Freedom Law

Contempt jail sentences for Mother and Grandmother

Contempt jail sentences for Mother and Grandmother

  1. The matter came before the court for final hearing on 9 October, 2014 and, as is sometimes the case, the parties reached an agreement about how the proceedings should be resolved.  Their agreement resolved, relevantly, the dispute between them about their children and I have already recounted the effect of those orders insofar as they are relevant.
  2. Soon afterwards, in November, 2014 Ms Aldenberg provided a comprehensive and lengthy submission to a local parliamentarian that dealt extensively with what she alleged was family and domestic violence levelled at her and the children by Mr Senna and a whole range of other things.  Soon after and before the time the children were to move to a week-about arrangement between their parents, Ms Aldenberg absconded with the children.  She left in the circumstances described in Mr Senna’s affidavit, and from that point, some time in the first week of December, 2014 until the children were ultimately found and recovered late in 2017, they spent no time with him.  They did not communicate with him.  He was unaware of where they were and they knew that he did not know where they were.  There was no contact at all.
  3. So, all of the orders that were made by consent between these parties were frustrated and intentionally so by Ms Aldenberg.  It is that conduct and the holding of the children away from their father until they were recovered that constitutes the contempt in these proceedings.  There are specifics in the contempt application filed on 31 January, 2018.  The particulars are all admitted and it must be the case that, by her admission, Ms Aldenberg accepts that her contraventions of those orders are a flagrant challenge to the authority of the court.  That must be so, having regard to the provisions of s.112AP(1)(b) of the Family Law Act.
  4. On 8 December, 2014 – so at about the time the children went missing – the respondent to the other contempt application, Ms Abraham, found a letter from Ms Aldenberg.  It is necessary to set it out in full, I think.  She said:

    Mum, I can’t stand by and continue to watch [X] and [Y] be emotionally and psychologically abused any longer.  All of us already so traumatised that none of us can take it any more.  It is only going to get even more horribly worse next week when the children have to go week-about with dickhead.  I’m tired of the placitudes –

    but I think she meant “platitudes”:

    Don’t worry.  Children are resilient.  What a cop out.  We both know emotional and psychological scars run deep and forever.  We know children of abusers either grow up to be abusers themselves or get into relationships where they are abused because that is what they have grown up with.  I can’t stand by and just allow that to happen.  You know I have tried all the legal and social support avenues for help.  Whilst it is obvious to family and friends that the children are abused, the “system” fails to do so.  I have to protect the children if the system won’t.  Every person deserves the right to be safe and protected.  I have never thought I would break the law deliberately, but when the system doesn’t believe in your domestic violence or the child abuse your children face each week, then the laws and the court orders I have are not worth the paper they are written on.  I prayed Ms K can help to change the domestic violence/child abuse laws so we can return, otherwise we will be in hiding forever.  How many times do I have to run away from this man for someone to believe me and help us get the safety, peace and protection we need?  Surely three times is enough.  I pray that things improve and the powers that be realise abusers have a public face and a private face, and the private face of my ex makes me fear for the lives of the children and I.  Please look after my affairs whilst I am gone.  Do whatever you think needs to be done.  The children and I love you forever.  Ms Aldenberg, [X] and [Y].

  5. The irony of what is written there is palpable.  The evidence reveals that when the mother absconded with the children they led a nomadic lifestyle.  On her own evidence, they stayed in one place no longer than three or four months at a time.  The children were not taken to school.  They were “homeschooled”, and when they moved from one place to another they were moved at night time, often under blankets.  Their identities were changed.  They were permitted no time or contact with their father or anyone else with whom they might have been familiar.
  6. Upon discovering that the children had been taken away by their mother, the father commenced some further proceedings.  Those proceedings were commenced early in 2015 and have continued ever since.  Throughout 2015, 2016 and 2017 there were orders made, warrants of arrest issued, location orders made and recovery orders made in an attempt to locate the whereabouts of these children.

