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Fri 21st November 2008

The Family Court’s weakest point.

Filed under: Law & Courts — Vman @ 5:28 pm

Many people don’t appear to realise how vulnerable the NZ Family Court is. The weakest point of the NZ Family Court is public confidence in it. Once the public confidence in the Family Court drops below a certain level the Family Court looses all power and authority. This is the greatest threat to the family court.

Public confidence in it is very low and weak yet there is a certain degree of implied confidence in it. New Zealanders are very law abiding in general. So newly separated fathers feel they have no realistic option other than to enguage in the Family Court process. Thus some commentators refer to it as the Family Caught.

Many men and fathers groups have tried for a great many years to bring about change to the Family Caught in NZ. Their frustration at the lack of progress is palitable. I can’t think of a peaceful approach that someone or some group have not tried. No matter what approach they take they are criticised. Usually this criticism is directed at them in the form of a personal attack. Yet for all this work and effort the outcomes for fathers and children appear to be little or no better.

Some comentators have pointed out that real change will require changes to the laws. On that basis ways to have the laws changed are pursued. That would certainly be the case for the so called Child Support laws. I say “so called” because in NZ these laws are actually a Child Tax, they have nothing to do with supporting children.

When one considers the issues of parenting children however it could be argued by the naive that the exiting laws provide a framework that is inclusive to fathers. The exact same claim can be made to the previous Guardianship laws since they more or less the same. Even the most dull witted individual however has at least some realisation that the way these laws are implemented is not at all inclusive to fathers. In fact they are implemented almost always as barriers to father involvement in the caring for children.

The people that work in this area for the most part make a career out of it. They are quite accurately described as the divorce industry. Make no mistake this is a significant industry with a great deal of vested financial interests. These people have made entire careers out of a process which is by and large implemented in a way to pose barriers to fathers’ active parenting of their children. This process of placing and reinforcing barriers between fathers and their children is so deeply ingrained as a culture in the divorce industry it is simply viewed as long standing standard practice.

Thus many observers are well aware that a change in culture and attitude needs to take place within the divorce industry. The attitudes and culture required is diametrical to what has exisited since the Family Court became established. Thus we are not talking about a small cultural shift. We are talking about a major change in attitude.

A great many people have tried to use this system to encourage it to make some concessions. This has failed for two reasons. One is that no one in the divorce industry takes the slightest responsibility for outcomes. In fact they are almost never aware what the final outcome for the children is. This includes the judges. Hence there is no sense of responsibly or of ownership for even their own part in causing the outcome. The second reason is more complex but possibly more compelling. For a variety of reasons the divorce industry does not want to change, learn and adapt. These reasons would be a whole discussion on their own. However they stem from an underlying lack of professional maturity. In many industries mistakes are admited, learnt from and changes made to avoid them. In the divorce industry mistakes are made, become case law, repeated over and over and then become part of the culture. The secrecy of the system enables this process to repeat itself and also prevents checks and balances being even considered.

All these factors lead some observers to the conclusion that no real positive change will occur within the NZ divorce industry without pressure from outside. This proposition is most clearly expressed as protests. In this context the divorce industry and the Family Court are synonomous terms. These voices of decent are viewed by the divorce industry/ Family Court as a threat.

They are viewed as a threat for two reasons. One reason is that this industry does not want to change or to admit it’s faults and learn from them. The other more compelling reason is that these voices of decent erode public confidence in the Family Court. This is in large part because the message these critics are sending ring true with people’s experience and second hand knowledge of the system.

The more public confidence is eroded in the Family Court the less power and authority it has. As public confidence erodes the more likley the fate of the Family Court will be taken out of it’s hands.

22 Responses to “The Family Court’s weakest point.”

  1. Dave says:

    Hopefully my comments above are more or less agreed with by the majority of people that seek better outcomes for children in the Family Court process. I think that is likely to be true of those that have already made efforts to create change by collaborative engagement with the Family Court.

