Tearful father withdraws contact application after 7 year dispute

Family Law | 15 Feb 2018 71

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“This afternoon, a wholly deserving and tearful father has asked the court for permission to withdraw his application to enable him to spend time with his son.  It is poignant that that application comes before me just six days before Christmas.”

So begins the short judgment of His Honour Judge Bellamy in the case Re J (A Child – Intractable Contact). The case is a story of frustration and failure: the frustration of a father who should have had contact with his son despite the best efforts of the mother to thwart him, and failure of the family justice system to ensure, both for his sake and the sake of the child, that he did have such contact.

As I said, the judgment is short, so we don’t have very many details of the case. However, we do know:

  1. That the parents began a relationship in 2010.
  2. That the child, ‘J’, was born in December of that year.
  3. That the parents separated in January 2011, J remaining with his mother.
  4. That “J has been at the centre of an intractable, high conflict dispute between his parents since he was 3 months old.”
  5. That the mother alleged that the father had physically and sexually abused J. These allegations were considered by Judge Bellamy at a fact-finding hearing in 2015. At the end of the hearing, he concluded that the mother had not satisfied him that any of her allegations were true. On the contrary, he found that the mother had emotionally abused J. He made this finding having regard in particular to the frequency of the mother’s interrogations of J, to her video and audio recording of J and to her past unilateral decisions to withhold contact on a whim.
  6. A hearing took place in September 2016, at which the parents did agree that J should see his father. A contact order was made, including an agreed provision for the father to have alternate weekend staying contact with J from Friday until Sunday.
  7. The contact got off to a bad start (we are given no details), as a result of which the mother applied to vary the order. The father made a cross-application to enforce it.
  8. At a hearing in November 2016 the father made an application to the court to withdraw the proceedings. Judge Bellamy did not think that this would be in J’s best interests, and therefore refused the application.
  9. The father renewed his application for leave to withdraw the proceedings, and this application went before Judge Bellamy last December. The father was not represented.

It is important to understand the father’s reasons for his application. These were explained by Judge Bellamy:

“The father’s position today, as I have already indicated, is that he still wishes to withdraw his application.  He takes that position not because he does not love his son – indeed, I am in absolutely no doubt that he loves J a great deal – or that he has lost interest in this litigation.  These proceedings are emotionally distressing for the father.  He is immensely frustrated that, as he would see it, this mother has deliberately flouted orders made by this court and the court has appeared powerless to do anything about it.  As he rightly points out, two years ago the court made a clear finding that J’s mother has emotionally abused J, yet the court has not been able to deliver an outcome that helps J to recover from that abuse or prevent that abuse from continuing into the future.”

He continued:

“From the father’s perspective, continuation of these proceedings may well do more harm than good so far as J is concerned.  After seven continuous years of litigation – litigation which has singularly failed to enable him to have a meaningful relationship with his son – it is time to give up the fight and, although he does not put it in these emotive terms, to admit defeat.”

Judge Bellamy concluded:

“I am acutely conscious of the fact that, in allowing this father’s application to withdraw these proceedings, I am taking a step which may not be in the best long-term interests of this little boy.  However, with both misgivings and regret, I accept that it is appropriate to accede to the father’s request to withdraw his application.”

The case will no doubt be seen by some as a damning indictment of the family justice system, which clearly failed this father (who, as Judge Bellamy pointed out, had done more than many fathers would do to try to establish a positive relationship with his son) and, more importantly, failed this child. The question, of course, is: what else could have been done? Unfortunately, the judgment does not give enough details to answer that question in any detail, although the obvious candidate for criticism is the habitual issue of delay in dealing with the case. There may also have been an issue of failure to enforce an order, although the father did of course indicate that he wanted to withdraw shortly after the September 2016 order was made.

Whatever, the case is a tragedy for father and son alike.

The full report of the case can be found here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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Comments(71)

  1. Nick Langford says:

    On 11 November 2003 a wholly deserving father left my court in tears having been driven to abandon his battle for contact with his seven year old daughter D.

    Munby, Re D (Intractable Contact Dispute: Publicity) [2004] EWHC 727 (Fam).

    On 21 July 2010 a wholly deserving father left my court in tears having been driven to abandon his battle to implement an order which I had made on 4th January 2010 that his son, S, now aged 12, should move to live with him.

    Bellamy, Warwickshire County Council v TE & Ors [2010] EWHC B19.

    This afternoon, a wholly deserving and tearful father has asked the court for permission to withdraw his application to enable him to spend time with his son. It is poignant that that application comes before me just six days before Christmas.

    Bellamy, Re J (A Child – Intractable Contact) [2017] EWFC B103 (19 December 2017).

    • Paul Massey says:

      This is interesting.

      In Re TE and SH, (CASE No. NU10C00043 at Coventry District Registry) the same judge, HH Judge Bellamy begins his judgement as follows:

      “On 21 July 2010 a wholly deserving father left my court in tears [my emphasis] having been driven to abandon his battle to implement an order which I had made on 4th January 2010 that his son, S, now aged 12, should move to live with him. The order of 21 July, made by consent, brings to an end litigation relating to S which has been before the court almost continuously since June 1999.”

      These cases bring the family court system into disrepute. When are we going to get these cases handled robustly?

    • Robert says:

      I feel sick, was seeking joint custody as daughter missing me to much and always in tears day before I hand her over. Got emotional abuse, and her not getting daily medicine to control constipation. I’m closer to my daughter and outcone is alternative weekends plus one extra night in the weekend once a month. Had audio evidence and medical all overlooked or dismissed. Totally depressed

    • Margaret says:

      My son lost his custardy battle because the Judge said the child had been away ‘too long! That ‘too long’ was the father waiting for 7 x Court cases to happen which took a year!
      Its grossly unfair that he should be denied custardy because it took 7 x court cases and 1 x year to get some visiting rights but was not granted custardy because the child had been away too long?? Its a travesty of justice that that time waiting for 7 x cases was counted against him having custardy because it was not his fault that he had to wait .

