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Family Court changes trial

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — UF @ 9:43 am Fri 15th September 2006

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.

21 Responses to “Family Court changes trial”

  1. dad4justice says:

    To all of those who condemned our leaflet drop in Christchurch , how do you feel now….??? thanks Wendy F. 🙂

  2. julie says:

    Very Impressive work and I think you are onto a good thing.

  3. JohnP says:

    Speeding the process up sounds good in theory, but my feeling is that this is just another PR exercise.

    Boshier has never demonstrated any willingness to deviate significantly from the Radical Feminist agenda. I don’t see this having much impact on the NZ Family Court’s disgraceful record of father-removal.

    This kind of attitude will work against fathers more often than not in my opinion:

    “removing unnecessary evidence in hearings and making strong final decisions”

  4. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    This has been on the agenda since Boshier took over as Spin Doctor for the FC.

    Its cosmetic as they still are the same people enforcing the same system.

    The difference is that Judges now have much more power and control.

    Regards

    Jim N

  5. dad4justice says:

    Hi Jim N
    You are right about the power and control of the judges . However the recently commissioned office of the Judical Conduct Commissioner -Ian Haynes is rather a good tool ; judicialconduct@jcc.govt.nz .At present Mr Haynes has a bit of a problem regarding my case. It is also good that this week the Supreme Court upheld the right to sue lawyers for negligence . My daughters first c4c Ashburton lawyer Chris Robertson is going to be sued by me shortly .Its up to us to keep the system honest as we only want to love our children .

  6. julie says:

    I don’t know if anyone has considered the funding side of matters when it comes to the FC.

    I don’t think I would find anyone on this site who ‘isn’t blaming lawyers’ and the law society is concerned about this (why they wanted to get together with father’s groups to discuss matters) but the FC as a whole is a major funder for relationship building.

    There are thousands of men and women who can tell you the funding given from the FC for relationship counselling saved their marriages or made things better for splitting up.

    Yes, many other groups use this funding and you could say they are femi-nazis for it but in reality is using the funding to help people so bad?

    What does the rest of NZ’ers that are not arguing but trying to work things out supposed to do if you abolish the FC? Where will the funding come from to help them?

    I don’t think that many men would be prepared to admit to family violence to get counselling paid for. I find people that won’t get help for alcohol or drug addiction because gambling addiction is funding it. IMO, they just need a bit more pain to accept humbly what is on offer and use it no matter where it comes from. The FC does not expect you to admit to abuse to use their funding which is why women’s refuges and the like use it. And not just them but all organisations. In fact, I have heard a men’s group tell a male to use the counselling instead of going to court. Who do you think pays for this?

    I don’t mean to rock the boat but I can now see why the protesting outside the courthouses hasn’t been something that other groups have supported. The whole thing is a part of a much bigger picture.

    And besides I think we need to do a bit more homework on men’s refuges because I will put money on the chance the number is not zero. But what is wrong with a men’s group getting funding from violence to house men who are victims? Isn’t it a start?

  7. Intrepid says:

    This action was made to buy them time. The question is what comes next? Moves against male organizations, thus giving them cover for it, or real attempts at reform? Will they ever go against their PC crowd backers? The odds are very very low on that. If this is everything then they do not understand the deep seeded injustice they are dealing with! I think they want this issue to go away, for the men’s movement is a garthering storm and they want to deal with this problem when they aren’t under pressure because:

    1) They believe in appeasement with many problems , but not with men ( the state’s last workhorse).

    2) They don’t think the men’s movement can keep up this long term, for most such movements do in fact pitter out, and they probably hope we will do something that will allow them to smash us.

    3)They are now divided in caucus and can’t go either way strongly without losing some of the support amounst themselves, let alone the public.

    This is half measures to buy them time. Only if another party’s poll numbers goes up by harping on this issue can we hope to see them make any real moves at reform.

    It’s all self-fullfilling, men aren’t voting for their party very much so why even try to go after our votes. No real reforms insures they continue to loss even more votes and get none back, thus reaffirming the fact that they aren’t likely to get any of these votes back. They are committed to their PC base sink or swim, for they have built false logical self-fullfillling modals.

