Australia's Men's Rights Association
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Child safety first in overhaul of family law

Herald Sun, November 11, 2010

THE Gillard Government has unveiled radical changes to family law that redefine domestic violence, place greater weight on child safety and could weaken the Howard government's shared parenting laws.

The changes, which are directed at cases involving abusive parents, elevate the safety of children to the top priority in custody disputes.

Whenever a court considers that this goal is in conflict with the right of a child to have a relationship with both parents, it will be required to give greater weight to child safety.

The change is contained in draft legislation released for discussion yesterday by Attorney-General Robert McClelland.

The proposed changes to the Family Law Act come after Labor MPs, particularly women, raised concerns that the Howard Government laws had gone too far and were hurting vulnerable children. Read More …


Safety first in family law changes

The Australian, 11 November 2010, By Chris Merritt and Patricia Karvelas

The Gillard government has unveiled radical changes to family law.

The changes would redefine domestic violence, place greater weight on child safety and could weaken the Howard government's shared parenting laws.

The changes, which are directed at cases involving abusive parents, elevate the safety of children to the top priority in custody disputes.

Whenever a court considers that this goal is in conflict with the right of a child to have a relationship with both parents, it will be required to give greater weight to child safety.

The change is contained in draft legislation released for discussion yesterday by Attorney-General Robert McClelland. Read More …


Joint custody recommendations win praise

Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( ABC), 29 December 2003

Parents' groups and welfare organisations are welcoming most of the findings from a federal parliamentary inquiry into child custody arrangements.

The joint parliamentary committee is recommending a major shake-up of the nation's child custody system, including significant changes to family law, courts and custody support payments.

In particular, the committee recommends a presumption of equal responsibility for children when a family breaks down, but has shied away from legislating it. Read More …


Australian Government Considers Child Custody Changes

ABC Radio Australia News, 30 December 2003

Australia's Minister for Children, Larry Anthony, says the government will seriously consider all the recommendations in the parliamentary report recommending a Families Tribunal to deal with child custody issues in a marriage break-up.

Mr Anthony says the government has already acknowledged that the current system needs to be improved.

But the Minister adds establishing a Families Tribunal will take time. Read More …


Justice system let me down

Illawarra Mercury, Australia, by Michele Tydd, December 18, 2010. Section: News, Page: 5

AN Austinmer father says he is angry and bewildered by a judge's comments to brand him a sook for going to police after his former partner assaulted him in front of their eight-year-old son.

Judge Paul Conlon upheld Tanya Austin's appeal over a lower court conviction for the assault and said police should have told Martin Mondzheyovsky to "man up".

"What really concerns me is the way the judge trivialised a clear-cut case of domestic violence and belittled me for reporting the assault," Mr Mondzheyovsky said yesterday.

"I'm a law-abiding citizen and believe in women's rights, but I also believe men are entitled to the same protection when it comes to this sort of thing." Read More …


'Boo-hoo': judge axes attack case

Illawarra Mercury, Australia, by Bree Fuller By BREE FULLE, Section: NewsPage: 4

A STRUGGLING single mum who hit her ex with a plastic bottle after he bragged to her about his surfing holiday, while paying her minimal child support, has been vindicated in court.

Office manager Tanya Austin was "at breaking point" when she lashed out and threw a plastic bottle at the face of her ex-partner on September 26.  Read More …


Dads face tough fight for kids under proposed new custody laws

Herald Sun (Melbourne), by Phillip Hudson, 29 January 2010

Separated fathers could find it harder to secure 50-50 custody of their children, and women should be more easily able to raise concerns about violence, under proposed changes to the nation's custody laws.

The Family Court may also be asked to apply a new "triage" system to more quickly assess urgent risks relating to violence, relocation, substance abuse or mental-health issues.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the Government was considering the suggestions after he released three reports, which looked at hot-button family-law issues such as shared parenting and violence.

