Families need fathers all over the news today

(470 Posts)
Sheila Fri 03-Feb-12 14:20:34

Bloody Louis de Bernieres also on R4 sounding off about his rights. It all seems so remote - I just wish XP was interested enough to demand contact with DS - usullay it's me naggaing him becuase he sees so little of his son. sad

DefiniteMaybe Fri 03-Feb-12 14:23:29

It pisses me off when fathers go on about "their" rights. It's the child's right to have 2 decent, caring parents. Not seen any of the stuff today as I tend to switch stuff like this off.

Thumbwitch Fri 03-Feb-12 14:29:41

Huh, they should change their name to Families need Decent Fathers who actually Care About their Children - although I appreciate that's not a particularly snappy title.

NoWayNoHow Fri 03-Feb-12 14:32:05

I think it's incredibly positive. I have a few male friends whose relationships have broken down, and who are desperate to spend more time with their children, but the mothers are putting up barriers and blocking access and alientating their children from them.

My own cousin is a perfect example of how years of drip-feeding by his incredibly bitter mother (my aunt) has led to a non-existant relationsihp with his father, who has tried for the last 18 years to build bridges with his son.

It's very sad.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-Feb-12 14:36:10

Agree Thumbwitch

Right now it seems to be Families Need to Arrange Themselves to Accommodate the Whimsy of Men to Do As They Please.

So a man who walks out on his family and never sees them again - no problem, the mother will take up the slack.

A man wants to see his children, but not pay for them - no problem, the mother will go without to provide for them.

A man wants to see his children - the world must stop in an orgy of celebration at what an amazing father he is.

An abusive violent man wants to see his children - no problem, it's great for children to spend time with dangerous men.

Sheila Fri 03-Feb-12 14:37:11

I am just not convinced that there are thousands of fathers out there being denied access to their children - where is the evidence of this, apart from a few headline-worthy cases?

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 15:03:54

My XP thought alternate weekends and half the holidays was too much, was unfair to her. She suggested 5pm on a Sat to 4pm on a Sunday. I have dd from Sat 9am to Mon 2pm now.

Outrageous she said. When I stuck to my guns knowing a court would see my request as reasonable, she branded me a bully. I know quite a few decent dads who have problems seeing their kids due to bitter a XP /XW.

I know on here there are plenty of mums who have dickhead XP's who don't step up to the mark, it's only to be expected, but there are decent blokes out there who will feel better today.

purpleroses Fri 03-Feb-12 15:06:58

To be fair, I think there are quite a lot - if you look on the Stepparents forum here you see a lot of issues of contact being denied, etc.

The trouble is that if your ex (like mine) would never in a million years take you to court to see the DCs and has to be hassled to have the contact he has, then it's a bit annoying to see all the high profile stuff around rights for fathers - as it suggests that that's the norm.

From the experience of people I know I'd say for every father in conflict over access there are at least three more that really don't bother, or leave 90%+ of the effort and financial support to the mother. But they don't hit the headlines, the mothers and the kids just have to put up with it sad

stuffthenonsense Fri 03-Feb-12 15:13:42

I read it as CHILDREN have the right to see both parents....in which case surely if a child wants to see the NRP and the NRP cant be bothered, then the NRP will now be challenged in court....or am i just being over optimistic?

purpleroses Fri 03-Feb-12 15:15:52

I think you're being over optimistic! Yes that is how it's being worded - but I think it just means the NRP can argue that the child's rights are being breached if contact is denied.

Be nice if that could be the case though smile

Truckulentagain Fri 03-Feb-12 15:20:48

If there aren't 1000s of fathers being denied access then it won't make any difference will it?

I think what happens is that the two parents have different views on what is fair contact.

Personally I can't imagine seeing my children only every-other-weekend.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-Feb-12 15:51:13

Well it could make a difference if there are men being denied access because they are dangerous abusive assholes.

It could also make a difference if NRPs can be taken to court for not seeing their children enough.

The current system puts the welfare of children first, this gives them a right to see both parents, which will be interesting when you get into cases of unfit parents having their children removed (which apparently we want to happen more quickly).

Sometimes children have a right NOT to see a parent. I hope the legislation will deal appropriately with that.

Sapphirefling Fri 03-Feb-12 15:52:45

Fathers need fathers but preferably ones who are also aware of their responsibilities.com

corlan Fri 03-Feb-12 15:57:20

Sheila - I'm with you on this. I had a conversation with XP last night along the lines of me asking him to take DD every other weekend and half the holidays and him saying that he could only manage a few hours on Sundays but he was really hoping to be in a position to take her for longer very soon.

Our DD is 6 and we have been having this conversation for 4 years. He has not worked for the last 3 years and he lives 20 minutes away from us.

What I would like to know is - Where are my rights? ( I guess the answer is, I don't have any.)

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 03-Feb-12 16:01:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ranteetheranter Fri 03-Feb-12 16:02:14

My bil is many things, not all of them nice, but he is a decent dad who loves his children. He would be with them full time, care for them, provide the basic human needs, play with them and never neglect them or hurt them. His ex is using them as a weapon and is denying contact unless he comes back to her.

Some men are crap. But so are some women.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 16:05:53

Then they'd be called ' Mothers Need CM' StewieGM

Some mothers are obstructive and use their dc as pawns and deprive children of a decent relationship with one parent.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-Feb-12 16:13:15

Mothers need maintenance, Mr?

Kind of given yourself away, there, haven't you?

FAMILIES need fathers, but only MOTHERS need money, not children, not famies... just venal women "buying lipo wit yo money" hmm

Either women as a gender are evil and vindictive and don't give a fuck about what is best for their children, or there is more going on in cases where men are finding it hard (allegedly) to see their children.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:13:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:14:17

I like your new name suggestion, Thumbwitch!

Truckulentagain Fri 03-Feb-12 16:16:44

Families need fathers and fathers for justice are two completely different groups.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:16:54

"Mr"Gin- Child maintenance is not pin money paid to the mother. It is maintenance paid for the benefit of the children to the resident parent.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 16:18:39


Don't really understand what you're saying. What exactly have I given away ??

Families do need fathers, just as fathers ( if they are NRPs ) need to step up to the mark and pay CM.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:19:36

Truckulent, I stand corrected. I apologise.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 16:21:30

duchesse err why are you putting 'Mr' in quotes ?

Did I say CM was pin money for mothers ?

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:28:15

The thing is, I entirely agree with the principle behind Families need Fathers. Parenting is tough and few people would want to do it alone if they could have a second pair of capable hands to share the load.

The fathers that families need are good fathers who are able to behave like adults, accept that parenting children is a major undertaking that will impact on their life, be willing to sacrifice themselves emotionally to a certain extent, be willing to stick their neck out to pass on their decent values to their offspring, who do not feel that the children are somehow not their problem but their partner's in terms of day to day minutiae, who know their children's friends' names, their children's shoes sizes, their likes and dislikes, when their next dental appointment falls due, etc...

There is so much more to being a father than merely making a woman pregnant.

What I fail to see is how having spokesmen whining all over the media, interrupting other speakers and all but telling them they are stupid can in any way advance their cause. It just makes all the fathers involved in the organisation appear tarred with the same brush for electing such a poor spokesperson.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 03-Feb-12 16:28:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-Feb-12 16:30:15

You have given away that you consider child maintenance to be for mothers, not for children.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:32:23

MrGin- no you didn't say it but you did imply it.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 16:38:48

When Families need Fathers start campaigning actively on actively on behalf of the 3/5s of resident parents who receive NO child maintenance

StewieGM, it was your implication I was just extrapolating. So please stop making assumptions about what or who I think CM is for. My XP actually told me she thought CM was for her as she looks after dd. I don't agree to be honest.

If men want rights, then they need to start taking some responsibility for themselves

And you assume that no men do ?!

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-Feb-12 16:42:18

Well said, duchesse

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 16:42:52

duchesse why did you put 'Mr' in speech marks ?

BasilRathbone Fri 03-Feb-12 16:59:32

Well, the majority of NRP's do not take financial responsibility for their children.

More than half do not pay a penny in maintenance.

Families don't need fathers like that actually. They need fathers who understand that financially supporting your children, is an absolute basic requirement of parenting and that if you don't do that, you're a really shit parent.

I simply don't understand why this right is needed. Legally, children already have the right to have a relationship with both their parents - contact is only not granted in the most extreme cases of previous abuse, and in many cases, even violent abuse of the mother (which is a form of emotional abuse of the child) or the child, does not prevent courts from ordering sole contact. This right is unnecessary. If they are going to introduce rights for absent parents, then they need to introduce responsibilities as well: fathers must turn up on time, on the correct day, for contact, and bring the children back at the correct time. And they must also pay maintenance - it's shameful that the majority don't. Deeply shameful.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 16:59:54

Respect is earned, MrGin. It doesn't come free with a willy. That's why.

RabidEchidna Fri 03-Feb-12 17:01:11

There are plenty of shithead fathers out there who do not step up to the play and I really think they need a public flogging, however there are thousands of decent fathers out there who pay a for their children and would love to be in their lives more, but are obstructed by Exs who use the child/children as pawns in their own bitter twisted games of revenge.

A child has a right to be with both parents even if those parents are no longer a couple.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 17:01:58

It's to define my gender on MN "duchesse" not to garner any respect.

Mr is actually quite a common term you know.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 17:12:22

Amazing that you think I I believe CM to be for the mother. You are utterly wrong in your assumptions.

For the record, CSA calculation for me is £375. I put £600 into my XP's account per month for my dd ( despite XP claiming it's for her ) . On top of that I pay for half of most extras. I take every opportunity to spend time with my dd despite resistance from my XP. I cook nice meals for her when she stays, have a lovely bedroom for her and spend pretty much all my spare money on my dd. I can name all her friends, tell you her weight, height and favourite song etc etc etc.

I co-ordinate all my holidays to suit my XP's schedules. I even, shock horror, offered to do any chores for my XP recently as she's having a personal crisis.

If you want to keep bashing me because I'm a man go for it, but I'm not the bad guy here.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 17:12:33

Let us use the example of my sister's BastardEx as a case in point. Granted, he is an extreme version, but only that- just a variation on a spectrum of bastardy.

Bex abuses my sister. She stays. Bex deconstructs my sister's self esteem and personality. She stays. Bex tells my sister she is worthless. She stays. Bex threatens and intimidates my sister. She stays. Bex hits my sister and tries to strangle her. She stays. She stays because having grown up with an absent father, she strongly believes that families need fathers.

Then Bex picks up their 3yo slaps him, and throws him across a tent, before taking my sister's car, leaving her in the middle of France and pissing off. My sister at last realises she has to go.

She goes back to collect her and the children's stuff. He basically does not allow her to take anything, begs her to come back. She leaves.

Fast forward through months of abusive stalking, kidnapping of their son (there is also a daughter who is never the focus of her father's attentions), more threats, damage to her car, damage to her house, damage to her and her phone when she went back to their house for a birthday party for their son, blackmail, abusive phone calls, texts, yadda yadda yadda.

Past that, to the eventual family court hearing where tbh my sister would have been utterly in her rights to tell him to fuck right off and ask for supervised contact only, where custody arrangements are arranged and he agrees them, past that again to now, 7 years on, when Bex will never ever, ever keep to an access weekend because the court was "on her side", still turns up to "see the kids" at 10pm on a school night, still tries to refuse to take his daughter out as much as he can get away with, and still he uses the children as pawns, saying he'll come and then not turning up.

After all this, my sister still believes that her children should have contact. She wants them to make their own opinion. She still believes that families need father, even a cunt like this. She has to manage her children psychologically to an unimaginable degree, taking everything on herself and trying to make sure they are unharmed by it. All the while working full-time (it goes without saying that Bex pays not a penny in maintenance) to pay the new mortgage she had to get when he stole all her savings, pay the bills and put food on the table.

And still he whines that everything is done on her terms. So forgive if I issue a hard little derisive snort of laughter when I hear blokes whinging on the radio about how hard done by they are.

Truckulentagain Fri 03-Feb-12 17:15:02

I must admit I don't pay any child support to my ex, she doesn't pay any to me.

So we'd be a tick on the doesn't receive any maintenance statistic.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 17:15:43

Have you shared the children out Truckulent?

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 17:18:09

just a variation on a spectrum of bastardy.

very telling. all men are bastards. all men are potential rapists. hate-men.

You may not like to acknowledge it, but some men are actually decent humans and just because you think we're all bastards doesn't mean some men aren't entitled to speak about issues they feel strongly about.

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 17:21:51

I'm married to a complete non-bastard wonderful man, so I do happen to know that. What I meant was that among bastard men, my BastardExBIL just about takes the biscuit. Nowhere did I say that all men were bastards.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 17:27:09

ok, clearly we've both misunderstood each other.

I honestly don't think CM is for the mother. You don't think all men are bastards.

as you were

Truckulentagain Fri 03-Feb-12 17:28:35

We do shared-care, we both see each other as equal parents.

We worked out the costs and pay 50-50. And the children can speak and see either parent when they want,and where they sleep has changed and changes as they get older, it's very flexible.

RabidEchidna Fri 03-Feb-12 17:29:00

MrGin you sound like a very good parent, but as you have testis you will get ripped to bits here.

My father died when I was 12 (he was never going to get a father of the year award anyway he and my mum were not together)

Yes some men are bastards, but some women are not great either, and staying with an abusive man because children need a dad is damaging to the children more so then if the family breaks uo

planetpotty Fri 03-Feb-12 17:29:10

There is a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding in this thread.

I've been to families need fathers meetings and they are absolutely nothing like described here.

CSA deals with maintenance it's not FNFs battle they have enough to keep them busy believe me!

There are feckless fathers and wonderful fathers in the same way as there are wonderful mothers and contact blocking/denying mothers. No one "side" is right or wrong.

I'm will always be grateful for FNFs help which mean in an hours time DSD will walk through the door all smiles and cuddles for her brother and sister (half officially). This WOULD NOT have happened without their support and free advice for my DH.

Thank you FNF!!!

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 17:29:21

Sounds perfect, Truckulent, and very healthy for the children!

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 17:31:42

but as you have testis you will get ripped to bits here.

Don't I know it. grin

duchesse Fri 03-Feb-12 17:35:57

In fairness you did say this: Then they'd be called ' Mothers Need CM' StewieGM. Which rather led me to infer that you believed that all RPs were mothers (not true) and that Mothers got the child maintenance, whereas it is in fact paid to the RP for the benefit of the children.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-Feb-12 17:39:29

Sounds ideal, Truckulent.

Do you think the new law will help more families reach decent agreements?

There are certainly many, including fathers, that think it will hinder that process.

MrGin Fri 03-Feb-12 17:44:16

Yeah, duchesse but the it was in response to StewieGM saying

"When Families need Fathers start campaigning actively on behalf of the 3/5s of resident parents who receive NO child maintenance then I might be inclined to take them more seriously."

You'll note SGM didn't say 'on behalf of the 3/5s of resident parents whos children receive NO child maintenance

It was a flippant point that SGM was saying, Families Need Fathers should be campaigning for resident parents who receive NO child maintenance.

But lets move on shall we.

toptramp Fri 03-Feb-12 21:04:13

I can't help wondering WHY these women are so bitter though. If their relationship break up was amicable then there would be no need to be bitter surely? Makes me think there must be good reason for the bitterness and subsequent access denial.

toptramp Fri 03-Feb-12 21:12:06

I have s difficult situtaion. My dds dad didn't want me to keep her but I did. He fucked off abroad when I was 8 months pregnant. I was gutted. I sent him photos when baby was born. He "falls in love" with her and realises he wants to be a "dad" after all but he can't get back due to passpost stuff (he's in Iran)

I want to deny access if he should come back to the UK because I am scared he will take her to Iran. I don't trust him. He's a fucker. She can get to know him when she's 16 if she wants. I am gutted that it has come to this. Oh yeah; he has not paid a penny maintenance and expects me to send photos.

BasilRathbone Fri 03-Feb-12 21:26:26

Truckulent, you wouldn't be a tick in that "not paying maintenance" box.

That figure refers to parents with care and control. You have joint care and control so you aren't included in there (and neither are widows and widowers btw.).

So it is the majority of all Non Resident Parents who are supposed to pay maintenance, who don't. The majority. Shameful. And nobody considers that an urgent issue to address. But we must address the urgent issue of the fewer than 10% of cases of fathers who are denied contact, usually for bloody good reasons - you can bet your bottom dollar that Duchesse's sister's ex regularly tells people that his bitter ex denies him contact and there are loads of sympathetic listeners willing to lap up his lies, because that myth of the bitch ex harpy is so strong.

BasilRathbone Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:38

All this bollocks about CM not being for the mother.

When you live with children, you can't separate your expenditure from their's. How much of my electricity bill is for their use? How much of my water bill? How much of my mortgage, which provides the roof over their heads and which roof they will eventually inherit?

What do people mean when they say maintenance is for children? Do they mean that it should be spent on Nintendo DS's, toys, designer clothes, moshi monsters and not on the basics like the gas and electricity they use, the school uniforms, the food they eat?

Because I've heard a lot of NRP's criticise RP's for spending maintenance on the children's basic needs and it's shit. Once again, it's a control thing - spend the money I give you on stuff I dictate and don't you dare use it as a contribution to the expenses you have as a family.

adamschic Fri 03-Feb-12 21:37:15

Fine, how about making it illegal to walk away from your children. Sorry haven't read the thread and I know it's been said so many times already grin.

Thumbwitch Fri 03-Feb-12 21:58:56

I have a friend whose ex did keep him from seeing his children. He would arrange to go up and take them out for the weekend (he had to travel quite a distance) - and when he got there, she wouldn't let him in, would tell him the children weren't there, they'd gone out with friends, anything. He was lucky if he saw them twice a year, despite trying to see them every month at least. She won't let them talk to him on the phone; and when he finally got remarried (13 years after he and their mum split), they weren't allowed to come to the wedding. As far as I am aware, his new wife still hasn't met them, despite wanting to. sad

I don't know the circs of their split, but I do know that he has tried and tried to see them and be a father to them but she won't allow it (and although I can't know it for sure, I'm pretty sure that it's nothing to do with violence)

My brother has his own issues with his ex over their two children; but at least he managed to get 50:50 residence (although she tried to make him give her all weekends and he could have the weekdays!) I think it's settled down now but initially she took all the children's stuff to her new place and never returned any of it, except school uniform; wanted their beds so they'd have nowhere to sleep at their Dad's, wanted him to sell the house so that he'd have to buy somewhere smaller where they couldn't stay. He managed to retain the house (bought her out), despite her putting it on the market behind his back and bringing prospective buyers into it while he was out - he got a restraining order against her for that and a couple of other things, so she wasn't allowed in the house afterwards. Going on a bit now, but certainly, although my brother is a boring pompous arse, he didn't deserve what she tried to do to him and I'm glad that the courts saw that she was being vindictive - and she left him because she had an affair, not him!

adamschic Fri 03-Feb-12 22:08:24

I wanted my DD's dad to see her, he didn't. Don't understand how you can try and legislate this tbh. Guess it's just another mysogonist trick from this so called government.

MrGin Sat 04-Feb-12 10:38:57


Any normal person would understand that CM all those things you mention. Even the CSA website lists broadly what it should cover. Cost of housing, food, gas and electricity, clothes etc.

Of course if you're XP is unemployed and you get £5 a month you're not going to cover any of those costs.

As for the percentages of nrp who pay nothing, I'm curious how those figures are arrived at. I don't doubt it's a problem to address , but I for example, as I'm sure many others do, came to an arrangement with my XP without involving any other agencies.

So I'd guess I don't show up on any statistics ?

Thumbwitch Sat 04-Feb-12 10:51:00

That is an interesting point, Gin - I wonder whether or not you do show up as part of the statistics, but if you did, would it be as a payer or non-payer - probably non-payer as it's a private arrangement.

Riakin Sat 04-Feb-12 11:14:59

Good on them.

The fact is Families Need Fathers are gender specific only in name. They are a charity for Children first and foremost.

The attitudes of some on here that there are "not thousands" of cases beggars belief. In around 10years approximately 500,000 have had to use the Court (97% Fathers) to gain meaningful access.

You only have to look at the attitudes here... even in this thread regard that "bastard/stupid bastard ex" and statements to the similar.

The real fact is that Government data echo's data from 2007 that Contact Orders are broken half the time. If you are a black male there is a 50% chance you will lose all contact with your children. If you are a white male its around a third.

This forum by default has to accept that as well as these dead beat dads out there, there are also many thousands of vengeful women. I agree wholeheartedly with the statements of men paying zero maintenance (note that i agree they don't pay but not that they themselves are not obliging themselves to pay).

A recent FOI request my company did on the issue:
CMEC 2011:
Exact Cost to Taxpayer: £513,180,188.10
DoE's applied on current cases: 138,000
Direct Debit Payment: 104,600 + Variance (this includes monthly payment calls/cheque)
Standing Order: 46,400
Cases of Nil Compliance: 130,500
Staff: 8,200 FT
No of cases: 1,035,000 (England and Wales only)
NRP Mothers: 50,400 (not including cases administered off system approx 1000)
Cases of NRP Mothers in arrears: (deemed compliant) 32,300 (62%)

And now the part proving lack of contact:
681,000 on system live cases were 681,600 where no shared care arrangement is in place (less than 52 nights contact)

Cases of Nil liability (in other words they don't have to pay maintenance Note: Management information does not record the reason for a nil liability calculation (CMEC): 264,800 (thus around 25% of people on the CSA system pay £0 upkeep to their child) however CMEC notes: NRP's have an obligation under national law to pay Child Support when the Agency becomes involved

Average amount collected from NRP's (up until March 2011): £440 per month

Now with over a million cases on the CSA's books and in light of more than 50% having no form of shared care (overnight stays) how can someone in light of the facts argue that there are not thousands of Fathers out there?

Also we are currently awaiting an additional piece of information relating to the average paid by Non-Res-Mothers, so far data obtained suggests payments of just under £70 per month! Thats £360 less than the average! LOL should be noted last time we did this it actually resulted being near £50 wrong, so generally top end the average monthly amount paid by NRP mothers is £130.00

I'd argue that Fathers should have equal rights. Just because someone was a bad husband/partner does not mean that they will be a lousy father. I actually find quite the opposite and from people i speak to for every one person that goes to Court for contact there are around 3-4 who don't because of: Funding (70%), Distance to Child (14%), Unsettling current situation with ex partner (10%), No history with child (3%), Mental Health issues (1%) and no contact orders already in place (1%).

£440 as i have already demonstrated numerous times on here in my early days posting is a crippling amount if you are only earning around £20,000.

Thumbwitch Sat 04-Feb-12 11:39:59

I expect that would be a lot more interesting if I could understand most of what you've written, Riakin. I get some of it but most of it is shorthanded to the point of incomprehensibility for someone who isn't in the midst of it, sorry.

You're also still not taking into consideration the number of DV partners/fathers - well, not noticeably anyway.

Riakin Sat 04-Feb-12 11:58:25

Well the facts even from the NSPCC and Independent Non-Aligned DV groups both point that abuse/violence etc is carried out in almost equal portions. To recap my data:

CMEC 2011:
Exact Cost of CMEC/CSA to Taxpayer: £513,180,188.10
No of cases: 1,035,000 (England and Wales only)
Staff: 8,200 FT

DoE's applied on current cases: 138,000
Direct Debit Payment: 104,600 + Variance (this includes monthly payment calls/cheque)
Standing Order: 46,400
Cases of Nil Compliance (i.e. No contact): 130,500
Cases where NRP is assessed at £0: 264,800 (approx 25%)
Average amount collected per case per month: £440

NRP Mothers: 50,400
Cases of NRP Mothers in arrears: 32,300 (62%)

681,000 on system where less than 52 nights overnight

allnewtaketwo Sat 04-Feb-12 14:32:07

"I can't help wondering WHY these women are so bitter though. If their relationship break up was amicable then there would be no need to be bitter surely? Makes me think there must be good reason for the bitterness and subsequent access denial"

toptramp that is terribly naive. You're assuming that women only behave badly when they have cause. Do you believe that when men behave badly it must be because of the woman? Do you really believe that women are inherently good and men are inherently bad.

fwiw, DH's ex left him for another man and is still bitter with contact 13 years on. No valid reason whatsoever. And whatever you'd like to believe, that's not so unusual.

piellabakewell Sat 04-Feb-12 16:27:22

My DP has a 3yo from a previous relationship. He has had to go to court to secure regular, guaranteed contact for his daughter. He has always paid CM, presently through CSA at his ex's insistence despite previously paying over the odds and never missing a payment. During his relationship with her, she was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to him and succeeded in preventing her older two children from seeing their father.

