Compulsive litigants take responsibility for their actions

A divorce or separation is often caused by differences in thinking or actions between the couple. Following a divorce or separation the differences in a couple may continue when matters regarding their children arise.

We have often seen parents being quick to pursue a court application to secure custody or contact of their children.

Parents take a course of compulsive litigation regarding child matters

It is quite clear that a breakdown in a relationship and family is very emotional. Parents are often encouraged to control their emotions for the sake of their children and to limit the damage their actions could have on their children.

Despite this it is not uncommon for parents to behave unreasonably during and also after their relationship breakdown.

An example of such behaviour can be seen in the case of G (Children) (2013). In this case the separated parents had agreed their children’s arrangements some years ago, and these were put into a consent order and approved by the court. However only two months later the father asked the court to reopen the case, and this second round of court dates lasted 3 years. During these proceedings the father made very serious but completely groundless allegations against the mother, which took a lot of time and resources to resolve. The father also made false and disruptive allegations about some of the professionals involved in the case.

The judge was of the opinion that the father had been using the court proceedings as a weapon to harass and intimidate the mother. The court preferred the mother’s view of what was right for the children and the court finally ordered that the father would not have face to face contact with the children. As a result of his behaviour, it barred him from making any more applications to court without permission in advance. The father appealed this decision.

The court of appeal agreed with the initial decision believing the father, whose obsession with the litigation against the mother had led him completely to disregard the interests of the children. It supported the trial judge’s decision to make the father pay costs, finding that the litigation was unnecessary and without merit, and the father had abused the court process by using it as a weapon to get at the mother.

Compulsive litigants believe they are right

Most parents who turn out to be compulsive litigants are often driven by their view that they are right, and their actions are justified. This encourages them to spend time in pursuing litigation to fulfil their aims and causing other people to waste time which could be used on other areas of their life. Compulsive litigants often turn blind to the fact that they are actually doing great damage not just to others, but also to their own cause.

These actions of one party to proceedings can be seen as a total war and is not just limited to litigation. Such behaviour is often advertised by the individual on the internet through social media to try and get other people to support their cause in the belief that this may strengthen their case.

The behaviour of compulsive litigants can lead to destruction

As well as being time consuming this form of litigation is known to waste lives. Many people spend a significant part of their life in fighting unnecessarily and unreasonably for their children when in fact they could have utilised this time better to create a stable family unit.

Compulsive litigation causes significant stress and prevents parties from moving on. This sort of behaviour can often have a negative effect on children and causes damage to children who unnecessarily are dragged into the litigation war due to unreasonable behaviour of one or both of their parents.

It is therefore important that you carefully consider the result of your actions before embarking on the route of litigation by securing early legal advice.

If the courts believe you are behaving unreasonably you may be forced to pay huge legal bills for your actions. You will also cause a great deal of stress to your former partner and children which you may not be able to repair due to them forming a negative view of you.

The simple moral is that no matter how hard done you may feel regarding the outcome of your family dispute, you will not be doing yourself any favours by continuing compulsive litigation. As well as causing damage to yourself you will be annoying everyone else involved in the litigation and to run up a succession of failed applications, together with the inevitable orders for you to pay the costs of those applications.

It is therefore worth considering that as the courts have stated parents should set their personal differences aside and ensure they act in the best interests of their child’s Welfare which is paramount.

Consult with a family lawyers today

If you currently engaged in litigation or have been threatened by a partner over Court proceedings consult with our family lawyers today on 0330 094 5880 or let us call you back so you can be comforted by legal advice.

With family lawyers in Newcastle and nationally we are proud to offer local appointments at our nationwide branches.

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Kabir Family Law Fulham

Kabir Family Law Fulham
Chester House
1st and 3rd Floors
81 - 83 Fulham High Street
Fulham
London
SW63JA

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Kabir Family Law Northampton

20-30a Abington Street
Northampton
NN1 2JA

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Kabir Family Law Oxford

1 & 3 Kings Meadow
Oxford
OX2 0DP

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Kabir Family Law Newcastle

Clavering House
Clavering Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE1 3NG

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Kabir Family Law London

Kabir Family Law London
16 High Holborn
Holborn
London
WC1V6BX

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Kabir Family Law York

Tower Court
3 Oakdale Road
North Yorkshire
York
YO30 4XL

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