Three years ago the Howard government introduced shared parenting rules, which required the Family Court to set arrangements where both parents could be involved in their children's lives after a divorce. Read More …


Joint parenting must stay: men's rights group

The Australian, by Caroline Overington, 29 January 2010

Men's rights groups will fight any planned rollback of the shared parenting laws, saying reports released yesterday prove an overwhelming majority of Australians support the right of children to know both their parents after divorce. Read More …


Scholar sees laws on harassment as feminists' weapon

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, October 1999, By Julia Duin

Feminism has latched onto sexual-harassment laws as a successful way of bringing men to heel, says a University of Massachusetts professor and sometime feminist in a new book.

In "Heterophobia," Daphne Patai says that sexual-harassment law, once a useful tool to identify outrageous behavior, is now an albatross.

"Sexual harassment seems often to be little more than a label for excoriating men," she writes. "It has become the synecdoche for general male awfulness."

University students are schooled in "the patriarchy" and "compulsory heterosexualism," she says, and schools, such as her own, hire "sexual-harassment consultants" to help them avoid lawsuits. One of her footnotes details how one firm charged her school rates of $1,250 to $1,800 per trainer per day, plus $10,000 for hotel, travel and meals, to offer courses in sexual-harassment prevention and risk management. Read More …


Committee proposes family law overhaul

ABC News Online, 29 December 2003

A federal parliamentary inquiry has recommended a wide-ranging shake-up of Australia's family law, including an overhaul of child custody payments.

The House of Representatives Family and Community Affairs Committee has recommended that in family breakdown situations, a 50-50 share of a child's custody should be the "standard objective" but says that aim should not be enshrined in law.

Prime Minister John Howard set up the joint parliamentary committee in June, asking it to investigate Australia's child custody system and "in particular, whether there should be a presumption that children will spend equal time with each parent and if so, in what circumstances such a presumption could be rebutted".

"We have concluded that the goal for the majority of families should be one of equality of care and responsibility, along with substantially shared parenting time," the report says. "They should start with an expectation of equal care. Read More …


The Turning of the Tide: With Special Guest Rod Hardwick, President of DADs Australia.

Dads On The Air - May 12, 2003 Sydney 2GLF FM 89.3 9am-12.00

This week it's impossible to ignore the efforts of one of the country's leading broadcasters, Alan Jones at 2GB. The number one breakfast show host has taken up the plight of non-custodial parents and child support payers with a vengeance, describing the situation as a "social scandal". As a result he has been swamped with hundreds upon hundreds of emails.

He says he has never had a response like it on any issue after raising it on his radio show and on television at the Today Show. Read More …


Fathers are not optional

The Australian - May 7, 2003, By Janet Albrechtsen

In the photograph, the father is holding a tiny baby, a few weeks old, maybe less.

The father is looking down at the baby in wonder. His first child. He is oblivious to the camera. I didn't notice how much love was in that photo until I had a child. That photo of my father is on my fridge as a daily reminder of his love.

Fatherhood is like that. So often the deep bond between father and child goes unnoticed. It is underestimated and sadly misunderstood. How else do you explain a society where fatherlessness is so common? More...


Alan Jones Replies:

The Today Show/Alan Jones Breakfast Show 2GB - May 5, 2003, by Alan Jones

Look, I normally answer all my correspondence personally. You won t believe this, but in light of the editorial I did on Channel Nine, which I repeated on Radio 2GB, I have been inundated with letters on this issue. All saying the same thing. You want a fairer system where Dads are included in their children s lives. More...


Matilda Bawden - President Shared Parenting Council of Australia

Dads On The Air - April 28, 2003 Sydney 2GLF FM 89.3 9am-12.00

The creation of the Shared Parenting Council of Australia, a loose alliance of over 20 family law and fathers groups, has been a significant step forward for the many people campaigning for family law reform.

Here's some of President Matilda Bawden has to say: More...


The Lace Curtain: The Warren Farrell interview

Dads On The Air - April 21, 2003, Sydney 2GLF FM 89.3 9am-12.00

Studies are done when studies are funded. If the area is gender, the funding is feminist.

Lace Curtain Research and the Funding It Finds.

