Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Reply from the AG regarding Family Law reviews

Hi - Just got this in the mail today.

The response seem reasonable to me.

Attachment
156 views (819 KB)
Firstly very good work on getting this to the forums and much appreciation.

I have met Toni and it is a valued response. The response is similar to our current view of the AG commissioned reports and is what I have published previoulsy. Of concern is always the Loose use of "Its in the best interests of children". If you read the McIntosh and Chisholm works (They are on the site here as is Michael Green's report and paper in response) in relation to violence they advocate that conflictual families shall be seriously impacted through additional legislative change to reduce contact for one of the parents, which ultimately is always a dad. That is our concern.

The changes made to the Family Law Act, some 220 changes we had input into, coupled with a range of other, then Government, reforms such as mediation and early interventions have had a marked effect on contact time. We have seen a positive change in the Judiciary, reported to us through the active SRL group, and a very significant change to the way Government engages with front line groups like ours. Sure we didn't get a presumption of equal time but we got close.

We must ensure that the measures that we spent nearly four years in intense debate and partnership with legislators is not unwound through any proposed legislation that may undermine the fundamental premise around contact embedded in the current Act. Many parties have some degree of conflict after seperation. Many, the VAST majority, are sensible and make arrangements themselves. Others use the FRC's and at least another 20% of difficult cases are handled and resolved there. Of the VERY FEW that are left almost all have some degree of conflict and are sent to a judicial determination.

It is about that few that all of these enquiries are looking at. Our view was published and clear in 2003 when we presented at the HORISP enquiries and is still clear now. We will be there when any new legislation is proposed and you can absolutely guarantee we will review it with a fine tooth comb and comment in a sensible and constructive manner and at all times ensuring that children continue to have adequate contact time with both mums and dads.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 

Ill considered rant

The Family Law Act treats children merely as possessions and objects to be divided along with the other goods and chattels of the parents. They have no choice in whether or not they have contact with a parent nor whether they choose to have a `meaningful' relationship with a parent. Their needs for consistency in their care and security and safety are blatantly ignored by the law.
"…and at all times ensuring that children continue to have adequate contact time with both mums and dads. " - this means that you will support every parent's demand for contact and residency even if that parent has never taken an interest in the child, has a history of child abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, drug abuse and dealing, a criminal record for violence, etc etc. It is little wonder that so many children suffer abuse and even death as a consequence of decisions of the Family Law Courts. The Family Law Act is a disgraceful and shameful indictment of Australia's complete disregard for the needs, wishes, and rights of children. It is a violation of their rights under International Conventions.  "in the best interests of children" is mere hypocrisy for whatever an adult decides. What is decided for children must be shown to be demonstrably and measurably to the advantage of the child. That is why this ill-founded and disgraceful law needs changing!.
Let me guess: Stop shared care; let the mother be the 'only' parent.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 

I DEMAND an answer

When did a mother become the only parent and where did I mention anything that would suggest that.?. Your rabidly misogynistic prejudices are showing. Now answer my question!. Is it correct that you support contact and residency for any parent no matter that they may be toxic and dangerous to a child as is occurring under the current Family Law and resulting in the abuses and deaths of children, as is clearly indicated by your earlier statements.?.
Damocles said
When did a mother become the only parent and where did I mention anything that would suggest that.?. Your rabidly misogynistic prejudices are showing. Now answer my question!. Is it correct that you support contact and residency for any parent no matter that they may be toxic and dangerous to a child as is occurring under the current Family Law and resulting in the abuses and deaths of children, as is clearly indicated by your earlier statements.?.

I'd love to know what sound reasoning you use to determine the accusations you make against MontiVerdi. Personally I only see someone interpreting what you wrote as being a clear sign that you are against the consideration of the humane right for a child to know and be cared for by their parents and that the likely result, should your view be taken on board, is that mothers, many of whom would fit the mould of drug abusers, dealers, child abusers, criminals etc, would virtually automatically be given sole care.

