About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Daddy cool, daddy cool?

The Observer reports on the so-called Daddy Wars, a phenemenon apparently rampant in the US in which fathers, deprived of their role as breadwinners, fight to assert themselves in the sphere of childcare.

This is a theory apparently propounded by Dr Caroline Gattrell in her paper, 'Whose Child Is It Anyway? The Negotiation of Paternal Entitlements Within Marriage', which will be published next month in the peer-reviewed Sociological Review. She found that men develop strategies to secure their position at the centre of the home. 'I saw fathers in dual-career couples consciously mobilising their so-called "paternal rights" as a reaction to the shift in the traditional patriarchal culture of power and authority,' she said. 'They asserted their paternal "rights" in a way that suggested that children have become the focus for power and negotiation struggles.' So there you have it! It certainly seems to fit with some of my recent experiences of private law contact / residence disputes where time with children is traded with as much hard-nosed bartering as one might expect in a bear market.

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