  2. NWDave says:

    What a terrible and awful situation. What is even more upsetting is this is a common occurrence and crops up all the time where the parent with care usually the mother not only flouts a court order but also emotionally abuses the child in the process which I think is parent alienation.
    Two things –
    When and what organisation is going to address this behaviour not just for, in this case Dad but also the child!??
    I wonder if the judge would have been as lenient if it were Dad that had broken the court order??

    I myself am in a similar situation where Mum not only emotionally abuses our daughter but also uses the police making false aligations where the police make no further action against me – just to build some kind of case. She prevents our daughter from free contact even by SMS and has sent her to practically any agency that will listen only for our daughter to be discharged with no further action.

    The sad thing is most of this is due to her having to see a reduction in my CMS payments… who suffers – the child…

    So I have to ask in this world of equality (and rightly so) – when is someone going to balance the scales in situations like this as this can’t be right – for the sake of our future generations this must stop… what lesson is it teaching our children?

    I’d be happy to add my voice and support to any such action. I’ve even discussed this with my local MP Mark Menzies but more need to be done…

    • CJ Ruffolo says:

      9 years have seen all the same as yourself and often wonder the same things. What this is doing to the children they say is – in the best interest of the child , and so many fatherless children . I have had many young adults work for me and say they don’t see their dad . I used to find that alarming and sad as I take my role very serious. I feel it’s now mostly the legal system of the family courts . It’s unbelievable what a liar gets away with and in my case a narcissistic ex . It’s a sad state of affairs and god help us in the future . I keep thinking of not attending anymore as how much slander can one person take . You can’t even get a judge to look or even listen to evidence against the mom . You know , remember- that word evidence???? Lies speak louder than concrete evidence- there’s a problem with the system and want to thank the system for keeping my daughter in harms way. . It’s a total nightmare fighting with myself saying I’m a bad father for letting people who don’t know me nor my daughter to just take her away . I took off work first three years of this little girls life of work to raise my daughter as mom couldn’t cope . We are connected like a mom is . The daily pain never goes away in my chest from not seeing my daughter over the years .
      Sincerely- CJ

      • Abit fedup says:

        22/01/20
        At 10.30 this morning after 12 years of litigation, and over £100,000 in costs I withdrew my application for Contact. This was a heartbreaking decision that sadly I had to make due to the hostility of my ex wife.
        Proceedings started in Horsham during 2008 and after a year of broken Orders and no Contact I finally managed to enforce an Order for Contact in Brighton Court in 2009. The staying Contact spent with my 3 children was frustrated at every turn during this time and unfortunately broke down on 14/09/2010 after my ex wife lied to a DJ at Bournemouth Court under oath in her sworn affidavit. All Contact was stopped at this stage with the DJ refusing to look at the Case history, quote: I’m sick of hearing about how this Case was handled by Brighton Court’ The same DJ refused police evidence to dismiss my ex wife’s allegations. A guardian was appointed who continuously lied, a child psychotherapist was instructed on her recommendation who observed the children and I together at my home, and later that same day sent an email congratulating me on my parenting. A month later his final report seemed to forget about this email and his observed Contact, and when I presented the email to the DJ he contacted the psychotherapist who explained that he hadn’t been thinking straight because of a family loss ?
        At the final Hearing in 2013 the Judge issued me a section 91/14 Order with indirect Contact for 2 years. At this stage I hadn’t seen or heard from my children for almost 2 years. I appealed the DJs decision as not proportionate but by this stage was unfortunately self representing myself and unsuccessful. I then attempted to appeal the decision about the decision at the High Court but this was ruled out of time. The High Court got the Circuit Judges name wrong three times in their written decision.
        I made a new application to Weymouth Court in 2018 and as usual complied with everything that was requested of me. My ex wife who wasn’t convinced by 2 historic psychiatric assessments requested a 3rd which I agreed to do, again this was successful and didn’t identify any problems. Still not happy she requested the same Cafcass person from the previous proceedings. Unfortunately we had reached a stage where we were just attending direction Hearings with no real direction, and one of my children fast reaching 16.
        How do I feel ? ….. In a real world where the truth counts, and people like my ex wife are punished for harming their own children I would like to have sued someone for a very serious mismanagement of Case, and this on behalf of my 3 very damaged children. Sadly the UK family Courts are on a very different dimension to the rest of the human race. The reality is that I don’t have much working life left, and I’ve spent what should have been my children’s inheritance on trying to see my children ! I have never done anything to warrant such an abuse of my rights as a human being I have never taken drugs, I don’t drink or smoke. I have worked hard all of my life and never missed a child support payment in 12 years. I have helped raise a stepson, and have created a beautiful home. I haven’t seen my dear 3 children for 8 years !

        • Michael says:

          same here but my fault I married a lawyer.

          The courts are a joke this is why so many divorced men take their own lives

    • Margaret says:

      Its absolutely disgusting! My son was kept waiting for 1 x year while he went through 7 x Court Cases then denIed custardy because the ‘wait was too long and the child was ‘resettled’. A travesty of Justice and the courts know about this. Anyone with half an eye can see what’s going on. So disgusting!
      Where us the just person who can see what is going on?

    • Peter Tandy says:

      I am going through this right now. I finally won additional contact with my daughter but as soon as the reduced CMS payments started suddenly my daughter “didn’t want to come”. All manner of resons have been thrown at me but nothing consitent. Yesterday I got a letter from the CMS stating that my ex has advised them I now having her for less than 1 night a week. As the non resident parent we are always guilty until proven innocent

  3. Lee says:

    This is very worrying and sad and mirrors my case thus far. I fear a similar situation happening with me.

  4. Andy says:

    This is nothing new.. All along the family justice system is no where near clear in its support for equal quality of child care.
    This is a prime example of how one parent with care can and will ignore all court orders of contact with the child also the cost implications of the non resident parent who is fighting just to get some normality of life… Sadly this is never the case and Admiration is given to the father in his attempts to seek support from the so called justice system.. This is where it fails in all case of the non resident..
    Simple court order turns it into a court battle…

  5. Lee says:

    And we wonder why the male suicide rate is 4 to 1 woman in this country and why there so many mental health issues with boy and men alike. Well, here is prime example people, wake up!

