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Leave The Family Court Alone

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 20th, 2011 - 39 comments
Categories: law, Politics - Tags: ,

The Family Court as far as I’m concerned is the only court that tries to act as the gate before the cliff, rather than the grave digger at the bottom. Even the youth court usually winds up as merely a ambulance driver. Families, when they go wrong, can wind up as being one of the most corrosive social environments to kids. The costs to society both directly and in loss of potential can be astronomical when taken over a persons entire lifetime of not handling the family issues clearly and decisively.

In the entire legal system from police to prisons it would have the best cost-benefit ratio of government funds. That has certainly been the case with the people I know who have been involved with it over the years. You don’t always get what you want – what you get is what the kids need. So why fiddle with it? Simon Power has been his usual spectacularly uninformative self blathering on about things that are largely urban myths rather than anything much to do with the actual workload of the court.

Imperator Fish has a look at Simon Power’s fiddling with the Family Court. I was going to quote from it, but found that that he hadn’t left any junk passages I could trim out. So I have quoted the whole of it and flogged his title – sorry Scott..

Having given the bash to beneficiaries, kneecapped those in trouble with the law, slapped parents of pre-school children, and slammed the door on educational opportunities for older people looking to retrain, the Government is now turning on families in trouble.

Simon Power wants to rein in the ballooning costs of the Family Court, without really understanding why those costs have risen so sharply.

The Family Court is an institution whose role is to clean up the mess when families crumble. It has a critical role in sorting out issues concerning child custody, relationship property and domestic violence, to name but a few areas the court is active in.  Generally it does a pretty good job, but it has its work cut out. The rise in reports of domestic violence over recent years, as a consequence of anti-violence campaigns, has led to the court having a greater workload, while the stress and anxiety caused by both economic and natural disasters will be causing many families to fall apart.

In times of stress it makes sense that there will be a greater demand for the services of the Family Court. Simon Power has claimed that too much court time is being wasted by trivia, but this has been disputed by lawyers working in the field, and Power has provided no evidence to back his theory up – just anecdotes. It’s what we have come to expect from a government immune to evidence-based policymaking, and unable or unwilling to look ahead to see the potential effects of its policies.

We continue to wallow in the depths of a downturn, and debt issues and job losses are putting enormous stress on families. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to take away some of the services offered by the Family Court that are helping to keep families functioning. Services that may prevent some troubled families from turning into breeding grounds for crime and substance abuse.

The Family Court is very often an emergency service, acting swiftly to sort out violence and child custody issues, and intervening in family crises. An effective intervention by the Family Court can reduce cost to the taxpayer later on.

If we were in the middle of a pandemic it would be the height of absurdity to respond to the additional demand on our hospitals by cutting funding to the health system. Nor would we slash police funding as a response to a crime wave. So why are we contemplating cutting Family Court funding in the middle of a downturn?

In other reaction to the proposals The Law Society says it is ‘unnecessary’. Lawyers working in the area have described it as ‘frightening’. There is dispute about what is generating the rising costs (and I suspect that most government ministers have problems reading asset schedules or even simple accounting based on past idiocies).

The Family Court is doing a excellent job overall. But what Simon Power is setting down as the parameters of the review look to be designed to change the underlying basis of the court in yet another example of this governments focus on ideological stupidity. The examples that he is using to justify the review are quite simply political bullshit – that he would not be able to justify with the analysis of the more than 68 thousand requests that the court is dealing with annually.

Quite simply any review that looked not only at the costs but also the benefits is going to conclude that the cost/benefit ratio of dealing with family issues early is easily the best policy. But I suspect that the benefit side will simply be ignored. It certainly was on Early Childhood Education. But the holiday highway is still going ahead despite having a cost/benefit ratio that costs more than the benefits.

Mr Power says there will be an opportunity for the public to take part in the Family Court review when a public consultation paper is released in September this year.

Yeah right! This government has almost unblemished track record of pushing changes through under urgency, avoiding public consultation in select committees by either not having them or ensuring they are inaccessible, and simply ignoring any consultation if it manages to happen. Why should this review break the pattern?

