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Turner: Boshier's assumptions wide of the mark

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Turner: Boshier's assumptions wide of the mark

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner has accused Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier of making "wild assumptions" based on recent gender-based statistics.

Judge Boshier stated "mothers and fathers seem to be saying that they prefer it that mothers care for children in the vast majority of cases. In all probability what the Family Court is doing is mirroring social reality."

Mrs Turner said the gender-based statistics released by the court show 65 per cent of day-to-day care orders are awarded to mothers, 11 per cent to fathers, about 12 per cent to another party, and another 12 per cent share the care.

"Most parenting orders - 74 per cent - are reached by consent between parents.

"Only 5.4 per cent of orders are made by a judge at a defended hearing and the remainder - 20.6 per cent - by a judge at a formal proof hearing where only one parent attends.

"Judge Boshier is using these statistics to give credibility to the actions of the Family Court, yet I can see no justification for his assumptions," said Mrs Turner.

"These statistics do not prove that parents prefer mothers to care for children, what they do show is that many fathers who come before the Family Court feel forced to agree to a less-than-satisfactory parenting arrangement for fear of being cut off from their children entirely.

"For Judge Boshier to say that this mirrors social reality is completely erroneous, and is a slight on the importance of fatherhood.

"What the statistics do show is that after the Family Court process only 23 per cent of fathers are left with a day-to-day caring role with their children.

"As far as I am concerned that does not mirror social reality, and God forbid if it ever did," concluded Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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