A Family Law Judge talks of 3 strikes and you are out in The Daily Mail.
In other words if a mother refuses Contact with the father and defies a Court Order 3 times the children are moved to live with the father.
Problems with this approach:
- Children suffer more – it does not work if the child is adamant that he wishes to remain with the mother and have no contact with the father. A recent case put a child in foster care and then had to return him to his mother as the child was so depressed.
- Fathers who do not want their children to live with them – perhaps they have no room – the mother got the house maybe to accommodate the children in the divorce and the father has work commitments.
- There could be valid reasons why Contact is being flouted
This is yet another punitive approach.
More resources should be channelled towards educating the parents – such as the Parenting Courses now available via the Courts.
What about a general acceptance that sometimes adult issues prevent children having a sustained and healthy relationship with either parent and that some people are just not very nice? After all if they do that to their own children how do they treat strangers?
There seems to be a focus in our society on people pursuing their own selfish ends and an obsession with their rights.
There should be a presumption of Contact on Separation of at least every other weekend and the onus should be on the resident parent to show why this should not take place. Let us not forget how damaging and prevalent Domestic Violence is and the Courts should be able to assess the risk of this. After all that is their job!