For that matter, they also seem to be quite deaf even when they pay for advice. You can understand it with the nutbar ‘reviews’ that Act got them to do. But what about Power ignoring less is idiotic advice that he has paid for.

The Minister of Justice moved swiftly to change the rules on legal aid eligibility following Dame Margaret Bazley’s report, but quick-as-a-flash, nothing’s been done on her recommendation that creches be set up for kiddies in courts.

It is hardly the type of thing that you want kids to regard as being ‘normal’. You get the impression that if there isn’t an urban myth that Power wants to seen to be fixing then he really in’t interested in doing much that is constructive.

 

BTW: While you’re reading Imperator Fish, have look at The Further Tales Of The Duc’ d’Eglise de Christ. A fascinating look at Gerry Brownlee’s rich fantasy life.

39 comments on “Leave The Family Court Alone ”

  1. Jono 1

    This lot never seem to have had occasion to say to themselves “There but for the grace of God go I”.
    Every time I have a really bad day with my toddler or argument with my partner I think to myself how much harder it would be if I hadnt had great partents myself, a good education, a good job, and no dependency  or mental health issues.

  2. To Power’s small myopic view of the world the Family Court is in need of reform, or to be more accurate, gutting.  After all money is being spent and if you cut the funding then less tax will be required.

    At least for a little while.  And then kids screwed up by their parents’ unresolved custody battles will start to get out of control.  That $200 worth of counselling that could have brought a bit of civility to the situation and minimised the damage may be saved, but domestic violence will go up and in 5 years when the fcuked up kid becomes a juvenile delinquent then other crime and incarceration will go up.

    I believe that there can be a cold fiscally driven analysis to justify expenditure in “soft” social areas.  But you need leadership that is able to look in the future and is able to appreciate that life is much more complex than just dollars and cents on a page.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah characteristic NAct short-term ideological stupidity.

      They will save pennies at family courts because it will help them waste more taxpayers dollars in building prisons.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        The NACT ideology is about moving pennies from the backroom of family units to the frontline of prison units.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          The NACT ideology is about moving pennies from the backroom of family units to the frontline of their profit and loss statements.

          FIFY

  3. Hesitate to comment because I don’t really have the time to do it justice.

    Have been peripherally involved in several Family Court matters, admittedly in Australia (only one in NZ) but I tend to agree the court needs reforms.

    I should say that I haven’t had any contact with the out-of-court functioning of the system (mediation, counselling etc) so my perspective is solely of those few cases which make it to a full hearing before a judge because the parties can’t resolve things. 

    Most importantly, I think, is the need to do something about the fact that, at present, the parties can introduce horrendous lies about one another with no fear of any real punishment for so doing.

    An example from a recent case with which I was involved. Evidence is introduced that one of the children has said that his stepfather “did rude things with me”.

    I made sure the mother was aware that if it were proved she were suborning perjury a complaint would be made to the police, and pursued with vigour.

    Suddenly it turns out the “rude things” amounted to “passing wind”.

    I’ve seen a witness shown, beyond any doubt, to have told nine separate lies in a single sworn affidavit. No penalty was forthcoming, not even an admonition from the judge. More disturbing still was that this woman appears on the stand telling more lies at the next hearing, which is apparently okay “because she’s the grandmother” and is thus entitled to a say even if her testimony is a litany of perjury.

    Then there’s the “independent” children’s lawyers who are often anything but independent. And the fact that the judge seems willing to go along with whatever is deemed appropriate by the ICL without actually judging.

    And it does seem there’s an institutional bias that favours women, though this of course varies according to the people involved. I base this observation on the fact I have seen men suffer (e.g. by reductions in access) for getting up to exactly the same shenanigans as their partner, who isn’t so much as cautioned to start behaving. 

    As I’ve said I’m not sure how much mileage varies in NZ, though my one experience there suggests not by much.

    Having said that, Power’s “solution” is counter-productive, won’t address the real problems, and is bordering on nonsensical.

    And lest anyone be wondering, no, I’ve ever been anywhere near the Family Court as a party. My ex is wonderful and we haven’t ever had a serious dispute about the kids. So my observations are not coloured in any way by personal bitterness.

