President of the Family Division Says Courts Are Not Best Suited To Resolving Conflicts Over Child Contact

  • President of the Family Division says that the traditional adversarial system in British courts compels separated parents to argue against each other when trying to arrange contact with their children. Children are often used as ‘the battlefield and the ammunition’ after separation

The President of the Family Division says that children are often used as ‘the battlefield and the ammunition’ after divorce or separation by parents wishing to punish each other for the breakdown of their relationship.

Lord Justice Wall, the senior judge in the family courts, was speaking at the annual gathering of Families Need Fathers which has branches all over the UK. He stated “often, the parties are fighting over again the battles of the relationship, and the children are both the battlefield the ammunition.”

Against this background the adversarial system of the courts doesn’t help. “One party wants a divorce, or residence or contact: the other opposes it. One party makes an application, the other resists. The adversarial system is engrained.”

Lord Justice Wall described break-ups as ‘a serious failure in parenting’ that requires an extremely responsible and child-centred approach to prevent harm to the children. “Parents, in my experience, often find it difficult to understand that children both love and have a loyalty to both parents. There is nothing worse, for most children, than for their parents to denigrate each other. If a child’s mother makes it clear to the child that his or her father is worthless – and vice versa – the child’s sense of self-worth can be irredeemably damaged.”
With 136,000 couples divorcing annually and, each year, up to 20,000 parents going to court to determine disputes over seeing their children, this issue affects a large proportion of the population and its effects will be felt among generations of children who have suffered following separation.

Many children lose touch with one of their parents in these circumstances and are, consequently, likely to suffer in many respects over the course of their lives. Families Need Fathers is chiefly concerned with the problems of maintaining a child’s relationship with both parents during and after family breakdown. They offer information, advice and support services for parents who could otherwise spend years without achieving a positive outcome for the children. One of their key resources of is a 50 strong network of local branch meetings where anyone can get free help and support from separated parents who have themselves struggled to see their children.

To learn more about the charity’s other services, such as a helpline and a website, call 0300 0300 110 or visit

fathers rights

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Parental Alienation Is Child Abuse So Why Don’t We Follow Other Countries And Stamp It Out?

Parental Alienation is recognised in many countries around the world as child abuse and laws have been changed to stamp this cruel and selfish act out, in the best interests of children. Sadly, the UK is way behind in this matter and courts still do not recognise Parental Alienation as the abuse it is.

We receive hundreds of messages supporting a change in the law but the government, as always, is slow to act. A review of family law is under way and in the Autumn of 2011 the findings are expected to be available.

This is by no means the end of the matter. We need more and constant pressure on our MPs, government and more direct-action campaigning in order to stamp out this cruel abuse to children.

Parental Alienation needs to be recognised by CAFCASS and the courts, just as it is in Brazil, Canada, Australia and many states in the USA.

We need your support so please contribute stories and articles on this site so we can keep up the pressure.

Thank you


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CAFCASS’ Parenting Information Programme

I recently attended a court-ordered Parenting Information Program, which has recently been setup by CAFCASS to educate separated parents on how best to raise your child in a safe, loving environment.

Before I went on the course I assumed it would be run in rough classroom-style manner and be filled with guys in a desperate situation like myself, but what actually took place was quite a surprise and actually enjoyable, as well as useful.

I was the only father there and the course was run by a lady i knew already from the charity sector and a social worker. On the course was 2 mothers and myself and the course ran from 10am to 2pm and it turned out to be quite useful for the mothers, but for me, I am 3 years into a court battle, so 95% of what was in the course I was either aware of, or I had researched and put into practice.

If this course was made mandatory at the start of the court process it would benefit both the parents and the children involved in bitter court battles and put the focus on the children, which is where it should be.

Throughout the 4 hour course we engaged in group exercises where we discussed situations and both myself and the 2 mothers were able to discuss and show how each party feels in different situations.

I can only hope that my daughter’s mother, for once, puts our child first and realises that being hostile, alienating me from our daughters life and being selfish is not the way for our child to grow up balanced and happy.

Well done for CAFCASS for finally listening and doing something worthwhile towards resolving disputes, but of course much more had to be done, like acknowledging Parental Alienation and recording breaches of contact orders as child abuse.

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Fathers Rights Groups Join Forces To Help Children Get To See Both Parents

Fathers rights groups FNF, Real Fathers For Justice, Fathers Rights UK and New Fathers For Justice continue to campaign for changes in UK’s family court system, which currently allows some mothers to continue carrying out child abuse by denying basic human rights to children who deserve to see their fathers but are being subjected to alienation and tactics to stop the bond and contact time between the father and child.

Family courts in the UK are closed proceedings which is in itself a disgrace and helps biasness flourish, by continuing to act weakly in the face of obvious parental alienation in many family court cases regarding child contact after separation or divorce.

