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A recent submission to the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 [Provisions]

I am the result of shared parenting. It was enforced because my parents were told it was the normal
arrangement when they divorced when I was 12. I spent every second weekend (far from the
disgusting 50/50 arrangements some poor children are forced into) travelling for three hours around
trip to spend time with my Dad.
I am left with an anxiety disorder and I will NEVER forgive my father for pushing his desire to see me
over my need for consistency and a normal life.
I was never able to make ‘best’ friends because I was never around! With one week on and one
weekend off I could never be counted on by my friends. Sleepovers were impossible. I travelled for
hours to see my father, away from my extra curricular activities while his life barely changed at all. I
missed hours and hours of ballet lessons, outings with friends, church and so on.
All this was done after a violence free relationship and fairly amicable split by my parents.
The fathers in Australia can look forward to their children HATING them for what they’ve done.
Good on you Mens’ groups. By the way, do they think their daughters are going to be proud of the fact
their fathers ignored basic evolutionary science (that children need their mother and that mothers are
chemically wired to be the most empathetic and self sacrificing parent) to get his own way?
My father recently expressed sadness that we were forced into such a contact arrangement. I
appreciate that he loves me and did what he thought was best but we both agree that it was the wrong
way to handle the situation. You know what I would have loved? Visits! My dad coming to me! I would
have loved him visiting me, picking me up and taking me shopping, or to the park, or out for lunch, or
to the museum and me not having to miss what all my friends were having (a consistent childhood) in
order to spend time with him.
It was awful, just awful, being without my Mum and so far away from her. Even with a loving father, I
felt like a huge piece of me was missing with out my Mother. I think all children feel the same way
about their mothers (despite what the men's groups are trying to say).
PLEASE! Listen to the children! Please!

Scary stuff.
By lilibec
thank you so much for posting this, i am a mum of 2 little ones 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. i have been their primary career / full time stay at home mum since my eldest was born, whilst i was married my ex never really had time for the kids, but since we seperated he suddenly has to have them all the time. my son is currently doing every Tuesday night with is dad, and our daughter only goes for 2 and a bit hours and then comes home, and our son also currently is doing every alternative weekend fri night to sun afternoon, and our daughter goes the same days but only from 830am to 6pm on the sat and sun.

i really breaks my heart when my son comes home from being with his dad and lies in bed at night and cries for me to lie down with him and keeps telling me that he is sorry he misses me when at daddy house and that he is scared at daddy's new house at night. the other problem my poor kids have is that their father literally within weeks of splitting got himself a new girl friend with 2 kids of her own and when that failed soon after starting, he again got himself another one with 2 kids. so it is like he has instantly replaced his family with a new model.

my 2yr old really finds it hard at times to separate from me, and i even have it on video from a couple of weeks ago when she didn't want to go and was screaming for me, my ex physically pulled her out of my house, while she was screamming her head of. how this can be in the "best interest" of a child i realy don't know. yes i want the kids to know their dad, but there really is no reason at such a young age that they should have to be away from me for an entire weekend. they are not even allowed to ring me or skype me if they are upset or anything

life is hard enough for kids when their parents split, but it is made worse when there mums are taken away from them for an entire weekend.
May I just say that I know this situation intimately.

These two parents had one major thing in common when they separated. Their concern to do the right things for their children.

These kids stayed physically near both their parents until the activities of elements in the community made it impossible and the mother moved away with the children.

For a long while following this the children spent every other weekend with dad and half of all holidays. Both parents believed it was 'best for the kids' to do this. Then as it became apparent it was not working, mum home schooled and was able to be very, very flexible with holidays. Thus the children could visit dad once a month and not lose any days with him. The family tried to be very flexible, to meet the children's needs.

The results, as you can see, are still not good. Each of these children experiences degrees of anxiety/depression. They only got to know dad when dad began being more open with him and that was after they finished school. So all those 'good' things the parents did were of little use anyway.

Just to fill in the picture a little.
What strikes me is not how awful it was for this child of separation, but that the two parents involved were amicable and trying to do the right thing...this was a "best-case scenario" approach...ergo, when the split is hostile, and one parent is mean, abusive, personality disorder etc (insert issue here), how incredibly magnified the problems are for the children then? It is like issue upon isuue upon issue. I re-iterate what has been said, "a bad person/partner makes not a good parent - what is in your heart, so are you!"
The courts dont seem to recognise that some children are born, not though a desire of a parent to love and nuture, but to control and abuse another adult/child...suffer the little children...
it's terrible that you had such an awful experience!
thankfully I considered this when splitting from my ex & made sure that my girls would still be able to make it to whatever engagements (parties, sleepovers or whatever) where ever they happened to be that weekend.
The arrangement I have with the father of my 2 is Monday (after school) to Wed (morning, he drops them off at school) with alternate weekends from whatever time on the Saturday he deigns to turn up to pick them up through to the Wednesday.
For now the girls want to see their dad so it's all good & working reasonably well.
As he's not the most reliable person (which both girls are more than aware of but love him anyway) I do my best to make extra curricular activities for when I know they'll get there. It's a bit of mucking about but I know my girls are happy & not missing out on too much.
Should me ex ever move too far away that he is unable to comply with the current arrangements, they will be changed as I feel that the lives of my children should be disrupted as little as possible. If he wants to see them he can do the travelling!