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When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874


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Parental Alienation Info PDF Print E-mail
(1 Vote)
Written by   

Parental Alienation

  • What is Parental Alienation?

     Parental Alienation (PA) refers to a situation in which a resident parent (usually but not exclusively) turns their child against the non-resident parent, intentionally or unintentionally, resulting in the child’s supposed desire to reject all contact with that parent. There is still much debate among medical and psychological experts as to whether this behaviour pattern constitutes a syndrome, often referred to as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) which was initially described by Dr Richard Gardner (Gardner, R. A (1989), Recommendations for Dealing with Parents who induce a Parental Alienation Syndrome in their children, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 28 (3/4): 1-23).

    Currently, PA is not officially recognised although there is much activity worldwide to influence its acceptance in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM- V, which is due to be published in May 2012 (

    You may well find useful information in books and articles about PA and PAS  but we advise that you do not use the term PAS in court proceedings as your arguments regarding what has happened to your children may become sidetracked into barren arguments about the use of the word Syndrome. Syndrome is a term used by medical practitioners, and usually implies a diagnosis.

    In practice however poisoning against one parent does occur, and is a genuine problem which goes strongly against a child’s best interests. This effect is being increasingly recognised in the Family Courts in the UK, which is encouraging.

    The question “why should children who were initially close to both parents suddenly seek to reject one of them” (Journal of Parental Alienation, Vol. 2 No 2- March/April 2006; Dr. L. F Lowenstein) is often raised at the beginning of a Family Court case. The child is ‘programmed’ by the alienating parent against the other, and is used as a tool in the process of exclusion of an ex-partner, thereby emotionally harming the child by depriving them of a good parent.

    Judges, CAFCASS staff, social workers, and others often fail to recognise parental alienation as a genuine case of significant emotional abuse, and these children may lose a loved and loving parent for a long time or sometimes permanently. This situation is often referred to in UK courts as ‘implacable hostility’ caused by the ‘controlling’ parent subjecting the child to this form of emotional abuse. This can have devastating life-long effects for the children, excluded parent, grandparents and the child’s other parent.

The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by   

We are all used to the parent who is implacably opposed to contact, and both advocates and judges have learned to deal with such a hostile parent. The courts are increasingly aware of the control over contact proceedings that may be attempted by an implacably hostile parent (usually the mother, and will be referred to as such throughout this article....As recent authorities show, a judge these days is much less likely be persuaded that contact is not in the interests of the child, and an order for contact is usually made.......

To set the scene, the case will be one where the parent appears to espouse contact wholeheartedly in principle - yet the child is expressing anxiety or even fear at the idea of contact. Although the court welfare officer talking to this child may suspect that the mother is the real obstacle to contact and that she has coached the child, nevertheless it appears that the child is expressing genuine views;......

How can lawyers recognise the symptoms of an alienating parent? We consider that the signs to look for are as follows:

(1) where the views expressed by the child (for example, 'I'm frightened of Daddy', or 'I hate Daddy') are not in any way borne out by the child's behaviour when observed with his father;

(2) where the mother 'enmeshes' others (who may become her witnesses) who then echo the child's fear or allegations and support the mother's view that contact can only begin very gradually. These others may express admiration that the mother is trying to promote contact;

(3) where the mother or others on her behalf hide the child from the father and pretend that it is a game 'to hide from Daddy';

(4) where the mother is reluctant to allow the child to be seen by independent psychologists although she may have enlisted the support of her general practitioner, health visitor, etc

(5) where the mother agrees to arrangements for contact and at the last moment 'pulls the plug', often citing a real or imagined incident whereby the father has upset the child in some way;                

(6) where the mother is monitoring or trying to interrupt telephone contact between the child and his father;

(7) where the child checks with his mother (which may merely be by using body language) that it is all right to answer questions asked by social workers or experts in the mother's presence;

(8) where the child does not answer questions naturally, but appears instead to give pre-programmed answers, or responds to a question by giving a wholly unrelated answer;

(9) where the child uses age-inappropriate language which suggests that he has either picked up adult conversation or has been coached by the mother.

(10) where the mother insists on being present at all contact sessions, citing the child's need to feel secure, or the mother may say that the child has told her that he is too frightened to have contact unless she stays with him;

(11) where 'it is said that' letters and cards from the father mysteriously fail to arrive, although the mother encourages the child to write so as to demonstrate his commitment to contact;

(12) where 'it is said that', immediately after contact, the mother enquires as to now he is feeling (for example 'have you still got that nasty tummy ache?'), implying that contact has been a painful experience for the child;

(13) where the mother alleges that the father has abused the child in some way, and she continues to insist on this even in the face of all expert evidence to the contrary. None the less, the mother may assure everyone that she does not want to promote contact but insists that it will have to be re-established on a very gradual step-by-step basis and that continued supervision of the father whilst contact takes place is essential to prevent further abuse. The child himself may echo the allegations of the mother, appearing to believe that he has been abused.

The damage to a child of a mother adopting a strategy of alienation is both insidious and long term........

Cases of severe alienation come from a personality disorder or psychopathy, and in a recent UK case a leading psychologist held the view that the alienation itself often becomes the carer's 'job'. Whilst the experts agree that it is difficult to be specific, it is thought that a child raised by a parent of this type is more likely to have a disturbed personality himself.

