‘Obscenely high’: how family court costs are destroying parents and their children

Norton says as well as the repeated letter-writing, the case also involved multiple court applications and aborted legal mediations – all of which cost to launch and respond to.

It amounted to a form of financial abuse, she feels, and one that was able to happen in the current court system.

“As the family court system falls apart, all of the unethical, unscrupulous, bottom-feeding lawyers converge to extract money from the carnage,” she says.

Sarah Henderson, who sat on a parliamentary inquiry into the family violence and family law, told the ABC on Monday the inquiry found “many people were falling through the cracks”.

“The safety of children and child protection were key issues,” she said. “Some of the key recommendations were that family violence must be determined early in the proceedings. This ensures the right orders are made to protect children and too often that is not happening.”

Henderson said they recommended an initial assessment be made before any custody decisions and that shared equal parental responsibility should be abolished because it was being applied improperly and led to unsafe outcomes.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/20/obscenely-high-how-family-court-costs-are-destroying-parents-and-their-children?

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