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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Mediation child arrangements

I had to apologise to the neighbours today for shouting at the radio (radio 4).

I was listening to a perfectly interesting program on "lady killers" involving the historical case of a mother who allegedly caused the death of 6 of her children. Horrific case but interesting to hear the views of modern day experts on what may have caused the events and whether in the circumstances she should have been found guilty (clearly she needed psychiatric and/or psychological assistance).

But what got me shouting was the use of the outdated term (by a criminal and family barrister) of the term "child custody". As long as we are talking about historical issues I have no problem with that term, it was long used into my practice but then they began talking about what the difference would be today.

At no point did counsel say "it's not a term we would use these days" but in fact went on to use the term as if it still applied with all it's implicit outdated belief of ownership of a child and parental rights rather than responsibilities and children's rights.

It was sadly an opportunity missed to update what is an outdated concept in an ideal setting, it didn't help the presenter commented that it sounded as if the courts were moving away from thinking mother knows best without really being educated on that point - they're not moving away they have moved and not left a forwarding address !

Oh well one more missed opportunity I must write to Radio 4 and see if I can give at least as good an update on what the court's take into account these days...

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