If there is a finding of fact that there has been alienation, how does the judge decide where the child's best interests lie? Some psychiatrists, who have had wide experience in this field, advocate immediate removal of the child from the alienating parent and placement with the other parent where possible. They contend that empirical studies have shown that this approach is best for the child's psychological welfare. Further, in cases where there has been severe alienation, the child should have no contact with the alienating parent for as long as it takes to re-establish the relationship with the child and the previously absent parent. Contact with the alienating parent should then restart gradually and be monitored closely to ensure that the damaging behaviour does not recur.......

The difficulty is that if the child remains with this parent during the process of treatment, it may be some time before contact with the absent parent is re-established. It is for this reason that immediate removal of the child is advocated by experts. This is a Draconian solution and one which a judge may be reluctant to adopt, but it may be in the child's best interests in the long term to be removed from the insidious influence of an alienating parent.

Contesting Rights Over Children PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by Flavia Agnes   
Contesting Rights Over Children
Custody and Guardianship in Matrimonial Disputes
Flavia Agnes 
The recent Supreme Court judgement delivered on February 2, 1999 declaring the mother as a natural guardian of her children is hailed as a path breaking one in the realm of Indian family law. (See, Geeta Hariharan vs. Reserve Bank of India, 99(2) SCC, p.228) Many have interpreted it to mean that women will no longer be haunted by the fear of losing custody in matrimonial disputes, as now they are elevated to the status of ?natural guardians?.

In my view, this is rather an exaggerated rating of the judgement. The issue of custody had already been decided in women?s favour in many earlier decisions. In the present case, the apex court did not address this issue. The question before the court was a limited one, whether mothers could also be deemed as natural guardians during the lifetime of their husbands. Section 6(a) of the Hindu Guardianship and Minority Act, 1956 (HGMA) stipulated that the father is the natural guardian of the minor and ?after him? the mother. The court reinterpreted the words ?after him? to read ?in his absence? in order to arrive at a harmonious interpretation of the constitutional mandate of gender equality.

Is equal parenting really better? PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by Andrea Gordon   

Amid the chattering-class angst that’s raging over Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, one question stands out: Where was Tiger Dad?

Chua is the Yale University law professor whose book about raising two daughters as a coercive, perfectionist “Chinese Tiger Mother” has sprung to the top of bestseller lists. In it, she describes a home life that sounds like a boot camp for overachievers. Chua roars that Chinese moms instill excellence and self-discipline, while their touchy-feely Western counterparts overindulge kids with praise, choices and fun.

Whatever the reader might make of that argument, something in her story jars like a sour note at Carnegie Hall: Her husband — the girls’ father — plays a minor role.

It’s fair to wonder why mothers are churning out anguished books on parenting (Mommy WarsBad MotherConfessions of a Slacker Mom), while TV commercials are tutoring fathers on the merits of phoning for takeout by “finger cooking”? It’s as if the last half-century has hardly moved the dial on the division of domestic labour.

India's Crown Jewels: Female Talent PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by Sylvia Ann Hewlett & Ripa Rashid   

Hardly a day goes by, it seems, without India making global economic headlines. But there's one aspect of the "India Inc." miracle that remains a well-guarded secret: the rapid rise in the workplace of educated, ambitious Indian women.

Many Westerners continue to view India as a place where women are poverty-stricken, oppressed, and marginalized. This is true. But India is also the place where educated, highly skilled women are staking their claims and making their presence felt. Last week's Financial Times ranking of the world's top women in business included five Indian CEOs; another study (PDF) finds that 11% of the CEOs of the largest Indian companies are women. As one commentator recently remarked, "For every Indian woman who makes headlines, there is a legion of middle class Indian women in the workplace."

Global companies pinning their growth prospects on this burgeoning market would do well to understand and attract this rich talent pool. New research from the Center for Work-Life Policy offers some fascinating insights.

Women make up 42% of India's college graduates, a figure that has grown steadily over the last two decades and is only expected to rise. Relatively unfettered by cultural preconceptions that steer Western women away from the "hard" sciences, they account for 44% of degrees in the sciences and 25% in business administration, management, or commerce. Also noteworthy: More than 50% of female college grads also hold a post-graduate degree, in comparison to 40% of men. "If you look at the number of top graduates from any Indian school," whether in management or engineering, as one HR manager for a global conglomerate notes, "a disproportionate number are women."

Armed with their freshly minted diplomas, Indian women are hungry to prove themselves. Over 85% aspire to hold a top job, showing levels of ambition nearly double that of their U.S. counterparts and markedly higher than women in Brazil, Russia, or China. Age doesn't affect their determination: Both older and younger Indian women show levels of ambition far higher than their counterparts elsewhere.

What drives this tremendous zeal to achieve? First, in India, academic performance is highly valued for men and women alike. An Indian pharma executive recalled her upbringing: "It didn't matter if you were a boy or a girl. If you came out top of class, that's what was appreciated."

