The cost of a child’s haircut?
The most senior Family Court Judge in England and Wales recently spoke of his concern that he has had to make decisions on too many disputes that should be resolved by the parents themselves.
In one particularly memorable case, he had been asked to rule on a disagreement between parents about the length of their 6-year-old son’s haircut; the father wanting a ‘crew cut’ and the mother wanting ‘more flowing locks’.
Parents who are prepared to go to the often huge financial expense and emotional upheaval of a Court application for matters such as this are likely to struggle to discuss and resolve major decisions concerning their child. They are also unlikely to be able to co-parent effectively. For the child’s emotional wellbeing, parents need to be able to make decisions together and to fulfil together their responsibilities to the child. Moreover, the need to do so does not end on that child reaching majority but is something that should last a lifetime. Your child’s ability to enjoy their own graduation or wedding, for example, is likely to be determined by the ongoing relationship of the parents.
Any application to the Family Court should always be regarded as the last resort. Surely it is preferable for parents themselves to make decisions affecting their children. If they are unable to do so then they will rely on a District Judge or, more commonly, three magistrates, none of whom will probably have met the child, making decisions affecting their family.
At Cheltenham Mediation we offer a safe environment for parents to discuss any matters affecting their children. With the focus always on the needs of the children, we seek to help parents improve their ability to communicate and resolve their differences without the emotional and financial cost as well as the unpredictability of litigating the matter through the court process.