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Freedom Law – The Family Law Specialists

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Adult sibling seeking a relationship and time with younger siblings

Adult sibling seeking a relationship and time with younger siblings

Adult sibling – Ms C’s application

  1. In the previous final orders, Ms C (adult sibling) was a minor who was a subject of proceedings between the parents. In these proceedings, Ms C, now aged 21 years, has made an application to spend time with her younger siblings.  The mother does not oppose the concept of face to face time between the girls but seeks that Ms C’s time with the children be supervised.  In the witness box, the mother’s evidence was that the children have access to a phone and an iPad and they have Ms C’s number.  She says they are able to call or FaceTime with Ms C if they wish to, but in the last 11 months, they have not chosen to do so.  The father supports Ms C’s application to spend time with her siblings and, as I said earlier, he amended his application so that their proposed times to see the children do not overlap.  The independent children’s lawyer’s proposal is that the children spend time and communicate with their sister in accordance with their wishes.
  2. Ms C’s living arrangements have been somewhat unstable since the 2013 orders.  At that stage, Ms C had been living with her mother since separation but in early 2014, Ms C moved to live with her father during her final year of high school because, as Ms C put it, it was “geographically easier and more convenient to live with him” whilst she was completing her VCE at Z School.  Ms C said she moved back in with her mother after the school year ended but left after three weeks “due to a serious incident”.  She then lived with her maternal grandmother until July 2016, when she moved back in with her mother and sisters at Suburb F.  Ms C said she did this because she missed her sisters.  That arrangement ended in December 2016 after an incident to which I will refer later.  Since then, Ms C has lived sometimes with her father and sometimes with her boyfriend.
  3. Ms C’s evidence about why she made an application to the Court was as follows:

    25. …I feel as though I have escaped the toxic abuse of the [mother’s] family and that I can now be healthy, safe and free. I feel I owe this this [sic] to my sisters, to save them from the amount of trauma that was inflicted by my mother. I feel so scared for them and guilty as if I have left them behind. I have not seen my sisters since the night I had the operation because [Ms King] threatened to put an intervention order against me if I tried contacting the girls. She has me blocked from sending text messages, making phone calls, blocked on social media, Instagram. I have absolutely no way of getting through to them. I fear for [D’s] mental health, she is very sensitive and emotional in nature. I fear for [E’s] development and emotional abuse. My mother brainwashes [E] the most because she is easier manipulated being developmentally delayed and youngest. I am fearful of the people that my mother would allow to hit the girls. I am fearful of [Mr W] being around my sisters.

    READ MORE HERE

QLD / NSW / VIC /

Contempt sentences for Mother and Grandmother

Contempt sentences for Mother and Grandmother

Contempt: A recent case published in mainstream press:

  1. The matter came before the court for final hearing on 9 October, 2014 and, as is sometimes the case, the parties reached an agreement about how the proceedings should be resolved.  Their agreement resolved, relevantly, the dispute between them about their children and I have already recounted the effect of those orders insofar as they are relevant.
  2. Soon afterwards, in November, 2014 Ms Aldenberg provided a comprehensive and lengthy submission to a local parliamentarian that dealt extensively with what she alleged was family and domestic violence levelled at her and the children by Mr Senna and a whole range of other things.  Soon after and before the time the children were to move to a week-about arrangement between their parents, Ms Aldenberg absconded with the children.  She left in the circumstances described in Mr Senna’s affidavit, and from that point, some time in the first week of December, 2014 until the children were ultimately found and recovered late in 2017, they spent no time with him.  They did not communicate with him.  He was unaware of where they were and they knew that he did not know where they were.  There was no contact at all.
  3. So, all of the orders that were made by consent between these parties were frustrated and intentionally so by Ms Aldenberg.  It is that conduct and the holding of the children away from their father until they were recovered that constitutes the contempt in these proceedings.  There are specifics in the contempt application filed on 31 January, 2018.  The particulars are all admitted and it must be the case that, by her admission, Ms Aldenberg accepts that her contraventions of those orders are a flagrant challenge to the authority of the court.  That must be so, having regard to the provisions of s.112AP(1)(b) of the Family Law Act.
  4. On 8 December, 2014 – so at about the time the children went missing – the respondent to the other contempt application, Ms Abraham, found a letter from Ms Aldenberg.  It is necessary to set it out in full, I think.  She said:

    Mum, I can’t stand by and continue to watch [X] and [Y] be emotionally and psychologically abused any longer.  All of us already so traumatised that none of us can take it any more.  It is only going to get even more horribly worse next week when the children have to go week-about with dickhead.  I’m tired of the placitudes –

    but I think she meant “platitudes”:

    Don’t worry.  Children are resilient.  What a cop out.  We both know emotional and psychological scars run deep and forever.  We know children of abusers either grow up to be abusers themselves or get into relationships where they are abused because that is what they have grown up with.  I can’t stand by and just allow that to happen.  You know I have tried all the legal and social support avenues for help.  Whilst it is obvious to family and friends that the children are abused, the “system” fails to do so.  I have to protect the children if the system won’t.  Every person deserves the right to be safe and protected.  I have never thought I would break the law deliberately, but when the system doesn’t believe in your domestic violence or the child abuse your children face each week, then the laws and the court orders I have are not worth the paper they are written on.  I prayed Ms K can help to change the domestic violence/child abuse laws so we can return, otherwise we will be in hiding forever.  How many times do I have to run away from this man for someone to believe me and help us get the safety, peace and protection we need?  Surely three times is enough.  I pray that things improve and the powers that be realise abusers have a public face and a private face, and the private face of my ex makes me fear for the lives of the children and I.  Please look after my affairs whilst I am gone.  Do whatever you think needs to be done.  The children and I love you forever.  Ms Aldenberg, [X] and [Y].

  5. The irony of what is written there is palpable.  The evidence reveals that when the mother absconded with the children they led a nomadic lifestyle.  On her own evidence, they stayed in one place no longer than three or four months at a time.  The children were not taken to school.  They were “homeschooled”, and when they moved from one place to another they were moved at night time, often under blankets.  Their identities were changed.  They were permitted no time or contact with their father or anyone else with whom they might have been familiar.
  6. Upon discovering that the children had been taken away by their mother, the father commenced some further proceedings.  Those proceedings were commenced early in 2015 and have continued ever since.  Throughout 2015, 2016 and 2017 there were orders made, warrants of arrest issued, location orders made and recovery orders made in an attempt to locate the whereabouts of these children.

Read more here

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Child abduction ring alleged by AFP

Child abduction ring alleged by AFP – breaking news from the ABC

Three men have been arrested over an alleged plot to help women abduct children, portray their fathers as child abusers and then hide the children from authorities.

Key points:

  • Police said the group allegedly aimed to help women abduct and hide their children
  • They said 10 children had been safely returned home after being abducted
  • AFP Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz said more people may have been involved without knowing it

Australian Federal Police investigators raided properties across Australia, including Dubbo and Grafton in NSW, Townsville in Queensland, and various locations in Perth.

A sailing boat was also searched.

Police said during their two-year investigation, 10 children had been safely returned after being abducted.

Five of them are linked to this particular group, police say.

Police allege a 64-year-old man, arrested in Grafton yesterday, acted as the key financier of the scheme, which aimed to help two women abduct and hide their children, in contravention of family law orders.

A 63-year old man, also arrested in Grafton, allegedly acted as the co-coordinator.

Police claim he sent money to the women and then used social media to portray the children’s fathers as child abusers.

Both men will appear in Grafton Local Court today.

An 83-year old man has also been arrested in Townsville and charged over his alleged involvement.

He is due to appear in Townsville Local Court today.

Read more here

Maroochydore / Noosa / Caloundra

International family law and children

International family law: Families who are split across international borders face unique challenges. Disputes between these families can have significant effects on both children and parents in a variety of ways.

The Australian Central Authority in the Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for administering the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty in force between Australia and a number of other countries. It provides a lawful procedure for seeking the return of abducted children to their home country. It also provides assistance to parents to obtain contact or access to children overseas.

The Australian Central Authority is responsible for administering the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (the Child Protection Convention), which came into force in Australia on 1 August 2003. The Child Protection Convention provides for international cooperation between convention countries to recognise protective measures for children.

