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If you would like to be kept informed of our most recent work and developments in family law, simply sign up for a free FNF registration. Once you have registered, you can select to receive our newsletters from the 'My Profile' section. Of course we would be grateful if you would like to join FNF rather than just register.


NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE to JANUARY 2015

 Note: if you are looking for the recent Newsletters please choose Newsletters from the Menu rather than Newsletters Archive.

1. Updated McKenzie Friend Guidance
2. Should fathers be present at birth?
3.Parental alienation in the news
4. Facebook and Twitter

1. UPDATED MCKENZIE FRIEND GUIDANCE

This month, we have updated the best practice guidance for McKenzie Friends (lay legal advisers) who wish to advertise their services via our website. 

The updated document (available here) follow updates to the court's own guidance, changes to legislation and the loss of legal aid for many entering the family court. It is more comprehensive than previous editions, to reflect the growing importance and use of McKenzie Friends within the family justice system. 

Families Need Fathers does not provide or oversee McKenzie Friends, and this guidance is intended as 'best practice' rather than a set of standards that can be enforced. As well as outlining to McKenzie Friends the standards and knowledge we would expect of those working with our members and other parents within the family justice system, we hope this document can assist litigants in deciding whether an individual has the necessary skills and experience to assist in their cases. You should be wary of involving anyone closely in your case that is not familiar with the practice and procedures outlined in this document.

 

New applicants wishing to advertise via the FNF website will be asked to follow this updated guidance, and it will be forwarded those McKenzie Friends currently advertise with us.


2. SHOULD FATHERS BE PRESENT AT BIRTH?

This month saw a lot of coverage about a study which had found that fathers should stay away from the birth of their children, as their presence can make the experience of childbirth more painful for their partner... Or did it?

The study, carried out by researchers at University College London, asked 39 heterosexual couples questions to measure their emotional intimacy and closeness. The female partner was then given a series of painful laser pulses, with her partner inside and outside the room. They found that those with lower levels of emotional intimacy, or those who prefer to avoid closeness, reported higher levels of pain when their partner was present than when they were not.

The finding that those with difficulties in their relationship find painful situations more distressing with that person present is perhaps not all that surprising. However, the manner in which this study was reported, suggesting that fathers should avoid being present at their children's birth (the Times headline read "Its official: men shouldn't be at the birth"!), was drastically wide of the mark. There are many good reasons why both parents should be present at birth that benefit both parents, and the majority of parents want to experience the birth of their child together.

A great blog post from the Fatherhood Institute looks at the study and the issues surrounding it in more detail. 



3. PARENTAL ALIENATION IN THE NEWS

On 20th January, the Telegraph published an article looking at the experiences and effects of parental alienation, or 'implacable hostility'. 

It is rare to see the issue of parental alienation covered in the media, and the article provided an interesting look into the effects this can have on parents and children. You can read it here.



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  • When my divorce started, my lawyers said it would only cost a "few thousand pounds". No one mentioned that this only included dealing with the divorce petition process which is a trivial exchange of allegations between the parties to convince a judge to agree to the divorce and that it had absolutely no effect on the children or the finances - whereas I thought we were talking about the lot. Having wasted that money, I then found myself being asked for tens of thousands of pounds more to do the stuff I actually cared about, regarding kids and finances. Now the MoJ has digitised the divorce forms and part of the process, and other forms will follow, in an effort to make it easier for anyone to be guided through the divorce technical process much more easily. A great step forward, allowing ponderous legal processes to be drastically shortened and cheapened for the benefit of those suffering this nightmare. It's much simpler than people generally think! And the MoJ is spending £1billion to automate things further. It's sad we have so many divorces, but it's even sadder that divorce victims are led to spend tens of thousands of pounds for the "privilege", often depriving children and parents of much needed funds! https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHMCTS/bulletins/1eec551 https://www.gov.uk/divorce https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-divorce
  • Nigel Huddleston MP said a number of grandparents' "had been visited by the police simply for sending cards or gifts to their grandchildren". There are of thousands more cases every year of the abuse of anti-harassment laws in misguided attempts to cut parents and grandparents out of children's lives. Well-intentioned laws were not properly thought through and lack balancing measures to prevent their abuse. The consequences for children are frequently disasterous. It is right that barriers to grandparents maintaining relationships with children should be lowered. However, usually when a parent is denigrated by an ex-partner, so are the grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and in fact anyone who retains a relationship with the targeted parent. Tackle these issues and ensure effective enfocement of Child Arrangement Orders and most of the issues relating to grandparents and wider family will disappear. There may be cases where greater rights for grandparents might assist in flushing out the nature of hostility of the parent with whom the child lives and help ensure that one side of children's families are not completely cut out, but this will only scratch the surface of the defficiencies of the family justice system. Please support us by sharing this page, liking it, following us, making a donation or becoming a member. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5697961/Grandparents-right-grandchildren-parents-split-new-law.html#ixzz5Enfe5KZK Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5697961/Grandparents-right-grandchildren-parents-split-new-law.html
  • Amy J Baker is an American Parental Alienation expert. Here she gives some preactical tips on how to protect children from being alienated, if you get a chance before the relationships breaks down and contact stops. Please support us by liking our page, following us, sharing this, donating to or joining FNF. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/caught-between-parents/201804/protecting-children-parental-alienation
  • Today is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. We used the occasion to raise the issues of PA at a Westminster Policy Forum on the future of family justice. Last year we developed a questionnaire that identified frequently occurring alienating behaviours. Seem familiar? https://fnf.org.uk/component/phocadownload/file/223-fnf-pa-day-2017-quiz Please support us by sharing, liking and follow us.
  • This is a tragic story of coercive control of a young man by his girlfriend. It is shocking when such behaviour exists regardless of whether the perpetrator is a man or a woman. Domestic abuse against men is considered by many to be far more common than people think and under-reported. There are likely to be various reasons for this, but one that occurs frequently is the fear that they will lose access to their children. The Office for National Statistics says "The most common type of domestic abuse experienced in the last year was partner abuse, with 4.5% of adults reporting this type of abuse. Whilst a higher proportion of women reported experience of partner abuse in the last year than men (5.9% compared with 3%), similar proportions of men and women reported experience of family abuse". Please support us by liking, sharing and following us, making a donation, registering with us for free or becoming a member. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43799850
  • As the number of applications to family courts reached a new high of 52,168 last year, grandparents are also increasingly seeking to protect their relationships with their grandchildren. Not sure it needed 'experts' to confirm that most of these are paternal grandparents. Please support us by liking, sharing and following us, making a donation, registering with us for free or becoming a member. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/08/grandparents-go-court-custody-battles-grandchildren/

FNF HSSF Kite Mark Award

Families Need Fathers has been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Kite Mark which is a new UK government accreditation scheme for organisations offering help to separated families.

Families Need Fathers work with a range of family law professionals, including Family Law Panel

 

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