Family Court of Australia Amendments Petition

We call on the Federal Government to:
  • Amend custody, access and shared care of Australian children following divorce where there is an allegation of violence or abuse by a parent.

  • Implement former Chief Justice of the Family Court Alistair Nicholson suggestion that the onus should be on a parent with a history of abuse to prove they are safe and that an inquisitorial process better serves the needs of children in the Family Court.

  • Acknowledge in legislation that access to both parents is not always beneficial to children when there is insufficient regard to previous history or evidence of family violence or sexual abuse by a parent.

  • Enshrine in legislation that parents’ rights to their children must not take precedence over the children's right to be and feel safe.

  • Legislate that all legal professionals in FCA have acccredited training in child development, domestic violence and child sexual abuse. A panel of experts who have spent time with the child should also make a recommendation to the court.

  • Introduce legislation allowing FCA to hear children's own testimony regarding custody and access. We must stop parents and foster carers from forcing crying children to see parents they were removed from because of violence or sexual abuse.

  • To review the legal system in which the very lives of children are put shamefully at risk. To dispel, through legislation, the current court myth that a violent spouse can be a good parent. The current system is ill equipped to deal with psychological needs of children.
You can read more about and sign this petition here.