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Breaking news: Brazil has ratified a law that defines and punishes parental alienation as a form of child abuse

On the 26th of August 2010 the Brazilian Parliament has ratified with immediate effect a law against parental alienation. The law defines parental alienation as a form of child abuse. It provides Brazilian judges and courts with seven measures to deal with parental alienation. Amongst those are fines, contrary custody and/or care and residence decisions and care supervision orders.

Below you will find the text of this new Brazilian law in an English translation and below that the Brazilian original text.

Brazilian Law 12 318 – Ratified law that defines and punishes parental alienation

Check below in full 12.318/10 law that provides for parental alienation.
LAW No. 12 318, DE 26 AUGUST 2010 Provides for parental alienation and amending Art. 236 of Law No. 8069 of 13

Ratified law that defines and punishes parental alienation in Brazil
26 August 2010,MI116210,101048-Lula+sanciona+lei+que+determina+alienacao+parental+como+crime


Given the decrees of Congress promulgated the following law:

Article 1 This Law regulates the parental alienation.

Article 2 The parental alienation is considered an act of interference with the psychological training of the child or adolescent, promoted or induced by their parents or grandparents if the child or adolescent is under their authority, custody or supervision, and to result in less contemptuous behavior that impadiscano creating or maintaining links with the other parent. Examples of forms of parental alienation, as substantiated to the court or discovered by an expert, or charged directly with the testimony of third acts are aimed at:

I – open a campaign to ban the behavior of the parent exercising parenting;

II – impede the exercise of parental authority;

III – prevent contact of the child or adolescent with a parent;

IV – opposing the right to family life regulated;

V – deliberately omit relevant personal information to parents on the child or adolescent, including educational, medical and related changes of address;

VI – make false allegations against parents, against his family or against the grandparents in order to prevent or hinder their care to the child or adolescent;

VII – Change the address of residence without justification in order to prevent the attendance of the child or adolescent with the other parent, with his family or grandparents.

Article 3 The provision of an act of parental alienation hurts the fundamental right of the child or adolescent to enjoy a healthy family life, impedes the relationship of affection in relationships with parents and his family group, and is a form of abuse against moral the child or adolescent does not comply with the duties related to parental authority or guardianship or custody.

Article 4 In the face of evidence or documents indicated that parental alienation, the application of this Act at any time of the procedure, or incidentally in independent action, the court will determine, with urgency, after hearing the prosecutor, the transitional measures for the maintenance of ‘psychological integrity of the child or adolescent, including to ensure their familiarity with the parent or make a genuine rapprochement between the two, if any. The court will provide the child or adolescent and the parent a minimum guarantee of visits, except in cases where there is imminent risk of physical or psychological harm to the child or adolescent, certified by a professional designated by the judge in charge of monitoring visits .

Article 5 If there is evidence that they have been charged with acts of parental alienation incidental damages, the court, if necessary, to determine the bio-psychological consequences of child:

1 The expert report is based on extensive psychological assessment biopsychosocial or, where appropriate, including a personal interview with the parties, examination of documents in the case, the story of the couple’s relationship, the chronology of events The assessment of the personalities involved and the investigation as a child or teen may have developed symptoms of alienation against their parents.

2 examinations will be performed by professionals or experts in the multidisciplinary team, necessary in any case, as evidenced by appropriate academic or professional history to diagnose the acts of parental alienation.

3 The expert or a multidisciplinary team appointed to assess the presence of parental alienation will submit a report within 90 days, renewable only with judicial authorization based on a detailed explanation.

Article 6 In response to acts typical of parental alienation or against any behavior that hinders the coexistence of the child or adolescent with a parent’s parent, the court may, together or separately, to raise the subject of their civil or criminal liability arising, and have adequate tools to inhibit or mitigate the effects of alienation. He will, according to the severity of the case:

I – indicate the presence of parental alienation and to notify the parent;

II – expanding the system of family life for the alienated parent;

III – impose a fine on the alienating parent;

IV – require advice biopsychosocial;

V – lead to a change of custody from joint custody or its reversal;

VI – to elect a temporary residence of a child or adolescent;

VII – to declare the suspension of parental authority.

In the case of arbitrary change of address, or impracticability or obstruction to the family, the court may also reverse the requirement to remove the child from parents’ residence, during the alternating periods of family life.

Article 7 In case of assignment or change of custody will be given preference to the parent that allows efficient co-existence of the child or adolescent with the other parent, if the case can not be alternating.

Article 8 The change of domicile of the child or adolescent is irrelevant to the determination of responsibilities relating to claims based on right to family life, unless this is not the result of consensus between the parents or a court decision.

Article 9 (vetoed – amended – cash)

Article 10 (vetoed – amended – cash)

Article 11 This Law shall enter into force upon its publication.

Brasília, August 26, 2010,

189 ° and 122 ° of the independence of the Republic.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Luiz Paulo Teles Ferreira Barreto

Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi

Article taken from

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