Thanks to the dynamic, fast-expanding Indian economy, there is plenty of room for ambition and aspiration. "You only have to look around to see proof that dreams can become concrete reality in India," said a senior female executive. "People have created fortunes in this market, and it is encouraging to know that one can create opportunities for oneself and achieve great things." The good times in India have been particularly good to those with the right skills; even in the wake of the global recession, India has seen the highest year-on-year salary increase in the region.

A number of leading multinationals are well aware of the importance of nurturing and sustaining ambition among the rich talent pool of women. Genpact the global outsourcing giant, for example, does so through its WeMentor program. WeMentor identifies and pairs 150 high potential women at middle management level with experienced leaders in the company for professional guidance. Ernst & Young hosts regular open house "Family Days" at its Shared Services Center in Bangalore. These sessions, which draw together 25 to 30 members of employees' families for a show and tell about the work environment are an important way for married women to gain valuable support from family members, such as in-laws and parents, for their work choices.

The result? Ambitious women in India are also remarkably loyal to companies that respond to their needs. While a common assumption paints top talent in India as fickle job-hoppers — switching employers at the promise of a bigger paycheck — Indian women express considerable commitment: 68% consider themselves very loyal to their employers, and 81% value job security as a top priority, both figures notably higher than for men.

"When I tried hiring women from companies that got it right, I couldn't do it," remarked an HR executive for a U.S.-based multinational. "At the end of one of those meetings, one candidate said to me, 'You can offer us better salary and benefits but as a woman in India, a lot of other things matter. How do I know your company's culture, your language, and how it will be perceived if I leave at 3:00 to take care of my kids? Why would I give up the familiarity and flexibility I have here for a 20% pay hike?'"

Companies expanding their Indian operations have a rare opportunity to "get it right" by recognizing the talent of these ambitious and well-qualified women. Those that do will reap a rich reward for years to come.

Co-author Ripa Rashid, senior vice president at the Center for Work-Life Policy, has worked across Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. She is the coauthor of the Harvard Business Review article "The Battle for Female Talent in Emerging Markets" and forthcoming Harvard Business Review Press book, Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets.

The Importance of Fathers PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by   

The Importance of Fathers

kids kiss father photo
father & kids © 2004 Corbis. All rights reserved.

Today a quiet but thoroughly monumental revolution is taking place in the American family. The number of fathers solely responsible for the care of their children is growing at a rate almost twice that of single mothers. Fully one-fifth of single parents today are single fathers -- more than 2 million of them.

This is up from 1970, when single mother households comprised approximately 90 percent of the single family population. Among minorities, the rate of increase is as high, or higher: between 1970-1995, the rate of African-American single dads increased 329%; for Hispanic single fathers, 450%. And though the media almost always focus on mothers when portraying working single parents, nearly 30 percent of working single parents are now men. -- Jeff Gillenkirk, in A Revolution in American Fathering

Debate fires up over presumption of joint custody PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by Judy Van Rhijn -   
A fundamental change to the very basis on which post-separation parenting is viewed is being urged by some members of the legal and mental-health professions while others fiercely oppose the idea.

‘Generally, there is a parent and an assistant parent. How does a judge make those two positions coincide?’ says Kristen Bucci.
In fact, the introduction of a presumption of continued joint custody after separation is a measure that provokes strong opinions on both sides of the argument. Garry Wise of Wise Law Office in Toronto says that bringing in a presumption of joint custody would be an “across-the-board” approach to family law reform that would reduce the number of cases coming before the courts.

“This would be the biggest solution of all. What we do not have is a legally sanctioned culture of joint parenting at the federal level under the Divorce Act or the provincial level. We have an anachronism of a custody/access-based system that evolved one or more generation ago when one parent was at home and one parent was working.

Almost all families now do the parenting together, and we have an arbitrary, artificial concept of best interests of the children that is so pliable and subjective that you can read it every which way.”
With a presumption in place, Wise says the first message couples would get from courts and legal practitioners is the expectation of shared parenting.

“The discussion would begin differently. It would set the stage for more cases to settle in a way the parties themselves feel is appropriate and equitable. With that culture combined with mandatory mediation where the parties narrow the issues and resolve more issues that affect the ability of the parties to parent, we’d be well on the way to forging a new culture after separation.”

Wise compares the idea to the introduction of the child-support guidelines. “It was unfair to certain parties and fair to others but it established a new status quo and took almost all the cases off the table. I’d propose something equally radical.”

The issue was given an airing in a lively debate at the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Ontario conference in October. Edward Kruk, an associate professor with the school of social work and family studies at the University of British Columbia, presented the case for a rebuttable presumption of equal or shared parenting responsibilities, with the opposite view being given by lawyer Martha McCarthy.

Kruk has become one of the most vocal supporters of a presumption and favours a transition from shared parenting in a two-parent household to shared parenting in two different households. Kruk believes the “winner-take-all” adversarial approach through sole custody isn’t working for either children or parents and that change is urgently needed.

His numerous papers emphasize the negative effects on children with absent fathers and the positive impacts on children of shared custody arrangements compared to sole custody situations. He also notes there’s decreasing parental conflict in joint custody families as compared to an increase of such problems over time in sole custody families.

In his presentation, he varied his basic proposal for a presumption by coupling it with a rebuttable presumption against shared custody in cases of family violence and abuse, as proposed by the National Association of Women and the Law.

