Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Family Court Has Blood On Its Hands – Yet Again!

FAMILIES APART REQUIRE EQUALITY (FARE)

17 January 2014: For immediate release.

MEDIA RELEASE

Family Court Has Blood On Its Hands – Yet Again!

"The Family Court has been a major contributor to a succession of child murders in New Zealand over recent years", Bruce Tichbon, spokesperson for Families Apart Require Equality (FARE), stated today.

"As a nation we are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in Dunedin this week of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, and their father Edward Livingstone.  The Dunedin children were just nine and six years old respectively.

Yet there has been a sickening succession of such incidents in New Zealand in recent years. In 2000 in Nelson, Alice, Maria and Cherie Perkin, were murdered by their mother, Rosemary Perkin, who also killed herself. The Nelson girls were just eight, six and 23 months old respectively.  In 1995 Tiffany, Holly and Claudia Bristol were murdered by their father, who also killed himself at the same time during acrimonious litigation. The Bristol children were just nine, five and two when they died.

The Livingstone, Perkin and Bristol children were young, healthy, and in the prime of life, till they died at the hands of one of their parents who was locked in a destructive Court battle.

In these cases the problem is the Family Court system, which almost invariably encourages separating parents to compete with each other in a winner-takes-all battle to have control of the children. It is the custodial parent who will get effective ownership and control of the children, and all the benefits that come with them. The Family Court imposes a win-lose outcome. In this environment parents are driven to fight over the most precious thing in their lives, their children.
Parents become so desperate they become irrational, and faced with potentially losing their children (or control of their children), the parents can and are driven to the extreme of murdering themselves, and their children.

The Family Court urgently needs to change its procedures to prevent more children dying in this way. In the USA, and many other countries, a far better system known as ’shared parenting’ has been adopted.

Instead of the parents being forced to compete with each other to be the ‘winner’ or sole physical custodian of the children, they are both made physical custodians. The parents are encouraged to work together instead of competing with each other. If one parent is uncooperative, they stand to have the Court remove their joint custodial status. Thus, instead of parents being forced to fight, they are encouraged to cooperate.

The benefits of shared parenting are dramatic. The number of ongoing court cases is halved, as arguing between parents is greatly reduced.
The divorce rate is dramatically reduced, as is the uptake of social welfare benefits. The only negative outcome is reduced earnings for lawyers, psychologists and others who profit from the suffering endured by children caused by the current regime.

Under current New Zealand family law the Family Court could more often exercise effective shared parenting, but the Judges for some inexplicable reason will not consider shared parenting as the preferred outcome to protect the welfare of children. In 2000, MP Muriel Newman introduced a Private Member’s Bill that aimed to reduce the tensions between parents by favoring the shared parenting model that has been so successful overseas. The Government rejected Newman’s Bill outright, and would not even allow it to go to a select committee.

In Dunedin this week children died once again because the Family Court, and the Government, are not fulfilling their responsibilities to the community, and refuse to use up-to-date and non-adversarial techniques to resolve child custody and access disputes. The Family Court is breaking the fundamental principles of the laws it is supposed to administer by consistently not acting in the best interests of children.

FARE calls on the Principal Family Court Judge, and the Government, to publicly state what they are doing to eliminate the tensions between divorcing parents and reduce the risk of this latest tragedy in Dunedin being repeated yet again, and again, which will most certainly happen again if nothing is done", concluded Tichbon.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Christchurch Fires: Friday Morning Update

Slightly cooler weather conditions and higher humidity with some light rain having fallen early this morning is welcome relief for emergency services fighting the Port Hills fire in Christchurch..

It has been a quiet night with a few minor flare ups contained by fire crews. Thermal imaging is being used to identify hot spots. There is a lot of work to do to clean up the whole fire area and this will go on for several days.

Te Hapua Welfare Centre remains open with a small amount of people staying there. Nga Hau E Wha Marae and the Selwyn welfare centre have been closed. Police cordons are still in place and these areas are still considered dangerous. The situation is being constantly reassessed and we will provide further information as soon as it is available. More>>

 
 

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Youth Guarantee: Upskilling Fund Used For Retraining

News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What Trump May Mean For Us

So far not much effort has been put into tracing the possible implications for New Zealand of the stream of executive orders and tweets that have been pouring from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we may not simply be drive-by rubberneckers at this car wreck for much longer. More>>

Pike River Select Committee: Solid Energy Chair Talks Resignation Over Re-Entry

Andy Coupe, chair of failed state-owned coal miner Solid Energy, said at a fiery select committee this morning that he would consider resigning if the government orders the company to re-enter the Pike River coal mine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Candidacy Troubles

So its official. Greg O’Connor will indeed be Labour’s candidate in Ohariu and – as also signaled well in advance – the Greens will not be standing a candidate in the electorate. At this point, you have to question the validity of the Greens’ excuse – “we need to change the government” – for tagging along.... More>>

ALSO:

Post-Shooting Security: Guards Say WINZ Safety Protocols Unsafe

“The safety issue has moved from inside WINZ offices to outside where security guards are isolated in front of locked doors with nowhere to retreat if they need help,” says Len. More>>

ALSO:

PM’s Press Conference: Housing, Housing, Housing

Questions from the gallery focused on housing, asking about the Auckland Unitary Plan, the potential skills and resource shortage and whether NZ would seek help from overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news