The absurd notion that I’m biased against fathers

family law

Save for a recent dabble (more of which in a moment), these days I don’t generally have time to read comments on this blog (let alone respond to them), but it has been brought to my attention that there are one or two commenters who, for reasons best known to themselves, seem to think that l am biased against fathers. I realise that it may be a futile gesture, but this post will attempt to put right that misconception.

Let me start with a basic statement of my position on the issue of contact (for the sake of simplicity I will refer to time a child spends with either parent as ‘contact’, but this includes residing, or to use the current terminology, living with, the parent). Behind this statement lies more than 30 years of experience studying, working in and writing about the family justice system.

My position is this: In the vast majority of cases there is no good reason why a child should not have contact with both parents after family breakdown. Every time such a child is denied contact with one of their parents that is a tragedy, both for the child and the parent concerned.

The courts strive to ensure that contact takes place in such cases. Could they do more? Of course they could. I am not complacent, any nor should anyone be. Judges are only human, and they make mistakes. But the courts have an extremely difficult task. For example, they cannot force parents to act in a reasonable fashion, and they cannot be on hand 24/7 to ensure that their orders are complied with.

I’ve never said that the system is perfect. I may be a representative of the system, but I am not an apologist for it. I’m sure it could be improved, and I have always been open to reasonable suggestions. What I cannot accept, however, is the suggestion that the system suffers from widespread bias, or even corruption. I spent 25 working in the system, and I never saw any significant evidence of this (certainly no evidence of corruption). What I did see was hundreds of dedicated professionals, most of whom were striving to do their best for those who came into contact with the system, especially the children.

As I said in a recent post in response to commenters, I know that the system can fail fathers. I explained in that post that I came across such failures early in my career, in particular in a tragic case that has remained with me to this day. But such failures are not evidence of a system that doesn’t care about children retaining contact with their fathers. My overwhelming experience was that most of the professionals working within the system do care deeply, and that is why I am quick to defend them.

As for myself, I am a father – why would I be biased against myself? During my time practising I acted for as many fathers as I did mothers – why would I be biased against half of my clients? It simply doesn’t make sense. I have also, for what it’s worth, provided a huge amount of free advice to fathers over the years, including in advice clinics, in blog posts, and yes, in response to comments, trying to help them achieve the contact they seek. And I continue to do so in blog posts. For example in my post here the other day about the lack of a connection between contact and the payment of child support (which I see has attracted some 42 comments, as at the time of writing this) I was merely giving advice as to the correct legal position, in the hope that it would prevent people from making the same mistake that so many have made previously.

I will end this post by very briefly setting out (and repeating) my views on three specific issues that I know are close to the heart of aggrieved fathers.

The first, and perhaps biggest, issue is parental alienation. Without wishing to trivialise the matter, my view is that, save for physical abuse, alienating a child against the other parent is one of the worst things that any parent can do to their child. It is also, however, a hugely complex and difficult issue for the courts to deal with (with limited resources), and that is why so many alienated parents feel that the system has failed to properly address it. Sadly, the problem of re-establishing contact between a child and an alienated parent often simply cannot be satisfactorily resolved, no matter how hard the court may try.

The second issue is the abuse of domestic violence protections by some mothers. This can take various forms, from simply ‘playing the domestic abuse card’ to try to stop or reduce contact, to mothers inventing or exaggerating domestic abuse allegations in order that they can get legal aid. As I wrote here just the other day, I agree with the observation by the fathers’ rights charity Families Need Fathers that more allegations of domestic abuse are of course likely when the system says that parents can’t get legal aid unless there has been abuse. And abusing domestic violence protections is not a new phenomenon. Many years ago I was so annoyed by the domestic violence ‘opening gambit’ routinely employed by wives, using trivial allegations to obtain orders forcing husbands out of the marital home and thereby ‘pre-judging’ who would have the house (and therefore the children) after the divorce that I wrote a letter about the matter to the periodical Family Law, which they published (in the case that prompted me to write we eventually succeeded in getting the husband, my client, back in the house, which he ultimately kept).

