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Family Relationships are not working.

From John Flanagan

Hi Everyone

This is a follow-up to my Letter to the Editor published in the Illawarra Mercury on 16 September 2012.

My ex- and myself went to the local Family Relationship Centre on 17 October 2012.

My ex- still would not agree to sign the passport application. Both of us then received the 60I certificate.

On 22 October I filed an application in  the local court (municipal court in some states).

My ex- signed the passport application on the same day. After making the necessary application, I then received the passport on 16 November 2012.

I still believe that the Family Relationship Centres are causing further problems with its delays.

I also note that I did file my application in the local court. This is rather than the Federal Magistrates Court. This is because the local court magistrate can only make determinations in interim proceedings or by consent in final application proceedings. The magistrate cannot make orders in contested final order proceedings.

My application was for final orders only. Therefore my matter would probably have had to have been transferred  to the Federal Magistrates Court, in the long-term.

I was using this system so to inconvenience my ex- and hopefully obtain a satisfactory result. This is without going to the Federal Magistrates Court at all.

Fortunately I was successful in this regard. I consider that I was very lucky in that regard. This is because I believe that the Federal Magistrates Court are somewhat biased to non-custodial parents. I do not believe an outcome from the Federal magistrates Court would have been at all positive.  


John Flanagan


Letter to the editor published in the Illawarra Mercury on Thursday 6 September 2012.  

Letter to the Editor

Family justice denied

When does justice delayed becomes justice denied?

The government has made mediation a compulsory requirement since 2006. This is with regard to family law parenting issues.

However, at the same time, the government did not stipulate any time requirements in carrying out this process.

This compulsory mediation process is very slow and as a result, it is unfair.

A person who has to fulfil this mediation requirement may approach a family relationship centre in good faith. They are then told that they have to wait two weeks to take part in what is called "a phone intake". This is to provide the names of the parties and the details of the issue - whether the issue is large or small.

However, this is just the start. Later, there will be an assessment interview. Then there will be an information session sometime later. Then still later there will be a resolution session.

This process could take months and months to carry out.

If the matter is still not resolved, it can proceed to court.

Family law issues are very much issues of status quo. The longer an issue takes to resolve, the easier it is for the status quo to take control.

John Flanagan, Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting), Thirroul

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