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Do we need Courts in Family Law or Panels of Experts who can really assist ?

July 29, 2015

 

In a disfunctional family environment where there is a history of family violence, multiple local court orders - breaches - and continual failure to make it work, does a Court Order of the Family Court (Federal Court) really assist ?

 

In many ways the intervention of an adversarial system with all of the usual suspects - lawyers/judges/expert witnesses, the trauma and disfunction is often added to.

 

Why then waste money on Courts in which it is abundantly clear is bursting at the seams attemption to manage its caseload, when we could simply have Panels of Experts.

 

Why not have clients, or their appointed case managers (from a Social Science background as opposed to lega) tick boxes on a form to identify what parties regard as areas in which assistance is required for them and their partner. The list could include "Anger Management" , "Drug addiction" , "Financial Capacity" , etc etc.

 

Once a review of the identified areas of assistance is reviewed with some evidence of case need history, then a Panel of Experts courl be convened to guide the parties towards orders for resolution. Only in cases of non-compliance could Courts then intervene to issue Injunctive Orders. For example, if a party does not attend drig and alcahol counselling or attend a rehab centre to address that issue then the Court could be empowered to restrain the time between the child and the parent until that Directive is complied with.

 

In the case of risk of harm the matter could be dealt with by the Panel of Experts informing themselves however they deed appropriate.

 

Such a system, could be a first tier system prior to Court intervention. While the present law requires parties to attempt a resolution the attempt (which often is a "non-starter" or otherwise expempt because of family violence and other reason) the Panel of Experts system should me mandatory and non-exempt.

 

Far too many matters enter the Court system with either levels of disfunction which the Court can not deal with by mere Orders (and indeed, the present system is not really a remedial system to assist parties to levels of functionality) or minor levels of disfunction which blow out to major levels of disfunction when petrol is thrown onto the fire of the dipute by an adversarial and very strained Family Law Court System.

 

 

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