Why the Government is wrong about shared parenting legislation

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  • Dear Anonymous 1 - I do not accept that I have misrepresented the impact of the 2006 law reforms in Australia - I have read the document that you link to, thank you for the information. I accept that it shows that there were many positive aspects of the law reforms, but it supports the FJR's conclusions and my concerns about the way in which any change in the law would be understood and interpreted by the wider public.
    As to your PS I accept that the legislation would not include cases in which domestic abuse / violence is a factor - the point I am making is the way in which a change in legislation would interpreted by the wider public, not it's legal impact

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  • Peter - I do not disagree with the principle of shared parenting and I think in an appropriate case it can have huge benefits for children. I disagree with the government changing the law to include this as a legislative statement because I am concerned it will be misunderstood and misinterpreted.

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  • Robert - I am confused by your comment. I specifically mention intractable contact disputes in which allegations of abuse and alienation are raised and point out that those cases would be an exception to any statement on shared parenting in any event.

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  • Tina - I am puzzled as to how you have reached the conclusions that you have about my lack of understanding or empathy - where have I said that I think the court is the right place for these disputes? You seem to be entirely misrepresenting what I have written.

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  • Nick - thank you for your comment can you provide any links to the material you are referring to?
    I am not suggesting that shared parenting leads to an increase in domestic violence - what I am saying is that I am concerned that any change in the legislation will be misunderstood and misinterpreted by those with an agenda to do so, such as those who commit domestic abuse

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  • Zoe, in my original post I quoted the CONCLUSIONS of the Australian government commissioned report by the AIFS.
    The conclusions were 'positive' and applications to Court had gone 'down' significantly.
    It's no good cherry picking bits from the body of the report to try to support your view and the FJR which misrepresented the AIFS CONCLUSIONS in the first place.
    The outcry from the public and the media against the Norgrove panel, judiciary and lawyers as a whole who support little or no change. Show that change to benefit children will only come via new legislation and a Presumption of Shared Parenting in an Act.
    In your comments now you downplay your articles reliance on scaremongering about DV - Good to see you have adjusted your position.

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  • Zoe, you say - " I am concerned that any change in the legislation will be misunderstood and misinterpreted by those with an agenda to do so, such as those who commit domestic abuse".
    This has got nothing to do with Shared Parenting laws and it simply an argument that preys on the fear factor.
    Persons who commit domestic abuse (men or women) misunderstand and misinterpret loads of things deliberately or because they cannot help themselves having a Shared Parenting Bill go forward makes no difference whatsoever.

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  • Anonymous 1 - I cannot speak for the FJR and don't pretend to, but you must accept that in the AIFS report concerns were specifically expressed about the change in legislation in relation to the statement on shared parenting? Those concerns were noted by the FJR along with other research hence the decision not to support such a statement being included in our legislation.
    I do not accept that I was 'scaremongering' about DV - what I am trying to explain is that a change in the law runs a significant risk of being misunderstood no matter how it is worded, the DV example is just an example of that.
    I am not aware of a shared parenting bill - all I am commenting on is the government response to the FJR Final Report

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  • Zoe, in a 379 page report you are going to get some concerns obviously. However, the CONCLUSIONS were positive. The relatively few concerns are being addressed as appropriate, as with any legislation (new and old).
    The only group who were dissatisfied significantly were LAWYERS.
    This was because litigation and applications had FALLEN after the reforms, less work for lawyers.
    The majority of Users, Family Consultants and Judges were happy with the Reforms in Australia. Many 'Lawyers' were not:-
    AIFS quote - "While family consultants and most judges believed the FCoA’s model is an improvement, PARTICULARLY in the area of CHILD FOCUS, 'lawyers’ views were divided, with many expressing hesitancy in endorsing the changes."
    It is this clear self interest as shown in this article and in the AIFS Report by 'some' lawyers that gives the whole profession a poor name sadly.
    Judges, Users and Family Consultants saw the Reforms as child focussed and an improvement. Of course Lawyers did not 'quelle surprise'.
    Your DV example was of no relevance to proposed shared parenting legislation. We will have to agree to disagree but it looked like mere scaremongering to me and others it seems.

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  • Naivete and the perpetuation of abuse against men and children motivate this article.
    Anyone who has been through the patriarchal family court that is designed to keep women in their place, and men in theirs, knows that there are only sinister economic motivations behind Norgrove and most practitioners in the business of capitalizing off of abuse against fathers.
    We have heard the mythology of domestic abuse one too many times, and the big lie of this is vomit-inducing. More abuse these days is against men and children because men are expected to have a stiff upper lip and not complain.
    The easy solution is this: find out which parent is most in favor of providing a loving balanced upbringing, and if the other is disagreeable to this solution, place the child in the care of the one that wants to foster love on both sides, till the other can get her (or his, in exceptional cases) act together.

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