MORE than thirty cars took part in the demonstration organised by the Association for Separated Fathers in Majorca in Palma yesterday. It imitated a funeral procession to symbolise what they see as “the death of equality”. Their main aim was to demonstrate what they see as the unfair situation of divorced and separated fathers regarding child custody.
The group of cars travelled twice around the main streets in Palma, starting at the car park next to the GESA building and then drove along the Paseo Marítimo, the Avenidas, sa Gerrería up to the City Hall. Judges give custody of children to the mother in 98 per cent of the cases, said the association spokesman, Carlos Prieto, without taking into account the suitability and capability of both parents and the wishes of the child. In his opinion, this situation is causing problems for the children, who do not always live with the most suitable parent. They are suffering from a parental alienation syndrome, as it has been called by the legal system in the European Union. Eighty percent of children separated from their fathers without their agreement, are suffering from this syndrome (around 20 million children in Spain), according to a study by the Catalan Civil Assessment Team. This same team will soon be carrying out a study in the Balearic Islands. They will also be making island judges aware of a new ruling which recognises that obstructing visits, if it negatively affects the child, is due cause to change custody.