    If not, I’m sure you’ll post here.

    If so, it leads me on to what I really want to discuss. That is addressing public confidence in the Family Court.

    It is my personal view that it may be worthwhile focusing on public confidence of the Family Court. This is a subtle change of focus for some. For others it is what they have tried to do in different ways already.

    What I would like to discuss is the best way to influence public confidence in the Family Court process.

    Your thoughts?

  2. MurrayBacon says:

    The familycaught is skating on thinner and thinner ice, of public confidence. These people try to use arrogance as a substitute for relevant skills and knowledge and willingness to be publicly accountable.

    When ice cracks, very little warning is given. By the time you hear the cracking, you are knee deep and falling fast. I know (photo supplied on request).

    The problems with caughts in NZ may be more apparent in the familycaught, but in essence, the problems run right through the entire caught system. The people who have the “responsibility” for running these systems, live in a self-delusionary world, that one day will be lanced like a boil.

    The quicker that the caughts are managed by people with realistic integrity, from outside of the “legal profession”, then the better society will be protected from these “help-yourself to other people’s inheritance” people.

    People can generally lick their wounds and laugh, after something in District Caught, even after grave miscarriages of justice. A year later, you can wince and laugh.

    When it relates to your children, then it goes straight to the heart and it’s much harder to laugh off dodgy, incompetent practices by these “judges”.

    We have now reached the point where probably 80% of the population have an immediate family group damaged by unscrupulous thievery of family caught legal workers and downright relationship-vandalism.

    As with any service provider, customers must protect themselves, by weighing the quality of service and the value for money. On both scores, the familycaught cannot stand comparison to any professional group of workers in NZ, even with sex workers!

    These greedy people should not have monopoly type protection. Customers should be free to choose the “judge” who has a reputation for reasonable quality of service and tolerable value for money. Then let the remainder of the service providers starve to death.

    Our children deserve no less.

    Although you comment that maybe we need to change laws, generally the laws are of tolerable minimum satisfactory quality, the main problems lie in the people who are meant to be enforcing these laws. The changes required are in the management of the caughts, in particular the supervision of the “judges”.

    A good place to start, would be to have a real “Judicial Complaints Commissioner”. The present one seems to see his position as hiding complaints!

    Real judges would be the next thing to think about too, real training and real world ethics.

    Anyway, I’ll get back to reading “Alice in Wonderland”, which a barrista has shown to be the best way of understanding the present wider caught system. Blue shoes give more wisdom than gowns!

    Outright competition and allowing the flow of truthfull and up-to-date information, protects consumers better than “trust me” from the “Chief Justice”.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  3. Alastair says:

    The only people to hold the family court in any esteem are themselves and those who have never had to use it. Even the district court is failing in the arena of public confidence.

    Remember the attempt where the judges (Boshier?) wanted to don robes again to give themselves a little more dignity.

    Even Lawyers are basically incompetent, telling lies and not following their clients instructions so they can play their own little game and gain more fees.

    One way to attack the pair is do more negotiating outside of the court/lawyer regime and when it is all done and dusted, gain an order by concent.

  4. Dave says:

    I think you make a great point about how many people’s lives have been touched by the Family Caught and the shadow of the family caught.

    Something that should not be forgotten is that the majority of fathers are already boycotting the family court. They want more time with the kids but they know or they suspect that it would be futile to make an attempt because of the way the family caught operates. This is known as the shadow of the family caught.

    When you look at outcomes for children and the desire of fathers and children to spend more time with each other, you start to see the extent to which fathers are boycotting the family court already.

  5. Dave says:

    Personally I think it is important to keep a distinction between the Family caught and the district court. If you allow yourself to lump them together it becomes easy for the divorce industry to both avoid the issues and to discredit the messenger.

    Don’t push others to support the divorce industry by suggesting they are the same as the divorce industry. Much better to divide and conquer.

