New Hampshire Family Court Debate Fathers’ Rights

Family courts in New Hampshire are under scrutiny because some people have accused the system of discriminating against fathers and not giving them the same treatment as mothers in custody cases after divorce or separation, WMUR reports.

Recently, a man lit himself on fire outside of a Keene, New Hampshire courthouse, and in a letter he wrote that he was upset with his treatment in a custody case. While extreme, the event brought a heightened level of media attention to the issue in the state.

State Rep. Jeffrey Oligny called the man a tragic martyr, according to the news source. Oligny is a member of the National Congress for Fathers and Children, a group that is working to eliminate what they see as a long-standing bias from New Hampshire courts.

“Fathers were seen as breadwinners. Mothers were seen as child care providers, people to raise children,” Oligny explained to the news provider. “Unfortunately, the system creates a lot of conflict, and we need to take a look at that.”

According to the Florida Times-Union, the Sunshine State is also battling court room bias. Leading the fight is a Jacksonville lawyer who is rallying against what he sees as an unfair system.

“The current system turns a father into a visitor and a paycheck,” the attorney told the publication.