President of the Family Division Says Courts Are Not Best Suited To Resolving Conflicts Over Child Contact

October 1, 2010
  • President of the Family Division says that the traditional adversarial system in British courts compels separated parents to argue against each other when trying to arrange contact with their children. Children are often used as ‘the battlefield and the ammunition’ after separation

The President of the Family Division says that children are often used as ‘the battlefield and the ammunition’ after divorce or separation by parents wishing to punish each other for the breakdown of their relationship.

Lord Justice Wall, the senior judge in the family courts, was speaking at the annual gathering of Families Need Fathers which has branches all over the UK. He stated “often, the parties are fighting over again the battles of the relationship, and the children are both the battlefield the ammunition.”

Against this background the adversarial system of the courts doesn’t help. “One party wants a divorce, or residence or contact: the other opposes it. One party makes an application, the other resists. The adversarial system is engrained.”

Lord Justice Wall described break-ups as ‘a serious failure in parenting’ that requires an extremely responsible and child-centred approach to prevent harm to the children. “Parents, in my experience, often find it difficult to understand that children both love and have a loyalty to both parents. There is nothing worse, for most children, than for their parents to denigrate each other.  If a child’s mother makes it clear to the child that his or her father is worthless – and vice versa – the child’s sense of self-worth can be irredeemably damaged.”
With 136,000 couples divorcing annually and, each year, up to 20,000 parents going to court to determine disputes over seeing their children, this issue affects a large proportion of the population and its effects will be felt among generations of children who have suffered following separation.

Many children lose touch with one of their parents in these circumstances and are, consequently, likely to suffer in many respects over the course of their lives. Families Need Fathers is chiefly concerned with the problems of maintaining a child’s relationship with both parents during and after family breakdown. They offer information, advice and support services for parents who could otherwise spend years without achieving a positive outcome for the children. One of their key resources of is a 50 strong network of local branch meetings where anyone can get free help and support from separated parents who have themselves struggled to see their children.

To learn more about the charity’s other services, such as a helpline and a website, call 0300 0300 110 or visit www.fnf.org.uk.


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Please Support Our Charity 10K For Families Need Fathers

June 22, 2010

New Fathers For Justice Protest May 29th 2010

May 19, 2010

On Saturday May 29th, New Fathers For Justice will be doing an awareness/fundraise demo in Bristol, followed by our “FATHERS VIGIL OF LAWS” protest outside David Law’s MP’s house.

Bristol awareness starts 11:00 Broadmead, Bristol.

After two hours, we go to Law’s house to set up our “Justice Tent” and purple flags. Please bring your superhero… costumes.

If you wish to come, please send “Captain Equality” a message on the email below.

This is one of a few precursor mini demos in the run up to our “CARRY ON CAMPING DEMO” in Witney on July 24th.

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Positive Update With My Family Law Case

October 17, 2009

OK, I have a slightly positive update for this week. I had a review hearing in court to discuss increasing my contact with my daughter and to discuss Christmas contact arrangements as I have not been allowed to see my daughter at Christmas for the past 3 years, apart from 2 hours, which just does not count.

My daughter’s mother started off the court hearing by offering me only 2 hours yet again, which continues to illustrate what kind of person she is. Thankfully the judge and the CAFCASS officer were once again on my side and for the first time in 2 years they put real pressure on mother, to consider what was actually best for our daughter and not what she wants, for her own selfish reasons.

Throughout the 2 hour court session mother repeatedly said no to everything I requested and tried her very best to give me no extra contact time with my daughter but with hard work and assistance from the judge I am now allowed to pick my daughter up from school as I used to 2 years ago. Why a mother would want to stop a father being involved with their child’s school is completely beyond my comprehension, but it was achieved (with caveats).

Regarding Christmas day, after a long battle with mother and her barrister I was granted contact from 4PM on Christmas day through to the morning of 28th December.

I was denied contact on Christmas Eve and New Years eve but am allowed to have my daughter on the 1st and 2nd of January.

The increased contact is not ideal but it is a very positive step closer to my requested contact schedule.

I have stayed focused and positive throughout the court case and it just goes to show that if you keep your focus and work hard to achieve your goals, anything is possible.

A huge thank you to everybody who has messaged me on this blog over the past year, all comments both positive and negative are welcome and it really does help me to know other parents do share similar views on the family court system, shared parenting and parental alienation.

