Australia’s Shared Parenting Experiment (Whiston, 2009)

Posted on September 13, 2009 by

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An overview of marriage, divorce and the new custody laws in Australia

By Robert Whiston FRSA, Sept 13th 2009

Every English speaking country around the globe has been trying for years to reach the point now achieved by Australia, namely the enacting of ‘shared parenting’. The goal is to make matters a little more equitable for divorced fathers and the judicial “orphaning” effect on children less severe.

In Britain, Canada, and New Zealand, for example, all attempts at a more egalitarian division of children’s time after divorce have been stonewalled using the same rehearsed argument once voiced in Australia.

Mindless chanting is fine for domestic audiences but why, if it is so impossible to arrange, can the French, Dutch, Swedes and Belgians have the wit that Anglophones lack ? Why not tell the public the truth – explain how and why it is we ‘Anglos’ can’t manage it

Shared Parenting in Australia was made possible by the introduction of Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006. This reformedPart VII of the Family Law Act 1975.

The most significant aspect of this reform was the introduction of a rebuttable presumption of ‘equal shared parental responsibility’. In particular, the concurrent obligation placed on family courts to consider ‘equal time’ and ‘substantial and significant time’ arrangements where the presumption applies.

Australia’s legal reform saw the introduction of ‘parenting plans’ which it was stated in the Act would help determine what actually was in the child’s best interests.

The “child’s best interests” is both a legacy and an obstacle. No where is there a definitive criterion and no where is it anyone but 3rd party adults and professionals deciding what is in the parents’ and child’s best interests.(and at last academia and the mainstream media is beginning to recognise the anomaly). [1]

In an attempt to tackle this intellectual and philosophical deficit and reconcile parents, the Act divided considerations of the child’s best interests into two categories, 1). primary considerations and 2). additional considerations. These considerations are intended to form the basis of custody awards.

(NB. There seems to be an in-built assumption in the Act that only cases where the parents are in dispute does it necessitate them going to court for a ruling – RW).

In common with reforms in Belgium and Holland, resources were made available in Australia for the reconciliation of differences between parents and to help separating parents reach their own agreements.

At the same time as the Government implemented these legislative changes it also established Family Relationship Centres around Australia and funded other non-Government organisations (NGO) to provide parents with advice, counselling and mediation

It is interesting to note that all the topics alluded to so far have been put to the Lord Chancellor’s Dept (LCD) and the Ministry of Justice by Britain’s fathers groups since 2001 but to no avail.

It was anticipated that the majority of cases in Australia would be settled ‘amicably’ without court intervention. It was foreseen that only the more ‘intractable cases’ would reach court.

The implication of this is that whereas previously ‘the shadow of the court’ promoted sole custody arrangements with men not likely to challenge for better custody, the reforms of 2006 meant that equal and shared parenting was likely to grow, both through court awards and by off-the-balance-sheet arrangements, i.e. the shadow of the law effect.

It must surely come as a surprise to fathers everywhere that Australia’s Chief Justice suddenly decided that custody awards merited the keeping of statistics – said by a government source to be ‘a first’ for Australia’ judiciary.

The idea, apparently, was to “understand the results that were being obtained by the parties coming to court.” Why was this not being done already ? (This was a recommendation made to CAFCASS in LCD committee in 2000 by Britain’s fathers groups).

By the end of 2008 enough data had been gathered for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to make some basic and tentative assessment. The number of finalised cases totalled 1,448 and the number where “early agreements” had been reached was 2,719 (2007 – 2008).

These judicial statistics have to be measured against the larger number that are not decided by courts, made informally in the shadow of the law (and these figures do not relate to orders made in the Federal Magistrates’ Court).

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Fig 1. Shared parental responsibility – Time spent with parents  - Family Court of Australia, 2009

 

In the diagram above (Fig1; Click for enlargement) the left most columns represents with whom the child spent the majority of their time. At nearly 70% are mothers with “consent orders”. The next column in the group, at 60%, is mothers with “final order papers”. A round 8% are fathers with “consent orders” and at 17% (light blue) are fathers with “final order papers”.

The next series of columns (and much shorter) reflect awards of a 50:50 division of time between parents. In this category around 18 – 19% of parents get equal time with their children.

