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


Family court consumers launch their own justice system

Family court consumers launch their own justice system

Auckland based Parents 4 Justice have today launched their resolve to the Family Court.

Already many of their clients are writing parenting orders usurping the courts authority and contracting it out to a third party experienced in child development. This party encourages the parents to reach agreement based on the child’s needs, but ultimately has decision making power if they cannot and is accountable to an independent body. Should a party compromise obvious resolve the person who is attempting to cooperate will be duly rewarded.

“ A stark contrast to the Family Court who entertain psychologically abusive parents creating issue because it keeps them gainfully employed ” says Auckland based Parents 4 Justice founder Amy McDonald.

“The changes announced today by the Family Court will do little to curb the injustice that exists there. These reforms are the same package wrapped differently” says McDonald.

“Lawyers are trained in adversarial tactics that exacerbate conflict they are not trained in child development, they advocate on behalf of their clients not the child and seem to not be aware of some of the research, especially around shared care that exists yet they push for it” says McDonald.

Shared care is often argued on the grounds of shared responsibility between parents but McDonald says that is rarely the case.

“Typically one parent takes on the majority of the childcare because they have reduced their hours of work or have more flexible work arrangements, whilst the other compromises the child’s schedule (activities and appointments) because they are unable to accommodate it in their contact time. Despite the child often being placed with caregivers, parents who are unavailable because of work commitments will not compromise their contact(146 over nights or 40% constitutes shared care) because it would cost them in child support. This puts further pressure on the main caregiver financially in being able to meet the child’s needs in the time in which they have contact. This person often also has day to day care and is also responsible for all costs associated with raising the child” says McDonald.

Anecdotally many of her clients report that their ex partner will spend more on lawyers fighting for shared care than paying child support to enable at least one parent to be in the child’s life more rather than the involvement of both parents being compromised.

The cost and time it takes for the Family Court to make decisions McDonald cites as a key injustice which the court themselves recognise.

“To have an issue heard before a judge (a defended hearing) costs $30,000 per party. Many of our clients went to court on a single issue and up to a decade later are still in a quagmire of legal argument, CYF’s investigations and psychologists reports” says McDonald.

Albert Einstein said 'you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it'. "Neither can the judiciary solve this problem especially when they are paid by the system - that is a conflict of interest. Court consumers know the issues and therefore are the most well qualified to resolve them" says McDonald.

Over a decade ago the employment court abdicated decision making responsibility to an independent body, the Employment Relations Authority. Full time professionals are employed within it and therefore there is no financial payoff to exacerbating conflict.

“This is what we have modelled our own justice system on and we encourage court users who deem the family court to be ineffective to contact us. Similarly we are looking for professionals trained in child development who would be interested in acting as a third party to resolve disagreements in a timely and cost effective manner to do so, two hours at the most, not years” says McDonald.
Parents for Justice is an Auckland based support group representing court consumers nationwide who deem their children to have not been served justice by the Family Court. For more information contact them at info@parents4justice.co.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news