Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Family court changes likely to hit kids hardest

Andrew

LITTLE

Justice Spokesperson

27 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Family court changes likely to hit kids hardest

Changes to the way Family Court cases are run are unlikely to improve resolution rates of family disputes, and could make things much worse, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

The government's reforms limit access to legal advice and legal aid, make it harder for children of separating couples to be individually represented and include mandatory mediation, except in cases where violence is alleged.

"Make no mistake. The changes to the Family Court have little to do with improving resolution rates. They are mostly about saving money on legal aid and children's representation.

"At the moment around 80 per cent of cases going to the Family Court are resolved without going before a judge. The parties, including affected children, are represented throughout and have access to legal advice, and most cases are settled.

"The cases going to court are the difficult and intractable ones, or are cases where domestic violence is a factor.

"The idea that couples and their children forced into mediation without equal access to legal advice, and with only the separating parents and a mediator on a fixed fee involved in the discussion, will somehow achieve a better result than we get now requires an extraordinary leap of faith.

"Mediators in the new process cannot give legal advice and have an incentive to achieve an agreement in the shortest amount of time possible. This will hardly give people confidence in any agreement they are being asked to sign.

"My pick is a lot of agreements will be made that parties are not committed to. I cannot imagine the damage this will do them and children whose voices will be largely silenced in the process.

"Labour in Government will review the operation of the new procedures and ensure parties in family court proceedings, including children, have proper access to legal advice and the conditions for negotiating agreements are safe.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news