Chief Justice Of The Family Court, The Hon. Diana Bryant - 20/5/11

20 May 2011

Following the recent, very serious, incidents involving a father protesting on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the dreadful situation in Queensland whereby a father has allegedly murdered his five-year-old daughter and committed suicide, there has been a considerable amount of media coverage and community discussion about family law disputes.

The vast majority of the media coverage has been based on the assumption that these were actions of disgruntled parties who have been dissatisfied with court orders. To provide clarification, neither of these cases had current or past proceeding concerning parenting/custody arrangements in the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court.

The Court understands that when relationships breakdown it can be a very difficult and emotional time for everyone involved and the Court strongly encourages those who are struggling with their situation, whether they are before the Courts or not, to seek advice and help from the many support services that are available in the community.