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Movement on father’s overnight access, balance between parents suggested

Movement on father’s overnight access, balance between parents suggested

Movement on father’s overnight access, balance between parents suggested.

Family Law principles relied upon by Courts and Lawyers regarding separated fathers having their children stay overnight may soon be reconsidered due to key family law organisations revising current policy. This was reported in an article by Bettina Arndt reported in The Age published on April 28, 2014 named “Movement on father’s overnight access.”


The currently policy was enforced after a publication by Dr Jennifer McIntosh that found regular overnight care by fathers to be damaging to infants and toddlers.


However, this issue has been raised once again due to a recently published academic paper involving 110 International family law experts challenging this policy. The paper is highly critical of McIntosh’s findings, stating that the study was inappropriately used to suggest that regular overnight care is harmful to infants and toddlers. Professor Richard Warshak published the paper entitled Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A consensus report in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Psychology, Public Policy and Law, in February.


Warshak and his colleagues state that Dr McIntosh’s findings should not have been used for making policies, which Dr McIntosh says she pointed out in her research. Warshak’s paper states that infants commonly develop attachment relationships with both parents, and that overnight contact with both parents is, in normal circumstances, beneficial for the child. The paper elaborated, saying that depriving children of overnight stays compromises the ability to develop healthy relationship between the father and his son.


Therefore, Policy revisions have begun from organisations such as the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health.


As a Family Lawyer, Hatzis Lawyers for over 30 years in Sunnybank Hills, Forest Lake and West End has assisted hundreds of family law clients deal with their children and property family law issues. If you would like any more information regarding this or our Family Law services, feel free to email, call 1300 HATZIS (1300 428 947) or visit our website for free information sheets.

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