Court proceedings regarding arrangements for your children can obviously be extremely stressful. But as a recent case demonstrates, it is absolutely essential that you keep your feelings to yourself, as the father in the case found to his cost.
The father was applying to the court for a child arrangements order allowing him to have contact with his one year-old son.
But for reasons we don’t know, the father chose to be extremely abusive to everyone else involved in the case, including the mother, the mother’s lawyers, the Cafcass officer, social workers, and even the judge’s clerk.
He also put abusive and untrue posts about the mother’s solicitors on social media, leading the firm to institute civil proceedings against him.
In addition, the father failed to file any of the evidence which he had been ordered to file by the court.
Needless to say, things did not go well for the father.
The judge found the father’s behaviour to be so extreme that she considered that the child would be at risk from the behaviour.
She was also of the view that continuation of the proceedings would allow the father another way of subjecting the mother and her family to further abuse.
The judge said that she also had to take into account that it would not be reasonable to expect any professional to play any part in the father’s contact, because of the abuse that they would likely receive.
In the circumstances the judge decided to dismiss the father’s application, without allowing it to proceed to a full hearing.
In addition, the judge made an order barring the father from making any further application for a period of one year, without first obtaining the permission of the court.
The case is a demonstration not just of how not to conduct yourself in court proceedings, but also of what the court can do in response to such behaviour.
Before finishing this post it should be stated that, as mentioned, we don’t know what was behind the father’s behaviour. Was it just his nature? Or was he perhaps frustrated by the workings of the family justice system? Or was there some other reason?
We will never know, although of course whatever the reason it could not justify or excuse the behaviour.
If you want to read the full judgment you can find it here (warning: strong language).
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