A FATHER who levelled allegations of sexism when a family court cut his contact with his son has won his fight against the order.
The father, from, Chichester, who cannot be named for legal reasons, called the police after his ex-wife slapped him in the face in front of his son, London’s Civil Appeal Court heard on Tuesday.
He later had his contact with his son slashed when a judge ruled he had exploited the situation by involving the police.
The judge also ruled it was in the best interests of the boy to keep the parents – who have clashed in court almost 30 times – apart.
The father accused the judge, who made the ruling at Chichester County Court in March, of ‘prejudice’ by effectively finding it was okay his wife had slapped him.
“If the gender roles had been reversed, I find it impossible to believe the judge would have said it’s okay that he slapped her and she was wrong to call the police,” he said.
“Next time it might be something else – it might be a kick or a stab. What else am I supposed to do?”
The father said the contact order had actually increased the number of occasions on which the paths of the embittered mother and father would cross, saying: “The judge created an order that nobody was asking for because it doesn’t work.
“It puts the mother in charge, the one who is the troublemaker.”
Lady Justice Hallett, allowing the appeal, refuted any suggestion of ‘sexist prejudice’ on the part of the County Court judge.
However, Lord Justice McFarlane said: “I am of the view the judge went wrong in so far as the detailed arrangements for contact are concerned. She was driven by the need to avoid the fallout in the family when the parents’ personalities clashed. What she did was increase the number of times the parents had to have contact with each other.”
The court altered the contact order to give the father four consecutive nights per fortnight with his son at his home.