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.