I must thank Christchurch Family Court psychologists Michael Davidson and John Watson along with sinister Court appointed child counsel Adrienne Edwards for poisoning my daughters against me. These sick creeps brainwashed my children with the assistance of scum Ashburton lawyers Paul Finnigan, Geoff Kean and Chris Robertson. All these people have lied about the truthful interactions between a dad and his daughters ,meanwhile court appointed Christchurch lawyers Siobhan McNulty and two faced Tony Greig actively worked against dad. Do not trust these filthy low down types. These so called family court professionals are guilty of destroying two young girls and the death of my mother. I wonder how many families and children these creeps destroy in a lifetime? Can I sue these scum of the earth for the horrific damage they have caused? No wonder I had no show of obtaining equal custody when so many criminals from the family court were working against my daughters best interests.
The Age (Melbourne)24 March 2009
Feuding parents unlikely to get equal custody
By Carol Nader
Family Court judges seem reluctant to order that children spend equal time with parents in the most bitter and complex disputes, with only 15 per cent of such cases resulting in a 50-50 parenting split.
Mothers are more likely to be granted the most time with their children in the most acrimonious cases contested in court, according to Family Court figures.Of mothers involved in contested cases, 60 per cent were granted main residence, or the majority of time.Of fathers in such cases, 17 per cent were granted the majority of time. The analysis is based on almost 1,450 cases contested in court that were finalised in 2007-08.
Changes to family law that came into effect in July 2006 moved towards a presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and an obligation for the Family Court to consider shared time between parents when it was thought to be in the best interests of children.
The figures suggest that in most of the more acrimonious cases, judges do not consider it in the best interests of children to evenly divide their time between parents, or even to have a more lopsided shared-care arrangement.
Of fathers involved in contested cases, 14 per cent were granted between 30 per cent and 45 per cent of time with their children.
Most separated couples come to their own agreements without going through the court. Matters that end up before the court are the most difficult and contentious. But it is unknown whether that has altered since the Howard government changes, as the figures for before 2006 were not released.
The Family Court granted 50-50 parenting in just 15 per cent of contested cases, but the picture is similar for parents who come to their own agreement and have it finalised by the court. A separate analysis of 2,700 of those cases shows that 19 per cent ended up in a 50-50 arrangement.
Family law specialist Caroline Counsel, vice-president of the Law Institute of Victoria, said judges and parents always had to make decisions about what was best for children.
"It is not in the children's best interests to be put in highly conflictual households where there are two households at war with each other," she said. "And all you're doing is accelerating the conflict if you are
dividing a child's time in half. You are not giving that child a place where they can grow away from the conflict."
Australian National University associate professor in sociology Bruce Smyth said having parents share the care of their children was a growing trend, but there was a need to assess how children fared in these arrangements.
"Social change more broadly all around the world is moving towards increases in time sharing," he said. He said it was difficult enough to make shared care work when the parents got along, let alone when there was conflict.
"Kids often get used as spies, messengers and go-betweens ... when kids are stuck in a tug-of-war, it can take its toll," he said.
"The arrangements might be lasting if they're 50-50, but it might not mean that they're working well for kids."