    Public confidence in the district court may not be what it was but it is still far above that of the family caught. For one thing there is far more tranparency in the district court. For another the district court has to deal with everyday anti-socials and therefore earns itself much sympathy and support.

    In any case it is important to remain focused on child – parent relationships if we expect to be effective. Those child – parent relationships are the domain of the Family Caught.

    The Family Caught decisions are often the breeding ground for future clients of the district court. The family caught creates fatherless children. Fatherless children are far more likely to go off the rails. The district court gets involved when it is far too late to make any difference.

  6. tren says:

    My experience with the family court (Christchurch)
    In one word: Hell.

    The hell starts the day you receive a without notice protection order.
    You are not known to them, they do not know you, yet you receive some papers telling you to leave your house the next minute. A house you will never see.
    They have absolutely nothing to prove that you have done anything wrong, yet the chase you from your home. The computer decided so.

    Your children are off limit to you. As of now you have to negotiate to see them
    under supervision thank you. You raised them for 10 years, they are model children, thriving at school, missing absolutely nothing and now you need supervision to see them. They enroll them in courses at Barnados where they teach them safety( from you of course).

    The computer then decides that you will have to go to a violence course. For this you will receive a yellow paper where they threaten you with jail and 5000 dollars if you refuse to go to the course. And you go will to the course after the jail. By now you are a criminal. Remember they have not even seen you or the police.

    At the Hell:
    I represented my self:

    1) I was not given a fair hearing. I was not allowed to summarize my case, i was not allowed to provide a witness affidavit handed 3 days prior to the hearing, I was given a short time to ask my questions, the judge interrupting me after every 2 questions, the lawyer for the child did not represent the views of the children at all.

    2) the court breaks the law at every corner.
    3) The lawyer for the child is a second lawyer for your wife hired under disguise of representing your children. She will never represent their views.
    unless those views square with some form of abuse. That is an other story.

    4) With their calm anti daddy behavior the court intent is to push you towards showing anger and violence. And if you do then they have proved their without notice protection order.

    5) The lawyer for the child lies to the court (her superior officers) in such a brazen way that i concluded that this is allowed.

    6) The lawyer for the child told me that attending the violence course is admitting to being violent!????

    7) Though i signaled my intention for defense, at the end of the 3 months for the temporary protection order i received a final protection order. I complained then they retracted saying it was a mistake. I do not think it was a mistake. My believe is that the staff do a lot of things on behalf of the judges.

    8) Once your receive your final protection orders blessed by treachery by a judge, the lawyer for the child now re-doubles her malice as now she is dealing with a real criminal.

    9) After hell, months long of trauma and abuse they send you to a psychologist paid by them and working for them to do some analysis on you. She will write that you suffer from anxiety and instability and this is not good for the children( best interest of the children)

    …and the comedy goes on. You are alone.

    This is what i think. If anyone is abusing the children big time is the family court. and that violence is so cynical, hidden, and enrobed in white linen: best interest for the children. And the get paid for it.

    New Zealanders i meet in the street men and women do not deserve the hell that is the family court. T

  7. tren says:

    Advice:
    Represent your-self assisted by a friend: with or without a lawyer you will loose. Save money for your kids.

    Involve people in your case: work mates, friends.

    Fight calmly and determination for your children.
    Forgive and don’t blame yourself. It is hell out there
    Let people know about the nature of the family court.
    I tell my story to complete strangers.

  8. Alastair says:

    Tren,
    You make a very good suggestion, one others reacted to. Provided you don’t identify any of your family directly or indirectly, I see little to stop you. Except you will be inducted into that honored status of Disgruntled fathers 🙂

    We had Judge dread demonstrating outside family courts. Why not again? Plenty of pamphlets. The courts of injustice (Listener Headline) is a good place to start.

