The Richard Hillman Foundation ( RHF ) believes all is not lost:
1. Former Family Court judge Professor Richard Chisholm, Chairman of The Family Law Violence Review, is a professor and one would assume that he is capable of insisting upon AND understanding and interpreting accurately peer reviewed studies into this matter. Should he rely on flawed statistics ……………
Similarly for Professor Thea Brown.
2. It seems that the media is capable of appreciating that their are two distinct groups of men / fathers in this fiasco. The ‘ Good’ Fathers as described by Sue Price and the ‘ Bad ‘ as described by the National Council for Children Post Separation ….. read below.
…….. Ms Price said the laws did no more than encourage “reasonable contact between perfectly good fathers and their children”
…………In one submission, the National Council for Children Post-Separation, which largely represents the interests of separated mothers, has examples of women forced into contact with violent partners, after those partners won the right to see their children in the Family Court.
The RHF has long argued that their are good fathers who are non-violent or abusive AND should not be labelled as bad fathers just because of Gender NOR should they have to defend these bad men / fathers for their bad behaviour because they themselves abhor it. In fact all good fathers to prove their innocence would be happy to take polygraphs and favour mandatory electronic recordings for the laying and defending of all allegations that are used in courts.
Similarly, the RHF know of good parents and their children who have been victims of violence and abuse and being ignored. The RHF know that there are bad men / fathers and are confused why courts offer them so much contact and privileges.
The RHF assumes that ‘ Good Mothers’ partner these bad men ( opposites attract we are told ) and because they will not lie, they are denied their natural justice just like the good fathers who also will not lie.
The RHF supports the Good Mothers and their children who seek relief from violence and abuse. We know you are out there.
We just ask that you do not persecute the good fathers in your pursuit.
All good people who do not lie, are the victims of this system, and we should all unite against those who are willing to lie…. those bad fathers who deny their behaviour and those mothers who are also willing to lie …… laying false allegations.
Make no mistake, there are four groups in this process.
The Good Parents – those mothers and fathers who do not lie and are represented by reputable groups.
The Bad Parents – who are willing to lie and the RHF has yet to find a group who represents these people.
http://www.theaustr alian.news. com.au/story/ 0,25197,26228074 -5013404, 00.html
Caroline Overington | October 19, 2009
THE Rudd government is planning to roll back the controversial shared parenting law passed in the final term of the Howard government, enraging men’s groups, which say the laws have finally given them access to their children after separation.
Six inquiries into the shared parenting laws are now under way, which men’s groups have interpreted as a sure sign that change is under way, too.
In a message to supporters, Sue Price of the Men’s Rights Agency, has described the planned rollback as the “most sustained and concerted attack” on shared parenting that she has seen in 15 years.
Ms Price said the laws did no more than encourage “reasonable contact between perfectly good fathers and their children” and she is urging supporters to “convince the Rudd government that there are a million votes at stake” if they roll back the shared parenting changes.
“War has been declared and now is the time to protest the changes,” Ms Price said, adding that planned changes were an attempt to “deny children shared parenting” and “an attack on a child’s right to be loved and cared for by a dad on a shared-care, equal basis”.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland, in concert with the Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, flagged a change to the law after a small child, Darcey Freeman, died after allegedly being thrown from the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne earlier this year. Her father, Arthur Freeman, has been charged with murder. In a committal hearing, the court heard that the mother had been terrified of her former partner, and told neighbours and others that he was certain to kill one of her children.
Of the six inquiries into the law under way, the Family Court Violence Review, also known as the Chisholm report, for its chairman, former Family Court judge Professor Richard Chisholm, is likely to report to Mr McClelland first.
Submissions to the Chisholm inquiry closed on Friday. In one submission, the National Council for Children Post-Separation, which largely represents the interests of separated mothers, has examples of women forced into contact with violent partners, after those partners won the right to see their children in the Family Court.
The council says some men are approaching the court, asking for years-old parenting agreements to be modified so they can pay less child support. Under the Howard government reforms, men can pay less, in exchange for seeing their children more.
The submission says: “Parents are saying they don’t want money. They would be happy to forgo maintenance payments if it saves their child from having to spend half the week with a parent who does not really want to parent them, but whose main objective is to avoid child support.”
The submission also calls on the Family Court to consider the parenting roles played by each parent before separation, before deciding on shared or equal care after separation.
“Some parents abandon their spouse while pregnant and years later seek shared care when the child does not even know the parent,” the submission says.
“One nine-year-old boy who considered he already had a father, since his mother married his stepfather when he was a baby, was told he had to spend every second weekend with his biological father.
“If there is no existing emotional bond between a child and a parent, why should the court force one on a child who may have an emotional bond with a step-parent? ”
More than 3500 parents have signed a petition calling for the changes to the shared parenting law.
A submission from men’s groups was not immediately available yesterday. The Shared Parenting Council says the six reviews of the law were placing “significant pressure” on the groups, which are “holding the line against a dismantling of the 2006 Family Law changes”.
Besides the Chisholm review, the Attorney-General has commissioned the University of South Australia, James Cook University and Monash University to investigate the impact of family violence during and after parental relationship breakdown. This review will be overseen by professor Thea Brown.
The Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW is also conducting a review, as are the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the University of Sydney.
http://www.theaustr alian.news. com.au/story/ 0,25197,26228004 -5013404, 00.html
Caroline Overington | October 19, 2009
THE Family Court has removed a five-year-old boy from the care of his mother because she is living with a man whose own child, a daughter, died of neglect in a house with an “atrocious standard of hygiene”.
The decision has delighted the five-year-old’ s father, who successfully argued that his son would be at serious risk of harm if forced to live with a man whose child had died in his care.
The action has also been welcomed by fathers’ rights groups, who have long argued that young children are more at risk from a mother’s new partner than from their biological fathers.
The case, known as Muller and Shaw, has been before the courts for more than a year. The child, known only as D, was aged 4 at the time of the last hearing.
His mother had been his primary carer since he was six months old but the court has ordered that he live with his father and see his mother every other weekend and on school holidays, and never in the presence of her new partner. An appeal by the mother failed last Wednesday.
The court said the mother’s relationship with her new partner, known only as Mr T, was a “significant feature of its decision”.
The mother, 25, and the father, 33, lived together for less than a year. Their only child, a son, was born in February 2004. The relationship was over by August 2004. The father, Mr Shaw, had contact with the child three or four days a week, for up to two hours at time, until February 2006, when the mother started a de facto relationship with Mr T.
In January 2006 — that is, just a month earlier — one of Mr T’s children, a girl, died while in his care.
Court documents do not reveal how the child died but a South Australian judge put Mr T’s three surviving children into state care, giving him only supervised access to them.
A witness from Families SA, the government department that deals with child welfare in South Australia, said the cause of death was “neglect”.
When Mr Shaw became aware of the relationship between the mother of his child and Mr T, he began proceedings in the Family Law division of the Federal Magistrates Court.
A magistrate at first restrained the mother from leaving the child alone in the care of Mr T, and banned Mr T from staying overnight at the mother’s house when the child was there.
Mr Shaw went back to court after amassing evidence that the mother was flouting these restrictions, at which point the court gave him custody of the child.
The mother appealed, saying the court had not taken into account the effect on the child of having such a radical change in his living arrangements. She also argued that she was not in a de facto relationship with Mr T.
The court believed the father, saying he was a “truthful witness” who was “vitally concerned with the health and safety of his son”.
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