    • Mr T says:

      It’s generation on generation of alienated children. These (mostly) women are alienated children or children of single-parent families themselves, mostly women as the primary caregiver.

      • Shaun Buchanan says:

        change.org/p/boris-johnson-mp-most-capable-parent-to-gain-full-custody-of-children-in-relationship-breakdown?recruiter=26062742&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive

        Lets change this mockery of justice together Dad’s we can burn this biased corrupt system to the ground and build a better world.

    • Jo Lewitt says:

      Totally agree
      We need to really take a look at what we say to children about their father and their role attitudes are henerationally cyclical. It’s time to break this spiral.
      Even the men who are failing to step into their role are doing it in a context where they can’t do right and fathers are devalued and walking away is easier everyone and then they get blamed and shamed and its a semd dullfilling prophecy. It’s a 2 way street. Let’s support boys to grow into men and support fathers to be fathers.
      While always keeping children safe from emotional abuse and neglect as well as being used as pawns in adult games.

  6. Mr T says:

    This happens day in day out these mentally disordered mothers need to be made an example of for the sake of these children who are clearly being abused psychologically and emotionally by this mother. The courts have failed him and the child massively. They are not fit for purpose. It needs to change.

  7. Stitchedup says:

    Par for the course I would say. Women and their solicitors play the same game day-in day-out….., keep a log of fictious and over-exagerated domestic incidents, call the police at any opportunity and build-up a history of logged calls, work on the children and convince them that dad is a monster… they don’t know it but he is because mummy says so right?. Use the fictious log of domestic incidents and calls logged with the police to secure legal aid, a non mol, occupation of the family home, and custody of the children (old term but you know what I mean). Dad is now out of the picture so even more opportunity to work on the kids and completely alienate him, withold children’s contact with the father because you know the courts won’t enforce any contact orders, but they will enforce non-mols, so continue with the allegations against the father and do your utmost to have the father found in breach of the non-mol, secure a conviction and possibly jail time for him. Father has probably by now lost his job, is completely alienated from his children who he hasn’t seen for several years, has turned to drink and contemplates ending it all. Mother’s boyfriend moves into family home, kids get a new daddy and all is cushty for mum…. it’s a no brainer!!!! the family courts and criminal courts provide support all the way because men are bad and women are good…Voila!!… there’s even a “for dummies” book in existence that explains exactly what steps women need to take to accomplish this; alternatively, just speak to the divorced women you meet at the school gates and they’s tell you all you need to know…… Go for it girls!!!

    • Mr T says:

      This is identical to what’s happening to me the only thing you missed in your absolutely spot-on rendition of mid 30’s western women who “want it all” and actually just resort to what can only be described as paternity fraud, child abuse and legalised extortion. Was the debt that has mounted up and the years of emotional torture and domestic abuse by proxy (the proxies being the police, courts, women’s aid, child contact, magistrates courts, solicitors etc).

  8. Arno Visagie says:

    This is the rape of fathers, children and their relationship. Only one way to combat rape. SPEAK OUT!. Tell your story on the internet, without being fearful of being victimized or transgressing the law. SPEAK OUT! If you love your children you will. SPEAK OUT!

  9. Vincent McGovern says:

    Nick Langford’s excellent post above gets straight to the central failing of the family court system in the UK. Far too often when there is ‘intractable hostility’ which usually means a resident parent who abuses the child/children because she (95%of RP) wants to use the child to hurt and destroy the non resident father. After fathers have been stitched up by highly gendered local authority DV agencies, Cafcass (their DV perpetrator programmes are for males only) LASPO, and legal aid gender discrimination, he then finds out the court is not too concerned with the ‘welfare of the child being paramount.’ If it were, it would enforce it’s own orders.

    Bellamy has too much form here. He is not alone.

  10. Yvie says:

    When there is a court order in place up until the age of 16, the Courts should still enforce that order. When the children get to around the age of 13, a determined alienated can sever the bond between children and parent knowing full well that the Courts will take no action. Despite my son having a shared residence order my eldest grandchild was alienated at 15 – he said that he had the worst father ever. My second grandchild was alienated at 13 – he said that his stepfather was a far better father than his own father. Their mother said that she wouldn’t be a good mother if she made them see their father against their will.,

  11. Peter Davies says:

    In public law, when the relationship between a parent and child is to be severed ( let’s be honest, that is what indirect contact amounts to ) there is a detailed welfare analysis and it must be shown that the threshold of harm has been crossed.
    This is a private law case. The father / child relationship has effectively been severed when the mum’s behaviour may have possibly crossed the threshold of harm. This just does not make sense. Furthermore, the judge’s dithering has facilitated the further abuse that would have increased the likelihood of the threshold being crossed. The normal range parent is being excluded whilst the emotionally abusive parent is being rewarded.
    It would probably satisfy the Wednesbury test for irrationality I.e absolutely crazy.
    All alienating behaviours are abusive and this decision has rewarded emotional abuse whilst punishing a decent parent. It is impossible to rationalise such a thoroughly shameful decision that has failed to ‘grapple’ with contact and appears to have avoided using any of the tools available to enforce contact.
    What a marvellous message to send out to emotionally abusive parents.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Which decision are you referring to?

      • Stitchedup says:

        I imagine it’s the decision to allow the father to drop his case?? Let’s not play games here Cameron, this is a disastrous situation for the father and a sad example of how uk family law plays out in the vast majority of cases where fathers are doing their upmost to maintain a healthy and meaningful relationship with their children. It’s a complete disgrace.