Since I met him, she has hacked into his email account and read personal emails between him and I, set up an account in his name in order to email me a load of lies about him (on four occasions), obtained my phone number by opening post that went to her address and phoned and texted me until I bought a call blocker app, found out the name of my ex-husband and threatened to contact him to spread more lies about DP, attempted to steal £42000 from DP's business bank account (which would have crippled his business) and verbally abused him in person, by text and email regularly.

He was not a bad husband/partner, he was just unfortunate enough to get involved with, and have a child with, a complete nutcase.

AThingInYourLife Sat 04-Feb-12 16:34:24

Why did he get involved and have a child with a complete nutcase?

allnewtaketwo Sat 04-Feb-12 17:03:50

AThingInYourLife, do you ask the same question to women on mn with abusive exes? hmm. Or is it just men whose fault it is if the other parent turns out to be a 'nutcase'? hmm

JustLauraPalmer Sat 04-Feb-12 17:25:57

What makes me particularly angry about this topic are the situations in which the father has the DC 50% (or more) of the time but aren't technically the 'RP' and therefore doesn't pay any maintenance. These 'mothers' DEFINITELY do NOT deserve to receive maintenance. And in fact they definitely don't deserve the respected title NP. Too bad that the title has got to go to only one parent in joint-parenting situations.

piellabakewell Sat 04-Feb-12 17:26:49

I meant to add that his ex is a social worker hmm.

JustLauraPalmer Sat 04-Feb-12 17:28:03

*RP - not 'NP'

Sorry for the typo

AThingInYourLife Sat 04-Feb-12 17:37:19

If someone was blithely claiming that their ex was a "nutter" and that it was just "unfortunate" that they got involved with them and had a baby with them, I might well, yes.

"My ex is a unreasonable nutter" is a statement to be taken with a massive pinch of salt.

AThingInYourLife Sat 04-Feb-12 17:42:00

" These 'mothers' DEFINITELY do NOT deserve to receive maintenance."

So if a father and mother split care of the children 50-50, the mother becomes a "mother"?

She's not really a mother because she shares parenting with the children's father?


I suppose that's fair, since women are such vindictive bitches by nature, and all hmm

JustLauraPalmer Sat 04-Feb-12 18:03:16

The quotation marks were just a heated response to some of the other posters' use of quotations. I think that both parents are given the status of mother and father when they bring a child into the world, regardless of how many hours per week they actually parent. I just think that shared parenting 'single dads' deserve some respect.

And I certainly don't think that 'all mothers are vindictive bitches' - wouldn't lump myself nor most of the women I know into such a category!

duchesse Sat 04-Feb-12 18:19:33

ooh, piella, alarms bells ringing re your partner. Sorry. Women with very young children rarely leave their partner without very good cause imo and experience.

Spero Sat 04-Feb-12 18:40:18

Adamschic, exactly. The law can't make people be decent or reasonable if they are not. All it can do is change residence if one parent unreasonably buggers about refusing contact.

But I am looking forward eagerly to a change in the law which will makeit compulsory to share care of your children 50/50. Then hopefully my arsewipe ex will be forced to return to the UK to see his daughter rather more than his current few weeks a year.

Both mothers and fathers can be unpleasant and vindictive in the aftermath of relationship breakdowns. I would rather see time and airspace given to a group called 'children need parents'.

piellabakewell Sat 04-Feb-12 18:51:17

duchesse, do you want to see the court records, police records and bank records, and the emails and text messages we have received from her, or can you take my word for it?

duchesse Sat 04-Feb-12 19:59:02

Piella- If you have all that evidence I'll take your word for it.

My sister's (sis 2) ex's ex was a nasty vindictive bitch though, who'd kicked him and not allowed him to see his 1 and 3 yo children and basically had it in for him. My other sister (sis 1) and I were hmm. Sis 2 told us that we were snobs and didn't like him because he was a carpenter.

We sadly turned out to be right, but she only found the true extent of it years later when she was trying to extricate herself from that catastrophe of a "relationship".

And these children were not the only ones he had (by a long chalk) and he'd actually been banned by a court order from having any further contact with an older son (clearly the court was in the pay of that vindictive ex) as the boy had developed a secure attachment to his stepfather and his own father (my sister's BastardEx) was frankly toxic.

If you listen to BastardEx though all these women are just out to get him.

Perfectly understand that there are really difficult women out there as well.

I'm just saying, you can't always tell what someone's like from what they say about themselves.

allnewtaketwo Sat 04-Feb-12 20:04:25

AThingInYourLife "If someone was blithely claiming that their ex was a "nutter" and that it was just "unfortunate" that they got involved with them and had a baby with them, I might well, yes"

But piellabakewell wasn't just blithely claiming anything, she explained the situation. On MN, or any other internet forum, you only ever have that. If you want to assume that anyone who posts about issues you've not experienced must be lying, then there's probably not much point participating in the discussion.

TrappedinEngland Sun 05-Feb-12 13:08:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Truckulentagain Sun 05-Feb-12 14:01:12


If it's true it means all members of FNF are violent.
So really all men who have access problems are violent.

That is the only possible explanation.

Snorbs Sun 05-Feb-12 14:12:44

"So it is the majority of all Non Resident Parents who are supposed to pay maintenance, who don't. The majority. Shameful. And nobody considers that an urgent issue to address."

What, you mean apart from having an entire section of the civil service whose job it is to pursuing such non-payers? And, as this service is still not doing a particularly good job, they're revamping it for the third (or is it fourth) time? One expected result of which is that those who avoid payment by being self-employed will hopefully now not be able to avoid it quite so easily?

Deargdoom Sun 05-Feb-12 14:25:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

BasilRathbone Sun 05-Feb-12 14:50:10

Yes and don't they do that job badly Snorbs?

And they're going to charge resident parents #100 to use the service. That's how important they think it is to solve the problem. If they charged victims of crime for using the services of the police, that would send out a similar message.

If the Inland Revenue had the levels of the success the CSA has, there would be uproar (and an even worse financial crisis).

Please don't tell me that the government takes the collection of maintenance seriously, Snorbs, I find that really deeply offensive, given that in ten years they've managed to get me about 40 quid in maintenance and that if I want to try and get more, I've got to invest 100 quid.

As I said, the financial abuse the majority of Non Resident Parents perpetrate upon their children, is shameful.

Truckulentagain Sun 05-Feb-12 15:28:13

'As I said, the financial abuse the majority of Non Resident Parents perpetrate upon their children, is shameful.'

Here are some_facts_.

2.3 Million households are eligible for Child Maintenance.

1.3 million use the CSA of which the collection rate ie

Of the remaining 1.2 million.

6 in 10 have no arrangement.
2 in 10 have a private arrangement.
1 in 10 have a court order.

It doesn't state anywhere factually that 6 in 10 NRP refuse to pay maintenance.

So the 60% figure is for parents who don't use the CSA.
and also includes the 6% of fathers who don't even know they've had a child.


Gingerbread website.
'There are around 2.5 million households in Great Britain who are eligible to receive child maintenance.

4 Around 97 per cent of parents with the main responsibility for children
following separation (called ‘parents with care’ in the statutory child support system) are women.

5 Two-thirds of parents with care are aged between 30 and 44 years.

6 At present, 1.2 million of eligible households use the statutory maintenance service, run by the Child Support Agency (CSA), which is part of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).

7 Of the families who do not use the CSA, a largescale survey found that around six in ten had no arrangements at all (and therefore receive no child maintenance); about three in ten had a private arrangement; and one in ten received child maintenance via a court order.'

BasilRathbone Sun 05-Feb-12 16:06:38

Who cares who the 60% figure is for?

The fact is, over half of non resident parents who ought to be paying maintenance, are not.

3/5 of lone parents with care and control, don't get maintenance.

Those figures don't add up, but I don't know why - I'm guessing it's different sources.

I can't be arsed to continue to waste my time arguing with people who appear to have a vested interest in denying that financial abuse by NRP's, is more common than not.

elvisaintdead Sun 05-Feb-12 20:28:33

More than one issue can be addressed at the time. While there are some NRP's who don't pay maintenence there are equally some RP's who prevent contact. If there wasn't then organisations like families need fathers wouldn't exist because there would be no members.

NRP's who are denied fair and reasonable contact with their children, where it is in the child's interest should have the right to campaign as should RP's who are not getting child support payments - both issues can be addressed.

I always wonder why people are so against this sort of campaigning. If you have a useless ex who doesn't make the effort to see your DC, that isn't going to be made better or worse by leglislation that allows NRP's who DO want to be involved so why get your knickers in a twist. Should some children be denied the right to contact with both parents just because other children have to as their NRP shows little interest?

As an RP and a DW of a NRP I am supportive of any legislation that supports children's rights to meaningful relationships with both parents (where it is beneficial) and also any legislation that supports RP's rights to fair child support payments because I think both are important.

Makes me feel that people who against one or the other are either denying contact for spurrious reasons themselves or are trying to wriggle out of paying child maintenence themselves, depending on which thing you are against.

Fathers for justice is a TOTALLY separate orgainsation from Families need Fathers and the latter feel that the former don't help the cause - just thought I'd mention that as well.

my x took me to court for contact ( he refused medation firt but then we did through Caf .He wanted every other saturday for 4 hours i agreed offered more , but all he wanted . He was told due to time since he seen them ( his choice) had start with a letter then contact centre with just him at first no new partner .Judge ruled this he agreed

for a man that said he was desperate been 3 weeks and no letter nothing in the meantime i now have a very confuse d9year old .I called him let him know ds3 in hospital and is poorly .He refused to coem as his new wife not allowed in sad and he is busy with his new baby

BasilRathbone Sun 05-Feb-12 21:48:42

To answer
your question about why people might be against this legislation elvis, I am for the following:

a) I fundamentally disagree that putting the right of non-resident parents to see their children, is better than the current philosophical starting point of the courts, which is that neither parent has rights, only the child does.

b) I think if we are going to change the philosophical basis of contact, by giving parents rights instead of children, then both parents need to have equal rights. My beef with this legislation, is that it gives NRP's rights without responsiblities.

c) At what stage is a NRP who wilfully and constantly lets his or her children down and messes the RP around, not turning up for contact visits, or turning up four hours later than arranged, or bringing the DC's back five hours earlier or one day later than arranged, going to be penalised for such behaviour? What about abusive parents who use their contact to abuse their children or their exes? Is s/he to be allowed to emotionally abuse his or her children and seriously inconvenience the RP indefinitely, or will there be some sort of responsibilty attached to this right?

If the government's intention was to sort out contact, maintenance etc. and give both parents equal rights, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But they're not. They're only giving NRP's rights without responsibilities, while attacking resident parents by cutting child tax credits and charging for using the CSA.

As for your pathetic comment about parents who are opposed to this legislation being opposed because they are withholding contact unreasonably - meh. hmm

Latemates Sun 05-Feb-12 23:10:00

A. Currently the starting point isn't the child tho. It is in most instances the mother or RP. If it was the Childs interest then the starting point would be 50:50 right to see both parents.
B. There is no rights without responsibilities in reality. If society expects both parents to be fully involved then thoses mothers or fathers who fall short would stand out. Whereas now society is expecting fathers to not be as involved as mothers. So when a father tries to see more of child or be involved in decisions effecting child he receives coments such as. At least you see your child sometimes, and be happy with that. Don't rock boat etc....

It also allows rubbish fathers the opportunities to say they are prevented from being a proper parent. In true equality(where 50:50 equal parenting existed) that would never wash as society would recognize that the rubbish parent was making excuses. Good parents would also have the legal support to ensure they could be fully involved in Childs upbringing.

C. As above -a parent who let's child down would be far more transparent in a true shared parenting arrangements

If you allow the child to be involved with the other parent (baring any major issues in which instance the are social services and other such organisations which can step in as they would in unseperated families) then no logical person could deny that shared and equal parenting is in best interest of child. I agree the only people who oppose such legislation are either; uneducated on the topic, or wanting to control the child access to the other parent.

BasilRathbone Sun 05-Feb-12 23:36:55

The best interests of the child, are served by maintaining continuity and stability in his or her life.

The reason Care and Control is mostly given to mothers, is because they do most of the parenting.

If men did 50 50 parenting while they were actually in the relationship with the mothers of their children

a) they would be given 50 50 on divorce, because that would be continuing the status quo and therefore maintaining continuity and stability for the child and therefore be in the best interests of that child and

b) fewer relationships would break down, because men and women would have a far more similar experience of parenting and would work better together IMO.

c) The workplace would have to change dramatically to accomodate the fact that both fathers AND mothers wanted flexi-time, part time work and time off to look after sick children, go to sports days, etc.

And again this nonsense of people only opposing this legislation because they don't have knowledge of it or are wanting to control access. The father of my children never bothers to come and see them. Frankly I could do with some time off while he did a bit of parenting, but I'm not allowed that, because he has no responsibility whatsoever to see them, but this leglisation will give him the right to. (Without the responsibility to - oh and he still won't need to pay maintenance either, and if I want the state to force him to, they will a) charge me a hundred quid for it, b) take between 7 and 12% off each payment and c) not get me any money anyway, if their past performance is anything to go by. Looks like this government is in the pocket of father's rights organisations, but hey, who's surprised by that).

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 06:42:59

The number of men being SAHDs is on the rise so I think we are seeing a change.

I see a lot of fathers more involved than ever before. My children stay with me a lot, this wouldn't have happened so much for my father's generation.


thebestisyettocome Mon 06-Feb-12 07:04:10

Ime there is a misguided view amongst some men that when they separate from the mother (especially where the circumstances are less than amicable) it's 'better' for the children if he walks away.

FNF may be flawed but at least they are trying to debunk this myth.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 07:27:21

Is there thebest?

I think that was true 30 years ago, and you did get cases where fathers had a "clean break" divorce where they genuinely believed that they were doing the best thing for their child by cutting off all contact and leaving the mother to get on with it, but I can't believe there are many men left in the country, who genuinely believe that walking away from their children completely, is the best thing for those children. I'm in my mid forties now and certainly from the time of my teens, grew up knowing that children losing contact with their birth parents was a Bad Thing for them in general, that message was put out in the media all the time and it was at that stage that courts starting taking the child's need to maintain the relationship with the NRP, more seriously.

I just don't believe that there can possibly be many fathers - or mothers - left who don't know that as long as the children are not subjected to abuse, it is in their best interests to maintain a relationship with both their parents. I guess there will be some people over about the age of 50 who might still have that idea, but I'd be very surprised if very few people younger than that, believed it.

thebestisyettocome Mon 06-Feb-12 07:31:38

As I said in my post, in my experience some men do still believe this to be true.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 07:53:58

Basil.... I agree about maintaining relationship and surely legislation that supports this is a good thing for the child. Just because your ex isn't bothered about seeing his child does not mean other fathers shouldn't be allowed to see their children or that the children should be prevented from shoeing both their parents.

I don't get why you are against making it fair for child to see both parents fully with the support of the law. If a father or mother neglects or walks away from child then they would be seen as unresponsible by law and society. But the current system means that many parents are prevented from maintaining a relationship by bitter ex partners who withhold contact and this neither gives stability or continuity.

Also I find your that the fathers aren't contributing 50%during the relationship with the mother very offensive to men that are fully involved and much more common place these days. Yes there may be men and women out there who don't but most relationships have both adults contributing to the family. A father who goes out to work may not be at that time as hands on during the day is still contributing to the family. However, when a relationship breaks down both parents have to contribute in every way - previously they may have split contributions with one taking more responsibility for one aspect and the other for a different one.
After separation it is very important that both parents contribute finically, with schooling, trips/holidays (quality time), day to day mundane activities, healthy lifestyle, morals etc etc etc.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 08:02:59

I'm against this particular legislation, because it's the wrong way to go about it.

As I said before, I believe it gives Non Resident Parents rights without responsibilities. My ex already has the right to see his children. Theoretically, they have the right to see him. However, no-one enforces that right and there are no penalties for him or men like him, when they deny their children the right to have a relationship with them.

If this right were being enshrined in law as part of a package of measures to improve things for children when relationships break down, I'd have no problem with it. There is a philosophical argument for giving parents as well as children, rights. As part of an overhaul which had as part of contact, the obligation to turn up at the correct time and not let your kids down, to pay maintenance etc., I'd have no objection to it.

However, there is absolutely no philosophical argument, for giving one parent rights without responsibilities, while the other parent has responsibilities without rights.

I also don't buy the argument that men are contributing to the family by working and bringing in cash. I'm talking about the grinding, invisible, thankless day to day stuff which is still mainly done by women - who have to downshift their careers, forego decent pensions, lose social status and put themselves at the mercy of the continued goodwill of the men they live with, to do it.

I want to see more men doing it, so that couples have a similar experience of parenthood. This would only be a good thing, for men, women and children. Children would see more of their fathers, men and women would have more equality in their relationships and in the event of the relationship breakdown, both parents would have had equal input into the actual work of parenting, so it would make total sense to have 50 50 custody. It would be the best solution all round.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 08:05:40

Why not leave all your preconceptions aside, including personal anecdotes about what a tosser your sister's ex was and how he's a good indication of ALL non resident fathers, and think about what thus group is all about? There are very obviously women out there ( although I'm more than aware of the fathers who have custody) who are denying the fathers access to their children. I'm not going to assume that any of them were denied access because they were bastards and did something to piss off the RP.

If you personally are having trouble getting your ex to pay maintenance or have decent access then start your own group. That's not what this group is about. Easy!

duchesse Mon 06-Feb-12 08:51:38

My use of my sister's case to illustrate was not as a generalisation from her case to the entire country, but to illustrate that even utter bastards seem to get a pretty good deal in the circumstances from the courts. There are virtually no circumstances now in which it seems a father will not be given access, not if they are in prison, have a history of violence, both towards the mother and the children, are unreliable at turning up, contribute nothing towards their children's upkeep. My sister felt scrutinised at every point along the way, and the assumption was (despite the police evidence backing her) that it was her word against his.

Which is why I don't understand why there are supposedly so many men being denied access. Surely if you have been granted access to your children on a schedule, and when you arrive to collect them the mother says that you cannot see them, then you go back to court and ask for the order to be enforced. I can't see what the problem is. Maybe someone could enlighten me.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 08:59:03

My post wasn't aimed at you in particular, sorry if you got that impression smile

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 09:02:11

Because the family court system takes years.

And in my brothers case he didn't want to stress his children by years of court cases and hostility. And the drip drip of your dads useless and horrible didn't help.

So he stopped seeing his children, now the childen are older they can make their own decisions and they are together again, but all those missed years. I'm sure his ex calls him a feckless father, but it couldn't be further from the truth.

But I don't think all mothers are like this.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 09:13:03

Its not helpful either to deny that there aren't lots of mothers who use their kids to whoop their ex. We could all provide examples if that.

It's a shame your brother lost that time with his kids, it's time you can never make up.

Snorbs Mon 06-Feb-12 09:15:06

Courts rarely enforce breached contact orders because there's little that the court can do to the RP that wouldn't adversely affect the DCs as well.

Very occasionally some RP will piss off the court so much, over so many years, that the judge will order that the DC(s) should move and go to live with who was the NRP. But it's so rare that it makes headlines when it does happen.

duchesse Mon 06-Feb-12 09:29:38

It took less than a year in my sister's case. It was the year after her ex's exclusion order finished (obv he wasn't allowed to come anywhere near her or the children for that year under pain of prison). He claimed legal aid although he was earning £1000/week cash in hand. She had to pay her own way and represent herself as she was earning £200/year too much for the legal aid cut-off. We managed to scramble together a barrister's fee for her for a really important hearing. To be honest, even financially the whole system was slightly skewed against my sister and in favour of her ex.

I think that Basil is talking a lot of sense and wish that the legal system represented her views as they are far more sane than the present status quo.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 11:54:07

Basil 'I'm against this particular legislation, because it's the wrong way to go about it.'
What do you suggest then that would make sure that RP dont prevent their child from havign a relationship with the other parent ?

'I'm talking about the grinding, invisible, thankless day to day stuff which is still mainly done by women - who have to downshift their careers, forego decent pensions, lose social status and put themselves at the mercy of the continued goodwill of the men they live with, to do it.'
Thats total rubbish lots of Men do the day to day stuff too. Lots of men who are prevented from seeign their children by the woman would give their right arm to get to do the day to day stuff that represents real parenting but are prevented from being this involved.

I do not dispute there are men (and women) out there who are rubbish and do not want to see their children or let them down BUT there are women (and men) who control the children and limit the time the child is allowed to see the other parent, or grandparents etc. The current system supports this as it will not enforce court orders/many parents are scared to go up against the RP for more contact due to threats about contact stopping altogther till the court decides. So an overhaul is desperately required of family court system.
The children are suffering with the current system.
Until parents are seen in court as equals and children are granted equal rights to see both parents then it is near imposible to do anything about those who choose to walk away or let the child down.

Once this new status quo is established then the absent fathers (or mothers) can be addressed.

This whole thing is seperate from maintenance - Mantenance should be paid regardless of if the NR parent is wanting to see child or not. The maintenance should be paid regardless of if the RP is preventing contact or supporting contact BUT the RP should not stop contact in order to get more money.

JuliaScurr Mon 06-Feb-12 12:44:19

It is fairly obvious that fathers and their organisations are more interested in their own 'rights' than those of their children. The proportion of nrf's who lose touch completely with their children was mentioned ^^,likewise failure to pay maintenance. There is never an equivalent campaign by fathers to actually care for children. When Major opted out of EU rules on paternity leave, where were Fathers for Justice/Families need Fathers? If collection of Student Loans is anything like CM, it's doomed (what a shame).

The widespread view that this debate is about men, not children, is quite clear. I was also impressed by the early appearance of 'all men are potential rapists' as 'evidence' of misandry. When was rape mentioned before that comment? Totally irrelevant. Do you not understand the meaning of the word 'potential'? Any individual man may know that he is not a rapist, but please explain how the rest of us are meant to know that about him? Telepathy?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 12:55:41

Julia - I have no idea what you are talking about.

Families need fathers - puts the childrens needs and rights first. It has members that are fathers, mothers, grandparents who are trying to ensure that the child maintains a meaningful relationship with both parents and the wider family.
It states that parents should pay maintenance regularly and properly but that is not their focus to legislate.

They are campaigning for equal rights for the child.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-Feb-12 13:03:21

Is it wrong for groups like FNF to campaign like this?

Some DC's are being prevented from having a relationship with their NRP by the RP, and unless I've missed something, that's not good for the DC's, is it?

I understand that there are other DC's (possibly more) that are missing out because the NRP can't be bothered - and that's not good for DC's either -but that isn't the message behind this FNF campaign, is it? FNF are campaigning for a particular cause - that many of it's members experience.
If this campaign results in even a few more DC's seeing their Dads than would otherwise be the case, then that's a good thing, isn't it?

I've read some of the posts on this thread and it's almost as if people are saying that because they don't benefit from this campaign, and their DC's don't see their Dad, then they disagree with FNF and feel that this campaign should be stopped - or have I missed something?

EdlessAllenPoe Mon 06-Feb-12 13:13:11

hmm. i thought the guy from Families need fathers on the Today programme was out and out twat.

he also misrepresented the stats...of the 1 in 10 women who go to court to deny access - only 14% are successful - do we really think 86% of women willing to go to court over access don't have a good reason? Check the domestic violence statistics before you answer to the contrary.

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 13:16:53

So if a case goes to court it is likely that the father is violent?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 13:23:23

Although some cases the one parent may want to deny access for violence most cases are not for valid reasons. Most women who use DV as a reason have made it up to try stop their child seeing the other parent. Women can also be guilty of DV - violence isn't a man only characteristic.
It is so sad that some individuals use lies to control their children and it is deverstatign to real victims who are scared to speak out due to there being so many false alegations which results in people being less sure when true cases occur.

JustLauraPalmer Mon 06-Feb-12 13:24:05

Okay. I'm ready to take cover in case the buns start flying, and this might not be the place to ask but it came up in conversation because of this thread -- I would like to know if you think that all RPs should receive maintenance, even if they only have DCs 50% of the time? (Meaning that the NRP has them the other 50% of the time.)

SinicalSanta Mon 06-Feb-12 13:25:53

most women make up DV?

I've heard it all now latemates.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-Feb-12 13:29:30

laura DD has 50:50 and I get maintenance calculated at CSA rate - but, I'm responsible for paying for everything DD needs - uniform, trips, essential
Clothing, activities etc etc - in effect, I'm financially responsible for DD.
Personally, this is easier than a proportional split of all costs and if exH wanted it, I'd happily swap so he got the maintenance/benefits not me.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 13:30:45

Just Laura,

I think if care is shared then maintenance may not be required as child costs would be met by both parents equally. Alternatively, parents may decide one will pay maintenance and the other will pay for uniform, clubs with the money.
If one parent was on minimum wage and the other a millionaire. the one may decide to pay maintenance so that the child has a simular standard in both homes.

CSA would still claim maintenace off NRP if the RP put in a claim. I know a case where the NRP has child 60% of the time and the CSA take maintenace still.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 13:35:12

Sinical that is not what i said....

I said ...
Most women who use DV as a reason have made it up to try stop their child seeing the other parent

In that DV only comes into play to stop access when their has not been any reports of DV, the alegations have no evidence and the DV charrges happen when they mother or parent feels that they may have to allow child to see other parent.

I do not think women make up DV - I said that those who do make it harder for those who are truly having DV

JustLauraPalmer Mon 06-Feb-12 13:36:18

Thank you for the response NotADisney (we've actually 'talked' on another thread when I was posting under a different name and I appreciate your perspective). Forgive me for not understanding exactly how it works in this country - but does your exH pay the maintenance? I ask because we've got 50/50 split and neither household gets maintenance payments from the other, but we also share costs for clothes, essentials, etc. and trips are paid for by whoever is taking the DC away with them.

SinicalSanta Mon 06-Feb-12 13:37:09

Don't buy it.
Sounds like a crock of shit, it's the word 'most' that does it hmm

JustLauraPalmer Mon 06-Feb-12 13:37:21

oops - xpost with Late

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 13:42:31

but the implication that fathers who go to court for contact are probably violent is accepted without question.

JLP- We do 50-50 and no one pays the other any money.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-Feb-12 13:43:26

Laura I claim via the CSA, they calculate the amount exH should pay, adjusted for the number of nights DD spends with him.
I pay for school trips, uniform, basic clothes at both houses, coat/shoes etc - exH showers her with luxuries buys her extras at his own expense and if he pays for holidays etc that she takes with him.

I consider the maintenance contributes to what she 'needs' the extras are up to the individual households.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 13:46:09

Well said truck

JustLauraPalmer Mon 06-Feb-12 13:49:02

Truck Sorry if I'm being nosey, but who has PR? I'm asking because it seems like in the UK even if the split is 50/50 the mother always has PR and I'm curious as to why.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 13:54:46

Both parents should have PR but one parent may be on paper the RP and be able to claim child ben. . Only one parent can claim this.

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 13:55:19

Just to be clear I'm then father.

We both have PR.
I would be classed as RP as the child-benefit is in my name.

thebestisyettocome Mon 06-Feb-12 14:04:17

i don't understand basil's argument. Because her husband has the right to see his children but chooses not to exercise that right, that means other men who have difficulty exercising that right shouldn't have rights in the first place confused

JustLauraPalmer Mon 06-Feb-12 14:08:06

I thought you were going to say that, Truck.

Okay, I think we need to make some changes because neither household is getting child benefits, yet only one parent has RP status. If no one is using CB and no one is getting maintenance, can you think of any other reason why just one parent in a 50/50 situation should be listed as the official RP?

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 14:20:07

Ah yes, this mountain of women who make up allegations about DV spoiling it for the tiny number of genuine DV cases.

Sounds very like the shit people talk about rape, doesn't it? The mountain of false rape allegations, versus the tiny number of genuine victims being let down by the false allege-ers (is that a word?).

Except it's not true. The number of women who falsely allege rape, is 2-4%. The number of women who experience rape, is 1 in 9 of us - so a massive number of women, most of whom never report.

Similarly, the number of women who experience DV, is 25%. Most women do not report it and of those who do, the average woman is attacked a minimum of 20 times before she does and so quite often it is only at the stage of relationship break up, where it comes to light. Lundy Bancroft estimates that half of divorces in the USA involve DV and given that you'd expect people who have had violent relationships to be over-represented in relationship breakups, that sounds plausible.

"Most women make it up" just sounds like yet another misogynist myth. Where's the evidence for that?

thebestisyettocome, my argument is that children should have rights, not parents. But that if you're going to give parents rights, then they have to come attached to responsibilities and both parents have to have rights, not just one. Which this legislation is not proposing. I thought I'd been fairly clear about that.

origamirose Mon 06-Feb-12 14:28:20

Given that these cases of rape and DV are not reported how do we know they are are true?

Fact is IMO children deserve to have a relationship with both parents and I for one am glad that this government is doing something about it. In the case of my DP he pays well beyond what the CSA expect in maintenance, he calls his children every day, he is a good and dedicated father. When it comes to contact all he can legally expect is 'fair and reasonable contact'. The mother of his children persistently uses contact as a bargaining tool. I don't think it's that unusual - my mother did it, my DPs ex does it, I have 3 friends who are divorced with kids and they do it. That's just my experience.

JuliaScurr Mon 06-Feb-12 14:28:43

Tremendous amount of 'not understanding' going on.
And a lot of claims of 'false allegations make it worse for genuine cases'. Kind of like all those faking disability scroungers?
No. The problem isn't people faking disability or dv, it's the misplaced emphasis and credibility given to stories about people faking it. 20% of women are subjected to dv. Fact. 0.5% claims for DLA are fraudulent. Fact. The rest of us face even more stress and other problems because people choose to believe the Daily Mail instead of us.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 14:31:46

Tories are thick and make it up a they go along. Fact.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 14:33:20

Families don't need fathers, they need good fathers. Fact.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 14:33:33

origmairose - from police estimates and the british crime survey.

The Government accept these figures.

They're hardly cheerleaders for DV and rape victims, are they, Ken Clarke doesn't believe rape is rape unless it's by a stranger in a dark alley and the govt. are closing down refuges at a rate of knots.

So it's reasonable to suppose, that if these figures are believed by the govt, they're good enough for the rest of us. But if you choose not to believe them, that's your choice.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 14:37:10

All children should have several godparents, chosen at birth, to decide over access disputes. Opinion.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 14:38:15

Putting a 6 month time limit on contact disputes will put children at risk. Probable fact.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 14:38:43

The law is an Ass. Fact.

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 14:39:51

Do people believe that if a child contact case goes to court the father has likely to have committed domestic abuse?

origamirose Mon 06-Feb-12 14:40:18

Basil - I take it back - I should've googled before I spat my dummy. For those interested the data comes from council of europe (so looks at European member states) and says:

...figures for prevalence of violence against women suggests that one-fifth to one-quarter of all women have experienced physical violence at least once during their adult lives, and more than one-tenth have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force. Secondary data analysis supports an estimate that about 12% to 15% of all women have been in a relationship of domestic abuse after the age of 16...

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 14:48:28

There are loads of data sources origamirose.

The usual one used for the 1 in 4 figure, is the British Crime Survey.

The one for council of europe I think refers to women across europe doesn't it, rather than UK women?

None of these figures are comparable because they define DV, sexual assault etc. differently. So one country might have a higher level of DV than another, but that's only because the way they define DV and report it, is different from that of another country. Don't know enough aobut the ins and outs to know how it impacts on the data.

But basically, whichever data source you use, the story is, DV is incredibly common and if you have had a relationship break-up, you are more likely to have experienced it than the average. Which isn't surprising really IMO.

bananaistheanswer Mon 06-Feb-12 14:51:32

Do people believe that if a child contact case goes to court the father has likely to have committed domestic abuse?

Nope. Not sure anyone has actually suggested that. Only that those who allege it aren't guaranteed to have made it all up, as has been suggested. See latemates comments.

basil I agree with your points. Very well put. I have an ex who flits in and out every 6/8/10 weeks, depending on his mood. I no longer live my life waiting for him to appear, but will try and accomodate him where possible i.e. no plans or plans that are easily changed/altered. There isn't a court in the land that would help me enforce regular, structured contact for my DD despite her wish to see more of her dad. But, her right to a relationship with her dad doesn't matter does it?

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 14:55:32

I think it would be safe to say that where a mother actually does deny contact with the father (excluding the weird and wonderful world of Jeremy Kyle) there is a genuine reason and it is in order to make the life of the child safer and more comfortable.

In the w & w world of Jeremy Kyle however you will quickly find that the mothers that deny custody to fathers out of 'pure spite' are those with controlling extended families and friends, taking advantage of what is usually a vulnerable son or daughter.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 14:55:37

Basil - do not misquote me

I am well aware it is not a mountain of false alegations to a few real ones. But do you realise the damge false alegation do to inocent victims??

Do you realise for every false alegation that is proven it make courts more wary of getting it wrong and real victims more worried about not being believed.
Do you realise that women are advised by some sites to report a ex for DV to stop the ex and child from having a relationship.

Facts and figures do not show the true impact of false alegations.

'But basically, whichever data source you use, the story is, DV is incredibly common and if you have had a relationship break-up, you are more likely to have experienced it than the average. Which isn't surprising really IMO.'
That is utter rubish - relationships deteriate for many different reasons and contray to poular belief on here it is not always the fault of the male

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 14:58:35

'I think it would be safe to say that where a mother actually does deny contact with the father (excluding the weird and wonderful world of Jeremy Kyle) there is a genuine reason and it is in order to make the life of the child safer and more comfortable.'

You really do not have a clue do you? there are as many mothers who are spiteful and do just that as there are freckless fathers who are not responsible.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Mon 06-Feb-12 15:01:20

Actually Latemates, what you said was that most women who use DV as a reason that their child should not have contact with their father have made it up in order to deny the other parent contact. that is a horrendous assumption for you to jump to.

I agree with pretty much everything Basil has said. This legislation in isolation is pretty worthless imo.

MrGin Mon 06-Feb-12 15:12:11

I think it would be safe to say that where a mother actually does deny contact with the father (excluding the weird and wonderful world of Jeremy Kyle) there is a genuine reason and it is in order to make the life of the child safer and more comfortable

What a stupid ignorant thing to say.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 15:20:38

It is NOT "utter rubbish" that women who have had relationship breakdowns, are more likely to have experienced Domestic Violence, than the average.

It is a fact.

And I don't know why you're so surprised/ offended by that. Surely it's obvious that people who are in violent relationships, are more likely to eventually have those relationships break down, than those who are in non-violent relationships? This is a clear case of statistics backing common sense, IMO. I don't know what's so surprising about that - surely all of us are more likely to carry on living with someone who doesn't beat us up, than someone who does?

thebestisyettocome Mon 06-Feb-12 15:22:06

Basil. It is children who currently have the 'rights' not the parents. I think the Childrens' Act is pretty clear about that. And feckless fathers will always be feckless fathers whaever the law states. Why then penalsise NRPs who are being wrongfully denied access?

Snapespeare Mon 06-Feb-12 15:27:29

There is, as far as I can see absolutely no statistical evidence to back up the claim that 'there are as many mothers who are spiteful and do just that as there are feckless fathers who are not responsible'

In my personal experience it is women bending over backwards to facilitate their childrens relationships with non resident parents - but because there is no evidence other than our personal experiences, I'm not daft enough to tar all non resident parents with my personal experience brush.

I broadly agree with a policy that allows and enforces a childs contact with a non resident parent - but that is for the childs benefit rather than the 'rights' of an absent parent that seem to be whipped out whenever it is convienient without mention of responsibility.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 15:43:11

Quite, Snapespeare.

Exactly so.

I don't think NRP's are being unduly penalised though, thebest, any more than RP's by NRP's who financially abuse their children by not paying maintenance or who emotionally abuse them by refusing to facilitate their children's right to ahve a relationship with them.

As Snapespeare points out, none of us know how the exact figures fall and which group is statistically more hard done by. What we do know, is that the group with the loudest voice, is the one which has more men in it, and is the richer one; five years after divorce, the majority of men are financially better off than they were when they were married while the majority of women are poorer. We also know, that this woman-hating government is more likely to listen to the group with more men in it and to tailor legislation to what they want, rather than what is in the best interests of the child.

The issue of NRP's being hard done by, could largely be addressed by hastening the court procedures and by ensuring that it is cheap and easy to use the courts - it's not the law that's at fault, it's the court procedures.

The issue of RP's being hard done by, needs to be addressed by education and legislation to make it as difficult to evade maintenance payments, as it is to evade tax. That could easily be done if the govt. wanted to do it. It doesn't want to do it. I invite you to speculate on why.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 15:48:46

And i invite you to speculate why the govt considers the one issue so urgent that against its own expert advice, it wants to go ahead with this legislation, while the other issue is so trivial, that it hasn't even mentioned it - and on the contrary, is intent on ensuring that NRP's who financially abuse their children, are even more likely to get away with it because for a RP to use the CSA, will no longer be a worthwhile investment. (Did I mention that in ten years, the CSA has managed to get me about forty or fifty quid's worth of maintenance, even though my xp has been in the same address for all that time? That wouldn't be a very good investment would it?)

What does that tell us about this government's attitude to lone parents and to children?

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-Feb-12 15:52:34

MrGin it is exactly that ignorance that creates the motivation behind FNF - all the while there are people who believe that a RP is always motivated by 'the child's best interests' there will never be justice for all children sad

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 16:47:27

What a stupid ignorant thing to say.

What a stupid ignorant thing to say. Fact.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 16:54:35

disney who is it exactly that believes that RPs are always motivated by the child's best interest?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 16:55:34

this.... do you think that assumption is so very horrendous but that it is ok for the assumption that... Women only leave abusive men?
Women only stop bad fathers seeing their children
Only cases of abusive fathers will end up in court
No mother would stop a good father seeing the child in the real world.

All these assumptions have been made on here.

The reality is many parents (mothers or fathers) will make up DV to stop the child having a relationship with the other parent. BUT that doesn't mean that there are also many real issues of DV (some that will never come to light, some that do get reported and protect the child, and some that are not sadly believed and therefore put the child at risk.

It is a sad world sometimes but just because some parents are freckless by not paying maintenance, not seeing children, abusive or letting children down - does not mean that all children should be prevented from seeing and having a full real relationship with both parents when both parents are capable and willing.

MrGin Mon 06-Feb-12 16:56:19

spenditwisely goodness me, well if you say it's a fact I bow to you omnipotent observations. < sarcastic emoticon >

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 17:06:00

Spend it - nothing makes you look more ignorant that making wild comments that are your opinion and not based on fact than putting the word fact after it.

It makes me skim over anything you have written because you clearly can only see your veiwpoint.

BTW children need 2 parents who will act in the childs best interest and make personal sacrifices that will be most benificial to the child even when it is the more difficult option for the adult. The children need not to be used as wepons in the parents games. The children are not messengers or belongings.
When one or both parents can not put child first the child needs the court to act in their best interest to ensure they are able to maintain a full relationship with both parents. The court can only make this possibel if both parents are seen as equal and they are able to therefore make decisions based on the best childs interest.
Currently the mother is seen as more rights so in the instance of the fatehr having the safer and more caring enviroment and the mother having problems the mother would in most instances still get RP and the father would need to go court to get contact. In the opposite sinario the father would still have to go to court for contact but due to his problems may need to build up from supervised contact to prove the child is safe with him.

spenditwisely Mon 06-Feb-12 17:22:25

in the instance of the fatehr having the safer and more caring enviroment and the mother having problems the mother would in most instances still get RP

This is a generalisation and not true. The courts decide in the best interests of the child. The rules proposed today are requesting a time limit of 6 months where there is a dispute. This does not deal with any issues about the court favouring anybody, it puts an arbitrary time limit which does not deal with the cause of the family's problems and certainly won't do men any favour in custody cases.

MrGin Mon 06-Feb-12 17:24:35

This is a generalisation and not true

Says the queen of generalization.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 17:29:21

Maybe spendit could provide links for these 'facts' she comes up with.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 17:34:52

Um, where is the assertion that women only leave abusive men?

You're just making things up now aren't you.

As for women being the only ones to have rights - bullshit. My xp, who has paid no more than about 50 quid in ten years towards the care and support of his children, who has only once made the effort to get on a train to visit them, has the right to go to court tomorrow to gain regular contact and there isn't a court in the land who would refuse him, depite his decade-long financial and emotional abuse of his children.

No rights? Bullshit. No responsibilities more like.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 17:36:43

Maybe Latemates could provide some evidence that most allegations of DV are made up.


BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 17:37:11

allegations in the circumstance of relationship breakdown, that should be

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 17:45:48

The government have rejected their case sad

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 17:52:54

Rejected whose case?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 18:09:24

Basil - read the thread carefully and you will see that assertion has been made in a post.

You you you. Just because your ex may not pay maintenance, mayn't make effort to see child does not mean all men are the same. Out of interest if you ex paid maintenance and tried to have contact regular and was reliable. Would you allow your child this relationship or would you find some excuse to cut father out of the Childs life?

All rights come with responsibilities thats part of life. I have the right to get paid for the work I do but I have the responsibility to turn up on time and do what my contract says.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 18:10:44

"Rejected whose case?"

Apologies, mis read a report which was from last Nov.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 18:20:00

Yes I think it is in the same place as your evidence that relationships that break down all have DV involved.

I don't have evidence because that wasn't what I said. For the last time I'll try and be clear for you basil

DV is terrible for any victim. Victims can be male female, young old, with and without disabilities, anyone is a possible victim of DV anyone is a possible abuser. But I like to believe that people are innocent until proven guilty.
Most victims stay quiet for fear of further violence
Some find away to break away through support of wonderful organisations
Some report DV

There are unfortunately many bitter parents out there who will stop at nothing to distort their Childs relationship with the other parent. These bitter parents can be male or female. They do all sorts of terrible things to prevent contact, attempt to alienate the child from the other parent, obstruct access, ask for money in return for allowing the child and parent to see each other, threaten things if they are not going their own way. Many parents like this will use DV threats or make accusations if they feel the other parent has a chance of getting contact rewarded through the courts.

JuliaScurr Mon 06-Feb-12 18:21:23

It is the case in many examples I know of, that the RP mother has made enormous effort and expense to arrange contact between her dc and ex p. Iin many cases the father is only interested in one or two of the dc (quite often sons)
It's quite common for the nrp to fail to turn up, leaving the rp with distraught children. Should she keep putting them through it every fortnight? Whose rights is this protecting?

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 18:27:04

NRP's should be innocent until proven guilty and should be given every support to maintain (or gain) contact with the children.

Why should the really good NRP's be vilified and denied rights just because some are abusive or have shown to be unreliable. The fact is that there are NRP's out there who desperately want access to their children and would provide good, loving parenting to their children but are being denied access.

It's ridiculous that it's any other way to be honest. The parent who leaves is leaving the marriage, not the parenthood. Why should their rights be affected?

I'm not comfortable though with any kind of forced contact, Would I want my kids visiting a father who had effectively been focred into doing so? No, I would not.

JuliaScurr Mon 06-Feb-12 18:29:48

Latemates on page 5 ^^ you objected to the word 'potential'. How do you feel this differs from your choice of 'possible'? <genuinely puzzled>

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 18:30:35

It is very sad when one parent behaves badly. The situation you describe is a difficult one. However, i advise that the RP keeps NRP weekends free. As in the children are available should the NRP turn up. Maybe without child knowing - such as a quiet weekend doing crafts etc at home. If the NRP arrives the child is told how lovely mummy/daddy is here to see you. If the parent doesn't arrive the child is not aware. A strongly worded letter from a solicitor making NRP aware that you will support contact as detailed and that you would like warning if NRP is planing on accessing this contact. Also highlight the importance of structure and routine and the importance to the child of having both parents involved.

If NRP continues to avoid contact all you can do is be there for the children as best you can. But if contact is obstructed be RP (even know NRP is an idiot) this could be used against RP in the future and child may be told that access was prevented even if that is untrue. Keep all correspondence should the child want to know as an adult why they had little or now contact with other parent as a child

thebestisyettocome Mon 06-Feb-12 18:31:57

I don't disagree with the contention with mothers often come out worse from divorce/separation. It's impossible to try to legislate where emotions are concerned. However painting all mothers as saints and fathers as feckless twats is not fair or indeed true IMO.

origamirose Mon 06-Feb-12 18:33:34

JuliaScurr - it is also (in my experience) quite common for the RP to fail to turn up leaving the NRP with confused and let down children - they're not distraught because over the years they've become used to it.

What they will be is damaged and from what I can glean this whole debate is about preventing children being used as weapons for warring parents.

Well my ex's solicitor sent me a letter before christmas, as he hadnt had contact with our little one since novemberish, it has now been 5 weeks since my solicitor replied regards of supervised contact and a divorce. He has not replied it would seem, so hardly desperate to see his kid!! He doesnt work, so has no excuse regards of cant get to solicitor etc. Does a kid really need a father who doesnt care! I had no dad, cos he dies when i was 15months old, no ones fault, cancer, life is a bitch, but i still had a family!

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 18:37:38

Sorry Julia, I can't see where I object to you potential word. I didn't understand what point you were making in the post. I don't believe complained about the word potential ??? I have looked back but still can't find It

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 18:52:40

Personal anecdote is useless in this type of scenario. These types of threads will automatically attract RP's who gave nasty NRP stories, but if I tell you that my only experience is of fathers who had to fight bitter exes for access to their kids (true) would that alter your opinion?

I know of two women who denied access because if an affair, is this right? I know of one who just wanted to play happy families with the new husband, is this right?

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 18:54:43

"you you. Just because your ex may not pay maintenance, mayn't make effort to see child does not mean all men are the same"

Sorry, but are you accusing me of being as unable to apply critical thinking as you are?

The point about my post, which you ignored (deliberately, or because you didn't get it?), was to demonstrate that it doesn't matter how badly a NRP behaves, the court will still grant him the right to contact at any time. Even after 10 years of not functioning as a father, if he chose to go to court tomorrow to gain contact (not that he would need to because I've never denied him contact) no court in the land would say: "Actually, you've proved beyond reasonable doubt, that you don't function as a father".

That's not about me me me. That's about the way courts assume that no matter how crap a father is, he has the right to see his children on his terms. Not just in my case - in the case of most NRP's who behave like this.

"However, i advise that the RP keeps NRP weekends free. As in the children are available should the NRP turn up. Maybe without child knowing - such as a quiet weekend doing crafts etc at home. If the NRP arrives the child is told how lovely mummy/daddy is here to see you. If the parent doesn't arrive the child is not aware. A strongly worded letter from a solicitor making NRP aware that you will support contact as detailed and that you would like warning if NRP is planing on accessing this contact. Also highlight the importance of structure and routine and the importance to the child of having both parents involved."

Are you living in la-la land Latemates? You expect the RP to basically give up their life and arrangements, stay indoors all weekend and then praise the NRP if they deign to turn up? WTAF??? And then hire a solicitor at their expense to write an unenforceable letter which would be a complete waste of time and money.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 18:56:33

Nobody has said that ALL relationship breakdowns involve DV.

Only a disproportionate amount of them.

