–, Saturday, June, 09, 2012, (9:38pm)
The extraordinary case of the federal court magistrate reduced to writing a letter to two children, explaining why he had cut them off from their father, is part of a painful pendulum shift in Australian family law.
The shared parenting reforms of the Howard era are giving way to a new paradigm in which fathers fear they are being excluded.
Magistrate Tom Altobelli’s letter to the boy, 11, and girl, 6, was nicely written. But it is no substitute for the love of a father whose contact has been limited to letters, birthday cards and gifts.
The mother had accused the father of sexually abusing their daughter. The court heard her belief was based on the predictions of a clairvoyant…