The subsequent categories from right to left are 3). 30% – 45%, 4). 10% – 29%, 5). 1% – 0%, 6). No contact at all, 7). no order set, 8). “complex”, 9). Not available.

(See Appendix A below for more analysis).

It would be fair to assess the first 2 years as failing to live up to the fears of mothers and women’s groups that fathers would runaway with the majority of custody awards and the majority of shared custody. If anything the transformation to equality is close to imperceptible.

Overall, the Family Court has made orders that the children spend more than 50% of time with their mother in 60% of litigated cases – but ‘60% of litigated cases’ does not mean 60% of all cases.

By way of balancing this figure, where parents can reach an early agreement it was agreed that the child spend more than 50% of time with their mother in 68% of cases.

It is probably too early to suggest that Pareto’s Law is applying in custody awards.

The Family Court made 50/50 care orders between parents in only 15% of litigated cases. However this figure rose to 19% of cases where parents had came to an early agreement to share care.

If any progress is to be made in other countries – pre-supposing that a full 50:50 share in child care is an unlikely option – then the next category is perhaps the most vital, i.e. cases where the father receives between 30% and 45% of time.

In this category of cases where the father received between 30% and 45% of the time, the Family Court made orders to that effect in 14% of the litigated cases.

In this same category the Family Court made orders that the children spend between 30% to 45% of time with the mother in only 3% of litigated cases.

In a third of litigated cases, the Family Court ordered that children spend 30% or less time with their father (Fig 2). Of the 100% of this category, the main reasons for the order included ‘abuse and family violence’ in 29% of cases (Fig 2).

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Fathers - when less then 30% of the time

Fig. 2. Fathers – when less then 30% of the time – Reasons for the Family Court to order that children spend 30% or less time with their father in a third of the litigated cases

 

Reason

Percentage of cases

Abuse and family violence 29%
Entrenched conflict 15%
Distance/transport/financial barriers 6%
Substance abuse 5%
Relocation 4%
Mental health 3%
Childs’ views 2%
Other (*) 35%
* ‘Other’ includes where the reason is unknown such as; the parties consenting during the litigation process, the reason is not covered by a category, or there is multiple and complex reasons.
Source: Family Court of Australia, Shared parental responsibility – Statistics in cases conducted in the Family Court of Australia during 2007–08, 2 March 2009

 

If 29% of these 30% of cases involved allegations of abuse and family violence, this equates to approx. 9% of the total decided by courts (i.e. 29% of 30%). Where ’entrenched conflict’ is given as the reason this equates to 5% (i.e. 15% of 30%).

In 9% of litigated cases (Fig 3), the Family Court ordered that children spend 30% or less time with their mother. The main reasons for the order include mental health issues (31%) and abuse/violence. The later, at 16%, is higher than one would expect and for some reason no ’entrenched conflict’ is listed for mothers. This pushes the reader towards interpreting all conflict as male inspired.

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Mother - when less then 30% of the time

Fig 3. Mothers – when less then 30% of the time – Reasons for the Family Court to order that children spend 30% or less time with their mother in 9% of the litigated cases

 

Reason

Percentage of cases

Mental health issues 31%
Distance/ transport/financial barriers 16%
Abuse and/or family violence 16%
Substance abuse 7%
Relocation 7%
Entrenched conflict 2%
Childs’ views 2%
Other (*) 20%
* ‘Other’ includes where the reason is unknown such as; the parties consenting during the litigation process, the reason is not covered by a category, or there is multiple and complex reasons.
Source: Family Court of Australia, Shared parental responsibility – Statistics in cases conducted in the Family Court of Australia during 2007–08, 2 March 2009

 

In some states of the USA where shared parenting legislation has been adopted it has been suggested that a declined in the numbers divorcing has followed. This is not conclusively proven but tentative. Observations of a situation can also be deeply influenced by a fall in economic activity; a fall in marriage numbers, or is simply a coincidence.

Therefore, the graph below (Fig 4) should be treated with caution. The apparent fall in divorce since 2001 (itself unusually high) has been followed by further falls but the overall ‘averaged’ level, taken from 1996 to 2005, did not significantly fall until 2007.