You can contact the Australian Central Authority if you have any general questions about the Hague Conventions, the process for making an application to have a child returned to Australia, access application or court order registration application. Please note we cannot provide specific legal advice in relation to your situation.

  • International parental child abduction—find out what you can do if your child has been, or may be, abducted to another country.
  • International child access—find out how to make an application for access to a child under the Hague Child Abduction Convention or Australia’s bilateral agreements with Egypt and Lebanon.
  • Registration of overseas child orders—find out how to have overseas child court orders registered in Australia, or Australian orders registered in other countries.
  • Information for responding parents—information for parents who have brought their child to Australia and may need to respond to a Hague Convention application for the return of their child to another country. Also, information if you are required to return your child to Australia by a court order or if you are voluntarily returning your child to your home country (habitual residence), including information on emergency housing, financial assistance, counselling and support services.
  • International child protection—for information on the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention.
  • Support and assistance—contact details and links to organisations that can provide support in Hague matters.

Sunshine Coast

Reciprocating countries and residency for child support

Reciprocating countries and residency for child support

Australia has arrangements for child support with a number of countries. These are known as reciprocating jurisdictions. Where 1 parent lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction, the Department of Human Services work with them, or where necessary with the relevant country’s authority, to set up child support payments according to local laws, procedures or policies in those countries. It is often a long and detailed process to establish child support payments in other countries.

The Department’s relationship with reciprocating jurisdictions depends on international agreements and how child support is administered in each country.

The reciprocating jurisdictions are:

  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Canada *see note
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Holy See, The
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Liberia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tanzania (excluding Zanzibar)
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom (including Alderney, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and Sark)
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

*note Canada includes the following Provinces and Territories: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

Non-reciprocating jurisdictions

In some circumstances a person who is living in a non-reciprocating jurisdiction may still be a resident of Australia for the purpose of child support.

The Department will decide whether a person is a resident of Australia or another country based on information from both parties and other Australian Government departments such as the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Information that can help the Department make a decision about a person’s residency includes:

  • sources of income
  • location of assets and property
  • reasons for leaving Australia
  • time spent overseas

Excluded jurisdiction

A reciprocating jurisdiction that only deals with court-ordered child support cases are known as excluded jurisdictions.

A separated parent who is a resident of Australia cannot apply to the Department for a child support assessment if the other parent is a resident of an excluded jurisdiction including:

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Yukon (Canadian territory)
  • Cook Islands
  • Israel
  • Niue
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa (not American Samoa)

The link between money and contact: The entangled nature of child support and contact and the role of negative attributions around parental motivation

The link between money and contact: The entangled nature of child support and contact and the role of negative attributions around parental motivation

Despite the legal distinctions made between contact and child support, it was apparent from the professionals’ descriptions of their work with parents in these contexts that this distinction is not necessarily experimentially felt.15 Several expressed a frustration in trying to help parents understand that the two are not connected; one is about relationships and the other is about money.

You hear it every day … He won’t pay because she doesn’t give him care and she won’t give him care because he doesn’t pay. (Mediator, FMC)

Several professionals described the difficulty experienced by some parents in accepting the other parent’s desire to change the way they parent—for example, a desire to become a more “hands-on” parent. This difficulty is exacerbated by the consequences that changes such as these have on the amount of child support the contact parent pays and the resident parent receives. Many professionals commented that this is one of the more challenging issues encountered when working with separating parents in devising contact arrangements for their children.

In line with this, when parents debate the virtues of one contact arrangement over another, it was argued that it can be difficult to decipher whether:

they are talking about a contact arrangement that is supposedly in the best interests of the children [or whether] … this is about saying, “I don’t want you to have more time because it means less money to me,” or, “I am asking for more time because it means that I pay less money”. (Mediator, FMC)

Several professionals argued strongly that money, in the form of child support, plays a “big part” in contact disputes, causing considerable angst and conflict between former partners. One professional commented that at times there seems to be an inability on the part of some parents to make the connection that:

when they are talking about these money issues … what they are talking about at the end of the day is what their children will have to live on, and reconciling that “I’m worse off, and they’re worse off” … So trying to take from the other person isn’t necessarily the answer. (Mediator, FMC)