  4. lprent 4

    Having said that, Power’s “solution” is counter-productive, won’t address the real problems, and is bordering on nonsensical.

    Exactly. I expect that there are always going to be problems and I’ve seen some of them. I’d always expect that there will be improvements taht can be made in the process. There isn’t a perfect court system anywhere that I have ever seen. However I also can’t see any sign that Power is looking towards fixing anything. he looks to be mainly interested in cutting the costs ragrdless of if it is productive or not

  5. M 5

    Lynn, good post – if people have loads of money to hire lawyers then I think fortune will favour those with the brass to access the top legal help if there are cuts. If a man has loads of money and is going up against a former partner on the DPB then it’s game over for her as it will take it far longer for him to run of of money than for her. I know a guy who  is a multi millionaire and he really enjoys going up against his ex even to the point of getting 50/50 (although it has cost him a pretty penny) all to point score and is thinking of going for sole custody and will use his considerable resources to bring this about if he can.

    Regardless of what he thinks of his ex she is still the kids’ mother and though imperfect has done nothing that would prompt me to contact the authorities so he’s just using his money to beat her over the head.

    I had counsel appointed for my kids when my marriage ended so access could be sorted out and even though I found the woman irritating let it ride because they needed a neutral party to speak for them. Having six counselling sessions also got most things ironed out in the later months of separation and it would be criminal if such avenues were to be closed.

    Of course people are always going to vex the courts if they’re determined to nurse wounds or wage vendettas but I hope the percentage of these would be small. For some people the outcomes of messing with their kids’ heads will always come a distant second to actually acting like adults and burying the hatchet. 

  6. I can prove the Family Court is a malicious den of lying vipers. Fact, go on ask for evidence of corruption within this pus laden scum of the earth sick joke civil court of crap! Just ask at Ch Ch court about the Burns case, eh Sally C you low life snake oil bitch. Dirty filth need a lesson in heartbreak you cruel sods!!!!!!!

    Go on judge ask the media to run with my case. Lets make everybody cry.
    You vile bastards deserve to rot in hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    52 legal aid lawyers ran with the lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Two became judges. hi Raoul and John. See you around eh boys.

  7. RIP MUM

    Thanks Family Court!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The Voice of Reason 7.1

      Jeez mate, so many exclamation marks! It must be extra special true, whatever you think it is you’re telling us. How about you address the post instead of venting? Tell us what change would be needed to improve the court or at least what you think of Powers’ parting gift to the families of NZ.

      • dad4justice 7.1.1

        It is impossible to address the problem when corruption from government agencies whitewash the truthful story. Anyway who cares. Anyway justice is a delusion in this cess pit lying Nation of spineless creeps. You don’t know the meaning of the word “venting” perhaps you should watch a court kill your mum. Fact. Sick eh!

        Simon Power is a classic smart arse lying lawyer type creep.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    In my experience of the family court is absolutely scandalous  -just another place where incompetent lawyers who charge like wounded bulls can rake in the bucks and fail to deliver. And the judges are incompetent fools who couldn’t care less about the welfare of children. 

    My children were taken from a place of safety and put into a place of abuse, sanctioned by the family court. The trauma wrecked my daughter’s life and left my son severely damaged.

    Close down the entire system and save eveyone a lot of anguish and a lot a lot money.

  9. The Voice of Reason 9

    Ha! Have to agree with your last sentence, Dad, but sadly, he’s the best of the current bunch. Any view on whether what he intends doing will benefit the parties? Will it help the kids?

    •   Family Court atrocities have created misery for countless kiwi children not to mention what this vile corrupt court did to my 4 NZ born kids!

      Destroy the gravy train cess pit and blow CYFS off the face of the planet at the same time. Save a lot of heartbreak for kiwi kids.

  10. Gooner 10

    Power is standing down so he has no mandate for this.  It’s very appropriate his name is Power, as that, it seems, is what he thinks it is all about.

    • Simon Flower lacks a backbone and is just another parasitic pollie.
      Simon says Absolute Power is kewl ’cause Aunty Helen said so, eh John NO balls key. Shall I ring for a Helli copper Mr Pee – you piece of shit.