  9. don't step on my blue suede shoes says:

    BOSHIER TO INTRODUCE THE WEARING OF BATH ROBES TO THE FAMILY COURT MAYBE.. he was not very specific in his media release last year, and there is no chance in hell of wearing the traditional legal robe as Australia has set the standard for its abolishment in the south pacific…

    Advance Australia Fair with the removal of wigs and gowns as they are considered to be a throwback to 19th century Britain.

    In Australia since 2007 magistrates and judges of all jurisdictions including the High Court of Australia are now referred to as “Your Honour”,or for instance His Honour Mr Justice Michael Kirby (An extremely progressive Distinguised High Court Judge) and a concerted effort is being made by state law societies and bar associations to petition parliament for the removal of wigs and gowns as they are considered to be a throwback to 19th century Britain and is also considered to be intimidating to the Accused, the Witnesses, The Complainant and The Juries. It has been noted in a study done by the Queensland law society in 2007 that 76% of the Australian general public believe that the antiquated legal garb seems to make barristers and Judges out of touch with modern society.

    BETTER STILL.., IF YOU ARE IN A FAMILY COURT TANGLE, WHY NOT IMPRESS YOUR PEER’S AND ROLL UP TO THE FAMILY COURT IN A BATH ROBE – JUST TO SHOW THAT YOU DO TAKE THE FAMILY COURT SERIOUSLY.. IT IS OK TO WEAR A BATH ROBE IN THE FAMILY COURT..

  10. Martin Swash says:

    Tren, I am so sorry that you have gone through what hundreds of thousands of NZ dads have already gone through, wait until you deal with CS, then things get even worse. I don’t know how any man copes with it all, it shows how resilient we are, i hope that you are too. We get NO help at all, the woman gets all the support of a “victim”. It is just mental torture for the Dad, i just hope that you get through it ! Your ex will always have problems in the future, she will NEVER EVER change, you can, best wishes, we all hope that you get through it OK

    From someone who did get through it, but has been changed forever by the state bias against Dads AND WILL NEVER FORGET or FORGIVE

  11. Skeptic says:

    Letter sent to Editor at Waikato Times 5 minutes ago in response to

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4768820a11.html

    Please feel free to do likewise.

    Dear Editor,
    I don’t believe the scaremongering extremist feminist hype peddled by your journo Nicola Brennan.
    In years gone by I was supportive in getting a prototype which became HAIP (Hamilton Abuse Intervention Program) up and running in Hamilton. I spent a good deal of time thereafter helping men who’d been falsely accused of violence in Hamilton. Many men there have attended HAIP counseling program without any corroborating evidence that they actually committed abuse. Such corruption of justice is regularly played out through Hamilton’s secretive family court and it’s collaborating agencies.
    To give an inkling into some of the ethos behind HAIP I only need recall hearing Neville Robertson, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at Waikato University (who was largely instrumental in setting up HAIP) telling hundreds of students in lectures that “all men are potential rapists” and “men have power over women”. Ludicrous, misandric (manhating) dribble.
    Ms Brennan quotes Head of the Hamilton Family Safety Team, Sergeant Alan McGlade as saying – “Last year Hamilton police attended 4441 family violence events”.
    That is simply not credible – given that Hamilton district has a population of roughly 200,000, that’s one incident per every 45 people. Let’s say a quarter of those folks are children, or live alone and the figure police tout looks even more preposterous – one incident for every 33 people!
    This sort of reporting shouldn’t happen again. It mearly creates unecessary fear and lack of trust leading to breakdown of social relations at a time when social fabric is already badly torn (high divorce rates, suicide, drug addiction, increasing single person households).
    Ahead of Tuesday’s White Ribbon Day – the international day for the elimination of violence against women HAIP project manager Lila Jones says “We are working with girls who are literally slaves in their own homes,”. Scarifying comment designed to rake in the dollars no doubt.
    I do hope National’s line by line accounting takes note of this and if I were Ms Brennan’s Boss, she’d be challenged with some very pointed questions.

