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Australian Men's Rights Advocates - AMRA

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Family Court Driving Fathers To Suicide

Wednesday, 9th July 2003, By Dr Muriel Newman MP

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today called on the Government to make provision for shared parenting in its Care of Children Bill - to avoid New Zealand mirroring Australia, where family law is driving many fathers to suicide.

"According to Australian statistics, males aged 25-44 are most at risk of suicide. Research shows that relationship breakdown - exacerbated by experiences with the family law system - have been identified as major trigger factors," Dr Newman said.

"In New Zealand, our latest statistics show that the group most at risk of suicide is also males aged 25-44, with 192 males committing suicide - 82 percent higher than any other group. Since the median age for male divorce in 1999 was 41, it is obvious that men in the 25-44 age bracket are most at risk from the highly traumatic ordeal of family breakdown.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise that, with sole maternal custody being the predominant outcome of Family Court custody battles, many of these fathers - faced with losing all effective contact with their children - find it all too difficult to handle and take their lives.

"The Australian Government is addressing the tragic problem of father suicide, by looking at introducing shared-parenting into law. Shared parenting would ensure that separated fathers could retain a proper relationship with their children. Our Government should do the same.

"I am currently drafting amendments to the Care of Children Bill, to introduce shared parenting into New Zealand family law. New Zealand cannot afford to retain our current laws, which tears a parent away from their child and drives them to take their own life," Dr Newman said.

Dr Muriel Newman MP
muriel.newman@parliament.govt.nz
Phone: 04 470 6633 / 027 477 4834
Fax: 04 473 3532

Domestic Violence - Male Victims

BBC - The One Show on Male Victims of Domestic Violence

Video BBC The One Show on Male Victims of Domestic Violence - Woman assaulting man - Domestic Violence

BBC programme 'The One Show', in which the subject of domestic violence against men is discussed.

September, 2009

UK - not politically correct to fund shelters for men and their children who are victims of domestic violence.

Read more ..

Child Support

Australian Government's assault on Separated Fathers

In July 2008, the media published banner headlines generated from media releases issued by the Australian Government's Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig which includes:

Spies on dads dodging child support - Herald Sun, 23 June 2008,
"Human Services Minister Joe Ludwig announced today that undercover surveillance of parents would commence from July 1, in a bid to collect almost $1 billion in child support debt across Australia. I want child support cheats to be caught out on camera so the courts can see the truth,"

Deadbeat dads fleeing to debt-free haven - The Australian, 30 July 2008,
"Separated parents living overseas now owe around $90 million in payments to their kids back in Australia," Senator Ludwig said.

Chasing down deadbeat dads - Herald Sun, 1 August 2008,
Senator Ludwig also said “More than 20,000 separated parents are denying their children support by fleeing the country.

These mostly deadbeat dads owe a startling $90 million in child support and are guilty of a double betrayal.

Deadbeat dads don't need a visa to enter New Zealand and governments need to work together to identify and track down runaway parents.”

The truth

The one billion dollar debt level is a cumulative total incurred from the commencement of the child Support scheme in 1988/89. Over $500 million debt had accumulated by 1996/97. The Child Support Agency ( CSA ) has already been criticised by the Auditor General for using cumulative totals in their efforts to justify their performance.

Yet the CSA continues to do so, as well as ignoring false debts created using unsustainable or unrealistic income determinations. Neither can the accuracy of assessments be thoroughly checked when address details for 15% of clients cannot be confirmed. If the information were available it would be interesting to know how much of this debt is uncollectable because the payer is unemployed, disabled or deceased or the child’s circumstances have changed, but remain unacknowledged by CSA?

According to published CSA data, 96 per cent of all child support due has been paid.

Read more ..