Earlier today I returned to the ITV This Morning studios for my regular legal clinic. Today’s topic was one of the most contentious corners of family law – fathers’ rights.
Emotions always run high when father’s rights are raised and today’s questions from viewers were certainly no exception. It is important to bring calm and legal perspective to this difficult issue. I was at pains to emphasise that there are usually two sides to every story – as I put it on the show: “I hear complaints from Mums about Dads and I hear complaints from Dads about Mums. The reality is that it’s emotion on marital breakdown that causes all these problems.”
So often children are caught in the crossfire of bitter breakups – and used as pawns to extract money or some other advantage from the parent’s former partner. But the courts will always focus very clearly and firmly on the welfare of the child.
It is the job of the courts to cut through the often equally fraught claims of divorcing Mums and Dads and focus on the particular needs of each individual child within their own families. And I think for the most part that the family courts do a fine job.