Jayden Hedley another child failed by the Family Court
I am happy for Jayden now ? that he has returned to his dad and a loving paternal extended family. I am sad for Jayden? now seperated? from a mum and extended maternal family. I have no doubt that Kay , despite her actions, loves Jayden.
? I am angry that Jayden represents tens of thousand of New Zealand children failed by a system that encourages years of litigation and is impotent at protecting Jayden’s right to be parented by both mum and dad. This is the reality of the Family Court, not the spin doctoring of Chief Family Court Judge Peter Boshier.
This mess has dragged on for the whole of a little boy’s life and the Family Court has allowed that to continue. This is the reality of what an adversarial system of family law produces it’s a norm not an exception. Boshier’s own statistics show that his court is happy to accept and encourage absent or part time dads.
Let’s look at what might happen in a better world. It’s a New Zealand with the presumption of equal shared parenting , both sides BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement) is the same, 50/50 equal shared supporting this is a child support system that fixes the cost of children and? apportions cost ? by the percentage of time spent with each parent.
Chris and Kay would make an appointment with a mediator. The mediator’s task would be to work Chris and Kay to a negotiated agreement between parents from a position where both parties are equal and the child’s right to be parented by both parents is protected. Assuming Chris and Kay can’t agree the 50/50 shared care kicks in.
Kay wants to fight it out in a court and is obstructive with the clear aim of alienating a child from his father. To be ultra sure she throws in domestic violence and abuse allegations What happens now?
If a parent deliberately obstructed the child’s right to be parented by the other parent, resulting in drawn out proceedings, or violence and abuse claims not substantiated by a criminal standard of proof, they would be punished and suffer the prescribed penalty. Yes it will have an effect on the child but a punishment must take place as parental alienation greatly increases the damage to a child compared with a reduced amount of time with mum.
The punishment needs to be twofold, a period of limited supervised contact with the children and compulsory attendance at a Kids need Mum and Dad course run by parents. Counselling would be provided free of charge and free access to services that may be needed for example drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Knowing that the best outcome for Kiwi Kids is when both mum and dad share parental rights and responsibilities society would condemn parental alienation and workplaces would adjust to enable shared parenting.
That? New Zealand ? is only a short distance away, the sleeping giant is awakening and the system is shuddering.