HjemLikestilt foreldreskapEn manns erfaring med barneloven

En manns erfaring med barneloven

Denne teksten er en manns egne erfaring og meninger, som Mannsforum har mottatt i brevs form og deler.

To the reader,

I will endeavour to keep my tale as brief and as accurate as possible. It will contain many aspects that those who have experienced the Norwegian Family Legal system will find very familiar, in an intensely negative manner.

There is of course many more details to the story I outlined below, but they are essentially distractions to the main theme and reality – A Child in Norway, again, has been forcibly denied access to one of their Parents and all Family on this side for no logical and fair reason. There is some major hope in the future though and I strongly think this case should help many Children, Families, and Parents particularly Fathers on their own personal journey.

I had been in a relationship with my ex-partner for many years. We lived in Oslo, Norway, and I worked at a local school. One day she came home and announced she was pregnant. This was a very trying time for us both and the relationship was starting to end. My ex-partner asked me to move out, which I did immediately, thinking of reducing stress for my unborn Child and she moved her address back to her Parents address also. I was unsure why she did this.

My Son was born in 2010. Immediately the Parents in Law began attempting to reduce my contact with my Son and sabotaging any efforts of peaceful visitations between Father and Son. I tried to sign a paper regarding 50% Parental Responsibility of my baby and the nurse at the hospital laughed at me.
She informed me of the rule in Norway – Barneloven
§ 35 – which clearly states that if the Parents are unmarried and/or not living together than the Mother gets 100% Parental Responsibility. The nurse informed me that about 10% of babies born in Norway are affected by this Law.
I then realised why my ex-partner, the Mother, moved her address from our common home – to secure the full protection of the Law – Barneloven § 35. I urge the reader to examine this Law and the fact that it is discriminatory in respects to gender and contradictory in respects to the equal opportunity laws.

A kind nurse secured daily visits between myself and my Son for one month. After this it spiralled rapidly and negatively downwards. The Mother began reducing visitations and making absurd and false allegations in an attempt to justify what she wanted. We went to compulsory ‘mekling’ which was insufficient and unsatisfactory. One ‘mekler’ informed me that ‘if I want to see my Son I need to agree with the Mother’. I very quickly realised that the possibility of me seeing my Son in any real, honest, fair and natural way was extremely slim whilst my Son was so young and the behaviour of the employees of the governmental ‘mekling’ offices was as it was. The Mother reduced me to one visit each fortnight and it was written that I ‘agreed’ to this. The truth was, I didn’t agree with the majority of what was happening at the ‘Familievernkontor’ and the opinions of many of its employees. I was uncertain and concerned as to why the employees were so happy to discriminate against me and why they had no real value of Fatherhood in respects to my young Son.

After some months I made the tough decision to leave Oslo and my Son, and to return to Australia. It was a very hard decision. I made it with the best interests of my Son at heart. I returned to work as a teacher. I came back to Oslo to visit my Son a year later but was subjected to the control and manipulation of the Mother who wanted to micromanage every detail of the visits. I saw my Son a few times and we got on very well as could be expected. These are very happy memories of mine. I tried to organise another visit but the Mother refused. She informed me that my Son did not need to see me until it suited her which was approximately 15 months later. She put her work and life above my Son meeting myself. I realised that things were descending very badly again. I thought 15 months was a ridiculous time to keep Family members apart. I came unannounced and turned up at her Parents place where she was with my Son. She refused to let me see my Son and I sat peacefully on the front deck to give them time to reconsider their answer. After some time, the Police came and searched me and questioned me. After talking to myself and the Mother they informed me that I should go to Court. They kindly drove me to the railway station and said I was banned from going back there for 24 hours. I did see my Son once that trip, a few days later. We played a game and got on very well again. He was now about 2. I was meant to see him again and give him his presents but this visitation was abandoned by the Mother. She went to Sweden and did not pick up the telephone. She knew I was leaving the next day. Here, I realised that the Mother had no intention of helping our Son see, know and have contact with his Father and all family on our side. She was only pretending for legal and social reasons. I organised another visit with my Son 6 months later. It went very well in the beginning. Then I informed the Mother I was going to Court and staying in Oslo. She completely lost her composure and became highly emotional. She refused anymore visitations and began to construct negative portrayals of myself and the visits with my Son.

