Watching the discussion on Channel Nine Sunday program ("Divorce : a national epidemic') this morning (20 May 2007) on the reform of Family Law, one thing I picked up was:
Some of the women who spoke in the program appear to have the conviction that motherhood is a right while fatherhood is a privilege (best bestowed and regulated by the mother). They say that fathers should earn the right of contact.
This is a key point of difference which must be discussed and decided upon.
We must demonstrate that motherhood is both a right and a privilege, and that fatherhood is also both a right and a privilege, and that neither the mother nor the father, nor the Family Court for that matter, can bestow or regulate this natural right and privilege.
In cases of alleged child abuse the State must investigate both parents even-handedly.
In cases of proven child abuse the State must ensure contact between the offending parent and the child is safe for the child.
In cases of chronic conflict between the parents, the State must impose commensurate penalties as a deterrent as well as remedial counselling, mediation, therapy etc. There are ways of organising shared parenting which can minimise the risk of conflict such as changeovers at school, using a mediator for decision-making, assign parents different areas for decision-making, etc.
to see a transcript or video of the program.