Address Public Concerns About The Family Court
Family Lawyers Must Address Public Concerns About The Family Court
"Family lawyers must address the public's concerns if they are to restore any credibility to themselves and the Family Court", Families Apart Require Equality (FARE) spokesperson Darryl Ward said today. He was responding to comments by Simon Maude who claimed in an open letter on behalf of a group of prominent family lawyers that the Family Court was not biased.
"We challenge Mr Maude to address just a few of the real issues raised below."
"For instance, Mr Maude claims about 90% of custody and access cases are resolved without going to the Family Court. But the vast majority of cases are settled with one parent (almost always the father) being reduced to a second class non-custodial parent who has virtually no family influence. Do Mr Maude and his colleagues think that most children and fathers actually want the father cut out of the family? Does Mr Maude realise that the reason the vast majority of children and fathers reluctantly accept this intolerable situation is because the Court and its mediation process is so stacked against them that they have no other option? The lack of use of the Family Court that Mr Maude is so proud of occurs because the Court does not deliver justice or have public credibility, not because it is succeeding."
"Mr Maude claims the Family Court puts the welfare of the children as paramount. Mr Maude must explain then why New Zealand has close to the worst levels of child welfare in the western world (such as child abuse and youth suicide). Tell us Mr Maude, why the worst child welfare problems occur in sole parent households of the type that the Family Court favours. Can Mr Maude explain why the Family Court never follows up to check if its judgements actually help the children?"
"Mr Maude claims Judges are not gender biased. Perhaps Mr Maude would care to comment on why Family Court judges treat domestic violence alleged to be committed by women totally differently from that alleged to be committed by men."
"It is clear from the spotlight that has been focussed on the Family Court's activities that the public has grave reservations about both its operations, and the destructive family law the Family Court has to administer."
"It must be remembered that lawyers like Mr Maude make large incomes from the status quo, along with the counsellors, psychologists, counsels for children and other so-called professionals. They refer each tragic and avoidable case between each other in ever maddening circles of the out of control gravy train that the Family Court system has become. This is why lawyers are so vehemently opposed to family law reform, and why they oppose the adoption of a less competitive system that would reduce litigation and lawyers' incomes."
"If we are really going to put children's interests first, we must start by at least putting their interests ahead of those who profit from their suffering", Ward concluded.