His published opinions say this would apply in proven cases involving a criminal conviction in a matter directly affecting the parenting of the children or a finding of a child in need of protection by a child welfare authority. Kruk proposes that the much more stringent standard of child in need of protection be applied before removing a parent’s legal custody rather than the test that looks to the best interests of the child.

Wise is in favour of putting the onus to prove that a presumption is inappropriate on the spouse who doesn’t agree. “If legislation said the starting point is joint custody, and the onus is on the parties to provide evidence that a different arrangement is in the best interests of the children, it would be difficult for a parent to ever satisfy that,” he says.

This is precisely what worries Toronto lawyer and mediator Barbara Landau, who was present at the debate and strongly disagrees with the proposal. “Where there is an onus, it is often on the victimized party to disprove it,” she says. “It makes for a potentially much more adversarial situation. If a parent thinks a situation is inappropriate for a shared arrangement, they have to go to court and argue against it.”

Landau believes there’s a lack of understanding of the difference between joint legal custody, where parties agree to consult with each other on significant decisions, and joint physical custody, which involves having the children 50 per cent of the time.

This is echoed by other practitioners. Jane Murray of Burke-Robertson LLP in Ottawa is concerned about the various interpretations of joint custody.

“There would have to be a clear definition of exactly what you’re presuming or there would be a lot of litigation around the definition,” she says, noting she believes a presumption is unnecessary. “There is already a direction in the Divorce Act that one of the factors be maximizing the child’s time with each parent.”

Lawyer Kristen Bucci of Zochodne Bucci in Thunder Bay, Ont., isn’t in favour of true joint custody, which she defines as joint decision-making. In her experience, it works only in rare cases. “At the point of separation, there is a lot of animosity. You need two people to talk calmly, rationally, and in the best interests of the child, and that rarely happens in real life.”

With respect to shared physical custody, Landau finds it’s rare that people come up with a plan for 50-per-cent sharing of physical custody. “You need geographic proximity because the children attend school and have friends in the neighbourhood.

You need co-ordination and you need availability. People must have jobs that allow them to be available to have the children that much. I see people who have to be at work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Their plan is to leave the children with a caregiver when the other parent is at home.”

Landau adds: “You also have to consider the stage of development and temperament of the child. Do the children take to change easily or do they suffer anxiety over the smallest changes? There is a need for stability, security, and a reasonable routine.”

Landau also stresses the need to look at the parenting connection before the separation. “Some parents who are asking for 50 per cent have never looked after the child on their own except for maybe 20 minutes while someone went to the 7-Eleven. You need to build up the child’s comfort and confidence.”

Landau also stresses that the level of communication between the parents needs to be respectful so the children aren’t travelling back and forth between war zones.
Bucci, meanwhile, believes parents need to prove they were equally involved in parenting prior to separation. “One partner says, ‘Yes, I was absolutely equally involved.’

The other partner says, ‘Absolutely not. I did the majority of the decision-making.’ Generally, there is a parent and an assistant parent. How does a judge make those two positions coincide?”
Bucci, in fact, finds a lot of litigants get very hung up on a particular label. “So many parents want joint custody but are not really prepared to put in the work.”

Landau places the blame for this situation squarely at the feet of the child-support guidelines. “The question of equal time is contaminated by the supposed 40-per-cent rule of child support. Virtually every man wants 40 per cent of the time in the mistaken belief that they won’t have to pay child support.

I call it the faint-hope clause. If you took away the 40-per-cent rule, there would be a lot less fights over the percentage of time.”

Landau believes most cases start with a presumption that it’s in the child’s best interests to have a full relationship with both parents in any case. “A judge has an overriding responsibility to deal with each case in an individualized way, and that doesn’t preclude joint physical or joint legal custody.”
A child in a Cuckolded marriage PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by Roshni Mathan   

Cuckoo bird: Cuckolded husband divorces wife after finding he's not the father (Biological father is allegedly the Mayor of London Boris Johnson)

Picture: Cuckolded Husband who divorced his wife after finding out that his wife had child from another Biological source (allegedly the Mayor of London Boris Johnson) Separated: Pierre Rolin split with Miss Macintyre shortly after the baby was born in November when a DNA test revealed he was not the father

A child in a Cuckolded marriage is an affront to the Husband by the Cheating wife, especially if the Child BEARS HIS NAME (as a FATHER) and GETS HIS WRONGFUL INHERITANCE!

Cuckoo bird: Cuckolded husband divorces wife after finding he's not the father (Biological father is allegedly the Mayor of London)
'Is Boris the father? It's quite likely he hasn't the faintest idea': London mayor embroiled in paternity riddle
15th July 2010
Boris Johnson is at the centre of a riddle surrounding the paternity of a wealthy socialite's baby daughter.
Helen Macintyre, 36, split from her long-term partner shortly after the baby was born last November when he discovered through a DNA test that he was not the father.
On the birth certificate she declined to identify the man who had fathered the child.

Fatherless Child: Birth certificate with no Father's name
Picture: ?Cuckoo bird Mayor of London Boris Johnson
Paternity riddle: Boris Johnson and art consultant Helen Macintyre have both refused to comment on their alleged 'friendship' or whether the London Mayor is the father of Ms Macintyre's daughter Stephanie
The mystery deepened yesterday when a source close to the London Mayor said: 'Is Boris the father of this child? It's quite likely he hasn't the faintest idea.'
Both Miss Macintyre, an art consultant, and Mr Johnson declined to comment on their 'friendship', which was brought into the public domain in a front page article in the Daily Mirror.
Picture: Mother and Child (Husband divorced after verifying by DNA testing that he was not the biological father of the child)
Miss Macintyre had spent significant amounts of time with the Mayor before the pregnancy, leading to tensions in her long-term relationship with Pierre Rolin, with whom she shared a £5million house in Belgravia, central London.
The 36-year-old first met Mr Johnson when she was a student and he was a journalist. Their friendship was rekindled when he became Mayor and he invited her to be an unpaid fundraising adviser to the Olympics.
The closeness between them, which included regular dinners and phone calls, had already troubled Mr Rolin, 47, although he had made a donation to the Olympics arts project Miss Macintyre was involved in.

Second marriage: Boris Johnson with his wife Marina in London's Trafalgar Square
Miss Macintyre became pregnant early last year, and gave birth to daughter Stephanie in November.
Friends of Mr Rolin, a financier, said that when the girl was born her appearance shocked him and led to jokes that 'she looked a lot more like Boris'.
He took a paternity test and discovered that he was not the father, prompting the couple to split. Miss Macintyre is now living with William Cash, the son of a senior Conservative MP.
There were claims last night that Mr Johnson, a twice-married father-of-four, had also taken a DNA test.
A source close to Boris said: 'I find it very hard to imagine that any bloke would volunteer for a paternity test unless marched to it at gunpoint.'
Mr Rolin, 47, said: 'Sadly, I am not the biological father of Helen Macintyre's daughter. I separated from Helen in November, am just getting on with my life, and have no further comment to make.'
But a friend of Mr Rolin said: 'The gossip among Pierre's friends was that this child, when newborn, had shocking wild red hair and bright blue eyes - and we were all saying she looked a lot more like Boris than Pierre, who is a French-Canadian with dark hair.
'And the appearance of the baby came on top of a lot of calls between Helen and Boris, and her acting as an art adviser to him. So soon after the baby was born they split up.
'It was some time later, just to be sure beyond doubt, that Pierre had a paternity test - and proved he was not the father of Stephanie.'
And a friend of Miss Macintyre said she had initially believed her unborn child was Mr Rolin's - but had already told him that she had enjoyed a fling with Mr Johnson.
Only when the child was born did Miss Macintyre join everyone in surprise at the little girl's appearance, saying: 'There is no red hair in my family, or Pierre's.'
Miss Macintyre is a history of art graduate from Edinburgh University, who went on to work first as an art dealer before establishing her own firm, Macintyre Art Advisory, in 2007, advising rich individuals and businesses on buying art.
She began her relationship with Mr Rolin, a property investment specialist, close to the end of 2006.
A divorced father-of-two, he showered her with gifts including a Mini Cooper with personalised plates, Cartier jewellery, and trips to St Tropez.
She rekindled her friendship with Mr Johnson in January 2009 and had a series of dinners.
She also bumped into the Mayor, when Mr Rolin was also present, at an economic conference in Switzerland the next month, where they are understood to have had drinks as a group.
The Mayor is said to have had a hotel suite next to theirs.
In May last year, when Miss Macintyre was in the early stages of her pregnancy, he appointed her as a 'Fundraising Campaigner' for a visitor attraction at the new Olympic Park being built in East London.
Her most significant success came when she persuaded Mr Rolin to donate £80,000 to the project - which was used to establish plans for a 400ft tall £20million tower to be built at the Olympic site.
A friend of Miss Macintyre said: 'Pierre became jealous of Helen and Boris's close bond and was suspicious of an affair. She would go to meetings at City Hall and they would meet for dinner afterwards.
'When Pierre was away on business she would arrange for Boris to come over to the house. Helen would tell the staff not to come in over the weekend because Boris was uncomfortable with them around.'
Finally, after Stephanie was born at the Portland private hospital in central London in November, Miss Macintyre and Mr Rolin split.
Mr Rolin continued to call and text Miss Macintyre, and in February of this year police gave him a warning for harassment.
A friend of Miss Macintyre said: 'Early last year Helen was talking about her friendship with Boris when she suddenly said "I slept with him", in a "God, what have I done?" sort of way.
'I got the impression it was more of a drunken mistake than a passionate love affair.'
The friend added: 'It came as a shock when she discovered the father of her daughter wasn't Pierre.
'By then she didn't want him having anything to do with the baby, which is how the police became involved.
'She said Boris had a paternity test, and doesn't mind the fact that the baby is his child, and is happy to support her, but he's worried about whether the relationship with his wife will break down.
'Helen was prepared to be a single mum, and is now back at work while an au pair looks after the baby.'
Mr Johnson is said to be hoping to become next leader of the Conservative Party.
But a senior Tory aware of the paternity riddle said: 'If any of this is true, it will put paid to Boris's ambitions of becoming Prime Minister.'
Mr Johnson has often courted controversy. His first marriage, in 1987, to Allegra Mostyn-Owen, ended when he had an affair with barrister Marina Wheeler - daughter of broadcaster Charles Wheeler - whom he married in 1993.
In 2004 it emerged that he had had a four-year affair with Petronella Wyatt, a columnist on The Spectator, which he then edited, and she had had an abortion.
And in 2006 assignations with journalist Anna Fazackerley, 29, were disclosed. Both failed to deny claims of an affair.
Miss Macintyre's career in elite art circles has come despite a tragic background, which saw her father James die in 1998, followed within five years by the deaths of both her sisters - one from liver failure, and one from suicide.
She currently lives in a £1million rented house just off King's Road with magazine editor William Cash, a divorcee and son of Tory MP Bill Cash.
She refused to talk about her relationship with Mr Johnson to the Mail. Mr Cash also refused to comment.
The official spokesman for the London Mayor said: 'Boris never talks about his private life.'
Estranged techie couple reunites, but police spoil party PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by Hemanth Kashyap   

After filing a dowry harassment case against the husband, the wife returned to him. Four months ago, she gave it in writing that she wants to withdraw the charges, but the cops are yet to close the case

It could well read like a script of a chick flick, but it's for real and it's the police who are spoiling the plot. Sushma Dubey, a techie, had separated from her husband, Sanjay Ranjan, also a techie. On the advice of her sister, she filed a dowry harassment case (498A) against her husband. Sushma did not know all the details and merely signed the papers prepared by her sister.

The New Civil War PDF Print E-mail
(0 Votes)
Written by TNN   

Indian courts are fumbling on child custody disputes, primarily because the laws have not caught up with emerging ground realities. In the developed world, family law makes joint or equal custody an inherent right. But, in India, unless the couple agrees to share parenting, the courts can only grant sole custody to one parent
Already devastated by the darkness that had engulfed their personal lives, some fathers were aghast that the access room in Mumbai’s Bandra family court did nothing to lift their wilting spirits. The walls had a drab sarkari colour, some of it peeling off in forlorn flakes hanging by the last atom in its chemical composition. The deep symbolism was just too much. In a show of unity, which had eluded them at home, the unhappy dads protested, petitioning for a more “childfriendly feel”. Officers of the court understood the emotion and have now painted the walls pink.
That has made the room brighter, but not enough. There has been an offer from the aggrieved group to use their own money to lay out a colourful linoleum floor, hang attractive curtains, install an AC and throw in some nice-looking chairs, but the courts run on government funds. So it’ll have to be just the half-a-dozen chairs — in which they sometimes play musical chairs — and pink walls for now. The jazzed-up room, though, doesn’t matter to four-year-old Aryan as he waits sullenly to meet his father in surroundings that echo with the acr i m o n i o u s charges recently traded by his w a r r i n g parents. He has been brought here, to the child access room at the Bandra court, by his mother and passed on like a baton to her estranged husband, who’s come armed with a court order for his son’s ‘access’. Outside the room, the whirl of black-and-white robes meld into the one colour that dominates Aryan’s life — grey. Across the country, the last few years have seen a growing number of tiny tots taking their first steps in family courts. And as custody clashes rise, thanks also to new-age fathers wanting to play a bigger role in their child’s life, the cacophony of battling voices come in not just Indian, but American, British, Canadian and, sometimes, even Japanese and Russian accents.

Indian fathers get assertive    

One obvious reason for the spurt in such cases, experts point out, is that the Indian fathers seem to have grown up. Where even a decade ago, most men on the thorny path to splitsville didn’t think twice before getting rid of the child along with the wife, a new dimension in the form of more involved dads has slowly emerged on the divorce battleground.
“My wife had an affair and has gotten married to that man, proving my allegations right,” says Kamal Pherwani, a giftshop owner in Mumbai. “But after agreeing to let me have visitation rights every alternate weekend, she is not complying and instead wants to give my five-yearold son her new husband’s surname. I won’t allow that. He is my son. Besides, a man who has left his own two kids won’t look after my son. That’s the question constantly plaguing me and causing me sleepless nights.”
It’s the same story across Indian cities. Says Chennai-based advocate Tamizh Kumaral, “Custody battles here are on a steep curve. More fathers are seeking custody and taking greater interest in the day-to-day activities of their child — from brushing their teeth to preparing them for school, and attending PTA (parentteacher association) meets.”
Advocate Mridula Kadam nods in agreement. “You see this happening everywhere. A few fathers have even left jobs abroad and come down here to be near their children.” The men, truly, are roughing it out in the courts. “It is very frustrating to fight for even regular access to your own child,” says one dad who started life afresh in Mumbai, leaving behind a cushy job in Chicago when his wife moved to India with their daughter. “But what choice do I have? I love my child and want to be with her.”
It’s a fair share of access or shared custody that most men are after. In the first six months of 2009, in Mumbai alone almost 200 exclusive custody petitions were filed, mostly by dads. “The trend is to no longer be a Sunday dad,” says Mrinalini Deshmukh, divorce lawyer to many celebrities. Chance Pe Dance director Ken Ghosh hopes his current child custody plea doesn’t flop like some of his films have. He is seeking custody of both his children who, he says, he adores.
As more men find themselves locked in slow-moving, and often bitter, legal battles to get regular access and a chance to play real-time parent, some feisty fathers have banded together and started Children In The Centre, a group which has attracted both separated Indian fathers and mothers (although 90 per cent are dads) from a c ro s s the globe to fight for better child visitation laws in India. Says Mehul Mehta, a father in Mumbai who helped found CITC, “Principles of equality must grow in India too just as they have in the US since the 1980s.”
Not surprisingly, the new Indian father who’s caught in the throes of messy custody battles is asking a host of questions: shouldn’t visitation rights of either parent be inherent? Where should access be given? What really determines the best interests of the child? Isn’t it time a new ethic emerged in India to recognise the child’s need as being separate from his or her parents’ rights? “We have to make applications each and every time we need special access — whether for birthdays, PTAs, school annual day or for relatives and grandparents to see the child. It is demeaning to keep begging to see your own child,” says Mehta. And access orders often get flouted by the custodial parent, usually the mothers. But family courts cannot punish for contempt, hence years go by before some fathers get to see their child again.
Deshmukh says, “Women often treat children as their own property. They don’t want to give custody or even share custody.” She represents both men and women in custody battles, but says she increasingly believes that “mutual or joint child custody is the mature way out since fathers can be good parents too”.
More and more young non-custodial fathers now feel they do not want to be “mere economic providers” and long to be hands-on dads. However, not all husbands who claim equal or often sole custody rights actually want to change nappies and attend PTAs. Lawyer-activist Flavia Agnes says, “Half the time, a man is fighting to put pressure on his wife to grant a divorce on his terms. Custody is used as a lever against a mother who is desperate to keep her children. After the divorce, more men than women get remarried quickly, fathering children, sometimes within a year, and stop visiting their child from the first marriage.”

