Guidelines for Fathers
The Guidelines for Fathers has been created by Grandparents Apart UK based on experience.
(Avoiding Conflict, Protecting children)
Separation and divorce can be a nasty and bitter experience for every one concerned especially the children. It appears that 90% of fathers lose out on the relationship with their children, but it can happen to mothers too.
In our experience of dealing with grandparents that are denied contact with their grandchildren, there is often at least one parent involved too. In the end it is the children we care for when too often the conflict of hatred, spite and revenge ruins their lives.
We just hope you will not experience any of these horrors but! Some of you certainly will. Too often we have heard “I just can’t believe that she/he could go to these extremes like telling lies about domestic violence and using the children for revenge and blackmail to get back at me for their own selfish means”.
If you are experiencing marital problems or thinking of separating get in touch with a family group for advice. Do not delay and do not force your will on anyone. You don’t need to try to work it out alone. Contact any of us listed on the contacts list before you do anything, and we mean anything. If we can’t help we will know a person that can.
1. Urgent! Firstly contact an outside family agency, someone not involved with the family and keep contact throughout. You must resolve the situation without any aggression or incidents or you will fail. If you don’t heed this you will possibly lose your children as well.
2. Speak to someone in a help group before contacting anyone you are in conflict with. You will be too emotional to handle this on your own.
3. Do not swear or raise your voice or obstruct in any way if you do come in contact with your ex-partner or their family.
4. If the police become involved move away as directed immediately. The police have no stomach for family problems. Do not argue or try to reason as you will be removed and possibly charged with breach or harassment. This will never be removed from your record, even if you are innocent. It could be used against you if courts or Social Services become involved. Don’t give any excuse or you will be indefensible and nobody can help.
5. You will have to fight for any rights you do have regarding your children. Both parents can have equal rights on paper but don’t be fooled by this, in reality if you don’t live with your children, in the eyes of Social services, schools and the police you have no rights at all. Always have witnesses to everything you do and record everything in a diary.
6. If you need a solicitor make sure they are family law specialists as others could possibly take your case and lack the necessary expertise. Be prepared to do most of the case work yourself, they are your children, make sure you get things right, you will only get one chance.
7. Mediation has resolved many disputes before a molehill becomes a mountain, before it goes into the real slanging match with accusing and condemning in court. You don’t want to be the cause of the other parent saying, “you are angry and aggressive so I won’t attend mediation”. Give no excuses to refuse to attend. Make sure that the mediation is provided by an independent organisation like Family Mediation. They ask for donations only. You will find them in your local phone book or internet. Mediation is not necessarily to help you get back together; it is to help you reach a reasonable agreement about your children.
8. It has been reported the parent with residency, man or woman can be guilty of false accusations so be prepared in case you find yourself falsely accused and branded as:-
c) Sexual abuse.
All of these will be used to alienate your children from you.
9. If you gain a court order for contact it is not always complied with and is often not enforced making a mockery of our family laws. Your children don’t always gain from the involvement of solicitors and courts and these agencies can sometimes cause very real significant harm by their adversarial and lengthy procedures.
10. Remember to put your children first, not your fight with your ex-partner!