Family Court changes trial
The Family Court’s principal judge has announced a shake-up of the court’s processes in a bid to speed up cases and prevent a “slagging match” between parents.
The changes, part of a two-year trial, include reducing the period between hearings, removing unnecessary evidence in hearings and making strong final decisions — irrespective of whether there is consent from the parties.
The move comes after fathers’ groups stepped up their campaign against the court this year with a leaflet drop in Christchurch.
Union of Fathers national president Bruce Cheriton said he was unsure the changes would work. “I’m dealing with people who have been in the system for six or seven years. What makes them think they can achieve these standards?”
Cheriton felt lawyers had been a factor behind the huge delays in some cases.
“Solicitors have probably caused about 50 per cent of the problems,” he said.