Legal system failing fathers, says judge

Legal system failing fathers, says judge


This article by Sarah Womack and Yolanda Copes-Stepney features an interview with Mr. Justice Munby at the Family Division of the High Court in London. The article is about how mothers flagrantly sabotage visiting rights between fathers and their children when the parents are involved in custody disputes, yet the NCHR finds it very important to present it to our readers.


Mothers defying child access arrangements may be forced into classes on how to be a better parent or do com­munity service, it was disclosed last week.

Divorced and separated par­ents will also be expected to settle their custody battles out­side the courtroom. The proposals are expected to be part of a government consultation paper in June intended to remedy flaws allowing some mothers to defy the law. Lord Filkin, the family policy minister in the Constitutional Affairs Department, said he hoped to cut disputes that reach courts with new legisla­tion promoting negotiation between parents.


Judges can already imprison or fine mothers for flouting court orders but many do not, fearing the effect on children.


The reason for linking to this article is because we find that foster parents and social workers demonstrate the same tendency to sabotage visiting rights between parents and their children that have been placed foster care. Sabotage of visiting rights between parents and children leads to Parental Alienation Syndrome - which has damaging long term effects on the children. The foster parents and social workers are under such circumstances, alienators.


Swedish law does not have any provisions for sanctions against foster parents and social workers who sabotage the visiting rights granted to parents and foster children by the administrative courts.



Here are the recommendations of Mr. Justice Munby:


The judge's recommendations

A mother should be ordered to attend court on a Monday for thwarting contact between child and father the previous Sunday.

If she refuses, she should be arrested.

Mothers should be told by the court that if they thwart contact again the following weekend they will face jail.

Complex custody cases should be allocated to a single, or at most two, judges.

There should be separate representation for children.

There should be skilled social work intervention for children and "warring parents".

False allegations of misconduct such as child abuse or domestic violence are highly damaging and "should be investigated immediately".

First thing to do is to tackle the problem of delay.






Legal system failing fathers, judge says
By Sarah Womack and Yolanda Copes-Stepney





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