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Post earthquake family disputes

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 12:12 pm Sat 21st September 2013

This is an interesting story about the increased activity in the Christchurch Family Court as a result of the earthquake.

The ground may have moved in christchurch as a journalist has sought an opinion from a men’s group.

The Christchurch branch of the Father and Child Trust has been stretched to capacity over parenting issues.
Support worker Cliff Shepherd said frequently when relationships broke up, one parent returned to their hometown.

Does this mean they get funding for all their extra work – probably not they are just causing women problems.


  1. From the article mentioned above by DownUnder:

    University of Canterbury law professor John Caldwell did a study on relocation orders in the year following the February 22 earthquake and found most judges ordered the parent and child return to Christchurch.
    “Usually it’s the mother who is the primary carer and a lot of mothers left Christchurch for a fear of the earthquakes and the fathers, who stayed behind, sought orders to have them returned home,” he said.

    “What I found was that in most cases they were made to return. Judges did not regard the earthquakes as a good enough excuse.”

    I guess it is of of some academic interest that there have been orders made for mothers to return children to Christchurch.

    The only issue of any social value, is whether these orders were voluntarily complied with? or if not, whether the judge was willing to make an enforcement order?

    Even if an enforcement order was made, in the end, it is all toilet paper if the judge isn’t willing to follow through and enforce th enforcement order. (Remember how long it took familycaught$ to act to protect Jaydon Headley. While Chris Jones kept patiently pouring in money and acting in good faith, Legal Aid were willing to match, Jaydon’s paramount interest was secondary to the legal worker’s paramount financial interests.)

    It is little wonder that many men view familycaught$ as less social value than Alice in Wonderland or untested recreational rugs. She never stole from the NZ public! (Incidentally, now that recreational drugs have to be tested for safety, I suggest that familycaught$ should also be tested for safety. judge boshier admitted publicly that the familycaught$ seemed to be associated with an inordinate number of parental suicides. He was unable to make any constructive suggestions about what should be done to solve this procedural problem of familycaught$, as that would reduce their unearned incomes. A USA example of a mother’s suicide, she had lived in NZ for a year or two, after refusal of access to her son: 1 2 3)

    Lets hope that Judith Collins reforms continue. Presently most of the money Government puts into familycaught$ benefits legal workers and seriously disadvantages children and their families. I personally think that Judith Collin’s tinkering will not address the conflicts of interest and lack of relevant child protection skills among legal workers. Accordingly, these reforms are doomed to just prolong the demise of familycaught$ and disadvantage the protection of children.

    Only by making all of this Government funded work publicly visible and having the work put out to public tender, can the competence and greed issues be successfully solved.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by Murray Bacon — Sat 21st September 2013 @ 12:50 pm

  2. In Hawkes Bay I’ve assisted 6 guys over the last few years with non removal (4) and return orders (2). With non removal orders there has been 100% put in place all within a few hours. The 2 guys who applied for return orders got their children returned within a week. I personally think that the family court has moved on from the debacle of the Jaydon Headly type scenarios of past years.

    Comment by Ken — Sun 22nd September 2013 @ 12:43 pm

  3. Dear Ken, I hope that you are right. I have recently seen an Auckland familycaught$ judge dismiss a father’s concerns that his boy could be abducted by the mother to a non Hague african country and refuse to put in place any non removal protection while the boy was in Australia for a holiday. The father had proposed that while the boy was in Australia, that he be protected by an Australian non removal order, at a cost under $2000. The father’s concerns were simply ignored, not properly risk managed.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by Murray Bacon — Sun 22nd September 2013 @ 7:19 pm

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