Shared arrangements must be respected and retained
#24584 (In Topic #4226)
It is hard to believe that in the 21st century we would entertain reducing fathers' rights to help rear their children.
Director of the Shared Parenting Council Mr Edward Dabrowski saidThe law changes in 2006 addressed family violence. Despite what the critics say, the judge can defeat the presumption of equally shared parental responsibility if abuse and violence feature.
If violence is allowed to go unheeded then it is failure of the administration of the law to take the necessary protective action.
What we don't want to see return to court practice is the wholesale denial of shared time or denial of any contact at all on the flimsiest of allegations. I have come across many men over the years who are not allowed to contact their children until they reach 18 years of age on the basis of untested and unproven allegations. By then it is to late.
So the court has a duty under section 60K of the Act to address these concerns within an 8 week period. If violence is happening then the proper venue for dealing with this is the police. Also the court will not punish anyone who makes statements in good faith.
A major problem with the debate coming from divorce industry insiders is the speed with which divorcing parents are pathologised and tagged with violence.
The most common anger to surface during court proceedings is due to denial of contact.
Many fathers and some mothers report that the other parent deliberately withholds access to their children. The fear of losing a child, the grasping to stay connected, can cause tempers to fray. The adversarial court process is itself the greatest source of angst for many parents. Rather than calm parents it causes conflict to escalate. We need more marriage counseling and mediation to help parents through their ordeal, not Orwellian judgments separating parents and child.
In reality these mums and dads are fit parents who need our understanding, not policies of segregation. The greatest injury is done to children by segregating them from their mother and father. The Stolen Generation is all the evidence we need that segregation of a child from a parent does immeasurable harm.
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