Now look here, you silly plebs. When we changed the name of Custody and Access to Residence and Contact, you were all supposed to realise that these new fluffier terms meant that it wasn’t worth fighting about who got which order and that you’d just agree very quickly who was going to get what and save money.
Well, that didn’t work, so then we came up with the super wheeze of calling both orders by the same name – Child Arrangement Orders.
You people just don’t seem to get it. Once the order has a neutral name, you’re just supposed to agree to have one and go away and stop bothering our Judges and trying to get in to public counters to talk to Court staff. The rebranding to Child Arrangement Orders hasn’t worked either. It seems that people still want to fight about where the child will live, and how much time the child will spend time with you. Selfish, that’s what we at the MOJ call it.
We now realise where we went wrong. It was in calling the orders the same thing to both parents, whether you got the order or the other parent got it. Of course that ends up making one person feel like a winner and one person feel like a loser. We have now fixed that.
In our example orders, imagine that the children live with / are Resident with / are in Custody of Robin, and spend time with / have contact with / has access with Evelyn.
Here is what Robin’s order looks like
1. The children will Get to Spend Nearly all their time with you Robin! They will grow up loving you best and you are thus, the winner!
2. The children will Begrudgingly Have a Boring Time with Evelyn every other weekend. In the meantime, you get every other weekend to Find Yourself! Why not learn to tango, play the guitar, read Dr Zhivago in the original Russian, get twatted with your mates who all hated Evelyn anyway. You are thus, the winner!
And here is what Evelyn’s order looks like
1. Robin will be the N0-Fun Parent. Robin will be responsible for making packed lunches, nagging, making the children tidy their room, dealing with 90 per cent of “Are we there yet?” queries and late night vomiting, and the ironing. Oh, so much ironing. Robin will find it hard to meet new people and friends because they are to have the life of Drudge. Did we mention the ironing? You are thus, the winner!
2. The children will have SUPER-FUN time with you, every other weekend. The SUPER-FUN time will be directly compared by the children to the life of drudge and nagging with Robin. You are thus, the winner!
Neither parent will ever, ever ever see the other parents order, and this will be all that it takes to make each of them leave court knowing that they, and only they, are the winner!
We at the Ministry of Justice are pretty sure that this will work. In order to further distract parents from the reality of how awful it is to be parcelling up your children and bitterly quarelling with someone you used to love but no loathe and knowing that all the while you are screwing your children up for decades to come, the orders will now be printed on shiny silver paper. Oooh, shiny!
[Suesspicious minds was so distracted by the new shiny silver paper orders “Is that tinfoil?” that he wrote Child Assessment Orders instead of Child Arrangement Orders. Every single bloody time. What a divvy]