Father wins right to see his daughter eight times a year

Children|Family|News|October 2nd 2013

The High Court has granted a father the right to see his daughter eight times a year, after a court order forbidding him from applying for more contact expired.

Re G concerned the parents of a 13 year-old girl who had split acrimoniously before she was born. For the first six years of her life her parents returned regularly to court to argue over contact and the proceedings eventually became intractable. At that point a Cafcass officer was appointed as the girl’s legal guardian.

The father saw his daughter regularly but the frequency of the visits gradually declined. A psychiatrist decided that the father had developed a near obsession with his daughter and also said he experienced mood swings and could be aggressive at times.  A legal order was granted giving him the right to see the girl three times a year but he was also not allowed to contact his daughter’s school or her GP, or to go within four miles of the mother’s home.

Then a ‘section 91 (14)’ order was issued against him. Issued under the Children Act 1989, these prohibit legal applications regarding the affected children, for example for more contact, without the prior approval of the court.

The section 91 (14) order ran for a period of six years. The day after it expired, the father wrote to the girl’s mother to discuss the arrangements in place for contact, but she accused him of harassing and manipulating their daughter.  The mother had not told the girl about the legal quarrels between her parents and she did not know why she only saw her father occasionally.

The father went to court to argue that contact arrangements should be reviewed now that the section 91 (14) order had expired.

At the High Court, a case worker from the National Youth Advocacy Service said the father “lacked insight” into why contact had been restricted to three times a year and said there was still a possibility that the father might try to manipulate his now teenage daughter. On the other hand, the girl was interested in seeing her father more frequently.

Judge Bellamy considered the practicality of an order for more contact. He concluded that the child’s clearly expressed wishes should be taken into consideration, given her age and understanding of the situation. He increased contact to eight times per year, but also put in place a new section 91 (14) order, which would stay in place until the girl turned 16.

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Comments(10)

  1. Paul says:

    And what would make a man more angry than this?

    I bet 90% of the problems here derived from the courts own failures in not acting decisively from the off to protect a child’s paternal relationship and give the father a decent chance. The predictable garbage about “lack of insight” trotted out by Cafcass and the psychiatrist could as equally be applied to themselves. Name me someone who does not get occasional mood swings or who does not get aggressive at times. What are fathers meant to be, perfect?

  2. Stitchedup says:

    “A psychiatrist decided that the father had developed a near obsession with his daughter and also said he experienced mood swings and could be aggressive at times. ”

    What loving parent doesn’t have a near obsession with their children?

    What normal human being doesn’t suffer mood swings and occasional aggression.

    It appears the psychiatrist has described a perfectly normal human being, perhaps he or she was expecting a Truman Burbank character!

    I’ve never trusted psychiatrists/psychologists ever since watching a program about badly behaved children. A woman psychiatrists/psychologist on the program thought a Welsh father was confusing his child by saying “let’s do this is it?”. According to the very well spoken English woman psychiatrist the father’s use of “is it” when suggesting some sort of activity to the child was a cause for concern, and could be adversely affecting the child and contributing towards the child’s bad behaviour. What the poor woman didn’t realise is that at least half the Welsh population use the term “is it”, it’s a bloody Welshism!!!

  3. Luke says:

    It does seem extraordinary that a psychiatrist came to this extremely punitive decision when clearly there is no threat to the child (or we would know about it) and the child is confused because she doesn’t where her father has gone and wants him back.

    The psychiatrist says the father has “developed a near obsession” with seeing his daughter – this is absurd – parents need to be virtually obsessed with their children or nobody would put up with the cost and aggravation of raising them !

    In years to come when this seemingly idiotic psychiatrist has moved on and forgotten about this girl the father will still be “nearly obsessed” with his daughter – I hope.

    I have to ask the same question again – can anybody see a likelihood of the mother being treated like this ???

  4. davidmortimermiltonkeynes says:

    The family courts give no consideration to the harm it causes to the child or society of stopping fathers being involved in their children’s lives.

  5. JamesB says:

    One weekend a month is ok, not good, but ok.

  6. JamesB says:

    Plus a fortnight or 3 weeks in the summer. That I think is the minimum and for very difficult fathers.

  7. vob re says:

    Many Psychiatrist from what i have seen and read should have assessments themselves. there have been many published reports of how they behave for example the one last year who has been reported to the GMC for diagnosing a girl with Bipolar Disorder when she hadn’t in order to get her newborn adopted to satisfy the L Authority.
    How do these experts live with their conscience? Material wealth must out-way morality. I conclude we have many
    immoral people working in positions of trust therefore we all
    need to be vigilant and expose them.

  8. Singledad says:

    Could i point out the obvious – how much money did the legal aid or private lawyers, barristers, psychiatrists, social services, cafcass, the courts and judges and his psychotic ex wife make from this man and his quest to see his daughter? At the expense of the irreversible psychological and emotional damage they have all collectively inflicted on an innocent child? Could someone put a figure on it? I bet its obscene! Everything about this picture is wrong. Shame on them.

  9. JamesB says:

    Only psychiatrist I ever knew was a sexual deviant and pervert and into some well dodgy practices in that department and had to pay sometimes as which ever partner he was with usually wouldn’t do it. They also have their bad points.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The wording is interesting here. This man was found to be dangerous (like so many others) because he was ‘obsessive’ with his daughter. What else are you with your children when someone is trying to take them away from you? Are you calm and uninterested?

    The person who chose the word ‘obsessive’ here seems to be trying to imply something a lot more sinister, and no doubt the average reader would fall for this cool twist in language. It is such manipulation of the language that allows family law in Britain to go unchecked, and to continue to kill relationships.

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