  12. whanga says:

    Tren you are new at all this.
    Of course as Martin says the idiotic CS nazis make the Family Court seem like a picnic.Best to boycott both.

    Martin please forgive and forget and move on.Love all of your past experiences,events and all the people in your live.It will be a powerful change for you

  13. Dave says:

    Boshier finally couldn’t hide from the fact that mothers don’t take family court and family court orders seriously. His response to this is for judges to wear robes.

    Does this strike you as a person who is serious?

    I gather that what forced his hand was the reporting of the Jayden Headley case. There was nothing unusual about this case except that the media reported on it. This in turn eventually forced the District Court to jail the mother. This never would have occurred if the media had not reported on the case.

    We also began to hear about a few other cases where parents where taking matters in to their own hands in defiance of Family Caught orders. Mothers do this all the time. What was new was the media started reporting some of the cases. This reporting is the biggest threat to the Family Caught. It makes it public knowledge that people can and do ignore the courts orders. Fathers started getting the same idea.

    This then forced Boshier to be seen to be doing something.

    So he is pushing for changes to the Family Court act so that judges wear robes.

    This case was not at all remarkable. The mother had been obstructing the father’s involvement with the children. The family court had been tacitly encouraging her to do so. All just standard operating procedure for the family court. The family court demonstrated to the mother all through the process that she could exclude the father as and when it suited her. She simply forgot to have a little bit of tact while doing this. Eventually she left the family caught with no possible option but to give temporary custody to the father. This was an outrageous about face by the family court so she simply took matters into her own hands by arranging the kidnapping of her own son.

    This was her mistake. By having a 3rd person kidnap her son, the father was able to go to police and the media. That took control away from the family caught and involved the district court. That is when some action to enforce the court orders finally began.

    Of course it never would have reached this level if the family court had made it clear from the outset that the child would be cared by both parents and obstructions to this would not be tolerated. However the family caught is strongly opposed to having such an outcomes based attitude. That would force it to be truly child focused and inclusive.

    Therefore Boshier’s response was for family court judges to wear robes. Thus he can be seen to be doing something while at the same time not changing anything.

  14. toni says:

    hi guys
    im net to this page just ound ur website out of desperation to find someone in the same situation as me.ive been bullsh%^ed for 9 years by the courts.(n.shore).
    i have written some letters to boshier just to be fobed of how and told how i hold a low Image” of the court.well as you all may know i have thru personal experience i have a pile of court documents about three quartes of a meters high over the years.one of my biggest probles is finding a good lawyer that isnt usless or a lapdog.ive got a lawyer that is pracically purposly loosing my court hearings because he is to busy trieng to impress and befriend the other lawyer.prehaps i shold get RICKARDS to get some action.the bottom line is does anyone know of a good property lawyer.i seem to find it better in court going it alone with the kids but the property is definatly left to a proffesional.cheers toni

  15. Alastair says:

    Lawyers are a waste of space. people exist that will help you selfrepresent. Don’t be put off by the B …..T from the other lawyer(s) I assume you are speaking of action under the relationship property act.

    Visit http://www.uof.org.nz for help. Even if they don’t exist in your area, they can still point you towards friends

  16. Wayne says:

    did any one see the tv programme with Helen Clark Sunday Morning 2 november.

    I was watching the programme and was severely distressed to see and hear Helen Clark’s response to families not being effected by the act.

    I wish to inform you that myself and my family infact have been severely effected. My Wife passed away just over 3 years ago, of breast cancer, I have meet another lady, who has 3 children and we have come together to form a blended family.

    My 14 year old daughter and her Grandmother worked together to have her removed from my care. My 14 year old called cyps to say I had abused her both physically and mentally. Cyps did a full investigation into this and of course found this accusation was not true, and found us to be completely blameless. It was her response because we had said no to her choice a boyfriend, she was involved with a 16 year old who had been expelled from school for stealing a laptop, he had also informed us that he was going to be a father (another teenage pregnancy), and was smoking,drinking etc. Everything most parents would dread for there daughter. The maternal grandmother role in all of this was – ringing and telling her how to go about leaving home, and who to contact – ie cyps, school counsilor etc.

