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Best Interest of the Child - Whats happening?

Hi, my name is Barry Williams my goal is to see both mums and dads treated equally in all areas of family law and especially to be able, where possible, to have a shared equal time arrangement with their children when their marriage or relationship breakdown occurs. New laws state that the courts are obliged to grant equal shared care where possible, or in cases where it is not possible to grant equal shared time, then they must give substantial access time.

We have been receiving some very positive outcomes with these new laws.

The Government and the Opposition went along with this new culture change as it is good for the children and both parents, but sadly some Federal Magistrates and Family Court Judges have not been prepared to accept these culture changes and are living in the old time warp of, 'We will rule how we wish, we are Judge and Jury all in one.'

I am ashamed of the latest appeal ruling that came out involving three family Court Judges relating to a relocation ruling, where they upheld an order made by a Federal Magistrate in Canberra to allow a mother to leave Canberra with her new partner to live in Atherton QLD, even though the father had been in a 50% shared-care relationship with his son for the last 5 years.

In this case, Brewster FM made orders on 22 December 2006 allowing a mother to relocate with her son from Canberra to north Queensland so that she (the mother) could live with the man she wishes to marry.  The father of the boy appealed the judgment.

Their only real reason it seems, by reading the transcript, was that it would make the mother unhappy if the child wasn't allowed to go with her, meaning that it didn't matter that the child would be unhappy by having to leave his Dad.

I will be writing to the Chief Justice of the Family Court about our disgust over this matter. I will also be bringing it to the attention of Attorney General Phillip Ruddock, The Opposition, and other Senators and Members of the Parliament.

These Judges and Magistrates should no longer be able to hide under the separation of powers, and even if it has to mean a change to the constitution, we all have to lobby to remove the separation of powers. We are all bound by laws made by the Australian Parliament, but Judges of the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates are not, yet they are only senior public servants.

I said in the Lone Fathers Association Australia's latest newsletter that I was going to name any rebel Magistrates, Judges, and court counsellors. Well now I am more determined to do so, even if it means I can be charged and sent to prison. It will be worth it because sooner or later the whole country has to take note of what is happening. It could be one of their children next. We all know equal shared care can't happen in many cases, but where it can and where it is wanted, it should be granted. They make me sick when I hear them say it's done in the best interest of the child. The best interest of the child is 'A Rebuttable Presumption of Equal Shared Care'.

LFAA won't give up until this is achieved. Will you back us?

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