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SO ANGRY at family law court system (big rant)

(67 Posts)
tomsellecklover Fri 02-Aug-13 20:13:01

Hi all,
I won't go into all the ins and outs of my case as I would be here forever however, I was in court today for a directions appeals hearing regarding my ex's admission to 'sexually inappropriate behaviour' and how I am concerned about this in relation to the contact he has with our DD. In my opinion and I would have thought many others what he describes are sexual assaults. To my utter dismay in court today I was absolutely vilified by the judge who asked me what on earth was I bringing this issue to court for?? !!! I have tried and tried to get cafcass to take notice, I have tried in previous court hearing for magistrates to take notice but the furthest I have got is some ignorant old biddy telling me 'he was under the influence of drugs' as if that matters?! why are inexperienced magistrates making decisions about our children's future? the judge said 'I dread to think how much time and money this is wasting' - well you know what, if the system wasn't such a mess and people actually read the f*cking evidence then maybe it wouldn't take so long. I am drained mentally and physically and feel I cant go on but the mother instinct in me tells me I will not be quiet over this. does anyone know of organisations/campaigns for family law reform? I'm sick to death of this. taking legal aid away from vulnerable women, what planet are we actually living on??!! sorry if none of this makes any sense my head is spinning.

kooksi Fri 02-Aug-13 20:40:36

Sorry you're going through it .. I've been through the system myself and it's not there to help or listen or care. The law says a child has a right to see it's parents and that is the only thing they work towards.
I actually don't think they will deny access unless they personally witness abuse themselves confused ..

In my experience they aren't there for you, your ex or your child .. you are just numbers to get through and the end result is 'a childs right'

If your gut is telling you something go fight, try to see it for what it is though ... they really don't care

tomsellecklover Fri 02-Aug-13 20:54:50

hi kooksi, sorry you've been through this hell too. its opened my eyes up big time, the judge even had the cheek to tell me today 'to know how lucky I am that my ex hasn't requested to be paid expenses for today' I actually told her what I thought back, who on earth do these people think they are?? its a sad truth that they are not there to protect our kids. I feel like I don't care what happens with me as long as she is kept safe but even this seems impossible to achieve. more needs to be done to put pressure on the government for a complete overhaul of the system. cafcass does not work! social services does not work! none of the agencies communicate with each other, how long are we going to let this go on? how many more children are going to be harmed? sorry for being so OTT. I am going to go to MP (of all people!) to see if they can help .

kooksi Fri 02-Aug-13 21:38:25

Good luck with it ... The best advice I can give though is to take your families matters into your own hands .. do what you think is right. If possible avoid court altogether, if you can't ... well, just do what you think is best ... they won't

betterthanever Fri 02-Aug-13 21:55:52

OP there are too many people in the same position and one day the children will be able to speak out and it will be another scandal on panarama - in the meantime yes contact your MP - the Lords are looking at reform, you could goodle who is involved and who is saying what and email them. Email Downing street and speak to the media - the restrictions were lifted in 2009. There are for obvious reason still restrictions but there are less. I would also speak to the NCPCC. Can the police not get involved? Take your case to a higher court if you can. There will be better people on here than me that can advice on how to do that.

Lionessnurturingcubs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:18:17

Count me in!
So sorry you have had to endure this...yet another mother being denied her basic NATURAL human instinct to protect her offspring. Even animals in the zoo are afforded that natural priveledge, but not us, women stigmatised because our partners left us holding the baby. Go figure.

I could have written your post myself; I too am in the midst of taking my situation further to my MP. Will they listen? Doubtful. It is a fact that single women in this country are totally stigmatised. The fathers that abandon their children, cause all sorts of financial, emotional and physical hardship to their own flesh and blood offspring and to the mother who is simply trying to do her best by them are glorified in bloody superman outfits climbing the Houses of Parliament. Gingerbread has the REAL statistics - the majority of us are single women in our 30s/40s not teens, trying to work and support our families yet we are vilified by ALL the agencies, as you rightly point out, OP.

it is appalling. Wasting court time? The only people wasting court time are the fathers and the agencies who allow this farcical process to continue. Do they think we have nothing better to do than go to court?? Let's see - washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, working, not sleeping, keeping a roof over their heads, buying new shoes/clothes every 2 months, trying to work to pay for these things, juggling outrageous expensive childcare to get to work because the 'father' is too busy chasing a new woman to be able to look after his children, trying to get a few hours sleep at night to be able to get to work the next day, paying the rent/mortgage/council tax, car, etc. Oh, almost forgot, helping with homework - apparently homework is not required on 'contact weekends', managing behaviour which is not managed on contact weekends playing nurse to the everyday ailments, playing judge and jury in the sibling rivalry, and then trying to smile and show the outside world that your sane;-) But hey ho, I think I'll just factor in a few days at court on top of all that as a bit of light relief!

If a lion hurt its cubs, the lioness would see it off. Why are we not afforded this basic human right in the UK?