 

Fig 4. Divorces granted: Australia - 1988-2007

 

A further word of caution in relation to Fig 4 is needed, namely that the ‘Y axis’ does not begin at zero divorces but starts at 39,000 divorces and rises to over 54,000, thus exaggerating the annual variations and could give a false first impression.

The number of divorces fell to 51,375 in 2006 and fell further in 2007 to 47,963. Whether this is a sustainable downward trend or a ‘statistical blip’ only time will tell.

It should also be added that the number of divorces granted in 2007 was 9.8% lower than five years earlier but only 6.6% lower than 10 years ago due to a peak in the number of divorces granted in 2001.The decade trend from 1998 to 2007 is shown in tabular form at Fig 5. At 47 963 there were still more divorces than there were in 1988.

Fig 5. Number of divorces granted – selected years 1988 – 2007 (Australia).

1988 1998 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
No. of divorces granted 41 007 51 370 53 145 52 747 52 399 51 375 47 963
Source: Taken from “Selected divorce indicators – Australia: Selected years – 1988-2007”, ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2007

In recent years the proportion of children caught up in their parents divorce has dropped from 57% to 49% (see Fig 6). The numbers too have fallen. This, however, could be a function of postponing childbearing until later in married life.

Fig 6. Proportion of children caught up in their parents divorce – selected years 1988 – 2007 (Australia).

1988 1998 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Proportion of all divorces (%) 57.5 53.4 50.1 49.8 49.8 50.1 49.3
Actual numbers of children 49 850 48,396 44,371
Source: Taken from “Selected divorce indicators – Australia: Selected years – 1988-2007, %, (children)”, ABS 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2007

 

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Looking back over the last twenty years the proportion of divorces involving children aged under 18 years has decreasing but that decline has slowed in recent years (compare Fig 6 with Fig 7).

NB. In Britain we tend to include children aged under 16 and define them as ‘dependent’. In other countries the age for used is 18 (e.g. Australia, New Zealand).

In terms of actual numbers of children affected by parental divorce only figures for 2006 and 2007 were readily accessible (Fig 6 and Fig 7). From other ABS sources it would appear that in 2001, 28,345 children had parents who divorced and in 2002 the figure was 26,820 children. [2]

Fig 7. Numbers of children affected by parental divorce 1984 – 1994

Australia / Year 1984 ’85 ’86 ’87 ’88 ’89 ’90 ’91 ’92 ’93 ’94
Divorces involving children of all divorces (%) 60.9 60.6 59.7 58.6 57.5 55.3 55.6 54.2 52.9 52.6 nya
Actual numbers of children 50,713 24,215
Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2002

For the first time in 20 years the proportion of divorces involving children fell below 50% in 2007 (49.3%). If this is related to Australia’s introduction of shared parenting it will be intriguing to see what future years will bring.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics then displays this trend as a graph (see Fig 8), however it should be noted that the Y axis begins at 48% and not zero%. This means that the visually dramatic fall seen in Fig 8 is really only a 10% fall, from around 60% to close to 50%.

 

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Fig 8. Proportion of divorces involving children, Australia 1986 – 2006. <br>(Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 - Divorces, Australia, 2006)

The duration of marriages, from inception to separation, has risen slightly since 1988 (Fig 9). The duration has risen from 10 years in 1988 to 12½ years in 2006.

 

Fig 9. Median length to separation and divorce: Australia – 1988 - 2007. <br>(Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 - Divorces, Australia, 2007)

Fig 9. Median length to separation and divorce: Australia – 1988 – 2007. (Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2007)

At the same time the age at which divorces were sought also increased from 33 for females in 1988 (the key driver) to 40 in 2006 (Fig 10).

If the American predictions about the effects of shared parenting are true then this trend should be reinforced over the coming years.

Once again the Australian Bureau of Statistics have displayed the trend in the graph (Fig 10) not with a zero% Y axis but one that begins at 34,000. However, whereas earlier trend lines had fluctuations giving undue importance to a trend change, Fig 10 has consistently upwards trend lines and so more accurately reflects the changes in society.

