In an effort to make a point, the Fathers for Justice mob are often pulling stunts. From defacing art to scaling Buckingham Palace, their antics have been audacious and extreme both in terms of their actions and their lyrca.
Whilst I’m not sure that the all-publicity-is-good-publicity rule always applies, last week, a Real Fathers for Justice activist (a splinter group from the original Fathers for Justice) received a 4 week prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, after being found guilty of harassment.
‘And?’ you may say, weary of the common post-separation slide; wife gets more time with kids. Husband gets mad. So wife gets even more time with kids. So husband gets madder. Then loses it. Harassment commences.
Well, what’s different with this situation is that instead of harassing his ex-wife, the husband and activist took a different approach and harassed her solicitor. It seems husband set up a web site to attack the lawyer plus made all sorts of accusations about delay and the lawyer’s failure to pass on messages to his client about their three children.
My guess is that the husband was unrepresented meaning that the ex-wife’s lawyer had no option but to communicate with him direct. No doubt, that’s where the problems began. It may have been that had the husband had a robust lawyer himself, removing him from the sharp end, the whole situation would not have become so personal and out of hand.
But this sort of situation isn’t going to go away. As the very damaging cuts in family legal aid bed in, a large group of those facing divorce and family proceedings will have to represent themselves. And like the activist above, (who, without even the trademark super-hero outfit, still managed to gain attention to his cause) inevitably there is plenty of scope for those emotionally stretched people in the middle of proceedings, to get it all so horribly wrong.