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AIBU To think the Family Court is not fit for purpose?

(262 Posts)
Notwiththeseknees Fri 04-Jan-19 11:06:29

The Judge has seen fit to name Ellie Yarrow, the mother who has fled with her three year old son. Reading the heartbreaking letter from Ellie that her sister posted on Facebook, AIBU to think that this secretive court who are responsible for some dreadful decisions, is no longer fit for purpose.

ZeroFuchsGiven Fri 04-Jan-19 11:10:32

I don't really want to click on the fb link can you c&p or summarise?

LostInShoebiz Fri 04-Jan-19 11:11:01

You do appreciate it's “secretive” because it deals with very private and very sensitive information about children too young to consent to their information being made public?

Doyoumind Fri 04-Jan-19 11:11:32

I'm not going to look at the Facebook page so I don't know the details. Why don't you paste them here?

flirtygirl Fri 04-Jan-19 11:12:44

Family court and cafcas have worked in this way for a long time.
Many mothers are forced to constantly face their abusers, no legal aid, non molestation orders that aren't worth the paper they are typed on.
And the rise of cries of parental alienation, which seems to have been championed by lawyers in these situations to throw at mainly women leaving abusive situations.
Fleeing is sometimes the only option.

Oratorio Fri 04-Jan-19 11:17:00

I’m not party to the evidence that’s been put before the court, but I will say that having a guardian appointed for a child in private law proceedings is in no way an indicator that the child will go into foster care. It sounds like legal advice is needed.

Elfinablender Fri 04-Jan-19 11:20:32

What kinds of checks and balances are made to ensure that these courts are made accountable for poor decision making.

I understand that the nature of the court cases means that having the media do that job is inappropriate, so surely there must be more work done than usual to test the strength of the process and outcome?

I mean, they can't just decide that 'even stevens' is the best way to make it work and just ignore or be deliberately dense about the abusive behaviour of one partner.

CaptainMarvelDanvers Fri 04-Jan-19 11:23:49

I do think that changes do need to happen to the family court system, I doubt it’s perfect. I understand it’s secretive to protect the children but sometimes I think there needs to be a bit more transparency and the system has to be accountable in a more open and clear way. I do think that there are men out there who like to use the court systems as a way to harass and control women.

Saying that, I know a few women and men who have had issues with the family court system and they, and the people close to them, all have an amazing lack of self awareness.

Doyoumind Fri 04-Jan-19 11:25:40

The court works on the basis that a child has a right to a relationship with both parents. That's all they are looking at. They will restrict access only if there is a proven safeguarding issue around the child and that doesn't necessarily mean stopping contact either.

Notwiththeseknees Fri 04-Jan-19 11:25:46

I can't cut and paste the entire letter - there is a MN limit. I can do three pages, but the latter pages are harrowing stuff and would require a trigger warning.

flirtygirl Fri 04-Jan-19 11:27:01

It should be secretive but it needs to not have policies that allow abusers to carry on abuse.

Doyoumind Fri 04-Jan-19 11:27:01

Give us a basic summary of the case then.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 04-Jan-19 11:28:16

I understand the need for confidentiality, especially for someone vulnerable but find it difficult to trust anything so secretive

Sugarhunnyicedtea Fri 04-Jan-19 11:29:10

It's awful. If the content of that letter is even partly true then that woman and her son are best off as far away from her ex as possible. I wonder if his ex would give a statement to support what Ellie is saying?

Doyoumind Fri 04-Jan-19 11:32:08

Ok so I've just seen a story on BBC News. She and the boy have been missing since July. I can understand she may be a woman trying to protect her son from her abusive ex but that child is not going to be able to have a normal life in hiding. A child needs access to healthcare and education.

picklemebaubles Fri 04-Jan-19 11:32:50

As soon as I saw the age gap between them, and that she would have been quite a young mum, I began to question the father's motives. Prejudiced of me I know, but statistically...

Basically, the FB post says she's fleeing coercive control and that the father went for full custody, not 50:50.

Fattymcfaterson Fri 04-Jan-19 11:34:58

I read an article this morning, Ellie is local to me. Local feeling is that she should run and keep in running. It's outrageous that she faces her child being taken away, it's outrageous that her abuser is allowed to still continue to control her through the courts. Its also disgusting that her "side" is not allowed to be reported in the mainstream media.
That man raped and controlled her for years. I believe you Ellie, even if the courts don't.

Sugarhunnyicedtea Fri 04-Jan-19 11:35:51

I'm local too. I can only imagine the people he knows that he threatened her with

LutherRalph1 Fri 04-Jan-19 11:37:13

Another local, and have only heard of this recently so have only seen everything that's available now ( rather than following from the start iyswim)

If I was her, I'd keep running.

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 04-Jan-19 11:39:48

@Doyoumind the little boy is three he doesn’t need to be in school .

Lavender00 Fri 04-Jan-19 11:39:49

First I've heard about this and I'm sat in tears reading it. Ellie's situation really struck a chord with me and my past situation had some similarities.
My heart breaks for Ellie and her family.

Notwiththeseknees Fri 04-Jan-19 11:40:28

I'm sorry, there is so much more in the letter to her family. It runs to 9 pages and I can only show three.

He is a lawyer himself. He is painting her as an unfit mother due to taking citalopram. According to her letter, the son was physically chastised, she was raped regularly, threatened, belittled and he wants the child taken from her as punishment.
His ex-wife went through similar when she left and he would play recordings he had made of her crying for his pleasure.

He seems to have a lot of money, she seems to have none. Maybe more information will come to light, but it is horrifying that a woman is so terrified of our court system not allowing a fair hearing that she has to run with her toddler.

picklemebaubles Fri 04-Jan-19 11:42:57

I don't knee jerk assume that the woman is in the right when she disappears with her children. In this case however...

JohnCRaven Fri 04-Jan-19 11:43:05

It echoes many of the stories on MN and actually very similar to a story I was told by the child in this situation when they grew up (17 now). Child can now see it for what it was but spent their whole childhood in care because of a vindictive parent. I believe her.

LittleBearPad Fri 04-Jan-19 11:44:43

its in the Fail too. Seems the court has allowed her name and the DS’s name and photos to be released so they can be found.

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