“YOU’RE NOT MY MUVVA!” – When children get lost in the struggle for contact
One of the main pinciples which family lawyers strive to encourage clients to appreciate is that of putting the needs of their children first, regardless of any dispute between the adults.
Where better than to highlight how difficult parents find it to prioritise their child’s needs than on our TV screens. In a current story line, “EastEnders” (the soap famed for its “shouty” scenes), sees Roxy, the slightly flighty, but well meaning and loving mother, at war with her former partner, Jack, the equally sometimes unreliable, but loving father of their child Amy, with the goal being to secure “custody” (residence) of the bewildered little girl. The parents, and sadly, their lawyers, are portrayed as ruthless, with the one intent of punishing the other parent, and with the ultmate reward being “ownership” of Amy. The extended family members don’t help either as they repeatedly, within Amy’s earshot, yell that “We have WON and you have LOST!”. I cringe when watching these scenes played out in such an over the top way. However, as a family lawyer with a decade of experience of advising and representing real parents, I know that the “battles” can be just as fierce and entrenched as those depicted in the soaps.
The Courts are readily referring clients to Parenting Information Programmes now (PIPs), in an effort to address the seemingly endless critcisms which parents launch against one another, and so things are looking brighter for the real Amys of this world. It’s just a shame that Amy (Branning? Mitchell?) has to carry on enduring her screen parents’ damaging antics, well, at least until another story line takes over.
Jackie Mensah and her colleague Jackie Gifford are experienced family lawyers who are here to help. Please call 01903 229938 for an appointment.