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Current System Fails Children

The family court system is changing too slowly, says Michael Reeves, chairman of the Shared Parenting Trust.

Mr Reeves said last night’s Assignment programme showed that shared parenting is slowly gaining acceptance in New Zealand, but there is a long way to go.

“There are still thousands of New Zealand children who don’t have access to both parents.

“Our sole custody system makes life miserable for many children. The current family court system is a dinosaur and in itself is causing a travesty of injustice for the children of New Zealand. Too often the outcome of divorce is that the children lose contact with one parent.”

Mr Reeves said he welcomed the fact that those in the family court system were open to the idea of shared parenting, where the child’s right to ongoing contact with both parents is maintained.

“But we now need to see a change in the actual outcomes, instead of a situation where one parent takes all.”

He said the call for more open family court processes was timely.

“Currently, the family court operates in secrecy. A more open system, as in the US, would help prevent the tragedy of children losing access to one of their parents.

“New legislation is also needed, to protect children’s right to ongoing contact with both parents,” Mr Reeves said.

The Shared Parenting Trust has been formed to bring about reform of the family court system.

Contact: Michael Reeves 025 513513, 04 4995522
Kathryn Asare 021 555 744


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