    It’s time to see that the radical men have accomplished where the mild fence sitting men have failed. You don’t need a majority of men or women to force the state to move (most people don’t even vote now). We should redouble our efforts to win both those moderate & radical men back into the game (who were burned out earlier from no results and disunity) by expanding cooperation between groups where ever there are willling parties.

  8. Stephen says:

    Julie, you say –

    There are thousands of men and women who can tell you the funding given from the FC for relationship counselling saved their marriages or made things better for splitting up.

    Where?

    Do you have some study others haven’t seen in which thousands of couples have been interviewed and expressed thier gratitude for the fc?
    The only stats I’ve seen recently have come from the fc itself, and then as one of our regulars pointed out they only showed about 34% of the total who went through the fc. Also they made no mention of levels of satisfaction with the fc.

    You go on to say –

    What does the rest of NZ’ers that are not arguing but trying to work things out supposed to do if you abolish the FC? Where will the funding come from to help them?

    I don’t see why you don’t suggest they go to a raft of other counselling services – church groups, relationships services etc.

    You also say –

    But what is wrong with a men’s group getting funding from violence to house men who are victims? Isn’t it a start?

    Good question Julie,
    Some guys I know in the nz Men’s movement have batted that idea around a bit. We’ve always come to the conclusion we’d be at the mercy of the funders and thier political agendas.

  9. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    But what is wrong with a men’s group getting funding from violence to house men who are victims? Isn’t it a start?

    Good question Julie,
    Some guys I know in the nz Men’s movement have batted that idea around a bit. We’ve always come to the conclusion we’d be at the mercy of the funders and thier political agendas.

    Excatly why state funding was turned down in Ack. You have to accept their ideology!

  10. Wendy says:

    #1 let me know more about the supreme court and the ability to sue lawyers. Chris Robertson may have a line of individuals who can sue for misconduct and conflicts of interest that he has lowered himself too.

    I am not holding my breath with what Boshier says. He contradicts himself to much and I have not seen any dent by his beloved Care of Children Act, to bring fathers back to their children. Ohhh I wonder if I can find a disorder for what Boshier dose…could be a good exploration for the book…hehe

    Well better dash and get hubby ready to pick up his son for his ONCE a month contact. Yeah chew on that Boshier, yet another child who hardly see’s his father due to YOUR court and its inability to hold a parent liable for LIYING!

  11. julie says:

    Firstly, I want to say well done to you Wendy for getting the FC to care and do something regarding your leaflets as well as dads for justice.

    I agree with Intrepid as Boshier is just trying to keep the peace and this will soon be forgotton-he wishes.

    But to Stephen,

    Do you have some study others haven’t seen in which thousands of couples have been interviewed and expressed thier gratitude for the fc?

    Look, I can’t give you proof but I know this through talking to groups and individuals. And common sense tells me by relationship counsellors having been booked up 5 days a week and nights where as the FC are only functioning 2 to 3 days a week.

    As for church groups – well if we were all churchy we wouldn’t have the problems to start with would we? LOL

    And there is no other funding for relationship counselling as far as I know. Do you know something that others don’t know?

    Some guys I know in the nz Men’s movement have batted that idea around a bit. We’ve always come to the conclusion we’d be at the mercy of the funders and thier political agendas.

    We are all at the mercy of funders whether women or not. IMO the bigger picture should be sought after and a 5 year goal and steps to make it work. The bigger picture should be to get men’s funding and a men’s speaker in Parliament.

  12. julie says:

    Intrepid,

    Yes I see what you say in that this is a CON in a sense and the work must go on to make it real.

    Stephen,

    It is good that you know what has been and is thought of.

    Some men just manuevering their way into position. IMO it is clever.

    But there does need to be protest with it I guess.

    What I don’t get is why these 2 ways clash?

  13. Stephen says:

    Julie,
    Yet again I challenge you and you fess up. This time changing your story of

    There are thousands of men and women who can tell you the funding given from the FC for relationship counselling saved their marriages or made things better for splitting up.

    to the statement –

    I can’t give you proof

    Every time I catch you out exagerating and distorting your reputation slides further down the gurgler.

