Imagine a federal court magistrate writing a letter to two children, explaining why he had cut them off from their father, such is the shift in Australian family law.

The shared parenting reforms of the Howard era are giving way to a new paradigm in which fathers are being excluded, and non biological parents are being put on to birth certificates.

Miranda Divine tells us ‘Magistrate Tom Altobelli’s letter to the boy, 11, and girl, 6, was nicely written. But it is no substitute for the love of a father whose contact has been limited to letters, birthday cards and gifts.’  I couldn’t agree more.

But of course where there is smoke there is fire right?  The mother had accused the father of sexually abusing their daughter, a story that we all would feel sickened by, and would support what the Magistrate has decided, however, there is a twist, you see ‘the court heard her belief was based on the predictions of a clairvoyant’.

Magistrate Altobelli, who heard all the evidence, concluded the father had not done it.
Why then is the father and his children being punished by his losing his children.

“I decided that you had not been hurt by your dad,” Altobelli wrote in the letter, to be opened by the children when they turn 14.

“Even after I told your mum what I decided, I think she still believed in her heart that your dad had hurt you,” he wrote.

This to me is an abuse of power, the father is found innocent of the allegations, and then he is told he could not see his children and contact has been limited to letters, birthday cards and gifts, which of course the mother can choose not to give to her children.

The mother had poisoned the children against their father and accused him of one of the worst crimes possible. Yet she was rewarded with sole custody because the magistrate said she would be a better parent.

This isn’t fair, but Altobelli, like all family law judges, was trying to keep the children’s best interests at heart when parents are at war, even though they are sliding down the slippery slide of distancing broken families from their parents, and stripping away of a father’s rights, especially at a time where the mother is attempting to poison the children’s views of their father.

Changes to family law last week by federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon will only make custody more difficult for fathers.  The definition of “domestic violence” is to be widened into the world of the meaningless, counting such misbehaviour as “withholding money”, stalking, and hurting a family pet – with males being the obvious villains.

The consequences will be to encourage more vexatious abuse claims, deny more children a relationship with their father and erode faith in the law.  You would think if a malicious mother falsely accuses a father of abusing his children that should count for domestic abuse, but instead such lies will be encouraged – and more women made to see themselves as victims.

It is another attack on the family units, leading us down a path into the wilderness without giving us the moral compass to find our way through.  This is the work of a Socialist Government who is tearing at the very fabric of families and trying to cause turmoil from which they will, when all hope is lost offer the hand of hope …with a red flag.

Kevin Hicks