How would your system, whatever that is, protect a child from being placed with a parent who is a relationship with a person who was convicted for having what was I believe Australia's then largest collection of pornographic material. Was it not the Family Court that, in this case, overturned the decision of a Judge who is very vociferous about the purported woes of a child being humanely treated by the way of that child's humane right to know and be cared for by the child's parents.

How would your system, again whatever that is, protect against the child who was in the care of a parent who hid ecstasy tablets in a kinder egg, whilst that parent was providing services to a client in an adjoining hotel room?

How would your system , yet again whatever that is, protect a child from the statistically shown greater abusers of children, who have historically, in both Australia and throughout much of the world, been given care, primarily due to the lack of a consideration of shared parenting and thus the unsound basis that primarily mothers should be given care.

I believe that you show an example of what should not be, you take an observation and twist that into what is not. Someone saying that a mother only should not be the parent, is not, as is backed up by the humane right for a child to know and be cared for by the child's parents, saying that mother's should not be parents. It is not misogynistic, it is saying that gender should not be a deciding factor.  Furthermore it was clearly stated by MontiVerdi that it was a guess as to what you were saying. Basically you have put forward an argument without any foundation or clear directions as to what should be, in other words you by not clearly stating what the alternatives should be, other than a very generalised statement, have left readers with no option other to interpret that. Considering that the McIntosh/Chisholm report does the same (i.e. it cautions against shared parenting, albeit unsoundly, without mentioning any alternative) it wouldn't, for any being aware of that report and it's gross inadequacies, I believe, be wrong for anyone to come to a conclusion that what you are saying is based upon those who are taking a line against the consideration of shared parenting and thus likely support it's removal from Family Law.

However I believe that I have clearly shown that I and likely anybody else reading your post can only jump to conclusions based upon what you have said. Therefore I believe it would only be fair for all other readers and contributors to be provided with clear, unambiguous details of what sections you would have removed, changed or added. If not then I would put forward that your post is nothing other than confusing and not therefore a contribution but rather disadvantageous to all, other than perhaps yourself and should therefore be deleted. I also believe that you have shown a great deal of toxicity in the way you have responded and believe that you should formally apologise to MontiVerdi for the accusations you have wrongly made.
The evasiveness of Monte Verdi and yourself in failinbg to address my question, clearly indicates that you both support residency and contact for any parent irrespective of whether that parent is a danger to the safety and welfare of the child  a belief and action which is currently leading to the abuse and deaths of children as a consequence of the current Family Law and its implementation in the Family Courts.

Monte Verdi suggested in his short comment that I somehow favoured the positions of mothers yet nowhere in what I had said supported such a view.  What I am suggesting is that instead of the present Act which is entirely concerned with parents rights, it should be about childrens needs, wishes, and rights and they should be the guiding principles for Courts to follow. And of absolutely paramount importance should be the childs right to be protected from abuse and exploitation and to have their wishes and feelings given the highest possible consideration in decision making processes.

Of course I know this conflicts with the absolutism as you see it of parental rights, The sole and simple act of providing sperm or an egg should not be the singular and simplistic determinant of a parent, but there should be a thorough examination by Family Courts as to whether a father or mother has acted responsibly in their past involvement with the child. If they have not done so and have a record of showing little interest in the child and the childs care and welfare, or have a record of violence, against the child or the pther parent, a history of mental illness which makes them a danger to themselves and others, if they have a history of drug abuse and dealing, or a criminal record of violence etc, then Courts should not deem them as a fit and suitable parent to the child and should restrict or deny them residency or contact accordingly.

Because this does not currently happen and parental rights are given absolute paramountcy by the Law and the Courts, the present Family Law Act is little more than a Charter of Rights for Paedophiles and Violent Abusers and this is the system which you and Monte Verdi are trying so steadfastly to defend.
Damocles said
The evasiveness of Monte Verdi and yourself in failinbg to address my question, clearly indicates that you both support residency and contact for any parent irrespective of whether that parent is a danger to the safety and welfare of the child  a belief and action which is currently leading to the abuse and deaths of children as a consequence of the current Family Law and its implementation in the Family Courts.