Another common theme was the degree to which negative attributions are made around a parent’s motivation for making some life changes; for example, deciding to be a more involved parent. Although briefly addressed under “Change of circumstances”, it is equally relevant here because of the interplay between the financial implications of such life changes and the negative attributions made as a result. This theme was evident in the words of one practitioner:

The link between the number of nights and the child support payable is a huge issue in mediation because you are counting and then you flip over the 109 [nights] and you go to a different formula and all of a sudden she says “you are doing it for the money” and he says “no, I am not”, and then you have got to try and unlink them … [There are] huge issues around that. (Mediator, RA)

Other professionals argued that the nature of the child support legislation exacerbated disputes in this area. One commented:

A lot of care disputes come down to the nature of the legislation in a lot of ways, too, because the formula is very inflexible, in that there are cut-off points … and often it’s one or two days that can make an enormous impact on the assessment, so people will try and get their court orders worded in such a way that it falls short, or just above, the threshold. It’s unfortunate that one or two days can be the source of so much contention, because in reality sometimes those couple of days equate to thousands of dollars one way or the other. (Professional, CSA)

This linkage of child support and contact in the minds of some separated parents was pointedly made by another professional.

Unfortunately, the children are often seen as commodities that have a big influence on the relative financial status of the parents and it can become a tug of war over the children for money reasons, particularly in the early stages of separation when there is still a lot of conflict between the parents. (Professional, CSA)

Read more here

Brisbane / Gold Coast / Sunshine Coast / Townsville

Meaningful relationship meaning in the family law context

Meaningful relationship meaning in the family law context

In the recent case of Agnew & Wogan and Anor, the court discussed the meaning of “meaningful relationship” between a child and their parent, as referred to in the Family Law Act:

  1. The meaning of the phrase “meaningful relationship” is not defined in the Act. The Full Court in McCall & Clark[3] has approved the interpretation of the phrase by Brown J in Mazorski & Albright[4] and has also agreed with the reasoning of Bennett J in G & C[5].
  2. Brown J in Mazorski & Albright (supra) said at [26], after setting out the definition of “meaningful” and “meaning”:

What these definitions convey is that “meaningful”, when used in the context of “meaningful relationship”, is synonymous with “significant” which, in turn, is generally used as a synonym for “important” or “of consequence”.

  1. The orders sought by the mother would not see the child develop a meaningful relationship with his father.
  2. However, this consideration has not been interpreted as creating a presumption that children do receive a benefit from having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
  3. The Full Court said in McCall & Clark (supra) at [117]:

Bennett J discussed the terminology in G & C [2006] FamCA 994 and said the enquiry was a “prospective” one which requires a court to evaluate the extent to which a meaningful or significant relationship with both parents is going to be of advantage a child (sic).

  1. The Court continued at [122]:

No doubt in the majority of cases there will be a positive benefit to a child of having a significant relationship with both parents, but there will also be some cases where there will be no positive benefit to be derived by a child by a court attempting to craft orders to foster a relationship with one parent if this would not be in the child’s best interests.

Read more here

Sunshine Coast / Brisbane / Gold Coast

Superannuation and divorce – great article from Peter Switzer

Superannuation and divorce – great article from Peter Switzer

Superannuation and divorce

Superannuation: “Yesterday, the team on Seven’s Weekend Sunrise asked me to help women turbo charge their super balances. The hosts pointed out that women retire with $50,000 less than men but they failed to mention that both male and female super balances are a long way from super. It’s just that the average end balance of women is terrible!

What can be done to fix this problem? Now this is not secret women’s super business, because what I’m going to advise works pretty well for blokes as well.

The starting point problem for super is that it’s not sexy like property. Everyone wants to talk about property when we go out to dinner but who wants to spoil a good night out by uttering the word “super”?

That would be me!

I know Monique from Sunrise was hoping I’d have some really good lesson for Canberra that might be a magic bullet that would shoot ladies’ super funds into “pretty good” land. Alas, I don’t have much on that. That’s for politicians and what they think they can get out of employers, without hurting the economy in the short term.

