Jun 15, 2011
Changing the law to create a presumption of equal parenting following divorce will not change reality. Ninety per cent of parents who split up are able to conclude agreements, whether shared parenting or other, outside of court. For the 10% of parents who end up before a judge, this legal presumption risks doing more harm than good to them and their children.
In support of shared parenting, you cite UBC professor Edward Kruk’s new book, Divorced Fathers: Children’s Needs and Parental Responsibilities. I would like to draw readers’ attention to another publication, Caring for children after parental separation: would legislation for shared parenting time help children? released in May 2011 by researchers at Oxford University. The study reviewed 100 reports and articles on shared parenting from around the world. It paid particular attention to Australia, which in 2006 changed its family law to apply a presumption of equal shared parenting.
The Oxford researchers found that “there is no empirical evidence showing a clear linear relationship between the amount of shared time and improving outcomes for children.” Children “are more likely to feel positive when shared time arrangements are flexible and child-focused, when their parents get along and when they have input into decisions about the details of their living arrangements.” Unfortunately, “such arrangements are not typically achieved through litigation.”
For this reason, the study notes, much of the research in support of shared parenting is problematic, because it fails to distinguish between outcomes of agreements reached outside of court and those imposed by a judge. The vast majority of shared parenting arrangements are privately negotiated. Parents who reach such agreements are much more likely to respect them, and outcomes are likely to be more positive for their children, which gives the false impression that court-imposed shared custody agreements would produce the same result.
But they don’t. Parents who end up in court cannot agree on how to move forward. To assume that they can effectively parent as equals is absurd. Also false is to assume that equal parenting arrangements, and in particular spending equal time with both parents, is automatically in the children’s best interest in such situations.
The Australian experience suggests that even when the language of equal parenting law specifies equal responsibility, not time, judges tend to equate the two – with the result that court-mandated equal time has increased, even in situations where violence is present. Why? In part because mothers are less likely to report violence, believing that since there is a legal starting point of shared time, there is no point disclosing abuse and running the risk of being branded an “unfriendly parent.”
The Australian studies cited further show that shared care presents risks to children in two other situations: in high parental conflict or at a very young age. In families with high conflict, “children in shared time arrangements were the ones least happy with their parenting arrangements and most likely to want to change them”, with 43% wanting more time with their mothers, compared to 7-21% of children in other arrangements. And “[R]egardless of socio-economic background, parenting or inter-parental cooperation, shared overnight care of children under four years of age had an independent and deleterious impact.”
What to draw from these findings? Every case should be evaluated on its individual merits, in the best interests of the child, and not approached with any assumptions, including that of “parents’ rights”. “The more crucial project is to identify ways to assist separated parents to think carefully about arrangements that will best serve their children’s changing needs, and to put those above their own views.”
Indeed, I do agree with Mr. Kruk on one point: it is time to drop the “rights discourse” in favour of the language of responsibilities, which include caregiving, decision-making, financial support and moral guidance. But we must also recognize that parents cannot necessarily equally divide all these tasks, especially when they are at each other’s throats. Rather than start from a legal presumption of shared parenting, judges should eschew one-size-fits-all solutions and lay aside preconceptions about both mothers and fathers when deciding family cases. As for our new majority government, it should leave the law alone.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
It's a fact that Sane parents who care about their children choose an Equal
Time Parenting. Take any well known couple respected for their collaboration
regarding the children and they almost always choose Equal Time parenting.
Those who object to Equal Time Parenting consist of one or both parties who have a serious personality disorder and or a mental health problem. Often that personality disorder and or mental health problem is manifested by extreme abuse and most of the time its not physically violent, the are generally no black eyes or bruised or broken bones but constant endless psychological abuse of a nature guaranteed to damage and harm children if they are exposed to that kind of abuse.
The fact is, women are far more likely to engage in that sort of terrorizing abuse than men, women have many times the probability of having a mental health problem and or a personality disorder, but not always.
The courts and society must balance the harm and benefits to society which mean that it's essential for the best interests of all children that there be a Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting baring real evidence of abuse and severe repercussions for those who make unfounded uncorroborated allegations of abuse which riddle and clog our courts and which result the odds of a man being successful on custody in family court being entirely remote.
We life in a sick third world justice system where men have next to no legal rights, its government policy for women to be able to abuse and terrorize men and if does not like it, she will have him thrown in jail on a trumped up allegation with Male Sharia Law reverse onus applied.
That's Canadian Justice and its enough to make you want to puke.
Now, 50% of all men are unwilling s-perm donors, who end up paying for the rest of their lives for being robbed if not raped for their sperm, all encouraged by our extreme feminist courts and legislation that encourage rampant child abuse and increasingly dysfunctional generations of children.
Tasha's article shows the extreme feminists are actually concerned that
Canada might actually legislate a legal presumption of equal parenting.
Tasha's article is flawed. She states that 90% settle out of court? Why? because men know that they have no legal rights, men rarely ever have any success and even if partially successful get hit indirectly with costs orders, and financial penalties that effective provide financially crippling fines that deter even the wealth and most confident of fathers from litigating.
Her other assumption that mother's don't report violence is HOG WASH.
Fathers are LESS likely to report any violence or ABUSE because its politically and in practice, legally incorrect ,. Women routinely abduct children and police do nothing but encourage it. If a man did the same, he would be arrested on any charge be it a trumped up one just to obtain an excuse to give the kids to the mother.
What is also missing is our judiciary are brainwashed, indoctrinated in extreme feminist concepts that have nothing to do with reality and plenty to do with the endless escalating promotion of hatred towards men who in their view are good for nothing more than sperm and cash both of which women should justify them being able to rape and steal with impunity and then abuse the children by depriving them of a father and their only possible sane parent.