Divorce, court battles and co-parenting. Review of Charlie Albert’s book ‘Whispers of hope‘ – by Ana Swartz

When Elliott asked the MFF team who wanted to do a review of the book ‘I just want to see my child! – Whispers of Hope‘ by Charlie Albert, I felt this was my call. Being a child of divorce myself and living in a patchwork family situation myself now, I know how damaging and stressful divorce can be for the child, but also how difficult it is to co-parent after separating.

I just want to see my child!

‘Whispers of hope’ is a collection of six stories – based on actual events – about the lies, deception and manipulation some parents will go to in order to get their own way after the relationship ends, be that for money or to stop a partner from seeing their child.

The author, Charlie Albert, has experienced this struggle himself, but successfully secured residency of his own son in the end. He has since decided to help others in similar situations and has assisted over 400 people in family law cases as a McKenzie friend (an assistant to a litigant in person in a court of law in England and Wales who doesn’t need to be legally qualified). With the book he wants to give hope and inspiration to single parents fighting to get a fair hearing in Family Court.

You don’t get Christmas this year!

There are many ways in which ex-spouses can and do try to deny one parent the most important thing in their lives: access to their child. The book tells of attempted suicide, ghosting, accusations of rape and domestic violence.

Even if these accusations proof to be false, the accused parents who seek Albert’s help are often hopeless and they fear that they will never see their children again. They often have neither the money, nor the knowledge of the court system to support any hope in a fair hearing.

Whispers of hope

But there’s hope! Although Albert couldn’t secure a ‘win’ in all six of the stories, all of his clients were deeply grateful for Albert’s help and advice. With his tons of experience and the help of the network of people he’s met along the way, he tracks down lost children, exposes honey traps and discloses ulterior motives.

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The issue of divorce is so prevalent, and yet so taboo, I am glad to see Albert talking about it and breaking it down to what it really is: two grown-ups who are no longer in love but need to treat each other with respect for the sake of their children. He shows there are always two sides to the story and as ugly as it can get, there is always a beautiful way in the middle where all parties involved can find happiness again – most importantly the kids.

One year ago, I met my estranged father again – 31 years after my parents’ divorce. Had there been a Charlie Albert as a McKenzie friend for us, it wouldn’t have taken us so long to get to know each other.

My father meeting his 13 year old grandson for the first time

 


By Ana Swartz

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