    Cyps put my daughter into the grandmothers care for a “cooling off” period of 2 days, they then requested 2 weeks, which i agreed to, and within this period of time, the maternal grandparents applied to the courts for day-to-day care without notice, and was granted this without my consent and before the judge had read the cyps report. They are saying my youngest daughter needs to have the relationship preserved…but from my point of view – if they can apply for one without notice what is going to stop them from going for my youngest daughter as well, whilst at there house on a “visit”. there is no protection or rights for parents/fathers out there.

    Myself and my partner decided to move with the other children to Australia, Once the grandparents got wind of this they then took out orders preventing the removal of my younger daughter (11), The orders where discharged by Judge O’donavon, only to be appealled not by the applicaticants but by my 14 year old under legal aid. Where I have had to sell our family home in order to pay court costs.

    She was successful in her application, therefore setting a new presidence by the high court to allow any child to appeal proceedings that do not relate to them. This is because of the 2004 care of the child act, that Helen Clark says families are not effected.

    In my case, as a parent, I have realised and judge has confirmed that my parental rights have been removed, I have done nothing wrong as a parent, I have lost one of my children at a substancial legal costs to myself and family, and potentally going to loose my 2nd daughter under this act.

    this is turning into a ongoing family and high court proceedure, The high court judge, himself, has stated that this act needs ammending to protect the rights of a parents.

    I therefore can only protest very strongly at Helen Clarks comments that it does not effect familys, and does protect families. The act has become so broad that anyone can apply for day to day care of your children with out notice, and chances are it will be granted.

    This has resulted in my decision to leave new Zealand as I do not believe I have the rights as a parent to bring up my children here.

    this is not a position I don not wish for any parent to be in.

    would appreciate any comments….or anyone else who has lost a wife/partner could be at risk of the maternal grandparents role over-riding the parents role!!

  17. Gerry says:

    Dear Toni

    re your request for a good family law expert on the North Shore

    I would recommend Barrister Susie Houghton of Ponsonby. I don’t know what she charges, but she knows the North Shore Family Caught well and is highly respected, especially by the judges there. She is very formidable to come up against. If you need a good lawyer I would rather have her on my team than against me. She is very trustworthy and a very decent person in my experience. I can’t say this about all lawyers but she is amongst the very best I’ve encountered.

    Another very good one is Barrister Greg Milicich of Takapuna. He is very decent and fair and has a lot of experience in the North Shore Family Caught too. He is also quite formidible in cross examination. Both Houghton and Milicich won’t pull any punches in telling you the truth or the grim reality of your situation. For grim situations they are outstanding in saving you from drowning. Barrister Jane Hunter in Auckland city is another very good one, but hard to get hold of (it’s a sign of a good lawyer). Hunter is very good with property cases and will afford you the time.

    If on the otherhand you just want a blind, faithful lawyer who will do just whatever you want no matter how off the wall you ask her to be (and don’t care about the cost) try Natalie Schumacher of Takapuna. She will fight very hard for you no matter how lost your cause might be, she takes no prisoners, doesn’t negotiate ever, and will attack the opposition ruthlesly like faithful rottweiler until you call her off.

    Good luck, avoid the cost of a lawyer if you can. Many judges are quite tolerant of self-litigants and property is one of those issues where a judge has just as much discretion as any other Family Caught mater. He/she will most likely go with what is fair and you have to go into Caught with this mindset – you won’t win what you want so settle beforehand on what is most likely to be fair and argue just for this.

