Broken: Children, Parents and Family Courts

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What happens to kids in our family law system should be a national scandal – and yet, so few people know about it. This book finally lifts the lid on this broken system, and shows how this once-great institution now regularly orders children to see or live with dangerous parents, and bankrupts the victim-parents trying to protect them. An urgent call to action.'— Jess Hill, author of See What You Made Me Do

The family courts intimately affect the lives of those who come before them. Judges can decide where you are allowed to live and work, which school your child can attend and whether you are even permitted to see your child. Lawyers can interrogate every aspect of your personal life during cross-examination, and argue whether or not you are fit to be a parent.

Broken explores the complexities and failures of Australia’s family courts through the stories of children and parents whose lives have been shattered by them. Camilla Nelson and Catharine Lumby take the reader into the back rooms of the system to show what it feels like to be caught up in spirals of abusive litigation. They reveal how the courts have been politicised by Pauline Hanson and men’s rights groups, and how those they are meant to protect most – children – are silenced or treated as property.

Exploring the legal culture, gender politics and financial incentives that drive the system, Broken reveals how the family courts – despite the high ideals on which they were founded – have turned into the worst possible place for children and families devastated by domestic abuse.