        • Michael says:

          I am sailing that very same boat I am amazed I am still alive what my ex has put me through is far worse than this guy

      • Peter Davies says:

        Hi Cameron. I am referring to this case and the line of jurisprudence leading to it. I’ll gladly provide an article substantiating a perfectly coherent line of reasoning if you wish. I think there is a growing body of evidence to demonstrate that the lines taken by Bellamy HHJ and Munby P are objectionable and lack a properly argued evidence base. The court’s handling of serious alienation cases has reached the stage where it is completely ad hoc and arbitrary. Children are now being failed. Please contact me if you want a to hear a topical and cogent argument on this. I will gladly oblige. It really does need to be brought to a head.

        • Cameron Paterson says:

          In this ruling at least, Judge Bellamy was simply granting the father’s wish to withdraw. I’m not sure the Courts could have forced him to continue

          • Peter Davies says:

            Having been an alienated parent I fully empathise with the trauma this Dad must have been put trough with the endless prevarication of the judges and their abject failure to use the judicial tools at their disposal to make effective decisions and enforce them.
            You say that HHJ Bellamy was only granting the father’s wishes but he had already refused and there were other alternatives that this judicially illiterate judgment blatantly ducks. For example, after the defective, s 37 report – where the social worker failed to acquaint herself with the case files (it is only a few weeks since another social worker was criticised for doing precisely the same in F v H and Anor)-
            Having already made a finding of emotional harm it was still open for the judge to make a s.31 direction but he clearly preferred the prospect of even more delay, further emotional harm and the inevitable self-fulfilling prophesy that either the very vulnerable father would be bullied towards the door or the child would be past the point of no return. The fact that HHJ Bellamy already had the introduction to his inevitable judgment available to cut and paste from one judgment to another on his PC does speak volumes.
            The recent history of intractable cases is not a very good one and the capacity of judges to learn from mistakes is highly variable.
            I will gladly write that article if you wish because it really is high time that these matters are fully exposed to the glare of daylight.

          • A mother, a lost world.... says:

            I am, exactly what you all want. A woman accused, a child ripped from her arms, because i said i would not allow threats of beatings to be levelled, and with a father who never was at his own contacts, known through the childs own words, left to the temper and ‘care’ of his family. That it took only a contact enforcment, which he had no regard for, to assign his rights over that of a child , who had learnt from a tv series, that fathers ‘ are meant to be interested in their child?’ The horror i felt, the immense pain i wanted so much for her to not yet realise this one secret i guarded, that her father does not love her, how could i have let that tv series play? With a natural loving father? Why did i not realise that this might make it dawn upon her? A father who never showed the slightest concern, about her. Yet i stand here, and i say to you have won, i stand here, with no child, and as his character, malicious reports, so there is now no sight or sound that i have heard, of the little girl. A girl whose life was filled with laughter and love and cherishment, is now at the behest of a father who can fling his mother shy of a marble fireplace, shunt from wall to wall and flying into kitchen his own brother. I am here, youre cries for justice are here. I am that which you speak of. Im a bitch, right? Tell it to the courts, tell it to the press, if you feel the flinging of the accused, has struck, in all the ways you didnt want it to. I know, I read your comments, and wonder, what my child would have been like if she had a father like this, wouldnt her world have been lovely? If only he had stopped to look at her, instead of his mind games, and how to punish me in and through cases of alleged malfunction. I am your trophy, hold it up high. The solicitors can use one word, and after that, the courts decision is all, but done.

  12. A Mother says:

    I totally feel for the father. The family law does the bidding of the female. Sorry I cannot call these females mothers as they do not deserve the title. My son and I are in the same situation we have lost contact with the child thanks to the female. You see blog after blog of the same story. What can be done to STOP this. How can we combat the prejudices of the family court, social services, the police and Cafcass. How can we protect these vulnerable children from the one person who causes more damage when the authorities see that person as the protective parent when in fact they are the abuser

  13. Phil says:

    When one parent continually breaks court orders, the courts need to enforce orders or if they continue to be in contempt change the residency of the child.

  14. C says:

    My son is filling out the court papers today, This is such a familiar story. The Mother did not turn up for mediation and living in the same town she constantly threatens my son with harrasement if heddare speak to her, yet she walks past our front door with my son’s ,son to taunt him.
    It needs to change there needs to be consequencesfor these Mothers as if is an unfair game for totally irresponsible mothers.

  15. FamiliesNeedFathers says:

    “a damning indictment of the family justice system”

    Absolutely it is. This is not a one-off, it happens thousands of times each year. Most such judgements don’t get published, but being invisible does not mean they are not there. This father would have gone to hell and back for seven years. The court would have had plenty of opportunity to intervene over all those years, whilst his son was still young and not been enmeshed by his mother in a process of denigration. Many dads give up a lot sooner and who can blame them?

    The courts must use the powers they have before years go by. They need to change residency, possibly on an interim basis. Neither should it be necessary for them to prove contempt to a criminal threshold of proof in order to have enforcement action. They put children into care on far, far lower thresholds. Some 6,000 applications a year are made to family courts for enforcement. Fewer than 1% result in enforcement action.

    They system did not just fail this father, but thousands of them, year in, year out… and let’s not forget, it has failed even more children. History will not judge this country well in the abuse its family justice inflicts on its children.

  16. Simon says:

    I find it unbelievable that the Judge won’t enforce the order non compliance should be dealt with as a short sharp shock of a weeks custodial sentence. I suspect that would stop any non-compliance very quickly. It’s a great piece from the journalist on this though

  17. Andrew says:

    When failure to give contact as ordered is treated as seriously as breach of a non-mol there will be fewer cases like this tragedy. Suspended sentence the first time, activate it the second.

  18. Seriously says:

    I would echo those above comments that this situation is all too frequent, though rarely one gets the publicity as this case has , Family Court is too secretive, and the children suffer far far to often to be left with the unwell and/ or controlling parent because of courts failure to ACT as they should and remove the perpetrator away from the child .

  19. H says:

    I’m another non-resident parent wanting the child abuse from the court-ordered custodial parent to stop over the years.

