July 5, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

I could write about family courts every day (come to think of it I do write about family courts every day) and not have the impact that this piece has (A Voice for Men, 7/4/13). That’s because it’s written by a passionate and clear-seeing 16-year-old girl who knows a thing or two about family courts.

Why? Because she’s lived their outrages for the past 11 years. During all that time, she’s watched her father fight the British custody industry tooth and nail just to see his two daughters and, when she was old enough, the writer, Aimee Nicholls joined the fray, but with similar results. The system that was dead-set on separating two girls from their dad didn’t much care when one of them turned 16 and could make her own request. Put simply, every office-holder in the country, from David Cameron on down to the lowliest council representative should read this and hang their heads in shame. More to the point, they should resign and let someone with a better sense of decency, morality and love for children give it a try.

Aimee Nicholls is still young, but she knows whereof she speaks. Throughout her article, she nails it time and again, with nary a false note.

It seems that, 11 years ago, when Aimee was just five, her mother decided to divorce her father. That began a donnybrook in a family court that wanted nothing more than to pry apart father from daughter.

[The divorce] wasn’t something that he wanted, and he couldn’t do anything about it. It’s certainly not something that I wanted, but I also had no say. My dad is definitely the more natural parent out of my mum and dad, and I’ve always been closer to him. I do love my mom and dad both the same. But, if I could only live with one of them, it would be my dad, and it’s been that way for 11 years. There was no reason for that not to happen. He hadn’t harmed me in any way, and he didn’t pose any risk, or threaten me. My dad shared my care before my parents split.

He and I were just never given that option. It wasn’t even considered, ever.

Yes, family judges are supposed to act “in the best interests of children,” and yes children do better with two parents than with one and yes, they do better in shared care post-divorce. But British courts, just like the ones in the rest of the English-speaking world don’t know what promotes child well-being and transparently don’t care.

But, as in most of those countries, once a child has reached a certain age, he/she can express an opinion about with whom to live. Two weeks short of her 16th birthday, Aimee Nicholls did just that.

When I voted with my feet at age 15 to go live with my dad again, a family court judge, like all of the other ones before tried to force me to go back to my mum…He said he needed social services to tell him what my views were. Think about that. I was sat in a court room at the age of almost 16, in front of him, and he effectively stuck his fingers in his ears and sang la la la.

That, my friends is an image that will stick with me as long as I live. It’s priceless.

And speaking of Social Services, Nicholls has had 11 years of dealing with their nonsense too.

Why would I want to go back to social services who had always mislead the court about my views? They make it their job to lie, and to twist things, and this judge was just giving them another chance to do that.

Eventually, Nicholls turned 16, the age of legal majority in the UK, so, no longer being a child in the eyes of the law, the court couldn’t tell her where to live and where not to. So Nicholls went to be with her father. And for that act of insubordination, the judge had a particularly nasty bit of punishment in store for Aimee and her father. He ordered that her younger half-sister Kitty be barred from seeing Aimee. That’s gone on for two years. One day the two girls lived together, saw each other, hung out all the time; the next day a family court judge prohibited them from ever seeing each other again, at least until Kitty turns 16.

When they took her away from me, she screamed and cried.

The family law industry at its finest: tearing a seven-year-old from her loving sister because the elder girl had the audacity to want to see her father. Truly despicable; a new low.

A young lady who’s seen this system for over two-thirds of her life has gained some perspective on the matter. She’s seen the custody industry change over the years, and not for the better.

After 11 years of being involved, I would say it’s worse than it’s ever been at this point, right now, for kids. They have found more ways than ever to stop kids seeing their dads. Ever since I started speaking out, I’ve heard from hundreds of families, and it’s always the same thing. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. For the politicians watching, the ones that want to believe all the lies; wake up. It’s worse than it’s ever been, and it’s happening on your watch.

Are you listening, David Cameron? No, of course you’re not. After promising substantial reform of custody laws, you’ve opted for literally nothing. The last draft of proposed legislation on the subject would do nothing – nothing – to help children see their fathers post-divorce. Yes, one-third of British children rarely or never see their fathers, and yes, a lot of those kids were rioting in the streets just a couple of years ago. But why would any of that be your problem? Why lift a finger when it’s so much easier and more decorous to do nothing? After all, what’s a Prime Minister for if not to decorate a ballroom and avoid knocking over the potted plants?

More to the point, ciphers like Cameron aren’t about to make the type of waves with family law attorneys and feminists that actually giving fathers access to their children would mean. Precocious young woman that she is, Aimee Nicholls didn’t miss that either.

The system is completely broken. Almost everyone working in the system has some vested interest in what’s going on, and they’re making it worse. If it’s not money and work, its politics. I found that out when I uploaded videos to YouTube of me speaking about my case, and feminists attacked me at the age of 14, saying I was a whore and an actor, and a liar. These people are just pure evil, and I cant see a reason, or accept why this is all going on. These are the people that the government are listening to, not us [the real] victims… Family law, and the courts, and social services and CAFCASS all just have too much money, and they use it to put pressure on the government to continue doing what they do. Nobody else’s voice gets heard.

Does anyone seriously contest the point?

Finally, she drives a stake into the vampire’s heart.

I want to see my sister. I want her and my dad to be together. I want us all to be together, why can’t that happen? There’s no reason for that not to happen. You should explain it to me and Kitty in a way that makes sense to us, because all we know is that we love each other, and we love our dad, and some pensioner in buckle shoes and a wig keeps telling us that it’s not in our best interest. I think family law is not in my best interest. And I think it’s time for it to go.

I never thought I’d say it, but “you go grrrrrlllll!!!!!

The National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

The National Parents Organization is a non-profit organization that is educating the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents and extended families. If you would like to get involved in our organization, you can do so several ways. First, we would love to have you as an official member of the National Parents Organization team. Second, the National Parents Organization is an organization that believes in the importance of using social media as a means to spread the word about shared parenting and other topics, and you can visit us on our Facebook Page to learn more about our efforts. Last, we hope you will share this article with other families using the many social networking sites so that we can bring about greater awareness of shared parenting. Thank you for your support.

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