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Children what they want and need

  • Fiona
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29 Jul 12 #345898 by Fiona
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Family courts are well used to allegations and counter allegations of DV and Parental Alienation but it''s actually hard to manipulate or confuse children without it being apparent to professionals by their language and behaviour.

It''s not fair for parents to expect children decide contact and living arrangements. Most children love both parents and want to maintain a relationship with both them both. By asking the children effectively you are asking them to choose between two parents and children who choose one parent over the other grow up shouldering a burden of guilt.

Loving parents may ask children how they feel about moving house or changing school but ultimately it is adults who weigh up the pros and cons and make the decision in the best interests of the family. Children of separated parents need enough information about the situation to make sense of it, but they don''t need all the gory details. Insecurity about a natural parent is emotionally damaging to children. Therefore the views of children need to be seen in context of the overall circumstances.

Threats to take the children or prevent contact the children or withhold finances are common. It''s an uphill struggle changing the existing arrangement because disrupting a child''s sense of security and established bonds is not deemed in the interests of child unless there is evidence they aren''t surviving satisfactorily. Apart from the status quo there are other factors to consider and above all arrangements for children need to be practical. There''s no point in a parent insisting they have midweek overnights if they regularly work until seven in the evening and would need child care when the parent is available and vice versa.

The aim of a CAFCASS report is to provide an independent forum to allow children to express their true wishes and feelings and evaluate that along with the other circumstances to come to a conclusion and recommend a way forward. Sometimes shared residence has been ordered to equalise the power between parents even when there is conflict. Other times the court orders sole residence to balance the power. The paramount consideration is the welfare of the child.

  • Chained
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29 Jul 12 #345938 by Chained
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I am sorry if I am not providing the help that is expected but when someone posts in a public forum they should expect that different people with different mind-frames and different experiences will provide different kinds of "help" and opinion.

I have spoken to the OP on IM before and I really admire her strength and will to find her way out of an inappropriate relationship with all its burdens. In this post though, we are dealing with their children and as she puts it "what they want and need" and I focus on that.

Whatever happened between Yummy and her ex husband does not necessarily mean it will happen with the children. IF this is even a remote possibility, then why on earth would she want her children to spend ANY time with him? I can understand her insecurity but when I read that she wants the children to spend X amount of time but they want Y, while he wants Z and then DV is being mentioned, I get a bit confused. Especially when the children are getting confused.

Confusion means that they do not have their facts straight and they are trying to find a way out of it considering everyone around them but themselves. This is not a good sign.

As I understand it, there are allegations and counter allegations from both sides and probably the children haven''t only seen things they should never have experienced but now they PROBABLY hear things, they never should have heard. It doesn''t mean that either parent is talking bad to the children about the other one, but it might mean that children overhear discussions and then try to please accordingly. The reasons they give for not wanting to spend time X time with him is what should be investigated.

If this happened to my son, I would rag his father to mediation ASAP, discussing the problem, how it affects our son and what can we do to eliminate it. Reducing contact would be my last resort and only if I was convinced that my son suffers harm while under daddy''s care.

My point is that maybe it is best that by co-operating the problem gets solved without any drastic measures being taken. But this is just me and everyone is entitled to their methods and opinions.



  • sexysadie
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29 Jul 12 #345947 by sexysadie
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Mediation in situations where there has been long-term domestic abuse is not usually a good idea. That is why people like Relate will not deal with couples where there is ongoing violence. YM is so afraid of her husband that going to mediation with him is likely just to provide another situation in which he can abuse her.

I am not suggesting that YM reduces contact, only that she readjusts it so that she gets more of the good times with the children. At the moment her ex seems to be running the show and having all the good times which isn''t fair on her or on the children.

best wishes,

  • Yummy_Mummy
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29 Jul 12 #346014 by Yummy_Mummy
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Thank You for your replies.

He did not want mediation.

Children are coming back really confused after contact. They are quite difficult with me and they don''t seem to be my children when they return. They say that they want to live with him.

After a few days of settling in, they then say, they want to be with me and I have to start again.

I am just trying to look out for the children.
Perhaps the Courts ought to decide. I am concerned about the onging abuse on me and on them.

Does Court recognise non physical abuse? Does it need to be proven?

We''ve just done another loop and back to where we started?

Exhausted & Frightened Mummy.

  • MrsMathsisfun
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29 Jul 12 #346020 by MrsMathsisfun
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Unfortunately your children are torn between you both. They love you both and want to make you both happy.

A court would decide what''s in the best interest of the children.

Your ex can play as many games as he wants but I am sure that if you have been the primary carer for the children you will continue to be the primary carer.

  • Yummy_Mummy
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29 Jul 12 #346028 by Yummy_Mummy
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Thank you Maths.

So why am I so worried and frightened that I might lose my children well, he''ll get custody? I''ve been with them since they were born.


  • mumtoboys
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30 Jul 12 #346033 by mumtoboys
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it is normal to worry about losing residence of your children when you are being challenged in this way - I was exactly the same some 3 years ago and in moments of weakness, I genuinely worried that I was going to lose them. I didn''t. The CAFCASS report was amazing when we finally got it (that''s a story in itself) and my ex capitulated and we eventually agreed everything by a Consent Order. It doesn''t stop him messing about - he could win prizes for his game playing - but I didn''t lose residence of my children and believe me, my ex had as good a shot at it as he was able.

Hang on in there - this will resolve itself and there is nothing that you have said that is making anyone worry you might lose residence.

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