The irony is that the negative of the cost impost of improving female pay would eventually be offset by the fact that women are better spenders than men. No, this isn’t pathetic male sexism, it’s a fact made clear to me by IBISworld’s Phil Ruthven, who explained that in a recession, women are far more valuable for getting us out of a tight economic jam than lousy men because they’re bigger relative spenders!

Anyway, back to the subject and here’s my advice to women wanting to either fix their super balance or take actions to avoid a super problem in the future.

The starting point is to take a leaf out of the great tennis player Chris Evert’s book.

She once said: “There were times when deep down I wanted to win so badly I could actually will it to happen. I think most of my career was based on desire.”

Anyone wanting to fix their super problem has to want it, like they might want to lose weight or get fit. You have to commit to a new way that will result in a better super balance.

Obviously, a lady in her 50s planning to retire by 65 has few options and I’ll do my best for that person after looking at what can be done for the 20-40 somethings.

Here are the steps you have to commit to if you want to change your super situation or predicament:

1. Know what you’ve got — what’s the balance now?

2. Know what you want — set yourself a dollar goal and date it, like $1 million by age 65.

3. Get into the best fund — compare your fund against the best of breed and check out what you’re being charged.

4. Put extra in — either do it by salary sacrifice or slam extra in maybe by doing a second job or starting a part-time business. The Yanks call it a side-hustle but I prefer calling it a part-time business.

5. Do a budget — get your spending under control. This could be another way you could turbo charge your super. If you spend more wisely, you might have more savings that could be channelled into super, either by direct contribution or via salary sacrifice.

6. Avoid dud partners — divorce is a wealth-killer. I’ve come across industrious men and women who have had bad partners who were lazy and crazy spenders and eventually did enough to kill a relationship and even ended up with half of the good partner’s super!

OK, those are the steps to get your super better placed to grow but I know I have to make this act of financial responsibility sexy enough to get you to change your old, less than super habits.

In a book called The Complete Idiot’ Guide to Getting Rich, which my wife Maureen and I adapted for the Aussie reader, I looked at an example of someone who slammed $2,000 a year into super between the ages of 21 and 30. That would put $18,000 in super. Let’s ignore the super gains over the first nine years and see what happens to this sum by an acceptable retirement age.

With a return of 8%, which better super funds can do, the money doubles every nine years. So by age 39, it’s $36,000. By age 48, it’s $72,000. By 57, it’s $144,000. And by age 66, it’s over a quarter of a million dollars.

And if the $2,000 keeps coming into super from age 30 to 66, it would be over $500,000! Imagine if this was on top of the compulsory 9.5% that employers put into super for you. We’d be talking about a very comfortably retired Aussie down the track!

Obviously, if finding $40 a week or $2,000 a year is too hard, then $20 a week would deliver about a quarter of a million by retirement age, which on top of the compulsory super from employees should really be a nice boost to super in retirement.

Sure, some critics might say that lots of people might want to use that $18,000 and other extra contributions for a property, which I’d say would be a good idea and an alternative to boosting your super. As long as super or property are pursued to ensure women of the future end up with better super than the ladies of today, then my job would have been done.

The only trick now for influencers in younger women’s lives is to get in their ears and encourage them to desire a bigger super balance and then to “want it so badly” that “they can actually will it to happen”, as Chris Evert might say.

For women in their 50s with poor balances, there’s really only one thing you can do and that’s boost up your contributions. As the old saying goes “if it’s to be, it’s up to me”. So a second job on the weekend or a part-time business has to be the only way out. Of course, being in the best super fund that doesn’t over-charge is a good start.

Of course, for many women, this advice might be too late: be really careful about who you hitch your life waggon to — a dud partner can be very expensive and can ruin your super aspirations.

One radio caller, whom I talked to last year, was a dad who had an industrious daughter who married a layabout who hardly worked, except for when he was on his surfboard or trying to chat up other women!

They separated in their 30s and because the dad had put a fair bit of his gift money for his beloved daughter into her super fund, so she would be set for life, on separation she had to share it with her bludger ex!

Dud partners and divorce are two of the biggest wealth killers imaginable.

