It has recently been reported that High Court Judge Mrs Justice Pauffley has proposed a new approach to resolving a dispute regarding children and contact, by advising them to sit down and discuss their children over a cup of tea.
In the case in question, the couple are reported to have attended Court on 24 occasions in relation to their now 12 year old twin boys. The High Court Judge made the suggestion that when the boys were dropped off and collected for contact, each parent was to be made welcome in the other’s home and be offered a cup of tea.
Whilst this may seem an unusual route to take, it appears to have had very successful results. Both parents are reported as having reacted positively to the suggestion, and in turn as being able to have amicable conversations regarding the boys’ care for the first time in 10 years.
It has been reported that friends of the parents involved are shocked at the turnaround in their behaviour, but that the outcome can only be considered positive, with the suggestion that the parents are now also considering having one another over for dinner in the future.
Not only are lengthy Court proceedings costly but they are also exhausting. With both parties often believing the other is pulling them through the Court process for the sake of it, the results of having parents involved in regular and contested Court hearings will also of course have an effect on the children.
It has been reported that after the Judge’s suggestion to resolve matters over a hot beverage, the two boys wrote thank you letters to the Judge and went to visit her in Chambers.
Whilst matters involving children are not always easy, as can be seen here, it's important to remember that Court is not always the answer and if the relationship between a parted couple can remain amicable, it can only have a positive effect on the children involved.
Cara Nuttall, a Family Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
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