Family law firms in the US are marketing themselves as specialists to a niche market, catering to the interests of male clients. Specifically, they’re appealing to some men’s fear of getting a bad deal out of a divorce.
The Wall Street Journal in the US ran a piece that addressed the rise of ‘divorce for men’ law firms; these businesses are taking out advertising in men’s magazines as well as TV and radio spots with campaigns that position the firms as ‘putting men first’. One US based firm has even developed a mobile phone app to be a men’s divorce source.
Their primary target audience is the soon-to-be-ex-husbands that are concerned about issues around their children and property and are afraid of ‘getting a bad deal’. There have long been vocal group in family law matters with these concerns, and there are a number of independent organisations and associations in the US and Australia that represent ‘dad’s rights’.
In Australia, amendments to the Family Law Act in 2006 meant that there has been a rise in shared parenting arrangements over the the more traditional “each alternate weekend” arrangements which had been historically favoured in children’s matters. In some instances where children live primarily with one parent, the court’s decisions may favour women because of the nature of the household, which can leave some fathers feeling like they have not been treated equally.
What does it mean for a law firm to specialise in men’s interests?
From a legal perspective, a reputable family law firm will be equally equipped to represent the best interests of either male or female parties when it comes to family law proceedings. However, some husbands facing a separation may have some specific concerns when it comes to property and children’s matters, especially in instances where they’ve been the primary income earner in the household. Husbands may often have questions about their situation that are different to those matters impacting upon their wives and as a result, law firms can position themselves to this niche by anticipating and addressing these specific concerns.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual client to choose a family lawyer that they feel most comfortable working with. Experience, cost and the personal compatibility with your lawyer are all matters that need to be considered when determining who should represent you in your family law matter, and not just whether they market themselves to a particular gender.
What do you think about law firms that specialise in men’s divorce?