Children’s ‘Nightmare from Hell’ – The Labor Party Family Law Amendment Bill 2023
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 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.”
“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.
The rejection of the overwhelming consensusof bipartisan Family Law Reform over the last 30 years is immoral.
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.
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: email@example.com
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.”
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.