Saturday, 3 April 2010

The vexed question of access to children

I am half listening to a recent TV programme about the way fathers are effectively excluded in many cases from seeing their children following divorce or separation. Obviously it is not just fathers who suffer - it can be mothers as well. What I have never been able to understand is that both men and women use their children as pawns even while they are arguing they themselves know what's best for their children.

It is never going to be an easy situation but I cannot subscribe to the theory that women always lie and always seek to keep children away from their fathers. I have known several single mothers and all of them have been adamant that while they no longer love their husbands, these men remain their children's fathers. They will grit their teeth and remain civil often under extreme provocation because they believe the children need a relationship with their fathers. I'm sure not all women behave like this but I'm also sure not all men are plaster saints.

I can't help feeling the court system could be turning out better decisions than it does but I'm also sure parents need to put their children first and forget their own egos. That applies to men and women.

Equal opportunities and equal rights for women should lead to better solutions to these problems because each case will be judged on its merits and stereotypes will not govern decisions made by judges. Having said that I can't help feeling the situation would improve for many men if they played a greater part in their children's upbringing while they and their wives are still together - then in the event of a divorce they would be able to show how involved they are in their children's lives.

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