Fig 10. Median age at divorce: Australia - 1988-2007. <br>(Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 - Divorces, Australia, 2007)

Fig 10. Median age at divorce: Australia – 1988-2007. (Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2007)

It has been suggested that women would petition less for divorce if they knew (or feared) they would not automatically be awarded custody of the children. Conversely, this might encourage husbands/fathers to petition in greater numbers. However, this does not yet appear to be the case.

This is underscored by Fig 11, which gives an analysis of those petitioning for divorce. The upper line (starting at 50%) represents women applying for divorce and displays a ‘surge’ between 1996 and 2001. The middle line beginning at 38% shows male applications. Both male and female applicant trends are generally downwards, while, ‘joint applications’ emerge from relative obscurity in 1988 to a dominant position by 2006. Why this should have occurred is not clear unless it is related to some peripheral driver, e.g. legal aid entitlement.

Fig 11. Type of applicant: Australia - 1988-2007. <br>(Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 - Divorces, Australia, 2007)

Fig 11. Type of applicant: Australia – 1988-2007. (Source: ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2007)

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Postscript

Vociferous and sometimes vitriolic opposition to equality in parenting has already surfaced in Australia. It comes not from fathers but from women’s organisations which must somehow feel themselves under threat and a few academics, e.g. Jennifer McIntosh. This threat must relate to the prospect of not seeing their children quite so often and/or with not so much of the monopoly over their children that they once previously enjoyed.

Could this horror be rooted in their own fear ? The nightmare that some fathers/men might do to them what for years they have been wantonly doing to fathers ?

For academics the threat is to their reputations. Adele Horin writing in Australia’s ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ quotes Jennifer McIntosh, a highly respected child psychologist as casting doubt on the efficacy of post divorce shared care / shared parenting. [3] Having invested so many years writing papers and authoring books to now be shown (and over the coming years proven) to have got it completely wrong is worth any manipulation of the facts – certainly until retirement. [4]

The current maliciousness towards equal parenting tends to come from those very people that have for so long demanded that Society treat them as equals.

Those that describe themselves as professional and business women are allegedly opposed to equal parenting – if there are any professional and business women in favour of equal parenting they have so far failed to step forward or counter their sisters. Yet is it not the case that shared equal parenting would mimic traditional couples inasmuch that it would give the former wife and mother, more ‘down time’, more quality time for her own personal needs, more time to focus on her career and profession and generally lower her stress levels (see mental health levels Fig 3 above) ?

The other argument ‘thread’ found on Australian websites and in the occasional feature article is one connected to the perceived risk of violence.

Since we have shown above that this applies to only about 5% of families one might be tempted to dismiss it as a comparative irrelevance. However, since it will be ‘majored’ on by opponents to equal parenting (predominantly by that splinter group in society involved with domestic violence against women, but not against men), its deserves a brief demolition. [5]

The policy of this group, perhaps best described as a ‘clique’, is to stress how Australia is a family-friendly nation, and that as such Australia should remain committed to children (note how Nationalism suddenly appears from this quarter).

The needs of children should be the paramount consideration when deciding custody (note, needs are not specified). But who decides custody in both the present and former regimes ? Adults, of course ! Children – when they are asked – uniformly say they want access to and enjoy both parents.

This clique believes the changes to equality in parenting were premised on ensuring the rights and welfare of parents (and why not, there are two parents and both have rights ?), yet they are unable to see this criticism, circular though it is, could be equally levelled at the previous regime.

Their argument then turns to the new system being awful because it adopts a “one size fits all” principle. From the statistics given above this clearly is not the case and is demonstrable nonsense.

If anything can be labelled a “one size fits all” solution it is the former regime where men were totally excluded from meaningful participation in the future lives of their own children and women almost guaranteed 100% custody.

Had women not so recklessly, routinely and gratuitously abused their position of trust and misused their ‘gatekeeping’ powers, a reform might not have been so urgently necessary.

Examination of the clique’s claim that the new law takes no account of the circumstances of individual families and individual children is rendered absurd by the above statistics depicting the division of custody and the reasons given.

Then, by focusing on the dysfunctional and troubled families (which do exist), their logic is that the new regime cannot be rolled out to those families which are not dysfunctional and not troubled, i.e. normal, as this will somehow be unfair and disadvantage dysfunctional families.

