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'Permissive' mother loses custody

(41 Posts)
VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:20:09

AIBU to think this can't just be about her so-called parenting style? I genuinely didn't realise that irregular bedtimes and video games were reasons enough to have a child removed from a parent's care. I agree that it seems as though the father should have had increased contact but doesn't it seem a bit harsh on the mother who 'doubtlessly loves her children'?

WorraLiberty Mon 17-Feb-14 23:25:29

Love is not enough on its own when raising children

There's no point in increasing contact if she's regularly refusing him the contact he already has.

Going on just that story alone, I think the judge has made the right decision.

RunRabbit Mon 17-Feb-14 23:26:07

"The man said he was worried about his sons' dental and medical needs being neglected"

Stuck out to me.

If it's in the best interest of the children to be raised by him, why shouldn't they?

greengoblinofgoo Mon 17-Feb-14 23:26:28

It's not just about her parenting style. There's reference to the boys' behaviour toward adults but no mention of what this is. There are also mental health concerns wrt the mother. There's a whole back story that's not being told because it's not in the public interest.

Jolleigh Mon 17-Feb-14 23:26:36

I read an article about this case. It looks like the kids had gone off the rails and she was allowing them to behave as they pleased. Also, while the father was trying to get them back on track, she appeared to be putting a lot of effort into denying him access.

ForgettableTampon Mon 17-Feb-14 23:28:01

the report does say there were concerns about the children's health needs (dental, medical) not being met by the mother who was preoccupied with hatred of the children's father to the detriment of the children

in addition the Judge has according to that report stated - ''I am satisfied that there is a failure to provide proper guidance and boundaries essential for the social and emotional development of these pre-adolescent and adolescent boys. Further, I have real concerns about her as a role model.''

Pretty clear-cut, it's not just about 'parenting style' irregular bedtimes, being overly reliant on video games and whatnot

ListenToTheLady Mon 17-Feb-14 23:28:11

Hmm... You can't really tell from that. If what is said there is true, it sounds like sounds poor parenting, but I know a lot of people who parent like that and don't seem to be about to lose custody.

Also I have been shocked by so many cases where I think women have been unfairly treated, that I don't trust the courts and judges to do what's right every time. The man in a situation like this could be a control freak who knows how to put together a good case but that doesn't mean he's ideal either.

I hope the boys still get to see both parents so they can use their own judgement as they get older. At least they're not tiny.

SnowBells Mon 17-Feb-14 23:28:25

As a parent, it is your job to discipline your child and bring them up to be valuable citizens. Children are not tiny pets that can be pampered without consequences (even with pets, you would not do that!).

I can see what the judge saw in the mom. Some moms in that situation would let their kids do whatever they want, just so that the kids prefer them to their dad. Unfortunate power plays...

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKahleesi Mon 17-Feb-14 23:30:01

What stood out to me was the implication that she hated her ex and was using the children as a weapon, I can totally understand the place behaviour like that comes from but it is very very bad parenting

Sad situation for all of them but hopefully the children being with their dad will be better for them

DonnaDishwater Mon 17-Feb-14 23:31:01

In situations like this why shouldn't the father have custody? In too many cases the mother is assumed to be the correct person to raise the children unless she proves herself beyond all reasonable doubt to be an unfit mother. Why not just look at it objectively without being prejudiced and assuming that all things being equal, the mother is best? I know plenty of divorced couples where I do not think the mother is doing a very good job of raising the children yet the father struggles to get to see the children at all.

HopeClearwater Mon 17-Feb-14 23:31:17

The dental and medical needs bit stuck out to me too. Suppose the kids' teeth were rotting? Untreated eczema? That's just two possible examI've seen both those in children I've taught.

HopeClearwater Mon 17-Feb-14 23:31:32


VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:33:27

RunRabbit I have to say, that stuck out to me too but there wasn't much else so am assuming there's a great deal more to this. I've only read that article so far.

