Anna Gupta: Working with the law in family courts

Thanks to the magic of the internet, even though Anna was not able to be at the event, we can still benefit now from the ideas she would have presented then!  Anna looks at high conflict separations with implications for applying the law. She describes the effects on the child; how the law affects relationships with both the alienated and alienating parent. She shares up to date thinking on changes to the law currently being debated. When we get them, you will be able to read her notes here. Dominic Raeside helped fill in this gap on the day and provided this reference on the law.

Anna Gupta is a senior lecturer in the Department of social work at Royal Holloway University of London. Her extensive experience as a Children’s Guardian has led her to study and publish on decision making in the Family Courts. Anna has worked with alienating behaviours in several high profile family conflicts and her association and working with families with Karen Woodall of the Centre for Separated Families has led her to begin to engage in research in this field.

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One comment

  1. Pauline [********]

    A good friend of mine (female) is experiencing awful abusive child alienation tactics from her ex-partner (a completely dispicable person who has already been in court for assaulting her and was found guilty despite
    his “not guilty” plea). He has abused every law & court process over a period of 8 months – it has been the most horrendous time of her life and to add insult to injury no-one belives her, everyone believes the abuser.
    He holds an ace card in the way that he has successfully removed the eldest child (age13 now) from her presence altogether and actualy has the eldest child telling lies about her. He has accused her of abandoning and hitting the children – All of which are completely untrue and nothing more than a smoke screen for his evil intentions. he is in effect holding his children captive under the protection of a residency order that was issued while she was out the country. He was fully aware that she was going for a break as where the children yet he and his lawyer approached a Glasgow Sheriff and made false and damming allegations against her. The Bar reporter has completely ignored the Mother and jumped on the band wagon
    that the Father and the eldest son must be telling the truth. The other 2 younger children are only able to see their Mum at a contact centre under supervised conditions on the say so of the Father, nothing has as yet been proved yet she is treated like she is guilty already. The eldest boy has been totally brainwashed by his mentally abusive Father and he doesn’t even know it. All the childrens rights have been ignored and no-one is acting either efficiently of compassionately for the children. They are captive hostages with their Father.
    I have been astounded and disgusted with the Scottish Law systems approach to this whole dreadful situation. They have in effect issued a bully a license and assumed that the 13 year old is not telling lies,
    he most definitely is being misled and mentally abused by his Father and I cannot believe what I have watched my friend go through and what her kids have had to go through – a perfectly loving Mum who’s only mistake was to give an abusive ex-partner the benefit of the doubt. The last time she took a break he ran to Social serivces who had no choice but to investigate his allegations and who in the end concluded that the children where not in any danger and she was not guilty of any of his fabricated allegations but he still put his children through the ordeal just to further control and abuse his ex-partner.
    At present no-one other than the childrens Father (3 children in total) has offered any explanaiton to the children about her non-appearance in their lives – THIS IS TERRIFING and the time period he has taken control of could already have far reaching and unreversable consequences for the childrens mental health, growth and development. The only reason the Father didnt approach the social work again is because he would have been chased out the building. He instead has very manipulatively and dispicable used and abused the law process and the court process to his own evil ends.

    Any and all advice you or even support group information you can provide would be very much appreciated.

    My friend left a lawyers letter stating when she would return from her break (the 2nd break she has taken to
    herself since she had her first child) – she did not abandon anyone and it is clear to see in lawyers correspondance that she did in fact leave word. She also left a personal note – ABANDONMENT isn’t even
    a logical description never mind factual. She has never hit her kids, in fact she has experienced angry
    outburst from the eldest son due to his frustrations over his Father’s neglect towards him.

    A Father who took minimal tme with his children since the seperation, despite serveral pleas, all in lawyers
    correspondence back & forth over the years -has now had them for over 8 months and it is ongoing and
    not once has any child phsycologist or child expert of any kind has contacted the children – MOST IMPORTANTLY AWAY FROM THEIR FATHER – I cannot believe the nievity of law professionals who cannot
    understand that these kids know they are going back to their Father and they had better not upset him.



    No wonder so many children end up on the wrong side of things when so called professionals are getting
    it SO WRONG.


    if there is anyone near the Glasgow area that could help my friend at all in any way, be it advice or support
    please send on.

    Thank You


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