The issue of the continuing injustice and anti-father bias of the family courts will have been on the minds of many this Christmas as hundreds of thousands of men will have had limited or no access to their children over the period.
The story continues to play out in some parts of the media and Sir Bob Geldof has continued to play his heroic role during 2009.
The Custody Minefield organisation's Relocation campaign (with Sir Bob's foreword) highlights the problem clearly where the courts do not have the interests of the children at heart (they need both parents involved in their lives) and are more interested in ensuring that men are banished and refuse to enforce contact orders.
The issue is covered in two articles where Sir Bob accuses the family courts as 'state sponsored kidnappers' (Telegraph, Daily Mail). Some further sage comments in The Telegraph and certainly in the comments section on the Telegraph debate. An example of what happens can be found here and here.
An Early Day Motion by David McClean MP sets out the issue and Sir Mark Potter 'El Presidente' of the Family Courts Division sets out his "you're all wrong" response here. John Hemming MP has also laid down an Early Day Motion over further secrecy concerns in the proposed Children, Schools and Families Bill.
With the much trumpeted and failed attempt to open up the courts, 2009 has meant a further tragic year of misery for many fathers and the children who want to see and be with their children. We can only hope that in 2010 it will change though it will need a change in Government to make it happen.