Fairness in Child Support and Access Laws

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Everyday in Australia, countless children go without contact with their Non-Custodial Parent.

At the same time, Non-Custodial Parents are committing suicide due the high costs of child access which is not deductable from Child Support Payments.

They are committing suicide because they are dealing with extremely one sided family laws.

They are committing suicide from not being able to afford legal representation to gain access to their children.

They are committing suicide because the Custodial Parent is refusing to allow access to their Children out of spite or manipulation.

Children are being diagnosed with Depression and other Mental Health Issues because their are being withheld from Non-Custodial Parents.

Children are committing self harm and suicide because they are being withheld from Non-Custodial Parents.

As a community and nation, we need to stop the manipulation and the deaths.

Child Access Laws need to be changed.

Child Support Laws need to be changed.

We, the people of Australia propose the following amendments to the Family Law Act 1975:

The addition of the following mandatory Child Access Provision for all parents, where the family has broken down and where there has been NO Police or Department of Community Services Involvement;

1. It be mandatory the parents meet at a mutually suitable location approximately half way between both places of residence.

2. Minimum Access for the Non-Custodial Parent to the Children be;

a) 1 (one) telephone conversation with the children of not less than 10 minutes in every seven (7) day period, where the child is of school age.

b) Not less than one (1) uninterrupted 48 period in every 14 day period.  Where the child lives less than 200kms from the Non-Custodial parent. 

c) One half (1/2) of all school holidays.  Totalling a minimum of 48 days per annum.  Taken as uninterrupted blocks of 7 days.

3. Where the Custodial Parent refuses to allow this basic Access, the Non-Custodial Parent be given unrestricted access to Legal Aid.

Setting this as a legislated minimum Access will alleviate the majority of "Basic" Child Access cases for the Family Law Courts.

And

Where the Custodial Parent refuses to agree to the above provisions, we propose the following changes to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989:

1. Non-Custodial Parents who are refused access to their Children by the Custodial parent are no longer require, by law, to pay Child Support. This excludes cases where POLICE INITIATED (not private) Apprehended Violence Orders are in place, or where Department of Community Services have declared the Non-Custodial Parent to be "unfit".

2. Non-Custodial Parents who have to travel more than 200kms one way or 400kms round trip (by the most direct route), to see their children, are reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs.  This reimbursement is set against Child Support Payable to the Custodial Parent.  Travel will include public transport fairs (Bus, Coach, Airline, Train).  Car travel will be reimbursed at the standard cost of $0.55 per km, indexed with CPI.  Accommodation will be reimburses at cost.  Receipts must be supplied to the Child Support Agency.  Reimbursement for travel costs is not claimable when both parties meet at a mutually suitable mid way point.

3. Non-Custodial Parents who choose NOT to maintain access with their Children are exempt from these provisions and MUST pay Child Support to the Custodial Parent at the legislated rate.

Finally we feel the following exemption needs to be maintained:

Where the Non-Custodial Parent is excluded from the Childrens Lives; by legal process (Police Initiated AVOs), by the Family Law Court, by The Department of Community Services, or by incarceration, the provisions mentioned in this petition do not affect their case and cannot be used to overrule the legal process.

 



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