Research suggests that one in three dads loses contact with their children within three years of separation (if that is true).
Sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the Principal Registry, I see how this happens and to be fair it’s not ALWAYS as a result of obstruction on the part of the mother–a surprising number of dads just disappear for a year or more after separation and then come back on the scene asking for contact with children who are all too aware of Dad’s desertion.
For many dads however it is now the court system and its delays which conspires against them so that a father issuing an application now in the Local Family Proceedings Court may have to wait 8 weeks or more for a first court date.
My advice to any dad where contact is being obstructed is to get into court quickly ie make a court application as soon as it looks as if the mother is going to put totally unreasonable obstacles in the way. You can always withdraw the application if there is a change of attitude.
All dads must be reassured that all the district Judges I know will do everything possible to make the contact work.
My firm offers low-cost “dip in, dip out” advice in children cases because we are so concerned that parents are not getting contact because legal advice is not accessible and often a one-off interview reassures a parent that there are steps they can take and that their children will not be lost to them if they are tenacious.
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