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Turner: Probe Family Court on dads

Turner: Probe Family Court on dads

It is time for an evaluation of Family Court rulings to make sure that they are reflecting the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, United Future family affairs spokeswoman Judy Turner said today.

A joint New Zealand-American study has shown that the younger a girl is when her father leaves the family home, the more likely that she will become a teen mum.

"This really comes as no surprise at all, in fact, it is well known that so many negative factors increase exponentially as a direct result of children losing meaningful contact with one of their parents - usually their father," Mrs Turner said.

In terms of the Family Court, continuing efforts have to be made to take the "win/lose" approach out of custody decisions.

"And dads most certainly have to be viewed as far more than a source of financial support for their children.

"This sort of research also needs to make parents sit up and take notice that if their relationship disintegrates, it hits their kids and it hits them hard.

"It further draws attention to the need for both parents to stay in the lives of their children in a substantial and meaningful way," she said.

The study was conducted by a team from Christchurch School of Medicine and three US universities.

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