HOWARD'S FAMILY LAW AMENDMENTS A CRUEL FAILURE

Submitted by Editor on Sun, 26/06/2005 - 03:14

The Shared Parenting Council of Australia has rejected outright the proposed Family Law Amendments released by the Attorney-General as failing fathers, failing children and failing the broader community.

"Shared Parenting Council of Australia"
secretariat@spca.org.au

Fri, 24 Jun 2005

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Please view this email online by visiting the following address: www.vision6.com.au/vemail/mail/view.php?id=19308782&k=c028353
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The Council, an amalgamation of 28 Family Law and Parenting Groups, said the Howard government had ignored massive community support from men and women alike to stop the Family Court's present disastrous bias against fathers.

"For years now, every time John Howard has suggested he and his government support shared parenting and a child's fundamental right to an equal relationship with both parents he has received enormous support from the public and the media," Mr Wayne Butler, Secretary of the Shared Parenting Council of Australia said. "Yet when we finally see the legislation there is nothing in it to guarantee shared parenting outcomes as the norm for separating couples. The one million children of separated families in this country, the hundreds of thousands kids who rarely if ever see their Dads, the millions of grandparents, second families and the parents themselves all deserve better.

Despite the Howard government's rhetoric supporting shared parenting, there is nothing in the legislation to guarantee that father's, children, second families, grandparents and new partners will be treated any better, or that children will grow up with a good relationship with both parents.

The SPCA believes the draft legislation has failed to address the fundamental problems in Family Law, a system which has created chaos and bitterness while failing in its task of protecting children.

"The claim by the Attorney-General that this is 'the most significant reform to Family Law ever' – simply does not stack up with the draft bill," Mr Butler said. "The Family Law Amendments fail to protect every child's fundamental right to an equal opportunity with both their parents – instead it reinforces the outdated and repressive regime that the mother's rights are superior in the Family Court and that father's are unable to provide primary care.

"Not only has there been a failure to recognise and amend the inequality of the current system, but the amendments themselves will make the family law act even more legalistic and incomprehensible. Even the most urgent cases will experience significant delays and costs due to the increased requirement to get legal advice."

Mr Butler said these reforms would guarantee a windfall to the legal industry and continued distress to parents and children alike in separated households. Further Court delays were inevitable and increased conflict between separating parents would also be assured by these reforms.

"Australian parents and children will mourn this lost opportunity for meaningful change to a system which has been found by several government inquiries to be totally dysfunctional.

"We are at a complete loss as to why the Government will not respond – The public will continue to demand an adequate response from the Government to the most pressing social justice issue facing Australia today.

"These proposed amendments are nothing more than smoke and mirrors and a cruel hoax to separated parents who took the Prime Minister at his word that he would fix this system once and for all", Mr Butler said.

For further information:
Wayne Butler 0411 850 677,
Lionel Richards 0411 740 075

Link to SPCA submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Community Affairs
www.vision6.com.au/vemail/mail/link.php?id=19308782&link=httpFwww.spca.o...
FSPCA_Submission_to_HORSCFCA.pdf"

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Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 01/05/2006 - 14:50.

you need to give more information to fathers regarding their rights and free legal advice and help in a supportive way through mediation and letters for the fathers to the mothers regarding contact. Do more practical things such as supervising contact between fathers and the child or children if necessary to ensure contact does occur.
And if child protection is involved, help facilitate meetings.
PS not only fathers are penalized but also more importantly siblings are separted! Mothers are also kept from their children.

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