I’ve spent my life as a parent and a solicitor working to support and empower Children, Families and Communities, and promoting the principle of Social Justice. Having worked for over 20 years in Family and Child Law, I see first-hand on a daily basis, the critical changes which we need to make in our Family Law system. Some of the key changes I will advocate for if elected to Seanad Éireann are as follows:
- System Change – Conflict in relationship breakdown benefits no-one, least of all the couple involved, or their children. Our system is by far too adversarial, and does not provide better alternatives to families in crisis than court. This urgently needs to be addressed.
- Resources – our court system needs more investment to ensure that court waiting times for families are reduced. I’m particularly concerned about how this issue affects rural areas, where family District Courts often only sit once per month. Delays in the processing of cases impacts negatively on families and children.
- Training – of judges and all court staff is essential to fully understand the dynamics of family law, and marital breakdown. Families are presenting to court staff at their most vulnerable and staff and judges often lack the skills to address this properly.
- Professional Staff – as part of the review of the overall family law system, we need to make counsellors, mediators, psychotherapists and child specialists available to families in crisis.
If you would like to support my campaign, please Pledge your support openly on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or privately if you prefer by Direct/Private Message. To find out more about the children’s rights & families platform I am standing on, you can read my full manifesto here.