Monte Verdi suggested in his short comment that I somehow favoured the positions of mothers yet nowhere in what I had said supported such a view.  What I am suggesting is that instead of the present Act which is entirely concerned with parents rights, it should be about childrens needs, wishes, and rights and they should be the guiding principles for Courts to follow. And of absolutely paramount importance should be the childs right to be protected from abuse and exploitation and to have their wishes and feelings given the highest possible consideration in decision making processes.

Of course I know this conflicts with the absolutism as you see it of parental rights, The sole and simple act of providing sperm or an egg should not be the singular and simplistic determinant of a parent, but there should be a thorough examination by Family Courts as to whether a father or mother has acted responsibly in their past involvement with the child. If they have not done so and have a record of showing little interest in the child and the childs care and welfare, or have a record of violence, against the child or the pther parent, a history of mental illness which makes them a danger to themselves and others, if they have a history of drug abuse and dealing, or a criminal record of violence etc, then Courts should not deem them as a fit and suitable parent to the child and should restrict or deny them residency or contact accordingly.

Because this does not currently happen and parental rights are given absolute paramountcy by the Law and the Courts, the present Family Law Act is little more than a Charter of Rights for Paedophiles and Violent Abusers and this is the system which you and Monte Verdi are trying so steadfastly to defend.

Yet again you have shown an exceptional ability to conjure up total and utter garbage from what is not.

You say I didn't address your question. What question did you pose to me? Not one, yet you say you have, by saying that I failed to address your question. That is either the response from someone who is clearly significantly deficient in regards to intelligence or is an out and out liar. I have posed questions which you have failed to answer, as such you are also a hypocrite.

You state that I clearly support residency for any parent, yet I put three questions to you that in fact that clearly show that I do have concerns about children being given residency to some parents. That shows yet again that you have some major deficiency in interpreting the written word. This deficiency is further supported by your unfounded views on what is contained within family law. I believe that the rights of the parent, are not enshrined at all within family law and the facts is that the rights of the child are, hence the inclusion of the consideration for shared parenting as shared parenting goes along the way of protecting the humane right of a child to know and be cared for by the child's parents.  You actually go to the extreme of saying that currently family law is "entirely concerned" with parental rights, that is total and utter garbage, that is the prime argument you put forward, that argument is therefore total and utter rubbish.

You mention children's wishes, again this is taken into consideration within family law and if I believed that you had the slightest chance of comprehending the English language and therefore the family law legisaltion I'd quote parts of Part VII, which would appear to have been wrongly named according to what you say about family law being "entirely concerned" with parental rights, as it is named Children rather Parents. Just this single heading disproves what you say and thus yet again proves the deficiencies you have.

You then ramble on about what is paramount from your misinterpretation of family law. Yet family law is quite clear that the best interests of the child are paramount, that contradicting what you have said about being "entirely concerned" with parental rights. Family Law clearly states that those best interests are determined by looking at two primary considerations, the right of a child (not a parent as you try saying) to benefit from a meaningful relationship with both of the child's parents and the NEED to be protected from the physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence. As such both are as important, however the former is reduced as there must be a benefit.

Family law encompasses what you say it does not, your argument is not an argument, your opinions, views and suggestions as such are therefore irrelevant as they have no basis.
Mike T - you are wasting your time trying to be rational with these type of posters. They require you to respond so that they can fuel 'their' conflict with you.

At the moment there is an organised attack on all sites/people etc, who support shared care - including attacks from  an empployee of one of the Family Courts.

