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Focus on children a positive step says Families Commission

2 August 2012

Media release

Focus on children a positive step says Families Commission

The Families Commission says it welcomes the focus on the needs of children in the package of Family Court reforms announced by the Minister of Justice today.

Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson, says research strongly suggests that children benefit from ongoing relationships with both parents after separation unless there are concerns for the children’s welfare.

Mr Davidson says most separating parents are able to put the needs of their children first and negotiate arrangements in a fair and respectful manner.

“The quality of that parental relationship and the ability of the parents to communicate with each other is absolutely critical when care arrangements are being put in place.

“Our research showed that parents who were able to co-operate and make arrangements by themselves were more satisfied with the arrangements they made for their children than those with imposed arrangements.

“It makes sense to emphasise, support and promote communication, conflict resolution skills and on-going cooperation between parents. The Families Commission welcomes reforms to Family Court processes that will promote early resolution to family disputes.

He says, “Accessibility will be an important consideration to ensure families have the support they need to resolve parenting disputes.

“The Families Commission will provide a further submission once the new legislation has been drafted.”

The submission by the Families Commission to the Ministry of Justice on Reviewing the Family Court is available here

Ends.

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