    Maybe now your being shown up you’ll now AGAIN do the “I’m outta here, you guys are loosing an allie you need”.

    If so, whoopdedoo.

    I’ve reached the point where I wish you’d either play straight or clear off. Your not doing me any favours.

    You also comment –

    As for church groups – well if we were all churchy we wouldn’t have the problems to start with would we? LOL

    Nothing to laugh at here. If you had the forethought to ask I could have told you that I was referring to the likes of Presbyterian Support Services, Baptist Family services etc. These agencies DO NOT require you to even be a believer to access thier services. Iknow this for a fact because as a Social Worker I had ties to many of these organisations and made referrals to them occasionally.

    You should also note that the USA has a high proportion of people who declare themselves to be Christian in thier recent national census – approximately 45%, which is much higher than nz’s rate. Yet in the USA the divorce rate is around 60% within the first 5 years of marriage according to figures gleened from Stephen Baskerville’s research shown at mensnewsdaily.com. So it doesn’t look like Christian religiosity correlates with remaining married.
    Nice in theory, but unsubstantiated.

  14. julie says:

    Dear Stephen,

    You can see right through me. Thanx and I mean it for I am well out of my comfort zone here and I don’t want to represent something I am not capable of. (Yet)

    All I need is time to sort through all this. I am aware I am jumping here to there and that I am fighting alot of it.

    What you don’t know is that I have fore-warned Jim Bailey expressing this because I do think of people like him as a fantastic guy yet I don’t have the experience he has and I am not as educated as you. In fact, you are my teacher (and a good one I will add)

    No, I am not trying to weasel my way into the good books with you but I know I can be an asset.

    As for your idea of the Baptist Church and the likes, well they also get funding and I am in awe to thier work.
    Believe it or not but they are encouraging me.

    But I told one of their groups (relationships) about this site and a counsellor wanted to get on and ask “why do you men beat up the women.” They are only human and know nothing compared to you.

    In fact you will find that every 5 years new people become the leaders in these types of groups and they only know what they know. I share so much of what you know.

    The thing is that you and other commentors have lessened up your anti-women recently but when I first started they looked at this site as ‘out there’

    Do you also know that I e-mail women in charge of major women’s groups your work. They also don’t learn this in their studies to be leaders. We have some great discussions.

    I don’t want to change anything about you because you are probably the best person for what you do and we (men and women) in the field need you. We honestly don’t know this stuff you speak of.

    By the way, my computer has broken down and that is why I am not responding so quickly.

    Please don’t misunderstand my tantrums or my madness because one of these days they will be ‘a past’ something to laugh at.

    You have no idea how many people are changing through this site or from word of mouth. You have put up with me this long and I ask you don’t give up on me now.

  15. julie says:

    Stephen,

    This is something to back up my statement for the FC paying out counselling.

    Unfortunately, I cannot give a report/stats to represent couples that have benefitted from these counselling sessions.

    Counselling is available under the Family Proceedings Act 1980, either on request to the Court (section 9) or as directed by a judge. The increase in expenditure on counselling between the 2002/03 and 2003/04 financial years was 3.3, lower than most increases between previous financial years. Figure 3.4 shows the increasing requests for counselling under section 9 of the Family Proceedings Act 1980 could have been offset by a decrease in section 10 Courtreferred counselling. These trends have continued and a similar increase in expenditure may be expected over the next financial year, particularly as the Care of Children Act highlights and extends the availability of counselling services to resolve guardianship issues.

    Ministry of Justice

    2003/04 figures show that $6,165 million was spent on counselling.

    The only expenditure that is higher than counselling for the FC is Counsel for child.

  16. Stephen says:

    Thanks for this Julie.

    2003/04 figures show that $6,165 million was spent on counselling.

    The only expenditure that is higher than counselling for the FC is Counsel for child.

    So 6.5 million gets spent (without any independent research into the actual benefit (or otherwise).

