This week, Custody Minefield released a report on relocation and leave to remove. The report contains a foreword by Bob Geldof, which slams current child custody laws as "barbaric" and "abusive" and dismisses the system as a "disgraceful mess."
Mr. Geldof had to fight for custody of his three daughters from his former wife Paula Yates and alleges that British courts "consistently" show bias against men by handing custody to mothers.
"I can hardly read the literature on Family Law without simultaneous feelings of an awful sadness and profound rage. Sadness at what has been done to our children and their families and deep rage for our Family Courts and the inadequate practitioners that work within it.
"In the near future the Family Law under which we endure will be seen as barbaric, criminally damaging, abusive, neglectful, harmful to society, the family, the parents and the children in whose name it purports to act. It is beyond scrutiny or criticism and like a secret society its members - the judges, lawyers, social and child "care" agencies behave like any closed vested interest and protect each others' backs.
"The court is entirely informed by outdated social engineering models and contemporary attitudes rather than fact, precedent rather than common sense and modish unproven nostrums rather than present day realities. It is a disgraceful mess. A farrago of cod professionalism and faux concern largely predicated on nonsensical social guff, mumbo-jumbo and psycho-babble. Dangling at the other end of this are the lives of thousands of British children and their families.
"How much longer must we put up with the state sanctioned kidnap of our most vulnerable? Because in effect that's what "Leave to Remove" amounts to. How much longer do we tolerate the vested interest intransigence of the appalling UK Family Justice system? How long before just one of them admit they have got it ALL wrong and apologise to their myriad victims?
"This report is important, timely and vital. To accept its findings, which could have and should have, been conducted at any time in the past 30 years, is to accept the awful conclusion that rather than Solomon like resolving our tragically human disputes with understanding, compassion and logical pragmatism the courts have consistently acted against society's interest through the application of prejudice, gender bias and awful impartial cruelty."
A Ministry of Justice spokesman responded to the reportby saying:
"We are creating a family court system that is transparent, accountable, and inspires public confidence in its good work, whilst still protecting the privacy of children and families involved.
"That is why we have allowed greater media access to family courts which will lead to greater trust. We have also increased access to out of court family mediation by putting information about divorce, relationship breakdown and the family courts, and a link to the Family Mediation Helpline website, on the DirectGov website.
"It is for the court to consider the evidence put before them in each individual case. However, the child's welfare will always be the court's paramount consideration."
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about child custody on FindLaw.
Depending on your circumstances, however, you may want to speak with a solicitor who specialises in family law. You can be matched with a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.