  18. SickOFnz says:

    I was forced to become the primary caregiver of my three children due to my
    ex wife’s unpredictable mental condition. I was married for 17 years before
    the strain became too much and I began to plot my escape. My youngest was 8
    years old.
    I rang the Police for assistance when my ex had been violent for an hour and
    showed no sign of calming down. I’m not stupid. I did not retaliate in the
    slightest. My children were present during my ex-wife’s hour of yelling at
    me at full throttle, threatening to harm our children and slamming doors
    and cupboards. My ex-wife was stoned on cannabis as usual.
    Three or four Police Officers arrived and that calmed her immediately. I
    informed them of the facts and made them aware that I had called them for
    assistance. My ex-wife had a Protection Order against me. The Police
    informed me that I would have to leave my home and children if my ex-wife
    wished that because the Protection Order allows her that right.

    I had to leave my home and my two remaining dependent children even though
    she had threatened to harm them. There is history of her threatening to harm
    our children. There is history with the Police of an attempt by her to
    kill our children. There was a current threat by her to harm our children.
    Regardless I was forced to abandon my babies and leave them at serious risk.

    I never went back!
    I contacted CYFS out of concern for my children’s safety – what a mistake!

    Conclusions:
    If I am violent towards my wife I must leave my home and children.
    If my wife is violent towards me I must leave my home and children.

    I won custody of my children in the Family Caught after 2½ years of
    defending obvious lies and delusions being entered as evidence by my ex-wife’s
    solicitor who would’ve made a tidy sum from the Legal Aid Authority. I counted
    eleven people in Caught one day and made the comment to my solicitor “there
    are eleven people here today and I’m the ONLY one paying!”. The ordeal cost
    me $10,500 in solicitors fees. My children paid the highest price and only
    because of the gender bias that dominates our Family Caught system.
    CYFS were absolutely useless. I was clearly the wrong gender for their
    liking. CYFS caused my children further abuse because of their inability to
    see past their gender bias and support the male primary caregiver of the
    children who is often referred to as ‘Dad’ or ‘father’.
    My ex-wife has further Protection Orders against three more men since I
    ended my relationship with her six years ago and all on Legal Aid. Sometimes
    it’s not that man that’s the monster!!

    When will fathers and their children be afforded protections from
    partners who use Protection Orders as a means to gain Power & Control and then
    use that Order as an umbrella to shield themselves while they are violent?

    I have no faith in the Family Caught. It is commonly believed to be supportive
    of mothers and their children and destructive towards fathers and their
    children. My experiences confirm that despite me winning custody.

  19. allan Harvey says:

    Contacting CYFS is almost always a mistake.
    Some nice people, grossly under-resourced, undertrained, over committed, asked to do the impossible.
    Solutions is leave the really hard cases, ignore on the easy cases (as they may just resolve themselves, prop up the middle in a hope that the dam wall of poor parenting might not collapse today. Tomorrow, hey that is the future we will fire-fight those issues when we are in the middle of tomorrows shit pile.
    A sad organisation populated by do-gooders who are chasing their tails. Most are young women with still with snotty noses. You don’t want those excuses for social workers telling you or your kids what to do.
    Stay well clear of them and don’t let them in the door or give them asny power over you and your kids!!!

  20. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear SickOfNZ, you observed that the familycaught turns a blind eye to women with psychosis, unless the problems are so serious that they punch someone in the face quite a few times, on several occasions.

    Steve Jelicich found the same with the Henderson Police, a few years ago. I guess that the police take their lead from the familycaught. Protecting a baby, by leaving it with a violent drunk woman, its hard to understand how this protects children?

    There are many many other similar stories. I have heard a small number of similar stories, where it was a psychotic man, whose behaviour could not be appreciated by a familycaught “judge”.

    You seem to be taking the familycaught rather seriously. This means that you are taking them for granted, like expecting them to follow common sense or legislation. By kidding yourself, against a significant amount of evidence – if you ask around and listen to it – you are setting yourself up for much dissapointment.

