The limits of Family Law

8 March 2010

Every aspect of family life cannot be regulated through court orders, according to Professor Patrick Parkinson AM.

Commenting on a South Australian case concerning the attempts by a mother to stop her former partner from encouraging their six-year-old daughter to call her stepmother ''Mummy D'', Professor Parkinson said it was the first such case he had heard of, but was similar to frequent disputes over whether a child's surname could be changed.

''There are limits to what any court can do.

"You can't regulate every aspect of family life through court orders.

''We've got to grow up and stop thinking every breakdown can be resolved by the court.''

Professor Parkinson said the case had probably cost the parties a lot of money, time and anxiety, but there was not much that could be done to stop such changes occurring after divorce except to respect the other people involved and recognise their role in a child's life.

View the article - Attempt to block 'Mummy D' fails - Sydney Morning Herald

Contact: Greg Sherington

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