Parents ‘giving up’ on the family courts

Family|August 15th 2014

A recently announced drop in the number of private family law cases could indicate that families are ‘giving up’ on the courts, lawyers have claimed.

Recently published statistics from court advisory service Cafcass published new statistics showing that the number of private family cases involving children dropped by a substantial 36 per cent in the 12 months to July. Examples of such cases include divorce, residence and contact hearings.

The number of such cases being referred to Cafcass fell from October of last year onwards, the statistics show, with fewer cases than in the same months the previous year.

Naomi Angell is chair of the family committee at the Law Society.

Meanwhile, Simon Bethel is chair of Resolution’s children’s committee.

The Law Society represents solicitors across England and Wales, while Resolution represents family lawyers “committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes”.

The pair cited sharp cuts to legal aid introduced last year.

Simon Bethel said separating parents were getting lost when seeking assistance.

“Rather than receiving expert help to try and secure working shared care arrangements for their children, they are giving up.”

Naomi Angell, meanwhile, said many separating parents do not realise that legal aid remains available for mediation.

The incidence of child abduction was likely to increase, she added.

“We were always worried that the cuts would mean that out of desperation people would take things into their own hands. I am absolutely certain that children are being denied access to their parents – which seriously undermines the concept of shared parenting being introduced by the Children and Families Bill.”

Referrals to family mediation referrals have fallen by 38 per cent since the cuts in legal aid.

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(11)

  1. james says:

    I can confirm that the system simply does not work. I have been denied access to my Son for over a year now while he was being used and continues tobe used as a hostage and bargaining chip in financial negotiations. Sadly some solicitors encourage this practice.
    Sure, cuts in legal aid dont help, but the SYSTEM is failing children miserably.

  2. Janet says:

    The courts have always been massively stacked against fathers and men in general. When they then start to take away financial support what did you think was going to happen ? It’s the last nail in the coffin and men are just walking away. Given that marriage rates are nose diving as well due to the heavily stacked legislation that also disadvantages men. You are going to see a drop in all of these services as men are just walking away from all of it.

  3. Parents ‘giving up’ on the family courts – Marilyn Stowe Blog | C C P Exposed says:

    […] https://www.stowefamilylaw.co.uk/2014/08/15/parents-giving-up-on-the-family-courts/?utm_source=feedburn… […]

  4. William says:

    Private family law is in tatters.. England have the most outdated legal practices in the western world. Even in Scotland fathers are considered a necessary part of children’s lives, (and the English wonder why they want independence!) in England they are viewed by the mostly elderly judiciary as dispensable. Children are believed to be best off with mother. Most other European countries actively promote shared parenting, because that’s what most children want. In England, the judiciary guess what they believe to be in the child’s best interest without ever even bothering to ask the child- marvellous! I have a shared care order , made after my child’s mum unilaterally relocated 350 miles away, during proceedings, without leave of the court… I’m ‘allowed’ to see my child one weekend in four after a semi-retired negligence judge decided that was what was in my child’s best interests. I’ve seen my child 5 times in the last year (outside holidays) due to broken orders and my ex’s implacable hostility to contact. 8 judges have heard evidence in 2 years, and unsurprisingly we are no further forwards. My child has lost father, brother, grandparents, friends, school. Nobody, with half a brain, outside the creaking family judiciary would ever consider this to be a fair or decent outcome for a child…unfortunately the decision makers within the family courts are the most inept members of English society. Until there are wholesale changes at grass roots level, our children are doomed.

    • Richard says:

      William, my heart goes out to both you and of course your children. This is unfortunately, a self serving industry designed by default to break families apart in the most wicked way. As far as I am aware, only one Judge in the western world has had the balls to tell it like it actually is – Never before has there been a system so cleverly devised as to tear Mother, Father, and Child apart as the Family Court. On a personal level, my Children and I have been involved in Litigation for the past 7 years in front of countless Judges, in countless Courts from Lower Courts to the Highest level Courts with each level of Judge covering the earlier Judges backside. The end result, after an amount of money I am scared to mention is that a father and his children who shared an unconditional love have now been apart for 4 years. One day, when we are finally reunited, I will invite everyone involved in my Case to ask my children if their best interests were served, most normal human beings will already know the answer.

