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July 11, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Following hard on the heels of yesterday’s piece comes this story of more of the same (Irish Mirror, 7/9/16). Yesterday’s piece retailed the absurd lengths to which a Polish father was forced to go to convince a judge to enforce his contact order. Amazingly, despite some 50 motions to enforce the order, the judge apparently never did. That was true despite ample evidence of parental alienation by the mother and the deteriorating father/daughter relationship. The father finally went in frustration to the European Court of Human Rights and got an order for the Polish government to pay damages to him for its failure to enforce his rights under Section 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing the right to family life apart from governmental interference.

Well, we find today’s case at a much earlier point in the process than yesterday’s, but it doesn’t take Nostradamus to see what’s coming.

A dad has been singled out by a family court judge for his incredible commitment to his children after flying from Sweden to the UK 37 times in a year to see his kids following an acrimonious split with their mother.

The father has shown that he is "remarkably committed" to his children, according to Judge Lesley Newton.

His former partner and mother to the children - an 11-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl - made damaging allegations to try and stop him from seeing the kids, a private hearing at the Family Division of the High Court in Manchester was told.

But Judge Newton said the woman had made "unconvincing" attempts to "blacken" her former partner's character by alleging that he approved of sexual relationships between young children.

The father of the children lives in Sweden, while the children live in England with their mother.

So here’s a dad going to astonishing lengths just to spend time with his children, only to have their mother lie to the court claiming that he’s trying to get the children to have sex. In short, it’s a mother who’ll stop at nothing to come between her children and their father. And I’m not the only one to draw that conclusion.

The judge said the woman had lied and was "wholly unconvincing", and urged her to seek help.

"Essentially, the mother does not value the father's contribution to the lives of the children and, in reality, would much prefer to be able to get on with life with her new husband and baby without what she sees as the intrusion of contact arrangements," said Judge Newton.

As in yesterday’s post, this mother looks like an alienator. First, she tried to prevent the children from seeing their father. When that didn’t work, she upped the ante to include false allegations of abuse. Then, the judge found that,

"I was, for example, astonished to learn, very much in passing when I enquired about collection arrangements, that on the father's visits, whether in the UK or Sweden, the children are sent in literally the clothes in which they stand up and with their passports in their hand: no change of clothing, no favourite toys, nothing to cuddle, no books, not even a toothbrush."

In short, on the rare occasions she allowed the kids to travel to visit their dad, she made the experience as unpleasant for them as possible. The hope apparently being that they’d associate privation with Dad and not want to repeat the performance.

The judge added: "I simply do not accept the mother's florid descriptions of the children complaining desperately that they do not want to go to see their father."

I’m sure they did exactly that, but only because the mother had alienated them from their father.

Meanwhile, Mom asked the court to issue an order denying all contact between the children and their dad. Judge Newton denied her request.

So, all’s well that ends well, right? Wrong on two counts. First, don’t believe for a second that this one has “ended” at all. Alienators seldom stop of their own accord. They need to be slapped down hard by a judge, and that’s not what happened here. Judge Newton’s denial of the mother’s request only means that she’ll be more persistent and smarter about her next move. Again, yesterday’s case is Exhibit A for exactly that proposition. This father may not know it, but he’s just begun to fight.

Second, there’s little good about this outcome, however long it may last. Yes, Mom has been found to be a liar and a parent who’s dead set on depriving her children of a relationship with their father. But, despite that fact, she still has custody. British family law now recognizes the value of continuing meaningful relationships between children and both their parents. It is exactly that that this mother attempted to thwart by resort to perjury. By anything that’s rational, that should constitute a change of circumstances sufficient to transfer custody of the children to the father.

But that’s not what happened. The judge denied Mom’s request, but did nothing more.

As I said in Sunday’s post, in effect, the Polish family court made common cause with the mother in her alienation of the children. It did so by refusing to see the obvious and take steps to prevent further damage. That’s what’s happening in the family court in Manchester. By failing to take preventive action, Judge Newton has left the door open for more parental alienation of the children, more hearings, more false allegations and more expense for all parties. In the Polish case, the persistent alienation substantially eroded the father/child relationship.

My guess is that the same will happen here.

Parental alienation is child abuse. Very often, the alienating parent doesn’t act alone. He/she has the assistance of a family judge who’s either too ill-informed or too uncaring to put a stop to it. In so doing, the judge becomes part of the problem, a co-conspirator in child abuse. Judge Newton rightly praised the father, but I won’t be surprised to learn that her failure to act permits Mom to continue her campaign against the father and the children.

 

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