I would also appeal to Kent who messaged me recently and advised me to give up on my case. I have fought long an hard to get where I am and I have absolutely no regrets in representing myself with the assistance of a McKenzie friend, in fact I am proud of my achievements, although it has taken far too long to get here, but this is unfortunately how the court system works as court and government resources are over-stretched and the child and estranged parent suffers.

I still envisage being in this situation for the next 8 years as mother seems intent on being nasty and vindictive, so keep up the support and messaging your comments.

Thank you


Birthday Weekend With Daughter Cancelled Despite Court Order

July 12, 2009

My court order has now been broken for the third weekend.

I went to my daughter’s birthday party at McDonalds and when I asked my daughter’s mother what time I could pick her up, she replied “you know you haven’t got here and I’m not discussing it!”  Now, bear in mind this is my alternating weekend which has been in place for almost one year.

She seems insistent on alienating me from my daughter’s life, which can only harm our daughter as we have a great bond, but she still keeps trying to brainwash her and you can visibly see my daughter is uncomfortable when I and her mother are near each other, it is such a shame as our job is to teach and protect our child.

Yesterday was meant to be the day I took my daughter to choose her new bike for her birthday, instead I spent the day upset and confused, this is now the third weekend that my daughter’s mother has cancelled, despite having a court order stating they were my weekends.

Where are my child’s rights?
Why is parental alienation not stamped out?
When will father’s rights be enforced?


School Sports Day Made Difficult By Alienating Mother

July 7, 2009

Today was my daughter’s school sports day and thankfully the weather was perfect, not too hot, just right 🙂

As usual the only problem was that my daughter’s mother had her boyfriend there and he was constantly in my face and trying to compete in being closest to my daughter whilst photographing her doing her sports.

Now, it has been 3 years since all this started and im slowly being able to cope with mentally the situation, but I have never seen any other child or child’s mother subject their children to such a situation at our our daughetrs school, which is obviously uncomfortable for all concerned.

The most distressing part of the day was the Father’s race. A teacher tunred round and asked if I was going to join in and I said only if my daughter wants me to. My daughter turned round and said she wanted me to and I could see my ex and her boyfriend looking at me from the corner of my eye.

I agreed and went over to the rest of the dads, who were already lined up.

As I got to the starting line, my ex’s boyfriend came over and joined in, purely because I had. Now, this is not rational or adult behaviour, as this is obviously making it more difficult for my daughter and it appears to me that this was an intentional action just to wind me up. There is a long history of parental alienation and it is clear to me that my ex wants me to be out of my daughter’s life and thinks I am not important for her.

My ex’s boyfriend is a student and is 14 years younger than me and 9 years younger than my ex.  I have had enough of this childish situation and I only wiosh that I knew a way to deal with this guy and my ex, they clearly have no respect for me being a father and do not care about my daughter’s best interest, as these situations, which happen everytime an important event occurs, cause even more friction to a nasty situation where there is no line of communication between me and my daughter’s mother.

How can I deal with this situation in the long run, I am really struggling??


I Need Advice – Am I A Bad Father?

June 12, 2009

I never write personal blogs like this, but I actually need help and for once in my life I am asking for some help and advice.

Today, my 7 year daughter turned up at my doorstep clinging to her mother saying “I don’t want to see you Daddy, I want to stay with mummy”. I squatted down and calmly said “why not darling” what is it?

To give you some background. Monday  just gone (June 8th I was told by my ex that my daughter was invited, by her best friend, to a Holy Communion in a nearby church.

I responded by saying that it was my day with her on Sunday and that I should be allowed to take her to the church on Sunday. I acknowledge the parents might know our situation and be reluctant to see me as it has been 2 years since I have been allowed to pick up my daughter from school.

There were many email communications throughout the week between myself and her solicitor as she was only offering an overnight Friday in return to taking 2 Sundays away from me (my only day to spend REAL quality time with her).

Today  she turned up and said “if you had agreed to what our daughter wanted then everything would be ok”.

Seriously, am I a bad father for insisting I should be able to take her to her best friends’ Holy Communion.  I do understand that my ex may be friends with our daughter’s best friends’ parents, but surely if it is my court ordered day to be with her, they can just ask me to take her.

Today is the first day I have really questioned |if I should have had a child. My best achievement in life is my daughter and I have always been there and I will always be there. But to experience what I did today, my whole world has been shattered into tiny pieces as my whole reason for feeling a better person, does not even want tom spend time with me, after a hard, 2 year battle just to get access back.

What have I done wrong?

What am I doing wrong?

How have I had this happen to me when my child is my world?


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