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inside news from the family court

Had interesting discussions with 2 Judges Associates at the Family Court today.

It seems anticipated that the re-definition of family violence to include 'any other behaviour that causes fear' (or words to that effect) will capture instances where a child fears a parent because the other parent was said things about that parent to the child. PA was discussed. I saw a glint in this person's eye and a verbal acknowledgement - some instances of the PA - will be captured by the proposed definition.

Also, there is resentment within the Family Court that the Woman's Family Law Service is allowed to operate within the court and the absence of a similar service being provided to men.

Also, there is growing support within the family court for more on-site services to be provided to SRL's above and beyond that provided by Legal Aid.

The rationale for this is that SRL's are wasting court resources because they don't know how to manage their cases efficiently. There is talk of making available within the court 2-3 on duty lawyers to assist SRL's.

4MYDAUGHTER
Interesting news… The key thing for members to be aware of is that submissions close in the Senate at the end of this month in relation to a wide range of changes to the Family Law Act.

We will publish more views shortly in relation to this important enquiry.

Some links if members are interested

UN Conventions - Yet to be fully populated but we are forming some important views about this

News Item - Covering a range of issues including definition of Family Violence and removal of any judicial standard

s60CC discussion - LOSS OF the willingness and ability of each of the childs parents to facilitate, and encourage, a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent




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
 
Seeing more help for SRL's would be great, at the family court closest to me there is only one duty solicitor who is from legal aid - because ex used legal aid lawyers before they say they can't help me due to conflict of interest which means I have to make the long trip to the city for the womens legal advice to help me and they are normally busy all day or I have to wait ages making several phone call to womens advice line and as it's only open for 2 hours sometimes I don't get through at all.
It can be very frustrating especially if you have an urgent question.
At least you are a women and a service is available even if you need to wait.
The same luxury is not always available to men.
@kali well… there are no other men's only legal services that I'm aware of. Certainy not one that's operating inside a Family Court!

It was said to me yesterday is that there is growing resentment within the court itself (i.e. amongst court staff) that there is not the same facility for men.

What does the service do?

"Women's Legal Services (WLS) NSW is funded by the Commonwealth and State governments to provide a free community legal service for women in NSW. From the beginning WLS NSW has pioneered new ways of helping women to access the law."

I'm not against support services for men or woman. But I'm kinda puzzled why an organisation exclusively for the interests of woman only, has been allowed to set up shop within the family court.

I wasn't under the impression that woman were at a disadvantage in the family law system?

One would think that the Federal and State governments would think - "Well if were going to sponsor a woman's support group within the court, we better provide a men's legal support service as well. You know, just to be fair about things. Because providing/allowing for only a woman's support might look REALLY bad and be unfair. I mean, we don't wont to been seen to be favouring woman, do we?"

And what does it say about Legal Aid and other support services if the Federal and State governments think that additional support service is required above that already provided? Does that mean the men are effectively reliant upon an inferior support system?

It's just makes you wonder.

But good on the woman's group for organising themselves to get this service operating.

For some reason, men seem unable to get their act together to mobilise these kinds of resources.

Perhaps there needs to be a Minister for the Status of Men?

Last edit: by 4mydaughter


4MYDAUGHTER
well vic womens legal has stated to me that they will help men too as long as it is there partner/wife/sister/mother ect.. ringing for them - this is in relation to the advice line anyway and at the court house in the city i have seen the womens duty lawyer helping men if the legal aid duty lawyer asks them too. I don't know if this is different in other states though.
i think male or female, if you are a srl and ex used legal aid even for advice first then your at a disadvantage in the family courts.
@faith… your your ex used a legal aid solicitor, then Legal Aid will always fund a private lawyer. So not too much disadvantage there. Obvious course access to Woman Legal services doesn't require a legal aid application.

I walked into the Woman's legal service yesterday and it didn't seem terribly inviting, being a male.

I said to the lady in the office - "Hi! How are you? I was hoping you could help me. I'm looking for the Men's Legal Support Service"

Answer - "Sorry. There isn't one. Try Legal Aid"

Said I, "Oh. Hmm? That's odd. I though men paid taxes too. Thanks. Bye."

