Father denied appeal against indirect contact order

Children|August 8th 2014

A Turkish father has failed in his appeal against an order for ‘indirect contact’ with his 11 year old son.

An indirect contact order limits a parent’s communication with their child to letters, cards and presents which are delivered through a third party. Such an order is usually made when there is concern for the safety of a child.

In Re D (A Child), the father had seen his son regularly before contact deteriorated and eventually stopped. The mother, also of Turkish origin, alleged several instances of violence by the father and expressed concern that her son was being injured.

In June 2010, the mother applied for the father’s contact with his son to be suspended. The father responded with an application for a contact order.

The initial judge had taken into account the feelings of the child, “who was consistently saying, and had consistently said before for four years, that he did not wish to see his father”.

Despite rejecting the mother’s claims of domestic violence, the judge in the initial proceedings ruled that no attempts should be made to establish direct contact between the father and his child. As a result, the father “filed his notice of appeal very promptly”.

Lord Justice McFarlane heard the appeal, which was based upon the father’s claim that certain documents were not available to the original judge. However, Lord Justice McFarlane said the father failed to produce any which highlighted “some key point in the factual information that was not available” in the previous hearing.

He added that the father had advanced no argument to persuade him that the original judge’s decision had been mistaken. Therefore, he concluded that the appeal must be dismissed despite having “enormous sympathy for this father and the position that he is in”.

Read the full judgment here.

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