Father denied direct contact with son at son’s request
A father has been denied direct contact with his estranged son after the court heard that the boy didn’t want to see him.
The boy’s parents had been married but separated shortly after he was born. The father maintained regular contact with his son until the mother became suspicious that the boy had been injured during a contact visit.
The mother applied to have the contact order suspended but the court ruled that the allegations were unfounded. However, the son maintained a negative view of his father and believed that he had injured him. They tried family therapy but it was unsuccessful.
The judge said that the father hadn’t realised the complexity of the situation and lacked insight and empathy towards his son. He also ruled that the mother hadn’t made any effort to reduce her son’s concerns.
He ruled that the father would have no direct contact with his son as it would cause distress to the boy to force visits on him against his will.
The Court of Appeal ruled that refusing direct contact wasn’t unreasonable. The son’s negative mind-set towards his father was so strong that it wasn’t in his best interests to allow the father direct contact.
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