Journal Article

The ‘No Contact Mother’: Reconstructions of Motherhood in the Era of the ‘New Father’

Helen Rhoades

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 16, issue 1, pages 71-94
Published in print April 2002 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 2002 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/16.1.71
The ‘No Contact Mother’: Reconstructions of Motherhood in the Era of the ‘New Father’

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This article examines the production of new narratives of ‘selfish motherhood’ in family law, in the context of disputes about parent‐child contact after separation. In the first section, I draw on my empirical research of contact enforcement litigation to tease out the contradictions and gaps between the dominant, or ‘stock’, stories of contact disputes, and some ‘counter’ stories that have emerged from the study. The second part of the article looks at the ways in which recent shared parenting reforms have combined with particular features of the Australian family law system to create a new classification of ‘bad’ parent – the ‘no‐contact mother’. The analysis focuses on the constraining effects of this reconstruction upon women who raise concerns about a father's capacity to care for the children.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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