4MYDAUGHTER
There was a case a year or two ago on the Central Coast of NSW where the grant for a women's court assistance service was tied to them providing help for men. As I recall, the group decided it would rather not help anyone…
This sounds good, re that discussion you had 4mydaughter…

…it is what I've been feeling/hoping for re: the redefinition of family violence to capture PA.

It is so obvious when it occurs in court… it's not that hard to see.

Only thing is it's more diffilcult to detect in the early stages where couples are first making applications to court (with lies) and then the time factor kicks in… by the time it's before the judge (2 -4 yrs on) in a trial, it's entrenched and obvious… but they chosse to leave the severely alienated child with their abuser… so I see two requirements missing:

1. that early intervention and revealing of the (manipulative intention) needs serious reform (prior to reaching court in my 'dream')

2. Judges need to be informed that intervention strategies are out there, have been for over 20 years.. they're just over seas at the moment.  Dept of Health needs to get it together.. or someone, to get the facilities available here asap.

[oh, and one more thing…. 'child contact centres'.. EVERYWHERE…they need to be available in schools.. after school care!  It's all there, the facilities, the safety, familiarity, ready for a hand ful of trained (in PA) supervisors to give children and their non-custodian parents CONTACT EVERY WEEK…!!!!!!]

All Target Parents of Alienation, lets Unite to make an impact where it's needed for our lost children ..  http://bringingpeace2alienatedchildren.blogspot.com/
faith said
…. at the family court closest to me there is only one duty solicitor who is from legal aid - because ex used legal aid lawyers before they say they can't help me due to conflict of interest
Go back to them and say they CAN assist you and you want an independent solicitor from another firm appointed as the legal aid solicitor. Legal Aid is not the sole and exclusive domain of Legal Aid NSW… see

Legal Aid NSW also works with LawAccess NSW, Community Legal Centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and private lawyers to provide legal services to people throughout New South Wales. In 2007-2008, 47.2% of our case and duty services were provided by private lawyers.
faith said
.. which means I have to make the long trip to the city for the womens legal advice to help me and they are normally busy all day or I have to wait ages making several phone call to womens advice line and as it's only open for 2 hours sometimes I don't get through at all.
It can be very frustrating especially if you have an urgent question.
Can you let me know what they say about the possibility of leaving a message and getting back to you? Have you tried calling the switch board number and asking them to have someone call you back at their convinience?

I am very interested in the areas that you have raised in this post and will tag this for additional follow up.


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
 
secretary, I am in VIC. If your meaning the legal aid grants then I'm not eligible they see court action as I am trying to limit the Fathers time, which I suppose in a round about way is true as he does not want to remove the children's abuser from his home and refuses to believe it from his own children's mouths that the abuse did occur even though police have taken legal action too. I would love the children to be able to spend maximum time with their father especially now we are able to work together more in parenting lately but he refuses to accept the abuse occurred and refuses to put safe guards in place for their protection.
I'm also referring to the duty solicitor in the court is from legal aid and says they can't help me with advice as ex has seen them.
With regards to womens legal they tell me to just wait on the line and keep trying, they have refused to do a call back as I am not a client of womens legal because every time I went in there I never got to see anyone as the open clinic would end and they hadn't got to me yet - it's a first in first served situation.
I don't really want anyone to take over my case again anyway as I felt every lawyer I see has hinder my case, they convinced me into consent orders when I had concerns about the children s safety, they misread subpoenas as saying negative things about me when it was actually about the father. I feel more confident except for a final hearing as I don't know much about how it works and also about small little legal bits and pieces.

4mydaughter, As I said it's only in their advice line and duty solicitors I have seen them be flexible. I wouldn't have imagined they would be in their offices but I do see it as a discrimination for there to be a service for one gender and not the other. But I am trying to point out that with there being one extra service for women it does not necesserily mean it gives us an advantage, instead it would be better to have a free non legal aid legal service solely for self represented litigants in the family courts.
What is "PA" as discussed by 4mydaughter?
PA = Parental Alienation

4MYDAUGHTER
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