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  • Father's agony at 15-month wait for Family Court judgment
  • By Harriet Alexander
  • Sydney Morning Herald
  • 13/07/2013 Make a Comment (3)
  • Contributed by: Bewitched ( 20 articles in 2013 )
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He wakes from nightmares that everyone thinks he is a paedophile, about mothers pulling their children out of his path at the markets, that his son is dead.

The weekdays are bad, when each time the phone rings he hopes it will be his lawyer bringing news of a judgment. Those early hours when I wake, that's when it just slams me.

But the weekends are worse, when the ring of the phone brings no hope at all.

This father has been waiting 15 months to learn whether the Family Court believes his ex-partner that he physically and sexually abused their 10-year-old son, or whether it believes him that he never did.

He has not seen his son since.

"At two in the morning, I wake in fright," he said. "During the day, I'm OK, I can keep busy - but those early hours when I wake, that's when it just slams me."

Retiring Family Court judge David Collier said last week that the animosity between couples that enter the system was more intense than it had been at any time in his career, with some mothers fabricating claims that their children were abused by their fathers.

Several fathers contacted Fairfax Media this week claiming to be among those falsely accused.

They included a father whose case was upgraded from the Federal Circuit Court to the Family Court on account of its seriousness - and then expedited to the front of the queue.

But after the hearing, the presiding judge's sense of urgency evaporated and more than a year passed without a decision.

As a party to Family Court proceedings, the man cannot be identified. He elected not to have interim orders, expecting an early decision.

Under the previous orders for shared care, the mother failed to turn up at handover time.
He claims she is the one psychologically abusing the boy by making false allegations.

The father's request for primary care of the boy was supported in submissions by the Independent Children's Lawyer, who said the boy needed to be removed from his mother's predominant care to protect him from the psychological abuse of being encouraged to believe that he had been sexually abused by his father.

There was no independent evidence to support the woman's accusations, the boy's lawyers submitted. But it is understood that, unlike the father, the boy's lawyers believe the mother genuinely believed in her claims.

According to the man's lawyer, the Department of Community Services and the police each told the court there was not enough evidence to substantiate the woman's claims.

A 15-month judgment delay was extraordinary, he said.

"It's not an unusual wait in some cases but it is in urgent cases where it's considered that the child is at risk," the lawyer said.

More than half the cases awaiting judgment in the Family Court are more than three months old, according to the court's 2011-12 report.

At the same time, there has been a steady attrition in the number of judges, with six fewer now than there were in 2007.

And still the man waits.


    By:Mark Thompson from Victoria, Australia on August 26, 2013 @ 3:50 pm
    watched a movie called Detachment the other night. Was enjoying the movie until the bit where a young teenage school girl is feeling insecure and in emotional difficulty, exacerbated from other males putting her down (yes, incl her father) and seeks comfort and to be accepted by being held by her substitute male teacher, at least just for a moment.

    Her male teacher asks his student if she needs someone to talk to before receiving a hug from her as she is emotionally distraught. He reluctantly embraces her and clearly feels awkward.

    Well under normal human empathy and compassion one could say the male teacher should have been freely able to respond briefly to the student's crying and emotionally upset state, however he obviously felt he couldn't and pushed her away only making the rejection worse for the girl.

    His abnormal human response was no doubt due to the current anti male propaganda in play, having already penetrated the education system at least two decades ago.

    Clear evidence that it's still strongly in force today was indicated in the scene to follow, when in steps a young woman teacher who had previously kissed the male teacher in an evening interlude. She, like many people programmed to think the worst of men, based on a quick glance and hearing the girl upset, put two and two together and got five.

    The female teacher disgustingly accuses the male teacher of "touching her" causing a normal angry reaction from the male teacher not just because of some apparent issues in his childhood, but clearly at the insinuation of him being some dirty pervert at the very least.

    In short, due to this young teenage girl not getting the right human touch and understanding at the right time, just a warm loving hug from the male teacher would have initially sufficed, the girl who clearly perceived not to be loved, alone, abandoned, put down (incl. by her father), and now by the male role model/teacher who she respected, liked, trusted and felt understood by, this poor girl later went on to commit suicide.

    Instead of the female teacher too busy accusing the male teacher, she should have been more concerned for the welfare of the child, clearly displaying something terribly wrong with teachers and our educational facilities.

    What of other girl and boy students in a similar confused situation, will they too be rejected by human compassion in a time of need by a heartless education sector?

    Is this what we want for our kids? Great film, well worth a watch.
    By:william from sydney, astralia on August 26, 2013 @ 2:39 pm
    Who was the presiding judge?
    By:Bill Harris from Tassie, Australiana on August 26, 2013 @ 11:46 am
    Is this yet another bone to feed to the public?

    Was this a story told for the father and child's sake, or a story for the Family Court staff and judges whinging about caseloads; too much work and not enough pay?

    In the Family Court system it would have been wise for the father to choose interim Orders. Gradual steps are the way it's done. A bird in the hand is always worth two in the bush.

    What were the Interim Orders to entail and what are the current Orders now?

    Was it the father's choice to hold out for the judgment, or was he advised by his lawyers to do so?

    Why did the mother believe the abuse happened? What of her detailed psychiatric report? Or did the mother simply refuse to have one done, having the court allow her interests to come first before that of the child, in contrast with the court's perceived ethos of doing what's in the best interests of the child?

    Btw, how much did all the lawyers make out of this transaction?

    What were the boy's wishes, or didn't anyone really care, yet again?

    Clearly, a delay of 15 months for any judgment is abhorrent, disgraceful and a real joke. But anyone who knows the Family Court practices inside and out knows only too well that it's Business as Usual!

    Sadly, this is just another example of Fathers giving their power and money away to lawyers and institutional madness.

    Hopefully this Father and others will realise that marching up and down city streets in huge numbers expressing their wishes for a better and fairer system for Dads, Mums, Kids and Families is the only way to get the message across to legislators.

    Unfortunately legislators sometimes forget that the people control the governments and not vice versa, and more often than not Fathers forget how to control their power for the betterment of their families.

    The marches would be done weekly with numbers growing until the legislation and court practices reflect the wishes of the people.

    But could people really commit to doing this for as long as it takes, and putting this almost 40 year destruction of family and community to rest?

    Will people ACT now or will it take another ten years for people to wake up? Time will tell...

    Btw. Whatever happened to those truth revealing Family Court files lost by Family Court Chief Dianna Bryant in the Arthur and Darcey Freeman case?

    The public is still waiting for the Truth...

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