Court case 1 – began May 2012, concluded June 2013. The Court ruled in favour of the Mother. The employees of the Court used unsubstantiated false allegations, omitted major facts submitted by myself, lied at times, did not see myself with my son once and manipulated data beyond (almost) belief. It made no difference that I was a working teacher with excellent references from employers, Family, friends, colleagues, etc with no history of any crime. The Court displayed an intense bias led by Judge D and psychologist B. Even the Barnehage leader wrote a second report alleging ‘bad visitations with Dad’ after a first one never mentioned it. I was completely shocked and disappointed with the ‘Oslo District Court’. Why did they do this? I knew that I was not a bad person so I wonderd, why are they so biased?

I did not appeal this case as I was in complete and utter shock as was everyone that knew my case.

The Mother continued in the same manner except now there were no visitations and she decided to send two email updates a year, when she decided. She continued the process of forced ostracization of small Child from one Parent and all Family on this side. She argued that my Son did not know us and therefore did not need to know us (this turned out to be a regular ad repeated legal argument of the Court). This was not satisfactory to myself or my Family and not deemed as ‘acting in the best interest of any Child’. After some years I realised that this was not going to get any belter until I had legal protections for my Son’s and my own human rights.

Court case 2 – began September 2016, finished October 2017. I travelled to Oslo to obtain a certificate from a ‘mekler’. The Mother refused to go to counselling now. The Court decided to seek my Sons views. My Son said he was curious about his Dad and wanted to know more. The psychologist G was a person of high integrity. She said that my Son was negatively affected by not seeing his Dad and proved the Mother had been lying previously when she said my Son did not want to know me. The Court decided to hold a hearing. However, the Court removed Psychologist G at the Mother’s request and replaced her with psychologist I. I saw my Son 3 times in 2017 because I opened up this Court case. It is a very happy memory of mine playing football, table tennis, chess and air hockey, talking, laughing etc. But, the Court ruled against me again. I was (almost) powerless against the bias of the Court and its employees. Again, the employees lied, omitted data that was beneficial to myself, manipulated laws when it suited them and more. Psychologist I was in private communication with the Mother and wrote in her 50-page report many unsubstantiated allegations and ideas. The Court proceeded to print them oblivious of the fact that I had not been a party to this process. Judge S and Psychologist I personally tried to belittle my professional witnesses – an experienced and professional Child psychologist, teachers, friends. The Court never asked if my Son wanted to see his Family and alleged that my Son now did not want to know me, after saying he did some months before. The Court kept no records of any of the Court hearings. The main thing in this Court now was the portrayal of myself in an incredibly negative manner (as I had attempted to challenge the Courts previous ruling). There was a 50-page document presented to the Court almost solely occupied with negatively portraying me, written by Psychologist I who spoke to me on only 2 occasions. The Court then demanded I pay the legal fees of the Mother, of approximately 150 000 Kroner. The Court was now attempting to financially and psychologically punish me in a major attempt to force me to stop seeking help from the Court. I was deeply shocked again. I reread the verdict – 30 pages of incredible negativity on myself and intense bias – and I realised a Socratic truth – it doesn’t mater if 1000 people disagree with your argument. What matters is if the argument is logical and true. My argument was sound. I decided to resist the Court and nearly all ‘gloves came off’.

I appealed the decision. I lost the appeal as the ‘Appeals Court of Norway’ (‘ACN’) simply echoed the previous Court. This is a very common practise. I wrote complaints to the ‘Tilsynsutvalget for Dommere’ (which was refused as I submitted it some small time after the time limit). I complained to the union for counsellors in Norway. They replied that it is up to the Court to decide. I reread the verdict of the ‘ACN’. They wrote that ‘my Son doesn’t need to see his Grandmother as he doesn’t know her and that they will not explain their statements’. I realised that they were both legally and morally wrong and that I would continue. 

I appealed the decision to the ‘Supreme Court of Norway’. They simply echoed the previous Court. I presumed they would do this but needed to do this to submit my application to the European Court of human Rights’ (ECHR’). Consequently, this did not progress further as the ‘ECHR’ wanted my Son to deliver the claim not myself. Also, the Courts are very experienced at what they do – that is, looking like thy are following the Law.

