Long, toxic battles in the family court do not benefit anyone.
It is no secret that toxic relationship breakdowns can have long term detrimental effects on children. This was very sadly highlighted only this week at the end of an eight year court battle.
This week, Judge Wildblood apologised to an ‘intelligent and loving’ father who had been demonised by his ex-wife toward his children to such an extent that they no longer wanted anything to do with him. The judge stated that the case was an example of ‘how badly wrong things can go’ and how complicated cases can be when one parent alienates children from the other parent.
The father in the case had been battling through the courts to have contact with his children but his former wife had ‘demonised’ him to such an extent that his children now refused to have anything to do with him or his family. As such, he has now ended the eight-year legal fight to get contact with them.
The judge said the man was intelligent and ‘plainly’ loved his children, adding, ‘No professional has suggested that there is anything about this father that renders him unsuited to have contact with his children. ‘There have been consistent recommendations throughout the eight-year history of these proceedings from a wide spectrum of professionals that contact should take place between the father and the children.
Judge Wildblood explained the children would have nothing to do with their father or his family. They would not acknowledge cards or presents, expressed ‘unjustified and illogical’ complaints about his letters, and had ‘false memories’ of how he had behaved towards them.
The judge, who oversees cases in the West Country, said it was ‘beyond doubt’ that the children would suffer significantly because of the mother’s actions. He added: ‘Whatever may be her difficulties, she is an adult and a parent with parental responsibility for her children. ‘That parental responsibility, which she shares with the father, requires her to act in the best interests of her children. ‘It also required her to promote the relationship between these children and their father.’ He added: ‘She has failed to do so.’
Judge Wildblood ended his ruling with a message to the father, saying: ‘This has been a long, heart-breaking and expensive set of events for you to endure. I am truly sorry.’
Mediation is often an excellent alternative to fighting through the courts. It gives people the opportunity to sit and discuss what it is they want to achieve and to agree a joint parenting plan that is best for the children, not just what is best for them. Very much like in court, there will usually be some give and take in order to resolve situations, be they involving children, property and/or finances but in mediation YOU get to decide rather than a judge.
Another advantage for many is that legal aid is available for family mediation whereas it is not available for court proceedings. With no legal aid, people either have to pay for family solicitors or represent themselves in court.
If you would like to enquire about family mediation either to resolve matter involving your children, your property or your finances, or indeed, all three areas then please contact us or visit our website on www.wyfms.co.uk