family law, co-parenting, mothers, fathers, children, separation, another voice, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, caring, legislation, spousal violence
This paper is based on empirical work in progress concerning co-parenting and the ways in which mothers and fathers organize the care of children after separation. It deals with two foundational issues: Gilligan's concept of "another voice" and its congruence with recent developments in family law in the United Kingdom and otherdeveloped countries including Canada and the United States. The author concludes that the ethic of care incorporated in the British legislation and given some expression in the judicial system does not fully recognize two kinds of caring. There is caring about and caring for. The caring about of fathers for children is generally lauded. The caring for of mothers for children is ignored or denigrated. The new legislation also adopts as its paradigm the good parent as being the one who concedes and who does not require state intervention. In a specific case study, the author demonstrates that the new legislation can operate to deny the existence and effects of spousal violence against a woman and her child.
Carol Smart, "Losing the Struggle for Another Voice: The Case of Family Law" (1995) 18:2 Dal LJ 173.