Daughters don't have to see their father against their wishes
A father has been denied direct contact with his daughters because they repeatedly stressed that they didn’t want to see him after he separated from their mother.
The sisters were born in 2003 and 2006. They both moved out of the family home with their mother when their parents separated in 2008.
Then the sisters became distressed every time discussions about a visit to see their father was raised. They were both insistent they no longer wanted see him. The father grew impatient of not seeing his daughters and applied for direct contact.
The judge rejected the application. An indirect contact order was issued instead, meaning the father couldn’t see his daughters personally, but could have messages and presents passed on to them by a third party.
The judge encouraged the mother to remain in contact with the daughter’s paternal aunts, with whom she had remained on good terms, but added that it wasn’t compulsory as part of the ruling.
The father took the case to the Court of Appeal but it upheld the decision. It ruled that the judge had not erred in his decision that a direct contact order would not be to the daughters’ benefit. It would be wrong to force them to see their father against their wishes.
The judge had considered all possible alternatives, listened to the evidence of expert child psychologists and proceeded in the correct manner.
Please contact Siobhan Thompson if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any other aspect of family law.