British Judge Actually Wants to Implement the Law in Custody Cases

November 29th, 2010 by Pelle Billing

The Daily Mail reports that Mr Justice Coleridge has dared to say what many judges probably think, but do not say aloud:

Mothers who refuse to let separated fathers see their children should have them taken away, a senior family court judge said yesterday.

He called for a ‘three strikes and you’re out rule’ by which children would be taken away if mothers ignored three court orders.

“Three strikes and you’re out” seems to be a very reasonable practice, in my opinion. Everybody can make a mistake, but if you repeatedly defy the judge’s decision then there needs to be consequences.

Obviously, the father who then gets the children will then be responsible for making sure that the children get to see their mother according to schedule.

Mothers have a very high status in most societies – and rightly so – but they cannot and should not be above the law.

10 Responses to “British Judge Actually Wants to Implement the Law in Custody Cases”

  1. hopeless_case Says:

    It is stories like this that make me think the men’s movement is beginning to turn the tide.

    It must have taken some courage for Justice Coleridge to speak out like this.

    I especially liked this quote:

    The judge said that family courts are losing their authority because so many people take no notice of their judgments.

    though I found this quote troubling:

    Judges are extremely reluctant to jail such mothers because of the damaging effects on the children,

    yet judges are all too eager to jail fathers for falling behind on draconian child support orders, or for the slightest technical violation of restraining orders granted without any burden of proof on the mother’s part, without regard for the effect on children.

    I find the idea that a judge would hesitate to punish a woman (because she has children to look after) for violating the law profoundly troubling. If the phrase “the best interest of the child” is to mean anything, it has to be “the best interest of children generally” and not “one particular child, regardless of whether the mother has lied, cheated, or stolen.” For it if means the latter, then we would have to think twice before punishing a poverty stricken mother for robbing a bank in order to support her children.

    If it doesn’t mean the latter, but the former, then we can not hesitate to punish mothers who lie, cheat, or steal just because it might negatively affect her children. In particular, the courts should never stand in the way of a paternity test requested by a man who is on the hook for child support on the logic that her children would be hurt by the loss of an innocent man’s income, anymore than it should stand in the way of police investigating a woman for robbing a bank.

    Yet, not only do they stand in the way of paternity testing, they often refuse to cancel a man’s support obligation even when paternity is disproven.

    Nevertheless, this is fantastic news.

  2. AlexNY Says:

    Removing the children makes no sense to me. Where would they go?

    It is better to implement the law by financial penalty. If a custodial parent interferes with visitation, the judge should penalize the custodial parent with an order to pay compensatory damages to the non-custodial parent.

    The costs to the non-custodial parent of arranging a week-end visitation are similar to the costs of arranging a two day family vacation, probably about $2000. This includes the opportunity cost of not working (or doing something else) with that time. To make the measure effective, twice this number could be the baseline compensatory order for violation of visitation. This could increase with each new offence.

    Custodial parents would quickly stop using visitation as a weapon.

  3. AlexNY Says:

    Another problem with removing the children is that this would serve as an incentive for false accusations by the non-custodial parent. Fathers would fraudulently abuse this rule to gain a strategic advantage, in the same way that mothers fraudulently abuse protective orders.

    As the usual victims of fraudulent claims, men should know better than to condone a law that will likely result in even more of this.

    Financial compensation is the way to deal with this. If is much harder to abuse compensation laws, since you actually have to spend money preparing for the week-end with the children. Even if you recover your money twice over, it would rarely make sense to fraudulently abuse the system because many judges would sniff out the fraud. Money leaves a very easy to follow paper trail!

  4. hopeless_case Says:

    Removing the children makes no sense to me. Where would they go?

    To their father, of course. How did you miss that?

  5. AlexNY Says:

    Many parents are motivated to seek custody at least in part because it is financially attractive. Usually this means possession of the family home and an extremely generous child support payment.

    If the punishment for improper behaviour on the part of the custodial parent is temporary transfer of custody to the non-custodial parent, you have two perverse incentives for immoral behaviour:

    1) If the custodial parent lacks character, he/she will be tempted to intentionally sabotage visitation, in order to have temporary relief from childcare duties, while still receiving child support and enjoying the benefits of the family home. He/she might do this in order to arrange a vacation, for example.

    2) If the non-custodial parent lacks character, he/she will be tempted to falsely accuse the custodial parent in order to gain increased access to his/her children.

    Divorce brings out the worst in people as it is, the law should not encourage or reward this.

    Think of the countless cases where wives falsely accuse husbands of domestic violence or child abuse in order to gain a strategic advantage during the divorce.

  6. Pelle Billing Says:

    Alex,

    I think the suggestion is to transfer the custody permanently.

    Could the system be abused? Every system can be abused, but it’s relatively easy to prove where a child has been or not been, so it shouldn’t be a big issue.

  7. Jim Says:

    “It is better to implement the law by financial penalty. If a custodial parent interferes with visitation, the judge should penalize the custodial parent with an order to pay compensatory damages to the non-custodial parent. ”

    The penalized custodial parent could just take it out of the kids’ money. Jail a few of these law-breakers and publicize the shit out of the cases. Just smear their names across the media. “Kill one, save one hundred.”

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  9. Jim Says:

    Pelle, any thoughts on the Julain Assange rape mess?

  10. Pelle Billing Says:

    Jim,

    This is what I wrote on Facebook last night:

    Arresting Assange actually has nothing to do with Wikileaks (as far as I can tell), and everything to do with Swedish feminism run amok:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1336291/Wikileaks-Julian-Assanges-2-night-stands-spark-worldwide…-hunt.html

    Sweden is a testament to what happens when (radical) feminism becomes mainstream and is allowed to influence government, policy and legislation. The rest of the world cannot imagine that the Swedish judicial system has become this affected by feminism within the span of a couple of decades, and hence believe it must be related to Wikileaks. But using Occam’s razor the simplest explanation is simply that Assange is victim of the same process that lots of Swedish men have gone through already. There is no justice in Sweden when a woman accuses a man of rape or domestic violence. I hope the rest of the world can learn from what has gone wrong in our feminist “paradise”, and that the world’s reaction to arresting Assange will be a wakeup call for Swedish policy makers.


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