Family Law Report Acknowledges Destruction Caused by Current System of Family Breakdown Administration

The Joint Parenting Association congratulates the Howard Government for their initial response to the Family Law Pathways Advisory Group Report released earlier today, and its recognition that administration of the current system of Family Law makes things worse for family members, especially children.

Referring to today’s Joint Media Release of the AttorneyGeneral, Daryl Williams MP and the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, Secretary of the Joint Parenting Association, Dr Shane Kelly said, “We support the Government’s recognition that many people are treated with ‘disdain, disrespect or bias’ by the various government agencies responsible for the administration of Family Breakdown. And all this at a time when parents are attempting to sort out their separation issues.

Dr Kelly said, “It is also true for the Government to acknowledge ‘the effects of family separation are farreaching, costly, and that children can suffer long term effects and the needs of children should, but don’t always, come first.

 “While extra family and support services, especially for men and fathers, are long overdue, unless these initiatives are coupled with a statutory regime of a rebuttable presumption in favour of joint residence orders, it will be a cruel hoax perpetrated upon the children of divorce and their parents.

“The solecustody model has been shown to place children at an unacceptable risk of losing important familial relationships.

“The latest research evidence shows that children raised in fatherless homes are significantly more likely than average to have problems in school, run away from home, become delinquent, develop mental illness and drug dependency, experience other serious problems and commit suicide.

“In marked contrast the American Psychological Association has reported that following parental separation children in joint residence fare better in all areas of child well being. United States surveys also indicate that joint parenting laws have had the effect of lowering the divorce rate by up to a factor of 8, lowering litigation and increasing child support compliance to around 95%” Dr Kelly said.

The Joint Parenting Association encourages the Government to provide an early response to the Family Law Pathways Advisory Group Report including legislative change that will enshrine in law a child’s fundamental human right to an equal relationship with both their parents following separation or divorce.

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