Australia turns back on children and fathers

For the first time in Australian history these amendments were passed through parliament without bipartisan political support, and then only after a late night stifling of debate in the Senate. These changes in effect give unsubstantiated allegations of family violence primacy above the rights of the child to an ongoing and meaningful relationship with both parents whilst effectively removing legislated penalties for perjury. [1]

The Australian Parliament has passed the bill aimed at scuttling the 2006 amendments to the Family Law Act that promised children greater access to their fathers.

The Howard government’s modest attempt at making shared parenting the rule in Australia was met with a firestorm of protest from anti-father forces across the country.  Lacking any comprehensive data for their claim, they nevertheless argued that the 2006 reforms endangered children.  That of course was premised on the notion that fathers are uniquely harmful to children.  The fact that, in Australia as in the United States, mothers commit more abuse and neglect of children than do fathers is a concept the anti-dad crowd preferred to ignore.  They shouted to the skies their narrative of paternal violence, irrespective of known science.

It should come as no surprise that the tool by which children are to be denied any contact with their fathers is the concept of domestic violence.  Here in the U.S. we have sound science showing that, when one state attempted to bring greater equality to custody decisions, a single thing thwarted the effort – claims of domestic violence.  Over 80% of those were made by mothers and separate studies show custody evaluators estimating up to 70% of those to be false.  In Australia, surveys show that 46% of Australians believe that mothers make up false claims of abuse in order to improve their position in a custody case.

Claims of abuse are, then, a free shot.  Anyone can make them based on anything or nothing.  If it’s proven that they were fabricated, there’s nothing anyone can do.   The certain result will be a family court system inundated by claims of abuse, few of which can be objectively verified.  Any family attorney who fails to use even the most trivial infractions against a parent will not be doing his/her job.

The system of family law in Australia is virulently anti-father.  The culture of the family law system demonstrates that every day.  That’s why we see fathers climbing to the top of tall bridges protesting their treatment and 70% of Australians saying they approve of the action.  You don’t see mothers doing that.  No law, however gender-neutral on its face, will overcome the learned anti-father bias of the judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, etc. who populate family courts.

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