The problems in our family courts

There are huge problems with children proceedings in our family courts.

Mothers complain that the abuse they have suffered is, at best minimised and ignored. At worst they are disbelieved, accused of trying to alienate the children from their father and the court sends the children to live with the abusive parent. The children sometimes end up with little or no contact with their mothers. The courts and Cafcass always stress the importance of children having equal involvement with both parents, but in practice this only seems to apply to fathers.

Meanwhile, fathers complain that the family courts are biased towards mothers who turn their children against their fathers for no good reason, and they are unable to get the decisions they need to be able to have proper contact with their children.

I have come to the conclusion that both are mostly right in their assertions because the winner in the family court is usually the abusive parent – who can be male or female. Judges and lawyers have insufficient training and understanding of domestic abuse, especially when it does not involve physical violence, and are unable to see what is going on in most of these relationships. So many very wrong decisions are being made, with disastrous consequences for children.

As no-one is allowed to say what happens in the family court most people are not aware of the awful things that are happening. And most wouldn’t believe it even if they were.

In May 2019 the government announced a three month inquiry into the family courts following publicity of the problems on the Victoria Derbyshire show and by Louise Haigh MP in parliament. But it’s far too short and not independent so it seems unlikely that much will change.

Divorce Consultant Diana Jordan
A Better Way of Dealing with Divorce: book