LEGAL AID: She forced our children to call another man ‘dad’ - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

LEGAL AID: She forced our children to call another man ‘dad’

She has two children and the name of the biological father is in their birth certificates. My question is: Will this cause trouble in future?   PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Our children’s custody case was concluded in August 2019. Their mother was awarded legal custody but I was given visitation rights on weekends and on holidays. However,I only managed to see them for three weekends and thereafter they were unavailable, or I was made to believe so.
I have information that the children are mad because they cannot see me, in fact the boy who is 11 years has threatened to run away.
He’s undergone counselling at school but he still insists that he wants to be with me. I am tired of “mabishano” (unnecessary arguments) with my ex but I fear losing my children.
I pay their school fees. I have information that they are disturbed and unhappy, and on many occasions punished by beatings whenever they speak to me, especially the few times I visit them at school.
The mother’s conduct, including the introduction of another man to the children, and forcing them to call him dad, shows her effort to deny the children an opportunity to be with their real dad. Given this situation, is there a way social worker can be sent to school to talk to them? They are depressed and need support. I am sick of courts… yet I need help.
Hallo Distressed Father,
Though the tone in your text is laboured and pained for what sounds like love and care of a good father towards his children, we hasten to congratulate you as a model father speaking for many who remain silent on similar issues. You invite us to review five fundamental issues.
First, is the power of the court whenever decrees originate from it.
Second, are the obligations of parents in matters decided by the court: third, touches on the rights of children when parents are separated: fourth, is the role of third parties such as social workers in the welfare of children: and fifth, involves the orders of the court outside its own walls, referred to as enforcement in precincts of law.
The writing indicate you understand the law to a good extent. You have demonstrated that custody as defined at Section 81 of the Children’s Act, is the actual possession of a child in safe abode, in this case granted to the mother.
In the same measure you have alluded to your visitation rights, falling on the weekend and school holidays.
You decry the violation of these rights, evidenced by three interactive weekends and no more.
This situation is synonymous with the concept known as contempt of court, which according to Contempt of Court Act 2016 is an act that demeans the court by either disobeying its directions, consequently preventing administration of justice.
The mother of your children is in breach of a court order by denying you access as granted by the court.
On the foregoing, it is clear that parties in a suit before any court, upon judgement are obligated and decreed to respect, execute and follow through the undertaking that accompanies such pronouncements.
Therefore, the rights of children to be cared for, protected and loved doesn’t cease with or without court orders.
In fact, Article 53 (1-e) of the Constitution directs both parents irrespective of their marital status or spousal difference to invite equal responsibility, besides exude non-discriminate attitude and deed in safeguarding the rights and welfare of their children.
Let it not be lost to you that the conversation about the rights and welfare of your children is listed in the adjudicative processes of the court.
Even though you register dislike of the court, having sought direction from it previously, likely  that you, your partner, children and other concerned community members are predisposed to its full intervention, including advise for alternative ways of resolution and listening to appeals of earlier orders.
Your may wish a review of this situation following non adherence of the court order, which is tantamount to contempt.
Nonetheless, before you proceed to court again, you may seek the intervention of a social worker or children officer to help the two of you negotiate an acceptable approach in executing the court order, similarly work out best ways to ensure the children have peaceful stay in school.
However, should you remain with the option of the court, filing a petition will be necessary based on the following grounds: non-circumstantial denial of access causing less quality time and bonding between you and the children: cruelty to children, who are scolded, beaten and discriminated every time they interact with you, besides being forced to call another man father who has no legal immunity/recognition in this relationship: and the wishes of the child.
Your prayers, in this petition would be full unhindered access to your children and custody if you so wish. Good luck, the law is on your side.

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