When The Law Has Failed Children
Recently I wrote an article about when the courts grant custody to parents, looking into why custody is most often granted to the mother and to be honest it really is a controversial issue. In many senses, if the mother has been a kind and loving mother, in my heart I believe that custody should granted to the mother, while in other areas some mothers do not even deserve to have the title mother. I believe that the courts have a duty to look into more things then they actually do look into such as a criminal background checks looking into a violent history, drug offenses, domestic abuse and so on but sadly most often times this is not the case and because of it it is not the parents who suffer, it is the children.
Both mother and father if married both have parental responsibilities to their children. Sometimes the father just doesn't want the burden of having to care for the children as it was expected of the mother to care for them, however; sometimes it is the father who does care for the child while the mother works so what happens then. Should the mother be awarded custody based on the fact that she is the mother or should the father be awarded custody based on the fact he was the primary caregiver. Unfortunately in some places that is not even looked upon along with the many other things listed.
A few days ago I read an article in the Sydney Herald from Australia about children that are drastically being let down by the family law act because the courts are failing to protect them from the hands of violent, abusive fathers and are awarding these father visitation rights.
I was rather appalled in reading this as the act was meant to protect children from violence and give them a meaningful relationship with both of the parents but as Lesly Laing stated a senior lecturer in the facility of social work and education at the university of Sydney more thought needs to be put into what a meaningful relationship really is. She stated that while this is great, what about when a parent exposes a child to domestic violence. There are no requirements at the present time that a parent who harms a child in this way can demonstrate they can offer this to the child.
A number of women who went through domestic violence were evaluated based on this law and the women described their circumstances as a nightmare. Each and every one of them were told by their lawyers not to say anything about the violence as this would look like they were trying to alienate and hinder contact with the father.
A law that was meant to protect the children has somehow turned into a massive conflict where one parent is just trying to alienate the other from contact in the courts eyes even though the other is highly abusive. The custody battleground then forces both the women and children of these very abusive men into submission and silence yet again without uttering a word about what the other parent is really like.
One woman even stated she had to agree to allowing sleep overs at the abusive fathers as her lawyer convinced it would look bad in the court eyes if she did not and the court may then very well grant even more contact.
Dr Laing stated that most of the women who were interviewed felt extremely guilty about escaping their violent husband because sadly their children had not. It is hard enough for these unfortunate women to leave their abusive husbands but when they do they then have to face a very complex and uncoordinated system. A system in which allows fathers who have both exposed their children to violence to actual visitation rights in order for them to have a meaningful relationship but the truth of the matter is the only way that could ever happen is if the father actually acknowledged they had a problem and then get help for it.
This is just one way the law has failed children among many and in my own personal opinion, violence in the home does not only affect the person being abused but it also affects the children. Whether or not it is a male or female doing the abusing I cannot stress enough how very wrong it is, no one has a right to be abusive in any way towards their partner and when there are children what kind of example is the abusive parent setting? How is this changing the way their children think and feel, mentally, emotionally and psychologically? Will they grow up to be just like them?
This type of law does not help children in any way and it is apparent that the children were not even taken into account. I believe the laws should be amended drastically taking all parties into consideration, not only the wellbeing of the parents but also the wellbeing of the children!
Tanya Kime-Wallace is a writer and freelance writer as well as the owner of a small gardening business. She developed a love for writing at a very young age and is extremely passionate about the written word. She is capable of writing virtually anything she sets her mind to and is an upcoming horror novelist. She has extensive knowledge about horticulture and gardening teaching workshops relating to this subject and enjoys being able to share it with others. She has many interests and when she feels something is interesting or important enough to share, she will write about it. She is also a mother of two beautiful children and cherishes every second of it.
More Articles By Tanya
Copyright © 2010 Tanya Kime-Wallace