This poster is just part of that attack.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
It sounds like what Damocles wants is a knock-out contest in each parental split as to who is the "better" parent, with a "winner takes all" approach in terms of caring for the child. There is no consideration of the fact that it is good for children to know both parents.
Maybe Damocles should consider the fact that it has been shown many times that children are by most at risk of physical and/or sexual assault when in the care of their mother - or more specifically, at the hands of their mother's new boyfriend or new partner.
I think if anyone adopted the vague ideas Damocles is proposing then most children of separation would be in their father's sole care. Fortunately for children, most fathers recognise that their children want to have and benefit from contact with their mothers.
How anyone can argue against a sharing approach above a winner-takes-all approach is beyond me.
Damocles, you sound like a bitter mother who thinks she has a god-given right to keep their children from their father. You should be ashamed of yourself.
I think there does need to be some changes to the Family Law Act.  I am all for share care and think that if it is possible to make it work then it is definitely the best thing for the child (of course excluding those parents that have history of abuse etc)  I think that when final orders are made they need to be very specific and in detail because that will help to eliminate any confusion etc.    I think that there needs to be something done about parent who do not stand up to their responsibility.  It not fair that people have to have joint parental responsibility with another parent that takes no responsibility for their own children.  I am always amazed at how little this issue is discussed on family law websites.   I know there are no ways to force a person to be a parent but I think that if you choose not to be a parent by never seeing your children or contributing to their needs then you should not have the privilege of being part of a joint parental responsibility order. 
Mothers have to many rights at times and family law should remember that it is FAMILY. Many people make a family and whether or not we like it mothers mostly come up trumps to the detrement of the children.
Mum of 4, if what you are saying is that a parent (of either gender) who legally has shared parental responsibility yet chooses to take none should have no right to object to what the other parent organises (within obvious limits), then I agree. I have seen my step kids need significant medical treatment and their mother refuse to agree but only so long as she doesn't have to pay for any of it. Their father has just gone and had it done, and we have paid for it. She's never complained that it was done, only ever worried about her hip pocket. It would be nice to think their mother would then have to acknowledge that she doesn't have any parental rights anymore. However, think about the real world! We would have to tell them what an irresponsible parent she was. They don't need to know that!! They will find that out as young adults…
I agree with what Sunnyside is saying about parents that are only concerned about their hip pocket. Isnt it funny that these parents never actually stop to think about their childs wellbeing before their own.It astounds me that this excuse " I cant afford to pay for this "  is even a valid excuse, yet for some of us this is a very real part of dealing with the other parent. I have had this very excuse used countless numbers of times to find out that other parent has money but isnt prepared to contribute to help due to selfishness on their part.  It is truly sad that our children can be exposed to selfishness, yet this will help shape these children into seeing the good and bad in people and hopefully enabling themselves when they are young adults to make inform decisions that wil not only benefit themselves but others aswell.

Spock
Mike T and Monteverdi - it is very sad that you have found a need to resport to abuse and insult in the absence of logical argument. The Family Law Act is primarily concerned with a parent's rights to residency and contact with their child. Where is the reciprocal right for the child if the child cannot stand the sight of that parent and does not wish to spend any time in that parent's presence.?.  Where does it say a child can refuse cotact or to live with a parent, especially if that parent is abusive or emotionally withdrawn. The Family Law Act is a Charter of Rights for Paedophiles, Sociopaths, and those who want to avoid maintenance payments and to harass their former partners. And of course as the judicary and the legal profession have a long history of paedophiles in their ranks, abusers of children are given their rights to continue to abuse children.
Sunnyside and Spock I totally agree with what you are saying.  my ex does not contribute financially even though he has the means to and still manages to dodge the CSA.  After so many years of the same thing I am now of the thinking that it is better to just go about my life and raise the children the best I can and provide for them financially the best I can.  You are right in time the children will know what the truth is and I am really glad that I will be the one that will stand out as being the parent that provided for them.  I am trying to teach my children about honesty and integrity and I am determined that they will learn these traits even though they have a parent that is showing them the opposite.   At the end of the day it is not about the money I would much rather see my ex have a relationship with his children than to receive any financial support from me but with that said I refuse to be his gravy train too!!!  So again I think something needs to be done for us parents that are encouraging a relationship with the children and the other parent and yet are left to have to fight for our rights to make decisions etc without having to beg the other parent for their permission just to be ignored.  
" Mike T and Monteverdi - it is very sad that you have found a need to resport to abuse and insult in the absence of logical argument. "