And the third issue returns to that recent post about child support. I suspect that many of those comments stem from the perceived unfairness of the system towards many non-resident parents, usually fathers, who are caused genuine hardship by the system requiring them to pay more than they can afford, or should have to pay. Again, I have written about this issue on many occasions previously, both here and elsewhere. It does happen and in my view is primarily the fault of a rigid formula-based system, which fails to take into account any factors not contained in the formula. The old court-based system may have had its flaws, but at least it had the flexibility to deal with all circumstances, and it gave the paying parent a chance to be heard.

OK, I’ll leave it there. I realise that none of the above, and indeed nothing I can say, will persuade some to believe that I am not biased against fathers, and/or dismissive of fathers’ rights issues. But then you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Photo by steven sim via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

John Bolch

John Bolch often wonders how he ever became a family lawyer. He no longer practises, but has instead earned a reputation as one of the UK's best-known family law bloggers.

View more from this author

59 comments

Mr T - August 14, 2017 at 4:29pm

Fair comments. For me it’s very simple. It breaks down into two categories.

Reasonable parents and disordered parents.

The vast majority will probably fall into the reasonable parents category. Which I suspect the courts and laws \ support probably work just fine. I know people who are and can be amicable for the sake of their kids but sadly not everyone is selfless.

However the problem splits are not as complicated as they need to be. Usually either one or both parents will have a disorder of some kind. In which case it’s simple a new organisation needs setting up to mediate between the two. Ideally some mental health professional and \ or an alienation expert (could be the same person) to listen to both sides and evaluate what \ why both parties feel the way they do etc and then have the power to decide for them or advise a course or therapy etc to help.

I’ve not working in this for any length of time I am one of those generous kind good dads who have been completely failed by the system and both my children are being alienated by their mothers every day, it’s about the kids and it should always be about the kids!!

Mr T - August 14, 2017 at 4:37pm

As for some, I’d say the majority of parents (usually as you point out women), they try to stop \ alienate their kids because the CMS is linked to access so essentially the CMS is actively incentivising with cash parental alienation! It’s insane it needs to end the sooner the better.

Simple cure. Equality, both parents pay for their own children when they have them. That is their parental responsibility if they can’t change primary caregiver. Stop the government (CMS) being a crutch for women to not be responsible and pay for their children like men are forced to be! Why should women be financially dependent on their previous partners? Go get a job. Be independent and responsible like millions of men are.

Andy - August 14, 2017 at 10:41pm

This approach would benefit all concerned..This is the same as divorce “CLEAN BREAK”
Finances are shared between parents when children are with the carer at that time not just one sided…
The NRP usually the father is financially decimated by the incompetent CMS at the cost of the PWC who uses the current system to gain such wealth.
Just tell me this one..CMS payments and benefit payments with all the extra finances and of course the minimum hours in a job that the PWC can hold and yet allowed to be given such cash sums and earnings well above the NRP that to me this attitude is taken as a blind eye so means test both parents and that is fair not just take take take….
The NRP payment is taxed so how come all the benefits received to the PWC are not taken into account as additional income by HMRC…yet again benefit in this non taxed earnings..If you did this in a self employed job you would be hounded for the non payment of tax….just showers the lengths the system has created itself to burden the NRP with all the costs…

As for the comments made above Mr T,He is totally right..As for our Author of this blog,seem comments are made to justify the position that he holds..

Mr T - August 15, 2017 at 7:38pm

I agree completely Andy.

I don’t think the taxation is an issue. Instead of half ass solutions think about the consequences of going against millions of emotional women? Look at the backlash of the benefit cuts for women who have more than two kids! It’s all about keeping people happy, mainly women.

We need to stop accepting this narrative completely. If a woman wants to be “empowered” or “independent” stop relying on the state and ex-partners and do what all responsible parents do and get off your arse and provide for them instead of expecting privilege. They preach about it yet rarely do you see it. The only women I respect are those that live this idea of equality. I will provide for my kids when I have them. I don’t know any that have taken this stance because its far too easy to make a phone call and legally extort men.

