The Forgotten Children Of Divorce (say sorry to the children judge)

The Joint Parenting Association (JPA) has called on Chief Justice Alistair Nicholson of the Family Court to match his stolen generation commentary at the recent San Francisco Family Law congress, with a similar apology on behalf of the Family Court to the forgotten children of divorce.

Speaking in Adelaide yesterday, JPA spokesperson Yuri Joakimidis said Chief Justice Nicholson was shedding crocodile tears, when he criticised the Howard Government’s reluctance to acknowledge and apologise for the damage done to the ‘stolen’ aboriginal children.

“The JPA represents a generation of parents that understand the pain experienced by Aboriginal families, because we too have experienced the destruction of family relationships under the rubric of what is best for children; a doctrine that nobody has been able to define legally or psychology.”

“For the past 22 years, the Family Court has presided over a system that ignored the presumption in favour of joint parenting in family law.  A system that numerous inquires have documented as unwilling or unable to protect the fundamental right of every child to the love and companionship of both parents.  A system that has reduced non–resident parents to the role of visitors in their children’s lives,” Mr Joakimidis said.

“Research clearly shows that children in single–parent homes are over–represented in child abuse statistics, do less well in school, get in trouble more often and experience difficulty in forming intimate relationships.  That too is the legacy of our failed family law system.

“It would be a tragedy for children of divorce, if a future Human Rights Inquiry documented that as we approached the 21st Century, children were still being separated from a beloved parent or other family member for no other reason than the ending of a marriage,” he said.

“Chief Justice Nicholson has a valid point in calling on the Howard Government to apologise to the stolen aboriginal children.  But his failure to recognise the double-standard implicit in his own words, shows a disturbing ignorance of the part his impact of his own court on today’s forgotten children” Mr Joakimidis said.

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