January 28, 2010 4:23PM
SEPARATED fathers are not entitled to a 50-50 time split with their children, and legislation introduced by the Howard government in 2006 should be amended to make that clear, a report says.
A 300-report by retired family court judge Richard Chisholm recommends five changes to the so-called "shared parenting" law, which he described as a "tangle" that had taken the focus off "what is best for the children," The Australian reports.
The hotly anticipated Chisholm report, which was ordered by Attorney-General Robert McClelland after the shocking death of Melbourne girl Darcey Freeman, who was thrown to her death from the West Gate Bridge last year, says the shared parenting law has made it difficult for women to raise allegations of violence in the Family Court system.
A separate, 1000-page report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, also released this afternoon, says the majority of lawyers now believe that the 2006 reforms favour fathers over mothers, and parents over children.
The two reports into shared parenting - plus a third report, by the Family Law Council - were released simultaneously by Mr McClelland this afternoon.
Mr McClelland said the Government would review all reports before making changes but agreed that a false idea had taken hold in the community that fathers were entitled to a 50-50 time split.
“How we address that is what we've now got to decide,” he said.Dads,Caroline,Overington,news,From,Australian,January,children,Howard,government,Richard,Chisholm,reports,Attorney,General,Robert,McClelland,death,Melbourne,girl,Darcey,Freeman,West,Gate,Bridge,violence,Court,system,Institute,afternoon,Council,Read,fathers,allegations,lawyers