This letter by Eeva Sodhi addresses the issues driving
men to kill their children and themselves.
The letter was written in response to an article in the Sun,
reporting on a the case of a man who had shot
himself and his three children, in Throckmorton, Texas.
Considering that millions of men become affected by these issues, it is
surprising that not more do these things.
----- Original Message -----
From: R&E Sodhi
Sent: February 25, 2002 8:13 AM
Subject: Divorced dad kills 3 kids, himself (Feb. 25, 2002)
Here is yet another reminder how the biased family laws, not only in Canada but across the
world, are pushing fathers to commit the unthinkable.
It is noteworthy that when fathers kill their children, they almost invariably commit
suicide as well. Suicide, as we all know, or should know, is the final act of desperation.
It is rare for a mother to take her own life after she has killed her children, who often
die as a result of long abuse.
Yet, the courts determine, almost without an exception, that it is in the children's best
interest to grant the sole custody to the mothers, while ordering fathers to pay even if
the mother has moved away with the children in order to thwart their access to their
Only shared physical custody and financial responsibility by both parents can prevent
these tragedies. The assumption that both parents are financially responsible for the
upkeep of the children is already written in the law.
However, only the non-custodial parents, usually the fathers, are ordered to provide
support. The following exchange during the proceedings of the Standing Senate
Committee on Social Affairs tells it all:
Senator LeBreton: "When the courts decide these
issues, how does the mother's income factor into this? Who determines what amount the
mother will contribute?" --- Ms Brazeau (Dept. of Justice Canada): "The amount
that the mother is required to pay is presumed. There is a presumption that she will pay
what she can at her income level. If she earns more, she will be pay more."
[In:Social Affairs, Issue 3, Evidence. Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Social Affairs, Science and Technology Issue 3 Evidence. OTTAWA, Tuesday, December
For the irony of ironies, the father is usually ordered to pay
alimony as well so that the mother can then be seen to contribute to the financial
support. As Justice Rosalie Abella (Ontario Court of Appeal) put it:
"There is a clear
statutory attempt to equalize the standard of living between the payors household
and that of his or her children so that there is as little financial disadvantage to
children from the parents separation as necessary ...Households tend to function as
integrated economic and social units. This makes it more reasonable to determine what
standard of living the household as a whole is entitled to enjoy"
In short, Madame Justice Abella advocates that the non-custodial parent is not
only responsible for his child(ren) but for his ex-partners new partner, and his/her
dependants also. Justice LHeureux-Dupe elaborates on this concept also:
"The purpose of the guidelines is to enhance the
childs post-separation standard of living to approximate, as far as possible, what
that standard would have been had the parents not separated".
Personally, I cannot find any statute that
stipulates that an outsider has to support the family of a stranger who has robbed him of
his children and then uses them as pawns to extort money.
In 1999, Renu Mandhane, representing the Ontario Womens Justice Network, wrote:
"...Unfortunately, this bias (towards joint
custody) can have a detrimental impact on women and children by promoting the rights of
the father at the expense of the mother and weakening the mothers financial
situation post-divorce." [in:"The Trend Towards Mandatory
Mediation: A Critical Feminist Legal Perspective Executive Summary" by Renu
Mandhane, a University of Toronto law student, who worked with METRAC/OWJN for the summer
of 1999 as a Pro Bono Fellowship Student] http://www.web.net/~owjn/mediation.htm
So, there you have it from the horse's mouth: the support is for the mother, not
for the children. Ms Mandhane ignores the fact that sole custody promotes the rights
of the mother at the expense of the children and their father.
The only equitable way to deal with this dilemma and save lives is, of course, shared
physical custody, or sole custody by the parent who is able to provide the pre-divorce
standard of living to the children. By ordering the transfer of wealth from the payor
parent to the receiving parent, who need not be accountable, further reinforces the
master-slave relationship between the parents.
Yet, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is on record for having said
that he wants to shelve the Child Custody and Access laws, while pursuing fathers who find
it difficult to pay support to the mothers of their children.
How many more victims do we need until justice will prevail? Let us lay these four
bodies to where they belong: at the feet of the politicians and law makers.
RR 1 McDonald's Corners
Ontario, K0G 1M0
The White Rose
Thoughts are Free