Candidate No 60744Page 2 of 12LAWDM0084Advanced Legal and Socio-Legal Research Methodstherefore a lack of resources to bring to the child custody hearings to ensure equalfooting amongst the participants
.This work has real world relevance and as well is a means not only to address bias within the courts when it comes to lesbian mothers but as well provide a researchframework to look at other under-represented groups. The most striking example of the relevance of this work is a letter to the editor of DIVA in the May 2007 issuewhich asked about the resources for a mother seeking to deal with a custody disputeconcerning her children as she sought to leave a previous marriage where her husbandwas telling her GP and other individuals of her sexuality and seeking to use it asevidence in the dispute
Is there quantifiable bias present within the Family Courts of England &Wales which would adversely impact the lesbian mother?2.
Does this bias stem from a larger social stigma or bias towards the sexualorientation of the parent?3.
Does this bias impact younger or older lesbian mothers and as such is thisvariance quantifiable with the chosen research methods?4.
Does the closed nature of the family courts provide an access problem to theinformation sought and would research involving exclusively the parents beviable if access to court files proves impossible?5.
Should the structure of the family courts be called into question concerningaccess to information versus the overall benefit to other similarly situated parents?6.
Does this bias appear to be a product of the parties in dispute or is it inherentin the court personnel and actors in the child custody dispute process.
Note: Concerning the limited information available to lesbian mothers it would be inappropriate notto mention the book by Harne,L and Rights of Women,
Valued Families: The lesbian Mothers’ Legal Handbook
, Caledonian International, 1997. This books provides a beneficial resource to lesbianmothers and does cover some aspects of the current legal state of Family law in England and Wales theonly limitation is that it has not been updated since 1997.
See Anon, KID CRISIS, pg 9 in Czyzselska, J, DIVA, Issue 132, May 2007, Millivres Prowler Publication, website located athttp://www.divamag.co.uk