50/50 by DEFAULT. Children have a right to access BOTH parents when they split.
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ABSTRACT (By Terence Kearns)
Almost no one in the mainstream media is talking about a silent epidemic that is having a huge impact on our society. Do you know a friend who has gone through, or have you personally been affected by, a child custody battle where one parent monopolizes the time with the children and seeks to “alienate” the other parent from the children? Unfortunately, the situation is getting worse, not better.
Right now we have an opportunity to be heard, and this petition is a way to show how common this problem is and that we do not accept this as a way of being in our society. Please share this petition with anyone you think may be interested or who has themselves had their children affected by this abhorrent affliction. Then follow it up by using the link below to write your own submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission. You have until May 7, so please do this right now.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO CHANGE?
The change we want is for both parents to take responsibility for parenting AS THE DEFAULT in the event of divorce. There should be a set of 50:50 based templates for parenting agreements that parents can efficiently sign before a court is even considered. Of course, parents will want to customize their agreement and vary them on the fly, but it should be illegal for a parent to effectively “steal” the children from the other parent - thereby stealing the other parent from the children. This currently proliferating “Finders Keepers” strategy of alienation then relies on the court rubber-stamping the argument that “the children are now settled with me” to establish an outcome that does NOT benefit the children in anyway and severs one of their most vital relationships. This is cruel to both the children and the other parent - the law has a responsibility to prevent this devastating explosion of chaos that ripples through the entire extended family with the child at its’ nucleus. Currently, the Family Law system is letting us all down in spectacular fashion in this regard - despite their rhetoric about putting the child first. Families turn up to the court in crisis due to parental imbalance and the first thing that the court does is perpetuate the existing condition which is the source of the crisis. Well, the existing condition needs to change. 50:50 needs to be the condition that exists at the time of separation, and if there needs to be a deviation from that, then the onus is on the parent to prove this to the court - not the other way around.
RATIONALE (By Adam Tate)
Over the last few days, I have had a high volume of conversations regarding the topic of family law reform.
As some are aware, the Australian Law Reform Commission are conducting a review into the current environment, and one would hope that this was in a genuine attempt to improve the outcomes for children, families and society alike.
Having heard so many very terrible ‘horror stories’ of family law cases in the last couple of years and in doing a large volume of research into the structure and process I believe there is vast scope for reform that is not only necessary but it would be an injustice to all if it was not undertaken genuinely and immediately.
There is a strong push for 50:50 shared parenting around the world and there is a huge volume of data that supports that this is the only true and fair model to base genuine reform around.
Previously the Howard government had implemented family law measures with this approach and it appeared to be working far better than it does now after the Gillard government made a number of changes that favor the “false allegation and domestic violence industry” and those who derive their incomes from it.
Presently the family courts are tied up with cases that often drag out for years and are not able to be efficiently and effectively dealt with.
All the while good children are being kept from good parents at crucial stages of their development and at a time of high anxiety due to divorce and separation, which almost always leads to unnecessary childhood trauma which as we are well aware is the basis of so many of societies current and future problems.
The current structure allows for far too much manipulation, perjury, vexatious claims and litigation that appears to serve nobody involved except of course for the lawyers handling the cases, and all the peripheral services that capitalize upon the ensuing dysfunction of this model.
As the Federal government have sought public submissions in regards to this review I believe that it is a clear statement on their behalf they are willing to engage in dialogue that will support reform and that this is an opportunity that should be taken by all who have an interest in this area and in social justice and policy development.
Public submissions for this review are due by May 7 which leaves little time for those that may be interested in doing so.
The review is seeking public submissions of 750 words or less in regards to your own personal situation and experiences with the family courts. This appears to be a genuine opportunity for people to tell their own story regarding their experiences with the family law system, anonymously and without prejudice.
It also allows for suggestions and ideas to be submitted with regards to their terms of reference as below:
The National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell is also seeking public submissions with regards to the rights of the child in Australia for a report to be delivered to the United Nations on this topic that is due May 23 of this year.
If people were aware of how many human rights violations against children were committed by default simply because of the current family law model I believe they would be absolutely horrified.
In October 2017 Australia was given a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
It appears we have a lot of work to do with regards to the human rights of children, parents, and refugees to justify that involvement going forwards.
It appears that serious Family Law reform is sought by almost all involved, including many judges and those that work for the courts and the only people and groups not interested in reform seem to be the Family Lawyers who are currently earning vast sums of money for handling cases in a highly adversarial manner that places co-parents in competition with each other for an unequal and unjustified share of parenting duties and genuine time spent with their children.
It is also a far too costly process which often deprives children of financial resources that would be much better provided to them In a cooperative and responsible manner.
Although under the current model, those making claims of abuse and family violence are given Legal Aid, an unequal share of the families assets, child support, numerous taxation based incentives and other perks, in what appears to be a reward based on generating the workflow in this manner.
In many cases, this has led to bankruptcies and financial difficulties and it is also a process which often deprives children of precious time with loving parents that they can never get back.
In most cases, all children need both parents equally in their lives to offer balance, guidance, and support and the imbalance in this alone can be clearly demonstrated as having detrimental effects on childhood
In far too many cases it has led to bankruptcies and financial pressures that have literally destroyed parents who simply want to be involved in their children’s lives for no other reason than the love of their children, and the responsibilities that they took on when they became a parent. The suicide rate of those involved in lengthy and emotionally destructive family law cases is a statistic that seems to be never genuinely focused upon and is covered up by those with an agenda to keep the current model in place. Under this model, people seem encouraged to make exaggerated claims and even false allegations about the other parent in order to satisfy this process. Why is it that perjury when uncovered, is almost always never penalized within the family law courts? As the Family Law Act of 1975 clearly states that its charter is to operate in the best interests of children. This current model hardly seems like a fair and reasonable methodology given the amount of pain and suffering experienced by children and parents that are undergoing separation and divorce through the court system. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever really heard a positive story that has arisen from any family law cases in all my research. This got me wondering if the system was created intentionally like this by design and whether or not it was even possible to initiate reform in an environment where legislation is being created to such an agenda. But in reality, if ineffective and socially unjust laws can be written then they can certainly be repealed and rewritten. This as an idea, provides a basis for endless possibility and if these people determining legislation are possibly too close to the process to see where effective changes can be made then it is certainly up to outsiders to share their perspectives and insights and to contribute to the process by all means necessary. If all parents were able to think for themselves, to reject being enticed by financial and other incentives to defame and degrade the other parent in the course of litigation, and simply have the common decency to put their children’s needs, wishes and best interests at the forefront of their decision-making models then this antagonistic and dysfunctional aspect of the current system would not even have a place in possibly as much as 70 to 80% or more, of the cases are that are currently before the court. There are many intelligent ideas floating around at the moment regarding potential reform and now is the time to have this conversation and amplify it for the sake of all children going through this now and into the future.
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