RunRabbit Mon 17-Feb-14 23:34:16

I agree Donna. I think men get the raw end of the deal with regards to custody. It seems 'mother's best' is the default position.

CromeYellow Mon 17-Feb-14 23:35:00

Why shouldn't the father have custody if he is a better parent? Children have needs which need to be met whether they like it or not. They need proper medical/dental care, enough sleep, to be fed properly, disciplined, educated, taught right from wrong, given boundaries etc... If one parent isn't providing that and another is prepared to then it's in their long term interests and the interests of society for them to be moved to the parent who will bother parenting them.

VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:35:56

Donna I've given no indication that I believe the mother is always the best person to have care of her children. However, had it only been about her being somewhat inconsistent I would definitely have thought it a bit much to decrease contact between her and her kids so drastically.

WorraLiberty Mon 17-Feb-14 23:39:25

I agree RunRabbit

"He has been tenacious to the extent of being dogged in his pursuit of a relationship with his sons. I do not criticise him for his tenacity. Many fathers would have given up by now," said Judge Harris.

Can you imagine the time, effort, stress, worry and money it must have taken to get to this point?

All too often people on MN say "Well he if she's stopping him from seeing his kids, he should fight it all the way".

That's true, but I don't think everyone takes into account just how expensive and all consuming it can be.

The courts are normally so biased towards the mother.

VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:39:45

hypothetically speaking - suppose the father wasn't around - would the boys have been taken into care?

WorraLiberty Mon 17-Feb-14 23:40:51

However, had it only been about her being somewhat inconsistent I would definitely have thought it a bit much to decrease contact between her and her kids so drastically.

And I'm sure we'd all agree. If that was the case, parenting classes would probably be the way forward.

But it's not about her just being somewhat inconsistent, is it?

VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:43:41

IME, these days Courts are very fair to both mothers and fathers (and ultimately the child/ren involved). this is possibly why I was surprised when I read this story as there's not a lot of detail in this particular article so it did seem a bit extreme.

WorraLiberty Mon 17-Feb-14 23:44:54

hypothetically speaking - suppose the father wasn't around - would the boys have been taken into care?

I doubt it unless they're started committing crimes or something

But I'm not sure why you're asking the question?

Surely you're not comparing a loving father having custody of his kids, to them being taken into care?

I don't think the judge is saying that the kids would be best off living anywhere except for with their mother.

Just that out of a choice between the mother and father, the father appears to be the better parent.

Therefore it makes sense they live with him and have contact with their mother, rather than the other way around.

That has nothing to do with whether they'd be better off in a care home.

spindoctorofaethelred Mon 17-Feb-14 23:45:54

It's a brief article on MSN. There's a clear angle there, and it doesn't necessarily bear much relation to the case as the judge would describe it. As it is, pretty significant phrases still crept in.

Articles on children's welfare and the court cases are heavily spun according to what they think readers will click on. For example, last year, this case got reported in one, and only one, press outlet's headline as involving a step-mother, not an actual legal mother. Presumably to tap into the established evil step-mother narrative and get more clicks. I actually wrote to the editor for that.

WorraLiberty Mon 17-Feb-14 23:47:00

The courts still see the mother as the default carer. I don't think they're fair to fathers at all.

And with all the cutbacks on legal aid, some fathers are going near bankrupt just to get contact with their kids.

VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:47:22

well, this article only really mentions irregular bedtimes, computer games, possibly mental illness and the father's word against the mother's. clearly, I don't know the full story so when I started this thread, I was going by what I had read in the link.

VampyreofTimeandMemory Mon 17-Feb-14 23:50:44

do they worra? when my ex and I separated, the Court's view was that care should be split equally as we were both deemed to be decent enough parents. It was and then things changed. her dad still has contact, of course, and even his pathological hatred of me (honestly, he despises me) will never be enough for anyone to question this contact.

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