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Old 22nd May 2006, 08:56 PM   #1
Your friendly local necromancer
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Posts: 100
New Zealand Coalition of Fathers Protests

As reported on Campbell Live tonight, the Coalition of Fathers is taking their protests against Family Court discrimination to the private houses of lawyers and judges.

While I don't really condone this behaviour, I am absolutely full of empathy. Fathers have been fighting the bias in New Zealand courts for years and not being taken seriously. This is what happens when people get desperate.

Like many fathers I don't feel I can relate the details of my own personal experiences for fear of hurting innocent people. However I will say a few things....

I've lived through a custody battle. I never actually went to family court for one simple reason - two very expensive lawyers both told me exactly the same thing (I will paraphrase): "On paper you have a strong case. If the judge didn't know which parent you were, you would probably win. Unfortunately you're the male so unless you can prove that the mother is abusing the child, you can't win. Your only hope is to get a reasonable access deal."

I was lucky and access has not been an issue on the whole. However several friends have fared much worse. Basically, our courts seem to automatically grant the mother full power and fathers have to fight if they see an injustice.

For example, if a mother decides to renege on a deal and withhold access rights it can be very difficult for a father to fight back.

One good friend of mine watched helplessly while the mother of his kids took them to Europe, never to return. This happened while he was desperately trying to find some legal way to stop her. While lawyers wrangled, the mother did as she pleased.

One final comment: A lawyer on tonight's program claimed that they are all working for the benefit of children. I wish I could quote names and facts instead of just hoping you'll believe me: I have personally witnessed three family court lawyers in action. Not one of them was interested in the child's welfare. All three of them wanted one thing only - victory for their client. All three were prepared to use what I would call dirty tricks to achieve this outcome.
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