Evidently the proverbial penny has not dropped – one cannot have a “one size fits all” criticism if at the same time also complaining about the new law taking into account disadvantaged and ‘troubled families’.

By freeing up resources these troubled families are able to secure the attention and dedication that under the previous regime would have been rationed or curtailed. By implication this means that the hope among even the most dysfunctional and troubled families of a path to normality will be improved.

Critics of the new shared parenting laws prefer not to publicise how broken and defective were the previous set of laws. Papers from 10th Australian National Family Law Conference held in Melbourne (16-20 March 2002) spell out unequivocally how out of touch the model had become by 2002. [6] One speaker was of the opinion that:

“The concept of parental responsibility is past its use-by date. It should be consigned to the dustbin of legal history, like the Roman law concept of paterfamilias.

Society needs a new standard: that of family responsibility [as opposed to ‘parental responsibility’]. By this I mean that family members should be responsible for each other and that the extent of the ‘bundle’ of rights accorded to each family member should depend on the degree of responsibility exercised in practice by each member, whether such responsibility is accepted voluntarily and lovingly or imposed by the law.

The idea of family should be broadly defined to encompass disparate cultural and social models so that the general principle of family responsibility can be adapted pragmatically to specific circumstances.

Thus I endorse the German law that children are legally obliged to financially support their aging parents, with the concomitant rule (followed in Spain) that a young person should not be entitled to welfare benefits if the family can afford to provide support.
My basic premise also leads me to criticise laws, such as in France, Sweden and Germany, which prohibit a father from totally disinheriting an unrepentant prodigal son. Responsibilities conferring rights, yes, but no rights without responsibilities.

The criticism before Australia changed her custody law – and it’s a chorus in every English speaking nation – is that it would lead to the neglect of children’s rights and an increase in domestic violence. This claim is now being re-laundered in the post-legislative phase. This is a useful indicator to other countries of what they might expect should they adopt Australia’s solution.

That esoteric legion which earns it salary through domestic violence advocacy fails to mention that their concerns about rising levels of conflict between parents is unlikely to occur given that there is now less at stake or to argue about. They complain of “a very oppressive culture that desperately needs to be reviewed”, yet fail to see that only the previous regime was oppressive and created a culture of animosity and ‘winner takes all’.

Surely the ideal of such domestic violence interest groups is to eradicate “the problem” and so work themselves out of a job.

Or is it ?

Faced with unemployment would not the kind of review they seek put them back into fulltime employment ?

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Appendix A

CASES WHERE MOTHERS RECEIVED A MAJORITY OF TIME

  • In 60% of litigated cases, the Family Court made orders that the children spend more than 50% of time with their mother.
  • Where parents came to an early agreement, it was agreed in 68% of cases that the child spend more than 50% of time with their mother.

CASES WHERE FATHERS RECEIVED A MAJORITY OF TIME

  • In 17% of litigated cases, the Family Court made orders that the children spend more than 50% of time with their father.
  • Where parents came to an early agreement, it was agreed in 8% of cases that children spend more than 50% of time with their father.

CASES WHERE 50/50 TIME WAS AWARDED

  • In 15% of litigated cases, the Family Court made orders for 50/50 care between parents.
  • Where parents came to an early agreement, the parents agreed on a 50/50 care arrangement in 19% of cases.

CASES WHERE THE FATHER RECEIVED BETWEEN 30% AND 45% OF TIME

  • In 14% of litigated cases, the Family Court made orders that the children spend between 30% to 45% of time with their father.
  • Where parents came to an early agreement, it was agreed in 11% of cases that the children spend between 30% to 45% of time with their father.
  • In 3% of litigated cases, the Family Court made orders that the children spend between 30% to 45% of time with the mother.
  • Where parents came to an early agreement, it was agreed in 1% of cases that the children spend between 30% to 45% of time with their mother.

CASES WHERE THE FATHER SPENT NO TIME WITH THE CHILDREN

  • In 6% of litigated cases, the father was ordered to spend no time with the children.
  • Where the parents came to an early agreement, it was agreed in less than 1% of cases that the father have no contact with the children.