      • Drakula 10.1.1

        Dad; you are obviously very angry, doing a lot of venting and I still don’t have the foggiest of what your story is; we seem to be getting disjointed anecdotes.

        May I suggest you take a deep breath then take some time to write your story down on foolscap, edit it then post it.

        You could be right the family court may be corrupt but that might not be the system, we could have the best system in the world but if it is run by corrupt criminals then it won’t work.

        If the government is not addressing the rott then it’s time to change the government!

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    “And it does seem there’s an institutional bias that favours women”

    As opposed to the Victorian position where the children belong to the husband as a possession.
    If I’ve seen a bias in New Zealand it is certainly not in favour of the women.

    With many years of going to Starship or Wellington hospital or Ronald McDonald house my wife and I stood out as the exception raising kids with disabilities – we were a couple. Nearly all the sole parents doing this were women and often the men had buggered off immediately it was known the children had disabilities.

    The majority of relationship breakups I have seen over the years – both personally amongst my friends and professionally in the work I do – it’s the male that’s had the affairs / run off with another younger women.

    Nearly all the non-custodial parents I know that shirk paying child support or in any way supporting the mother or refuse to have their name on the birth certificate are male.

    Nearly all the use of power and control and threats to sell the house, take the kids to another town, take the children overseas, spoil the kids while they are with dad but ensure mum struggles to put food on the table – all those behaviours are almost exclusively made by men.

    Nearly all the violence and abuse against against children are committed by males.

    In the main the only thing that males have is greater economic wealth – but then making decisions on that basis just leads us back to the Victorian model of children being possessions.

    Given the societal negative behaviour of males towards children and spouses one would think it is logical that there would be a bias towards children staying with their mother.

    I’d be more concerned if there wasn’t.

    There’s plenty men can do to make a positive difference in their children’s lives – usually no longer being a jerk is a good start.

    And yeah it’s not always possible – sometimes the wives are as bad as the men – but usually not.

    • M 11.1

      Decsendant Of Smith

      This is gold and your name should be in lights – your wife is indeed blessed. 

    • You endeavour to refute my assertion – which has been gained from involvement in several Family Court cases (though, as I pointed out, they were at the “worst” end of the spectrum given that they ended in a trial process not mediation). Yet you talk about fathers avoiding responsibility for raising their children and for paying child support.

      Granted, many do. Many also do not… I know numerous fathers separated from their children (myself included) who do everything we possibly can and wish we could do more. We, incidentally, never receive credit for doing the right ting when some politician wants to bang on about “deadbeat dads”.

      But the fact the some men disappear and shirk their responsibilities proves nothing about the Family Court. The men I’ve seen getting a raw deal haven’t disappeared – quite the opposite. They’re fighting for access to their children and, in the main, getting screwed over.

      Kudos for the obviously marvellous things you’ve done. But before denigrating men who are doing the opposite of what you say, perhaps you should become familiar with their stories.

      • rosy 11.2.1

        The break-up of a marriage is hell, and if parents can’t come to an agreement the Family Court won’t give someone what they want and I’ll concede that without doubt it is more likely the father will miss out. But a family court has to be better than the previous alternative. What’s the plan if it’s not available?

        Go back to the old days when money and power rule? When my parents divorced many years ago it was in a full court – adultery had to be proved and I was the only ‘witness’ my father had that my mother was in a relationship with someone else and that she was not a fit and proper person to have care of my siblings. At that stage she was a mess (being abused in a marriage can lead to total breakdown after it) and my dad basically blackmailed me into testifying, by saying he would tell her where I lived (at 15 I’d left home), knowing she would turn up drunk, with her drunk, abusive ‘friends’, he was so desperate to divorce… full court, no representation for me, or my mother who hadn’t turned up – she was judged on her current state, not her previous ability to be a good mother -no custody was worked out – my father got it by default for my younger siblings. You can imagine the family fall-out. Going back to anything like those days – and without the family court that’s what will happen – will be hell for untold children. In the end, losing custody for my mother meant years before she sorted her life out after nearly killing herself with cigarettes and booze.