Court case 3 – Started August 2018, finished Jun 2019. I applied for help to assist my Son in seeing, knowing and having contact with his Family again. Also, I wanted my Son to be informed of important information and asked if he wanted to see and know his Grandparents on our side. Judge H at first questioned the need for seeking my Son’s views (against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child). She was replaced by Judge N. He asked my Son if he wanted to live in Australia with me and nothing else. He was explicitly asked not to ask this. My Son said no and the case was closed. No professional counsellor was employed. Judge Nilsen failed to inform my Son of any information beforehand or seek his views on his grandparents. It is clear the Court is not concerned with Children seeing Family members (including Fathers). I appealed the decision and lost. I appealed it to the Supreme Court and lost. The Court ruled I should pay the Mothers legal fees again. I submitted my complaint on each level of judgement and Court to the ‘Tilsynsutvalget for Dommere’ but each was dismissed without answering my concerns. Some of my concerns were allegations and some were facts. If a Judge refuses to allow a Child the right to express their opinion, this is against the Law. This did not bother the ‘Tilsynsutvalget for Dommere’.

Court case 4 – Started July 2019, ongoing. Again, I sought help for my Son. I specifically asked that my Son was informed before he was asked questions and this information was interpreted by a professional. Judge D from Court case 1 tried to anonymously take my case and accuse me of abusing the legal system. I asked for her recusal and she was recused. Judge I took over. He sought some of my Son’s views with a Court appointed psychologist without consultation with myself and ignored my concerns that were brought up by a Child psychologist I visited. He refused to professionally interpret my Son’s views and to acknowledge the reality that my Son lives in an environment that is intensely negative to his Father. My Son did say he wanted presents from me (his Mother said he didn’t). Judge I refused to inform my Son of relevant information before questioning him. I lost the case but I sent present, cards, letters and a photoalbum to my Son for his 10th Birthday, the first he has had for many years from his Family on our side. Judge I delivered the verdict 1 working day after the end date for a reply from myself – hence he had already written it many weeks or months prior. He took data from the Mother without verifying it with myself as to whether it was correct or not and used it in his verdict (as Judge S did in the second Court case). I am appealing this in the Appeals Court and I am awaiting an answer since July. The Mother is now attempting to deny my Son presents for Christmas from his Family on our side. This is a direct and negative consequence of the lack of action from the Oslo District Court. The story continues from here.

Concurrent Court Case

I have started a Court case in September of 2019. It took me many years to realise that Justice is simply not served in the Oslo District Court when it comes to Family Law matters and it is beyond naive to expect it. I was very emotionally connected and personally affected in a major and intensely negative way. My mind was clouded with trauma that was inflicted upon me by a massive and powerful State entity. After many discussions with my Lawyer, Lawyer S, friends, Family and many Norwegians I finally realised the truth. After realising that the Family Courts in Norway are intensely biased I decided to seek proof. The question ‘Why’ is hard to answer. (In Science it is much harder to explain ‘Why’ the eye sees than to explain ‘How’ the eye sees). For example, why are the Courts biased? Why do employees of the Oslo District Court regularly discriminate against Fathers with impunity? The Question ‘How’ is much easier to answer. How are the Courts biased? It all comes down to Barneloven § 35. All Courts in Norway are explicitly directed to discriminate against the Father of a Child in Norway. Consider the wording of Barneloven § 35 – 

Parents who are not married have the parental responsibility together for children they have together. If the parents do not live together, and the mother wishes to have the parental responsibility alone, a notification may be given to the National Register Authority within one year of the paternity being determined. Correspondingly where the father does not want parental responsibility. When one of the parents has given such a message, the mother gets the parental responsibility alone.

The Father can decide if he does NOT want ‘Foreldreansvar’ (because he is male) and the Mother can choose if she wants to have ‘Foreldreansvar’ alone or share it with the Father (because she is female). 

Barneloven § 35 explicitly advocates for discrimination on account of gender and directs employees of ‘the State of Norway’ on how to act.

It explicitly discriminates against someone on account of the gender. It also takes a very negative shot at the Father’s expense. Why does it need to mention ‘if a Father chooses not to have ‘Foreldreansvar’? There is no logical reason. It is not up to the Father if he gets ‘Foreldreansvar’ or not, but it still mentions it in the Law, perhaps as an attempt at manipulation of the reader to portray a pseudo choice for the Father.

Emphasis – there is no professional input into who receives sole ‘Parental Responsibility’. It is automatically the Mother, simply because she is the Mother. 

Furthermore, there is absolutely no safety net provided for the person (the Father) who has been discriminated against and hence placed in a position of lesser importance and powerm which would enable the Father to work back towards a future balanced and fair position in the Parental relationship. The ‘State of Norway’ ignores the obvious imbalance in power between the Parents, the very imbalance they stated as Law in Barneloven § 35. 

