If you think the Australian Family Court isn’t capable of being abusive to children, think again. The most important part of ‘what is best for children’ is often overlooked by the keenness of ‘experts and Independent Children’s Lawyers’ (I.C.L) to engage in their often biased and latest sociological quackery. At no stage do the wishes of the children come directly before the Courts. Experts and ICL take over and give their opinion of what should happen to children.
The area of making errors is huge, not least by expensive lawyers whipping up discords and marital whiplash between the warring parties. Often it is a fight to the bitter end with children coming in last instead of first.
The inherited adversarial British form of Justice is the ideal vehicle to make a bad situation even worse. Lately the term ‘less adversarial’ is bandied about in Family Court as if it is spared from some of the worst excesses of Criminal Courts. It is not. It still pits one party against the other. Just spend a day in Sydney’s Goulburn Street Family Court and ‘the less adversarial’ soon oozes out into the grim faces of the warring couples with the swishing of jovial barristers gowns about the only ‘less adversarial’ item on display. At five thousand dollars a day, who would not be boisterous, smiling and engage in a bit of swirling about like insane dervishes on a shish kebab bender?
The outcome of a family Court case by and large is in the hands of barristers and Court appointed Experts. If one partner doesn’t have the funds, legal aid might be provided. The legal aid will not pay for barristers. If the other partner has money and employs a barrister, chances are he/she will win. If both employ a barrister, the more expensive one, ‘by and large’ will probably win, if not by tactics, then by exhausting the finances of the other.
But, going back to actual cases, it is the aim of the Court to always determine an outcome based on ‘what is best for the children’. This sound reasonable but in the hands of lawyers, ‘experts psychiatrists’ and Court appointed counselors; this concern for those children does not include being heard directly. Children do rarely, if ever, appear in Australian Courts. Yet, they are often fought over tooth and nail.
One of the most contentious areas being used in Australian Family Courts is Parental Alienation with at times terrifying results. While many marriages and relationships seem to end on what could be described as for superficial reasons, there are others that have genuine impossible situation where the harm to children is foremost on the mind of the parent wishing to end the relationship. Very logically, children of an abusive relationship then often choose the non-abusive parent to live with. If a couple cannot amicably end the relationship and decide on a Family Court to resolve the issues; let there be a loud warning.
While many countries have disbanded and disallow Parental Alienation syndrome from being used, Australian Family Courts still persist in this very controversial unproven practice to be used extensively.
The main theory behind Parental Alienation is that instead of accepting , first and foremost, the logical explanation given by parents and their children wanting to live with one parent more than the other or not all because of having suffered abuse (psychological or physical). The Court uses the appointed ‘expert’ to determine the bone fide of the children’s wishes. The ‘expert’, often a psychiatrist, then uses this unproven Parental alienation theory to turn around the children’s concern by blaming the preferred parent of ‘somehow’ having turned (alienated) the other parent against the child or children. In their keenness to have the children be looked after by both parents, they run the chance of overlooking the issue of the ‘habitual abusive parent’.
They use techniques in asking loaded questions; do you love mummy, do you love daddy etc? Answer: Children love daddy and mummy, even bad ones. While physical abuse can be more easily detected, it is the well hidden emotional abuse that children have great difficulty in articulating. This is the contentious side of ‘experts’ to indulge in at best, a very controversial side of psychology. It remains unrecognized, unproven and certainly far from being allowed by most countries in Family Courts.
Young children might say; my daddy or mummy is ‘mean’ to me, or, they ‘make me cry’ etc. A bruised eye or broken arm is easily shown up, but a bruised soul or broken spirit is far more difficult for children to express. Certainly, it is the short time or so by the expert psychiatrist or therapist with a seven year old child that their bruised psyche or soul could easily slip by unnoticed, let alone give proof of that in Court. This is especially so, when the ‘experts’ are disciples of The Parental Alienation credo.
It is at that point where logic and directness is at greatest risk of becoming corrupted by the adult ‘expert’, a complete stranger, that the child runs the most risk of being handed to the abusive parent. While there are of course couples so warped in hatred to win at all cost they might indeed alienate their partner from children. But, there are also, perhaps the majority, who have genuine reasons to break up because of an abusive partner. Children of course should then not be forced by a Court against their wishes to live mainly with the abusive parent. Yet in Australian Family Courts it happens often.
The balance of probability in the Court should indeed be weighted in favour of the child’s welfare and wellbeing, ALWAYS.
It should never be weighted in favour of the parent that is abusive. While parenting is not an exact science, a parent that is abusive should not be allowed to be seen by the Court as a victim of deliberate alienation by the other parent.
It is the abuse that alienated the child from the parent and not the other way around. You can imagine how this would damage children. Yet, in Australian Family Courts it happens often that the distant abusive parent is seen as being the victim of the other parent’s attempt at alienating them from their children. What nonsense!
The Parental Alienation is a very loopy theory but it is still used in our Family Courts.