Sadly, the Labor Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 has been passed in the House of Representatives in the Federal Parliament, Canberra. The Bill is now before a Senate Inquiry. Submissions close this Friday, 23 June 2023.

We believe it is critical that as many people as possible send in at least a one-sentence email submission to the inquiry on behalf of the children of Australia. Read Professor Patrick Parkinson’s excellent submission here. John Stapleton also did a great job here.

Why am I so personally passionate to see this bill stopped?

My mum and dad were both wonderful, but they could not get on. There was no violence on my dad’s part, but more than once on my mum’s part. So, because of the consistent loud disagreements, my 7-year-old brother and I (9 years old) were almost permanently separated from our dad.

One day, we were both called to the school principal’s office. My mum, the welfare officer and the principal said that we were going to be put in a boy’s home at Moss Vale. We cried, and cried, and cried, and cried. Thankfully, they relented.

Today we would have been some of the 70% of children who, after going through the Family Law Court, in most cases, never see their father again. For further insight, watch my conversation with Fatherhood Advocate John Stapleton below.

The book by John Stapleton, Chaos at the Crossroads, tells the story of the long struggle for shared-parenting-style family law reform in Australia. Sadly, such a civilised outcome for separating couples was never to be.

The book’s bio info tells the story well,

The Family Court rapidly became a law unto itself, imposing sole mother custody on separating families, despite all the documented harm of this style of custody order, denying fathers’ contact with their children on the flimsiest of excuses.

Overly legalistic, enormously bureaucratic, secretive, and unaccountable, defying public norms of decency and probity, it soon became one of the country’s most hated institutions. To this day it has remained remarkably resistant to reform and indifferent to the public odium it attracts.

Chaos at the Crossroads concludes: Successive governments from both left and right have failed to listen to their constituents and respond to their concerns. They have resorted to vested inquiries in the hands of the mandarins and publicly funded elites whose feigned attempts to listen to the views of ordinary people have then been heavily reinterpreted…

“In terms of human suffering, the Australian public has already paid dearly for the failure to reform outdated, badly administered and inappropriate institutions dealing with family law and child support – and for the failure of governments to take seriously the experiences and voices of the men and women most directly affected by them. The country’s failure to reform family law and child support is ultimately a failure of democracy itself.”

See the below video of a younger version of yours truly campaigning against the Gillard Government’s terrible Family Law changes in 2011.

The team at Dads4Kids first wrote about this horrific bill in February of this year in an article titled ‘Family Law Reform Fiasco – Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic’. Regrettably, the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 is now worse than it was when it was released for public consultation. See our article introduction below:

“The proposed Family Law Amendment legislation by the Labor Government will be another case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, instead of fixing the hole in the hull to stop the ship going down.

Many of the reform proposals, such as considering the best interests of the child, are well intentioned, but unless they solve the fundamental problem, they really become another layer of bureaucracy to waste taxpayer’s money.

Furthermore, the language of the proposed draft family Law Reform bill is very vague and ill-defined. It will assuredly add hundreds of millions of dollars to the legal bills of divorcing mothers and fathers over the next 5 years if not billions of dollars.

This is not a small reform. It is a massive reform. To say it is not a major reform is a lie. The proposed vague Family Law Amendment legislation will require many new legal precedents to be set, thus requiring expensive litigation.  

Many cases, in need of a new precedent, will end up in the High Court. The lawyers will get rich, and the children will get poorer. So much for the best interests of the children.

Sadly, both mothers and fathers will inadvertently be hurt even more so than in the already vexatious litigation process. The new amendments will result in far more ‘winner takes all outcomes.  The children will be the ultimate losers.”

The team at Dads4Kids believes this reform is morally wrong for at least three reasons.

  1. The rejection of the overwhelming consensus of bipartisan Family Law Reform over the last 30 years is immoral.
  2. To call this Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 a minor reform when in fact it is a major reform is a lie and lying to the public is immoral.
  3. To say it is a reform that promotes the best interests of children is a lie and lying to the public is immoral.

Currently, under the now horrific Family Law System, there is a faint hope that children might still have equal access to both parents after a breakup. This new reform will ultimately rob children of almost any hope of equal access to both parents after family breakdown. This is our children’s biological birthright.

Please send in a one-sentence submission to the inquiry on behalf of the children of Australia.

