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new rights for parental contact ... what do you think?

(17 Posts)
littlemissbossy Tue 18-Jan-05 10:40:17

In the news today is a proposed bill to change parental rights of contact for former partners. The government is proposing to "electronically tag" people that do not allow their former partners the right to see their children.

Does this mean that publicity stunts from fathers4justice really do work?

Freckle Tue 18-Jan-05 10:46:45

Does this also apply to those parents who, despite the best efforts of the parent with residence to ensure an ongoing relationship between child/ren and absent parent, can't be *rsed to see their offspring?? And what about those who don't pay a penny, but still demand the right to see their children?

I know only too well that there are some parents who deliberately obstruct contact, but they are relatively few. Most of those who refuse to let their former partner see the children do so for very good reasons.

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 11:03:00

LMB, I think yes, it does mean that publicity stunts work.

And Freckle, couldn't agree more. One woman I know refuses to let her xp have any more contact because he simply never turned up at the time he said he would, leaving his children absolutely devastated, every single time contact was arranged.

In the end, she just told him bluntly that he wasn't going to be allowed to do that anymore, and if he did it one more time, she would simply not arrange contact anymore. Needless to say, he did it one more time.

Now he's going around saying that she's a bitch because she won't let his see his kids. And everyone believes him. He's also going to court about it, to force her to go through this charade again. And the court will probably tell her she's got to let him. And so he can start this emotional abuse of the poor kids all over again.

I would love to know when they are going to propose electronically tagging men like him, but somehow, I doubt if anyone will suggest it.

logic Tue 18-Jan-05 11:29:29

No, it's about time. On and off, I spent more than 10 years crying my eyes out on one side of a locked door while my poor dad was waiting on the other side because my mum was punishing my dad by refusing to let him see me at the court allocated time. Women have been getting away with this for years. It's sad for everyone though that it has to be legislated

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 11:30:38

Many more men are getting away with not turning up for contact visits and not turning up at the time they say they will, leaving their kids crying for years as well.

But no one seems to think that needs legislation.

SuzySox Tue 18-Jan-05 11:38:34

Freckle - couldn't agree with you more.

Logic, sorry you had to go through that.

logic Tue 18-Jan-05 12:08:24

Thanks SuzySox...

The truth is that whichever gender of parent breaks the contact agreement (and I agree that it is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other), it is the children that suffer for it. Anything that reduces that is a positive move...

Beansmum Tue 18-Jan-05 12:23:21

I'm not sure what changing parental rights would actually achieve, it seems to me that most parents already have the right to see their children so it is just a matter of enforcing that right. And really what can anyone do if a childs parent refuses to let their ex have contact? Fine them I suppose, but that's not going to do the child any good.

littlemissbossy Tue 18-Jan-05 12:26:13

interestingly, fathers4justice have announced that that they think the new legislation is basically a waste of time and that the government are just "recyling" current methods... don't know if that's true

msann Tue 18-Jan-05 12:27:23

caligula....i went to court yesterday....despite my children witnessing a serious assualt (which ex denies) & despite their pleas for him to stop smoking (which he has refused) he has been granted extra contact. ALSO against my express wishes the court have ruled that my children (7 & 5) MUST have possession of a mobile telephone so that he can contact them. its ridiculous & there was not a damned thing i cud do to stop it. i guess i just have to keep picking up the pieces

Chandra Tue 18-Jan-05 12:38:24

Logic, it's awful you have gone through that. Sometimes is easier just to forget that we woman have our own faults as well. I can say that from the couples I know that are having problems regarding access, one has good reasons to try to keep contact to a minimum (a child agency determined, after a psychological test, that he was not safe to be alone with the children). The other one... well, TBH she often use the children as a token to hurt her X, and she doesn't care much about how the children feel about it.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Tue 18-Jan-05 12:41:53

WEll quite freckle. Oh this makes me cross.

Freckle Tue 18-Jan-05 13:04:35

The other thing to consider is that this is merely talking about what happens when couples get divorced. Bearing in mind that the number of children born out of wedlock is ever increasing, I suspect any new legislation may end up only apply to a minority of cases anyway.

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 13:12:01

msann, this doesn't surprise me in the least. We hear so much about the wicked women who deny contact (and yes they do exist, Logic's experience is proof of that if any were needed) but we hear absolutely nothing in the media about the much bigger problem of wicked men who use their children to wind up their exes, until they get tired of that game and then just abandon them altogether.

A recent report was absolutely unambiguous that children under 8 should not be given mobile phones as prolongued use of them is a real danger. The court has obviously decided that your exe's right to have telephone contact outweighs their rights not to develop brain tumours

A father who was putting the interests of his children first, would prefer to phone them on a landline or not phone them at all, than to risk their health.

What a pity the courts support fathers who don't put their children first.

If I were you, I just wouldn't let them have them, and present the newspaper reports as good reason why not. What can the court be thinking of?

Freckle Tue 18-Jan-05 13:21:22

Just don't charge the phones. Or buy any time for them. Mind you, he could top them up, but he can't control whether they are charged or not.

logic Tue 18-Jan-05 13:49:51

I'm sure that my dad did stuff to wind my mum up too but the problem is that it escalates into such nastiness I did have contact with both parents but really had to fight for it. I now have a wonderful relationship with both of them but very separately and it can be a strain. I think that the court system could have done more for me at the time...

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 13:54:35

I have to say I'm continually amazed by parents who use their children as battering rams. Don't they realise their children will grow up and be able to make their own choices?

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