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Independent calls for an overhaul of the family courts
Having spent several months investigating family’s SA and children’s protection issues, and having spent several years in the Family courts self represented, one issue that stands out is the horrific fact that “The Biggest or best liar wins”.
Our family court system and recent parliamentary reports of its performance clearly indicate the need to address this issue as a primary goal, accusations of child abuse are used by many as a tool to secure primary parenting rights rather then to paint an honest picture of the family dynamics.
Making matters worse is the lack of accountability in general, with orders of the court ignored seemingly with out consequence.
Having personally witnessed genuine complaints of abuse fall on death ears, and in many cases tied up for years in the family court labyrinth, compounded by many recent media articles exposing stories of children being ordered into unsafe situations, our priorities must be to see some bloody accountability.
Lie detectors, which are widely used overseas, should become part of the debate, timely action on accusations of child abuse should be paramount, and false testimony met with harsh penalties.
I have always felt that the only early intervention is by that of our lawyers, rather than any attempt for all the parties involved to seek the most equitable and honest out come, for the sake of their children’s best interests and that of any chance of maintaining their sanity.
Early intervention by way of professional guidance, and attempts to ascertain the perspective of the children before all the emotions of separation and the distress caused by the whole family court process drag parents away from the truth would go a long way in favour of an honest and equitable outcome for all the parties involved. Lawyers should be kept out of the picture for as long as possible, to ensure the “The Best Lawyer” does not override the best outcome for the families involved.
Its best I not touch on the Families SA report in any further detail than to say the whole process is a bloody mess, and action should be the number one priority for whichever government is elected to power after this weekend.
If we as a society cannot protect our children, and the sanctity of the family unit, it reflects very poorly on us as a community, and on our future in general.
Mark M Aldridge Independent Candidate for the Legislative Council “Change is Necessary” P O Box 1073 Virginia SA 5120 08 82847482 / 0403379500 www.markmaldridge.com