In the table below are the top 10 super funds that have been put together by Super ratings. These are for balanced super funds, which most people should be in so that they can accumulate a decent balance, without being too risky. I’ve selected the three-year time period to see funds that have a bit of a track record.

The returns are on the high side because there hasn’t been a bad year for stocks recently and the effects of the Global Financial Crisis have had no impact on the returns.

Good luck! If you want a super retirement, you need a super commitment to super. The sooner you start, the better. And if you’re a parent reading this, it’s time you started talking up super to your dear little pets before it’s too late!”

If you liked this article you’ll love the Switzer Report, our newsletter and website for trustees of self-managed super funds. Click here for a FREE trial and to hear more of Peter’s expert commentary and advice.

Follow Peter Switzer on Twitter; www.switzer.com.au

Published: Monday, October 08, 2018

 

Flooding therapy for “enmeshed” children

Flooding therapy for “enmeshed” children

Flodding therapy – In the recent case of Habib & Ibrahimthe court made orders for a child who was living with Parent A and rejecting Parent B, to live with Parent B and spend no time with Parent A for a period of 4 months.

An except from the case:

  1. Dr E reported that:

    One therapeutic approach is a graduated exposure to decrease the anxiety and for there to be a good outcome of reconnecting with the father. Should that fail the other form of treatment is floodingFlooding is where an individual with anxiety is put into the situation of fearfulness and then where there is learning to cope with that situation. I suggested that if the floodingtechnique was needed that [the child] would need to be perhaps place with the father during the next school holidays for 2 weeks with no contact with the mother or telephone contact. [The mother] did not like this idea and said she would prefer to try the graduated approach.

  2. Ultimately Dr E reported:

    I indicated that [Dr J] was still hopeful that therapy could be successful and that [the child’s] anxiety could be overcome.  I suggested that he needed to comply with the treatment process for at least another 3 months and at that point he and his lawyer may need to assess whether this is more of a legal problem than a therapeutic problem.  By this I mean legal problem in that the intention of the parties is not to comply.  A therapeutic problem would mean that there is still further therapeutic approaches that need to be explored.  I will review in 3 months. 

  3. Dr E made a further appointment to see the child on 7 March 2017.  That appointment was cancelled by the mother.
  4. An appointment had been made for the child to attend further on Dr J on 23 February 2017.  The mother cancelled the appointment asserting that the child was unwell. 
  5. The father’s solicitors wrote to the mother’s solicitors on 8 March 2017 expressing concerns as to the lack of progress in the therapeutic engagement of the family with Dr J.
  6. Subsequently further appointments on 16 and 23 March 2017 were cancelled and a further appointment was made for the child to attend on Dr J on 30 March 2017 on which date the father was to attend.
  7. On 30 March 2017 the father attended on Dr J.  While sitting in the waiting room he observed the mother and child leave Dr J’s office, the mother taking the child’s hand and hurrying out of the waiting room.  Dr J said to him:

    The report was sent from [Dr E], he has recommended that if therapy with me is not progressing it may be appropriate for [the child] to spend a block period of time with you in the school holidays. This is called “flooding”. [The mother] is very upset about this recommendation and is definitely not happy with flooding. I don’t think [the mother] is going back to [Dr E]. Be ready, I think [the mother] is going to change [the child’s] psychiatrist.

  8. The mother cancelled the child appointment with Dr J on 6 April 2017 asserting that the child was unwell.  The father attended upon Dr J on 20 April 2017.  All he saw of the child was the mother and her partner each holding the child’s hand leaving the premises.  Dr J reported to the father that she was informed by the mother that she would not be returning to see Dr E as “she did not like his advice” and that the mother was seeing a new GP seeking a referral to a new psychiatrist.  Dr J also observed that “I get the impression that [the mother] does not want to bring [the child] here anymore”.  Dr J informed the father that she had been given doctor’s certificates for the child’s missed appointments but each time it is from a different doctor.
  9. The father attended again on Dr J on 4 May 2017. He bought a small book and a gift for the child. The only glimpse he had of his son was the mother and child quickly leaving Dr J’s premises after the mother took the book from the father. Dr J told the father “I am resigned that if nothing changes drastically we just have to do flooding”.

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