Sorry, Tomsellecklover as you can see, you got me on my soapbox! This country has a lot to answer for. In the news in the last 3/4 weeks we have had heartbreaking tragic stories: a young single woman who killed herself and her two beloved children; young woman murdered by a man she had reported several times, and then poor, tragic little Daniel. Did the agencies or the court process help them. NO! These agencies need to get their head out of the sands. Stop allowing fathers to manipulate the system, and start putting in real action for these tragic cases that REALLY need help.

Who's up for approaching the European courts with me because this ridiculous 'Family Law' is simply starving the hand that feeds the single parent children of this country?
If any other organisation failed its clientele in the way that our 'agencies' constantly fails theirs, they would be shut down. These 'professionals' and I use the term very losely, need a complete overhaul. Stop the unnecessary suffering and indeed persecution of single women and children in this country. It is barbaric and we need action now before any more tragic cases hit the news.

Now, what's the address for the European Courts?

betterthanever Fri 02-Aug-13 22:31:35

I am with you lion there is one MN poster who has put her own case forward but do you mean a more general type of approach? I will help and do whatever is needed - this system has to change....
For me the reason it carries on is MONEY the lawyers only get paid if cases are brought to court - the complicated ones which should have never got to court take a long time, they earn more - Court Clerks used to be laywers etc.. what hope do we have we - it is a closed shop. Secret courts to protect the people who run it, not the children.
My DS sobs `when will it all stop'. When he is 16 I will get him to sue the system for breaching his human rights. I do feel sorry though for those who do, do the job right and do care, many, many do not.

Lionessnurturingcubs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:51:30

Yes, betterthanever, I steongly believe we need a general approach. OP - when you suggested campaign for family law reform, I thought that was what you were meaning so hope I haven't hijacked your thread?
But we need a voice, a communal voice. We have numerous stories on here and elsewhere where individuals have been vilified. It's time for a group approach.
Betterthanever - hugs for your DS. It is a breach of their human rights. As a mother I strogly believe I have the right to protect the emotional well-being of my children. Unfortunately, under Uk 'Family Law', I do not. Why not?

Lionessnurturingcubs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:52:34

Strongly not steongly or even strogly. Argh!

tomsellecklover Sat 03-Aug-13 04:59:12

its 4.55 in the morning and I've hardly slept, my head is still going into over drive. i will come back on later and write properly. thank you all for posting, please don't feel you have hijacked. I feel so sad for all of you and your children, it is barbaric and it needs exposing. I am 100% up for going to european court. if we could perhaps work as a team and research into it that would be wonderful. as I said, will post again later but the panorama suggestions made me think it would be worth contacting the bbc. right speak soon everyone x

babyhammock Sat 03-Aug-13 07:19:53

Background ...I've been trying to get supervised contact for DS due to DV and ex's continued attitude to it. There's an horrific Cafcass guardian involved now who has recommended an immediate transfer of residency as I'm refusing to comply with unsupervised contact.

There is also an ongoing police investigation wrt to rape. Me by ex.

I've been DS's only carer since he was born (he's 5 now) and ex never lived with us.

The guardian has never seen me with DS, never seen him at our home and never witnessed contact with his father. She's met with DS at school for less than 5 mins where he presented as extremely happy and school couldn't have given us a better report (same with children's services). She accepts DS has no relationship with his father and she also admitted in court that the brief single session she spent with the paternal family would have been impossible to establish their family dynamics.

Yet she recommended a immediate transfer of residency and that the rape allegations should be completely disregarded!

I've spent 3 days in court this week and this is exactly what happened:

In the absence of any negative reports about me and DS she actually cited a particular 'fact' in court as a reason why she did not need to see DS at home or with either of his parents as this essentially told her enough about me as a mother and DS’s situation.

It was then established in court, that this 'fact' was actually directly from my ex and was completely fabricated.

This was all she used to base her decision on and didn't even check it out.

I've have had some awful experiences in court, but I ...I can't describe the words...

Still not had the verdict..

ps It was me who went to the ECHR sad x

betterthanever Sat 03-Aug-13 08:43:59

tom I am not surprised you haven't slep you are a caring mother.
Babbyhammock your nightmare contnues at the hands of people I just don't understand, I don't want your DC to be the next headline on sky news - the thing is there does not seem to be any accountability when things go wrong they use lines like `we could never have predicted what was had happened' when they clearly could. I am not saying something very bad would happen but often the EA is worse long term - I still bear those scares and it still goes on and the system allows it.
tom I think there are many people on here that would back a campaign media or ECHR. I will try and find more info but apparently the DC are turning 16 in the US and speaking out as they started with this b*llshit system a while ago so the DC are older. I think the general public would be shocked and horrified at what is happening in the `secret family courts' in the UK. Friends and family are in my case but unless you are in it or know about someone in it you don't know about it YET.
The conversations usually go:
friend; `he doesn't stand a chance'
me: yes he does... and tell them how the system works
friend; `I just can't believe it - that is shocking'
meanwhile the social workers are over stretched and under paid and the lawyers clean up.

Lionessnurturingcubs Sat 03-Aug-13 09:04:46

Good morning lovely, hardworking, bringing up a family single handedly, lone ladies!