    Same result, the custodial parent has breached countless court orders and over 30 more of her own orders through her privately-funded legal teams that the court had approved of since 2016, yet rather than admit its mistakes to end the abuse of children and enforce the law, the Sussex Family Law Courts rather save-face and more aggressively push for more years of child abuse to continue (child alienation, physical and emotional violence, medical child abuse for wanted sympathy for the Mum, deflection of blame from maternal abuse of her own child and additional state benefits rewards paid by tax-payers for Mum to spend on legal fees to secure their children has no relationship with their fully capable Father; ironically 80% of tax payers are men as reported on .gov’s website.

    This inflated ‘war on children’ bubble by our liberal society has to pop soon when the media’s stereotypical world view forced upon the masses, the shaming if we don’t submit to their idiocies and disregard that the last 3 years, children from abused families surveyed were 5 times more likely to admit that the parent that (emotionally or sexually) abused them was their mother. If you’re curious, a non-parent wastwice as likely to abuse them than the father and physical abuse was almost equal between all three. When will the media, academia, social workers, police, courts, CAFCASS and masses listen to the real victims instead of treat them like social pariahs? It has to be soon!

  20. Richard Nixon says:

    What is needed is for judges to reserve residency from the contact denier to the contact denied. There are example case of this happening but not enough across the county

  21. Mr T says:

    You previously asked for ways to improve Family law. The answers lie right here.

    Breaches of Child Arrangement Orders (regardless of gender!)
    Compulsory
    1st breach suspended sentence
    2nd Breach a week custodial sentence

    Very close scrutiny of non-molestation orders to limit contact.

    Unlink CMS being linked to overnight stays for NRP – which not only incentivises but financially rewards RP for their alienating behaviours.

    Get a tick list of behaviours that match the patterns mentioned above.

    Mediation refused or no resolution.
    Non-molestation order (previously tried harassment?)
    Previously hindered contact before Court Order – unilaterally deciding contact.
    Any allegations of DV \ DA.

    All the above need testing for factual solid evidence as most of these fall down on substance because there is literally one use for these allegations – to block or sever contact.

  22. dc says:

    The real issue is being missed because we are all so focused on getting our time with our children!! That is important but not the main issue!!! It is time to turn the system on itself!
    The real issue here is the fact that the court is doing nothing about the CHILD ABUSE that they know is happening and they are enabling it to continue!!!
    The abuse of the children deserves the courts full attention. Why is it being accepted? Accepting the abuse and enabling the abuse to continue should be the focus of all of our cases! Not how much time we should have… That will come naturally if we make them accountable.
    What would they do if we all stood up said “Although I have rights as a father/mother to have meaningful relationship with my offsping I am willing to put that aside at the moment too highlight the fact the other party is psycologically/physically etc abusing said child and that the welfare and legal systems are enabling the abuse to continue with non regard for the childs welfare whatsoever”.
    Little naive maybe but someone has to stand up and set a precedent…

    • Mr T says:

      I cannot disagree with this. This is exactly how I feel EVERY time I’m in court and nobody mentions the little girl that is being controlled by her mother and Cafcass and the courts are not only allowing it but rewarding it with unlimited full contact and parental severance!

      It needs to stop.

    • Phil says:

      I agree with your comments, the courts and CAFCASS have little or no interest in parental alienation, the child abuse etc as they don’t really know how to deal with it. In my case, I took a different tactic and focused the court’s attention to the fact that mother had no respect for them, treated them with contempt by frequently breaking orders and that any order they make would be broken so really the have only one option, change of residency and I would uphold any order they placed on me regarding contact. My son now lives with me.

      • Cameron Paterson says:

        The head of Cafcass did have this to say about parental alienation last year

        • Mr T says:

          Cameron, I’m quite confident when I say most of the people who read this blog and know the current state of the Family courts and institutionalised child abuse are more than aware of Anthony Douglas’ public comments on this, however the situation still remains the same in terms of Family courts, magistrates and the VERY real situation of dads (and mums) being powerless against non-molestation order enforcement vs stopping their child being abused via pathological enmeshment.

          This goes against every parental human emotion – as a famous barrister once said, save for murder it’s the worst thing that could be done to a human being (separating a parent from a child). So why is it still happening??

      • Richard Nixon says:

        Phil. I know you were successful getting a change of residency in the East Anglia family court but would you have got reversal of residency if the case had been heard in Sussex Family Court before judges who hand out Non Molestation Orders to mothers like sweets at a children’s party. Richard

    • M & M says:

      I think what is also being taught to our children is that it is OK to BREAK the LAW, the courts themselves are showing the children that the LAW means nothing and there are no repercussions to breaking it, by not holding the parents breaking the court orders accountable.

      • Mr T says:

        No, what’s being taught is, if you’re a woman you get special treatment and privilege and its okay to say or accuse what you like with little or no evidence and you’ll be not only believed but police will action it regardless of what is really happening.

        Then when a court order is issued it doesn’t really matter what you do you’ll never be punished because of regardless of the empirical facts the “probability” is you’re correct so we’ll reward you with a lives with order regardless and we’ll prosecute the father because they’re usually violent and they need to be taught a lesson and dealt with heaviest of consequences.

        It’s called the illustrated empathy gap and the sentencing gap aka female privilege which is a total factual reality, not some fabricated reverse pop psychology spewed out by disordered angry adult children of generation on generation of broken families.

        All powered by vindictive, sociopathic feminists.

        • M & M says:

          I whole heartedly agree with you Mr T, I am a woman and my other half is going through all this at the moment with his ex. He has had false allegations made against him by the ex wife and now the children, he has not seen his children for near on a year now as they are deemed old enough to make their own decisions.

          I am against feminism as women only use it as a fighting tool, “we want to be equal”, “we want to be able to do what a man does”, “we want to be independent not depend on men” BUT wait I am going through a divorce now, so I have to be the weaker one, the one that has given up everything to look after the children (when in hindsight I actually did naff all) I will lie, because I will be believed without proof, if my ex says I abused him, not to worry he will asked to prove it, unlike me who will be believed straight away because I am a WOMAN.

