Survey update 24-6-18

OK Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now up to 30 respondents, 15 women, and 15 men, so a nice balance.

Here are the headlines:

 

Allegations

Allegations have been made in 23 cases (77%).  Typically, but not comprehensively, allegations against female TPs are that they are mentally imbalanced or promiscuous.  Allegations against men tend to be of a sexual or violent nature.  Of these 23 cases, there was one finding that the allegations were true, 8 that they were found to be false, one where investigations were ongoing, and 13 where the judge ‘did not seem bothered’ by them.  

  

Inferences – Judges don’t seem troubled by these allegations.  Perhaps this is because they are so common, and invariably false.  We can see this from the case law, time and again.

Health

As to the effect of these case on your health, 17 of you (57%) have suffered serious problems with your health, 11 with had mild problems (37%), and two respondents have suffered no adverse effects. 

Inferences – It’s clear that these cases harm us as well as our children

 

Lawyers

Four of you have had good advice (13%), 8 ‘OK’ advice (27%), 7 ‘poor’ advice (23%), 9 have had ‘appalling’ advice (30%), with two ‘not applicables’.

Four of you have spent only a few hundred pounds, three £1k – £5k, five £5k – £10k, seven £10k – £20k, four have spent nothing on lawyers, and six of you have spent in excess of £20,000.

Inferences – Many of you have had poor or appalling advice, and it doesn’t come cheap.   As an aside, you are generally happier with advice from barristers than solicitors.

 

Experts

Good advice – 4, OK advice – 3, poor advice – 8, appalling advice – 5, and 10 respondents that have not used experts

Sums spent:  Under £1k – 7 respondents, £1k – £5k – six, £5k – £10k -one, £10k plus – two respondents, and 14 have spent nothing.

The mismatch between ‘no-spenders’ and ‘non-users’ seems to be explained by the fact that some of you have had some expert advice for free, possibly funded by Legal Aid.

Inferences – Experts don’t get great reviews either, but see below…

 

CAFCASS

To be noted here, is that some of the numbers will not add up, because the survey allowed users to pick multiple options.

Five respondents thought that CAFCASS had made up their minds from the start.  5 thought CAFCASS ‘OK’.  10 thought CAFCASS to be ignorant about PA and lazy.   13 respondents thought that CAFCASS routinely ignored evidence of PA.  11 of you thought that CAFCASS routinely ignored evidence that the Alienating Parent was blocking contact.  12 thought that CAFCASS made no attempt to dig deeper and get at your child’s true wishes and feelings.   And all of you except two respondents reported that CAFCASS had not used their own Parental Conflict Tool.  Only ONE respondent gave CAFCASS an ‘excellent’ rating.

Inferences – CAFCASS simply do not ‘get’ PA cases.  They do not even use their own Parental Conflict Tool.
As explained elsewhere, UKAP’s belief, though, is not that CAFCASS are stupid or ignorant.  They are quite simply biased against anyone claiming PA.  It’s not, actually, that they DON’T get it – it’s that they WON’T.
They persist in the idea that PA does not exist.   This is due to a deliberate institutional blindness.   Many years ago, there was a belief that absent parents shouted ‘PA’ at the first sign of allegations made against them, in order to deflect from their abusive behaviour.  Maybe there are still cases where absent parents who are guilty of abuse, do this.  But CAFCASS need to ‘get’ that PA IS a real thing, and is more often used by alienated parents that have been erased from their child’s life by a narcissistic (usually-resident) parent than it is by abusive absent parents as a purported panacea to deflect true allegations.  They must open their minds.

This can only happen with EDUCATION.

 

Mediation

20 respondents (67%) thought that mediation was a waste of time and had not helped.   2 said it helped ‘a bit’.  One respondent said it had been useful.  One said she had not tried it but would be willing to give it a go, and three said they would not bother unless ordered by the court.

Inferences – Mediation just does not work in these cases!  Perhaps we should think about arbitration

Judges

Judges at all levels continue to score badly.  But see below for some exceptions.

