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Government Can’t Keep Families Apart

The Government has today added to the heartbreak of separated families by saying that while it does not intend to support Shared Parenting it has no plan of its own to safeguard the rights of children to keep contact with both of their parents following separation and divorce.

“No gap is more urgent for this Government to address than the one that is being forced open between parents and children by the present laws. Research shows that 25% of children lose all effective contact with their non-custodial parent following separation and divorce. A further 40% see their non-custodial parent only once every fortnight.

“This Shared Parenting Bill has been the only hope for parents and children alienated by separation and divorce under current laws that politicians have failed to change for 20 years. The primary purpose of Shared Parenting is to protect the rights of children and fit, loving parents to continue to share in each others lives following separation and divorce.

““The Bill offers a fair framework within which each family can find their own solution in the best interests of their children. It is a positive move away from the current one-size fits all system where children go into the Family Court with two parents and come out with only one.

“In true Steve Maharey style the ‘Minister of Reviews’ has said today that the Government will not support this Bill that deals directly with this issue and will, instead, conduct some ill-defined review of ‘child-welfare issues’ at some time in the future.

Muriel Newman said no one will be fooled that the Government’s vague promise of a review is anything other than a smokescreen to hide their unwillingness to debate and address the issue of Shared Parenting.

“What we are seeing from the Government today is simply a move to shut down all debate on Shared Parenting. They are ignoring what other countries have done to actually improve the welfare of children in the wake of family breakdown and they are ignoring the huge and growing problem of parental alienation in our own country.

“There is a massive groundswell of support for this bill and for Parliament to debate the issue of parental alienation. I will continue to promote this Bill. The Government cannot turn its back on the separated families.

“Children and parents suffering the agony of forced separation will be shocked by the Government’s determination to ignore their plight,” said Muriel Newman.


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