It will be of great interest to see how the boy thrives - or not. I suspect as time passes the dad will ensure he has contact with the mom but if it were me I would ensure the 11 year old stays away long enough to remove the programming of hatred. It is emotionally abusive of the mom to have treated her own flesh and blood to hate the father.MJM
By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 5:27 PM on 24th January 2010
Appeal Court judges accepted last week that the boy was thriving with his mother, enjoying a life full of activities.
Yet they still ruled that he should live with his father, whom he has not seen for nearly four years.
Experts said the judgment reflected the emphasis the courts were now putting on the role of fathers and on the need for children to have contact with both parents. The boy’s parents split up before he was born and the father has been striving to win access for years.
He works in the City of London, lives in a £1million Stockbroker Belt house, has remarried and has two more children, who are educated privately.
He said he would also send the boy to private school. The mother, a professional woman, had said she was happy for the boy to have contact with his father – when he was ready to do so.
But the Appeal Court upheld an earlier ruling at Coventry Crown Court, where Judge Clifford Bellamy said he was unconvinced that the mother really wanted contact to resume.
The appeal judges called the boy’s feelings of hate for his father ‘irrational’ and said he would suffer long-term emotional and behavioural problems if they were not reunited.
Judge Bellamy said ‘no stone had been left unturned’ to re-establish contact between father and son, but even indirect attempts through gifts and Christmas cards had failed utterly.
Despite the father being ‘devoted’ to his son, the boy was stubbornly resistant to ever seeing his father again.
The judge added that the mother’s arrangements for the boy to have extra-curricular activities every day of the week left no space for his father, adding: ‘All of this strongly suggests that, in truth, the mother has no real wish to see contact restart.’
Judge Bellamy said she had ‘significant influence and power’ over the boy.
He added that the animosity felt by the boy would quickly disappear once he was living under his father’s roof.
The boy’s guardian, an expert appointed to provide an independent view of his best interests, told the court: ‘I feel pretty ferocious in protecting him. Never have I come across such a strong sense of fighting for a child.’
But the judge said she had become too emotionally involved in the case and lost her sense of objectivity.
At the appeal, Lord Justice Thorpe said it was the third time recently that the court had upheld properly reasoned decisions in favour of fathers.
Miranda Fisher, of London solicitors Charles Russell, said later that the activities of groups such as Fathers 4 Justice had tipped the balance – and courts were taking a tougher line on parents who denied contact between their children and their ex-partners.
She explained: ‘Twenty or 30 years ago it was not the normal expectation that fathers should be involved in looking after the children. Now more mothers have full-time careers and fathers are increasingly wanting to share in caring.’