Are you really not able to read properly or are you just dishonest? Are you pretending that you believe people have said things they haven't?

Here's a tip: everything is there in blakc and white. People can check what other people have posted.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 18:57:18

Should he be denied access as some sort of punishment? Is he allowed at any point to change his ways?

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:01:35

Oh you'd advise that the RP keeps the NRP weekend free would you?

She's not allowed to go to work, or meet her friends, or her new lover, or get on with her dissertation?

She's supposed to bend over backwards for a deadbeat who may or may not turn up?

How long for? 3 months? Six months? 10 years?

Incredible sense of entitlement there. Incredible.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:02:34

But it is not the case that NRP can have contact on their terms. That's your experience and opinion.

I just don't understand why you are so against a law that will allow the child to have a right to a relationship with both parents where both parents don't pose a risk and want to be involved.

If he is as rubbish as you say I hardly think he will take you to court for contact anyway.

The other extreme is the cases where court do not endorse contact orders due to RP getting too upset at the child having a good relationship with NRP and the court not wanting to upset the RP. I don't know how many cases of this there is but it does happen. And that isn't right either

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:02:56

Are you really arguing for the right of NRP's to emotionally abuse their children by not turning up regularly for contact visits and to actually screw the RP's around so that she can't get on with her life that weekend?

And now we get to the real agenda.

Surprise surprise.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:04:08


You don't understand why I might be against a law which would force me to stay at home with my children all day every two weeks on the offchance that their father might deign to turn up? And that I'd be required to do that for years?


Women aren't really human to you, are they?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:08:03

No I mean get on with life do nice things etc etc but give opportunities for access. Yes bend over backwards where possible. Because a good parent will try to build and support a relationship between their child and the other parent. Naturally if the other parent continues to show no interest you have evidence of this built up. Then if they grow up in time and realise what they have done and approach you for contact. Give them the opportunity to prove they have changed. They will never get the missed time back but the child will get to develop a relationship with the parent.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:13:35

Basil - for goodness sake I can't keep up with your messages...

I am certainly nor saying a RP or a NRP should emotionally abuse their child. I think that the child should come first.

I think that both parents should be fully involved in Childs life. I think a parents should be reliable and turn up every time they are meant to, I think a parent should never prevent the child having contact with the other parent when that parent is trying to have contact and is relaible etc.
If had an unreliable ex I would do everything I could to try and build their relationship if this proved fruitless I would know I had given everything I could for my child. If it worked my child would have 2 parents in her life.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:20:21

Um where have I said it will be a law to force you to stay at home. .?

No I think I said that both parents should encourage and support the child having 2 involved parents, not obstruct access etc.and that if one or both can not support building Childs relationship then court should split contact in the best interest of child.

Um I think I am human, I think all us women are human and I also think men are human too but most importantly I think the child is human and not a bullet or stick to attack the other parent with.

Once again - a parent who is not interested and walks away from a child will not go to court for access. They have walked away that means they do not want access. Terrible yes.
A parent that is trying to maintain a full relationship with their child but being prevented or limited by the other parent may go to court. They are fighting for their right and their Childs right to a relationship with them. These are 2 very different situations.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:20:29

How many times do you think a feckless NRP who keeps letting his/ her kids down and screwing up the RP's social/ study/ work arrangements, should be given the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to continue to emotionally abuse his children?

Because some people do this over and over and over again.

And the current law supports them.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:23:55

No Latemates.

There are masses of NRP's who go to court for access, then never visit.

Then when they are denied access because they have spent six months screwing around with the access arrangements, and the RP decides s/he's not prepared to tolerate this emotional abuse of the DC's and the deliberate sabotage of their weekends, they wail about being denied access by harpy bitter ex.

Then they go back to court and the court tells RP off for denying access.

And then they do it all over again.

And the court looks askance at the RP and indulgently at the NRP.

And this legislation is not looking to tackle that abuse.

Why not?

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 19:25:05

"Because some people do this over and over and over again."

And what about the people who don't? Because of your experience every child in the country should be denied automatic access to their father?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:26:14

How does the current law support them and if it does why oppose changes to this law?

I think that the parent will make the best decision he/she can for how long/how many chances based on many factors. I think you just have to be able to look child in the eye and know that you are not responsible for the lack of contact with the other parent. Only individuals can make that call. But by giving some contact chances you know you have tried. This may be one available weekend a year offered. It may be liaising with grandparents/aunts/uncles and giving the child contact with them so that they still have access with that side of the family.
It may be sending photos and updates to grandparents.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:31:53

"i advise that the RP keeps NRP weekends free. As in the children are available should the NRP turn up. Maybe without child knowing - such as a quiet weekend doing crafts etc at home. If the NRP arrives the child is told how lovely mummy/daddy is here to see you. If the parent doesn't arrive the child is not aware."

That's what most RP's do in this situation. They cover up the shit behaviour of the RP. That's what women are supposed to do for men, isn't it? hmm

And if you think that's an acceptable solution, you really don't think the lives of the RP (90% of whom are women) are as valuable and worthwhile as that of the NRP (most of whom are men). What a coincidence.

Also, you can only get away with that when your DC's are very small. Once they hit about seven or eight, you can't do that anymore. Funnily enough, children develop their own lives and social situations - they want to go on playdates, they want to do sleepovers etc. And how long do you think it is reasonable to deny them this, because some deadbeat can't make up his mind to actually do what he tells everyone he wants to do and see his children?

Basically you are arguing for emotionally abusive immature men to be given chance after chance after chance to fuck up their children's self-esteem.


BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:38:25

It's not my experience notfluffy.

It's the experience of many, many RP's.

Who said I think children should be denied automatic access to their fathers?

Where have I said that?

I haven't said that at all. I support the right of children to have access to their fathers, when that is in their best interests - that is already the law. (In reality of course, it doesn't exist, because if the father doesn't want to see the children, that right is irrelevant).

I don't believe it is in the best interests of children, to be let down over and over again, to be shown that they are just a little hobby occasionally, way down the list of Mummy/ Daddy's priorities. Which is the message they are given, when parents don't stick to regular contact times. And that is devastating to children's sense of self-worth and self-esteem - it is a fucking DREADFUL thing to do to a child.

What does this legislation propose to address that?

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:38:29

Um no not saying they should be given chance after chance after chance.

I would like to see a new way in which both parents share care fully, are fully involved in Childs life. Where regardless of if it is a father or mother they do the best by the child. I know you find it hard to believe but some mother do prevent good fathers from being involved and that is not fair on the child. The mother in this instance is also abusing the child by preventing the good father from being involved.

This is just as damaging as a father who can't be bothered and doesn't turn up. Let's aim for a world in which all parents step up, all parents are expected to be fully involved and that neither above are acceptable by society

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:42:56

The law supports them because very rarely is a father denied contact for behaving in this way.

All he has to do is go back to court and say htat he's reformed and he wants another chance.

and the court will order new contact, because the child's right to see him, however devastating that will be for his or her sense of self, is considered an over-riding consideration.

I know people who took years to recover from the emotional pounding that years of being regularly let down by their NRP's caused them. The law should protect children from that emotional abuse.

But this law isn't aiming to do that is it.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:47:14

I have no difficulty whatsoever in believing that some RP's withhold contact unreasonably.

I don't believe that the law should only target that form of emotional abuse though.

It needs to target emotional abuse by both parents.

That is why I'm against this law.

Have I mentioned that? Oh yes, I think I have. You're in favour of a law which only targets the emotional abuse perpetrated by one parent. I'm in favour of a law which would target any emotional abuse, by either parent. And also any financial abuse as well.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:49:32

Yes that is dreadful situation but so is the situation that NRP who are prevented form involvement by obstructive RP

They will go back to court and the RP will continue to obstruct contact and commit PAS onto the child.

This child will grow up thinking and feeling all the things the abandoned child feels and struggle with these challenges. If they find out the one parent prevented the other parents relationship and tried to alienate them from the other parent this further causes emotional harm as they now feel deserted by both parents and they have lost all those years.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 19:53:10

Yes and this law is only proposing to deal with that form of abuse and isn't interested in the other sort of abuse, on the contrary, it is proposing making the other form of abuse, easier to perpetrate.

Whcih is why I oppose it.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:53:19

But this topic is about families need fathers and the latest news. You will also find that I have stated NRP should financially support their children, that both parents should be fully involved in each aspect of the child.

I have not said anywhere that NRP should be able to walk away if they want, or NRP should not have to pay maintenance.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:54:26

Maintenance and contact are separate issues and can not be dealt with as one issue.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 19:58:47

Let's just agree to disagree, I have my opinions and experiences and you have yours. Both are valid and happen:
I respect that your ex is unreliable and not responsible for his child. I think he is wrong and should step up and be a proper parent. I understand this is awful for your child.
I wish this want your or your child situation.

I also wish that some parents didn't obstruct contact or alienate their children from the other parent

It is possible to feel both these ways. I hope that changes to law will make improvements to at least one type of situation

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 20:12:46

It's incredibly convenient for Non Resident Parents, that maintenance and contact are separate issues.

Non payment of maintenance is financial abuse of your child. If you don't understand that financial support for your child is an absolute basic of parenting, then frankly, society is entitled to wonder what else you don't understand about parenting and to treat you the same way they treat any other parent who abuses their child - with suspicion and a presumption that automatic contact with your child, is not necessarily in that child's interest.

The father's rights groups have been incredibly successful at persuading decent people, that non-payment of maintenance is nothing to do with a parent's attitude to the welfare of their child. But it is absolutely basic - it shows that you don't feel any responsibility towards that child and are therefore a really unfit parent.

It's not even about the child's standard of living - sometimes, people only have to pay a fiver a week, which wouldn't make much real difference to the child's welfare, but it is a recognition that the NRP has responsibility. Any parent who doesn't grasp that, is a shit parent and that's why the father's rights groups are so keen to ensure that we all buy that shit about maintenance being nothing to do with contact. Rights without responsibilities.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 06-Feb-12 20:21:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 20:27:52

Father rights groups say maintenance should be paid. They frown on parents who do not pay maintenance.

They however are fighting for the right for the child to have a full and meaningful relationship with both parents and the wider family. That is their aim and focus.

The only thing they do say is that children should not be pay per view as in situations where one parent holds child to ransom and will not allow child to see other parent without additional payment on top of maintenance. Because the other parent should not be demanding extra money before child can see a parent. This is blackmail and illegal.

There is a difference. And I will say it again any decent parent should pay maintenance for their child. Always no excuses. A decent parent should always make time for their child and not walk away form the child or let the child down. A decent parent should not prevent the child form having a relationship with the other decent parent.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 20:33:36

But the number of parents who are not decent, because they have walked away from their children or don't pay maintenance, far outweigh the number who withhold contact maliciously. (Only 10% of parents end up in court re contact, versus more than half of NRP's not paying maintenance.)

And the government is not interested in dealing with their lack of decency, only with the lack of decency of the minority.

Why might that be?

Father's rights group may pay lip service to the idea that everyone should pay maintenance; what they don 't do, is call a spade a spade and state straight out, that NRP's who don't, are unfit parents.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 20:38:38

You do not know that the parents who withhold contact are outweighed by those who are not decent - that is your opinion based on your experience

And think about the innocent children who are suffering because of parents who prevent access. They have a chance of full relationship with both parents do they not need someone looking out for their rights.
(Bangs head against brick wall)

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 20:43:44

It is not my opinion based on my experience and it is patronising to assume that.

It is based on figures.

More than 50% of NRP's don't pay maintenance.

Only 10% of couples disagree so violently about contact issues, that they end up in court. 90% are perfectly able to come to an agreed solution without the intervention of the courts.

That tells me that the number of RP's denying contact unreasonably (and I doubt if all those 10% are in that category) are far less than the number of NRP's who financially abuse their children.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 20:48:23

I reckon there will be a very large number of NRP's who don't go to court because they can't afford to. It's thousands. And most people just don't have it.

tralalala Mon 06-Feb-12 20:49:33

men that don't pay maintence are wankers.
men that don't want to see their children are wankers.
women that don't let men see their kids out of malice are wankers.

I wish all exes would stop being lumped together. You can't argue that 3/5 fathers do this or half of mothers do that...it's nothing to do with each indivdual case.

No one should be denied seeing their parent if that parent is decent. No matter if they were a rubbish partner.

thebestisyettocome Mon 06-Feb-12 20:51:37

The fundamental problem is that the phrase 'unfit parent' is bandied around with little consideration as to what this means. Some people think this could mean a parent who leaves the family for a new partner. For others it means somebody who has been violent. It's also been suggested that a parent who doesn't pay maintenance is an unfit parent. But who decides? The mother? The courts? The children? What if a father refuses to pay maintenance or is a bit unreliable on contact weekends but the child still wants a relationship with him.

Truckulentagain Mon 06-Feb-12 20:59:26

90% come to an agreed solution is a bit rose tinted isn't it?

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 21:01:01

But figures give us a broad overview of where the problems are greatest, tralala.

And I still don't get why some people want legislation which will make one form of emotional abuse easier, while doing nothing about another form of emotional abuse and financial abuse.

What is wrong with the presumption that the rights of the child should be central to any case, rather than the rights of one of the parents?

Seriously, nobody has successfully explained why the philosophical position that the rights of one of the parents (the non-resident one) being prioritised over the rights of the other parent and the child, is a superior one, to prioritising the rights of the child, which is the legal position we start from at the moment.

I know that the theory isn't always borne out by practice, but I'm bewildered as to why as a starting point, that principle seems to be being thrown out. Why? What is wrong with that principle, and why is this new one better? No one has yet explained this.

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 21:04:56

I believe the right of the child to have access to both parents is central but I'm not entering into a big debate about it with you Basil. I do empathise with you but you're too personally, emotionally involved to really see the bigger picture.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 21:05:49

They are not saying the fathers rights are more important than mothers rights. They are saying mothers are fathers rights will be equal. The Childs needs will still be the basis of any court order. But neither parent will have more rights or less responsibilities than the other.

In cases where a child is removed the parents lose their rights in the best interest of the child. If a parent or both parents are deemed unfit by the court they will also lose their rights if that is in Childs best interest. These laws already exist and are not being abolished.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 21:16:22

LOL at me being too emotionally involved.

And no one who is arguing against me has any emotional involvement in this at all, do they? hmm Nice bit of patronising there, Sweetie.

Thebest, children nearly always want a relationship with unfit parents, even where those parents have been horribly cruel and abusive to them. Speak to any social worker who has witnessed the heartbreak a child being taken away from his or her abusive parent feels, the longing to be back with the parent who has already done him or her so much damage.

Our duty as adults, is not to give children what they want, but what they need.

And obviously that is a fine balance. Someone who financially abuses his or her children, but is actually regular as clockwork for contact visits and spends quality time with their DC's, is abusive but on balance, it may be in the child's best interests to have a relationship with them.

In most cases I would argue that as long as the parent isn't physically or verbally abusive and isn't consistently battering the child's self-esteem and confidence, then however shit s/he is as a parent, it's better for the child to have contact with them. But there has got to be a line where we as a society say, no, no parent has the right to have contact or residence with their child, if on balance, that contact or residence has a more detrimental than beneficial effect. That cannot be dependent on the wishes of a child, it has to be dependent on the needs of the child.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 21:17:39

It is simply not true to say that one parent is not going to have more rights than the other.

If the NRP does not have the obligation to financially support their child, or to actually comply with the times and dates of contact, then s/he will have more rights than the RP.

How is that not obvious?

notfluffyatall Mon 06-Feb-12 21:36:46

"Nice bit of patronising there, Sweetie."

FFS, I said I can empathise. How can that be construed as anything but positive?

As soon as you bring your personal experience into the argument you're onto a loser. Everything you say after that will be clouded by the feeling that you only think that way because your ex is a dick. Anecdotal evidence is worse than useless.

It's stopping you seeing the wood for the trees.

AyeRobot Mon 06-Feb-12 21:43:17

"i advise that the RP keeps NRP weekends free. As in the children are available should the NRP turn up. Maybe without child knowing - such as a quiet weekend doing crafts etc at home. If the NRP arrives the child is told how lovely mummy/daddy is here to see you. If the parent doesn't arrive the child is not aware."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry that you think this is any way reasonable, Latemates.

I advise that the NRP turns up at the time that has been agreed, come back at the time that has been agreed, pay the maintenance that has been agreed. Then the child will be aware that both parents actually give a shit about them. What is really so difficult about that? Lots of divorced parents manage it. What's so special about those that don't that you think that RPs should spend every weekend waiting for them to deign to turn up? What kind of life is that for the child/ren?

AyeRobot Mon 06-Feb-12 21:45:02

Basil is only using her experience for illustrative purposes to show how this law is nonsense.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 21:48:49

Aye that wasn't exactly what I meant. I appriciate that my first attempt at explain didn't come across right but if you read on you will hopefully see that I explained my self better.

I was trying to illustrate that a parents role is to work together with other parent to facilitate contact as much as possible. Naturally if one parent is useless then you have to protect child and act in the Childs best interest and draw the line somewhere

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 21:48:56

No, that's a silencing technique, to tell people that their experience, which is actually shared by thousands of other women, is irrelevant.

The fact that I've backed up my arguments with figures, is irrelevant I suppose.

And the fact that people here have asserted, without any evidence whatsoever, myths along the lines of most women who claim DV in family court are lying, goes unnoticed and accepted as rational I suppose?


Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 21:51:32

And the other people are using their experiences to demonstrate that current law is worse than useless and that change that will allow children the right to see both parents and to put both parents on a starting point of equality has got to be a good thing.
We all draw on our experiences and our own interpretation of research and statistics

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 21:53:57

Hold on, you don't just protect the child.

The RP also has a right to her time - her life.

She has the right to expect the NRP to turn up on time so that she can go to work, or go to the library to work on her dissertation, or do the weekly shop she planned to do without the kids that day, or go and have sensuous fun with her lover.

But that would be about her rights, wouldn't it, as well as the child's, so let's ignore that shall we? Because after all, how dare she expect to do anything but sit down with a few crafts? How often do we think men are advised to wait around and patiently do a few crafts when a woman fucks him about?

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 21:57:46

No we don't actually.

This is Mumsnet, not Netmums.

We're all intelligent enough to know that statistics don't always reflect our own experience, but that they put our experience in context; we're either unusual or part of a widespread phenomenon.

BasilRathbone Mon 06-Feb-12 22:02:39

Anyway in keeping with my new year's resolution (aren't you impressed, it's February and I'm still keeping it) I'm off t'interweb now to do some improving reading.

Night all.

Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 22:04:09

Don't put words into my mouth.

Of course you should have your own life, of course you should have your own rights. Did I say otherwise. Nooooooooooo I did not

Do I think parents should do everything they can for their Childs best interest. Yes I do.

Does that mean having to make some concessions some of the time. Yes possibly both parents may need to adapt., sometime a parent has to put their plans on hold to drive the child to a party. That's being a parent. Did I suggest that a parent try to encourage the other parent to have contact and support this. Yes I did. If that parent continues to not be involved. Did I say that the other parent can use their own judgement to know when enough is enough. Yes I did.

Look you clearly can only see your view point. There is little point continuing to discuss. I know my views opinions are valid. I respect your views also have value. I recognise I will be unable to get you to see other views. So I will wish you and yours the best and hope that at some point the father steps up as he should and takes responsibility for his child or children.


Latemates Mon 06-Feb-12 22:07:04

Sorry just to add disclaimer ' driving child to party' is purely one example and not in anyway the only duty a parent should do

Thumbwitch Mon 06-Feb-12 22:26:00

I've an idea about this - I feel that this lovely "families first" Govt is cutting things like refuges, charging for gonig through CSA, getting rid of legal aid, making things financially harder for lone parents etc. because it wants to force people to stay together, however shit the marriage, by making it harder for them to separate.

In other words - "you hooked up with this loser, we don't care if he knocks seven bells out of you, you had kids with him, now just put up and shut up".

Just a feeling I'm getting.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 06-Feb-12 23:56:21

Trying to catch up !

Which pieces of existing legislation is this proposed 'act' intended to replace?
Does it address employment law, vehicle/traffic legislation, alcohol licensing and the plethora of other legislation that addresses child welfare/safety?

I'm not sure I understand the expectation that this one proposed Act should somehow address all child abuse scenarios - it addresses a specific, identified form of abuse. Future legislative changes can be proposed (in response to public campaigns) that address other forms of abuse.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying - I have experience on 'both sides of the fence' so to speak - and from where I stand, it would be a lot easier to withhold contact with DD from my exH (should I wish to) than it has been for DP to maintain contact with his DCs. That is the current, inequitable situation experienced by some DCs and if it can be legislated against, then that is good for them, surely? As a mum, I might resent my exH having more rights - but why would I?

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 07:11:59

What about the inequitable situation of a NRP who refuses to have contact with his DC's and refuses to pay maintenance?

I don't object to the government trying to solve a problem.

What I do object to, is the pretence that this is the only problem worth solving and not only the refusal to tackle the other problems, but to actually introduce charges for the CSA which will in fact make the problem even worse.

It shows very clearly, the attitude this government has to women and children - their interests are way down the priority list.

And yes, Thumbwitch I agree I get the same feeling.

Also, I must just point out how incredibly patronising some of these posts have been. This assumption that "there there dear, calm down, your experience has made you irrational and unreasonable about this and because of it, you can't see sense", is lofty mansplaining bullshit. Check your male privilege before you talk down to women on a website primarily populated by women. I had these views 20 years ago, long before I had had the experience of actually seeing how the state enables abusive NRPs. My experience is backed up by actual researched figures. Much of the case for the other side, is simply misogynist myth (cf women lie about DV -yeah sure, they lie about rape too, 'scommon sense, innit?), women deny access for no reason (I'm sure a minority do, but we know the majority bend over backwards to facilitate contact even when they know they're being fucked about).

Men's rights groups have managed to present the "poor denied fathers" argument so successfully, because of systemic misogyny in our society - government and the media are only too willing to take the stories at face value, while dismissing women's complaints of abusive behaviour from NRP's. And that's why this legislation is happening - this prioritisation of one problem for a minority of fathers, while the problems of the majority of mothers are being completely ignored or made worse. I expect no less of our horrible misogynist media. I expect a little more of our government though, although why I should when it's a bunch of woman-hating Tories, I don't know.

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Feb-12 07:31:21

<runs in late to the argument discussion>

What Thumbwitch said.


NotaDisneyMum Tue 07-Feb-12 07:51:05

Basil - so what you are saying is that FNF have taken advantage of that situation in order to further their particular cause - and RP (mainly women) won't have the same opportunity?

Perhaps FNF would be more prepared to use their disproportionate influence to highlight the other injustices and abuse on behalf of RP and their DCs if they weren't subject to abuse and attack by the people who would benefit most from their help?
Rather than vilify FNF as 'the enemy', why not cultivate their support as they clearly have the ear of the power brokers?

Meglet Tue 07-Feb-12 08:03:39

What Thumbwitch said.

And I'll add my line that is being needed more and more these days, 'the tories are trying to kill off single parents'.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 08:09:46

Er no thanks, Notadisneymum, the experience of women trusting men to campaign for their rights for them, is that men throw them under the bus.

See the movement for Universal Suffrage, Trades Unions, Bolshevik Revolution, Civil Rights Movement, Free India Movement, Anti-Apartheid Movement, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum, for details.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 08:15:35

See the Occupy movement as another example.

We'll still be raping you come the collapse of capitalism, sisters. Now calm down, make the tea and stop letting your experience make you hysterical enough to disagree with me.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 08:15:49

You are so negative about men - to the point that you assume any one who disagrees with you must be male.

20 years ago your views may have been common place but 20 years ago the world and the equality was far more un-equal
No one is saying a NRP should be able to refuse contact or refuse to pay maintenance. no one thinks that should be allowed either.
Actual researched figures can pretty much prove and disprove arguments. I can present figures to back up my claims. I dont really see the point TBH as you have held a view for 20 years nothing i can say is going to widen you view IMO

LOL at myself for jumping back into convo

NotaDisneyMum Tue 07-Feb-12 08:17:07

basil Women's rights? Surely this is about children's rights'?

