Are Fathers Discriminated Against in Irish Family Law?

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“Are Fathers Discriminated Against in Irish Family Law? “

Introduction
Considering the fact that one-third of births occurred in non-marital relationship in Ireland. In nowadays, single mother and their children still face great difficulties, but they have Constitutional protection for the rights. On the other hand, under Irish law, the unmarried father remains deeply ignorant of his legal situation regarding his child. No matter how build his relationship with the child or child mother, in law such father have no automatic right to the guardianship, custody of his child. Support group for unmarred and separated fathers believe that in reality rights in respect of child is far from equal, and it always on a side of natural mother. This also arises from the decision of the Supreme Court in the State (Nicolaou) v An Bord Uchtála). 1 The Supreme Court held:

i) A natural father is not a member of a family within Article 41 ii) A natural father is not a “parent” within Article 42 iii)A natural father is no personal right in relation to his child which the State is bound to protected under Article 40. 2

The object of the research was to examine if fathers are being discriminated against in the Irish courts system. Two parts of the project were given an overview of 158 cases and 40 of interviewees in total were interviewed in more then in one area. 10-fathers and 14 mothers, who were either separated or unmarried and have at least one child. 11 solicitors, 3 barristers, 2 mediators (“professionals”, “practitioners”) were involving in this empirical research. Professionals and practitioners were selected by non-probability sampling technique and based on their experience in the area of family law. All legal norms and rights of interviewees were observed or assured. The open-ended questions interviews, with an average time of 40 min. were properly recorded and analyzed using thematic analysis.

Profiles of parents showed that that length of relationships for...
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