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Parental Rights and Wrongs in Divorce

20th September 2016 - John Oxley
Parental Rights and Wrongs in Divorce

Ayesha Vardag wrote for the Huffington Post in regard to the challenges of resolving issues involving parental decisions and children in divorce cases, something which she sees as the single most sensitive aspect of the whole process.

Starting off with a summary of the very public battles of celebrity families, Ayesha discussed the more everyday outcomes which she has seen in her ten years at the top of family law. It is a half-truth that mothers are universally favoured by judges in family cases, she observed, adding this used to be the case but has begun to change as women have taken a greater role in the workplace.

Ayesha went on to explain that in family law, we are bound by the paramountcy principle, which dictates that parents and courts must place a childs best interests first. This principle generally means that the court will want the child to spend time with both parents.

Nevertheless, Ayesha lamented every now and again, a client will come through our doors attempting to prevent their ex-spouse from having a role in their childs life. There may be several reasons given for this. Firstly, they may be convinced that they are a superior parent, and their role in the childs life should take precedence. Secondly - and this is sadly quite common - they may be attempting to punish their ex by withholding child contact.

She went on to say having seen what happens when children lose contact with a parent and that relationship is allowed to die, it is not something that a morally responsible lawyer - with his or her clients best interests at heart - should facilitate. There will always be some lawyers who accept those kinds of instructions and help wage a campaign against the other parent to destroy their credibility; at Vardags we are not prepared to go down that road.

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