Tell your friends to do the same. Always be respectful and always in your own words.

This is all about numbers, not about the length of your submission. Give them your address. They need to know you are a real person who might vote differently at the next election.

Submissions close at midnight this Friday 23 June 2023, but they might consider late ones. We hear a lot about adult rights, but very little about the rights of children. Please tell the Senate Inquiry our children’s rights are important.

Send your submission to:
The Secretary of the Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee
Email address: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

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Photo by Pixabay.

Published On: June 21st, 20233 CommentsTags: , , ,

About the Author: Warwick Marsh

Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker. Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”

3 Comments

  1. Ernest Brockington October 23, 2023 at 2:33 am - Reply

    Thank you for supporting the kids , my name is Ernest Brockington we will keep you and family in prayer. We need more people to know the importance of having both parents in the kids lives

  2. Andrew November 30, 2023 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Support Fathers, Sons, Grandfathers, Families, Attachment Figure Fathers to Children, Same Gender Parent & Child Outcomes.

    Support Attachment Theory of Father & Sons with Court Experts. Mothers are not the only attachment figure, and there’s proven evidence that same gender parent with same gender child is in the child’s best interest for development as they grow. Thers also proven evidence that there can be more than one attachment figure in children’s lives, and they can also be Grandparents, and if there are two attachment figures such as both parents, this is perfect for Equal Shared Care Arrangements/Outcomes. If same gender parent and Child such as Fathers & Sons, this is perfect also for the Fathers as the Primary Carer or Sole Carer Arrangements for Development, not the opposite Gender Parent, but can visit the opposite gender Parent to maintain a Relationship.

    Support Male Victims of Child Abuse or Domestic Violence from Female Perpetrators/Abusers. This is normally a Victim-Father and survivor of Domestic Violence from the Mother, (partner/wife) a Victim-Son (or even a daughter) and survivor of Child Abuse or Neglect from the Mother and also both the Father and the Son/Child as the Victims/Survivors of the Abuser/Violent/Perpetrator Mothers. There is a lot of Abuser/Violent Mothers/Females out there that go un-recorded to everyone, or Males are to ashamed to report as well made to fell its hopeless or it goes against them if going through family courts or DVO courts or authorities of Police-Child Protection Unit or Dept of Child Safety etc. Victim Males of all ages and generations from Children or Parents or Grandparents fall through the cracks in society and local communities and any support networks is very limited only promoting Womans Movement/Feminist Groups in the System, which is different when you read for example the family law acts or child protection law acts or domestic/family violence law acts that state the words child or parent or male, compared to the wording or girl or mother or female etc. Even the media the tv we watch the news or even movies only portray males as the bad one and females cant do anything wrong. Child Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Psyc, not listen to child/youth views, attachment teory damage etc) or Domestic Violance (Physical, Emotional, Psyc, Mental, Financial, Post Separation, Racial etc) and other related such as Racial Abuse or Undermine of father-Relations/Childs-Attachment with Father or Grandparents is all HARM. And is always either treated on a smaller scale compared to females, when it goes bothe ways on a equal scale, it happens alot to males, and also os porbally a reason there is suicide rate, or foe children and youth street runnaway kids or youth crime that the system fails its justice to those who are the vulnerable and who need it most, not because of gender being a femaile and the me to movement.

    I am aware of the new family law act 2023. Thers tow ways I’m trying to make sence of it though, in compared to the previous family law act 1975 with its amendments 2006 (introduced shared care and responsibility) and 2012 (introduced dv&family violence).

    in regard to the previous Fam law Act, there was always a sliding scale between Meaningful and Continuing Relationships and that would recognize Attachment Theory as well, and I’m a strong believe with this as I believe no parent should be cut out of Childrens lives all together, but saying this this is hard to have or work with or decide and which way to go if there’s Child Abuse and/or Domestic Violence and other Harmful Behaviors, especially a history of it.
    In the same previous Fam Law Act, I realize it had on the other sliding scale the Need to Protect Children from harm of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence etc., but again I think this fails a lot of Victim Males especially the victim fathers or victim sons or other male family members, or the court or depending what kind of court expert reoprt writer who makes family reports for a court, wheather they still put the relations over the need to protect from harm more or they blame those (male victims) who are raise this or seen as a allegation taht if you think this of the other party/parent such as the mother, you wont provide a meaningful relation if they live with the male father (who is say the safe parent), they way it was before form cases gone before the court, you couldnt raise abuse or violance of any nature in order to be a succesful to either obtain a primary/sole care arrangement father or a equal shared care father,

  3. Andrew November 30, 2023 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Continued to my last comment I sent today and a believer in the topics,

    Under the New Family Law Act, as mentioned in previous comments about I’m trying to understand the difference more with it and compare it to the previous Family Law Act we did have. As we left off, I was talking about the previous fam law act.

    So, in regard to the new current law act. I have noticed there is more empathies and as a primary consideration now, where it use to be on a sliding scale the two primary considerations were the Meaningful Relations on a sliding scale with Need to Protect from Harm.

    Now under the new Law Act, the empasis of relationships has been changed and not as the only one/or the main one/or on a sliding scale, and has the wording “Meaningful” removed, and chaged to “Safe”, so it relationships are a benifit as long as they are safe relationships.

    The now list in order or Empasis of the Primary Considerations now state as first:
    1. Saffer Arrangements for Children but also a Parent or family member who are a victim of Child Abuse or Domestic/Family Violence and any other harm from the abuser/perpetrator, so arrangements would have to be made in this regards against the abuser.

    2. Any Views Expressed of Children, it doesn’t mention any particular age or Level of Understanding like it used to in the previous Law Act, as either the child or young person had to be older like 12 yrs. and over and with that had to have a level or understanding what they are trying to express. Under the new fam law act, it removed the wording the “Age” and the “Level of Understanding” and the “Maturity” words, makes it now more open for any aged child which would in that regard help them if they are younger and a victim of abuse. Why should a child or young person have to keep waiting to be heard and taken serous whether it’s about they say want to live with dad or they are victim of abuse and fear being or visiting the mother in that regard. Also, the new family law act does put more serious emphasis on children and young people expressing their views and feelings and wishes as a “Primary Consideration”, where before it was only liked at as a “Secondary Consideration.”

    3. Capacity of a parent especially providing the children’s needs, this is especially for a parent who is in tune with their child or teens needs as they grow and change. (A lot of child-focused and family-orientated-fathers are in tune with their needs and want to be involved on a daily basis and want to be either a primary carer or sole carer or if parents co-parent with each other a lot of these fathers especially with both parents balanced work lives want to be an Equal Shared Carer or at a Shared Carer that gradually increases to a Equal Shared Carer giving role, and are always a positive role model).

    4. there’s a consideration here that stats if a parent is unfit and may have mental health issues etc, and other related unfit issues that makes them affect their ability to parent their children etc.

    5. Then there’s the consideration here about, the benefit of children having a relationship with their parents, as long as its safe to do so, otherwise safe arrangements to be put in place to allow safety before the relationships.

    then th Secoundary Considerations:
    1. Th right for indigenous Children to have their cultural and beliefs in their vives in the arrangements etc…

    Even we are a ulti-cultural background family, even i came from one from my parents.

    other:

    What I don’t agree with if the new family law act in regards to abuse and violence in terms of safety first etc., I don’t agree if this only helps the woman and male victims of any age are ignore and the justice system fails them and they continue to fall through the cracks and if this is a way womans movement groups are trying to overpower males in Family Law matters or DV Matters or Child Protection Matters etc.. Then I strongly DONT AGREE with it.

    Secoundly, I don’t agree with the new family law act in regard to the removal of Shared Parental Responsibility (Equal-Decision-Making) and for Equal Shared Care Arrangements or Shared Care Arrangement (Equal-Time). This should of remained i believe, but treat it wit caution, say if there is Abuse or Violence then a separated family wouldn’t be able or willing to have this arrangement, but if there’s no Abuse or Violence etc. then this would be the best opportunity for a separated family especially with younger children to at least try as a starting point, and if it doesn’t work later have it reviewed if the case, especially the children’s expressed views, not the parents views (parental conflict, as could be managed through counselling and parental courses, or family therapy).

    Thank You
    I hope This Helps get a Understanding, As I am as Well, maybe more support to those who need it most and not just a biased perception to only help females, single mothers trying to gain power, children, false accusations to the males who are the victims of the circumstances. Including Womans Femi sit Movements and Biased Court Experts and Biased ICLS, and there’s is a special Direct Representative for older Children called a “Direct-Representative that legal aid funds. and other Advocates out there.

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