Help us make Family court family friendly

Family court is a big scary place for parents with small children, especially young parents. It is an unecessary stress for families whose main focus should be caring for children not legal battles. This petition covers many much needed changes to make family court family friendly, including child support issues, changeover of care between parents and mediation, though these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Family issues should be taken care of in a local, friendly community centre where support and counselling are available to the whole family. And hearings in a big court should be for divorce, property settlement, dividing of assetts and money, not fragile children.
Tell our government to make families a priortity by getting the facts straight and protecting the wellbeing of our children by protecting the well being of parents!
Stop children being used as pawns in the battle between bitter parents after break up by providing realistic services to understand and guide parents through the process.
Parental alienation is a huge problem in family court and a drain on the resources of the police and Department of Community Services.

PoPs Group is a new community union- type group for families, parents acting for the protection of our future generations.
Working together to rally local, state and national governments to change laws effecting children and to provide better support for families.
One small step at a time towards a hugely positive goal.
Feed back welcome, pops_group@hotmail.com
www.popsgroup.webs.com

We the undersigned want to bring to the attention of the government the number of people who would like to see action taken to improve the current family law system.

Parents need all their emotional energy to raise children.
The current legal process for child residency, shared parenting, child support payments and mediation, are not good enough for the well being of our families.
The Family Courts are big, scary and very stressful places for families.
We want to see all but the most serious family matters taken care of in the local neighbourhood/ healthcare centres. That would mean a need for funding for extension of existing buildings and renovation to provide friendly, family oriented facilites so that parents can keep focused on parenting.

When asked, What separation issues are you and your family struggling with?


What do you think would improve the current family law system or help parents

more after separation?


This is what people on the Coast said:


1# Being able to settle residence of children at a local, family friendly facility

instead of traveling to Sydney or Newcastle Family Court

2# Make laws to prevent parent moving a long way away with kids more

enforceable

3# Providing a centre for changeover to keep privacy and minimise tension,

positioned locally, particularly for women who fear DV during changeover.

4# Make settling of parenting orders compulsively quick and simple, eg making

mediation attendance by both parents compulsory

5# Let the children decide and request who they want to stay with from a younger

age

6# Appoint a childrens representative, instead of two seperate solicitors

representing only the parents

7# Stop overnight visitation for children under the age of 3, unless voluntarily

arranged

8# Make ongoing counselling & therapy compulsory and conditional of access for

both parents

9# Make random drug and alcohol testing compulsory for both parents,

grandparents and any other party who will share care of the child

10# Have a childrens care worker visit both parents randomly and provide a report

to the other parent on the routines, behaviour managment, types of household

rules etc

11# Have the residential parent provide compulsory activities for the children, for

e.g. one at least of either swimming, soccer, music or dance lessons each week

12# Make children's healthy diet compulsory for both parents/carers enforcable by

Family Law Orders, for e.g. no consumption of artificial colors, additives, MSG,

caffiene or cola drinks, artificial sweeteners, cordial etc

13# Make the use of a contact diary between parents compulsory, to record all

that a child has eaten/ or not, sleeping, nappies, wellness, behavioural issues,

weaning, toilet training etc.

14# Have an expert, strictly nonjudgmental childrens worker available to check out

any concerns with the other parent immediatly and provide any necessary help?

15# Have a legal service at the local community centre to make changes to a

parenting order on short notice if neccessary (for e.g., change of work hours, after

school activity) where both parents agree, or provide assistance in reaching an

agreement.

16# Make the payment of childsupport compulsory/ enforcable to be deducted from

wages if necessary.

17# Create a consequences system for non or late payment of child support. For

eg, late payment fee, fine for three incidences of nonpayment or late payment.

18# Make payments of child support for previous children seperate to new

payments, to be fair to all children. The current law is that any recent payments go

on any previous debts first. Payments should be two seperate amounts, one at the

correct current rate for the new child, others to payoff previous debt at an amount

agreed with CSA.

19# When making parenting orders the mothers right to breastfeed should be taken

into account, as should the child's right to be breastfed. Long days and overnights

should be banned untill child is weaned if under the age of two, limited to 12 hrs if

under the age of three.

20# A reward/ penalty system for parents: to help decide who is the more capable

of ensuring all of the childs needs are met while deciding orders, and to encourage

parents to continue acting in the best interests of the child afterwards.

21# All records of the parents history should be kept out of the current matter

unless they are of grave importance, for eg serious assault charges, history of

sexual abuse accusations by children, ongoing violent behaviour, history of drug/

alcohol abuse or serious mental health problems without treatment, in such a case

these issues should be immediately investigated, including thorough interviews of

all people involved, friends, family and unbiased strangers.


22# Incentives for police to respond to DV (domestic violence) in situations affected by family court orders. Currently they don't want to get involved because of the legalities of the orders.



We understand that these are extremely complicated and broad issues, and that funding is hard to come by. We as a community would like the opportunity to have a part in providing solutions.


Your leadership could inspire the international community to stand up and demand better for families around the country. Please help make a difference in the lives of thousands of parents and children by making their better future a priority today.


Thankyou, very much, for taking the time to read this letter.

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