Children should not be heard in the family courts??? Parental Alienation at it’s finest!


Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)   

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a Scam It’s ONLY legal purpose in the courts is to PROTECT the abusers and to FURTHER Abuse the Victims. Its is ABUSE DENIERS dream come true. Court approved to TORTURE and KILL.


Children should not be heard in the family courts. A judge's decision to hear evidence from a five-year-old sets a worrying precedent, says Cassandra Jardine.

Published: 1:03PM BST 16 Apr 2010

Comments 8 | Comment on this article

A child of five is too young to know whether eating chocolate all day is bad for the teeth. Yet the evidence of a child of that age has been taken into account in the High Court in relation to a far more serious matter: whether that child and her brothers, aged three and eight, should have to return to Ireland and see their father again, or whether they can stay in England with their mother, who brought them here last year to escape their father.

It sounds mad to take such a young child’s views into account. “I am violently opposed to it,” says Lady Catherine Meyer, whose own two sons were abducted by her husband in 1994; a trauma which caused her to start the charity PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together).

And yet it is a logical - even overdue - development from the 1989 Children’s Act which requires the wishes and feelings of a child to be taken into account when decisions are made about where that child should live, and with whom. If a child wants to have a say, it is important that the child should feel listened to.

I have frequently heard from much older children, even teenagers, who feel cheated, not to say despairing, because their often passionate views are apparently of no interest to a court. Only this week I heard from a mother who wanted me to speak to her fourteen-year-old who was being forced to see his father against his will.

So far I have not spoken to that child for reasons that are pertinent in this case, indeed all such cases, whether they involve abduction or divorce. Although a child may be sincere in his views, how do I know whether he has been coached to hold those opinions? Most parents in acrimonious circumstances are liable to poison a child's mind, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not.

Giving evidence, whether to a social worker, judge or journalist, can be a deeply emotional experience. It needs to be handled deftly: ideally the questions should be asked by someone with training who also knows the child well so it is possible to hear the child’s true views, not a parroted version of the controlling parent’s.

Above all, it needs to be made plain to the child that, while his views matter, they may not determine the outcome. Children are too young to bear that burden, and may not know all the relevant facts. He does, however, deserve to understand why a decision was reached. I once attended a case in which a mother pleaded for a child to give evidence. The judge turned down the request. All other reports tended towards the view that the mother was not capable of caring for that child. For the child to plead for her, and fail, would have been devastating. But the judge did offer to talk to the child informally afterwards.

That approach - human, informal, non-confrontational - is one that should be taken more often, before, during and after a hearing. And not only when a parent makes an issue of it.

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