Sunday, January 31, 2010

In OZ ~ 'No excuse' for family law shake-up

It appears common sense may prevail in Australia given the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) have researched and found some non-partisan, non-ideological factors in favour of shared parenting. They have indicated they have found no correlation between violence and shared parenting, there has been a 22% reduction in court cases, and the practice of shared parenting is widely supported. 

The review, spread over two years involved 28,000 people, including 15,000 parents and  for most people it worked well.  It shows 80 per cent of parents are co-operating.

The AIFS is a world renowned organization whose role is to give non-partisan, non ideological advice on family matters.  We need an equivalent one in Canada to get us out of the Feminist dominated rhetoric of men being abusers and unsafe to share parenting. The trouble may arise in the legislature where Australia has a socialist bleeding heart government in power who typically bow to the feminist lobby within their ranks for fear of being cast as an abuser and of course whatever voting power they have.

Chisholm the ex judge appears to be a chivalrous drone and thinks violence or at least its propensity is worthy of spending more money.  The proportion of violence relative to the population of married couples and even those divorcing is minuscule but these useful idiots of the feminists give it much greater credence that it deserves. 

In Canada out of a million couples (2 million people) 999,997.7  females do not kill their male spouse and 999,992 males to not kill their female spouse. Do we make laws for the 999,990 plus people who are not a problem or the tiny fraction who present perplexities to the system, and in turn, penalize the majority.  If we make laws focusing on the tiny minority very few people could drive, get married, have children,  find a decent job, or live any kind of high quality life free of nanny state intervention.  It is one thing to take away points on a drivers license for using a cell phone or texting while operating the vehicle, quite another to deny a parent from legal involvement and maximum time with their genetic progeny. There can be nothing more personal or devastating to a rational human to be denied this right because of gender.

In any assessment, if violence is suspected or alleged, an investigation should occur. If the allegation is false the instigator should be charged criminally and primary custody of the children given to the parent who was falsely accused.  In Australia as in the USA the person most likely to kill or harm the child is the single mom, either alone or in concert with a boyfriend/new partner.MJM

By Sabra Lane for AM
Posted Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:25am AEDT
Updated Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:59am AEDT
Family Studies Institute report found a drop in the number of cases 
going to court.
A Family Studies Institute report found a drop in the number of cases going to court. (stock.xchng: Asif Akbar)

The Federal Opposition has warned the Government against making changes to family law that alter the principle of giving children the right to a meaningful relationship with both parents in the case of divorce or separation.

In 2006, the Howard government introduced major changes to Australia's family law system, putting an emphasis on shared responsibility for separating parents.

This week, three reports were released on how the laws were working. The reviews were conducted by the Australian Institute of Family studies, the Family Law council and former judge, Professor Richard Chisholm.
The Family Studies Institute found a 22 per cent drop in the number of cases going to court.

But Professor Chisholm found many people wrongly believe the changes mean that separated fathers were automatically entitled to 50-50 custody of their kids.

The professor says the laws are confusing and troublesome, but Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis disagrees.

"The report by Professor Chisholm does take a fairly tendentious view of the operation of the 2006 reform," he said.

The Government says it is considering an information campaign to clear up misunderstanding, but Senator Brandis says he gives more weight to the report published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
"What the Australian Institute of Family Studies found was that the principle of shared parental responsibility is widely supported; that in general the 2006 reforms have worked well," he said.

"The Australian Institute of Family Studies found ... 'There is no evidence to suggest that family violence and highly conflictual inter-parental relationships are any greater in children with shared care time than for children with other care time arrangements'.

"So there seems to be something of a difference of emphasis, if not a conflict, between Professor Chisholm and Australian Institute of Family Studies."

Senator Brandis says the release of the reports does not justify a change in direction for family law.

"[They] should not be used by the Government as a pretext or an excuse to walk away from the principle that every child has a right to a meaningful relationship with both parents on the occasion of family breakdown, while always maintaining, as has never been in doubt, the paramount interests of the child as the first consideration."

The reviews were handed down nearly 12 months after four-year-old Darcey Freeman was allegedly thrown off Melbourne's West Gate Bridge by her father.

Professor Chisholm has recommended every case before the Family Court should automatically be assessed for violence risks and that the court be given adequate resources to do the job.

The chief justice of the family court, Justice Diana Bryant, issued a statement welcoming that finding.

The Attorney General's office was asked about the recommendation for resources. A spokesman for Robert McClelland says the court already receives $2 billion in Commonwealth funding, but that it will be considered.

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The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie