Louis De Bernieres Article on Family Law: A reply

By Monday morning the OnlyDads office was replete with suggestions that this article by Louis De Bernieres needed to be read.

My response has to start with a caveat – this article came out in the Daily Mail – as such it needs to be treated with extreme caution!

That said, Louis de Bernieres has an important role as a Patron of Families Need Fathers – and by hook or by crook, he allowed this article to be published. I have not seen him repudiate or take back what he has written.

So what does OnlyDads think of this article?

The overall tone is unfortunate!

It leaves itself open to accusations of misogyny. Its open attack on the legal profession will do FNF and its membership no favours. It will in fact alienate a number of key-players holding responsibility for the current reform agenda.

We spoke about this at one of our meetings last night. The dads there agreed with some of the content – but felt the message was lost somewhat because of the rather “angry” tone. At a personal level – I share the same views.

I think what disappointed me most was the fact that the whole article seemed to rehearse this age-old agenda of cash-hungry and biased solicitors, the lack of “fathers rights”, all rolled up into a, not altogether hidden, anti-women slant.

I find it sad that (once again) I find myself having to distance our approach from fellow dad’s organisations. Big splashes in the Mail are worth their weight in Gold in advertising terms. How I bet FNF will end up regretting a missed opportunity to really get a message across. 

For our part, and together with our sister organisation OnlyMums we will continue to offer the best possible professional advice, support, and direction to mums and dads who find themselves going through the pain of divorce/separation. Working together – mums and dads – enhances all we do. It doesn’t grab headlines, but it is the way forward.

Bob Greig, Founder. OnlyDads






About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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3 Responses to Louis De Bernieres Article on Family Law: A reply

  1. Louis de Bernieres says:

    You are going to get nowhere by pussyfooting around being nice. The Family Justice sytem is institutionally anti-male and anti father, and the adversarial nature of it, cynically exploited by lawyers, makes couples who could have been reconciled irreconcilable. You know this as well as I do, and you ought to be saying so in public.
    Louis de Bernieres

    • onlydads says:

      Thank you for the comment Louis.

      I’m not going to argue about sexism built in to the family justice system in the UK. There is plently of evidence to support the case. I have written about such issues many times on this blog.

      But,(and it’s a big “but”) OnlyDads will not change it’s mission in providing dads and mums with the encouragement and professional advice they need to make the best decisions for their families. We don’t “pussyfoot” around in pursuing this mission – from time to time we find ourselves in some hard places!

      As for your comment about being nice, I’m reminded of the Morrissey lyric… “it takes guts to be gentle and kind” There will be no apologies this end, if we come over as “nice”.

      When dads can put anger to one side – and work within the system we have, with a lazer-like approach that puts the interest of their own children first, we find, time and time again, that positive outcomes are achieved.

      Jumping up and down shouting that the “system is cynically exploited by lawyers” may sound like a good soundbite.

      However, like most soundbites, It goes nowhere and will do little to change anything.



  2. Pingback: Why use a Resolution Member Solicitor? | OnlyDads

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