perception of men’s role when it comes to deciding who moves out of the family home following separation or divorce.
“There is a presumption that when a family is breaking down, males will leave,” Assaad said. “We find that men, instead of seeking professional advice, will turn to friends and social media, and they’ll be given informal advice. Friends will say, ‘Well, I left when it happened to me,’ and they’ll take this as an example.”
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