We know some folks like hunting raccoons. But just you try hunting raccoons after 2 a.m. on a Sunday in Virginia, and you’ll have the law on you in no time. This is because the Code of Virginia1 clearly states that hunting on Sunday is illegal BUT the law “shall not apply to…any person who hunts or kills raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.” So daylight Sunday raccoon hunts are illegal, but what about a law firm for men only? Is that illegal in Virginia, too?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The monumental and much-needed Civil Rights Act of 1964 set parameters for providing equal opportunity and equal protection. Title VII (hey, hey, let’s leave the Romans behind—that’s Title Seven to you and us) actually allows companies to discriminate in hiring practices based on:
- National origin
This discrimination in hiring is legal if it’s a bona fide occupational qualification “reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.”
So Congress allows businesses (think Hooters, for example) to hire only certain people for certain jobs (think servers at Hooters, for example) because of some distinguishing characteristic that makes them appropriate for that job (do we really need to tell you the distinguishing characteristics of Hooters servers? Fine. It’s their love of owls. Yeah, owls.)
But Can a Business Discriminate Against Customers?!
Note that the Civil Rights Act allows this carve-out for employee hiring; it says nothing about the customers the business serves. So can a law firm get away with serving men only?
Simply put, yes: a law firm can pick and choose its clients just as its clients can pick from among many law firms. How is this not gender discrimination, you may ask? Well, it is, but not the illegal kind. No one is preventing a woman from hiring her own lawyer to represent her side of your divorce. And no attorney is going to represent both sides; that is the very definition of a conflict of interest.
At the end of the day, a business has the right to implement policies which support their principal function. For an all-women’s fitness center like Curves, for example, the principal function is fitness that caters to women. If Curves’ membership was opened up to men, it would not be as effective, and thus, would not support the primary function of the business. It’s the same for a men’s barber shop or a gynecologist . . . and it’s very much the same for an attorney representing men exclusively – the core of the business, its mission, and its success relies upon serving men only.
Why Would a Man Want to Use a Men’s Divorce Firm?
A divorce is a highly personal, emotionally wrenching process. You need to feel confident you are represented by someone who understands you and listens to you. This is why men seek the help of a law firm catering exclusively to men. Though the stereotype of the stern courtroom judge finding against the guy and with the wife still exists in movies and television, research shows that gender neutrality is making its way into divorce decrees.
This means your attorney can argue forcefully for:
- Shared child custody
- Spousal support for you
- No restraining orders against you
- Minimizing spousal support you pay
Many lawyers admit the legal system is biased against men in divorce proceedings. A law firm focusing on male-only clients can work diligently to protect men’s rights and help them fulfill their responsibilities to their children.
The Wall Street Journal caught wind of the men-only law firm phenomenon several years ago, and correctly identified some less-than-ethical tactics women have used, successfully, to sway judges:
- Claims of domestic violence
- Paternity suits
- False reports (claims against the husband of adultery, buggery or sodomy)
This is not to say all women should be painted with the same brush. If she filed against you first, you are on defense, but if you filed against her first, she is possibly anxious, scared, worried for the children you and she had together, and nervous about her financial future. Expect her—and her competent attorney—to work hard to protect her rights. Just make sure you—and your attorney—work equally hard to protect yours.
So You Think Women are Bad?
The intent of any law firm representing one gender or another is not to disparage the opposite sex. A men-only law firm is focused on upholding their male clients’ rights and responsibilities, not tearing down women. In fact, a careful lawyer will advise a male client to go out of his way to be polite, respectful, and cooperative with his soon-to-be ex-wife during the divorce proceedings. Any other approach simply provides ammunition for restraining orders, sole custody of children, and financial devastation.
Hire a Men’s Only Family Law Attorney
The Firm for Men is a law firm legally and forthrightly representing men only in divorce and separation proceedings. Our lawyers are familiar with the legal, emotional, and parental issues men face through the lengthy process of divorce in Virginia. We know the laws (okay, so some of us were not completely up on the whole raccoons-after-2 thing, but still…) and will work hard to represent the men we take on as clients. Contact The Firm for Men’s Virginia Beach office today, unless you’re reading this on a Sunday, in which case, please wait until tomorrow. We want to steer clear of any raccoon-related legal tangles.