Family Law Failure
Many of you would be aware that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation have been fighting at the Federal level for positive change in our Family Law system.
Since being elected I have been following this up at a state level. Below are some questions I have asked in Parliament. As you will observe, there is very long waiting periods for the Family Courts, and little to no statistics kept. This makes it impossible to gain any real insight into the effects on families who engage in our Family Law Courts.
Family is so important, and especially the welfare of our children. The way we operate currently has been failing our children and we need that to change, our children deserve so much better.
Question Directed to the: Leader of the House representing the Attorney General Minister responding: Hon J.R. Quigley
What is the average waiting period for cases involving child custody disputes to be finalised in the Family Law Court of Western Australia?
The information requested cannot be provided as the Family Court of Western Australia’s case manage system does not record if a parenting matter specifically relates to a custody dispute.
The Attorney General is able to provide the following, most relevant, data for median time to finalisation / trial for Final Order applications seeking parenting orders between 1st August 2016 and 31st July 2017:
Time to Finalise – 45 weeks for parenting only matters and 64 weeks for parenting and financial matters.
Time to Trial – 98 weeks for parenting only matters and 111 weeks for parenting and financial matters.
(1) How many couples passed through the Western Australian Family Law Court in the last 12 months, and:
(a) of those couples, how many had children under 18 years of age;
(b) of those couples with children under 18 years of age, how many were involved in the Western Australian Family Law Court with custody disputes;
(c) of those children under 18 years of age involved in the custody disputes, how many are directed by the courts to spend equal time with both parents; and
(d) of those children under 18 years of age involved in the custody disputes, how many have been required to have supervised contact with one of the parents?
(2) How many child contact services are there approved by the Family Law Court of Western Australia, and:
(a) what is the average cost per hour of using court approved child contact services; and
(b) what is the cheapest cost per hour of using court approved child contact services?
(1) The Attorney General is unable to provide an answer as the Family Court of Western Australia’s (FCWA) case management system does not record the following, or records them in a manner unsuited to statistical extraction:
(a) if the applicant and respondent were a couple;
(b) if a parenting matter specifically relates to a custody dispute;
(c) what specific orders were made by the Court.
(2) The FCWA does not approve child contact services. Anglicare and Relationships Australia are approved by the Australian Children’s Contact Association and are funded by the Federal Government. The FCWA also refers parties to reputable private agencies, primarily Perth Children’s Contact Services and Safe Oasis.
(a) – (b) Costs vary from agency to agency and on the services provided.
We did some research on costs and we found out below we certainly wouldn’t want to have to come up with the money required to spend quality time with a child.
Safe Oasis: http://www.safeoasissolutions.com.au/...
Perth Children’s Contact Services: http://www.perthchildrenscontactservice.com.au/...
Given the above questions could not be addressed the Attorney General is able to provide the following supplementary information:
(1) The FCWA case management system is designed to capture information necessary to manage matters appropriately. The particulars of a case, including the marital status of the parties is not essential to its functionality and is not recorded.
(b) Similarly, the specific parenting orders sought is not needed for Castrack to manage a matter appropriately and therefore it is not recorded.
(c) And (d) The specific orders made by the Court are written into a Word document and saved into Casetrack as a Word or PDF document. Given the wide variation in the wording of orders it is not possible to use these documents as a source for statistical extraction.
Furthermore, between 1 August 2016 and 31st July 2017, 1,835 Final Order applications seeking parenting orders were lodged.