  5. Jean says:

    My son represented himself in the family court 7 weeks ago where he was granted direct contact with his son ,, How ever the barrister for the other side handed the court his own proposal for in direct contact which the court official’s accepted , when the draft order arrived in the post it read ” indirect contact ” my son requested another hearing to sort this wrong out and was back in the family court to be told he was granted indirect contact and must have misunderstood the outcome ,, He and his McKenzie friend did not misunderstand ,, My son was made out to be a liar , By the clerk of the court ,, 2-3 hours before my sons actual hearing the barrister gave my son his proposed order saying this will be todays outcome, I commented saying how can you speak for the court before the hearing has been heard the barrister ignored my question,, The proposed order was dated the day before written at chambers this is what was given to the court and the clerk said to my son I gave you that after your hearing ” she did not ” it was given 2-3 hours before,, It even had the wrong case number written on it with another childs details ” not my grandsons “,, I;m sure the clerk would not have made those mistakes ! but the magistrates believed it,, Dirty tricks,, secret courts and miscarriage of justice , In the mean time my grandson wishes to see his daddy are being ignored by what they call a family court !!

  6. Glen Gibellina says:

    The destruction of good families continue. It brings on PAS
    Proposed solution…MALACHI’S LAW
    We believe that Parental Alienation or PAS deserves legislative changes. Although we are weary of the overbearing enormity of big government, the tears of our children whom God stores in a bottle and the blood of our forefathers who died for our constitution cries out for change in the form of Malachi’s Law. Please follow the link for a full explanation of Malachi’s Law. In short, we believe the severity of the damage inflicted on our helpless, vulnerable children justifies criminalizing Parental Alienation or PAS to a minimum third degree felony with mandatory prison time.
    Malachi’s Bill is citizen’s answer to unresponsive, corrupt family courts:

    The bill will:
    1. Design a “three strikes” for custodial parents who intend to subvert visitation with the non custodial parent and the child.
    2. Visitation exchanges will occur at a location in the local police department. Each parent will identify themselves using a fingerprint scanner. Name, date will be recorded into a database.
    3. Strike one. Custodial or non custodial parent does not show for the visitation exchange.
    4. Strike two. Custodial parent does not show up for the visitation exchange. Child support obligations for the non custodial parent are relieved that month, and will resume the following month.
    5. Strike three. Custodial parent does not show up for the visitation exchange, triggering a third degree felony for T.I.C.K – Tortious Interference Child Kidnapping. The State Attorney or Prosecutor will file charges on the custodial parent for T.I.C.K.
    6. Exceptions will be made as necessary for health emergencies.
    7. Immunity for State Attorneys, Attorneys and Judges will be removed if those parties fail to enforce T.I.C.K. Complaints for violations by any party including Judges and attorneys will be maintained in the T.I.C.K database, available as public information for no charge.
    8. Non custodial parents who do not appear for parenting time at the exchange will trigger a 50% increase in child support for that month, since the burden of support will be on the custodial parent.

    Malachi 4:6 (NIV)
    6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse

    • Christopher Norman says:

      that bill is just as empty as the laws in itself. It has the right idea, but the custodial parents will still be permitted to alienated the child for the fathers. That’s what we have to stop

  7. Master Lord Judge Almighty says:

    Maybe simpler to rip apart the financial incentives underlying all this child abuse. Dismantle a disgustingly criminal and discriminatory CSA, which only listens to and considers the needs of one parent and impoverishes the other, and you will have solved probably 75% of the problem.

    Replace the pure evil of the CSA with a system that splits child benefit and acknowledges that both parents need to be capable of shelter, food and providing for their children after divorce, and you will do a world of good (without having to punish and criminalize).

    Only one problem here though, as this action would ruin those who profit millions from the divorce industry.

  8. Yview says:

    Exactly Lord Judge Almighty. Couldn’t have put it better myself. How unjust is a system that empowers one parent over the other and leaving the ‘non-resident’ parent facing years of financial struggle. I seem to remember my ex.dil remarking to my son that he needed to move on. No so easy when 25% of your salary is removed before you even get it.

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