Wow, Babyhammock that is absolutely shocking. Is your ECHR case still ongoing? The outcome would be very interesting.
Tomselecklover - hope you managed to get some rest. Hugs to you for what you are going through - we are all with you in spirit.

There are numerous charities in this country which DO understand our dilemmas. I have had a wealth of support from Women's Aid, Gingerbread, Young Minds. The fact that they understand our situation, whilst the authorities do not, speaks volumes. After all, the charities wouldn't survive if there wasn't a need for them would they?

I have some ideas but need to get off to work so will probably not post again until tomorrow. Teamwork is the key, as OP suggested. I will set up another thread so that people can add their voice, because I think initially we need to know how much feeling there is around this, but I am guessing quite a lot.

Have a lovely day Ladies! Enjoy your beautiful children. If they are not with you this weekend, just think that every time they smile or laugh - YOU have done that, through your love, support, hard work and determination to keep going against the odds!

tomsellecklover Sat 03-Aug-13 09:16:32

hi lioness , (your name is perfect!) . that sounds like great plan, just posting quickly myself as it so happens to be my mp's advice bureau this morning! am gonna try get me n little un down there asap n get back . x

Lionessnurturingcubs Sat 03-Aug-13 09:31:52

Good luck Tomsellecklover - Stay strong.

honey86 Sat 03-Aug-13 11:31:09

if there was a campaign about this i will fully back n promote it.

i have always and still do insist it should be the mothers discretion as to wether fathers get access. my fw ex is full of hate and threatens court cos hes confident he can manipulate the authorities. something needs to knock abusive arses off their high horses.
f4j is an absolute joke, theyre just a bunch of attention seeking thugs who are trying to do the olden day thing of 'putting women in their place'. they cannot stand women having rights. i mean how actually dare we be in control of their possessions and control tactics kids?

AlbertaCampion Sat 03-Aug-13 11:40:38

The mother's discretion as to whether the father should be allowed access? Yes, brilliant idea. hmm

Bruthastortoise Sat 03-Aug-13 11:41:55

So honey how would your theory about access being at the mother's discretion have applied to my DH? My DSC's mum left when they were tiny for OM, DH has taken care of them for years on his own and now with me and our family. Should their mum be allowed to rock up at any point an reclaim residency and decide how much time their primary caregiver of many years sees them? Just because she gave birth to them?

honey86 Sat 03-Aug-13 12:05:40

i mean in cases of dv and abuse hmm i
i think its only right that we should be able to protect our kids from abusive fw exes without getting ridiculed by the court system.
ive seen enough parents being forced to have unsupervised contact with exes who have got nasty, threatened abductions, even hit or raped them before... just cos of the society idealism that all kids need to have both parents involved- as if not having two parents will disturb the child in some way.
thats what i mean.

Bruthastortoise Sat 03-Aug-13 12:34:03

So do you mean in cases of alleged or "proven" abuse? Because the problem in this country is that so few cases of domestic abuse are reported and fewer again are prosecuted. You'd then be expecting the court to take one person's word over anothers and that is not how our courts work. And what if the father alleges the mother is being abusive to the children, should the court take his word for it?

honey86 Sat 03-Aug-13 12:54:49

probably cos a portion of them dont think anyone would believe them. i certainly wouldnt expect a stepparent to believe anything the ex says hmm im talking about reported cases of abuse, domestic or otherwise, not just allegations that materialise at court cases.
and i was referring to op's issues, n that abuse, physical or not, isnt taken seriously unless its happening consistently and under peoples noses. that a mountain of fucking evidence is needed before any protective measures are put in place for the child! hence why innocent kids like daniel pelka end up the way they do! bureaucracy.

honey86 Sat 03-Aug-13 12:57:31

thats got f all to do with nrp who bugger off for years at a time.

Dadthelion Sat 03-Aug-13 13:02:40

Can I just say Daniel Pelka was killed by his mum and step-dad.

He'd been better off with his dad.

honey86 Sat 03-Aug-13 13:24:36

and the pro-dad brigade has arrived grin
it really has naff all to do with whether the abuser has a vagina or not its about the bureaucracy and manipulation surrounding child protection issues!
when i mentioned about discretion over contact i was referring to op's situation.

tomsellecklover Sat 03-Aug-13 13:28:33

hi everyone I'm the OP . just want to.say I'm not after just justice for mums but justice for all, most importantly for children and their right to be protected whether that means they are safer with mum or dad. in my own case I was 'lucky' that ex admitted to most of the abuse in cour and they are making him do a dvvp. so where I am confused is that they took that seriously however no the sex abuse stuff.because 'he hasn't done anything to dd yet' . how can I live my life handing my precious little girl over to.him and thinking 'what if?' . and I am made out to be wasting time because I for her lifenow . I went to MP this morning, they are going to send me info on the current campaign for reform situation. I'm realistic in that perhaps not a lot can be done and we.need to live our lives and be there for our own children but if we could at least raise awareNess then that would be dometji

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