We need to all be saying no CMS that’s equality. When a feminist starts using that narrative I’ll not think it’s cancer to kids and men.

So yes I agree re: tax etc but don’t be blinded by the real issue which is they need to be responsible in every way not just everything BUT finances. If they can’t give the kids to me I’ll happily have them!

I am generalising though as I’m sure not all dads will share my view. Obviously, this is massively oversimplified.

Paul - August 14, 2017 at 8:49pm

So you acknowledge what we are say is largely true. But your blaisé about it.
Parental alienation happens. Just nothing we can do about it (shrugs shoulders)
False DV allegations are happening. Men are rolling out of court with horrendous convictions for ‘nothing’. (Your not bothered.) Just part of the normal 9 to 5.
Or court system is not changing and evolving to get better because the professionals. Are just not really bothered.
Well thanks John.
Thanks alot.
All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men. To do nothing.

Johnny - August 15, 2017 at 12:34pm

John is not saying that at all. He’s identifying legitimate concerns and saying that in the real world they can’t simply be solved with a wave of a wand or the stroke of a legislator’s pen. He says genuinely workable ideas on how to deal with the three issues are welcome. Responses here with genuine ideas which don’t cause more harm than good would be hugely welcome I’m sure.

Stitchedup - August 15, 2017 at 2:10pm

OK, so here’s one genuine suggestion. Stop making breaches of non molestation orders a criminal act. Breaches of civil orders should be punishable in the civil courts not the criminal courts especially when these orders are being dished like smarties with no burden of proof, on a politically correct precautionary basis. If act that results in the breach would normally be a criminal offence then the it can be handled in the criminal courts. But stop convicting men for petty, benign breaches such as talking, sending a text or finding themselves in the same pub or restaurant as an ex.

Paul - August 15, 2017 at 3:57pm

Thats exactly what John is saying. Hes saying its really hard to fix so lets not bother. Are you saying that workable ideas have not been suggested ? Because I know thats completly untrue. So all those fathers rights groups have no idea how we could make this system better ?
More likely that the possative suggestions they make do not involve exploiting fathers to the tune of thousands of pounds so they were disreguarded.
My first suggestion is. Have no presumption of ‘NO CONTACT’ the child should always have a relationship both parents protected in law. The courts role should be to decide HOW that is facilitated. Not if it is facilitated.
This would almost eliminate parental alienation overnight. PAS only exists because mothers have the ability to stop contact. If they were not permited to stop contact. It would not exist.
Contact should only be stopped in the event of genuine Social service intervention. Where a genuine risk has been identified.
Parents who are deemed an unstable eliment or childen are reluctant then they should be dealt with via video link or contact center until they have been observed.
How is this not workable ? Seems pretty straight forward to me.

Cameron Paterson - August 15, 2017 at 6:08pm

Here’s a quote from John’s article:

“I may be a representative of the system, but I am not an apologist for it. I’m sure it could be improved, and I have always been open to reasonable suggestions.”

Paul - August 16, 2017 at 12:29am

Thats called lip sevice Cameron. The attitude of several posts clearly show that John is not as flexible or open minded as that and is in favour of maintaining the status quo.
I would be very interested however in any posts you care to put up with suggestions for possative changes to the system. Or if you agreed with commentators when the come out with ideas of merrit.
I would be more convinced of your flexability if I saw that more often. We could even start something constructive like reform.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 12:56am

First interesting post from you for a long while. Especially the opening gambit story.

You are wrong about the court being unable to enforce contact though and that is not as complicated as you say.

Having been through the mill, I think divorce with children is very messy, especially where there is limited assets and income. It’s a rich persons game, or a crazy persons folly. Or perhaps for a minority an escape from an abusive unhealthy relationship. My divorce was the folly (not mine) which I have to pay for. Although I accept I married her. Your glib comments about how fair divorce is are wrong though. Settlements oftentimes kill people in the short medium and long term, men, women, and children. I’ve seen that. I have also seen them save people. More often harmful though and I think if people really knew what they were letting themselves in for they would not divorce. Proved by increasing numbers not marrying.

