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Patrick Robinson defends fathers’ rights PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ellen Wallace   

Neuchatel, Switzerland (Le Temps, Fre) - Le Temps today, 11 February, carries a lengthy article about the work of Patrick Robinson, British-Swiss father of two who is pushing for more shared custody by parents in divorce cases, in French-speaking Switzerland. The law has allowed shared custody since 2000 but it is granted in only 34% of cases.

Robinson has been one of the main architects, according to Le Temps, of legislation under consideration that the Federal Council opened to public consultation at the end of January, until 30 April 2009. It would make shared custody the norm rather than an exception. It would also make obstruction of parental visits punishable by law.

Robinson’s work was part of his role as spokesperson for CROP (Coordination Romande des Organisations Paternelles), created in 2007 to regroup several fathers’ rights organizations. Robinson insists that they are not fighting women, but pushing for shared custody wherever possible rather than single-parent custody as the best solution because it reduces the chances of a winner-loser mentality linked to childcare. It can also help avoid tensions linked to parental visits.

He told Le Temps that he is also anxious to see greater understanding of and a change in attitude on the part of the public towards abused fathers. Robinson was married for 17 years and was, for much of that time, the victim of physical, verbal and emotional abuse. He found his health in ruins and his ex-wife given custody of their children. His  legal battle to gain custody was difficult. In the end, a lawyer representing the children was able to obtain it. The problem of domestic violence against men remains taboo, a situation he would like to change, Robinson has said in media interviews.


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