Fathers denied legal rights to see their children after a break-up. Grandparents dismissed as causing ‘damage’ to their grandchildren when they ‘interfere’ in divorces.
The reforms to family law proposed by the Government’s adviser on families reads like some poisonous feminist tract from the Sixties.
David Norgrove’s Family Justice Review is a misguided piece of outdated, sexist nonsense which enshrines in law a mother’s unassailable right to raise her children — alone.
Mr Norgrove decrees that fathers should have no legal right to enjoy time with their children when a relationship ends. He even says that for a father to have a ‘meaningful relationship’ with his children after his marriage breaks down can do ‘more harm than good’.
He claims his review is all based on what’s ‘best for the child’.
Yet he ignores decades of research that shows children from broken homes benefit from maintaining a stable, constant relationship with their mothers and their fathers, as well as with their extended family.
As Iain Duncan Smith says — and countless parents who’ve been through the agony of a divorce know — these reforms would ‘fuel the epidemic of fatherless families’.
And there is a terrible irony here: successive governments have, quite rightly, gone to huge efforts to ensure fathers from broken relationships support their children financially. Now they are being told that, despite that support, they will have no legal right to any access.
Few of us have been untouched by the break-up of a family, whether our own, our children’s or a friend’s.
I’m not saying all fathers are paragons — the sad truth is that both mothers and fathers use their children as pawns for maximum leverage in divorce negotiations. It’s just that the law as it stands gives women the upper hand.
In the bitterness of a divorce, some women use every dirty trick in the book to deny decent men access to their own children. I have even known normally sensible women, egged on by their divorce lawyers, to claim falsely that their husbands abused them, so as to deny them access to the children.
I’ve seen successful career women claiming poverty or even quitting work to screw every penny out of their children’s father, yet still deny him access.
Guilty till proved innocent is the dictum for dads in the Family Law Courts.
David Cameron has long promised his will be the most family-friendly government in history. He can prove it by condemning Mr Norgrove’s unjust Anti-Family Review and enshrining in law the right of every decent father to a fair share in the raising of his children.