Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The GREAT SHARED PARENTING SWINDLE
Real Fathers for Justice - News » The GREAT SHARED PARENTING SWINDLE
11 June 2012: The GREAT SHARED PARENTING SWINDLE
Posted by: Stu G
The industry of kiddy - fiddling marches on:
The only changes coming are the slogans used
After years of delays, Committees, Family Justice Reviews etc etc the Government plans to amend Section 1 of the Children Act 1989 by inserting a couple of little prompts.
The changes to the Act will be along the lines of that parenting should be "shared" - and that children should have a "meaningful relationship" with both parents.
And that’s it.
No definition of “shared parenting.”
No definition of a “meaningful relationship”
No definition of when it should or should not happen.
In other words, we're back where we started. We have gone full circle without travelling anywhere, which is what normally happens if you don't think to unstick the brakes on one side of an old vehicle. Sometimes you need to use a hammer when the brakes are particularly stubborn. After several million years of evolution, a few Whitehall supremos and politicians are unable to define the concepts they themselves propose.
So, instead of endless wrangles in the courts, about what the undefined "best interests of the child" are, there's a New Era coming. Where we can have endless disputes about what the undefined concept of "sharing" means. Where obstructive resident parents will have free rein to say "there's a meaningful relationship - already".
Plus ca change...
Yesterday, a senior source likened the equivocal amendments to proclaiming that all washing machines should function perfectly - without providing a way to actually mend their standard fault. No principals are to be stated, no tools are to be issued, nothing is to be put right. Cases will still be maladministered en masse. There will be no significant change. Parents will still be advised not to litigate: and, parents will still not be given the tools (in the form of a workable definition) to enable them not to litigate. Every case will still be different. CAFCASS, unable to define how much contact there should be in contact cases, will still be flummoxed by how much contact there should be in shared parenting disputes.
Lord Justice Coleridge’s warnings were prophetic. New procedures; old principals i.e. none at all. The current and next generations of children now head for the same past: lots of untrained, meddling court officers and social workers and judges operating without clear guidance and principles. And, even before an applicant-parent gets to a court system that won’t have changed a bit, there’ll be the barriers and severe delays of “Mediation” and “Parental Information Programs.” Where mediation favours the obstructive parent, and the PIP courses lecture parents on the concepts of shared parenting and meaningful contact - without being able to define them. Children will continue to be separated from their non resident parents for long enough to succumb to parental alienation; then social workers and judges will decide cases using the discredited “wishes and feelings” doctrine - aided and abetted by CAFCASS. Which still won't have worked out what sort of recommendations it should make in what circumstances.
The Government never needed a new Act of Parliament to change the way that the Courts applied the law. All it needed was to change the way that the courts applied it. That task is and was straightfortward. It's procedure. A template for a new model-court system to deliver shared parenting sits neatly within the current legal framework. The proposal had and has the support of senior judges, two governments, the Family Law Bar Association and leading child development specialists. But, instead of useful change, it looks like we're heading for more talk. But no trousers. It's empty spin. The same old procrastination. The same old bollocks.