I think it is also unreasonable to expect non clean break / csa solutions to work for not wealthy people as many others have said on here and elsewhere and that was the expert advice the government ignored setting up the csa.

You are mainly wrong in your divisions of prime numbers. One into two does not go, especially where limited assets. It’s not two or half. People can’t live off half a house, you are pushing nonsense. Your laws do not work.

You saying the law is the law doesn’t help. Slavery was law. Laws should be challenged. It’s bad law in practice you are defending badly and winding people up.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 1:00am

P.s. You have advised you have children. Please can you advise if you have been a non resident parent to an under twenty year old paying csa level maintenance or if you have been through your own divorce at all. I doubt you have from the nature of your posts which lack empathy and solutions or practical application and are not supported by fact or reason or people’s real life experiences as seen in the comments people write in response to your articles.
(*Comment moderated)

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 1:06am

You will not write back and answer because you haven’t been through it yourself or had someone close to you who has. That makes your opinion worth very little. Like so many gingerbread, women’s aid types. I would listen to Fnf or F4j or Bob Geldof, or someone who’s been through it on limited income, or has someone close to them who has. Else is solicitors telling others to play by the stupid laws and the message needs to change as it’s bad law.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 8:26am

Lawyers tend to not emphasise the reduced living standards to their clients following divorce. Pwcs often find another man to make up the money plus maintenance and house and children from ex.

Plus, in my considerable experience the judges show no interest in enforcing contact with non resident parents whatsoever. They show no respect to nrp fathers in court beyond getting him to pay as much as possible and enforcement of that. No interest in getting him to see children at all.

Also, posting on message boards like this reopens the wounds for those like me with these bad experiences. The more posting the more it keeps it painfully fresh unhealed. I don’t know if it will ever heal but think posting doesn’t help. Also, setting up a standing order makes the payments less painful.

You sticking up for the courts is anti father. Courts don’t care about fathers. They don’t care about anything but money and law. Men have no rights in these places, no rights to see their children. It should be default 50:50. Now I really must go. Peace and love.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 8:32am

Probably best to not read as well as not post on the subject on these type of boards for the healing process to go as far as it can. Not sure you ever heal. Some people, perhaps most don’t completely heal. Thanks for the forum and opportunity to post though, it needs talking about to improve the bad situations and bad laws.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 9:11am

It’s not an absurd notion that you are biased against fathers. You are. The law is. These courts are and need to change as evidenced by the increase in single person dwellings, single parenthood, declining birth rate, less marriages, people on here’s comments, election results, ghettoisation, immigration, EU debate, feminism debate, etc.

Also, I very much doubt John Bolch’s or anyone close to him has ever tried to enforce a contract order or whatever its called these days to try and see his children or the person close to him’s children for them. If he had he would not put forward the absurd notion that courts are not anti father. John and the courts are anti father and need to change. It’s not the fifties, the strong and silent male thing is nonsense. I doubt he or anyone near his has gone through an acrimonious divorce. It hurts like he’ll and the not seeing children or having money hurts like hell, and he and people like him, including the judges need to empathise with that more. Starting with assuming shared care 50:50 by default. Else give up and let people do their own thing by making divorce prohibitively ex pool expensive for most as government rightly seem to be doing. Divorce courts suck and 999 times out of 1000 are best avoided and people left to sort out their own problems.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 9:20am

Plus, as he answered one of my questions, I will answer one of his.