The Best and the Worst

Here, we have picked out the most and least favourable comments from our survey for the various parts of the family court system:

Judges

Magistrates

Most favourable comments:

The Magistrate moved our case along quickly
The judge did not identify PA, but has made constructive orders that have progressed matters

Least favourable comments:

The judge was/is delaying, The judge was/is ignorant about PA and/or doesn’t want to know, The judge is weak, feeble and cowardly
Magistrates are a waste of space in intractable alienation cases
Ignorance of the coercive control and emotional abuse of this behaviour is both unacceptable and extremely damaging for the children and their loving and emotionally available parent. It is a child protection issue – not a contact issue and should be dealt with as such

District Judges

Most favourable comment:

The judge is just and fair and has moved my case along quickly

Least favourable comments:

The judge is ignorant about PA. The judge is weak, feeble and cowardly.  The judge is impatient and intolerant.
The judge made it obvious that I should be grateful for my contact despite covering the majority of parenting previously

 

Circuit Judges

Most favourable comment:

My personal experience of circuit judges is absolutely wonderful. Circuit judge understood from the outset that there was an alienating parent and progressed contact at each hearing up to awarding shared residence and equal care and making a judgement of harm against the alienating parent

Least favourable comments:

HHJ Rosalind Bush was not interested in anything other than her prejudice.  Her judgement gave me what she called “the minimum contact to avoid a Human Rights challenge”

 

High Court Judges

Most favourable comment:

I’ve had a few different judges – some good, some bad

Least favourable comments:

The judge is ignorant about PA. The judge is weak, feeble and cowardly.  
High Court Judge recognised PA but still left two youngest children with ex wife alienator. Ignored completely recommendations and solution provided by Psychologist. Both Social Services and Cafcass wanted to systematically reduce contact of two younger children. Have had no contact with older children now for over five years.
The judge was/is ignorant about PA and/or doesn’t want to know, The judge is impatient and intolerant

Court of Appeal Judges

Most favourable comment:

None available

Least favourable comments:

The judges were weak, feeble and cowardly.  They would not let me speak.

Conclusions

Most judges, at all levels, get a ‘bad rap’.  There are, though, some notable exceptions.   With judges, it seems that it’s a lottery – and, like all lotteries, only a small chance of success.

 

Lawyers

Most favourable comments:

The advice has been good
Despite a seeming negative societal view, my solicitor was amazing, reduced the number of hearings needed by noting future actions and helped voice concerns when I was too emotional as there was too much to lose.
A Direct Access Barrister can be a Godsend

 

Least favourable comments:

[I have spent] More than £20,000.  Solicitors seem happy to prolong things as they get more money for doing so
Spent over £250K so far over 2 years. Over 25 days in court and now waiting for a 3 week trial in November. Had to change lawyers after 1 and 1/2 years due to incompetence. Employed a specialist PA barrister to get a psychologist appointed at 25K a pop!
Used lawyers and barristers, they where useless used a few McKenzie [friends] some brill some are con men…
my solicitor is very good but doesn’t have much knowledge of PA. I also feel that cases like this earn them a huge amount of money…. My solicitor unable to let me settle my bill at the end of my divorce which places a huge strain to pay my monthly bill and is trying to encourage me to take out a litigation loan at a stupid rate of interest. I feel this is irresponsible and immoral. They are feeding off our misery and at the expense of best outcome for children. Solicitors on the other side also play games / send threatening letters etc…. which i find unprofessional
After spending savings over two years using solicitors and barristers I now represent myself as a LIP

Conclusions

Most lawyers are seen as ignorant about PA, and much too expensive, with the occasional (and it’s only that) exception.

Since writing this more surveys have come in.  We will post regular updates here

 

1 thought on “Survey update 24-6-18

  1. If had my problems with caffcass but they have recognised pa . And its starting to look positive . But the fact still remains people can make as many alligations as they like with no consequences

     

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