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Family law reforms could see children getting more say

Changes to the family law system could see children having more say in the resolution of family disputes.

The Australian Law Reform Commission outlines options for change, including the rewinding of the Howard Government’s shared care reforms.

Chris Smith asks Turner Freeman’s family law specialist, Catherine Parks, whether children should have more of a say in family court matters.

“Is it fair to put that responsibility on the child?

“Courts already, with the assistance of psychologists and social workers… listen to what the children have to say, they take it into account but they’re certainly not driven by what children have to say.

“[Children] can be influenced. Children often also have a real sense of fairness whereas it might not be best to spend equal time… with both parents.”

Ms Parks tells Chris changes to shared care rules could reignite divisions between women’s groups and fathers’ groups.

“Without a doubt. The reality is that in 2006 when the amendments to the Act were made, it was absolutely in response to fathers’ groups who felt frustrated with the system.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview