02 August, 2017
Family Court proceedings can be an emotional and difficult time for families, especially the children involved. A High Court Judge informed a 14 year old boy, by writing to him direct, explaining how he had reached his decision that he must remain in his mother's care.
Referring to the child using the pseudonym, "Sam", Mr Justice Peter Jackson wrote "Dear Sam….I believe that your feelings are that you love everyone in your family very much, just as they love you. The fact that your parents don't agree is naturally very stressful for you, and indeed for them. Normally even when parents are separated, they manage to agree on the best arrangements for their children. If they can't, the court is there as a last resort.
He pointed out that whilst Sam's father is a man with some wonderful qualities, he sees someone who is troubled, not happy and has perhaps lost sight of what is best for his son.
He reminded the teenager that he is doing well in school and that he may struggle in a foreign country where he does not speak the language and where his father has made no schooling plans.
He went on to say that he realised that this order is not the one that he wanted him to make, but he is confident it is the right order for him in the long run. He hopes that in the future he will come to see why he has made these decisions.
He ended his ruling on a light note saying "lastly, I wanted to tell you that your dad and I enjoyed finding out that we both love the film 'My Cousin Vinny', even if it might be for different reasons". The Judge wrote "your father mentioned it as an explanation of a miscarriage of justice, while I remember it for the best courtroom scenes in any film, and the fact that justice was done in the end".
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