Courts and kokanee…

I recently spent several hours in a courthouse observing Family Law cases being ruled upon. You might call it research for my current novel.

Relationships fall apart and divorces, especially the contested ones, are emotionally, physically, and financially draining. What I found interesting to observe was the dynamics between the couples who were all visibly male and female couples or at least appeared so in the cases of ones joining by webex. What struck me about the cases being heard was the volume of men present to fight for more time with their children, and in one case, to have his name listed on the child’s birth certificate as the father.

Men have virtually no rights to their unborn children, and there remains a heavy bias when it comes to custody—80% in favor of the mother vs 7% to the father. Shocking statistics when one considers what’s at stake is the best interests of the child. All men are not violent and abusive and all women aren’t nurturing care-givers. I was pleased to see that in one case, custody remained with the father and support payments made to the mother were ruled to be returned to him, and he was to receive child support going forward.

The judge was compassionate but not swayed by drama and unsubstantiated allegations. Like a captain steering a vessel, she gently guided each conversation back to the law being applied and then made decisive rulings.

I was encouraged by her decisions and left with the feeling that perhaps men will be heard and maybe given time, be considered more than just wallets when it comes to family.

The image above is one of kokanee spawning. In their life cycle, after 3-4 years have passed, the fish turn bright red and travel upstream, the females to lay eggs and the males to fertilize those eggs. It isn’t peaceful. The males fight for dominance and the females fight to keep their nests, called redds, safe. They linger and die there. The males too.

Not that different, humans and animals.

6 thoughts on “Courts and kokanee…”

  1. Very touching, thought provoking words. Life can be so tough for some. Thanks for judges that are able to see through the drama and deliver helpful decisions.

  2. IF only the judges here were as enlightened. I remember watching Kokanee in Nelson BC. It was amazing as the stream was totally red/gold with the fish.

    1. There’s always hope that issues like this will stop being judged on gender. This did take place in a Canadian courtroom. It would be a sight to see so many kokanee. I have in past years seen more of a concentration in this location but high water in the spring broke a natural dam free.

  3. So interesting! I am glad your judge kept her wits about her. What composure that must require!
    As for your red-gold-greens, they fit into their red-gold-green surrounds so seamlessly and are so striking to look at. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was all peace and tranquillity in those waters.

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