If you notice the Annabelle's of the world almost always get to economic issues rather than what's best for the children. She brings up the canard of child support but the opposite is true. Moms won't get it but they consider it an entitlement. That's one of the reasons why they were the applicant for divorce. What she fails to disclose is dad will still be supporting his children directly. Is mom unable to support herself or her children or get a job or get re-trained. Why in this day and age is that the case? These are fundamental questions. The issue should be having both fit parents in the lives of their children. If one is unfit then deal with it but don't create greater distress for children because a minority of recalcitrant parents are having a tantrum.MJM
July 28, 2009 12:00am
FATHERS' groups have blasted the Rudd Government's appointment of a retired Family Court judge to examine shared parenting laws he has openly criticised.
There are concerns that Richard Chisholm has already made up his mind to recommend ditching the controversial legislation.
"I believe the Government wants to change the law to satisfy the radical feminists and (other) extreme groups that might want to roll back shared parenting," said Shared Parenting Council federal director Edward Dabrowski.
"And Richard Chisholm has already indicated his reticence for shared parenting. That's why he's been brought in.
"The Government has a preordained agenda. (Chisholm's) is an inappropriate appointment. He will give them the result they want."
In a dire warning, Mr Dabrowski said that if the laws were repealed, suicide rates among divorced dads "will increase, without a doubt."
Professor Chisholm emphasised yesterday that he had been asked to review how the Family Court deals with allegations of violence.
However, the University of Sydney honorary professor in law acknowledged that this issue and the shared parenting laws were linked.
The review, announced last week by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, follows an outcry mostly from women that the prescription of shared parenting has resulted in the Family Court ordering children to spend time with violent parents.
In October 2007, Prof Chisholm and Melbourne child psychologist Jennifer McIntosh co-authored an article cautioning against shared parenting of children for high-conflict separated couples.
The paper, published in Australian Family Lawyer, referred to a study by Dr McIntosh involving a Family Court sample of 77 parents and 111 children, where almost half the children left court in a substantially shared-care arrangement (five nights or more a fortnight with each parent).
Four months later, 73 per cent of the shared-care parents reported "almost never" co-operating with each other.
And 39 per cent of the shared-care parents said they were "never" able to protect their children from their conflict.
The Howard Government introduced the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act in 2006 to rectify perceived unfairness in custody orders and assuage concerns about the impact of absent fathers.
The changes direct trial judges and magistrates in the federal family law courts to "presume" that "equal shared parental responsibility" is in the best interests of children.
This means separating parents are legally bound to attempt to make major decisions on their children's welfare jointly.