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The portrayal of post-separation parents in the speeches of the Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand

Chadwick, Nicola ; Gavey, Nicola ; Elizabeth, Vivienne ; Tolmie, Julia

Women's Studies Journal, Jul 2014, Vol.28(1), pp.4-17 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    The portrayal of post-separation parents in the speeches of the Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand
  • Author: Chadwick, Nicola ; Gavey, Nicola ; Elizabeth, Vivienne ; Tolmie, Julia
  • Subjects: New Zealand ; Family Law ; Divorce ; Court Decisions ; Parents & Parenting
  • Is Part Of: Women's Studies Journal, Jul 2014, Vol.28(1), pp.4-17
  • Description: This article examines the ways in which parents negotiating care and contact arrangements for their children following separation are portrayed within speeches of the New Zealand Principal Family Court Judge (2005 to 2012). Our analysis finds the speeches to be marked by gender neutrality, and promote prescriptive normative 'ideals' of cooperation and an orientation to the future uncomplicated by the past. We suggest that these texts set out an informal philosophy surrounding the court, and that they construct parents in ways that may work against the interests of mothers, and do not necessarily align with achieving solutions that are in the best interests of children. Our findings suggest the need for professionals working in the area of family law to bring to their work a nuanced and contextual consideration of separating parents and their situations, including recognition of gendered power dynamics.
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: ISSN: 01124099

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