Monday, February 19, 2007

Kangaroo Court and judge's 'discretion'

Final Hearing – father “inexperienced”
Justice Carmody comes across as reasonable and even-handed. He gave the impression that he made allowances for the fact that I was self-representing.

However, Justice Carmody made some bizarre statements and unreasonable judgments.

He stated that the I was inexperienced as a father ! - even though I had actively brought up a 14 year old daughter and currently had fulltime care, and, as was reflected in the Family Report, she is a positive, thriving, well-adjusted teenager. In fact, I had much more experience than the mother !

“Global assessment”
In the property settlement he took into consideration dubious evidence of shopping grocery bills paid by the mother, and a scrappy and barely legible notebook of supposed expenses. He did not tally the items where a major arithmetical mistake had been made, and accepted as evidence a bank deposit slip which had been filled in but which had not been stamped or separated from the butt. It was obvious my ex-partner was desperately trying to demonstrate that she had contributed as much as I had (changing her story in the process which was evident from previous statements) which she obviously hadn’t. He ignored completely that over $5,000 had been received by the mother in Family Tax Allowances to which both parents were entitled, and that this amount should be taken into consideration when calculating who had spent what. Because I hadn’t kept shopping grocery bills from four years prior, it was assumed I hadn't bought any !

The judge did not take into his calculations my ex-partner’s superannuation because it was concluded that “it would be a long time before she would benefit from it”. I wonder if the same sort of reasoning would have been followed had the superannuation belonged to the father.

Justice Carmody awarded 68% of assets to the mother even though she had contributed only 24%. He said “This is a global assessment and I am not required to, and will not provide a breakdown for this figure.” Not even a justification for this decision was given.

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