If you subsidise something, like public money or laws towards single parent families, or no fault divorce, you are actively encouraging it (fatherlessness is bad) and increasing its occurance. Hence why the government right to cut the legal aid for divorce and make it (divorce) increasingly out of reach for people.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 9:25am

That’s also why csa / cmec / cmoptions / cms is bad. As you rightly say, that’s a matter for courts discretion. Taking circumstances out is encouraging fatherlessness and immoral and bad.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 9:31am

Costs government and taxpayers a lot too financing two households and lots of lawyers wages for encouraging families to separate in the name of dodgy feminist progressive law is wrong and government have rightly realised that and you need to also.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 9:38am

I never get thanks from the ex for money or children. All you get as a nrp father is moaned at that’s wrong and bad. At least we (Fnf) are invited to government consultations on the matter where we weren’t in the past. The feminists wrote the bad laws we have though and that’s the issue you seem to ignore to play devil’s advocate and act as shock jock

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 9:44am

No one wants to pay expensive lawyers with bad uncertain law. You lot need to tidy up your act if you want more respect and business.

JamesB - August 15, 2017 at 10:01am

To regard non resident fathers as nothing more than a potential source of income as the courts and you do is out of order, bang out of order and very wrong and bad.
[*Comment moderated]

Cameron Paterson - August 15, 2017 at 10:12am

Where has John said that James?
Also, please remember that unnecessarily offensive and personal remarks are a breach of our comments policy and subject to moderation

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 11:13am

The point is the courts enforce financial orders but not contact orders and is justified. Usually the pwc female gets an enforceable order for the most of the assets and maintenance and the nrp man gets very little if anything except perhaps a contact order which is unenforceable. That is the system he and the courts are pushing and it is disgusting and needs changing as I have said.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 11:23am

Plus, I did not write anything not supportable or swearing or that needed moderating so not sure what that was about. Seems to me concerning and the the dodgy establishment metropolitan liberal educated elite strike again as per their dodgy family law. I do respect this site and Marilyn however not sure on the establishment line you seem to be taking there. We need to improve family law not moderate people and delete comments and ignore the millions who rightly criticise it, I didn’t think we had police state and thought police, well dodgy that. need to go now, Peace and love and regards to all.

Cameron Paterson - August 17, 2017 at 11:47am

I was suggesting that your claims about what John believes might not be backed up by the what he has actually said. Is that taking an establishment line?

JamesB - August 19, 2017 at 4:53pm

Yes, especially as what I said about him is what he said in his writing. You want to talk about stamen argument, his whole bloody writing is a strawman criticising working fathers who are an easy target. The real issue is bad laws and court.

JamesB - August 19, 2017 at 5:03pm

As he doesn’t criticise courts at all I stand by what I say and said about him. He and they need to change as I and many others say. Then we might save a lot of issues which he doesn’t care about. Like reducing the thousands of men killing themselves after being ripped off by their women in the name of them and the children and the courts by the likes of you. Too much ripping off and bad parenting arrangements and no rights for fathers which he wrongly ignores.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 11:51am

Its the women good man bad approach of him and the court which needs to change, the worst were the court staff and how they treat women better than men I noticed that which waiting for many of my hearings, the Judges and lawyers (solicitors and barristers) and are also like that and the law is bad. Perhaps its not him thats bad but the law thats bad, however he pushes it is ok when its not which makes him bad.

Lawyers do this, they say thats the law, it removes them from moral judgement. Are they the wrong target? I don’t think so, they are the ones coming out with the nonsense. Shooting the messenger? No, its trying to change the system, trust me, Ive written to the politicians and likes of Gingerbread and women’s aid also and have tried to do what I can on this to change it. I suppose its the Gandi quote, phrase, law, rule, First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 11:58am

Yes, I think that works, he’s moved on from ignoring (just) and is in the laughing at people and fighting people bit. I also find the I was only obeying orders thing a bit of a dodgy line also, if you part of the system you support it and need to do something to change it.

Reminds me of someone I met once (personally, I did meet him and discuss with him face to face not made up story). He used to work for the HMLR (Land Registry). He resigned in disgust when he kept receiving orders to transfer men off of house deeds due to bad divorce law in this (E and W) jurisdiction. The contact laws (statements of arrangement laws or whatever they are called) and the courts not enforcing them also needs to change as said above to 50:50 default, enforceable.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:06pm

He resigned as he didn’t believe it was fair and didn’t think he could be part of such an unfair system.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 11:34am

Speaking as someone who has had financial order against me inforced, yet when I got to try and enforce contact / arrangements order found it was unenforceable, this is why I stand by that statement which is justified as he backs that approach and says it is ok when it is not ok at all and needs to be 50:50 shared care by default and not one rule for one and one rule for the other.

