In the best interests of the child?

The recent story of Becky Minnock, the mother who fled with her 3 year-old son, Ethan, after the child’s father, Williams, was granted full custody, has peaked my interests.  I have followed the story on Twitter as well as in the online newspapers and the whole story has made me a little annoyed if I am honest.

The legal battle between Minnock and Williams has een ongoing for 2 years, which started in March 2013 when Williams applied for contact with his son. Magistrates ordered that Williams should have some contact with Ethan in the presence of Minnock, but this arrangement broke down after 2 months.

Minnock then made allegations against Williams in January 2014, which were rejected by a district judge in April 2014. A hearing took place in February 2015 after further allegations were made by Minnock. Again, a district judge rejected the allegations, stating they had been fabricated by Minnock to “frustrate contact”.
Ethan then began spending 4 nights a week with Williams and 3 nights a week with Minnock.
A child psychologist then claimed that Minnock did not accept that Williams was innocent of her allegations and had questioned Ethan “extensively”. The psychologist recommended that Ethan should live with Williams and have supervised contact with Minnock, a view which was also shared by a social worker.
Another court hearing was to be held before a district judge on May 27th 2015, however, prior to the hearing, Minnock was advised that Ethan would be taken to live with Williams. Upon hearing this, Minnock fled the court before the case could be heard. This is when she also fled the area with Ethan.

I understand that Minnock was desperate to keep her child in her custody but running away for 17 days with Ethan wouldn’t of helped things. The courts must take the child’s best interests into consideration when they are faced with custody cases, this means they must consider who is a more secure and stable parent for the child to reside with. It’s obvious that the courts found a reason for Ethan to be placed in full custody with Williams and running away hasn’t exactly helped Minnock’s case. Fleeing with the child is not in the child’s best interests and a court would consider this greatly.

A father should have access to his children regardless of the mother’s view on the matter. Obviously if the father was to pose any threat to the child then contact should be supervised or not granted at all depending on the level of the threat, however, the amount of scorned women who stop their child’s father seeing their children is outrageous. These women are more than willing to take the father’s money via CSA but aren’t willing to allow their children to have the father in their lives.  How is this beneficial for the children? How is this acting in the child’s best interests? Answer: It isn’t, it’s just depriving a child from having a relationship with both parents which is crucial for a child’s well-being.


6 comments on “In the best interests of the child?

  1. What if the father had been violent or abusive to the mother previous to the child’s birth? Surely the mother reserves the right to block access in certain situations. I concur that in many cases it’s tit for tat and the child is the one that misses out however I think in certain circumstances the mother needs to do right by her child.

    • Majority of the time it is scorned ex’s using excuses in order for the father not to have access. Domestic abuse is only considered if there is evidence of this, simply because the mother could say their ex was being abusive just to stop access. I know in an ideal world this sort of situation wouldn’t happen but look at the false allegations Minnock made, the court rejected her claims and it didn’t help her case. Also, just because the father has been violent towards the mother does not mean he will be violent towards his child, too many people are quick to say “he abused the mother he will do the same to the child” but that may not actually be the case. And what about the flip side? What if the mother is the abusive one? Male domestic abuse is on the rise so does that mean that if a mother beats the father she should still be allowed to stop him seeing the child?

    • It’s as simple as the courts make it, they assess both sides and see which parent can provide the child with a stable livelihood. If a mother is making up false allegations towards the father just because she has a grudge against him then yes the child is better off in the fathers custody. Courts won’t go on the word of mouth when it comes to women saying they’ve been abused by their ex’s simply because so many false accusations have been put in front of them. Unfortunately, it is the few twisted psycho’s that make genuine cases more difficult to be proved.

  2. I to am a Father and going through a similar case. I have a final court hearing in a few weeks. My son will 8 months old by the time of the hearing and I will of only had 3 days and 20 hours worth of contact with him. I have also been subjects to a series of false criminal accusations and obstruction by my sons mother such as planning his kidnapping, trying to pick him up whilst drink driving, and threatening her. She has also made serious false criminal accusations against other men in the past such as crying rape. The courts need to bring in Psychological assessments for parents as soon as behaviour like this is recognised as it is quite clear these types of people are Sociopaths, Narcasists, with anti-social personality disorder and could bring serious psychological and emotional harm to their own children.

    • The system is all wrong. It always falls down on the side of the mother, however, the mother may not actually be the appropriate parent to bring up the child. Yes the courts have to look at both sides and assess which parent can provide a more stable and secure home for the child but a scorned ex will say anything in order to get their own way. It all falls down on the people who are just bitter and who think it is acceptable to punish their ex’s by using their children as weapons. It’s an utter disgrace.

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