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The Forum > Article Comments > Legal reforms not enough to keep children safe > Comments

Legal reforms not enough to keep children safe : Comments

By Elspeth McInnes, published 7/6/2012

Custody reform in the Family Court needed.

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I feel genuinely sorry for the many good and loving parents whose valuable work in society is undermined obviously the greatest threat for the abuse of children and the extensive negative consequences is heterosexual marriage.

The existence and need for statutes such as the Family Law Act, however amended, are evidence of this.

Of course, we would all be better off if there was never a need for such legal interventions.

Whilst it's never going to happen, it should give us pause to think how much better will off children would be if there was a competence test required before many couples were allowed to breed.
Posted by WmTrevor, Thursday, 7 June 2012 8:24:56 AM
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As a divorced person I have some sympathy with the Author's opinion piece.
My spouse and I thankfully avoided the family court and settled our affairs marital, via amiable mutual respect.
I had suffered a permenant spinal injury, which not only ended my career, but my marriage and love life as well.
Even with roles reversed, the sound of crepitus, [the grinding of broken bones grating against each other, and the accompanying pain,] took absolutely all the anticipated joy out of our lovemaking.
Becuase I still cared/care, I placed no impediment in the path of my former partners happiness, or improved economic outcome.
My former partner met while still married, and when finally free, married a person I seriously disliked, with far more resouces than I.
A set of circumstes I didn't resist; even though it was killing me emotionally, given it seemed to also improve my kids lot and future prospects.
Nonetheless, I asked the kids what they wanted, impressed on them, that the separation was in no way their fault; and enquired, who they wanted to stay with as the custodial parent, even though they were respectively, just 7 and 9 years old!
If they had answered in the affirmative, I was prepared to sue for custody with every resource at my disposal.
The family court should, regardless of my own and similar experiences, be reformed, so that kids with the power of speech/cognition, are empowered/mandated to be able to put a preference, always providing, any evidence of pre court coaching, allows the court to understand?
That any opinion expressed is not necessarily their own?
Or, a convenient compliance extracted through fear of serious retribution to themselves, other family members or pet(s).
As hard and heartbreaking as it might be for most non custodial parents, the children unsolicited and truthful opinions/wishes must be both sought and respected!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 7 June 2012 12:55:56 PM
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Let's see if Family report wrorters..oops writers,Independent (yeah right) Children's Reps, Magistrates, Judges and then the ordinary legal fraternity actually begin to understand what DV is. How it works, The trauma it creates. the neuroplastic impact on children, the absolute foreseeable harm the system does by ignoring children's disclosures because we require evidence at a standard impossible to get, in order to cover up abusive and violent behaviour, often, but certainly not exclusively, by male perpetrators. Behaviours that continue because they are all too often assisted and masked by a patriarchal legal process, in which many traitorous females facilitate the destruction of the mother's right and ability to mother to punish her for being genuinely protective, not because she is a bad or dangerous parent. Whether it can see the financial legal abuse as an extension of financial abuse in the relationship. etc.

Nevertheless, good job all who worked for the changes. One small step....
Posted by Cotter, Thursday, 7 June 2012 4:53:25 PM
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I agree with that, to my mind it is always important to check the system for faults which have long been blindly accepted, especially when it involves children.
Posted by josephine, Friday, 8 June 2012 1:43:38 AM
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