Like someone else said on here before, it should not be the man are accused the women are excused nonsense family courts have wrongly been taking that is bad and needs to change which is what I said and was surprised those comments moderated as they are objectively correct.

It is a matter of bad law with unforeseen consequences when pandering to feminists, the road to hell is littered with good intentions but its bad law and you should not shoot the messengers like me on here and many others for saying so and trying to get it changed. I would prefer to see my children married rather than avoiding the dodgy family law which is why I criticise John and the law. To be nice I accept that him playing Devil’s advocate does further the argument and bring more and more people together more against him and more willing to do things to change the bad family law systems we have in this England and Wales Jurisdiction.

Mr T - August 15, 2017 at 4:23pm

Women’s Aid – 40 million in funding – i.e. jobs for women (possibly disordered women)
Men’s Aid – nothing

Men pay for themselves when they have their kids. They also pay the courts. They are then also forced to pay any previous ex-partners they’ve had children with.

100 million in profits from suffering and divorce.

The problem is the lack of female responsibility and independence.

The government needs to stop pushing the brunt of the financial responsibility for deciding to have a child and subsequently after a break up the ongoing financial responsibility of that onto men.

They also need to get rid of the CMS and force parents to work together or lose support. A realistic amount possibly a card that is only of use in certain shops tor food and \ or clothes etc.

Start off with 50/50 legal standing on separation.

Problem solved.

Andy - August 19, 2017 at 7:45am

Funding yet again one sided..It’s bra throwing groups who of course have been divorced themselves now have been given power to change for themselves laws that benefit…
I see if you prove a DV your £20 pound CMS application is wiped the buzzword if you prove DV…
As I’ve said before you pay CMS the amount and then pay again to see your children whilst in your care….
All point raised on this subject are valid..FiND should be pushing for CMS reform as in cases the PWC belted about financial hard ship but what about the NRP..he is the silent victim..and victim of the incompetent system he is…
I could go on but. I live in hope..for change..CMS are termed as incompetent and unfit for use…

Paul - August 15, 2017 at 4:58pm

It may not be true that you are personally bias against fathers.
Im a father so how could I be.
Silly hollow arguement.
You have taken part in a system which fundimentally is predudical against fathers. Of which their is copious amounts of evidence to support this.
You have certainly been ‘happy’ to exploit fathers in this system financially. Knowing that this system was Bias.
I would also suggest you have levied far far less financial reward from women. (Excluding legal aid ofcourse)
Is the disparity in the amount of money you have taken from each sex evidence of personal bias ?
I think it is.
Is it fair to say that this is a patern accross the system. Of course it is.
Is this evidence of gender bias. Of course it is. As surely as paying men more than women is.
Exploiting more financial reward from men is clear evidence of a gender bias.
I think it may well be true that you maybe don’t realise that you have been bias. Our you simply have not looked objectively at what you did in those terms.
You are a dad an as such you really should be more sympathetic to team ‘dad’ I would say.

Cameron Paterson - August 15, 2017 at 6:22pm

Paul, given your sweeping allegations about John’s career, I have a question: what is the difference between a solicitor (any solicitor) charging for their services and any other business/ tradesperson/ consultant charging for theirs? Aren’t they all “exploiting” their customers financially as well?

Mr T - August 15, 2017 at 7:19pm

Easy answer. Any solicitor who is throwing around non-molestation orders to influence contact.

Happens day in day out regardless of proof just “probability” this is not justice this is money making and immoral.