          If I take the children I will get benefits, maintenance, but I will lie to my children about what really has happened so that they stick by me, and then I will stop the dad seeing them as I don’t really want them to know the truth as that is bound to come out if they speak to him, so I will turn him into the enemy, because you know what it is my RIGHT as a woman and I have all these organisations behind me to back me up, the police will believe me and not my ex as what sort of man is abused by the wife come on get real, we are the weaker!!

          The amount of people that say to my partner, you won the case so why are you not seeing the children, his reply is YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND family law until you are in the thick of it. His ex is saying he lost the case that’s why he isn’t seeing the children, while she keeps them away from him.

          And the solicitors WELL, you see a pattern straight away, with the corrupt ones that know that if they keep this going they are going to earn a good amount of money, whilst destroying an entire family.

          If you look at my comment much further down you will see what I think should have happened to this mother and any other person who does this.

          • Mr T says:

            “they are deemed old enough to make their own decisions” question anyone who states this. This is part of parental alienation – adultification.

            It’s self-evident that children are not old enough to make their own decisions if this is CAFCASS call them out on it (politely) I’d guess they have no idea about PA.

            Using a simple example of you wouldn’t let them choose to eat sweets only, or not go to school because of their “wishes and feelings” so why give an even more important decision they’re not capable of making before say 16-18?

          • M & M says:

            Even at 16 they are not old enough to make that decision as the brain is not fully developed, all to do with the synaptic connections in the brain, I went on training on this years ago when I was teaching disaffected young people, quite interesting to recognise how the manipulation can work more at this age as a vulnerable time in a child’s life.
            I have been surprised with the CAFCASS’s Social workers as I know a few social workers who have done part of their training in CAFCASS and were the ones that identified the Parental Alienation in my partners case and said it came from the Training in CAFCASS, although one trained in Manchester and said their offices had a better understanding. These Social Workers were not listened to or allowed to have a voice by the courts. The social worker said that the magistrates had made their decision before my partner entered the court.
            Its that don’t judge a book by its cover scenario.

            The problem with Lay Magistrates are they generally older people with older views not modern understanding of current situations, and come across as pompous. What is their background with regards to mental health, children, family disputes etc, how can you make a judgement if you don’t recognise manipulation, abuse on men, emotional and psychological abuse. I have always respected my elders and people in authority as I think they have lived longer so know more.. Well not in Family Court, I have even looked into becoming a Lay Magistrate (you have to do 28 days a year in court and training with them over the 2 years, its not paid only expenses and suppose it suits a retired person), but you have to do 2 years criminal cases before you can get into Family court, even with all my qualifications, skills and knowledge, which is ridiculous I think.

          • Mr T says:

            Also, something to note. Sociopaths use any and all excuses to not take responsibility for their choices and actions. Mine is exactly the same. He’s this he’s done that. The police told me to. Cafcass told me to… when in reality there is nothing stopping them making a conscious decision to be reasonable and allow contact.

            It’s all about getting money out of men for both the judiciary and associated professions (who in themselves in my experience so far) utterly useless in these circumstances and giving privilege to women for simply having a child.

            It’s time this nanny state made these women responsible by taking away the lifestyle payments and giving custody to dads who will quite happily pay for and care for their children instead of this institutionalised abuse by proxy.

            We pay for ourselves, we pay all our ex’s who have children, we pay the courts we pay everything it needs to end. Men are more than credit cards.

            Fair play to you though in supporting him. As women sadly your voice will have more of an impact than any man’s voice it might be fruitful if you used it to represent men like us who have been abused then controlled, then marginalised by not only these disordered women but the system.

      • Mr T says:

        Until the judiciary realise that treating women in this way is going to fuel abuse of the system by disordered women it will escalate in all allegations of any offence. Which is exactly what we’re seeing now in high profile rape trials etc. This is mirrored at all levels – the police need to stop blindly believing abusive vindictive sociopathic women who lie to abuse men (or anyone really), plain and simple.

  23. Phil says:

    Unfortunately what Anthony Douglas says and what his staff do and say or have been trained on are wildly different. However, if I was still in court dealing with CAFCASS I may bring this to my CAFCASS officers attention

  24. T says:

    Around 99% of fathers will get contact in domestic abuse cases which make up about 70% of all cases in private law, and Cafcass have an agenda of presumption of contact for fathers. In most cases abuse of mothers and children are not taken seriously by family courts so this report is about a very small minority of possible injustices for fathers. Any others have solid proof of domestic and child abuse/violence. This is how courts work. Its now well known that family court professionals have an institutional belief that most mothers ‘lie about abuse’, so leading to the horrific situation of children being handed over to be alone with dangerous fathers through unsupervised contact or even residence.
    Family court have been using ‘parental alienation syndrome/implacable hostility’ since the 1980s so its nothing new. The same old model of accusing victims of lying and supporting the abuser. Its usually used against mothers but very occasionally fathers. Talking about abuse is a symptom! A cruel and dangerous catch 22.
    The abusive type personality, cluster B, narcissistic, sociopath,.psychopath all find a playground where they can continue their abuse within family courts. In particular they must enjoy the fact that they can so easily fool most professionals into supporting their poor me stories.

    • Stitcheduo says:

      70% of private law cases involve domestic abuse!!!!????? There you have it!!! Clearly the card that trumps all others!!

      • Phil says:

        Here’s a scenario, Mother is unhappy that relationship has broken down, decides to punish father by stopping him see his children. Father decides to apply to court for access. Mother – oh – I better defend my selfish actions – he abused me !! Could that be why 70% of cases have some form of abuse.
        And if in 99% of those cases, the man gets contact then that must suggest that either the abuse has stopped or there was none in the first place.

    • Mr T says:

      I challenge you to show some statistics for those assertions.

      99% will get contact? Direct? Indirect? (i.e. no contact)

      I doubt you’ll ever present any solid reliable statistics. How about some statistics on enforcement orders vs non-molestation order breaches?

      Now there are some statistics I’d love to see.

