Flat White

Supervised contact is state-imposed parental alienation

25 November 2021

2:10 PM

25 November 2021

2:10 PM

There’s a thriving multi-million-dollar business at the heart of our family law system which provides a classic example of how effectively the feminists have sewn up our justice system to make life hell for men.   

The children’s contact services were designed to provide supervised access between kids and risky parents and were set up for a good and proper reason. There are parents, men and women, who put their children at risk, and it makes sense to have supervision in place to allow children to see these parents without coming to harm. But supervised contact has morphed into state imposed parental alienation whereby contact centres conspire with malicious mothers to teach children that their father is dangerous.   

The system is essentially about judicial officers covering their arses. Whenever an allegation of domestic violence or sexual abuse surfaces in a family court case, decision makers in the court system will order supervised contact because they know that if they don’t do this and anything happens to the child, they will be hung out to dry.  

False allegations of violence and abuse have become a standard tactic in family law battles, allowing an angry woman to have her partner removed from the home on the basis of a simple allegation. Usually, these dads don’t get to see their kids for months, or even years. And eventually, when they are “allowed” access to their children, they inevitably now end up in the clutches of the supervised contact system, paying through the teeth to have strangers monitor and report on their conversations with their children – producing biased records which are then used against them in subsequent court battles. The process works very effectively to destroy children’s relationship with their fathers.  

Imagine being part of the everyday life of your children, reading them bedtime stories, roughhousing on the lawn, making pancakes for Sunday breakfast. All it takes is one false allegation and you face months, perhaps years of being treated like a dangerous criminal, never allowed near them.   

Eventually the court system “permits” your first supervised contact visit. Finally, you are in the same room as your kids, at last able to see them, talk to them. But that intense experience comes with any number of painful humiliations. Here are some real-life examples of how fathers are treated:   

  • One child greeted his father at the centre by saying, “You are not going to hit me, are you Daddy?” The child later explained to dad that mum had told him to say that yet the supervisor who overheard the conversation refused to report it.   
  • Fathers are told not to get emotional. “Steve failed to control his emotions when saying goodbye to the children despite instructions from the supervisor to do so,” was a note included in a report on one father  
  • A dad’s suggestion that he toss a football around with his son led to the supervisor issuing the boy with a safe word to use if he felt threatened.  
  • A father asked to take his 4-year-old to the toilet, only to find this was noted in the report as if it was a sinister request.  

So, it goes on. Of course, it’s not always like this. There are centres which treat men well and individual supervisors who do their best to ensure dad has fair treatment. But, unsurprisingly, even government-sponsored services run by some of the big players, like Relationships Australia, produce horror stories, with many counsellors in these organisations notoriously anti-male.  

Then there are huge, private enterprise players capitalizing on long waiting lists for the government-sponsored centres – delays of 6 months to a year – and charging horrendous fees to rip off men. We’re talking up to $300-$400 a session, more for the sought-after weekend places, easily adding up to over $20,000 for two years of contact visits. Plus, there’s the cost of travel, with some men forced to travel many hours to get to the prescribed place.   

That’s the key point. All too often dads have no choice about which centre is chosen – that decision is sewn up by cosy relationships between mum’s lawyer and the local registrars. Mothers are firmly in charge and a malicious woman has any number of cards she can play to ensure the contact system destroys what’s left of her ex-partner’s relationship with his children.  

A father who is given supervised contact will find that’s treated as a black mark against him when it comes to later decisions about proper parenting arrangements and as leverage in property settlements. Worst still is the plight of the man who drops out of supervised contact, even if he can’t afford to keep going. That’s seen as a lack of commitment to his children. “Narcissists can’t handle supervised access,” commented one smug expert.    

Child contact services were intended to provide a transition to eventual self-managing of parenting arrangements but that’s just not happening. Most people just drop out. It’s maddening reading the official literature on what’s going here which attribute the drop outs to mental illness, substance abuse or “entrenched conflict between parents”. Not one word about the fact that most of the fathers subjected to this humiliating process are not dangerous – they’ve been set up by their ex-spouse.   

I’ve made a video about this whole shameful business, talking to lawyer Michael Jose who has worked for over 25 years tackling injustice against men. We aim to find ways to make changes, starting with advice for fathers to help them avoid supervised contact. More men and their lawyers need to actively resist supervised contact by offering alternate suggestions for managing conflict and organising safe handovers. Men given no choice must provide the best possible local options for services in their area.

We are also exploring setting up our own contact services – not for dads only, but simply places that offer fair treatment to all comers, including mothers. It is a very worthy goal to find ways to help fathers avoid the living hell of supervised contact and retain the right to be proper parents to their children.  

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