Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vengeful Mother

No doubt fathers' rights campaigners will protest against the judgment of Lord Justice Ward who said it would be too distressing to compel a teenage girl to see her father after she been turned against the father by a "vicious" mother. In yesterday's case LJ Ward said the court could do nothing to re-establish contact and had to act in the best interests of the child. The Times report is here.

Whilst I have every sympathy with the father I think forcing a 14 year old to have contact with a parent or a change of residency in all cases is not the answer. Measures taken at this point are like shutting the stable door once the horse is bolted. Compelling a teenager is likely to be met with resentment and resistance and lead to further behavioural problems and removing a 14 year old from a loved and trusted parent is not necessarily in the child's best interest, although it could be appropriate in some circumstances. In this case problems had been apparent from 1997 and I think decisive action needs to be deployed quickly and much earlier on.


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