    I suggest that you respect the amount of harm that these clowns can do and be more careful to sensibly protect yourself from them. In the end, if they fail to respond to the situation before them, you must accept that you will not be able to save your children. If you throw money at the problem, you may even make it worse! and you have little chance of getting any better response.

    Approaching the familycaught really is a gamble (even for women!), so only do it to the extent that you can afford to take poor odds and waste hard earned tax-paid money. Remember that by entering the room, you must be prepared to accept absolutely any possible outcome. If you are not prepared for this, stay away. What’s the point?

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  21. SickOFnz says:

    The Family Caught & CYFS allowed my children to be abused for over
    two years before Judge Milne saw sense and ordered that my children
    be placed in my custody.
    That was after the children’s mother:
    – committed perjury on every affidavit that she introduced to Caught.
    – was ordered to complete Anger Management, Drug & Alcohol and
    Psychiatric Counseling and completed NONE of them.
    – refused to allow my children to have visits with me despite an access
    order.
    – refused an Order from Judge Milne to enforce that Access Order.
    – refused to allow the matrimonial property to be sold despite her
    deliberately not paying the mortgage payments, rates or insurances.
    She maintained that our house was gifted to her by her deceased
    mother before my ex and I met. We purchased this house together and
    my paper-work proved that fact. I paid for the privilege of disproving
    her lies over and over and over while tax-payer funded Legal Aid
    helped her ‘punish me for leaving her’.
    – complained that she wasn’t being listened to which forced a full day
    hearing in front of another Judge while legal aid comforted her and I
    paid $125 per hour to my solicitor for the privilege of placating her
    mental health issues.
    – fostered in my children an atmosphere of illness that caused their
    school attendance to be erratic and inconsistent.
    – encouraged my 14 yr old daughter to drop out of school.
    – forced my children to sign letters to Judge Milne that she had typed
    herself.
    – falsely accused me of child sexual abuse.
    – punched my 9 yr old son in his stomach which required medical
    treatment after he developed regular pain at the site of the assault.
    – encouraged my son to lie after being bitten by a dog that was being
    hunted by the authorities for destruction. The dangerous dog belonged
    to her new partner and it was being hidden from the authorities at my
    children’s home with their mother.
    – forced my daughter to provide urine samples so that they could be
    used by her to deny her drug habit.
    – threatened to kill herself in the presence of my children.
    I had always been the primary caregiver of our children. My children
    were not protected by our laws because their primary caregiver was
    a man. It took them 2 and a half years to agree with me while my
    children suffered. Shame on you, you sexist pigs! Gender biased idiots
    allowed my children to suffer longer than was necessary. Yes, I won
    custody and so I should have!

  22. Dave says:

    Sick of NZ: The really shocking part of your case is that it is a sensational success story compared to the standard result for fathers in the NZ family caught. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Family Caught publish bits of the judgement to show how great and wise they are and to illustrate how they are not biased against fathers (because you ended up with custody).

    Here are some sobering truths about the system. Based on many other cases, the only reason you got custody was because the mother lacked any kind of subtlety. If she had been at least a little subtle you would not have ended up with custody and it certainly would not have been resolved as quickly as two and a half years. The only cases I have heard of that the father gained custody was when the mother was proven beyond doubt to be a complete nut case. Your case cost you a paltry $10,500+, a sum that makes you the envy of most fathers.

    When I say this, I don’t mean to trivialise your experiences in any way. Your case was not just appalling, it placed the children in clear and present danger of serious harm. Not to mention the significant actual physical, emotional and mental harm that was caused to the children. I expect you will be scared by the experience for life.
    I am just pointing out that for the standard practice of the NZ family caught system they would consider this to be a wonderful example of what a great service they provide and how well it works.

    It is for this reason that I think your case illustrates very well much that is wrong with the system. If we use this as a case study it has the benefit that the father was eventually given custody. I call this fact a benefit because it means the divorce industry can’t dismiss it as simply another father that didn’t get what he wanted. It helps turn the attention to the gender bias of the process.

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