Paul - August 16, 2017 at 12:10am

Thats an excellent question Cameron. Possibly the best I have seen on here. That is totally worthy of a post in its own right.
I am really pleased you chose to engauge me on it.
All things been equal in the court room. The answer would be no. Not a problem charging for services.
But the answer is not as easy as that is it ?
All soliciters should answer this question as a dissertion at college.
If thats the only time you’ve asked yourself that question then im very pleased you have.
Your business is morality and judgement. The choices made decide the fate of people involved. People are harmed by what takes place in court for many many years later.
( I know you dispair of the haulocaust comparison. But its relivant. Bear with me.)
Is someone working as a guard in a concentration camp taking gold off jews before they go into the gas chamber comparable to someone stacking shelves in tesco ?. Whats the differnce ? Just earning their bread and butter right ?
The answer is no. The guy in the concentration camp is turning a blind eye to inhuman suffering to earn his bread and butter. He has not shown any moral responsability for his fellow humans.
I think the better question should be. Do solicters have a greater moral responsability to get things right than people in regular jobs ?
I would argue they do.
If hundreds of people are leaving court without justice taking place. With the wrong judgement been made. Or a questionable judgement been made. Then courts are clearly not acheiving what they are designed for. Soliciters are happy for this to take place and make money from it.
Its the same as a mechanic watching cars come out the garage. Clearly not fixed and possibly dangerous and not doing anything about it cause hes just happy getting paid.
At the moment you are well aware fathers are getting a raw deal. Its like a turkey shoot before christmas.
It concerns me that people witnessing this do not have the moral courage to say
‘Look this is not right lets fix it. We cant have all these men coming away with false convictions. Or at least say I dont want anything to do with this its just plain wrong.
Mothers are overwhelmingly coming out of court with the decissions and men are overwhelmingly coming out with the bill. Thats just not right. How can anyone argue thats right ?
The fact that their is sexual discrimination taking place makes this situation differnt.
Think you should open this out as a post. Regretably im short on time to give it the time it deserves. (For once lol)

Paul - August 16, 2017 at 12:19am

Were my sweeping allegations without foundation ?

Cameron Paterson - August 16, 2017 at 10:10am

I don’t know enough about John’s career to comment on that

Yvie - August 16, 2017 at 11:03am

Not all solicitors are the same, but there are many who will walk into the Family Court with the sole objective of demolishing the person on the other side by fair means or foul, simply in order to win their case. They know that whatever allegation or accusation they put forward will not be challenged and they will not be called to account.

Mr T - August 16, 2017 at 11:13am

..and yet another innocent hard working dad gets a criminal record based on the delusional victim status of an ex-partner with a personality disorder.

This needs to stop!

HowieDennison - August 16, 2017 at 11:50pm

I am concerned about this comment “Sadly, the problem of re-establishing contact between a child and an alienated parent often simply cannot be satisfactorily resolved, no matter how hard the court may try.”

There are multiple, peer review treatments that are 95% successful. No one has to really try hard. We just have to hope that judges will not continue to prescribe therapy that does not work.

Read the peer reviewed papers about Family Bridges and Family Reflections.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 11:20am

I agree, “Sadly, the problem of re-establishing contact between a child and an alienated parent often simply cannot be satisfactorily resolved, no matter how hard the court may try.” are hollow words, I noticed that before and you are right to draw attention to them and that they are wrong. Lock a couple of people up for a short time and the contact / arrangement orders would soon be adhered to without issue. That’s what they do and it works in America. The approach here that maybe residence is transferred once in a blue moon and the statement “Sadly, the problem of re-establishing contact between a child and an alienated parent often simply cannot be satisfactorily resolved, no matter how hard the court may try.” are nonsense and quite evil indeed. They are used to sloppy shoulders the issue and are very insulting and bad practice and law which is why they wind me and many others up and are illustrative of the issues with these places and why they need to change to 50:50 shared care default.