        I can’t help but think some men suffer terribly by because a level of power over then family has been taken away from them by family court negotiations. Granted there are all sorts of vindictive, spiteful women that get more than they deserve when they don’t put the children first, and they make their ex-partners lives a misery, and I have every sympathy for these men – just as I do for anyone who suffers an injustice that wrecks lives. But in the majority of cases the family court works to put the children first and reducing funding for the process of settling separation can only make it worse for more children. The system shouldn’t be tossed out because of the extreme cases – the extremes should be managed differently and may require more intervention, not less.

      • RedLogix 11.2.2

        Between you Rex and DoS there are any number of ways in which families fall apart. All of them sad in their own way.
         
        A common one is the father who can foresee nothing but years of stress, expense and drama ahead if he tries to maintain or build a working relationship with an uncooperative mother.
         
        He’s never been near a Court before in his life, and lawyers fill him with dread. The prospect of going through an adversarial process involving his personal life is humiliating and intolerable. (And of course neither gender would have that on their own…)
         
        The fact that some men go through with is a testament to something stubborn and undying within them.. but for many they make the calculus that it would be better to simply walk away and let the kids make up their own mind when they are old enough to be independent.
         
        In most cases they’ll have a mix of motives, a desire to avoid even more pain and drama (they’ve likely already gone through years of it just getting to the point of divorce) … and the very real desire to spare their children even more of it as well. They’ve seen how much they hate it, they’ve seen that it’s doing them no good and in the end they decide the only way to put a stop it….is to go away. Even when he knows he’ll get instantly labelled as a ‘deadbeat dad’, and guilt-tripped over ‘evading his responsibilities’.
         
        And yes he’ll know that this abdication will in the long-run come at a price for his kids too… but right now the most important thing, the only thing, is to make the madness stop.
         
        If you want to judge him, go right ahead, you’re at the back of a long queue. You’ll know different the day it happens to you.

        • rosy 11.2.2.1

          And yes he’ll know that this abdication will in the long-run come at a price for his kids too… but right now the most important thing, the only thing, is to make the madness stop.

          Yes, I’ve seen that happen too. Plenty of reasons for this being the right decision. All the better if the kids clearly know they have the option to know their non-custodial parent later rather than just leaving it hanging, but..

        • Rex Widerstrom 11.2.2.2

          RedLogix, you’ve described more eloquently than I exactly the dilemma faced by most men in the Family Court and the reasons they choose to walk away or not go through with it.

          I wasn’t being critical of that cohort of men – quite the opposite. I was talking, in response to DoS, about an entirely different group, who impregnate a woman and disappear without waiting round to see what her attitude may be to their involvement in the life of their child (nor caring what that attitude may be). I was trying to make the point that DoS seemed to be conflating one group with the other.

      • Descendant Of Smith 11.2.3

        I don’t refute your assertion at all – I agree with it.
        That there is a bias towards keeping the children with the women seems perfectly logical and sensible given the societal bias towards abuse of spouses and children by men.

        How could it be otherwise?

        You would simply place more children in the hands of the abusers if it was not.

        I made no comment at all on fathers who want to do the right thing and who would otherwise be good fathers – unless denigration by omission is seen as culpable. Without the wife’s story as well though you still are only getting one side.

        The family court at least gets to hear both.
         

        • Rex Widerstrom 11.2.3.1

          I still think you’re conflating two distinct groups of men. The abusers I’ve known of, and those we read about in the newspapers, generally haven’t gone through the emotionally and financially draining process of fighting for their children in the Family Court.

          They’re the “stepfathers” of their victims, who’ve often been left in their care by the mother.

          If a man is fighting in the Family Court for access to his children – and it’s solely these men toward which my comment about institutional bias was directed – then it’s generally out of love, and sometimes, admittedly, a determination to “win”, but to go through that simply to be able to continue to perpetuate abuise…?   

          And if you do not understand that some women can be physical abusers as well as beign quite good at inflicting emotional abuse on their partners and sometimes their children, I envy you your idyllic life.