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 08:21:48

It's about both, as you well know.

One of the reasons men can get away with treating children the way they do, is because women are their primary carers.

If men were the majority of RP's, non-payment of maintenance would be an imprisonable offence. It simply wouldn't be possible to avoid it, the Inland Revenue would manage it.

I'm not negative about men Late - I'm negative about the systemic misogyny in our society, which enables many men to treat the women and children in their lives as less than human.

If you view your children as real and human, you'd never be able to just walk out on them and not bother to have contact or not pay for them. It's outrageous behaviour. So is withholding contact without good reason, but society is more outraged by one, than by the other, because one is done by women and one is done by men, the victims of one are generally women and the victims of the other are generally men. Hence the outrage and legislation to deal with one, and the complete and total deafening silence to deal with the other.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 08:26:04

And this: "Perhaps FNF would be more prepared to use their disproportionate influence to highlight the other injustices and abuse on behalf of RP and their DCs if they weren't subject to abuse and attack by the people who would benefit most from their help?"

If FNF wanted to use their disproportionate influence to highlight other injustices, it would be irrelevant if they're subject ot abuse and attack - they'd do it because it's the right thing to do, irrespective of the fact that people who would benefit most are attacking them for it.

I am continually being attacked by Men's Right's Activists. I am still a passionate advocate of paternity leave, the right to part time work for fathers as well as mothers, the overall re-structure of the workplace, etc., so that men and women could have more balanced and happier lives. Some of the people who would benefit most from this, are men - I don't let the fact that they attack me, stop me from speaking out on what is right. You either believe something is right or not, it doesn't stop being right because someone you don't rate is attacking you about other stuff. What an odd thing to say.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 08:33:26

Women can be equally guilty of walking out on children it is not solely commited by men. men can be equally guilty of preventing the other parent from having contact.

I would suggest that you join a group and start campaigning for maintenance awareness.
I support maintenance should be paid but I aim for raising awareness of discrimination of causes that really effect my firends/family and children.
Everyone I know pays maintenance and rightly so. But these people and their children are having contact obstructed and PAS is effecting their children so this is my focal point.
Regardless of your view I know the damage PAS and contact obstruction is causing children

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 08:38:58

Hello Thumb.

I think there is more to it. 

The Tories are famously unhelpful to single mothers of course.

I'm no fan of right wing ideology, but I read the other day that currently only 6% of 'cuts' in the UK have been implemented.

So another 94% to come. 

I don't think the average person realizes how far up shit creek we are. The UK credit card is maxed out big time. There is less than no money left. Any costs now will be payed for by the next generation.

The CSA charging for it's service is pretty shite, but a choice between that and it not existing is a no brainer. 

They do at least have some success. I'm sure the new legislation won't be free from abuse but it's a step in the right direction for sure ( IMO ) if it stops situations where fathers or nrps find themselves , despite being decent humans,  denied contact for a year or so due to false allegation and the snails pace of courts.

I'm glad the rights of children have been recognized. I had to repeadedly remind my XP that my dd, who I adore, had a right to see her daddy when she became obstructive over contact. 

Obviouly there is a government agency that attempts to get nrps to pay up. The CSA may be considered useless by some some , but it is there.

Basil. I don't think you'd be happy until every camaign group like FNF supported you and your agenda.

They have genuine reasons for their campaign, as do other groups who campaign for womens rights. 

And linking CM with access sounds dodgy to me, as deadbeat NRPs who can't be arsed to see their kids are likely make the same conclusion if they don't already.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 08:44:06

Oh for goodness sake, everyone knows that people are individuals and can do bad things regardless of gender.

My point is that the systemic focus on the wickedness of RP's who deny contact, is because they are women, while the wickedness of NRPs who don't pay maintenance or withdraw their presence from their children's lives, is ignored because they are men. And we make excuses for men's bad behaviour, shrug our shoulders and don't expect anything better of them. While men who actually function as fathers in a normal way, are judged to be semi-heroes, because they 're doing what parents are supposed to do. While women who do what parents are supposed to be, are merely considered adequate, or even suspect because after all, they're doing it without a father, so there must be something wrong there, right?

But fair enough that you focus on what's of interest to you, as I do on what's of interest to me. I've got no problem with that, of course people have the right to direct their energies into the issues which most interest or concern them. My objection, is that the government is focusing on what's of interest to you. They're supposed to be more neutral than that. As if.

duchesse Tue 07-Feb-12 09:06:08

I think if FNF were to be renamed Fairness for Children I could get behind it. It's the very fact they seem to want to sling the "father" thing into the mix despite stating that they support other types of parent including grandparents that rankles a little. It's a bit of an attention-seeking name for an organisation that imo puts the onus on the father's rights above those of his children.

As I stated before my (admittedly limited experience) of the family court has reassured me that actually the system seems quite fair and to be working for the children as it rightly should. No matter what aggrieved exes may feel in the situation it is paramount that an objective party is there to protect the child's interests.

The courts will ask for extensive reports if they feel that there is any danger to the children. (eg CAFCAS) They probe deeply into the circumstances surrounding the action before them. It is not a cheap process and ideally both parents will love their child(ren) enough to want to resolve the thing amicably and in the best interests of the child(ren).

Sadly though because it is so emotive an issue and plumbs the depths of human emotion it is very difficult for parents to remain objective. They might confuse their feelings and wellbeing with those of their children. More understandably they might interpret the NRP's refusal to contribute despite able to as both a failure to consider the wellbeing of the children (she doesn't even care enough to make sure our children have shoes), a slur on their parenting (he does not trust me to spend the maintenance on the children), sudden feelings of extreme loneliness about having to be everything for these children- father, mother, disciplinarian, provider etc... and of totally feeling dumped in it.

Meanwhile the children are just trying to adapt to the new situation, grow up and be children still. They can however end up being party to far more than they would were the parents still together merely because the RP has no sounding board any more and will sometimes vent moments of frustration inappropriately. Unfortunately children remember these moments. It is very important imo not to say any more to the children than you would have if the parents were still together (ie nothing detrimental about the other parent, who they are 50% of no matter whether both feel they made a mistake in picking the other person.)

In short it's important to act like a grown-up. I am constantly in awe of two of my sisters, who have despite often despicable behaviour from their children's fathers have battled to maintain the relationship between their children and the fathers, usually very much to the detriment of their own well-being.

Riakin Tue 07-Feb-12 09:15:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 09:16:53

I think if FNF were to be renamed Fairness for Children I could get behind it. It's the very fact they seem to want to sling the "father" thing into the mix despite stating that they support other types of parent including grandparents that rankles a little

Mumsnet. By parents for parents. smile

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 09:20:29

I just don't buy this theory that being a single mother pretty much automatically means you get shit on. That may well be the case for some but absolutely isn't universal.

There are a fair amount of women out there doing it on their own that don't wear their martyrdom like a badge as some sort of indication of what twats 'men' are. They're just getting on with their lives, doing their best with their kids, with or without the support of the ex.

And this presumption that every father can go to family court and they can try as amicably as they can to reach agreements is just not true. I would guess MOST NRP's couldn't begin to afford the often tens of thousands of pounds it costs to get access to their kids. They should automatically have access, it should only be removed where there is evidence it's in the child's best interests.

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 09:22:53

"Mumsnet. By parents for parents."

God forbid you're a man with an opinion that doesn't quite fit though. FNF is more inclusive, as far as I've seen, than MN.

Snorbs Tue 07-Feb-12 09:36:46

The name Families Need Fathers works in two ways. First as a reminder to family courts etc that childrens' relationships with fathers are important. And second as a reminder to NRP fathers that their relationship with their children is important.

FNF is aware that a lot of NRP parents drop out of contact with their children. Sometimes it's because the RP makes it very difficult. But sometimes it's because the NRP doesn't put the effort in. FNF's name is there to remind NRP fathers that they need to put that effort in, that they are still part of their DC's family even if they are no longer living with the mother.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 09:40:32

Dodgy figures Riakin?

What's this government research you're quoting then?

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 09:46:39

Oh and what a bizarre insult btw - pony?



Truckulentagain Tue 07-Feb-12 10:03:04

All I've witnessed since becoming a father is a strong reluctance and resistance for fathers to take an equal role.

This starts off with paternity leave and flexible working all the way through to becoming a non-resident parent. I mean what a belittling name designed to make you feel marginalised.

I wonder if it's capatilism hoping men don't realise what they're missing out on by working long hours.

spenditwisely Tue 07-Feb-12 10:08:34

The laws are the way they are (complicated and sometimes appearing unjust) because children are involved and they do not have the right to make decisions about their future. I think we'd all agree on that.

A six month time limit on such contact cases will result in partners being given automatic shared parenting. This completely undermines all the current laws designed to protect children and vulnerable adults. It also undermines other forms of law involving money, marriage, probate, etc etc.

It's typical coalition pattern. "I've got a brilliant idea - OK then, let's implement it". And it will result in the usual "Oh dear the lawmakers wont allow us to steamroll it into submission - but it was worth a try because it give us an opportunity to appear to be tough".

Watch and learn as the NHS, the education system and benefits fall apart at the seams, cost billions in wasted consultancy and resulting in a system which makes bigwigs richer and poor people more vulnerable.

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 10:11:18

" I mean what a belittling name designed to make you feel marginalised. "

I can buy this, never thought of it that way before (possibly due to not being a father). Snorbs gives a good explanation above but I think men, in a lot of cases have completely drawn the short straw when it comes to the kids. Women can wear their single-parent status like a badge, as I said above (I chose not to) and feel that they are the ones that are being marginalised etc etc. I think the tables have pretty much turned and rather than all single mothers being looked down on as benefit scroungers looking for a free council flat, it's men who are all being seen as "dead beat dads" (only using that term as it's been so freely used on here, it's an awful Americanism brought on by too much Maury Povich and Steeeeeve shows).

When I was a single parent I held the power, I never used it, would never have used it, but I held pretty much full control over whether my ex saw his kids or not.

Thumbwitch Tue 07-Feb-12 10:16:59

<<waves at Gin>>

Probably not a good idea to link the discussion here with a separate one on reducing benefits - I didn't really mention if for that reason, just to illustrate that there seems to be an underlying move to make people stay in their family units, regardless of how bad that family unit has become. I take your point about the CSA needing funds but perhaps the funds should come out of the CSA payments once agreed? Rather than needing to be an upfront payment which may never be recouped by the parent seeking payments from the NRP.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 10:39:12

It hasn't even occurred to them, to take the CSA payment from the NRP rather than the RP.

Men have drawn the short straw with kids, because they prioritise their careers.

They have got to start putting their money where their mouths are and going part time, downshifting their careers, working with their DP's to ensure that they take an equal role in parenting so that if the relaitonship breaks down (much less likely if they're working as a more equal team and understand each others problems better) then they have been equal partners from the start and they will automatically get shared care, not because of some spurious equal rights starting point, but because they are actually genuinely equal parents.

It means giving up some income and pension though. And it means re-organising your priorities and society. Men have two major advantages here: They already have the loudest voices and most power and women actually support the ones who have the aspirations to be equal parents at all times, not just when their relationships with the mothers of their children break down.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 10:39:17

Thumb. I agree. But there is obviously a cost involved for the CSA to pursue a non-payer. If that cost for that service comes after settlement then the initial cost of pursuing the the claim has to come from somewhere. And there isn't any money left. Quite the opposite.

Like I said, we're still in for the 94% of cuts that haven't taken hold yet. It's going to be ugly.

Of course the claimant now is the one who may have to borrow money to start a claim. It's a tragic reality that stretches out to Women's refuges which also seem to be under threat now. Add them to the list.

< playing the devils advocate >


Personally I can't understand how someone can neglect their own flesh and blood. I'd be interested to know why some people are like this as, contrary to some opinion, I think it's still considered by society to be terrible behaviour.

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 10:49:25

"They have got to start putting their money where their mouths are and going part time, downshifting their careers, working with their DP's to ensure that they take an equal role in parenting so that if the relaitonship breaks down (much less likely if they're working as a more equal team and understand each others problems better) then they have been equal partners from the start and they will automatically get shared care, not because of some spurious equal rights starting point, but because they are actually genuinely equal parents."

Who can afford to do this? Families need at least one parent working full time just to pay rent/mortgage, bills etc. Where do the CSA payments come from when the NRP is only working 20 hours a week?

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 10:53:58

I'll make an exception and give you my personal experience purely as an illustration not as a sweeping indication of how it is.

My husband works away for 4 weeks at a time so that we can afford to pay maintenance to his child with his ex and still have a decent standard of living ourselves. All this while the EX has sat on her backside for 7 years not feeling responsible one iota to provide her share of the financial duties.

Part time? I bloody wish. I'm a married single parent.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 11:13:04

There won't need to be CSA payments if both parents work 20 hours a week.

She hasn't been sitting on her backside, she's been raising her kids.

If men did more of that, it wouldn't be called "sitting on your backside", it would be recognised as the work it is, because men would be doing it.

There is a massive resistance by some people, whenever this solution, which promotes social, equal and parenting equality, is suggested.

Fifty years ago, the idea of women in the workplace after they'd had kids, looked impossible.

Women showed that it wasn't. Men have to show, that the idea of them taking equal responsibility for parenting, isn't impossible. They have to want to do it and they have to do it. And then if their relationship broke down, there would be no question of only one parent bearing most of the responsibility for continuing to parent that child. It would be obvious that both parents have been responsible and will remain responsible.

The group which can make this happen by campaigning for rights and actually doing it, just like women did, is men. Let them get on with it and support them to do it, instead of pretending it's impossible.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 11:13:58

oh and notfluffy try not to be so emotionally involved, it weakens yer argument doncha know.

(That's sarcasm btw)

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 11:30:40

"She hasn't been sitting on her backside, she's been raising her kids."

While he was at school all day?

Due to having to pay several hundred pounds a month to her, I had to work part-time, not allowing me the luxury to stay at home with my DD full time.

People can't afford to work part time. We NEED his full time and my part-time wage, I know most other people are in this situation. You're very lucky if you're not.

"it would be recognised as the work it is, because men would be doing it."

I don't buy this. I manage to work part time, study and be a good mother. What the feck do people do all day when their kids are at school? Their house is probably much tidier than mine, lucky buggers.

Spero Tue 07-Feb-12 11:33:57

Riakin, can you please provide a link or more details about the 'gov research' in 2007 that show 50% of contact orders are broken out of spite?

I would be very interested to know more about that.

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 11:35:10

"oh and notfluffy try not to be so emotionally involved, it weakens yer argument doncha know."

I made it quite clear I was using it to illustrate my point. Which is a million miles away from using it to damn all women/men it may apply to. wink

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 12:14:03

Mr Gin It is genuinely sad to see the ease with which you have been utterly deceived by the 'maxed out credit card' bollox of the Condems. There are thousands of articles disproving this nonsense cps.thereisanalternative is a good place to start.

Riakin Tue 07-Feb-12 12:25:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 12:30:44

How interesting that you feel the need to make up all sorts of fanciful notions about my life and pscychology Riakin

I think that says more about you and your buy-in to misogynist myths, than it says about me.

Seeing as how you haven't got the slightest clue about my life and who I am or who my ex is, all your suppositions are based on your misogynist stereotypes of lone parents, aren't they?

Which kind of says everything anyone needs to know, about where you're coming from.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 12:30:58

JuliaScurr sorry I must have imagined that our country is almost a trillion pounds in the red.

silly me.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 12:31:48

Ah yes, and women and children must pay the price for that.

Of course.

Let's not question it.


JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 12:36:38

Oh, Riakin! If you only knew

NotYetEverything Tue 07-Feb-12 12:39:22

Riakin I have reported your post as a personal attack.
Just so you know it wasn't Basil.
I'm sure there are many lurkers like me who are nodding along to her posts.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 12:43:17

Basil. I'm not saying don't question it. I was just pointing out our country is up shit creak and has massive debts. and somehow Julia thinks I've been deceived into believing this. confused

We are all going to suffer. Men, women and particularly children. Pointing it out doesn't make me complicit or supportive of it.

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 12:43:45

Mr Gin God, you read that CPS pamphlet fast! <impressed><but a littlebit doubtful hmm>
Did you see this? 'Danny Blanchflower (Bank of England) notes the (G Brown) budget stimulus led to ... 3.1% growth 2009-2010. Under the Coalition the following year, the economy grew 0.3%'
Just saying.

Thumbwitch Tue 07-Feb-12 12:44:15

Well there goes any credibility that Riakin may have had.

In some ways I hope MNHQ don't pull the post, just so that people can see how low Riakin felt the need to go in a personal attack on Basil. Pathetic.

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 12:45:29

Yes, MrGin I think you've been had, because you have

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Tue 07-Feb-12 12:46:18

I have just caught up on this thread, and have also reported Riakin for personally attacking Basil. I think she has made some truly excellent posts in this thread and has come in for a totally unnecessary pasting from posters who seem to be making points on far less researched grounds.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 12:47:02

JuliaScurr please explain then because I'm certain our country has massive debts which need servicing with massive interest payments.

Is that not the case in your Universe ?

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 12:50:47

In my universe, we look at things like tax evasion, bank bailouts, privatisation, profiteering, PFI projects, stuff like that

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 12:52:18

JuliaScurr if your link actually led somewhere I might actually read it.

< unimpressed >

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 12:52:25

We have the 'massive debt' because of the banking crisis.

Riakin Tue 07-Feb-12 12:58:08

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 13:00:58

There you go, MrGin
Enjoy the fresh air

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 13:01:58

We have the 'massive debt' because of the banking crisis.

Nooooooo. really ?

Thanks for that I had no idea there was a problem in the banking sector.

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 13:03:16
JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 13:04:32

So why expect us to pay for it?

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 13:14:45

"Seeing as how you haven't got the slightest clue about my life and who I am or who my ex is, all your suppositions are based on your misogynist stereotypes of lone parents, aren't they?"

Well, you did share quite a bit of it on this very thread.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 13:19:47

So why expect us to pay for it?

FFS do you think I'm David Cameron ?!

I'm as angry about the situation as the next person, maybe more. We are all going to be paying for it, especially our children who'll be paying it off for through their lives.

Pointing out there is no more money does not equate to condoning the withdrawal of funds from important bodies.

Give me a link to a biased website on the one hand and I'll give you a biased website on the other. It's easy.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 13:22:08

Julia - everyone from every walk of life is paying one way or other for the debt the country is in.
Its awful and many people have already faced the consequences of the cuts and many more nervously wait to see the full impact of these cuts.
Peopel are being made redundant, losing their homes, unable to life the life they had previously. This includes the elderly, the diasabled, everyone.
Children in families that are togetehr, children with seperated families.

Its a sad part of life in these times. but we've been here before and i'm sure future generations will also experience simular in the future.

Thumbwitch Tue 07-Feb-12 13:29:09

ahahaha. Riakin - really showed yourself up there. Good one!

<<studiously avoids getting involved in Gin and Julia's debate>>

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 13:30:00


Catz Tue 07-Feb-12 14:03:13

I'm not sure whether anyone has actually linked to the Govt's proposals (apologies if they have), if not they are here (link downloads a pdf of the proposals) Look esp at p18-19

bananaistheanswer Tue 07-Feb-12 14:34:55

Just another post to support Basil here. I keep wanting to add something but you are saying it 1st, and better than I could.

Truckulentagain Tue 07-Feb-12 15:58:42

Ok then what should a father do:

The marriage ends he works full-time, and the mother part-time.

So now he's facing going from seeing his children every night, to two nights in fourteen, and a mid-week for tea.

Do posters think that is an ok level of contact?

NotYetEverything Tue 07-Feb-12 16:24:56

It's OK. Truck It's not great, but it's OK. He would probably see the children for a greater percentage of his non-working, awake time than the mother, especially if the children are at school.
Long term, he would potentially have the option to reduce his hours / downsize his career in order to see them more.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 07-Feb-12 16:49:31

'downsize his career in order to see them more' shock really? Is that possible?

My DPs enforced downsizing redundancy has placed two households at risk of homelessness - his exW depends on child maintenance to pay her mortgage, and our bills have no chance of being paid - but that's ok, because DP gets the opportunity to see his DCs more? Well, no, he doesn't - their time with him is court ordered and in reality they spend more time with the childminder/babysitter than either of their parents sad

Prior to the divorce DP was primary carer despite working F/T due to the timing of exW P/T shifts - so now-a-days the DCs often spend time with a third party when a parent is available sad

origamirose Tue 07-Feb-12 16:55:06

'potentially have the option to reduce his hours / downsize his career in order to see them more.'

Don't forget, if the NRP was able to do that their income levels would drop significantly which would have a substantial impact on maintenance payments which would constitute (for some people) 'financial abuse'.

[highly emotive topic for me, my DP is working all the hours god sends and is on the brink of health problems because of it, he earns a good wage and his ex is a SAHM with 2 school age children. If he reduced his hours to spend more time with his children she'd have a solicitor involved in less time than it's taken me to write this post]

I think that NRP's who go to court for, or have legally arranged access agreements should be fined if they don't keep to them. It seems to me a ridiculous state of affairs when a RP can be taken to court for denying access, but a NRP is in no way punished for letting their children down.
I'm sick of hearing about the rights of NRP's to see their children, this is completely wrong, it's about the rights of the child to see the parent.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:04:43

The only way I could cut my hours ( and salary ) would be to move into a tent and eat acorns and pillaged eggs.

I doubt XP would let dd come and stay if that were to happen, so the idea I can just work 20 hours a week is not feasible for me.

I work my nuggets off day in day out so as to make a meaningful contribution in CM ( which I feel is very important ) and have a home where dd has everything she needs to feel like it's her home too.

Seeing her every other weekend is not ideal. It does mean I spend a good amount of one-on-one time with her which is good. But it's heartbreaking in many respects especially going home to a house which for all intensive purpose is set up for a small child.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:05:41

it's about the rights of the child to see the parent.

Which is exactly what the new legislation is about no ?

Yes, but all of the discussion is about rights of access to those who apply to court, I'm suggesting that NRP's should be required to see the children who want to see them and fined if they don't. I don't see why NRP's shouldn't be required to see their children and punished if they don't bother.

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 17:37:09

Ooh, Nibled, they won't like that idea.
Had to go out for physio (2 out of 3 physio's still employed, one of the other two has a 7 week waiting list - no cuts to frontline services?)
Latemates doesn't your arm ache from all that forelock tugging? FGS; show a bit of backbone! We'd still have 7 yr olds up chimneys left to you.
Thumbwitch your hope of staying out of this argument is sadly misplaced; only 6% of proposed cuts have happened so fasr and already we have CSA charges, Rape Crisis cuts, Women's Aid refuge closures, highest female unemployment for 23 years, closures of day care for elderly/disabled, cuts in childcare tax credits etc etc.
Do you believe economics is a force of nature, beyond human control? Politically impartial?

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:46:15

Thumb You're sadly misplaced. get back here. grin

Truckulentagain Tue 07-Feb-12 17:48:33

I'll go along with fines for parents who don't stick to court orders.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 17:49:27

Yep. Me too.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 17:53:09

"Well, you did share quite a bit of it on this very thread."

And none of what I shared bore any resemblance to Riakin's hate-filled misogynist tirade, did it? But nice try at trying to validate his/ her loony post.

Viz "I'd live in a tent if I downshifted" - everyone thinks that. But you know what, if you really want to step up to the mark as a parent, you'll shift heaven and earth and make financial and social sacrifices, to make sure that you do equal parenting. Women were told they couldn't get into the workplace - they did it. Then they were told they couldn't function both as mothers and workers, and have decent careers with part time hours, because their household economy wouldn't stand it - they changed their household economy and they did it and are doing it.