The main reasons for the order include:

Reason

Percentage of cases

Abuse and family violence 38%
Entrenched conflict 10%
Distance/transport/financial barriers 0%
Relocation 2%
Mental health issues 2%
Other 42%
* Not all categories are shown in this table therefore it does not add to 100%. ‘Other’ includes where the reason is unknown such as; the parties consenting during the litigation process, the reason is not covered by a category, or there is multiple and complex reasons.
Source: Family Court of Australia, Shared parental responsibility – Statistics in cases conducted in the Family Court of Australia during 2007–08, 2 March 2009

CASES WHERE THE MOTHER SPENT NO TIME WITH THE CHILDREN

  • In 1% of litigated cases, the mother was ordered to have no contact with the children.

The main reasons for the order include:

Reason

Percentage of cases

Abuse and family violence 15%
Entrenched conflict 0%
Distance/transport/financial barriers 8%
Relocation 8%
Mental health issues 31%
Other 31%
* Not all categories are shown in this table therefore it does not add to 100%. ‘Other’ includes where the reason is unknown such as; the parties consenting during the litigation process, the reason is not covered by a category, or there is multiple and complex reasons.
Source: Family Court of Australia, Shared parental responsibility – Statistics in cases conducted in the Family Court of Australia during 2007–08, 2 March 2009

GRANDPARENTS

  • In 8% of litigated cases the Family Court ordered that the child spend time with grandparents.
  • In 2% of cases where there was an early agreement it was agreed that the child spend time with the grandparent.
  • In 2% of litigated cases the Family Court ordered that the child spend time with an ‘other’ person.
  • In 1% of cases where there was an early agreement it was agreed that the child spend time with an ‘other’ person.

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References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2002 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/FBC6FEDBB2B43180CA256FAF0071CE3F?opendocument
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2006 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/ProductsbyReleaseDate/93C5FC5AF5651286CA2574B30017C7F7?OpenDocument
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2007; http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/7d12b0f6763c78caca257061001cc588/f356dbb7ea7a96eeca256f10007b6b1a!OpenDocument; http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3307.0.55.001
  4. Baroness Deech of Cumnor DBE; Human Rights and Welfare – Do children need a father?, Gresham College – Lectures and Events, 11/05/2009 http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=865
  5. Family Court of Australia, Shared parental responsibility – Statistics in cases conducted in the Family Court of Australia during 2007–08, 2 March 2009 http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/resources/file/eb6b6e03325f52f/SPR_org_02_03_09.pdfhttp://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/resources/file/eb6b6f033263e7d/SPR_org_02_03_09.doc
  6. Robert Whiston and Nigel Hawkes; Violence and the invisible sex; In: Straight Statistics – Tue, 15/09/2009 – 09:10http://www.straightstatistics.org/article/violence-and-invisible-sex

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Footnotes

[1] “A Critical Perspective on the Welfare Principle” by Stephen Gilmore (2001). From: The Law and Social Work; Part I. See also “No yardstick for child’s best interest – It would make more sense to probe least detrimental options”, Leonard Carr, The Times, South Africa Aug 19, 2009 http://www.timeslive.co.za/opinion/columnists/article17710.ece

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[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, 3307.0.55.001 – Divorces, Australia, 2002 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/allprimarymainfeatures/FBC6FEDBB2B43180CA256FAF0071CE3F?opendocument

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[3] “Children at risk in rise of shared care”, 4 March 2008. Sample was small – 77 court cases involving 111 children.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/children-at-risk-in-rise-of-shared-care/2008/03/03/1204402365352.html

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[4] Compare Ruth Deech lecture http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=865 Ref. Gresham College Lecture, 2009, and ‘Divorce Dissent’ with her work devising easier divorce laws. See also (judge) Brenda Hogget exponent of anti-marriage, ‘Ends & Means: The Utility of Marriage’ 1980, who then marries her cohabitee of many years Prof. Julian Farrand.

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[5] ‘Violence and the invisible sex’, http://www.straightstatistics.org/article/violence-and-invisible-sex

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[6] International Family Law Chambers http://www.internationalfamilylaw.com/pub/10melb.html

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Addendum: for the use of Richard Grenville – see comments below:

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