Family Court Hell - Mark Harris
Family Court Hell (Paperback)
by Mark Harris
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This is one man’s harrowing story of frustration and determination as he battled for access rights to his young daughters following the bitter break-up of his marriage. Incredibly, his was a journey that spanned almost ten years, with 133 hearings by 33 judges, and which reportedly cost the taxpayer over GBP1 million. What should have been a “simple contact dispute” somehow resulted in this innocent family man effectively being criminalized by the family courts, resulting in a stretch on the A Wing of the infamous Pentonville prison, which housed convicted murderers, terrorists, gun runners and drug dealers. Mark Harris eventually took his case public and the campaign for fathers’ rights took off - with the formation of Fathers 4 Justice. This is a shocking story that deserves to be heard.
From the Author
Any father whose got nowhere in the family courts when trying to maintain his relationship with his children may well think he lost out for a variety of reasons; because his case was not put properly, the judge did not listen, the welfare report was bias or some other likely reason for why the injustice took place. By reading ‘Family Court Hell’ it should become apparant that farce and injustice is dished out routinely in the family courts-if your children’s mother simply opposes you seeing them. Fathers up against a mothers’ hostility will usually get no where at all especially when young children are involved-as the courts avoid being put in the position of having to enforce any order upon a mother. They would rather demonise the father instead and pick him off as an individual troublemaker. Truth, justice or even the children’s welfare is simply not on the agenda. You are not alone, this is just the way they operate.
A Modern Immorality Tale
By Ian Wood, Author of ‘Here’s 2 Absent Fathers’
Family Court Hell details Mark Harris’ 10 year case to maintain contact with his daughters. That Mark could be sent to prison for breaking his contact order by waving at his children highlights the lunacy of the family courts. That Natural fathers requiring re-introduction to the children once contact has been broken by the courts whilst Mum’s new boyfriend can move straight in is central to the questions Mark raises against the courts and the society that allows them to operate in secret. That a fathers contact can be reduced because it appears the children are not happy at the mothers home or that an order of no contact can be made despite repeated statements from the children that they wish to see their father show a secret court failing to act in the interests of the children. This is the case that ultimately led to the start of Fathers 4 Justice. What is incredible is not that it happened but that it didn’t happen sooner. Family Court Hell shows the family courts are more Monty Python Sketch than legal system and that Justice is a concept only found outside the law.
By Nigel Ace (Bristol, UK)
This book is well written and keeps you captivated at all times. Even if you are not affected by these child contact issues, it provides a very enlightening view on the reality of the family court system. It beggars belief, what actually goes on inside these secret courts. Having been affected by this issue myself, it is a monumental comfort to know that someone else (as well as millions of other dads) have all experienced the HELL that is the family courts!!!
By N. Fisher (Sussex,England)
For my part I accept the statement from Fathers for Justice condemning the desecration of heritage/sacred sites and wish you luck with your campaign.
By Jimmy James (Birmingham)
Having been through the family courts myself, I thought it was only me they did this too-but reading Mark Harris and his daughter Lisa’s accounts, it’s obvious these secret courts treat all fathers up against hostile mothers in this way. A truly compelling read, but why did the kids have to take on the judges before they got their dad back?
Read this book
By L. Davison (UK)
Essential reading for anyone contemplating turning to the family courts for help. This case helped ignite the current fathers right movement, after reading this it’s hard to believe this is about our modern day family law justice system, it’s more akin to something you would read about in a dictatorship rather than a so called democracy. Sad thing is stuff like this still goes on routinely despite the political gloss.
At last-exposure of the villains!
By Nick Wilson (West London)
What a refreshing change to read a book that goes into a real family court case, identifies so many of the corrupt individuals who ply their evil trade there-by name-and details just what was said and done! Had at least two of these individuals in my case and they behaved just as inhuman to my family too. Judges, corrupt Child Psychiatrists, CAFCASS people and social workers. Named & shamed. And so many of them as well! Even an MI5 agent who bugged a Fathers 4 Justice supporters’ home phone, all in there! Better buy this book quickly if you are thinking about it, because once the evil secret court divorce industry get a sniff of this they’re sure to try & ban it. Hats off to Mark & Lisa Harris- must be a British first, total exposure of what actually goes on in the family courts. Panaorama, Trevor McDonald, Bob Geldof, please read this book, please expose what the UK courts get up too behind closed doors on national TV for all our sakes.
Whatever happened to the Children Act…
By Laura Summerfield (Bristol)
As a woman of nearly 40, I have had to live through the pain of never seeing my father or ever knowing him because my parents divorced when I was a baby. I was in tears reading Family Court Hell. The Children Act in 1989 was intended to stop these blights on people’s lives, but reading both Mark Harris and his daughter Lisa’s accounts of what happened to them proves the Act changed nothing. If the mother wants rid of the father, these dreadful men and women who work as judges seem to facilitate it. As always, only the lawyers gain from what takes place, I think this book with the author’s suggestions, should become a vehicle to change the law.
A Crime Against Humanity
By Martin Harrowsmith
To Jail a father for waving to his children while knowing that the mothers boyfriend was abusing the children beggars belief. The more this case is made public knowledge the quicker change for the good of all will arrive. So good to read how the girls took on the courts and won!
Secret Family Courts Exposed
By Essex Dave (Essex)
Out of all the books I’ve read by fathers mistreated in the Family Court’s, and there are many, Harris is the first to expose the true and appalling way these places operate. Unbelievably, the Courts criminalised this man for wanting to see his children when they also wanted to see him, while knowingly allowing the mothers boyfriend to abuse his kids for years. The daughters account (Lisa) confirms what all parents know exists; Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), where [often, but not always] the mother persuades the child to say he/she does not want to see the other parent when they really do, but it suits the purpose of these people in their wigs and tights to pretend PAS simply does not exist. I’ve also read the Family Law report on this case in a law library that is refered to in the book (Harris v Harris, Harris v Attorney General), FLR 875, (2001). The law report shockingly details the judge calling the expert witnesses’ evidence “positively misleading”, but still blindly followed his recommendations with tragic consequences to all concerned. Just why did two of Harris’ daughters then aged just 11 & 16 have to take on the army of 33 Judges involved over the years to be with their father? The fact they got what they wanted without any resistance and lived happily ever after only goes to prove the farce and human rights abuses that occurred. Just how many more of these cases will be uncovered as time passes? Will the divorce industry ever give fathers the same rights as mothers new boyfriend, that being the legal presumption they can be with their children after seperation from their mother?
The Story of A Brave Father who Waged War on the Family Courts
By Charlotte Brambletye (Surrey)
Mark Harris is the original Matt O’Connor. He was not prepared to suffer the family courts in silence and they sent him to jail as a result. His tireless efforts to shame judges into making the right decisions and his constant battle to protect his family makes shocking reading. Lisa’s contribution to the book brings the children’s suffering into focus. The naming and shaming is brave - but that typifies the man who would not desert his daughters.