    But wait, counsel for child get even more than this (again with no independent research into their effectiveness).

    I see.

  17. julie says:

    Stephen,

    The actual point I am trying to bring out in the open is that (and I haven’t done ALOT of research so bear with me) feminism took quite some time to become the empire it is today.

    I think there may be some shortcuts to get a male’s commission and start making major changes for men’s rights.

    For the females there was protesting which continued to grow as pressure was put on the younger generation like the university students and they sent information in many forms out into the public as well as nagging for many years.

    But as we know men and women are different and I don’t see ‘the ordinary Joe Bloggs’ nagging for years and I don’t see him having the time to protest with work, family and other commitments. But don’t think that I am disagreeing with the protesting because as that grows a message gets sent far and wide. I am just considering a scenario.

    Apparently, women are the greater voters so I wonder whether a political party will get in from male votes (but not all male voters as some will vote for another party) I am not against this either but it is a different topic.

    Soooooo…

    I am thinking it might be a good idea to know the enemy well and who they really are because something like the FC gravy train is the breadwinner for many groups and the numbers are growing because the FC has been given more milions to spend. Without meaning to be against men in general these groups will be defiant against the men’s movement. That is a setback.

    For other groups like christian groups that get funding WINZ is their major payer so they need to have women on the DPB to keep their service and jobs going. They charge $90 per hour with the credentials of a ‘counselling diploma.’ They would never get that sort of money working for the likes of CADS or any other group.

    Sometimes you have to be a lion and a fox. I am thinking you need to get these people on your side, find shared concerns that will not threaten them and make them defensive but get them to do the educating and nagging alongside you.

    One of the major concerns is children and fathers, another is the emergency housing for men and the lack of funding and another is the suicide rate for males.

    3 things off the top that all of NZ shares concern for. Once you get these things up and going you will see power shifting in the media and research and reports about men will become public.

    Imagine the men’s movement making a huge deal about male suicide. For that you get mental health on your side, you get the doctors and pharmacist’s and you get the mothers. You get the police, youth organisations and more.

    Anyhow, just thoughts.

  18. dad4justice says:

    Dear Julie
    I was invited to attend the 2005 symposium here in ChCh .The two day farce run by SPINZ Strategic Plan was titled : Males and Suicide – Pathways Forward . Not once in two days did I hear anybody mention the word dad or phrase hetro-sexual family man. The Ministry of Health couldn’t careless about dads -fact .The old 72 year old lady from victim support people who sat beside me at the meaningless conference said , “these people don’t care about the average kiwi family – what let down and it is a disgrace .” The learned ones had a shit fight -that was funny to watch !!!!The only un pc thing and highlight was a good man speaking Nick Tuitasi from Auckland police who cares about the problem in South Auckland .

  19. julie says:

    Hi Dad4justice,

    I hear what you are saying and I can picture that happening. Places that have worked with people (from experience) are also having to “toe PC line” to get funding.

    But that does not change what is really happening behind the scenes.

    I went to a youth meeting a while back and sat with the cops because I was late (as usual). When the speaker spoke about the way to deal with troubled youth (gang members) we wanted to laugh and one of the cops asked, “Do they seriously do that when the youth have a gun?”

    Alot of people go to these meetings because they get paid for a day that is different and they look as if they are upgrading their skills.

    My point is that the PC and the actual event is different. Even these young people will learn from experience that what they learn’t in school needs to be challenged.

  20. 99 says:

    I am interested to read comments re the family court processes. I am currently involved in trying to help a friend of mine (male) re-gain equal access to his daughter, as agreed in a parenting order from Jan 2006. He hasn’t seen his daughter since mid Dec 2006, despite the parenting order being clear that access is to be equally shared, & includes the school holidays. Worse, he’s just heard that in the house where his daugther lives with her mother, step-siblings & mother’s partner, that the partner is getting into P. My friend is at his wit’s end as to how to extricate his daughter from this situation. Any suggestions?

  21. julie says:

    Hi 99,

    This is a good group for what you need. Join it as others in the same situation. Alot of advice and very helpful.

    pauls_news

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