The prospect of a court order placing a child in the care of social services as a halfway house between parents surely ought to be too terrible for everybody to contemplate.
Most of us all know the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
She met the lonely man who was busy with three boys of his own. Integrating your kids during the dating process isn't always that perfect Brady Bunch picture. Life with children isn't always playing patty cake and giving hugs.
This group so easily formed a family and lived happily ever after. There are tantrums, power struggles, sleepless nights and runny noses to contend with, so it's important to take things slowly when children are involved.
It is not unknown, however, for mothers to be on the receiving end of this process, where the children are living mostly with the father. Some psychologists have written about "Parental Alienation Syndrome" but that designation is not recognised by the courts.
The phenomenon is so broadly overlooked in the family law system that no official figures exist for the numbers of children it may affect.
How can anybody be sure that the child is expressing true feelings that have been freely developed rather than a point of view which has been inculcated by a manipulative parent? “Cases involving implacable hostility can be in and out of court for years.
Prevention is better than cure.” Where contact with children is being frustrated or denied and the children themselves are rejecting a parent with whom they previously had good relationships, specialists in mediation and child psychology should get involved without delay.
Such conflicts of loyalty for the children do seem to be a common feature of high-conflict separations.
It’s a huge problem for many users of our service and one which receives very little attention.” Nine out of 10 children of separating or divorcing couples live most of the time with their mothers so the controlling parent is likely to be the woman and the estranged, undermined parent is likely to be the man.
This is the fun part and should really be about discovering one another. This is when you've known one another a few months on a more consistent basis and are trying to determine whether this could go further.
The final phase is the "relationship" phase, which occurs when the couple determines that they are fully committed to a long-term situation.
That consensus has been reflected in recent amendments to the Children and Families Act 2014 which now require courts making child arrangement orders “to presume that the involvement of both separating parents in the life of a child will further its welfare”.