          • Descendant Of Smith 11.2.3.1.1

            I guess my experience of the family court is simply the reverse of yours. The cases I have experience of have ended up there because the husband, with all the money and the power, uses that dominance to try and have total control over what happens to the children.
            It’s his way or no way.
            The conveying of the wife as fragile or having some sort of mental issue – never mind the  fact that it was the husband who was having the extra-marital relationship – and in one case quite openly bringing his mistress (an old fashioned term I guess but I can’t can’t think of a different expression) home for meals and expecting the wife to serve her at the table – seems to be a common theme.
            The don’t have an income issue is oft pushed cause often it is the wifevat home looking after the kids while the husband builds his career
            This is stuff you know though.

            I think it’s clear at times that the family court intervention is instigated where couples can’t reach some sort of agreement in some sort of reasonable way. In some cases the man the jerk, in some cases the wife, in others both.
            Either party can lie about the other.
            I can’t support the notion that the men who end up in Family Court are simply those men who are the noble ones who just want what’s best and the wife is a lying scheming she-devil which is what you are trying to portray.
            I have no doubt it happens in some cases (I’m neither naive nor idyllic) but given my experience of women in these situations and the overall societal preponderance of abuse by men on women and children it wouldn’t be a majority or even a 50/50 split.
            That doesn’t mean that things can’t be done better but if a couple can’t work things out and a third party has to intervene and work out who is telling the truth and who is not and try and establish what should happen with two openly antagonistic people I don’t think we are going to get perfect outcomes.
            If reforms are needed then improving the financial well-being of women overall and improved monitoring and support of both parties in relation to the access agreements made might be some good options.
            Where clearly there is an antagonistic relationship breakdown regular monitoring of the children’s well being might be useful.
            This of course would get up people’s noses as well – It’s very easy to say reform is needed – what to do about I suspect is a little more problematic.
             
             

    • Simon 11.3

      “As opposed to the Victorian position where the children belong to the husband as a possession.”

      …and where males were treated as less than property… expected to fight and die for other people to retain possession of land/property (either the wealthy, or widows/children living on the land of dead soldiers).

      If you look hard enough at any situation with preconceptions you’ll see what you want to see.

      Sexism is not a good thing, whether that be misogyny or misandry. If anything the family court system should be biased in favour of the children, with real effort made to accept that individual situations don’t always fit to people’s assumptions, no matter how hard they hold them.

  12. All my venting about a dirty low life rat infested Family Court.
    Ok, can anybody name another Court system that allows females to make false allegations of child abuse and domestic voilence without any consequences? No the Femily Court  runs on bullshit so the gravy train can feed from all the misery.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Wasting police time is still a criminal charge in this country, last time I looked.

    • Jilly Bee 12.2

      @dad43justice – hey buddy it’s not all females that carry on and make false allegations – males can also stoop to that level. Mate I’ve seen it in action – my daughter has been shafted by CYFs, the Family Court’s inability to enforce it’s rulings and an extremely vindictive family who simply cannot believe that their ‘baby boy’ could ever assault his then wife. Dad – it works both ways, I tell you. I also want justice for my daughter, but sadly I won’t hold my breath. I sometimes watch the TV3 show ‘Missing Persons’ and have come to the conclusion that maybe that will be the only way my daughter is able to contact her sons again, once they get past the magic age of 16.

  13. joe90 13

    Yesterdays afternoons panel where the little teapot Farrar spouts at 6m.20s and the law prof corrects the lie at 8m.00.