Paul - August 18, 2017 at 10:54am

Good contribution. Your right. Their are loads of differnt approaches to family matters. They have not been tried.
Largely I feel because they dont involve solictors and expensive court fees.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:10pm

Even two Judges in court separately admitted to me and my ex that the family court had failed us and our children, these (family laws and their enforcement in England and Wales) really needs to change for the better.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:16pm

Ive been there over 50 hearings for myself and others so have knowledge about it and am qualified to talk about these places. one of the main problems is that they are not open courts and don’t monitor outcomes to help resolve these issues.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:19pm

John Bolch tries, however, even Harriet Harman admits its impossible to defend the family courts. Her words ‘It is impossible to defend a system from accusations of bias and discrimination if it operates behind closed doors.’
http://www.harrietharman.org/the_family_court_system
That’s about the only thing I agree with her on.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:26pm

That’s exaggerating, I disagree with most of her priorities, I think there are a lot more things to prioritise than what she puts towards the top of her lists. For example I think pushing for more working class education should currently be more of a priority than for more female education in this country. Still, I agree with her that the courts need to open up. They also need to monitor and feedback from outcomes down the line following their decisions. As I said there is a lot they need to do differently and change.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:31pm

Harriet Harman is a QC, qualified barrister and MP and stuff most people know her. If she (an ardent feminist) thinks you are wrong completely supporting the family courts John then you probably are.If what you say is true (it isn’t, the family laws, could and should do more, better, with better laws) then open them up to scrutiny, it would be a good first step, with necessarily many more needed following, I will leave it there.

JamesB - August 17, 2017 at 12:51pm

At the risk of sounding like Anthony Hopkins in Legends of the fall speach (they are public bodies etc…), in addition to all the above all CSA/CMEC/CMS/CMOptions (whatever they are called) hearings should also be open to the public.

Yvie - August 18, 2017 at 11:54am

Perhaps a little empathy is needed here, particularly for those fathers earning below the national wage. Any father on this level of income will understand the struggle to pay the required child maintenance as well as bills and household expenses. Coupled with this, many fathers at this level of income do not get paid if they are unfortunate enough to become sick, which adds to the stress. This is perhaps not grasped by those such as solicitors, barristers, government officials, MPs etc, when a percentage child maintenance payment has less of an impact on their overall salary. Most fathers want to give something towards the maintenance of their children but the percentage amount can often be unrealistic. I am disgusted when I hear calls to put fathers in jail, send in the bailiffs, or take away their driving licenses. This is when dads feel they want to give up. No-one who does an honest week’s work for low wages should be put in this position.

Cameron Paterson - August 18, 2017 at 12:02pm

Other countries can be even more punitive and demanding when it comes to child support and non-resident fathers, the United States and Canada being prime examples. You may recall this story: http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2017/04/10/canadian-father-must-pay-twice-his-income-in-maintenance/

Paul - August 18, 2017 at 2:21pm

English law used to set standards and lead by example. Now its inflexible and arcahic.
Should we be following the Americans example ?

Cameron Paterson - August 18, 2017 at 2:50pm

There’s nothing aspirational about it. I was just pointing out that fathers in some other countries have it worse

Yvie - August 18, 2017 at 12:17pm

Just because other countries are more punitive, does not make it right.

Cameron Paterson - August 18, 2017 at 12:50pm

It’s just a point of interest

HowieDennison - August 18, 2017 at 7:08pm

The article says that “Sadly, the problem of re-establishing contact between a child and an alienated parent often simply cannot be satisfactorily resolved, no matter how hard the court may try.”

I see the biggest problem is that courts to not prescribe treatments for parental alienation that have peer reviewed success rates of 95%. See Family Bridges and Family Reflections.

Also, a diagnosis code of ICD-10 F24 (shared delusional disorder) or DSM-5 V995.51 (child psychological abuse) for the severe cases, but no one uses them.

Paul - August 19, 2017 at 8:00pm

My Sons Birthday today. Hes 15. Third birthday hes spent without his dad. First since no contact order. Cards only.
Card was sent and received signed for by exs new partner.
I have no way of knowing if it was actually presented too my Son.
If my son decided he wanted to see his dad. Nobody is their who would support him in that decission.

Just want to say a big ‘irronic’ thank you to all you solicitors who make your money doing this.

I speak for myself and fathers like me when i say what you do is inhuman. We can view you with nothing but contempt.

Thos system is a disgrace. It shames all of is.

Leave a comment