Men have to start fighting for what they want (if they genuinely do want it - lots of men don't really, they pay lip service to wanting to do equal parenting, but actually secretly like the fact that they can escape their fair share of boring repetitive stuff and stay in the office being busy and important and then being able to pull rank at home as well because they're the Chief Income Earner and therefore the Most Important Person In The House), the way women had to fight and are still having to fight, for what we want. Stop whingeing that it can't be done and get out there and do it. As I said before, men have two big advantages over women: 1. They have more power than us and if you have a mass movement of men demanding flexible hours etc., they'll win the battle quicker than women did and 2. The other half of the workforce supports them wholeheartedly - most women won't begrudge men having paternity rights the way so many men have begrudged women their workplace rights while pretending to be in favour of equality in the past.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 18:18:23

Julia - what are you talking about? I totally disagree it is not my intention to go anywhere near children up chimneys or anything like that. I am trying to make progress for children and that would be the opposite of progress.
I have backbone thats why I continue to try and educate plonkers who still believe that men cant be fantastic parents and equally good as women.
Sometimes I pity the children who are being raised by parents with such putdated views.

Oh and I cant wait for some reactions to the fathers maintenance contribution having to drop as he reduces his hours in the hope of gaining more contact with his children.

Many men would jump at the chance to be fully involved in the day to day stuff you complain at having to do Balia

Truckulentagain Tue 07-Feb-12 18:29:41

I'm going to advise my children:

Don't become the sole earner.
Don't become financially dependent on someone.
Share the child-care and chores 50-50.
Have children with someone who earns a similar salary and ambition.

Housework isn't important, do the minimum possible.
Don't iron anything.

I'm sure they won't listen and they'll marry and have children because of love and not listen to cynical dad.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 18:29:57

I already do flexible working Basil. I'd do more but my XP can't seem to find any time in dd's massively busy schedule for me to see her any more than I do. Apparantly her singing / yoga / whatever class is more important than time with daddy. That is what she said.

Any suggestion that I have more weekly access results in venom. I could of course take her to court but I can't afford it.

I already make financial and social sacrafices, but paying a decent CM and running my own home which is geared to dd requires I work -bloody hard-- all week.

JuliaScurr Tue 07-Feb-12 18:30:54

Latemates maybe I misinterpreted what you posted; you seemed to suggest that 'we're all in this together', with which I strongly disagree. Did you intend a different interpretation?

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 18:33:37

I already do flexible working Basil. I'd do more but my XP can't seem to find any time in dd's massively busy schedule for me to see her any more than I do. Apparantly her singing / yoga / whatever class is more important than time with daddy. That is what she said.

Any suggestion that I have more weekly access results in venom. I could of course take her to court but I can't afford it.

I already make financial and social sacrafices, but paying a decent CM and running my own home which is geared to dd requires I work -bloody hard-- all week.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 18:34:40

Oops. So good I posted it twice ! Phone error

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 18:34:59

Er, men don't need to pay maintenance contributions to women they live with, Latemates.

Although thinking about it, that's not a bad idea. To pay your DP a proper wage for her labour, as well as her NI and pension contributions in recognition that one partner's work at home, enables the other's work outside the home, is one way of ensuring that men value the work their DPs and XPs do.

And if men would jump at it, why aren't they doing so? Where is the campaign for flexible and part time work for men and why aren't more of them doing it? Women do it all the time, they sacrifice their careers, their pensions, their social status, to do so. Men would give their right arms to? Well no-one's stopping them asking for part time work when they have kids, just as many women do in many sectors.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 18:36:17


I have just read something Truck posted, which I agree with.

<Falls off chair>


Truckulentagain Tue 07-Feb-12 18:49:25

I'm much maligned.

I think 'total tit of a man' was my favourite comment about me.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 19:18:43

Julia - how come your not suffering like the rest of us then? Or are you saying you alone are feeling the effects of a recession?

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 19:24:16

In a relationship there is a partnership that means as partners you work out the best way for you hoe to be run. That may be that the father does all the cooking and the mother does all the cleaning and they both work their jobs so that they minimise childcare costs. It may be in a different partnership that they agree that one person(either the mother or father) becomes stay home parent whilst the other work. Each family can do this in the way that works best for them as a family.

In a separated family - the old system no longer applies whatever that may have been. Both parents will likely now need to provide a home, be involved in raising the child in everyday every apspect ways, cook, clean, work and provide child care.

notfluffyatall Tue 07-Feb-12 19:30:33

"I'll go along with fines for parents who don't stick to court orders."

I agree with this but only for court orders. I'm still a bit uncomfortable at this:

"I don't see why NRP's shouldn't be required to see their children"

I would NOT be sending my children to ANYONE who had been forced to see them. I'd rather get on with it on my own.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 19:37:07

Oh and men are working hard to convince their exes to allow the child to spend more time with them, some are saving hard for court, some will never go that route due to cost, possible consequences of daring to go be find a mothers back to try and get their childrens rights met, some continue to hope that their ex will see the damage they are doing to their own children, some are actually going through court cases (but they are assumed to be violent horrible people and that is why the exes prevent contact).
there is little point having reduced hrs or flexible working if the ex will not allow contact

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 19:57:05

You pretend that for the person who has downshifted and given up their career, they can just willy nilly go back to the marketplace and earn what they would have done if they hadn't had a decade or so out of that career, during which time the other person's career has prospered as s/he has been able to dump all the domestic stuff on the Stay at Home partner and devote him/herself more fully to his/ her career?

That's incredibly convenient for the one who has built his or her career up, isn't it? "I no longer want to live with you, this arrangement doesn't suit me any more, so you are now required to go back into the marketplace which no longer welcomes you and I can pretend that we both operated on an equal playing field and the fact that you have no longer got a hope in hell of earning what you would have done or retiring with the pension you would have had, if you hadn't been the convenient SAHP, is not my problem or concern. And the fact that our children have got used to that arrangement and are happy with it, is also of no interest to me, because it doesn't suit me anymore so it will have to change".

Great. And er, which member of the partnership is it who usually takes on that role again, who is going to be high and dry?

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 20:19:35

The one part if the partnership hasn't been forced to be a stay home parent if that's what has happened. The parent who has gone out to work may not have cli bed the career ladder. Depends what their abilities are and what kind of work they are in. The parent who has continued working may also not be the one who left the partnership. RP have also left relationships due to many reasons. You make an awful lot of assumptions.

If one parent decides to be a stay home parent they has chosen to take a career break. Lost of parents do have children and continue to work. Others decide that they would prefer to be a stay home parent. Whatever the decision, whatever the reasons. After separation the old system is not financially viable in the same way it was.

Prior to seperation; 1 home, 1 set of clothes / toys/bedding, 1 set of beds, wardrobes, furniture, 1 tv licence, 1 lot of bills. 1 family holiday cost shared between 2 adults. Ditto with Christmas/birthday costs.

Post seperation ; 2 homes, 2 sets of clothes etc etc

Most people would grasp that money is going to have to go a lot further, that lifestyle will need to change or income will need to increase

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 20:44:03

Ah yes, we all make choices in a vacuum don't we, our choices aren't at all influenced by our circumstances...


BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 20:44:50

And as I said. Remarkably convenient isn't it.

What a co-incidence.

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 20:47:27

Someone has just told me that in Canada, if you don't pay maintenance for a year, you are automatically classed as a delinquent parent and you lose all parental rights.

That is as it should be, I think.

It's unthinkable that it would happen in this country, isn't it?

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 20:55:02

Yes some countries have a much better system. Some countries do shared care and one parent can't act god a prevent the other parent and child having a proper parent child relationship. I which we would copy the best methods from more child friendly countries.

And not all parents miss maintenance payments you know.

Yes that right decisions due to circumstances : that works both ways - i am sure that lots of NRP wish they had not supported their ex wish to be a stay home parent, whist they worked to provide if it means that ex now abuses their child by preventing proper access

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 20:58:40

But as a human we make the best decisions with the knowledge we have at that time. But you seam to believe that the one parent should be punished for the decisions they made as a couple while the other is rewarded.
You want it all your own way and seem to have forgotten that it is the child that should be the focus.

Thumbwitch Tue 07-Feb-12 20:59:53

Julia - I can choose to not engage in the discussion you and Gin were having, so no, my hopes of staying out of it were not misplaced at all, thanks. Gin - grin

<<continues to stay out of it>>

BasilRathbone Tue 07-Feb-12 21:03:22

Funny that latmates, it seems to me that you want exactly what you accuse me of wanting and are forgetting that the child's interests should come first...

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 21:20:24

Yes that is how you seam to see things. Maybe you could read through exactly what I have said. Then you will see I am pro child, and against behaviour that is negative to the child
Negative behaviour to the children is...
. Not paying maintenance
. Not having contact with your child
. Committing PA
. Preventing a parent from seeing their child
. Making false allegations against the other parent
. Preventing a child from a relationship with the extended family
. Controling every aspect of the child
. Emotionally, verbally, physically abusing a child or adult in the family

To name but a few. These can be committed by either parent irrelevant of which parent caused the breakup or reasons behind breakup.

However, this topic is about changes in law to ensure children are not victims of one parent preventing the other parent from having a full relationship with their child.

Now if there is a topic about a parent not pay maintenance and the changes to law in that regard I will discuss that, if the topic is about parents who let their children down then I will discuss that in full. But as this topic is about enabling contact for the child where bother parents can and want to be fully involved then although other issues may be touched upon the main focus remains.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Tue 07-Feb-12 21:28:49

Latemates, in response to your 18:18 post, where has anyone in this thread said that men make bad parents? I haven't seen Basil or anyone else say that, and I certainly don't think that myself. I don't think my XP is a bad parent because he is a man, I think he is a bad parent because of the actions he has taken. He certainly was not short of opportunity to parent well, we switched the SAHP role between us several times while we were together mainly because he wouldn't look for a job and after we split my door was open for him to see them whenever he liked - he had nowhere to take them so he looked after them in my home for three days a week while I worked. Had he found accommodation locally I would have happily shifted that to him taking the children to his own home, despite the fact that he parented differently to me. Instead, he moved away, and doesn't see them at all, and yes I think that makes him a bad parent, and I think I should be able to take him to court to have his PR removed. Why should the law class him as an equal parent when he blatantly isn't?

What Basil has said is that if the want to be equal parents then they have to make equal sacrifices whilst in the relationship with the mother, they have to take an equal share in the crappy, boring bits, they have to take an equal hit in the workplace, they have to give up some of their leisure time. If the care has already been fairly equally split then of course that should continue after the split. But if the children are the ones that matter, then if they are used to having one primary carer who cares for them well, why should that be disrupted in order to serve the rights of the other parent?

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 21:36:57

This isextremly - that is what basil says if you read her posts.

I am not disputing that you ex hasn't put children first and that is not on.
But in a together family the child will see (in most cases) at a minimum both parents everyday and every weekend. The child has their life disrupted when parents split but the current system means they see significantly less of one of those parents and that is very unfair for that child.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 21:38:30

And what about fathers who are making sacrifices and still being refused contact by the mother - should it be tough kids mummy isn't happy and wants to do it all so you can only see dad when mum says so

thirdfromleft Tue 07-Feb-12 22:04:57

Kudos to LateMates and MrGin for hanging in there against overwhelming odds. Thanks for your sensible voices willing to speak up against the MN tirade.

NotYetEverything Tue 07-Feb-12 22:34:28

thirdfromleft If you look up to the top you'll see that this actually is MN. hmm. So not really a surprise to find quite a few MN posters here, really.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Tue 07-Feb-12 22:38:18

Where has Basil said that men make bad parents? As opposed to saying that if men want to be equal parents they have to put in equal work and make equal sacrifices? She hasn't, at all.

And I have not said that fathers should be denied contact hmm I have said that the care arrangements that were in place before the split should be part of the consideration because, whether or not the parents were in full agreement about them, that is what the children are accustomed to.

thirdfromleft Tue 07-Feb-12 22:40:39

NotYet that's right. And if you would now lower your gaze to the posts you will notice the aforementioned tirade.
Hence what I said: MN...Tirade.

MrGin Tue 07-Feb-12 22:50:34


What you are describing is an XP who doesn't give a fig, sadly, tragically, and has gone off the map.

I'd say the likelyhood of him re-appearing and going to court to argue his childs new rights to see their dad would be pretty slim.

And if he does how would he convince a judge that it's in the childs interests to suddenly live with him half the time ?

I don't see why you feel threatened by this legislation.

If your deadbeat ex did re-appear , well it's debatable how much and how soon he'd be judged to build up a relationship with his kids . But to roll out a cliche, it's in the childs interests to have a good relationship with both parents.

As I see it the legislation is aimed partly at stopping someone crying wolf resulting in the child not seeing one parent for a year. 

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 22:51:41

But whatever the children were accustomed to will change - mum and dad will no longer reside in the same house. Both parents will no longer be able to them goodnight, bedtime stories from dad are not possible every night if children are with mum or vice versus. Meal times will be different.
That's reality of separated families - the childrens life will change - but the children should be able to experience as much as possible of life with each parent, they should be able to to involved in both sides of the family customs and traditions. See family both maternal and paternal and build the relationships with both sides. The child should know that both parents are capable and love them. Both parents should be fully involved in school, clubs and medical issues.

CheerfulYank Tue 07-Feb-12 22:58:19

I agree, LateMates. I think separated parents need to work together regardless of their own issues, to make things as "normal" as possible for their DC. When DH and I talked about separating (we didn't) we said we would always stay close to each other so that DS could see both of us most days.

I know plenty of deadbeat dads. Or actually, I don't know them because they're not around. But I know quite a few women raising children on their own with no support from the father.

I do also know women who wield control over their exes by using their children though, and that's horrible. One of my very good friends, even, has told her husband (though they weren't married at the time) that if he cheats on her he will not see their children. I tried to tell her that even if he is a shit husband (which he isn't), that doesn't make him a bad father, but to no avail.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Tue 07-Feb-12 23:19:18

MrGin, I don't feel personally threatened by the legislation, it won't apply to my children because they are resident in Scotland. What I object to is that he has basically left all his responsibilities behind yet still has his PRR and will keep them regardless of his behaviour, as do many other NRPs like him. I think any new legislation should tackle the problems on both sides.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 23:26:27

Thisis - sorry if vie missed this - does he pay maintenance at this time? Does he have no contact at all now?
I do believe that removing PR is unusual but if he is absent I don't suppose it makes any difference to your day to day life either way, although I can appriacate why it irritates. You can apply for PR for additional adults (step parent/ godparent) who could make decisions for you child in the unfortunate situation that you were unable to. Although, I am not 100% on all the details of options with this.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Tue 07-Feb-12 23:28:19

Oh, and I imagine he's probably rubbing his hands with glee at this news and feeling totally vindicated in his view that I am some sort of harpy who has stolen his children away from him. In reality he is free to have as much contact as he likes with them, but would rather threaten me with court when I don't do as I'm told and then ignore all the letters my solicitor writes to him asking to arrange contact. I have no idea if it's still his intention to go to court tbh, I doubt he'd get legal aid so I am hoping the cost has had an offputting effect on him.

Latemates Tue 07-Feb-12 23:31:01

Thisis - he would have little joy in court as it would cost him and you have evidence due to letters your solicitor has written that you have tried to facilitate and support contact so he would look a tit in court if he has not responded to your suggestions or proposals

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Tue 07-Feb-12 23:48:40

He pays maintenance via the CSA and we call him once a week, the oldest always speaks to him, the middle one usually does and the youngest usually doesn't. He still thinks he should have the same rights over them as he did when taking an active role in their life, he demanded monthly updates on their "progress" at one point (this was a compromise apparently, he wanted this to be fortnightly) but by that time the solicitor was involved and since then I have tried to avoid responding to him because he becomes very antagonistic. My solicitor has written basically saying that he could have regular contact at any sort of frequency, his response (to me) was that he couldn't commit to regular visits. My eldest has ASD, and he struggled enormously when his Dad moved, adhoc visits would be disastrous for him in terms of his stability and behaviour. My solicitor also said that I would like to start web cam contact and again there has been no response.

I am aware he is unlikely to get everything he wants in court, but it is currently an enormous shadow hanging over me. He doesn't respond to the solicitor so I have no idea what his intentions are re: contact, and my oldest struggles with the limited contact (he's been waiting for a reply to an email for a week, he makes me check it twice a day and his face just falls every time when there's no response) and I have no answers for him. I sometimes wish XP would just say he's never coming back to visit them, because at least I could give DS an answer, help him through it and move on, and the younger two would be spared the same confusion as they get older. I feel completely helpless, there is nothing I can do about it. I have no legal redress against him, yet he does against me. It does feel completely one-sided.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:01:04

Thisis - it feels extremely one-sided because it is extremely one sided.

There are masses of absent parents out there, who are only interested in contact, if they can completely control it.

The government and the media and FNF, recognises that there are some RP's one there who are intent on controlling the contact and having it done all on their terms and they are addressing that by htis legislation. None of them is remotely interested in recognising the huge number of NRP's who are intent on controlling contact and withdraw it if they can't have it on their terms and dealing with them, then go around declaring that their harpy bitch ex won't let them see the kids.

It's perfectly understandable that you feel it's one sided.

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 09:07:26

I don't know what's so difficult to understand?

These NPR's, quite rightly, do not feel that they should be tarred with the same brush as the NRP's who don't give a shit. They feel very strongly that they haven't done anything wrong so why should they in effect be penalised. Asking them to take responsibility for the NRP's who don't fulfill their parent role is like asking you to take responsibility for all/other parents who abuse their role.

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 09:09:28

Thumbwitch I'm not so egocentric as to regard the argument I and Mr Gin were having as being the major influence on your life in the near future. However, that political debate and its outcome will have huge effects on us as individuals and as a society.
Latemates I don't see your point - of course I am affected by the current political and economic situation. I do not believe that all sections of society are affected to the same extent. So I don't believe we're all in this together. The Condem govt have made their intention quite clear: they wish to dismantle the Welfare State and return society to what they consider to be its natural order.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:13:40

It's not that we don't understand notfluffy, it's that we disagree.

The thing is, legislation which deals with only one problem, is always bad legislation - bore bore bore on about the dangerous dogs act, the classic example of crap legislation.

I've stated several times, I have no objection to the govt. addressing ALL the issues surrounding contact, maintenance and the welfare of children in the wake of the breakdown of couples relationships. I have massive objections to the govt. only tackling one aspect, which sends out a very clear, misogynist message that there is only one problem worth tackling. Lone parents already have to contend with massive misogynist shit out there about them, we don't need the govt. to add to it by only tackling one issue instead of ALL the issues that need to be tackled.

What's so difficult to understand about that?

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:15:00

And to add to what JS is saying: we are not all bearing the brunt of the cuts equally.

The cuts fall disproportionately on women - the Fawcett Society's figures show that we are bearing 72% of the impact of the cuts.

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 09:15:57

Thumbwitch the end of that got lost - my point is that you won't be able to stay out of it; none of us will.

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 09:19:49

'Some' RPs are a problem

'Masses' and a 'huge number' of NRPs are a problem.

What evidence is this based on?

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 09:26:24

Yes Basil - read Responsible Reform (Spartacus Report) on what these bastards this govt has planned for disabled people

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 09:27:20


I think what's bugging you about this one is that it's going to benefit men, in the main. Otherwise I can't really understand why you have nothing positive to say about the move at all. It is a very positive move, not only for the rights of the child but for the rights of the NRP who isn't an abuser etc etc.

As it happens I agree with much of what you're saying, although not all. NRP's should be chased down to the ends of the earth to make sure they pay for their kids, but who is going to finance this? As we know, we're skint! No I don't think NRP's should be forced by courts to have contact with their children, I wouldn't be sending my kids to a father who couldn't be arsed. That is absolutely NOT in the child's best interest. Some PEOPLE are just arseholes, no amount of tellings off by the judge will make some parents good parents. Unfortunately this comes down on the RP, well she just has to get on with her duty and do it alone, they will get their reward in the love of their children. I agree though that if a court agreement is broken then the father should be fined, maybe this money could be plowed back into the system to aid other families circumstances.

The single-parent tag needs to stop being worn as a badge, it doesn't define who you are. I was one for 15 years, I never used the term. I never felt victimised. I went to work and paid the bills and brought up my kids just the same as all the millions of other families all over the country.

Thumbwitch Wed 08-Feb-12 09:27:42

You mean, Julia, that I won't be able to stay out of the situation, rather than the discussion? Well yes and no. As it stands I comment on these things because they affect my family and friends, but I don't live in the UK now. However, as these things tend to go global these days, something similar will no doubt come my way eventually - and in the meantime, yes, my family are affected.

But I chose not to get involved in the discussion you were having on this thread.

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 09:34:55

The Tories don't hate women more than men.
They dislike most people, and expect you to sort your own life out irrespective of what is going on in the world.

During the 2008-9 recession, it was called a mancession as men were affected worse than women. Tory swings-and-roundabouts.


I think we (apart from the rich) are all in this together.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:37:13

Gingerbread and Cafcass

Gingerbread has actually done research on contact probs. Real research. We don't know numbers, but it does look very much as if the probs of NRP's being denied contact unreasonably, are far outweighed by hte probs of NRP's trying to control contact and withholding it unreasonably.

And of course, we know that NRP's lie about being denied contact. Many men have such a startling sense of entitlement, that they genuinely believe that a simple request that you set up regular, reasonable contact (ie, no, not when you're drunk and it's 10 0"clock on a thursday night) and you stick to that and don't expect your xp and dcs to stay in all day doing crafts on the off-chance that you won't let your DC's down again, is a denial of contact. IE, if they don't control it and it's not all done on their terms, they're being denied contact.

I don't dispute for a moment that there are genuine cases out there, of men who are being denied contact totally unreasonably. But my experience and knowledge from Gingerbread is that there are a far larger number of men who lie about it. Many more than women who lie about being the victims of DV. hmm

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 09:40:49

notfluffy And?
You pointed out it will benefit men but left out that it will do so at the expense of women.
Some of us think that's not fair.
Why do you think it's acceptable?

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 09:42:21

"Gingerbread has actually done research on contact probs. Real research. We don't know numbers, but it does look very much as if the probs of NRP's being denied contact unreasonably, are far outweighed by hte probs of NRP's trying to control contact and withholding it unreasonably."

Can you not accept though that these are two separate issues and that the good guys shouldn't be penalised because of the bad guys?

"Many men have such a startling sense of entitlement"

And many men just want good contact with their kids, why should there be blocks in their way?

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 09:44:13

"You pointed out it will benefit men but left out that it will do so at the expense of women. "

How will fathers having equal access with their kids be detrimental to women? And surely it is what is best for the children that is the important factor, and that is the point I prioritised.

MrGin Wed 08-Feb-12 09:46:06


Sorry I misunderstood your earlier post. I got the impression that he'd just disappeared.

So he pays CM at least then. ( I assume you'd like that to continue once you've removed his pr ) He does want contact but it's that it's too irregular and unsettling for dc, you didn't want to give one update every month but you do call him once a week but he's antagonistic, he's crap at returning emails which upsets your son, you wish he'd bugger off for ever.

Sounds a bit more complicated. Sounds like despite him being a 'dick' he is making an attempt at contact but it's too irregular and infrequent. Well that's a start. And despite what you say, you have plenty of rights.


JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 09:47:29

Truckulent women are affected more than men because of the structural causes of inequality which are reflected in and reinforced by attitudes to gender roles. Hence, cuts in public sector have disproportionate effect on women, and Tories aren't too bothered because they believe in a cornflakes box view of The Family

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 09:49:18

notfluffy your questions have been answered ^^

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:49:33

notfluffy of course I accept that, wholeheartedly.

I just don't accept that this legislation, within this framework of discussion, is the right way to do it.

The government needs to address ALL aspects of this, not just one. You could argue that this legislation will punish women for the bad behaviour of a minority of RP's - why doesn't that bother you just as much?

It bothers me and I think something should be done about it. But not in isolation. You cannot target one problem area and not another, and get a good outcome.