Now this is a bit hypocritical considering

" The Family Law Act is a Charter of Rights for Paedophiles, Sociopaths, and those who want to avoid maintenance payments and to harass their former partners. And of course as the judicary and the legal profession have a long history of paedophiles in their ranks ".

I doubt anyone anywhere can say that the Family Courts have never made a mistake in their attempts to negotiate through peoples dysfunctional situations and there is need for improvement but no matter how fair the system is there will always be people who believe in conspiracies of the system because they did not get their own way and find an inane need to vilify what they see is to blame for their own inability to understand they are not the megalomaniac dictator over children.

Because there are some parents out there who actively destroy children mentally and emotionally to the point these children hate the sight of their other parent society in general feels there is a need to protect these unfortunate children, one possible way of doing this is to encourage the children to get to truly know the parent they are being turned away from. This of course sends the abusive parent into overdrive as they feel they are loosing their abusive control over the child, what happens if the child realizes their other parents is not so bad ???. They may love them more and want to leave and live with them away from abuse. But sometimes not even the courts can turn alienation or alignment around and makes a decision that can see the child being removed from one or other of the parents, you would think that the abuser would be taken from the child's life and the parent who is innocent be given the care of the child but this does not always happen.  

So does the vindictive parent who has created such a massive negative association with the innocent parent, so much so that the child can not stand the sight of their other parent, does the abuser relinquish the right to be part of the child's life and the child be placed in a safer more constructive environment with the other parent or in care ????

If a child has been brainwashed to this extent can they make a decision that is in their own best interests ?? Can they see through the twisted reward system that has been enforced on them when they have been aligned to the abuser ???

If you read the family law and rules you will come across references that state that children's opinions will be taken into consideration in context to the situation when age relevant so they do have the right to refuse contact once they are of an age where the court will take this into consideration.

Although changes to the Family Law System are in need there is a greater need to educate our society and encourage better parenting for all. Even in a family that has not been effected by separation there is a great need to help parents become more positive parents and effectively improve their skills as parents. This effectively will follow down the line to the next generation, education needs to start in school and encourage parents to play a larger role in their families life. many fathers who have been separated from their children learn this lesson the hard way.

In many Australian families Fathers are encouraged to improve the families financial position, spend more time working earning more money so the family can survive comfortably. This contribution to the children is considered negligent behavior by those who promote mums gaining control of the children, " Dad spent all his time working ". Well yes he did because it was encouraged by all and sunder who reflected this showed he loved his family. When separation comes and that same hardworking loving father sees just how much he missed out on by doing " the right thing " by his family a desire to make amends for all that time he missed out on surfaces. he thought he was a great father, now hew wants to be a better father. To tell the truth the kids love having dad in their lives, they missed out too. In some mothers eyes this is affronting and they need total control over the children, they do not want to share and battle lines are drawn.

A very small number of separations contain obvious forms of mental and physical abuse to the point the authorities will step in, but this does not mean children do not suffer abuse to a lesser degree from adversarial parents and much of this could be reduced if those parents who are guilty receive forms of punishment for things such as false allegations and contemptuously lying to the courts. However this will see many mothers suffer until it is understood children need both parents equally.

Forget about the politically correct predetermine statements regarding " pedophiles ", " child abuse " and other such recognized illegal activities, everyone agrees they are not acceptable and everyone realizes it's only a small percentage of the near 50%+ of the population affected by separation.

Educating people as to how best to make an environment productive to their children is a much better option than taking children away from one or other of their parents, one thing you need to consider when you wish for the changes you state Damocles is that many more mothers will lose their children as they will be considered the abuser and this will not help anyone.