  14. Jilly Bee 14

    I have been reading this post with increasing despair and incredulity. I can see aspects of my daughter’s dealings with the Family Court related in the various responses. I do feel for dad4justice – though from the other side of the fence – it’s been my daughter who has been dealt a vicious blow which has been ongoing for nearly 4 years. This was due to the misguided decision [I believe] of a Court appointed child psychologist unilaterally made the decision to have my daughter’s two sons removed from her care, as part of custodial proceedings in the Family Court. I’m firmly of the opinion this happened shortly after the huge publicity attached to the Kahui twins saga and Court officials had been ordered to take a few scalps to prove a point. Yes, my daughter had been under extreme pressure due to the marriage breakup and how it had affected her eldest son in particular, but she was doing her best, with my support.
    I have been horrified at proceedings at the Family Court ever since – mainly how one party to a family dispute can blatantly lie under oath, get away with it and constantly ignore, or better still, flagrantly flout Family Court orders and still get away with it, with the apparent ‘blessing’ of the Court appointed counsel for my two grandsons. This state of affairs has been going on for the past 4 years and I see no end to it at present. The parties recently undertook mediation and both signed a memorandum of commitment to comply with what was agreed to. But, surprise, surprise when access was supposed to happen, my daughter was given the run around by her ex-husband and his partner which resulted in her late arrival at their home to visit her elder son, so they wouldn’t let her in, because she didn’t arrive on time.
    My daughter has been receiving excellent legal advice [through Legal Aid] and I do suspect that her lawyer has been doing a fair bit of work for her ‘pro bono’. I had paid well over $30,000.00 to my daughter’s previous lawyer, who wasn’t registered as a legal aid provider at the time and to her credit, our daughter insisted on paying me back when she received a pitiful property settlement, the balance paying for a decent [modest] set of wheels and setting up a new home.
    This is a very minute record of what has happened over the past few years, which has caused my entire family extreme heartache and stress.
    A recent event happened a couple of weeks ago – my eldest son and his two children [my daughter’s sons’ cousins] were at a playground and my son caught sight of his nephews. The children played together but didn’t recognise each other. My son in his wisdom decided not to intervene, thank goodness, due to the probable repercussion that would surely follow. But how sad was that. My son commented on the fact that his nephews were apparently un-supervised, until he saw the paternal grandparents sitting in a car some distance away. Some supervision, huh. My two grandsons are aged 8 and 4 – at least the younger of them should have been watched a little more closely than from afar.
    I do hope that any review of the Family Court will at least give it a decent set of teeth to enforce the orders made, because at present it’s all very toothless and irrelevant.
    I have threatened to my family and friends to go a bit feral about this – maybe this is the beginning!

    • Vicky32 14.1

      How is your daughter coping, Jilly Bee? I hope she is managing, despite the ghastly things that have happened to her…
      It all happened to me in 1981, and I would have been so made up to still have my parents (my Mum had just died and my Dad 6 years previously) whereas the ex-hubby had his parents fighting dirty against me – the ex’s lawyer even hastened to point out to the court that my only family was 3 siblings, two of them still in their early teens!
      Losing was the first thing, getting access was the second. In 17 years, I almost never did – the result now is that my son (long since grown) regards me as some kind of distant aunt, and doesn’t even know, much less like his younger brother from my new relationship.
      I wish I had gone feral, but I know it would not have helped…

      • Jilly Bee 14.1.1

        Hi Vicky32 – she is hanging in there with the love and support of her ‘new’ husband. She has found today [Mothers’ Day] very hard as her ex won’t allow any contact of any kind, even including a phone call. That’s all in contravention of the Family Court order[s] and what was agreed at a recent mediation conference – we’re still waiting for a report, but the recommendations from that meeting have also been ignored, and what’s going happen, sweet bugger all as far as I can see.

        • Vicky32 14.1.1.1

          She has found today [Mothers’ Day] very hard as her ex won’t allow any contact of any kind, even including a phone call.

          That’s pretty much what happened to me as well!
          If it’s any consolation, when the children are older, he won’t be able to stop them clamouring to see their mother. It’s even less consolation that they will despise him for keeping their mother from them.. she’s got a long time to wait! I really hope your legal efforts are fruitful…
           

  15. To be blunt:

    The Family Court revolts and disgusts me. It’s a despicable and evil institution. But what can we expect? It’s populated (staffed, driven, run) by people without conscience, without moral compasses, with no sense of honesty or decency. Lawyers, I mean, of course. And the judges are no better. They’re nothing more than gone-to-seed lawyers. What did lawyers ever know about what’s best for families or children. Sweet B.A. They are taught “the game of law” at University, not Child Welfare, not Emotional Needs, Bonding, Love. Just cold hard law and dirty legal tactics. The F.C. is “No place for children”, to quote one alcoholic Anti-Family Court judge.