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 09:55:19

Do you know what? I just strongly believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty. It's the basis of any good justice system. Effectively children should NEVER be in a position where contact with their NRP is jeapordised so to argue that something that should never have been in place in the first place should now be removed is a no-brainer.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Wed 08-Feb-12 09:55:22

Notfluffy, I don't think all NRPs should be tarred with the same brush, but equally neither should all RPs. This legislation is completely one sided and that is why I am against it. I realise that I cannot force my XP to see his children or to behave responsibly towards them, but what I should be able to do is take him to court for a contact order and a) have his contact with the children legally set out, so he can no longer threaten me and then refuse to respond, b) if he fails to stick to the contact have him punished for it and c) if he chooses no visits or fails to respond or appear then I have a court order saying I do not have to facilitate contact, meaning I can give my children answers.

You say that if a father refuses to be responsible for his children then the mother just has to suck it up and get on with it. I don't disagree that this is usually the end result, but I find it interesting that much of this thread is filled with how vital it is for children to have a relationship with both parents and that it is damaging when they don't yet when a parent chooses not to be involved then we shrug our shoulders and say it doesn't really matter, he's the one losing out and the mother will reap the rewards. Which is it? A vital relationship for a child, so vital that the sabotage of it is abuse? Or a nice extra that most kids would get on fine without?

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:55:55

MrGin "that's a start" is a really, really low expectation of fathers.

I'm sorry, but you don't seem to understand just how emotionally abusive, is the behaviour Thisisextremely is describing. Some children are robust resilient and able to cope with being treated like this, but some are seriously damaged by it. We tend to take physical abuse seriously because we can see it; but emotional abuse is something we're still very much at the beginning of the learning curve about.

Being treated in the way that Thisisextremely describes her xp treating her children, can be devastating to a child's self-esteem and can lead to bad relationships, shit results at school (because of lack of self-confidence) and therefore less earning power, etc. It really needs to be taken seriously. Your assumption that a man's right to see his kids and have this emotional abuse tolerated, at the expense of his child's sense of self-worth, is absolute classic male entitlement. No decent parent would do this to their child, or argue that it's really not that big a deal.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 09:57:54

Yes thisis, good point, it's extremely interesting that it's abuse to withhold contact from a NRP when a mother does it, but when a father does it, it's a parenting "start".


notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 09:58:58

".....how vital it is for children to have a relationship with both parents and that it is damaging when they don't yet when a parent chooses not to be involved then we shrug our shoulders and say it doesn't really matter..."

I never said it doesn't matter, that's putting words in my mouth. Of course it matters very much to the children. I still would NEVER send my kids to visit a parent that had been forced by a court to do so.

I said the rest in my previous post.

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 10:03:17

Is there any research on the effects on children of unreliable nrp's? I know there's lots about poverty, not paying maintenance etc, but what about not replying to e-mails, not turning up for contact visits etc?

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 10:04:18

The claim of this proposal being 'in the best interests of children' is where you drag in all issues with contact/maintenance etc. It's disingenuous to claim this is about children's rights when it only addresses some childrens's rights i.e. thos who have NRP's interested. That is pretty much the crux of basil's points, and with every person who claims this is all about the rights of children, there then follows the collective shrug about the children and RP's who are not covered by this proposal.

notfluffy - would you still refuse to send your kids to an ex who couldn't be arsed, if your kids were begging you to let them go? Would you think it right to deny your kids contact with an NRP under those circumstances? Where there are no issues with neglect/welfare etc. do you still think a child in those circumstances, who wants contact, should be denied that contact? Because that's what the collective shrug for all those kids means - they don't matter, and their wish/right to a relationship with their other parent is not as important. My ex occasionally bothers with our DD, DD would love more contact but there isn't a court I can apply to, to make that happen. Is that fair?

I'm delighted for any parent who has help with contact issues, but my gripe, and many like me, are pissed off with the one-sided slant on this proposal. My DD's rights matter too, but not according to any legislation or proposals being made.

my xh .Took me to court aying i was with holding contact( ignoring the fact he went through stage when he was to busy to see them or dicuss it ( he refused mediation ) we had seperate mediation with cafcas .Agreedmennt agreed .He had legal aid for this .I did not qualify

And he was told to write to the dc first , then contact centre than open contac t .I was happy we agreed came home talked to the dc about seeing their dad( dd was reuctant as he had let them down before ) but in end talked her round as a postive thing

And guess what 3 weeks now and he has not written to them at all sad and i now have a upset dd who want to know why

wh,Ifat do i telll her

So I have contact order to stick to yet he was one that wnated but then he lets them down .I expected taht at open contact but not this early

And he got lega aid paid for and yet no intention of sticking to it .If he lets them down and when we go back to court in July and he has solictor there .Thi time Im going ask for order to be wripped up unless dd indicates she wants contact when is older

MrGin Wed 08-Feb-12 10:11:55

Basil. well I'm not sure what the situation with ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood actually is to be honest. She seems to be drip feeding and it leaves me reminding myself that there are always two sides to the story. Clearly she's bitter. Quite possibly it's totally justified but I don't know, or want to know the details of her and her XP's situation tbh.

Seeing as she lives in Scotland I can't see why she's het up about this unless she regularly gets emotional about English legislation that doesn't affect her.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 10:13:47

I think it's a fine line isn't it, between whether you should send your DC's to a parent who is not remotely bothered about them.

I can see notfluffy's POV - I would hate to send my DC's somewhere regularly, where I knew they weren't being cared for or taken notice of. And in some cases, where you knew they were being seriously neglected. In many cases of course, it would be to send them to be looked after by the father's new girlfriend, or his mother - because perish the thought that he might actually do a bit of parenting himself.

But otoh if it's just a not-bovvered lazy git, who would have to bestir himself to look after the DC's if they were sent to him and in fact would care for them properly while they were with him and show interest in them and do stuff with them, even if he never thought about them in between contact visits, then I agree with Banana, it would be in their interests to go and see him more often and the law should facilitate that.

If you're so interested in the child's rights, you should be in favour of that.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 10:14:58

Clearly she's bitter.

Oh FFS. Really? Are we really getting that pathetic with our arguments here?

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 10:21:00

MrGin your posts drip with misogyny.

Thisis isn't "clearly" bitter. She is describing factually, the behaviour of her XP. Any woman who ever describes bad behaviour by a man in a less than positive fashion, is always "bitter" according to woman-haters.

Also, that damning word "emotional" whcih again, woman-haters always use to undermine women arguing a different POV from them.

Because many men have some kind of absurd and quite funny idea, that they own logic and reason and women are emotional and hysterical and unable to be rational. Because of their hormones, or wombs or something. And also, because emotion, is invalid. And they completely ignore the emotion that drives their arguments, because they don't recognise they've got any.

Bless 'em.

It's possible to look at something that won't affect you, and see that it's wrong.

This legislation won't affect me in the slightest. My XP has always had the ability to see his children if he wanted to and he's still able to do that with or without this legislation. I can still see it's wrong though, whether it affects me or not. And my ability to see that it's wrong isn't just driven by emotion (though there is nothing wrong with emotion) it's driven by reason.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 10:21:47

But otoh if it's just a not-bovvered lazy git, who would have to bestir himself to look after the DC's if they were sent to him and in fact would care for them properly while they were with him and show interest in them and do stuff with them, even if he never thought about them in between contact visits, then I agree with Banana, it would be in their interests to go and see him more often and the law should facilitate

Well that pretty much describes my ex. When contact happens, they get on great. DD loves him and their time, and wants more. But, because there is no imperative, nothing I can do to force the issue, ex rolls ups every 6/8/10 weeks or longer, and remembers he has a DD. I know for a fact if there were consequences to his behaviour, not of my doing, but what would be expected of him under the law, he'd sort himself out. He refuses to agree to any structured contact as he doesn't want to be 'told when to see his own DD'. Me 'telling him' is me asking him to see her because she asks.

Someone who 'can't be arsed' isn't always someone who would actually ignore or neglect their own child. The NRP's who are obssessed with not doing anything that will benefit their ex, despite the cost to their own child, are those who I'm talking about. It's a lot harder to be a total bastard to your own child, when it's your hatred of your ex that consumes you, not your own child. And I dare say, there are plenty of NRP's out there who fall into that category.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 10:23:18

As I expect thisis's is. (Her opposition to the legislation that is)

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 10:26:53

"My ex occasionally bothers with our DD, DD would love more contact but there isn't a court I can apply to, to make that happen. Is that fair? "

Each case has to be looked at on an individual basis, obviously, but not from the starting point that all NRP's cannot be trusted and should not have automatic access. That would be discriminatory against all the bloody good NRP's out there who just want to continue seeing their kids.

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 10:27:08

MrGin why is This het up when it doesn't affect her?
God knows. I'm white, so never gave a f... about apartheid. I'm not Syrian, so I don't care that 18 premature babies died there yesterday.

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 10:29:35

I'm Scottish too to be honest. I just care about human rights. But then, I'm not making it personal and asking what should be done about my circumstances when it's irrelevant.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Wed 08-Feb-12 10:29:41

MrGin, the children speak to him once a week (the frequency is his choice not mine), I do not. The arrangement was originally that he called but I find it works better for us for us to call him so that's what we do. When he moved he was insistent he would visit regularly, but it is 10 months since then and he still hasn't, the last time it was discussed he said he couldn't commit to regular visits due to his responsibilities to his new partner and her children. I sent him copies of their school reports and photographs (which I paid for) and respond to any direct questions he asks me but I no longer actually initiate communication with him because, as I said, he becomes antagonistic and sees it as an opportunity to try and gain control. As I said, my solicitor has twice written to him to open discussions about increased communication with the children and making contact visits but he hasn't responded. His CM payments are small due to his income and his partner's children, I would more than happily forego them if it meant I could give my son the answers he needs, even if the answers aren't the ones I want to give. I don't want him to vanish but I do want him to decide one way or the other what his intentions are and then stick to it. I'd rather that that decision was to visit the children and play a bigger role in their life. You say I have rights, that may be true but my choices here are to stop the limited contact that they have (which I would never do) or allow this situation to continue indefinitely.

To clarify, this is a man who spent his contact time searching my house for evidence that I had a new partner. Who stopped seeing the children when he found it. Who wrote our son a letter saying that the reason he could no longer live with us was that I didn't love him anymore (and later used said letter as an example of his good parenting). Who, as soon as he realised a reconciliation was impossible, moved 400 miles away because he'd met a woman on the internet. Who told our son over the phone that he would be moving away without telling me or explaining it to him properly. His leaving caused our son enormous distress and he went through a period of binge eating at night. He was 7 at the time. And yet I am still desperate for him to visit, or at least tell our son that he isn't going to, because my son loves him and misses him and still can't understand why the Daddy who was such a huge part of his life can't come and visit him or see him on his birthday.

And btw, he spins that same line, that at least he has some contact which puts him above other fathers. It doesn't wash with me, the level of contact is pitiful and he should be filled with shame at his behaviour.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Wed 08-Feb-12 10:33:18

ROFPMSL at bitter. Yes, how very dare I feel strongly about the way my children have been treated by one of their parents. I am not bitter, I am angry and I am frustrated.

I care about this legislation because I feel it's unfair and misleading. Am I only allowed to care about things that affect me or my family?

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 10:33:19

And the starting point should not be so narrow as to ignore the rights of some children either. If this really is 'all about the kidz' then why start on such a narrow basis? Why select only the rights of children where NRPs are interested? If the rights of the children are paramount, then why exclude some of them? Because, the bottom line is this isn't about the children, it's about some parent's rights. I have no problem with those denied access getting help/support but I'd love some too. And I want my DD's rights recognised as well.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 10:36:30

But then, I'm not making it personal and asking what should be done about my circumstances when it's irrelevant

<rolls eyes>

My circumstances are relevent if the argument is this is all about the rights of a child to a relationship with both parents.

MrGin Wed 08-Feb-12 10:36:40

Well clearly she is bitter Basil . Sorry but there are a number of posters here who are describing situations that have made them bitter. At face value, understandably. Myself included.

And I think it's a product of your inflexibility in seeing everything through your -ism that makes you interpret an observation as dripping with misogyny and somewhat ironic given the default opinion of men expressed on this thread..

Everyone's against you. The government, the media, men.

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 10:42:13

You can't personalise this. Just because some of you have had children with not very nice men, it doesn't mean that these fathers are being manipulative or insensitive in demanding access to their children. I think that loving, involved parents are a blessing for children, regardless of what happens between two adults within a relationship.
Surely the men who are not very nice people wouldn't be particularly concerned about seeing their children?

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 10:47:27

Of course Mr Gin is not a misogynist. He is being made to defend his sex. which is silly.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 11:02:11

Have you actually read the thread MrsR?

Of course MrGin is a misogynist.

He calls women bitter if they express disgust when men behave badly.

Only misogynists do that.

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 11:04:54

I think misogyny is being overused on this thread.
It reminds me of feminists being called man-haters.

You want to see your children-misogynist.

You can't say bitter but you can accuse people of hating women.

MrGin Wed 08-Feb-12 11:06:23

Basil. clearly you have no idea.

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 11:09:38

I've read most of it. I am a feminist, I think I am capable of detecting misogyny and that's not the case here.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 11:12:13

You want to see your children-misogynist

What utter bollocks.

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 11:15:09

So demonstrating (using like, facts and shit) that legislation affects men and women differently is evidence of man-hating. Describing the potential effects on one's own experience is an embittered emotional over-reaction.
But stating that some men are good parents is a coherent argument.

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 11:15:22

I'm never rude-why is it acceptable to be rude?

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 11:20:38



You couldn't make it up, could you.

Yes MrsR, you're a feminist. So do you not see why MrG's characterisation of a woman who is describing coherently and calmly, the bad behaviour of her xp, as "bitter", is evidence of misogyny?

It's like those ghastly people who say that members of ethnic minorities who notice systemic disadvantage and have some political awareness, have "chips on their shoulder". But they're not racist, oh no, of course not.

"Bitter" is to women as "chips on their shoulder" is to BME people.

And truckulent, your disingenousness is really quite funny, you're always trying to pretend to be the good guy aren't you? Where did anyone say that someone who wants to see their children is a misogynist?

Really, when one looks at the arguments some men use on the interweb, one is hard pressed to see how the hell they have managed to rule the world for so many thousands of years.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 11:22:24

Oh no truck you're never rude no, that's the worst thing of all isn't it.

<Am I the only one who is sitting here larfing my socks off at how farcical this is?>

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 11:25:25

Being deliberately obtuse is pretty rude in my book truck. I am simply, succintly, responding to the twattery of your comment. grin

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 11:28:13

Well, maybe you're not alone in noticing the sudden surge in interest in childcare by men who have never shown the slightest interest before
(As a group, as a group - calm down, dear)

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 11:44:20

<Considers whether the obtuseness is in fact genuine, not necessarily deliberate>

<Concludes that in many cases, that is possible>

<Adjusts head-space and determines to try and be kind>

[Kind emoticon]

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 11:58:52

Im disingenuose, obtuse and a twat? (well accused of twattery)

Lawks! I'm all a fluster.

Pedantic, argumentative and annoying I'd go along with.

'And truckulent, your disingenousness is really quite funny, you're always trying to pretend to be the good guy aren't you?'

I don't pretend, what you see (or read) is what you get.

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 12:01:55

I disagree with youon this one Basil, but I can't be bothered to argue with you becuase I love the way you post and would love to go down the pub with you

Julia- Don't get your comment at all. Feminisn has been great for men, who on the whole are more involved in actively oparenting their children than when I was growing up inthe seventies

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 12:05:32

Basil, coming to the conclusion that your arguments here equates to you saying 'You want to see your children-misogynist' is being deliberately obtuse IMO. You are being too kind to consider it genuine obtuseness wink

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 12:07:13

Truck-pay no heed. People are bold on here (name calling wise) as it's fairly anonymous. Better to just be yourself.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 12:08:05

MrsR you're on - Million Women Rise march in March, pub after?


Actually, pizza is better...

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 12:11:52

But there's an afterparty Basil! Surely that's the place to meet!
(Although finding you in an after party for a million may prove difficult..)

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 12:13:42

I think you might be over-estimating the obtusification effects of unearned privilege, Thisis. wink

Honestly, it makes people really stoopid.


[Hasty kind look]

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 12:14:19

Sorry I mean banana

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 12:26:26

mrsr don't understand.
Feminism has been great for men for all sorts of reasons, agreed.
With the exception of FNF (who are by no means allies of mothers), I cannot recall any campaign by men to promote positive fatherhood getting anything like the attention FNF/FFJ get
Where are the campaigns by fathers to get nrp's to pay child support; stick to access agreements; etc? We never see them. But we do see plenty of nrp fathers calling for 'rights'. Why is this?

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 12:36:02

Because they have a right to be involved in their child's life as an equal parent?

There are lots of campaigns to promote responsible parenting, and there are the courts to enforce child maintenance payments.

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 12:39:38

Actually, there are not "the courts" to enforce Child Maintenance payments.

RP's aren't allowed to use the courts.

We're supposed to use the CSA.

But the CSA is useless. And soon, it will cost money to use.

That's why the majority of lone parents don't get maintenance.

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 12:39:41


I'm starting to feel bullied. shock

I am privileged, privileged I married a feminist.
Who treated me as an equal parent capable of looking after children and didn't see it as her role to be the main child-rearer and me the bread-winner.

I thank the great Juju monster every day that I had children with her.

JuliaScurr Wed 08-Feb-12 12:48:27

Where are these campaigning fathers, MrsR?

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 13:05:03

Now truck why are you assuming that I am including you in the number of posters who may be considered to be being genuinely obtuse because their privilege makes them stoopid, as opposed to those who are being deliberately obtuse because they're not stoopid, just disingenuous?

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 13:16:14

In that case I think you're genuinely obtuse.

Truckulentagain Wed 08-Feb-12 13:17:25

Or am I being disingenuous?

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 13:22:36

Ok, I'll try this once again.

The default position should be that NRP's are in the same position as RP's. The fact that at the moment that is not the case is discriminatory. No one should be against having the law changed to as it should have been in the first place.

To use an analogy. In 1965 the age of consent for homosexuals was 21, later reduced to 18. The age of consent for heterosexuals was 16. It wasn't until 2003 that they were brought in line and both are now set at 16. Quite right too, discriminatory not to. Would you have been against the law change in 2003 because some young gay men may be taken advantage of? No, I would think not, the law was wrong as it stood, it had to be changed.

And as for the cries of "Why aren't FNF and FFJ campaigning for umpteen other causes that are deemed relevan???". What about The Million Women Rise campaign? It is quite clearly aimed directly at violence by men towards women. No mention of ending abuse by women towards men, or by ether sex against children. No? Of course not, because that's not the cause they're fighting for. Just like CM etc etc is NOT what FNF and FFJ are fighting for.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 13:31:15

But. They claim to be campaigning for the rights of children. They aren't. That's the point being made. And apparently being glossed over.

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 13:31:53

You campaign for the issues closest to your heart. Usually those that will effect your life and the quality thereof.
They are campaingning for the right to have shared childare with their ex. They do not need to campaign for every issue effecting every man, woman and child in the land.
Women don't

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 13:35:08

The rights of children to see their fathers.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 13:40:08

No, they are claiming to be campaigning for the rights of children to have a relationship with both parents. Apparently. But they aren't.

mrsruffallo Wed 08-Feb-12 13:42:59

Gosh, that's terrible isn't it?

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 13:43:12

"And apparently being glossed over."

Not being glossed over is it? It's being discussed in full here, lots of personal anecdotal evidence (And I use the word loosely). None of which has convinced me that the default position should be an equal playing field for both parents. If that doesn't work, as happens in so many cases for so many reasons then they need to be dealt with on a case by case basis. A good loving, supportive NRP should not be assumed to be toxic to his children until such time as they have ascertained he isn't. That's just wrong and I have not a clue why everyone can't see it like that.

Unless of course their opinions are strongly clouded by personal experience. Understandable, in some cases, but absolutely not appropriate for lawmaking purposes.

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 13:45:19

Bugger. Should have read "default position should NOT be..."

BasilRathbone Wed 08-Feb-12 14:10:23

OMG how many times have I said this.

It's fine that FNF campaign on their issue - father's rights.

It's not fine that the govt. changes the law to deal with one problem, for one set of parents, without dealing at the other problems, which affect the other set of parents.

The govt is not FNF. It should remember that.

notfluffyatall Wed 08-Feb-12 14:21:18

"OMG how many times have I said this"

It's not all about you now Basil, my post wasn't aimed at you. wink

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 14:28:05

None of which has convinced me that the default position should not be an equal playing field for both parents.

<glad I double checked that was an error as my reply was going to be soooo different>

It is not an equal playing field for both parents when one can use the courts to address their issues with contact, and the other cannot. I stress again I am not against any parent getting help with contact issues at all, but I am against the issue being dealt with on only one narrow basis that affects only a fraction of those with problems over contact, while ignoring the plight of other parents and their children who should also have their rights protected. If you are looking at the right of children to have a relationship with both parents why not address this at the same time? It cannot distract from the issues here surely? It cannot prejudice the rights of NRPs if they are genuinely committed and want to gain decent, regular access to their children?

Way back at the beginning of the acrimony between me and my ex, I heard nothing but positive things about FNF and genuinely thought that was a route I could go down to try and get my ex to actually commit to seeing our DD regularly. I was on the brink of contacting FNF until I came across this. I think campaiging for parents to get access to children they are being denied access to is a good thing, but to actively dismiss, and literally sneer at someone in my position because it goes against their belief that contact issues only ever arise when an RP is being hostile, or actively blocking access, is pretty telling about the FNF movement IMO.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Wed 08-Feb-12 14:43:00

I am not disputing that the starting point should be that both parents are equal either. I'm saying that given that this is a huge opportunity to reform the family law system, there should be an attempt to improve all the issues surrounding it and not just the one for which the campaign groups shout loudest.

My personal experience was to illustrate the fact that RPs have very few options when trying to arrange contact with NRPs who refuse to communicate with them, which is similar to the difficulties that many NRPs have. NRPs at least have the option of court. Unfortunately the nature of child contact means that it cannot really be legislated for outside of the court system. You can advise separating parents on the best course of action, but if they cannot agree then court is, and always will be, their only available option.

What I would like to see happen is for
1) either parent to be able to apply for a contact order if an agreement cannot be reached
2) either parent to be able to bring the case back to court if it is not being followed, regardless of who brought the original application
3) the court to be able to punish either parent for not sticking to the agreed contact without reasonable cause
4) NRPs who repeatedly don't show up to have contact removed so that they cannot commit further emotional abuse on their children
5) and yes, residency to be reversed and a contact order imposed if the RP continually thwarts contact and the other attempts at enforcement (fines, community service etc) have all been used

Instead, it appears that only the rights of children with decent and interested fathers are important. Children like mine have no voice in law.

MrGin Wed 08-Feb-12 14:48:04

It is not an equal playing field for both parents when one can use the courts to address their issues with contact, and the other cannot.

That is the justification nrps have for this new legislation, an rp could in some cases use the courts, fabricate stories and deny their children access to one decent parent for over a year. In that respect it lacked equality.

It deals with one problem. One that a number of campaign groups have been campaigning for.

See it as a misogynists conspiracy if you like.

bananaistheanswer Wed 08-Feb-12 15:04:29

That is the justification nrps have for this new legislation, an rp could in some cases use the courts, fabricate stories and deny their children access to one decent parent for over a year. In that respect it lacked equality

<head desk>

I officially give up on this. <hides thread>

duchesse Thu 09-Feb-12 15:41:36

I'm imagining that there is a financial agenda behind this move. I'm quite certain the current govt don't actually give a shit about children beyond the financial aspect of them. I would think that the aims are to encourage the NRP to be shamed into contributing towards their children's upkeep if they are seeing them regularly, thereby reducing the RPs' dependency on the CSA (ha!) and/or benefits and tax credits.

I'd imagine they'd be delighted to be able to wind up the CSA from an ideological POV.

BasilRathbone Thu 09-Feb-12 20:36:23

But the tories are the ones who brought it in.

