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Suspended Residence Order

  • Forseti
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08 Oct 12 #359821 by Forseti
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There has been some interest recently in suspended residence orders - I think Khan has posted about them, for example. There''s a case here which may be of further interest:

www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed101674
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  • disneybunny
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08 Oct 12 #359831 by disneybunny
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Father ruins children''s lives over his rights yet again. Nice
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  • rubytuesday
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08 Oct 12 #359848 by rubytuesday
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disneybunny wrote:

Father ruins children''s lives over his rights yet again. Nice


Did you actually read the article, Disneybunny?

If so, you would have read this - "In giving judgment Peter Jackson J found that the mother did not believe that the children needed a relationship with their father or the wider family and was not supporting contact. Furthermore, His Lordship was "convinced" that the children loved their father and wanted to be able to see him, but were being prevented from showing their feelings or acting on them."

In the full judgment, Peter Jackson J states:

it is unacceptable from the point of view of the boys'' welfare in the short, medium and long term for them to be deprived of family relationships that are essential for their development as balanced young people, and as adults. Although leaving the children to grow up in relative isolation of their mother''s home is the easier short-term solution, it does not provide the foundations that they need for a healthy, rounded future.

The mother was given one final chance to facilitate contact between the children and their father, and an order was made for two periods of staying contact, providing that if the contact did not take place the children would thereafter live with the father and that the mother would facilitate their handover. In the event that the mother failed to do so, an application for the recovery of the children should be made.

Preventing a relationship with one parent for no good reason is not beneficial to the children - it is that which ruins children''s lives, not caring fathers.
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08 Oct 12 #359849 by disneybunny
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I read the article which stated that the guardian said it was best to withdraw contact as it was causing too much distress. Then the court over ruled changed the guardian and now are threatening to remove the children from a home they are doing well in and for what because the nrp wants their rights. The kids will be a complete mess.
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08 Oct 12 #359857 by rubytuesday
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Re the Guardian, this from the full judgement:

Having heard evidence, I found that the Guardian''s approach was profoundly flawed for reasons more fully given in a judgment delivered at the time. In it I said this:

"I acknowledge that Miss H is not an experienced CAFCASS officer, having joined the service in September 2010, but I am of the view that she has mistaken these children''s best interests by falling into the following errors. Had she applied the welfare checklist to this case she would have seen that it is not just about the children''s wishes and feelings and that it is not just about short term problems, but about medium to long-term issues. Had she analysed the children''s wishes and feelings correctly she would have seen that they cannot be taken at face value. They are instead, in my view, a reflection of the children''s loyalty to one parent, who happens to be, in this case, their mother. I find that Miss H takes no account of the losses and the effective estrangement of the children from their father arising from her proposals.

I further find that her analysis does not take account of the fact that if the children realise they can get their own way on this issue it is a terrible lesson to them for life in future. If you disrespect people, make up things about them and go on doing so you will, in the end, be in control of your situation. J and B ought not to be in control of their situation. Their views should be carefully considered, as I hope I have done, but I think that it would be directly contrary to their welfare to act upon the sorts of expressions of view that they have presented to adults. These children need guidance."


Of the children''s wishes, I said:

"These wishes and feelings were conveyed both in writing and in conversation to the Guardian in what I regard as being most unsatisfactory circumstances. This case has, for a long time, been about the influence that these parents have on their children and how that limits the children''s room for manoeuvre. Nevertheless, the guardian interviewed the mother in the presence of the children and the children in the presence of the mother and, as it happens, did not see the father at all, but spoke to him on the telephone."

I also rejected the Guardian''s formulation that the mother should "continue to promote the contact and encourage the children to understand that their father loves and cares for them", when it was clear that nothing of this kind was in fact occurring.


It is clear, DB that you deeply entrenched in your own view that fathers are not the better parent, and that children should remain with the mother. It seems to me that any case or post where a father is granted a residence order is automatically dismissed by you as "the nrp wanting their rights", rather than it being in the interests of the children.
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  • Chained
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08 Oct 12 #359868 by Chained
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24. On 11 April 2011, the Guardian supervised a contact session. At the beginning, the children were very reticent. J would not make eye contact and told his father he did not like him. B became tearful and told his father that he missed him and would like to see him more, and then gave his father a cuddle. The meeting then became more relaxed and by the end the children said they would like to see their father again. They became excited at the thought of doing some cooking at his flat and the occasion ended with the children cuddling their father and saying goodbye.

25. On 16 April 2011, a Sunday, the Guardian went to collect the children for a three hour visit to the father''s home. They were tearful and refused to go. Contact was cancelled. The Guardian again expressed concern that the children were being coached and influenced. She recommended further attempts, and these were ordered. Once again, they did not take place, and on 27 May 2011, the District Judge directed a psychological report.

26. That report was completed on 26 August 2011. The psychologist made a school visit, two home visits and four contact observations. In a detailed report, she reported that the children have a strong, secure emotional bond with their mother and a positive bond with their siblings and with Mr A. Their relationship with their father was anxious-avoidant in J''s case and anxious-ambivalent in B''s. The children were doing well at school and thriving at home, which was a calm and caring family environment. The psychologist advised that the children should have "regular, timetabled consistent experiences of direct contact", supervised in the first instance. She also recommended therapeutic intervention for the children and parallel therapy for the parents.

27. In the last week of the summer holidays, at the end of August 2011 and within a few days of this recommendation, the mother and children disappeared. Without any warning to anyone, the mother drove with the children to Devon. Her departure was unplanned. They all slept in the car for at least three days before finding somewhere to rent. The father found out in early September when he contacted the school in Blackpool at the beginning of term to find out how they were getting on.

28. The matter was returned to court on 12 September 2011. The mother did not attend and refused to tell her solicitor where she was. The matter was referred to a Circuit Judge, who made orders designed to establish the children''s whereabouts and ordered the mother to attend a hearing on 20 September. On that date the mother did not attend. She was ordered to attend a meeting with the Guardian and a further hearing on 3 October. The mother refused the Guardian access to the children on 30 September and failed to attend the hearing on 3 October. The father issued committal proceedings. An order was made that the mother should attend a hearing on 17 October or she would be arrested.


Disneybunny... I do not think the NRP''s rights created this situation.

Read the whole Judgement and you will understand. The article might not be very enlightening as it is a summary.
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  • Forseti
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08 Oct 12 #359869 by Forseti
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It is quite clear from the judgement that the case was decided on the welfare of the child and not on parental rights. Indeed, the mother has retained residence when it might be thought better for residence to have been transferred.

The beauty of the suspended residence order, pioneered by Sir Paul Coleridge, is that it allows the obstructive parent a final chance. If the mother in this case cooperates with contact, residence will remain with her; if she continues to obstruct contact, residence will be transferred, but she, and she alone, will be responsible for that circumstance.
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