    Anyone who voluntarily goes there (i.e. the initiator of proceedings) is a fool. Those who go there seeking to defend their right to be parents are merely carriers of wallets for emptying. Soon to be victims, shafted by a vile machine. It has nothing to do with justice, or what’s right or best for children. NOTHING. Just look at how proceedings are conducted, drawn out, (or should I say dragged out, like entrails from a carcase?) So that every last cent can be milked out. Look at how even very young children are interrogated for hours on end by lunatics and nutcases (a la psycholgists). Who in their right minds would subject their children to that? Only fools.

    My own 3 year old child was probed by one such nutter (an utterly delusional, very bitter and twisted pseudo-expert) for hours, until s/he became so distressed the “interview” had to be abandoned. Even a 3yr old child knew that s/he was being manipulated into saying something s/he didn’t mean. The same one-eyed, hopelessly biased nutter then questioned me for 6 hours (and came up with nothing). During the interviews, she uttered “Mmmm” about 1,000 times – about one every 20 seconds. (Her most intelligent statements!) That woman could pick up a stone and convince herself it was a piece fecal matter. But she could not for the life of her work out that what was alleged was the figment of an overworked imagination. She could not consider that 3 year old children do not know how to construct 12 word sentences using the past progressive tense (as alleged). She could not recognise that a series of reported statements showed witness contamination if not blatant coaching, if not pure, unadulterated lies. She was determined to prove that pigs fly but wouldn’t recognise a good, loving, concerned and caring parent if she tripped over one. Even if that parent was labelled in letters 2 metres high.

    And yet, had I not thought and gone outside of the box, the Family Court would have relied completely on her maliciously motivated presumptions. She couldn’t actually come up with a shred of anything, but using the Anti-Family Court “secret code” she concluded her reports (yes, more than one) with “cannot prove ‘x’ didn’t happen” (which is a worthless comment in any proper court), but which the Anti-Family (Anti-Love, Anti-Welfare, Anti-Truth, Anti-Children) Court deliberately “interprets” to ‘probably happened’. And that would have been it. All done and dusted, and conducted in its own secret little sandbox.

    Fortunately, I could see the light of the oncoming train and hired a highly qualified linguistics expert who demolished the psychologist’s fantastical fabrications and left the Anti-Family Court with no club to beat me with. So guess what happened?

    This really takes the cake, and proves that Simon Power is absolutely right – The Family Court, for the most part IS a complete fraud and an utter waste of taxpayer money.

    All that wasted money, all that wasted time, all those awful interrogations and worthless reports, all that anguish, stress, heartache and misery, all those destroyed or shattered relationships, all for absolutely nothing. Except excessive payments to all the parasites involved. Don’t imagine that I don’t despise the Family Court and all those worthless, despicable “professionals” who work there.

    At the end of three years of fighting that hostile and destructive beast, guess what it ordered?

    It ordered that the lawyers go away and work out a Consent Agreement for “Access”. Oh, Contact, as they decided it should be called. “Access” was obviously just too demeaning, too accurately revealing of how the Anti-Family Court really thinks: Children are no more than objects – objects to “access”, and to use to pit parents against one another – for the “privilege” of getting the most “access” (or “contact”). Purely as a means to milk them (and the Consolidated Fund).

    So, would someone please tell me how the Family Court helped anyone in our family?

    I now despise it, my ex- despises it, and my child may also one day come to realise how it wrecked his/her childhood, and despise it too.

    Demolish the Vile Thing. Go For it, Simon Power!!!

  16. Dear Editor,

    In hindsight and on reflection, it would appear that my post (the last) on this thread just might breach the delightful rules prohibiting publication of reports on certain family courts proceedings. Just to be on the safe side, I have to request that you therefore discontinue publication of my comments in this thread.

    My apologies for the inconvenience.

    I would be delighted if you would replace my post with a comment to say that it has been deleted because it MAY breach the secrecy provisions of the family court, even though no names or publically identifying details have been included.

    Yours truly,
    tttwtanbtt

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