Returning alienated children to a Mother

Marie represented a Mother and successfully appealed a previous final order made by a District Judge. The Father had refused to return the children after holiday contact, and made very serious false allegations against the Mother to the Police and Children’s Services. Although none of these were later considered to be true by the Court (nor had the authorities considered them to be of any substance), the District Judge nevertheless ordered that the children remain with the Father.

This decision was successfully appealed on the basis that the Judge’s decision was wrong. The case had a re-hearing/fact finding hearing over eight days by a Circuit Judge, and all the Mother’s allegations of serious violence by the Father against her were found proved.

The court found proved that the Father had deliberately alienated the children, made repeated false allegations about the Mother, and had coached the children into making false allegations. The court also found that the children had suffered significant emotional and physical harm in the care of their Father, and that the Father’s main motivations were to acquire housing and benefits and regain control over the Mother. It was further found that that he caused physical injury to one of the children in order to bolster his false allegations. The court found none of the allegations the Father made about the Mother proved.

As a result, the children were immediately removed from the Father to the Mother, and the order was made final soon after. Contact between the Father and the children was ordered to be closely supervised by Children’s Services and limited to one and a half hours once per month.

At the final hearing to deal with the Father’s contact with the children, the final orders made included Prohibited Steps Orders preventing the Father from removing the children from the Mother’s care, from contacting the children in any way save for supervised contact, and from going to their school or their home.

A Family Law Act Non Molestation Injunction was made until further order to prevent the Father from harming the Mother or the children, or from contacting them or the Mother by any means, or from going within a significant part of the county in which they reside. The Father’s contact will continue to be closely supervised by Children’s Services and has strict conditions attached to it. In addition, he is not permitted to make any Children Act Applications for 5 years. Penal notices were attached to the order.

The children will be receiving support and therapeutic intervention from Children’s Services to try to repair the damage and significant harm done to them as a result of what they experienced in their Father’s care.