Failings in Intractable Contact Cases Continue


When intractable contact dispute cases fail to be resolved there are common reasons, and ones which involve how the cases are managed by the court and professionals involved in proceedings. Some of those cases are salvageable, while for others the long length of proceedings acts as a bar to the court entertaining a different approach.

My criticism isn’t universal and I acknowledge there are experienced and highly capable judges and welfare officers. It’s that very observation which sees me compare what, in case management terms, is the good, the bad and the ugly (one movie we didn’t see this Christmas). Sadly, justice and positive outcomes remain reliant on the quality and experience of the individuals involved, with a lack of process and poor adherence to what process exists exacerbating problems. The appeal system alone is an inadequate means of quality control to identify poor practice and capability.

Rather than intractable contact disputes being complex, these are often cases made complex by poor investigation, inadequate welfare analysis and failures to apply and carry through strategies from an early stage. These are common reasons for failure, and the saddest thing of all is that none of these should come as a surprise. Continue reading Failings in Intractable Contact Cases Continue


Not seeing your child this Christmas? Some presents from us, to you


For some parents and children this year there will be a gaping hole in their lives while others enjoy the festive season. They won’t be seeing their children. For some, they won’t have seen their children for a while. Some will have no court order or arrangements in place. For others, arrangements will break down at the last minute, or they’re desperately still trying to get their ex-partner to agree dates as the clock ticks down to Christmas morning. It’s torture.

It’s natural to feel depressed and stressed when you don’t see your children, but please take that energy, and put it towards re-establishing your relationship. You’re not forgotten. Please download our guide to Coping with Stress.

While sympathy, understanding and empathy may help, it’s not enough. Practical help to change these circumstances is what a parent in these circumstances wants and needs. Stress and depression comes from feeling helpless. You’re not.

Our guides on our family law app will help. Our family law app contains 1.5million words of content, guides, case law, forms and more… all written for parents in your circumstances… and free throughout the year.

We also have downloadable “guide packs” in our shop, but it’s Christmas and in these circumstances sometimes knowing someone will help, for no reason other than to help, makes a difference. So until 6th January 2016, all of the following downloadable guides and resources are free. Continue reading Not seeing your child this Christmas? Some presents from us, to you


New Case Law – Leave to Remove – N v N (Removal from the jurisdiction) [2015] EWFC B89


The mother´s having placed obstacles in the way of contact was a factor in leave to remove being refused. The mother’s arguments were unduly critical of the father and she could not think of a single positive thing to say about him. Her focus had been on the maternal family whereas it should have been on the child’s needs and his parents.

The judge did not accept she would be devastated but disappointed. The judge usefully bullet points the matters he weighed when considering the case before him. The mother’s application for leave to remove was refused.

Read the full text of the judgment
Download the judgment


Frustrated Skype/Facetime Contact – Gathering Evidence


This morning I recorded an interview with the BBC World Service on ‘virtual’ or internet based contact. A parent who had spoken earlier in the programme had given examples of how his ex-partner frustrates Skype contact. It is not uncommon. It is however possible to gather evidence of the problems experienced if you intend heading to court for enforcement. The interview wasn’t long enough to raise the following suggestions in relation to gathering evidence, so I have included this here. I’ll post links to the World Service interview when I have the airing date confirmed. Continue reading Frustrated Skype/Facetime Contact – Gathering Evidence


BBC World Service – Is Virtual Parenting Time a Substitute for Physical Contact


If you didn’t catch my interview on the BBC World Service this week on Skype contact, you can hear it on our Youtube Channel (or via the video below). The father interviewed, ‘Peter’, explains the problems extremely well. Was moving the child 400 miles away from this man in the child’s best interests? Hearing him, I struggle to see how it was. Continue reading BBC World Service – Is Virtual Parenting Time a Substitute for Physical Contact


In today’s Daily Mail – The fathers who only see their children on a computer screen


If you missed the Daily Mail article today on the limitations of Skype as a source of contact, you can read it via the link below:

The fathers who only see their children on a computer screen

It’s worth remembering that some mums are affected by this too. Regardless of gender, all of their children are affected. You really can’t hug Skype.


In this week’s Spectator Magazine – Skype Dads: A New Sorrow of Divorce in the Internet Age


In this week’s Spectator Magazine, an article on the problems facing non-resident parents and their children when the children are removed abroad. More parents discuss their experiences and the difficulties involved. The international element of parental separation is an area of increasing interest for the press. Make sure you also listen to this week’s Radio 5 Live discussion (on the same subject).

To read the Spectator article, follow the link below:

Meet the Skype Dads: a new sorrow of divorce in the internet age


Welcome to our new website


As more and more people move to accessing online content via smartphones and tablets, a change to a very mobile friendly format was necessary. The new site operates seamlessly across all platforms and all devices. Not just improved accessibility, but we’ve plenty of new content for you!

Our Free Family Law Appflapplaptop

Yes, it’s still there. Now running to over 1,500,000 words of content, and process mapping family law into a series of parent friendly, step-by-step guides. There is no similar resource available, and nothing else as detailed, aimed at helping parents navigate the separation process when disputes arise. Of course, it’s free.

Recent additions include:

We’re currently developing new content branching out into more specialist areas. Ones being developed include guides on wardship, acquisition of parental responsibility for non-biological parents (including parents in LGBT relationships), and guides on appeal. These will be published over the coming months. We already provide content in many specialist areas, including leave to remove, parental alienation and others. Our family law app will continue to grow…. filling the void left by legal aid cuts.

NEW – Video Guidesvideo2

Our first video guide helps you get the most out of our free Family Law App. We show you three different ways to search for information, give you a brief run through of features.

We Show You How To Embed our App on Your Site

If you have your own web site helping parents, are an individual, charity or organisation, you can now easily embed our app on one of your web pages. No more sending visitors to other web sites. No expensive development costs. No charge at all! Provide your visitors with top quality information, today!

Incorporated Blog

Our blog has moved from and is now incorporated within our main site. We have transferred a number of previous articles and will be adding more in the coming weeks and months. Share articles easily on social media, and rate them if you wish.

NEW – Newsletter

If you’d like monthly updates from us regarding developments in private family law, notifications of important new judgments, and details of new content, please sign up to our free electronic newsletter. Sign up on our blog pages. Your email will only be used to send the newsletter to you, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

NEW – Online Quizzesquiz

We’ve five family law quizzes published so far, to test your knowledge, and three available to download. Challenge your friends and colleagues. Use them to identify gaps in your knowledge, while using our guides for research. Print versions of three quizzes (including separate answer sheets with reference notes) are available for students, charity staff and volunteers to use at meetings where the internet may not be available.

Quizzes will be added to and change periodically.

Relocation Campaign

The Relocation Campaign website is to close (links on that site now don’t work, as we took down a substantial amount of old content when putting up this new site). We’ve moved the history of this campaign to our About Us section and you can read the history of the Relocation Campaign here.

Our Thanks

Our sincere thanks to Reggio Blackwell of for his wonderful owls. Reggio is a talented, Chicago based artist, art lecturer, and graphic design consultant for the computer gaming industry. Family Law can be intimidating for those new to the legal system, and we approached Reggio as we wanted graphics which made family law more approachable and a little less intimidating. His owls lighten things a little. Our thanks to Thomas Bodimer and Neil Wilson for late night testing of quizzes and pages across various media platforms, and identifying broken links during the transfer process. Thanks too to Steve Roberts for his design assistance.