My experience of the family court (yr 5) so far has been that it really is as bad as the stories you hear of say it is. I have spoken to other men who've had some pretty extreme things happen to them as well because of maternal bias.
It's a system which in many ways, ironically, is totally patronising of women and treats them as minors. The mostly female judges do not judge women the same way they treat men - they expect men to have a higher standard of conduct.
To me, the problem lies in the issue of 'status quo' - by allowing this to be changed after court proceedings have been issued (due to the nebulous concept of the 'child's best interests') allows women (and my feeling is it will mostly be women [and see the 1st article] for reasons I may come to later) to use the child as a pawn. Then because of the aforementioned nebulous concept the child ironically has their life disrupted by one parent trying to manipulate pathetic and lazy judges and incompetent social workers - and they mostly succeed! Of course solicitors, barristers and the aforementioned lazy judges never tell you that the outcome is almost certainly going to be the same no matter what the complexities or otherwise of your case are (midweek, alternate weekends and shared holidays) so contribute to costs and pointless court time because you think all the 'small' stuff matters (like the mother stopping you seeing your child). And in fact, the 'small' stuff matters hugely because it goes to what one parent thinks about the other's relationship with the child and what they will do in the future - and because in the real world the child's actual best interests are served by having as smooth a relationship between both parents as they can see.
And of course, the mother has nothing to lose. She knows the likely outcome, she knows that she literally can't lose anything because the courts don't view the father's relationship as equal to the mother's - ie the golden uterus. Once the child's custody is settled in favour of the mother she gets resources - quids in! Poor behaviour isn't punished in anyway because of the golden uterus.
This is totally beyond farcical. Apparently the judge ruled that the woman has the right to be maintained to the level of the man's current earning status decades after a divorce! Does the ex husband have contrasting rights over his ex wife? Can he turn up for a quick one?
Any violence alleged by the woman over the man, the man is assumed to be guilty until proven innocent - totally illegal in any other branch of UK law - so guess what happens!
This problem - and it really stems from the horrendous judges, is so bad that marriage as an institution is collapsing in the west in part because of this. The decisions of family courts are viewed as farcical in the real world.
Of course the above is a generalisation, but generalisations are true in general! Some of it is letting of steam too.
Many might think I'm bitter - but the reality is I genuinely am not. For so many reasons that I may go into later, but essentially I think that as stupid as divorce courts are - there is a sort of natural restorative justice that naturally reverses much of the farce that is the family court!