Keeping mom away
Are the courts finally judging mothers and fathers equally, asks Marlon Abrahams.
‘Mother denied all access to her children’

This was the headline of an article published in the UK on Mother’s Day. The woman in question has been denied access to her kids for three years and she was jailed for approaching one of them in a street and telling him she loved him – in breach of a court order.

The judge justified her decisions by saying it will avoid “an intolerable situation of conflict of loyalties resulting in them suffering serious emotional harm”. The judge said she had “serious concern about [the mother] infantilising the children, encouraging them to make complaints about the father and encouraging them to want to take an inappropriate part in these proceedings”.

Anthony Douglas, of Cafcass, a body that looks after children’s welfare during court cases, said: “In a small minority of cases, continuing contact with a parent who is determined to continue a relationship battle after separating can cause their child immense long-term emotional harm. “Ending contact with a parent can help children grow up and move on from events to which they were often only miserable witnesses.”

I thought I was seeing things. Is this really happening? And in a first world country between seemingly well-educated and financially well-off individuals? I mean WTF! I’m no fan of mean, conniving bitches who try to poison the minds of their kids against their fathers, or a-hole dads who do the same, but this does not sit well with me.

Sure, if the woman is a bit of a nut, send her to therapy or something, at least allow her supervised access to the kids. No matter the merits of the case, as a single parent, if there is one thing I have learnt, and one thing I can’t drive home enough in my columns, it is that children need their parents! And parents need their kids. Clearly there are certain circumstances where the kids are better off without a loser father or a nut-job for a mother.

But to me, this judgement raises other interesting questions. Are women finally being given the same treatment as the male counterparts on this issue? Are men, as I have suspected all along, finally becoming more responsible parents? Are we heading towards an equal parenting utopia where one day soon, men in general will be as well-equipped, emotionally, if not physically, to raise children? Does this judgement, mark a turning point in how we as a global society now look upon parenting roles vs the stereotypes of the past?

Do you think that judges are beginning to see fathers as equal parents?
Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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