Now that men are in the minority in college (45%), and doing worse in almost all subjects except math and science in high school, and dropping out, committing suicide, and suffering learning disabilities at much higher rates, we would expect special financial aid to be available to boys - perhaps even more than to girls. Not the case. More...


The Forgotten Parent?

The Age - April 17, 2003 By Mark Mordue

I once asked Tom Waits if he felt fatherhood had affected his songwriting in any way?

"Well," he said, pausing to consider the full weight of the question, "it's harder to find the ashtrays." More...


The Beginnings of Hope

Dads On The Air - April 14, 2003 Sydney 2GLF FM 89.3 9am-12.00

With Special Guest Ken Ticehurst MP

Ken Ticehurst, Federal Liberal MP for the NSW Central Coast seat of Dobell is forcing the Government to acknowledge the outcry of fathers around the country relating to laws governing child access rights and shared parenting.

After petitioning fathers around the country to share any experiences of the harsh family law system, in November 2002, Mr Ticehurst formed a discussion panel of senior politicians to address the need for family law reform. From this panel, he coordinated an MP's Taskforce on child access rights, and holds regular meetings in Canberra, involving senior staff from the Prime Minister's office. More...


Father's life rocked by boys' DNA tests

The West Australian - April 12, 2003, By Julie Butler

Beefy Perth tradesman "Len" wanted to lie down and die when he found out this year his two boys were not his biological sons.

The DNA test results didn't stop his love for them, but Len, not his real name, says it felt like his heart was ripped out.

"I've lost two friends to suicide but nothing prepared me for that," he said. "It seemed everything I'd lived and worked for went down the gurgler." More...


Dads In Distress

Dads On The Air - April 07, 2003, Sydney 2GLF FM 89.3 9am-12.00

Dads In Distress have been remarkably successful in a short period of time, establishing a number of groups up and down the coast from its base in Coffs Harbour. Its philosophies of mutual support, self help and problem solving appeals to a number of men and the group has been successful in obtaining government funding.

But despite its successes it looked like Dads In Distress was doomed until a last minute grant of $40,000 to continue what Tony Miller says is "life saving work". More...


Children of Divorce Fight Stereotypes

Brigham Young University NewsNet - April 04, 2003, By Laura Cantera

Twenty-year-old Emily Johnson recognizes the stigma associated with children of divorce, and said she thinks people often wonder how well she can handle relationships and whether she's a stable person.

"When I tell people my parents are divorced, I get a shocked look and normally people get really quiet and I then have to explain the situation," said Emily Johnson, 22, a sophomore from Chicago majoring in political science. More...


The Despised Child Support Agency: A Social Disaster

Dads On The Air - March 31, 2003 Sydney 2GLF FM 89.3 9am-12.00

Child Support Agencies were first created by the Bolsheviks after the Russian revolution of 1917 as a way of funding the Bolshevik attack on the nuclear family. The Bolsheviks regarded the family as a fundamental unit of capitalism to be destroyed. The Russian child support schemes were one of the main reasons for their massive black economy.

Similar percentages that now operate in the Australian scheme still persist in the Russian family code to this day. More...

Legal minefield for deceived fathers

Sydney Morning Herald, March 29 2003, By Leonie Lamont

During an interstate access visit, and a trip to the Melbourne Show, Bill told his 14-year-old son he was going to take him for an allergy test.

The test was in reality a DNA parentage test, to establish the likelihood of Bill being the boy's biological father. The fallout is set to force the Federal Government to amend the Family Law Act so that men who prove they are not the biological fathers can recover child maintenance payments. Read More …


Fair Share

The Advertiser (Adelaide), 30 December 2003, By Maria Moscaritolo in Canberra

Separated parents would share equal responsibility for their children's upbringing under a proposed overhaul of the family law system which recommends sidelining the involvement of the Family Court.

A federal parliamentary committee report into child custody yesterday rejected forcing equal joint residency on separated parents but said shared care should be the starting point for custody negotiations.

"Shared parental responsibility does not necessarily mean equal time in residence," Kay Hull, chair of the House of Representatives Family and Community Affairs Committee, said.

"Each parent should start with an expectation of equal care and should have equal say as to where children should reside."  Read More …