I am now claiming that the ‘State of Norway’ has and is directly discriminating against me on account of my gender (and many thousands of other Father’s in Norway). I cannot be the Mother on account of my gender. This is a fact. I refer to the key logical argument below which explains it simply and succinctly- 

I find it highly unusual that the ‘State of Norway’ cannot understand that removing the ‘Parental Responsibility’ of one Parent (at the time of birth of their Child) on account of his Gender is not just simply – Discrimination due to Gender (and that it is explicitly acting against the ‘best interest of the Child’ and the Norwegian anti-discrimination Laws).

I explain it again now in a very simple manner. Consider the English definition of the Law (I allege is discrimination due to Gender) from the ‘Equality and Anti-Discrimination Board’, Norway (a letter delivered to the ‘Oslo District Court’) –

Parents who are not married have the parental responsibility together for children they have together. If the parents do not live together, and the mother wishes to have the parental responsibility alone, a notification may be given to the National Register Authority within one year of the paternity being determined. Correspondingly where the father does not want parental responsibility. When one of the parents has given such a message, the mother gets the parental responsibility alone.

I now ask the reader to indulge me for a brief moment to clarify my substantiated allegation regarding Discrimination due to Gender. Let us change the word ‘Mother’ with the words ‘Parent with the Green jumper’ and the word ‘Father’ with the words ‘Parent without the Green jumper’.

Parents who are not married have the parental responsibility together for children they have together. If the parents do not live together, and the ‘Parent with the Green jumper’ wishes to have the parental responsibility alone, a notification may be given to the National Register Authority within one year of the paternity being determined. Correspondingly where the ‘Parent without the Green jumper’ does not want parental responsibility. When one of the parents has given such a message, the ‘Parent with the Green jumper’ gets the parental responsibility alone.

It is explicitly clear here that the discrimination is decided by ‘colour of jumper’ and that the ‘Parent with the Green jumper’ is positively discriminated towards and conversely that the ‘Parent without the Green jumper’ is negatively discriminated against. Hence it follows with exactly the same logic that the ‘Father’ (male) is discriminated against because of his Gender as Gender is the tool being used to discriminate between which Parent gets 100% ‘Parental Responsibility’.

In my case against the ‘State of Norway’ I will now simply refer to this Law as ‘the Discriminatory Law’ or such. I will not refer to it as something I ‘allege with major substantiation’. I leave it to the ‘State of Norway’ to disprove the logical conclusion ascertained above using a very simple process of logical argument. I am calling on the ‘State of Norway’ to acknowledge what I have proven above.

This Law, Barneloven § 35, which I have explained above to be explicitly discriminatory on account of gender is a major and negative obstacle between realising the natural rights of Children in seeing, knowing and having contact with their own Fathers and all Family on this side. The ‘Oslo District Court’, when dealing with my cases concerning my Son as outlined above, has never responded to my letters informing them of the discrimination in the Law they follow.

In my circumstances (and I suggest in many thousands of others) the possible consequences of Barneloven § 35 include separating Children from their Fathers (solely at the Mothers discretion). This then enables the Mother to argue that ‘the Child does not know their Father and therefore does not need to’ (as I have seen argued by the Mother and it is accepted by the Courts as I have personally experienced). This goes on for many years until the Child is old enough to have been effectively and negatively groomed against their Father by their Mother and employees of ‘the State of Norway’ (emotionally and psychologically abused) to ‘decide’ for themselves that they do not want to see/know/have contact with their own Father who they do not know. It does not seem to concern the ‘Oslo District Court’ why a Child does not want to know their own Father.

I urge all Fathers who are in the same position to think carefully about the implications of this Law and to resist it in the best interests of their Children and all citizens of Norway. Accepting discriminatory and immoral Laws should only lead to terrible consequences for all society. 

I am fighting this unfair Law now and the case is in the preparatory stages. Anybody who is able to assist I kindly ask for you to make contact through Mannsforum.

Jonathan James Coughlin, November 2020

Mannsforum fikk en oppdatering rett før denne teksten ble lagt ut:

I have just got a verdict back from the case concerning discrimination (Barneloven § 35) – the Court refused to examine or consider it. They have ruled that I have lost the case and that I should put this claim in my cases against the Mother not ‘the State’. They appear to be ignoring the general impact on the general population and trying to narrow it down to just me. They also allege that the time it took me to lodge the claim plays some part in my losing the case. I am seriously considering appealing it (and paying) or putting it in with my other case perhaps in my next Court case. I must think about this. The Court also sent it to the ‘Appeals Court of Norway’ for reference and the Mothers lawyer. I am still awaiting their verdict from Court case 4.