But it’s not just the men    

That may or may not be the case, but what cannot be contested is the growing number of custody battles. A lecturer in one of Delhi’s top colleges, who doesn’t want to identify herself, says it’s not just modern fathers but equally modern mothers unwilling to give up the fight for their children that’s fuelling the fire. “I was given the option of peace — which came with a guarantee that I would not be harassed — if I stopped asking for custody of my son,” she remembers. “But I didn’t want to live with my tail between my legs. After all, I was earning, was independent, and cared two hoots for the prestige that came with his rich surname. My son is with me now.”
Anita Pal, a mother who has been deprived of her child, says, “I allowed my husband to have custody of my daughter as I had no independent income when he asked me to leave the house following differences between us. But now I am working (as a teacher) and would like to see my child. I feel like I am fighting with my back against a wall, and that I am going nowhere. But I am at it.” So was the young Sindhi woman in New York — where she and her estranged husband live and work as finance professionals — who agreed to a mutual consent for divorce in lieu of full custody of her minor son. Additionally, she wangled a no-objection certificate from her husband that allowed her to give the child her maiden surname.
Indian women who are working or have a good professional career are sticking to their guns in child custody battles. They do not want to move an inch when custody negotiations are on. In one recent case, a 28-year-old techie involved in such a legal tangle said she’s “quite sure” she wanted to have their three-year-old daughter with her in sole custody. “I do not need anything else from him,” she says. “Nothing at all.”
Another young mother, who said her businessman husband sits home all day playing videogames or surfing the internet, is certain he isn’t a good role model for her child. “That’s not the kind of influence I want for my son,” says the 32-yearold, opposing her husband’s plea for shared custody. “He may love his child, but he needs to improve himself as a role model. Till then he can come and meet our child at my place.”
Kadam, an expert on family law matters, nails the trend when she says “there is certainly a string of young fathers wanting more time with their kids. But young, independent mothers are also coming up to lawyers, saying they do not even want alimony or child support, just the child.”.

India’s Secular & Personal Laws    

The Guardians and Wards Act 1890 (GWA). This is a secular law for appointment and declaration of guardians irrespective of caste, community or religion, though in certain cases the courts may also consider the personal law of the parties
For custody under Hindu law, there is the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956, which says that a father is a natural guardian, but also that custody of a child till the age of five should ordinarily be with the mother
Under Muslim law, the first right to have custody of children belongs to the mother and she cannot be deprived of her right so long as she is not found guilty of misconduct. The mother’s right of custody is known as hizanat (rearing of child) and is recognised in the interest of the child

Supreme Court takes custody    

Under Indian law, custody is in the nature of trust for the benefit of the child, held the SC in 1971
Custody orders are temporary in nature, said the SC in Jai Prakash vs Shyam Sunder in 2000. Orders can be modified if there is any change in circumstances
In 2008, the SC clearly spoke of caseby-case solution. It said: “The question of welfare of the minor child has to be considered in the background of relevant facts and circumstances. Each case has to be decided on its own facts and other decided cases can hardly serve as binding precedents inso far as the factual aspects of the case are concerned...Better financial resources of either of the parents or their love for the child may be one of the relevant considerations but cannot be the sole
determining factor for the
custody of the
Statement of Ken Thompson - Father of Andrew Thompson PDF Print E-mail
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Statement of Ken Thompson - Father of Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson was abducted from Australia by his mother. Ken changed his life drastically - vowing to find Andrew, he took early retirement from his job with the fire service and quite literally got on his bike.