In the old days, you could actually go to court to get maintenance and have it enforced (although obv, you needed to be able ot afford to use the court to get it enforced). The CSA was set up, because in those days hardly anyone paid maintenance - it was even worse than it is today, and the govt. was outraged that all these women were claiming benefits while the men who should have been supporting their DC's, weren't paying a penny.

It was a big deal at the time, you got men marching in the street to complain that the CSA were taking money from their new families and threatening to hang themselves because they were so outraged at having to financially support their own children. It was a stomach-turningly disgusting sight. They've shut up now, because they realised no-one had any sympathy with that idea.

Here's my experience and therefore fact.

Fact: My DH has a 6 yr old son.

Fact: My DHs exP has denied access to his son since January 2008, accusing him of DV.

Fact: After 3 years of waiting for various reports involving SureStart and CAFCASS my DH was awarded unsupervised contact in Feb 2011.

Fact: In March 2011 My DHs exP has accused DH of "kicking, punching and swearing" at his son whilst in his care.

Fact: The above did not happen (I was there all throughout the contact session)

Fact: DHs son has told CAFCASS and Social Services that his dad "kicked, punched and sweared (sic)" at him.

Fact: Social Services have never bothered to contact my DH about this allegation.

Fact: DHs exP's ex partner (getting complicated now) has made a statement saying that DHs exP has been coaching my DHs son what to say.

Fact: Social Services have never raised the possibility of her emotionally abusing her son (ie coaching him what to say).

Fact: we have spent in excess of £15,000 in legal fees for my DH to try and get access to his son.

Fact: (based on the above) the legal system regarding fathers getting access to their children needs a complete overhaul.

My six week old son will probably never get to meet his 6 year old half brother because DHs exP is bound to come up with some other allegation and we simply cannot afford to pay any more money on legal fees.

Fact: DHs exP is on benefits and gets a seemingly bottomless pit of Legal Aid therefore she can take the piss as much as she wants.

Any progress that can be made by groups like Families Need Fathers and F4J need applause.

That is all.

PS My son is six weeks old and because of the legal fees sapping our savings and i'm the main earner, I'm back at work full time (42 hours pw) my DH is now a SAHD to my son and therefore his CSA contributions to the exP will stop. She won't be receiving any money from my income. No doubt some of you on here will have something to say about that.

Sorry, but she's shat her potfull with me.

Emmielu Sat 03-Mar-12 09:25:20

It upsets me when i see 2 of my friends in tears because they've been to court or mediation representing their kids & what they want for the kids is either being more dragged out or declined. One of my friends has said she will let him see their son WITHOUT asking for ANY form of money. Just as long as their son gets to see his dad. His reaction: No.

Its getting hard to split the dads who give their everything for their kids from them dads who like to play vitcim when they do naff all anyway. Theres only so much one can say or do about a dad & if thats not enough, then what will help? After 5 1/2 years of trying to get DD's dad to see her, last month he said i want nothing to do with her. No updates on how shes getting on at school etc. 5 1/2 years of representing DD. I never asked for money. I dont think money could ever buy DD's love.

MagicHouse Sat 03-Mar-12 11:25:19

I guess there are terrible stories on both sides. Saladcream your story is horrific, and I feel really sorry for the situation you are all in.

My own story is of an ex who was controlling, abusive and a liar, who was never very interested in parenting until we split up. At which point he sought advice from FNF, and it all became about his rights as a parent. He denied everything that had contributed to our break up, and was suddenly at pains to become involved in the children's lives, and to make me out to be completely neurotic (as a way of denying what happened in our marriage).

I know he told FNF a completely different story about why we had split up (the real story was quite horrific). I guess we are all swayed by our own experiences, so for me I wonder how many ex's tell a pack of lies in order to make themselves look good. My ex was quite a practised liar, and quite believable from the outside.

I guess I can't help it - I will always think, well there are 2 sides to every story. To FNF, I was just another neurotic ex wife, who had no reason to be concerned in any way over access rights. I'm sure I'm not the only one whose experiences in the marriage leave them with many reasons to worry.

edam Sat 03-Mar-12 11:37:16

The courts appear to bend over backwards to force children into the control of violent, abusive men. There are cases every year in the news of children being murdered during court-enforced contact. Violence is no bar to contact - because apparently a violent man 'may be a good father'. Really? If I punched dh, I wouldn't be a good mother, I'd be a shit mother who wasn't fit to be left in charge of a vulnerable child.

MrGin Sat 03-Mar-12 14:08:28

edam that is rubbish.

60 children a year are killed by one of their parents. The circumstance may be different but mothers are responsible for killing children in roughly as many cases as fathers.

Courts do not 'bend over backwards to force children into the control of violent, abusive men ( and women ) '

edam Sat 03-Mar-12 17:03:45

how about this case? or this one??? perhaps this one??

If you look into the figures, you'll see distinct differences between killings committed by men and women. Men tend to kill older children out of sheer hatred and rage - in order to punish women who dare to leave them. Women generally don't do that, although there are very rare cases where it does happen. Women tend to kill babies when suffering from psychotic illness, or kill older children when they are desperate and have been begging for help, e.g. Fiona Pilkington.

In child custody cases, it is violent men who are the risk, not violent women, with very rare exceptions.

MrGin Sat 03-Mar-12 17:13:26

Oh are we playing link bingo ?

Mother depressed over job fears kills herself and her two children


Mother accused of killing her children 'used them to control husband'


Theresa Riggi admits killing her three children


Mother Shayma Ali killed daughter, four, 'as sacrifice'


etc etc etc

You're right, there is a difference in circumstance between how and why fathers and mothers kill their children. But to say courts bend over backwards to put children in the care of violent people is ludicrous.

edam Sat 03-Mar-12 17:28:15

MrGin, the courts do indeed insist on access for fathers who have beaten the mothers. That's a fact. The courts seem to believe that a violent man is perfectly capable of being a good father and that you should assume he's a good father until proved different. This is clearly nonsense and a complete reversal of the truth - a thug is NOT a good parent.

MrGin Sat 03-Mar-12 18:16:40

We are agreed that equal numbers of fathers and mothers kill their children. All be it for different reasons. The outcome is the same never the less.

If you're going to raise the point about children being murdered due to court enforced contact, it's fair to point out that the result of court cases also leaves children open to being killed by their mothers in equal numbers. Taboo as it may be.

There are dangerous people of both sexes and clearly the courts at times fail to protect children from fathers and mothers.

Edam have you read my post??!!^^

I can assure you courts don't insist on access for fathers who have allegedly beaten mothers, never mind the ones that have!!!

Latemates Sun 04-Mar-12 11:22:08

A friend of mine was physically and mentally abused by his ex wife for years.
His ex wife is the RP and he is still abused by her now by having contact withheld to get her own way etc. She is now abusing the children emotionally but his advice from protection agencies is that as the effects of abuse are currently minor (self esteem problems, withdrawal etc) residency won't change until effects become more apparent and extreme and even then she wouldn't have contact stopped altogether.
Interestingly she has made false allegations about him and these are always investigated luckily he has had evidence and they have been proven false, resulting in her getting a small warning and him being advised not to make a complaint on being falsely accused in case it causes her to make more allegations.
Terrible but fact. But I am aware enough to know that not all women are like this.
Just as not all fathers are freckless wastes of time.
Bad and good in both sexes.
But the law is looking at removing the current unfair system in place now. This is part of equality ....
Different religions have equality, ages have equality etc as a starting point.
We all have a right to freedom but if we break laws or become a danger to others we lose those rights.
Why shouldn't men and women have equal rights to maintaining a relationship with their children?
In a situation where a child is deemed in danger social services will if required remove the child from the dangerous situation. Why do people feel this will be different if men and women are seen as equal after separation?

edam Sun 04-Mar-12 12:52:27

Salad, perhaps you'd like to tell my colleague, who had to have her dh arrested twice for attacking her? Fortunately the police removed him and she got out. He still has access to both children, even though drug testing proved his coke habit.

Perhaps my DH needs a coke habit then, we may have more luck!

PigletUnrepentant Sun 04-Mar-12 22:10:06

Well well... I rang FNF when I was trying to get a reality check about what I considered were unreasonable demands for increased contact from the ex...

They were horrified...

... and right, exh doesn't give a sh*t about his child. They said they could not imagine how DS' father could be so callous and be demanding more contact.

Obviously, they help so many men desperate to see a little bit more from their children, that they are not blind or oblivious to the disasters of crappy dads. They find them equally outrageous (or worse)

angrywoman Mon 05-Mar-12 11:48:56

Thumbwitch, thats a great title for them. The vast majority of Dads who don't get to see their children are in that position for a reason! IME judges will bend over backwards to keep the child in contact (maybe supervised) with the father, no matter how he behaves/ what psycho reports say etc. Just some Dads want it all on their own terms....

MrGin Mon 05-Mar-12 12:32:04

.... as do some women

molepom Mon 05-Mar-12 13:41:00

Funny how it's all over the news now...

Isnt the budget next month? aren't these changes to CSA and benefits coming in soon?

Funny That. Twats.

MrGin Mon 05-Mar-12 13:54:30

Funny how it's all over the news now...

Suggest you check the date of the OP.

Or possibly read the 450 odd posts between angrywomans reference and here.

sunshineandbooks Mon 05-Mar-12 16:53:44

Louis de Bernieres is an excellent novelist whose novels I adore, but he's a sexist, manipulative idiot who spouts a lot of nonsense. I really think FnF should ditch him as their patron.

I have a female friend who had a lot of help from FnF when she became the NRP after 13 years of being the RP herself. There is a place for FnF and it would do their cause a lot of good if they could lose the public image association they have with groups like F4J. Having LdeB as patron isn't helping that happen. Instead it's reinforcing it.

I am firmly in the camp of believing that the fathers being denied contact issue is far less pressing an issue than NRPs failing to pay maintenance (which isn't to say that I don't believe it happens). Despite the compliance figures mentioned below, my own trawl through CSA/CMEC figures show that 46% of those complying with maintenance orders are paying the £5 or £0 rate. The average figure of £440 is grossly inflated because of some mega high payers, just as the national average salary is. Those who have come to private arrangements will still be included in the figures if the RP is in receipt of tax credits, since you still have to mention this income even though it is not taken into account precisely because the government want figures on it. Sure, some RPs may not mention it, but there's no point in lying since it doesn't affect anything.

My point is that if we're going to prioritise family law in terms of what is going to have the most beneficial impact on the greatest number of children, then maintenance should be a higher priority than father's rights. And since this is being presented very much as father's rights (as opposed to the current child's right to a relationship with both parents) then why is there no mention of mother's rights? Where is the mother's right not to live in enforced poverty because the father won't pay maintenance (or the child's right to the same for that matter)?

Coming back to DV. Home office stats (and I know this because I just had a training session on it) are that 1 in 4 women experience it as opposed to 1 in 6 men. This includes same sex relationships BTW and it seems that DV in homosexual relationships is sadly quite high. Anyway, DV rates compared by gender is not roughly equal. Also, within single parent families, DV is much more prevalent (applying to about 1 in 3 in comparison to the wider population figure of 1 in 4).

I also hold no truck whatsoever with the argument that a bad partner can be a good father when it comes to abuse. DV is a factor in 75% of child abuse cases. There is an increased risk to a child who has a partner-abuser as a parent. Quite often, this risk increases, instead of decreases, as the child gets older and challenges the parent more. IMO any instance of abuse should result in mandatory supervised contact and in severe cases contact should be lost altogether.

More recent research shows that NRPs who are unreliable and sporadic when it comes to contact cause as many psychological problems as no contact whatsoever. Therefore I'd like to see contact automatically stopped if there is an obvious pattern of this. I've seen far too many resident parents (of both sexes) dealing with distraught children who have been let down yet again - often on the day - and think it's because they're not loveable enough or important enough to the NRP.

I'd also like to see greater credence put on the standard of contact. The point of contact is for the child to continue a relationship with the NRP. This does not happen when the NRP turns up with a hangover, palms of the child on GPs, friends or even a new partner, takes the child to the pub, plonks them in front of the TV or XBox. If your child matters that much to you then on the days where you are granted exclusive contact to spend time with your child then do something that matters. I'm not condoning it because bad parenting is not the same as abusive parenting, but I've seen this used as a reason why some mothers withhold contact. They are concerned about the standard of care their child receives. That's not spite, that's protectiveness, albeit possibly misguided. A lot could be done by the system (and the NRP) to alleviate those worries and so improve the likelihood of contact continuing on an amicable basis. There are RPs out there too who neglect their children and NRPs who desperately worry about this and want to see it changed. I think family law should take a lot more account of differing standards of parenting and encouraging parents to come to an agreement about standards that are acceptable to both parties. It would save a lot of aggro later on and also send a clear message about what sort of behaviour is unacceptable.

The trouble is that family law and the family courts need a dramatic shake up. THey fail a lot of people. And because they do it in such spectacular fashion, it tends to set those at either end of the debate (i.e. RPs who have useless NRPs, and NRPs who have spiteful RPs blocking contact) against each other, when in actual fact they are both bearing the brunt of a system that doesn't work while the feckless NRPs and the spiteful RPs are getting away with it and playing the system for all it's worth.

It's very very sad. sad

nongenderbias9 Fri 09-Mar-12 11:10:51

Sheila. I don't understand what you are talking about. Please explain. If your x shows an apparent disinterest in the children, then surely you should be applauding Louis De Berniers stand in wanting to carry on being a father to his children.
Your attitude is incomprehensible to me. •Confused: [confused

EstroGena Mon 12-Mar-12 16:50:57

My exp has been psychologically assessed as being a significant risk to our DS That was 3 years ago and weve been in a contact centre since. He is an active member of FNF and is taking me back to court for unsupervised access on the grounds that I am unreasonable. I have never denied contact...just want him DS to be safe! FNF are supporting and advising him...but i question if they know the fulll facts or have been given a convenient editted version?! Anyway.....just to say....its all scary stuff when a fathers rights seems to outshadow the rights of a child to be kept safe, first and foremost.

Are you suggesting that FNF should ask for proof before giving help and advice? I'm sure that's a format that could be rolled across lots of different organisations, I'm sure 'Rape Crisis' would be great if women had to prove they had been raped before they got help and advice.

Nobody ever knows the full facts ... we simply have different points of view. And what happens if things have changed after 3 years. Would it not be prudent to re-asses if a contact centre is needed after 3 years. And if it is needed then it should be remain in place and if it isn't then maybe things should change. If you have concerns that the court is putting the rights of the farther over the safty of the child then that isn't an issue with FNF it's an issue with the judiciary, or your lack of faith in the process.

EstroGena Tue 13-Mar-12 11:02:54

Im not suggesting that at all but have to say that the contact centre had concerns that he was heavily involved in FNF given that he is a perpetrator, violent and someone who has been psychologically assessed as being unfit to care for a child. They found out through him telling them and they contacted FNF to say that they had concerns about him and his involvement. The result = nothing.....he still is active and even acting as a McKenzie friend to others. Is that right, fair and safe for other families who he is 'helping'? Not to me it isnt.

From your response I can understand why he's 'heavily involved in FNF' how many times on MN have we seen posts about parents not being able to cope with parenting, and how often do they get recomended to seek help from GP or friends or other organisations. I've never seen a response that's been "your such a shit parent not being able to look after your children that their not safe, ah your not good enough to be a parent we want nothing to do with you." Surely these are the people you want to helping, you hope they get the help and support that they need so they can have a positive involvement with their children.

Fine if you think that FNF aren't having a positive impact on helping the childs farther having a positive involvement in their childs life, but at the moment you haven't said that. You've simply stated that FNF are giving the farther of your child support and advisice, and you don't like that. And you've said that the farther of your child is giving support and advice to others. Do I have to be vetted before offering support and advice on MN if I don't measure up to being a good enough parent does this invalidate any advice and support I give to others?

lostdad Mon 04-Mar-13 15:17:19

I've just been reading through this ooollddddd thread (it's a slack day here). I'm a member of FNF. I run one of the branches too and work with my partner as a McKenzie Friend.

Over the last few months we've had more and more women (including resident mothers) who are affected by family breakdown contacting us for advice. I have been plenty of meetings where the women outnumber the men. And believe me...it would be fair to say that anyone who says `I'm not paying maintenance' gets short shrift and told `If you want to be a parent to your kid...start acting like one'!

I'd recommend it to all parents having problems.

Its not about mothers, fathers, money or anything other than the dc being able without vile and vindictive individuals (both men and women) using their dc as pawns. it took 2 people to make a life, it should ideally be those 2 who take care of nuture love and support that life, it makes me sick that supposed grown mature adults can not put their dc first and leave their own feelings out of it...rant over

lostdad Sun 10-Mar-13 17:12:09


marjproops Sun 10-Mar-13 18:04:59

Why fathers? arent there are lot of lone parent fathers out there? doesnt it work for both male and female?

There are a lot of feckless BOTH out there.(you can see Im not a feminist,!And yes Im a woman, i believe theres too much sexism against men in as many diff ways there are for women)

Maybe there should be a 'children need A parent-1 or 2- that love them and can give them love and nurturing.....my beef is all these poor children in homes /orphanages.who have NO parents at all.

Yes, Im a lone parent, in my case lets just say that when DC was found to have multiple disabilities, certain people didnt want to know and bu*****d off.
Im ok about it as DC has stability with ME and not faffing between here and there.

But sometimes its the other way round too.

I know a lone father whos wife did that and he's done a great job bringing up his DD.

queenofthepirates Sun 10-Mar-13 18:24:44

Here's a crazy idea, why doesn't FNF match up families without an active father some a dad who would like to be a good role model but perhaps doesn't have access to his kids? Yes, I can foresee a million reasons why you shouldn't try it but hec, my DD's father has never been around and I could do with a father figure for her. I could find a boyfriend but TBH, I have my hands full!

What say you?

lostdad Tue 12-Mar-13 10:45:56

Interesting idea queenofthepirates. grin

I doubt it would work though! My son has been taught to call the man my ex left me for `Daddy' and to call me by my first name. If he needs looking after she'll get her Mum to drive 250 miles to look after him rather than me (I'm 20 miles down the road) - because if it ain't in the contact order, it ain't happening.

I'm guessing that if she posted on Mumsnet she'd probably be telling everyone all about me being a crap dad and how her wonderful new husband is a better role model than me and she just wishes he had a good bio dad.

Good thing about FNF is...if you ask if you're being unreasonable you can pretty much guarantee that nearly everyone will tell you in a blunt child-focused manner. It's not uncommon for someone (male or female) who has attended a meeting to be told to stop being selfish and trying to punish their ex if they're doing that sort of thing. They get spotted in about 10 minutes usually! wink

NicknameTaken Tue 12-Mar-13 14:22:08

Hi lostdad, it's rather reassuring to hear your last para. I do think there are fathers who are unfairly excluded. I consider myself a feminist and I have an exH who is a nightmare to deal with and claims I'm obstructing contact when I don't. It still doesn't stop it being true for other fathers. Difficult parents come in both genders.

lostdad Tue 12-Mar-13 15:27:50

We're getting increasing numbers of mothers there. We have always had lots of grandmothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, girlfriends and friends of dads there but we also get resident and non-resident mothers.

The whole point is that separation effects everyone in a family and it's a bloody hard job to remain completely child-focused.

It's been a real revelation when mums and dads attend the meeting, hear things from each others' point of view (using each other as their `proxy ex's) and often go away saying `Yeah - I'm p****d off with him/her but I can see his/her point so I'm going to do what I can to stay child-focused').

We're also getting increasing numbers of mums looking for McKenzie Friends to help them out in court too to try and sort things out amicably.

NicknameTaken Tue 12-Mar-13 15:38:08

I think that's a good trend. Polarising mothers v fathers or even residential parents v. non-residential parents doesn't really help to move things on.

Its a crying shame that anyone should suffer, i feel for all as i have seen things from a nrp point of view, aswell as the rp also my xp dc from his prev relationship would open up and talk to me about how hurt they were that mommy would not allow them to see daddy more so ive seen the hurt from all sides its heart breaking :-(

NoWayNoHow 'I think it's incredibly positive. I have a few male friends whose relationships have broken down, and who are desperate to spend more time with their children, but the mothers are putting up barriers and blocking access and alientating their children from them.

My own cousin is a perfect example of how years of drip-feeding by his incredibly bitter mother (my aunt) has led to a non-existant relationsihp with his father, who has tried for the last 18 years to build bridges with his son.

It's very sad.'

My father is convinced I don't see him because my mother poisoned him against me. She has actually been neutral and fair, never said a bad word to me about him, and I've never overheard any bad words either. But he cannot accept that I can independently come to the conclusion that he's a useless knobhead. The problem feckless fathers have is that at some point their kids grow up and can form their own opinions.

lostdad Wed 20-Mar-13 09:12:12

Oh, I agree SingingSilver. Fathers can (and should) do an awful lot where their children are involved very often. I've known dads who demand `50/50 access' (no such thing) but jump up and down when the kids aren't sent to them with toothbrushes and a full suitcase of clothes (`If you're an independent parent...provide them yourself!', complaining that they aren't involved in the kids' education (`Call the school yourself, go for a meeting and get the paperwork yourself rather than relying on Mum') and much, much more.

If dads join FNF and complain about this sort of thing - they are likely to get such gems of advice. To be fair I think a lot of dads are pretty clueless and a lot of them soon get the picture and realise that they're a parent as much as Mum. I think it may be because a lot of men didn't grow up with involved fathers themselves so didn't necessarily have the right role models. People like me...well - I did. My dad was fully involved in my upbringing and I am the same for my son despite the ahem problems I've had.

Saying that - I (and many) dads have contacted a doctor's surgery to be told `Sorry, we need Mum's permission to speak to you' or go to school and told `You're not allowed to come here because Mum says you are dangerous' and much, much worse.

ladydeedy Thu 21-Mar-13 16:59:37

I know lots of men who have tried and tried to have more time with their children, and who do also pay maintenance by the way, but the exw make it extremely difficult for them to do so, and see the situation as them "allowing" the exh to see "their" children. It is sickening to be honest.

It's no wonder that so many men just give up over time if they are up against a battle every time they make a request and it goes on for years and years.

In my own experience I know ONLY fathers in this situation and no fathers who dont care. I dont think that's unusual.

I also know mothers who are crap. And I laughed when I saw the thread on here about a mother going crazy because her ex was taking the child on access weekends to his mother's house where people were chainsmoking. My DSS's mother chainsmokes in the house but there's nothing we can do about that!!

LineRunner Thu 21-Mar-13 17:03:03

There are plenty of men who put on an act about 'fighting for contact' because they find it easier than actual parenting.

ladydeedy Thu 21-Mar-13 17:05:49

lostdad agree re the doctor's situation. Also my DH has contacted school on numerous occasions to get copies of info/reports/dates of parents evening (as exw will not share this) only to hear his EXW has removed him from the contact list.. And they say they need her permission to add him again... Just one of many reasons why dads get excluded.

And as for trying to take kids on holiday - well, we all have to wait until exw decides whether or not she will "allow" that. So no flights can be booked or arrangements made. Ditto if there is a family wedding, celebration etc. EXW will decide day before if she thinks she can "allow" it....

In our case kids are now older so things have changed dramatically but when a child hears repeatedly from his mother for years that their dad is feckless, pays "the bare minimum" and does not care about them, it's no wonder kids grow up confused and alienated and it can take years (if ever) to build any kind of relationship.

lostdad Fri 22-Mar-13 09:18:16

ladydeedy - it's something that I hear all the time. I help lots of dads (anf some non-resident mums come to think of it) with the school situation you describe and it's not that difficult to sort out. Give me a shout if you need help with it. Same for the holiday situation...there are ways around it if you play the long game. The last time a doctor tried with me it ended up with a written apology from the CEO of a large PCT, all surgery staff being trained about what PR really meant and my original (nicely asked) requested complied with.

LineRunner - maybe there are some, but I (and we) deal with the other kind. The ones who are like that tend to be told that very thing at FNF meetings or online. I am not sure how you'd measure the type I describe and the type you do (otherwise it's a bit of an insulting generalisation about men...). grin

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