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Entries in English law (1)


Family Justice Review

Although the Family Justice Review (FJR) relates only to England and Wales, the Families Need Fathers response to the FJR interim report includes many points which could also apply to the Scottish system.

On comments from children:

We must be mindful that if children are informed of their options only via a parent (or other subjective party), they could be placed in a position where they feel they must protect the interests or feelings of that person. Attention must always be paid to the burden that children may find themselves placed under, particularly in the often emotionally volatile environment of the court room.

We believe that professionals engaged in recording the children’s wishes and feelings should undergo training to help them identify cases where a parent has coached or manipulated a child to express opinions in a particular adult’s favour.

On mediation:

There must also be a little wisdom regarding mediation, in that if there is no incentive to reach and maintain a reasonable settlement, why should a parent compromise? With so much uncertainty as to outcome, and some parents being bitter, unhappy and at times vengeful, clearer expectations and outcomes from the outset are in reality most likely to reduce applications to court."

and on contact:

Fortnightly visits are simply inadequate to enable a ‘meaningful’ relationship to develop, as it inevitably precludes a child from being able to experience the holistic care of the parent they do not regularly live with.

The intial FNF response to the FJR is also available.