An American term nowadays however ‘Custody’ refers to a recent film about child law and family breakdown, we suggest to contact the custody attorney chandler az for further information.
Background to the film
An Oscar–nominated and award winning film, “Just Before Losing Everything”, has been re-released this year as a full length feature film under the title “Custody”. This film has sparked interest in the media and has led to interesting debates about domestic violence and the psychological impact this can have on the victim and their family.
Directed by Xavier Legrand, the film is about a wife who is trying to leave her abusive husband but finds it more difficult than originally anticipated. It uncovers the anxiety and fear her family go through and specifically shows the detrimental impact it has on their 11 year old son. Legrand points out when interviewed that he wanted to focus on domestic violence within the whole family at home because home is “supposed to be a secure and safe place” for both adults and children, which in this case, was not.
The film focuses on a situation that escalates to breaking point concerning the parent’s divorce and a custody battle as the father applies for joint custody of his son despite him not wanting to see his father. The son is almost held in a hostage-type situation between his parents and he feels compelled to do anything to prevent the worst from happening. A typical situation we see as family solicitors looking on the outside when we advise client’s that a child will often say or do what they think each parent wants from them when in their company.
We see the father in Court as entirely different to the father and husband at home. When the parents were married, the husband often created an atmosphere of permanent fear in the family home, which included occasionally hitting his wife in front of the children. Seamlessly he got away with it because the wife never reported him to the police or other professionals, which is what ultimately goes against her at court when the Judge ultimately agrees with the father and grants him joint custody.
This is after hearing the Wife’s allegations of being a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband. However there was no clear evidence to support her allegations.
Domestic violence and misunderstandings
Legrand also wanted to show how the term “domestic violence” can be misunderstood and that mental/psychological abuse caused by verbal actions can denote domestic violence. A lot of the time domestic violence and/or abuse is hidden. It can be hard to see the damage mental and emotional abuse can cause to an individual as opposed to visual scars, bruises and wounds for example. However even bruises fade and wounds heal and can hide a history of physical abuse. Nevertheless this film demonstrates that a person’s manner, whether it is physical or verbal can cause emotional and psychological distress to another and is particularly damaging to children who witness the abuse or are caught in the cross fire.
The film then shows the consequences of the joint custody order and how the father starts to bear down on his 11 year old son and the film shows subtle hints of the damage that is caused to the boy.
One review says that the whole situation could have been avoided if the wife had just called the police from the beginning. That is the whole point the director was probably trying to make. That victims of domestic abuse and violence probably don’t feel that they can ask for help because of the fear that they won’t be believed because they have no hard evidence such as current physical injuries or scars if the physical abuse happened historically and/or the abuse has been mental. This is supported by the fact the Judge at the custody hearing turns to both parents and says “who is the biggest liar?” And that is what they have to determine when deciding the fate of the child’s living and contact arrangements.
Reflections and how we can help
Anyone could say they would leave their husband or wife if they were hit/punched by them, however if you are in a family situation where there are children involved or you feel financially reliant on your husband/wife, leaving may feel like an impossibility. You carry on as if none of this abuse is happening. It is vital therefore in order to avoid a situation such as what is depicted in this film, to seek help whether that is from the police, a family law solicitor like Julie R. Glade, a health visitor or GP. There is a lot of help out there, including from local charities, but from a legal perspective, we can help with getting injunctions to help stop the violence and threats as well as excluding the perpetrator from living in the family home. More information about how we can help can be found on our website and by clicking here. We also have a resource centre with access to other websites that can assist.
For those who don’t feel comfortable going to the police, even if a personal diary is kept, logging particular events of physical and/or emotional and psychological abuse, will assist and taking photos of any injuries that are inflicted at the time. Even disclosures to GP’s can help towards evidence as a record will be kept of any disclosures made.
However the biggest point the film makes is the impact all of this has on the children, which some parents may not appreciate. The consequences can be devastating to children as such behaviour detrimentally impacts on their physical and emotional welfare as well as their own future relationships.
For more information and advice in relation to domestic violence/abuse and arrangements in relation to children including applications to Court, please contact our Associate Solicitor, Kirsten Tomlinson on 01625 544 650 or email Kirsten.Tomlinson@family-law.co.uk.
Maguire Family Law is a highly recommended niche practise specialising in family law matters. We have a large team and can offer advice either by telephone or face to face at any of our locations as follows:-
Wilmslow 01625 544650
Knutsford 01565 648228
London 0207 9474219
Manchester 0161 8048441