Dear Mr Cameron,
How would you 'define' an absent father?
Perhaps you should think about and indeed answer this question before calling on society to treat so-called 'absent fathers' as little more than scum.
Ask my ex-wife and many of her friends/associates about me and no doubt they would call me an absent father. I walked of the family home years ago, but not because I didn't want to be a father.
Yesterday (father's day), I was supposed to spend the day with my child, but according to the mother she wasn't feeling well. Maybe that was geniunely the case, or maybe the fact that 2 days before I refused to pay off some of the mother's debts had something to do with it?...........
When parents separate, the 'state' and 'law' is overwhelmingly in favor of mothers.
Mothers invaribly do not work and so receieve full legal aid. The best that fathers who work can hope for is legal help, which is based on thier disposable income. If you're earning the 'national average wage', you could receive up to £800 in legal help. With a solicitor and/or legal advisor charging £50 - £175 per hour, £10 for letters and £15 for a 20min phone call, £800 doesn't last long. This is a fact that is used and abused by mothers, who can drag out the legal processes to the extent that the fathers run out of of money long before anything can be arranged with regards to the children. With no money to be able to fund a competent solicitor, father's rights and options are near enough non-existent. There are mediation options which can be provided free and/or at a greatly reduced rate, but mothers are not compelled by law to attend - and so usually do not.
Even if fathers have the money to take things through the courts, mothers can drag things out so that the fathers are virtually bankrupted. Then, even if an agreement is reached, the mother can just ignore it and make up all sorts of excuses as to why. The onus is then on the father to take the mother back to court - this can be upto 4 or 5 times until the courts will actually impose any threats of arrest etc on the mother (not forgetting that each time you go to court the father will have to pay, in full, for legal representation whilst the mother would get full legal aid).
Once father's have lost thier legal options they can be systemactically removed from thier children's lives by the mother. The mother can move to the other side of the country and this can be completely funded by the state. Mothers can even move to another country - all without the father's permission. Father's can't even take their children abroad for a holiday without the mother's permission! Fathers can be banned from any involvment with thier child's education and health at the mother's behest, all supported by the local education/health authorities.
Here are some interesting facts for you:
Occurring to a man:
Be divorced 53%
Be divorced by wife using fabricated grounds 24%
Lose custody of his children 24%
Lose his home 39%
Lose a significant proportion of life savings 49%
Not receive legal aid 64%
Have false allegations made against him 58%
Be the victim of malpractice's in his legal case 87%
Suffer obstruction to contact with his children 61%
Suffer stress 83%
Will not remarry (surprise, surprise!!) 77%
Assets : man to woman - (average)
Transferred at marriage - £9913
Transferred at divorce - £18804 (that's right, women get 100% more for getting divorced!)
Then of course we have the CSA. They can take at least 15% of the father's 'take home pay' and hand it straight to the mother, even if the father has been totally cut out of thier child's life. Fair? - What would you say if I told you that you had to pay 15% of your take home pay to me to pay for my Ferrari, but you're not allowed to even see it, let alone drive it?
Also, some men have money taken from them even though they are not the fathers. But because some woman says they're the Dad they have to pay. But what about a DNA test? I hear you cry. You need the mother's permission to have it done or (you guessed it) you have to go to court to get it done. Even then, men can still have money taken off them until the DNA results are confirmed and if it's proven that he isn't the father, there is no guarantee that he'll get his money back.
Some more interesting facts for you:
CSA father employment rate 55% (normal rate 87%)
Number of fathers unemployed because of CSA < or = 32%
Number of CSA related suicides 39 (1993-1996)
Average accuracy rate of calculated payments 34% accurate
So, Mr Cameron..... all of your 'ideas' (so far) seem to revolve around fathers being in relationships with the mother: Tax breaks for couples, relationship support to prevent breakdowns and health visitors to support families (because of course the nanny-state knows best).
So, what about when relationships - no matter what - do breakdown?
Any chance of some support for the fathers then?...........