Why I was disappointed in Dr Foster
Like many people across the country I was gripped by the fantastic BBC drama; Dr Foster, but the final scenes of the last episode disappointed me.
As a family lawyer I find too many myths that become truth due to TV programmes, and the conclusion to the consequences of the affair last night are likely to remembered by many.
The drama concluded showing the child with his mother, with no relationship with his father, presuming this to be as a consequence of his affair and of his mother having been hit by his father. Although far-fetched, this kind of heightened emotion is unfortunately not uncommon in some form during acrimonious divorces. What I fear the programme portrayed is that as the husband had an affair, there was an incident that involved violence and that he would now have no right to be involved in his son's life.
There may be occasions where a parent stops seeing their child, but legislation makes it clear that the presumption is that both parents should be involved in their child's life unless it is not in the child's best interest.
Many marriages end as a result of an affair (and sometimes an incident involving aggression) but this alone would not determine if a parent would continue to see their child.