Why is it all i hear from solicitors is that the parents have the right to see their child, when the law states the child has the right to see the parent??what is the difference? Also why is it that when a child who can’t speak,expresses their emotions through crying for example if they cried not wanting to go somewhere they are ignored by the law. But when the child can speak they are listened to?
Family Law is there to protect the children, not the parents. The Law believes it is healthier for children to have some contact with both parents and grandparents growing up until a child can make up its own mind (even if those individuals are hardened criminals). However, they don’t care about the mental health of parents with contact issues because the wife ran off with another man to the Orkneys and you never get to see the children again! Resident parents have more rights than non-resident. I think common sense tells you that it is easier to understand what a child is thinking when they can speak. Children tend not to have the same filters as adults. Picture the scene: “Yes, Mummy did take us out and we played on the swings in the pub garden all day while she watched football with Uncle Andy. We had crisps for lunch and I chased a squirrel”. Generally the state keeps their nose out of family arrangements unless a child is suspected of encountering safeguarding issues, in which case they have a raft of powers to protect children. They can even force parents to split up on pain of taking the children into care if they feel one parent is the danger.
We’re all aware of horror stories of how professionals didn’t take notice of injuries on a child until it was too late, but they’re also aware that children do get hurt and do cry for no reason they should be involved in. One of my sons is constantly head-butting things and always has wounds to his head but no one important is remotely concerned about that, despite the fact I am. Nor are they concerned if my daughter cries because I tried to get her to eat broccoli rather than the chocolate biscuit grandma gave her. There is a lovely little book I got when I first became a father called “Why My Child Is Crying” which is full of candid pictures of children really crying their hearts out like you’d think they’d been stabbed. These are accompanied with captions like “I asked her not to eat the mud”. My favourite is “He threw his cake on the floor because he didn’t want it. Now he wants his cake and it’s in the bin.” Etc.
Professionals will tell you they know the minute they step inside the house how the children are treated on a day to day basis. Whether they always get it right, or that judgement is fair I’m not the best placed to say. I think on balance I’m glad children are safeguarded by the state when necessary.