    


MOVED TOPIC

This topic has been moved here because a couple of posters are using it as a "free for all" to attack shared parenting laws, moderators and are attempting to confuse the issues.

 Senior Site Moderator and Administrator
I am glad this topic has been moved to a more appropriate forum, not that it would it would stop me replying.

Far from a reasoned approach Damocles is thrashing around with all sorts of wild allegations and statements and going off in multiple directions. Perhaps Damocles is one of the 34% that did not get access to their children because of mental health issues?
No D4E, not hypocritical, merely responding in like fashion in a generalised way to the personal abuse and insults which were levelled at me.

I doubt anyone anywhere can say that the Family Courts have never made a mistake  Family Courts in every State are making huge mistakes every day and it is children who are paying for those mistakes in the abuse they are suffering and even with their lives. This is largely because Judges and Magistrates, guided and advised by Family Reporters and ICLs, are refusing to consider documentary and testamentary evidence of prior records of domestic violence, child abuse, mental illness, drug abuse and dealing, and criminal records of parents applying for residency or contact or they are disregarding or  ignoring such evidence. Or to paraphrase as one Judge has put it, well yes he has never taken any interest in the children in the past and has a history of domestic violence and abuse, but Im sure hell be a good Dad in the future.

Family Reporters do not have the training nor the skills to thoroughly and competently investigate domestic violence and child abuse, and so it is much simpler for them to simply claim (with no evidential base) that the allegations are false.

not even the courts can turn alienation or alignment around..  - Aaaah that hoary old chestnut advanced by Richard Gardner which was based on junk research with no scientific research to support his contentions and of course he was a well known paedophile sympathiser. His suicide was no loss to the world.

If you read the family law and rules you will come across references that state that children's opinions will be taken into consideration in context to the situation when age relevant so they do have the right to refuse contact once they are of an age where the court will take this into consideration  - the childs opinions are filtered by adults, usually on the basis of a 15 minute interview (if they bother seeing them at all) and are what the adult feels is in the childs best interests, not what the child considers to be in their own best interests. It may surprise you to know that many children can think independently of adults and often have a high degree of intelligence and to know what it is they want without`coaching  (another Gardnerism).  A highly intelligent 15 year old even went to the trouble of writing an affidavit and submitting it to a Family Court stating his wishes and views on residency and contact because he disagreed with the Family Reporters views. The Judge refused even to consider the affidavit. Comtempt and disrespect for childrens wishes and feelings are rife in Family Courts.

In the best interests of the child  another hoary old chestnut. In other words the highly subjective opinion of an adult based on their personal value judgements and in obedience of the paramountcy of the legal dictat that a parent must have contact and a `meaningful relationship  whatever that might mean and irrespective of whether or not that parent has had, or even attempted to have, a `meaningful relationship with the child in the past.

Forget about the politically correct predetermine statements regarding " pedophiles ", " child abuse " and other such recognized illegal activities, everyone agrees they are not acceptable.  if it is unacceptable then how is it that so many have inflitrated the judiciary and legal professions and politics?.   How many more are there in those professions are hiding behind the cloak of respectability which those professions afford them?.

A very small number of separations contain obvious forms of mental and physical abuse to the point the authorities will step in,.  that again is part of the problem, the State child protection authorities rarely do step in when matters are before a Family Court because they consider these are matters for the Family Courts to deal with, although it has been widely stated that the Family Courts do not have the resources nor the skills to investigate child abuse.

one thing you need to consider when you wish for the changes you state Damocles is that many more mothers will lose their children as they will be considered the abuser and this will not help anyone  at no point in my postings have I favoured the positions of either mothers or fathers although I have used examples from one or other gender to illustrate a point, although others seem to have tried to align me with one or other positions. If mothers or fathers are the abusers of children, then they should have only restricted contact and in some cases be declared an unfit parent and refused any further contact with the child.
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets