There have been many posts re contact. As an estranged father and an alpha male, who has been on the receiving end of the current injustice for 10 years, I thought it may be helpful to give my view.
Underpinning the courts approach to contact is the belief that a mother is maternal and therefore she will ultimately do the right thing, which includes allowing a relationship between the children and their father.
The court is therefore patriarchal and collaborative: it assumes that once the initial emotion dies down, all will be ok.
With this blanket patriarchal approach there are two key issues:
1. In contact, the role of the court is to act as moral guidance not as law.
2. The real skill required of the judge is to determine which mothers are maternal and which are not.
This leads to a truly bizarre situation: the best solution for fathers is to fight for more female judges not a change in the law, because women accept no nonsense from other women.
Put simply: a change in the wording of the law makes no difference if the judges don''t agree with the underlying premise of that change.
Currently if a mother persistently breaks contact orders the courts will allow the father to keep dragging her back to court, but beyond this there are no consequences.
If the same mother refused to pay a parking ticket, then the eventual consequence would be that she is committed.
The central issue therefore is not the law but the preparedness of judges to apply the law in relation to contact disputes.
I would argue that the current status quo is the worst possible for children, because it encourages fathers to fight by giving them false hope. Currently it is quite possible for a family to spend years in court and still the children do not see their father: essentially children bear the brunt of that anger and frustration.
In my view there are 3 choices:
1. To scrap contact law altogether. This stops children being involved in years of acrimonious litigation which currently is pointless.
2. To have a set of laws the judges do believe in and therefore implement.
3. To have a set of judges who are prepared to implement the current laws.
I have been in front of 15 different judges regarding contact. Only 2 of these were female judges. They were the only 2 who were prepared to take proper sanctions against the mother. Indeed they were the only 2 who were able to modify her behaviour because they frightened her so badly.
As I said in the original post: there is nothing wrong with the current law, the problem lies with implementation. No law is relevant if there is no enforcement of that law.