EQUAL PARENTING RIGHTS FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN
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Saving families from unconscious bias against men within the Family Court: petition to seek review of administrative process and judicial decision-making within the Family Court of Australia
Divorce leaves no winners. But broken families, and the children of separated parents, need somehow to put the pieces of their lives back together again. The Family Court has a fundamental role in facilitating this.
The best interests of the children are, and must be, at the heart of this. However, the exercise of judicial discretion in defining those best interests seems anecdotally to be skewed dramatically in favour of mothers. We contend that this is an inherent bias within the system which believes, wrongly, that children are best served by spending more time with their mothers. We believe that this bias is manifesting through:
- an absence of practical consequences for mothers who refuse fathers access to their children in breach of Court Orders;
- an arduous and expensive process for the non-breaching party to proceed with contraventions of Court Orders; and
- a reluctance to issue immediate recovery orders (in a recent case, it took over 18 months for the case to be heard at Court).
On-going and repeated court hearings to address contraventions of Court Orders are not in the best interests of the children. Surely there must be a better system?
Society has fought hard for equality of the sexes, and there is still work to be done, both for women within the workforce and for men within their families. That is why we are seeking support for a petition to be put forward to our Member of Parliament seeking a review of Family Court processes (both procedurally, and in respect of judicial decision-making) to examine whether the anecdotal experience of men continuing to be disadvantaged within the system is as widespread as we believe it to be, and to explore ways in which this failure of the system can be corrected.
Please join us in fighting for a better system for our children.
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