    • Stitchedup says:

      “Any others have solid proof of domestic and child abuse/violence” …. I doubt that… all that’s required to secure a non-mol is an allegation, no proof is needed. Many women that make allegations have cluster B personality disorders…. cluster B traits…. “Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior and manipulative, exploitative interactions with others”… (Wikipedia)

  25. Phil says:

    Me thinks the “Judges”, the lawyers and the rest of the “family violence industry” will continue laughing all the way to the Bank….. There is much evil afoot in the politics of family violence. They mean to destroy forever the traditional family unit – of mother / father / child. We have a choice – we either fight for our children’s futures, or we let the radical socialist-feminist ideology destroy our children.

  26. M & M says:

    It is disgusting, if a court order was breached in any other case what would happen?? Bail, they would be arrested and in court within 24 hours and refused bail again. Would a breached court order in any other circumstances be left without consequences??

    The judge says what more could we have done? What should have been done was “Ma’am, you have breached the court order, for this you will spend X amount of time in prison, there are no excuses for not adhering to a court order. While you are in prison for breaking this order, the the child will live with the father, and when you come out we will look at the order again, if you breach it again you will return!”
    People will say but the mother needs to be there for the child you can’t put her in prison, WHY? If it was benefit fraud she would have been in prison, where do the children go then?

    A few strong decisions like that and both mothers and fathers will co-operate, but all the time the courts are wishy washy,too PC and not want to offend or be criticised for being harsh on this, we will continue to have this issue.

  27. S says:

    Can anyone in this field, preferably a judge if they are reading these posts, explain why they do not take a breach of a court order seriously? I’ve had experience where I have blatantly seen a mother breach an order and not once was she even reprimanded. The judge didn’t want to know, why is that?

  28. Andrew says:

    Every order for contact should be endorsed with a penal notice unless the PWC makes out a thundering good reason why it should not be: the fact that she, usually she, intends to obey it not being such a reason. And as i said upthread the first disobedience should lead to a suspended sentence which should be activated next time. It’s not really that complicated.

  29. Catherine Cook says:

    I began a direct contact application in 2010.
    A s7 report was ordered at the first hearing. A year later the report had not been done and it’s on record the Carcass worker said she did not think this order was appropriate in this case.So she contacted no-one.
    Year one waisted.
    A guardian was then appointed to do a s7 for the court. He failed to give the details of a Children Services investigation in regard to the child.Which would have been helpful to my application.
    Three years after my application and after numerous hearings in front of 13 different judges I was finnaly granted direct contact .
    Because the child was not taken by Cafcass to the meeting place a review hearing with a different Judge changed the order too indirect contact.
    I appealed to the Appeal Court and was happy Justice G.
    agreed it was wrong a court order had been flouted. Her words.I moved on to the full appeal.
    At this hearing three Judges let the indirect Contact Order stand and made no mention of the flouted Court Order.
    So I left the building called the Courts of Justice with a different opinion of British Justice than I had four years earlier.
    I am a grandmother who Justice H. said was a loving and caring person.
    I will add one more thing. While waiting in a court waiting room I overheard a Carcass worker tell a young mother if she did not want the child to see the father she could stop him. Fortunately for the father this mother said she did not have a problem with direct contact she said she just did not want it every day.So Carcass were offering a service without knowing anything about the father.

  30. David says:

    Hi. I have a directional hearing next month in another city (she moved far away) after applying for a child arrangement hearing but am thinking of informing my solicitor of not attending and dropping it. Not seen my kid since she left with him last year. Is it the right thing to do? I have read on the net there is likely to be 2 or or 4 even 4 hearings. I cannot afford to go to all the hearings and even then not have much of a chance to see my little one. Its breaking my heart but I have read there is not much justice in the family courts. The ex originally got a non molestation order out with no evidence but at court cross undertakings were signed later instead.

  31. Caine says:

    Yep it all sucks, I told the magistrates to enforce my 1 day a week contact and my 28 days holiday entitlement with my daughter that day or I am done with this crap, I did everything that was asked of me by the courts, went to the spip’s course (she didn’t). Didn’t contact her after she got a non-mol order with no reason, or charge for anything (oh but she can contact me though and palm my girl off on me when SHE wants) told them all this in the courts and they did NOTHING, just told her off like she was a child for breaking her own order. The system is screwed gents and so are we and for the record unfortunately yea I did walk out of court, told them they were useless and walked the F outa their, I was at the point it’s either that or slit my wrists in a cold bath, unrewarded hope, a modern day fitting replacement for water torture. However…. I do miss my daughter with every beat of my now cold frozen black heart. How us separated dad’s even get up in the morning and function appropriately at a job is a mystery.

  32. Mud says:

    How we separated dads get up in the morning…..is a perfect description of the life we live. I’m in court next week. I am not hopeful anything will change. My case is a tricky one. Rather than just blatantly deny contact or make brazen allegations. I am subjected to incredibly awkward, almost impossible demands for the contact to take place. This is to build a case of frivolous allegations that I am incapable of looking after our son and that I am emotionally abusing him. Like someone mentioned up thread, all to save face as a loving caring mother that is only doing it in the best interest……I can’t say it. Her goal is to get the courts to deny contact. It’s just so exhausting. She is using the school to do her work for her. The headmaster already banned me last Christmas from attending a Carol Singing coffee morning. He did so on the grounds mother decided that our CAO needed to be on file at the school. I know. Very wrong of her but I don’t need to tell anyone here that nobody bats an eyelid at mothers behaviour. She must have a justified reason. I am four years in and she doesn’t look like letting up after this final hearing. He was taken when he was six months old. I can guarantee once this round is over, the allegations of abuse will hot up. Namely, allegations of PAS. Perfectly open to interpretation (Like a large amount of family law) for manipulation. I’m not sure I have the energy for it. Hence why I’m reading this. I don’t see myself as a father or parent rather his case worker. I’m broke and broken. I think my colleagues think I’m going to top myself but I’m not going back to that place, not even for my son. I’d sooner walk. But it is a brutal journey. I think the biggest problem is a total lack of understanding/awareness/empathy for just how crushing an experience it is to have your child/ren taken away. I was so shocked to be honest. I’ve seen more sympathy for people who’s dog has died. So in a way (although a huge failing) I can see how such apathy exists towards the NRP, especially if they are suspected of being an abuser. No evidence is required to form personal opinions and judgements. We all do it reading these types of articles. Ironically for men our lack of charm (superficial or not) is our downfall. If honest also. Then it’s ten times worse! To keep the theme of irony. The only place I have found any recognition for the pain suffered by child removal is a study conducted in Canada into the correlation between mothers who commit suicide after their children have been taken into CPS. And that’s parents incapable of caring for children. Good honest and decent hard working men have to deal with that scenario all the time, with no need to give an explanation to them for doing so. The biggest joy is being treated with nothing but contempt by the very people who treat parents who fail to take responsibility with utter contempt. To the point that if you do try to assert some sort of parental responsibility you will be met with nothing but contempt. What a pleasant scenario? I’ll let you know how next week turns out. You never know. The hard work might actually have paid off. Much to the detriment of pretty much every aspect of a normal human existence.

  33. Mud says:

    Well I said I’d give an update. It was ridiculous. I’d love to hear the thoughts of another solicitor on the behaviour of the magistrate. In her late sixties I would guess. I have never been a sexist man but I think I am now and that saddens me. I have never understood some men and their hatred for women but I do now. If there is one thing that I’d like to see change in this modern era of equality and that’s no more all one gender lay benches. If there was a man in the room of equal prestige maybe it would have kept her behaviour in check? Just a thought. No point really saying it. Nobody reads these forums other than people who are venting about how ludicrously one sided the whole family court process is. Men like me. The type of people that it’s ok to treat like a piece of shit. The sort of people that nobody cares about. Men that have been kicked into the gutter for no reason and then punished. My barrister said before the hearing “nobody cares about you” Yes we know. We are acutely aware of this and we do not need to be constantly reminded of that. We know it’s about the child. Why on earth do these people think we allow ourselves to be treated so badly in the lions den that is a family court room? Because we enjoy it? Some might but is it just accepted that men are that unimportant to a child? To be treated like we are this annoying inconvenience for trying to take responsibility? Once again I was shocked at the general attitude again. If anyone does read this from a legal standing I’m wondering if they could throw some light on some of the things that perplexed me yesterday. The hearing was meant to be a cross examination to finally get to the bottom of things. I.e. is the respondent a victim of DV/DA or not, as that was the reason for her actions of the last four years. Baring in mind she has nothing. Not one ounce of history or backup. No police records. Nothing. Not even any solid allegations were made. Even the barrister commented on how bizarre that was. Withholding child’s address from father was our complaint. Mother discloses address just before the finishing post. Cross examination avoided. My question is why didn’t anyone question why she had withheld it for so long? Any normal conscientious human being would have at least been curious I think. Again I was quite shocked. I think the LA tried to broach the subject but it was as if nobody heard her. I find it so hypocritical that M had made a statement to Cafcass that I am emotionally abusing her and the child and made repeated references to gas lighting, yet the magistrate just enabled gas lighting of four years of utterly selfish behavior. A level of hypocrisy we see creeping in all too often nowadays. If I hadn’t have put in the legal effort to broach the address issue, or any other contentious issues. I am sure I would have had “why haven’t you the last four years?” slapped in my face, which is exactly why I have, so nobody can say that. Why not ask mother the same? The barrister for M expressed that Mother does not like it when child is away from her hence the reluctance of it happening. Why didn’t anyone question this also? Surely a red flag to the very people that drum it into dads that nobody cares about us, just the child and their contact. Again I think if I were a magistrate I would be at least curious. Her barrister seemed almost embarrassed to say it. Again I was shocked nobody picked up on it. I thought a magistrate doing what’s in the best…..blah blah, would be keen to encourage contact and equally discourage the opposite. Obviously not. The last thing is to ask anyone if they think my next comment is unprofessional at least, let alone disrespectful. M’s barrister pointed out that ma’am was on mute so nobody could hear the judgement. When realised she exploded into a roar of laughter. I wouldn’t behave like that in a meeting about anything, most certainly not in a court room judging a sensitive issue like child contact whereby the father was visibly upset. Probably the rudest thing I have ever witnessed in an official capacity. Nobody else laughed. I looked at the screen and everyone was blank faced. It simply wasn’t at all funny. Given the topic, the setting and her position I’m sure she could have kept her emotions in check? Judging by the look on the faces of others, I think we were all a bit shocked. This little tale comes with a poignant tragedy. The Friday before the final hearing I found out that a good friend of mine took his own life during the last firebreak lockdown. His life was one of the same sort of childhood family breakdown that continued into his own marriage and subsequent child/father severance. He was like a brother to me in the darkest days after my baby boy was taken. I would not have made it through without him. Shame the virus stopped me being there for him in his time of need but I think decades of being treated like a piece of shit finally got to him in isolation. I do miss him. He understood the pain I was in. So to the worlds most disrespectful magistrate. Not everyone is in the mood for giggles you apathetic cretin. Without the cross examination my case fell apart. Our main goal was to highlight M’s attitude. A few questions is all it would have taken to not have to return to court again. I sat there for the entire 3.5hr hearing in silence. I have done two rounds of court applications, six hearings, as LIP and with advocates and never been allowed to speak once. Like the magistrate, I’m beginning to think it’s all just a big bloke joke. I have a decent order though and the effort has paid off to a degree as I am to date having direct contact with my son. For now. For those of you faced with entering the lioness’ den with circumstances that are far worse I can only imagine the pain and suffering you live with. Some might be damning of C above for walking away. I don’t. It is a joke. I also don’t blame my friend G. It’s not a very nice world for separated dads. Were most certainly not allowed to be in the rainbow club. We get no support. No special treatment for us. Just contempt. Whether you deserve it or not. Do we really need to be pondering over why men are killing themselves like a f***ing pandemic? Please!

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