Ken cycled through the UK and across Europe to raise awareness of his missing son's plight.

Ken found Andrew and recently returned to Australia after a successful Hague Convention hearing, which incidentally took place in the Hague - Andrew was located in Holland last year.

The following is the official statement from Ken regarding what happened and the outcome - a happy one at least this time.

Monday 31 January 2011


Thank you all for attending. I am indebted to the media and my many supporters here and around the world for the success of my three-year quest to find my son and bring him home.

I know you are all interested in hearing about what has happened since Andrew was found in The Netherlands in September last year. Due to my undertaking to the Dutch Courts and restrictions imposed by the Family Court of Australia now that we are back in Australia I am unable to give you a lot of information.
What I can say is this:

Andrew was found whilst attending a school in Amsterdam on 6 September last year when an alert teacher became suspicious and entered the words "Missing child Australia" into Google. She quickly discovered Andrew's website and was assured by the extensive media reports that were posted there that the Dutch authorities needed to be alerted immediately. The authorities and Interpol acted very quickly and from that date until 5 December 2010 he was cared for in a Dutch Child Protection facility.

In May 2008, following his abduction on 24 April 2008, I made an application under the Hague Convention to have Andrew returned to Australia. However, his location was unknown for over two years. Once he was discovered in The Netherlands the application could progress. My application was eventually heard on 30 November 2010 by five judges at the District Court in The Hague who ordered his speedy return. That decision was appealed and the appeal was heard on 13 January 2011 by four different judges at the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. This court upheld the original decision and ordered that Andrew was to be returned to Australia with me no later than 25 January 2011. Between the date Andrew was found and 5 December 2010 I visited him regularly under the professional guidance of Dutch child protection counsellors. Gradually, we re-established our previously warm and loving relationship. On 6 December 2010 Andrew was released into my care until travel preparations could be made. We spent our first Christmas together for three years.

Once I had the necessary travel documents, Andrew and I left The Netherlands on 18 January 2011 and returned to Australia on 24 January 2011. That is all I can say about Andrew, now or in the future. 1 would like to thank all the thousands of people and the many government agencies and missing children organisations around the world who supported me in my global search for my son, which I have been told is the biggest successful international search for a missing person ever mounted. I am not a wealthy man but I can ride a bike. So instead of chartering a jet and searching the world, I took my bike to Europe and started pedalling. I carried Andrew's favourite soft toy on my handlebars. I prayed someone would recognise his face on my cycling shirt or his web page. Someone did.

I would like to say something about the international legal mechanism, known as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction that ensured that Andrew would return home.

The Hague Convention is often the only hope for left-behind parents when their child or children have been abducted across international borders. It is also the only legal mechanism to enable abducted children to be returned. The Australian Attorney General's office, which is the first call in activating a Hague Convention application receives reports of about 150 children a year being abducted overseas by a parent, without the consent or knowledge of the left-behind parent. This means that EVERY YEAR, at least three Australian families EVERY WEEK are going through the pain and loss that Andrew and I experienced. The scale of the problem at the international level is measured in thousands of children every year and these figures are increasing.

This problem is compounded in Australia because unless parenting matters are before the courts International Parental Child Abduction is not a criminal offence in this country. This creates enormous difficulties for parents of abducted children, because Australian agencies are not automatically empowered to carry out investigations within Australia that could lead to the location of their children. Often, the parent whose child has been abducted has to try to pick up the investigative threads themselves while bearing the enormous financial and emotional costs associated with locating their children.

This situation needs to change and requests have been made to the Attorney-General by myself, several law reform associations, parenting groups, and missing children organisations asking that the Australian Government seriously reconsiders its position about criminalisation of this heinous act, which amounts to child abuse. To make matters worse, it is not known how many more international parental child abductions from Australia go unreported or how many children are taken to countries that are not signatories to The Convention. It is suspected that the numbers are at least equal to those cases that are reported to the authorities.

Although there were some difficulties, The Hague Convention was successfully applied in Andrew's case. However, one concern held by myself and many other parents around the world is that The Convention, ratified in 1984, has not kept pace with international social, cultural, and political changes and that its ability to return children who have been abducted is being adversely affected by these changes.

We are also concerned that there are still many countries that are not signatories to The Convention. Governments around the world owe it to our children to make sure the Convention is updated as quickly as possible to reflect these changes to make sure it retains its original intent to return abducted children to their countries of habitual residence as quickly as possible, and to ensure that as many countries as possible sign-up to The Convention to increase the likelihood of these children being returned.

I am now calling on the Australian Government to play a key role in having the Convention reviewed to better reflect today's world and to encourage as many countries as possible to become signatories to the Convention. This will increase the likelihood of abducted children being located and returned as quickly as possible. I am also asking that the Australian Government carries out an urgent review of its position about the criminalisation of International Parental Child Abduction.

Andrew's international plight has now come to an end and the Australian media was instrumental in making that happen, along with their colleagues in many other countries. However, I would now like to ask the national and international media to please respect Andrew's privacy and give him a chance to be a normal little Aussie boy once more.

Thank you for coming
Ken Thompson

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