Barbara Kay: After a divorce, equal parenting rights should be the norm



The bill is animated by the basic principle that adults are leaving each other, not their children.

In 1999, an exhaustively researched Joint House-Senate committee report, entitled “For the Sake of the Children,” offered recommendations whose spirit is encapsulated in Bill C-560, which will move to second reading in Parliament on March 25.

If passed, Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott’s private member’s bill will serve to amend the Divorce Act to create a rebuttable presumption that equal shared parenting supports the best interests of children whose parents are separating. As the name suggests, “equal shared parenting” (often known as ESP) describes arrangements in which parents from a divorced union have an equal role in raising their children.

The Bill is animated by the basic principle that adults are divorcing each other, not their children. The proposed solution, ESP, consistently garners approval ratings as high as 80% in polls, with little variation by gender, region or political affiliation. Increasingly, social-science literature, including responses from grown children of divorce, favours shared parenting as the model that best reflects the indissolubility of parenthood.


The present adversarial system for high-conflict cases, whereby one parent (usually the mother) “wins” primary residence for the children, has produced injustice, heartbreak and financial ruin on a massive scale. That the family-law system is in serious need of fundamental reform is not in dispute, with report after report demanding action. The new model would replace the concepts of “custody” and “access” with “parenting responsibilities” and “parenting time” applicable to both parents.

Under the current Divorce Act (1985), judges have paid lip service to vague concepts such as the “best interests” of the child. But many have ignored persuasive evidence showing that the single most important “interest” of children is to continue to love and to be loved by both their parents. Relationships cannot flourish without significant time in each other’s presence.

Opposition to ESP arises mainly from two sources: family-law lawyers who are by far the greatest financial stakeholders in the adversarial system, and ideologues. The lawyers insist that a vague test is best, leaving the matter for endless litigation; and ideologues either claim outright that mothers are indispensable to children’s happiness, fathers inessential; or accuse fathers of demanding ESP merely to reduce their financial obligations (which, in practice, won’t happen).

Some critics voice fears that ESP represents a “forced,” one-size-fits-all solution. The concern is misplaced. I recently spoke to Toronto family lawyer Brian Ludmer, a co-founder of the group Lawyers for Shared Parenting (L4SP), who helped to draft the wording of Bill C-560. The underlying principle, he says, is still “best interests,” but the more robust wording is meant to cause deeper consideration of ESP: “While there is a rebuttable presumption in favour of ESP, the Court will specify in appropriate cases why a different solution was ordered. However, it [would] need to be established that the best interests of the children in a case will be ‘substantially enhanced’ by something other than ESP.”

The key words are “presumption,” “established” and “substantially enhanced,” Ludmer says. Legally, these terms create a “steep but not insurmountable hill” for those desiring “primary parent” status. This means that a judge could decide to allocate parenting time other than equally, but would have to justify the decision with hard evidence that the child was demonstrably better off without equal parenting because of poor parenting skills, frequent absences, abuse or neglect.

According to Ludmer, this is not a one-size-fits-all prescription, but a guideline that will suit the majority of families, and which will dramatically reduce the burden on the Court system, taxpayers and parents. Extensive courtroom litigation will be reserved for those cases that require it, and not for “custody wars.”

Some variation of ESP is the norm or currently being debated in several U.S. states, many European countries and Australia (where ESP, in combination with related measures such as increased use of family mediation services, has resulted in “72 % of parents now being able to resolve post-divorce parenting arrangements without the use of legal services”).

Regarding the current primary parent/secondary parent model, Ludmer asks, “Why do this to children who are used to seeing both of their parents every day?” An excellent question. For while there is ample evidence that being marginalized from a parent harms children, there is no credible evidence that minimal time with a parent is good for them.

Bill C-560 is an intelligently designed bill that is just, balanced and respectful of today’s gender-convergent parenting realities. It has the strong support of Canadians and Parliament should enact it.

National Post




Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott is a credit to federal politicians
and it is hoped that this bill be supported by all parties.

This bill is long overdue and badly needed but is unlikely to bring any change for the following reasons.

Our Canadian Family Courts are a cess pool that promotes hatred towards fathers, and removes legal rights from fathers and children when ever a father seeks the court's assistance in preventing mothers from alienating children from fathers.

We live in a corrupt country where the most vile examples of humanity gain absolute power and flagrantly abuse that power to operate like a dictatorship with a gender correct police and administration of justice.

Most judges are brainwashed that men are not parents but support payers and if they speak nicely about the mother, they might get some access, as long as she agrees.

Support is increasingly determined by what a mother asks for and what a judge thinks  in his perverted sense of what a mother should have without any consideration of the father's income.

Support is frequently ordered when no income exists as a weapon to criminalize fathers who can't pay the ordered support.

Our Police operate like Feminist Police, arresting male victims of domestic violence and prosecuting male victims of domestic violence while the norm is no charges for violent mothers.

Then we have corrupt Crown Attorneys like Tara Dobec, Vivian Lee and Vikki Bair of Ottawa whose office is famous who prosecute cases against male victims of domestic violence. Dropping charges against violent women to assist them in gaining custody.

These same crown attornies give a bad name to all the decent Crown Attornies by NOT proceeding with criminal charges when it affects one of their close associates involved in the war on men.

Lawyers like Marguerite Lewis of the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa fabricate evidence before the court to obstruct justice and it is so far unheard of for a judge to direct that criminal charges be laid against lawyers who fabricate evidence and or obstruct justice.

Bil 560 if introduced, will NOT result in any substantive change while we have a Judiciary that is brainwashed to hate fathers.

They will continue to do indirectly what is prohibited indirectly, by using every took in the book to ensure that Fathers have no legal rights.

In Ottawa Rotten Cops like Detective Peter Van Der Zander fabricates evidence and obstructs justice with impunity. He leaves a trail of destruction and his supervisors turn a blind eye.

Ottawa is not alone. Timmins has had decades of corruption and is a classic example of small town extremely corrupt police who are accustomed to committing criminal offences with total immunity and impunity.

Our Judiciary is increasingly having Judges appointed for a political basis. Lawyers from the Children's Aid Society get appointed to the Judiciary as though it is a right of passage.

The Children's Aid Societies of Ontario face constant allegations that they are a Criminal Organization and there is plenty of evidence to support that claim.
Ottawa gains 80 Million dollars a year and has around 300 children in care. That means EACH CHILD IS WORTH $266,000 PER YEAR FOR THE CAS

This is why, CAS Lawyers are under so much pressure to fabricate evidence and for workers to Fabricate evidence.

Bill 560 will NOT change or remove our Corrupt Children's Aid Societies of Ontario.

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott is to be commended on this bill. On this issue, the conservatives are showing some leadership.


Our Feminist Controlled Courts, Prosecutors, Police and Child Protection Workers habitually abuse their absolute power to ensure that children are removed from full time fathers and placed at times with the most unsuitable violent mothers.

Our entire family court, police and prosecutors flock to the defense of the most violent women in Canada to assist them in ending children's relationships with their father.

A Classic Example is Phillip Hiltz-Laforge, a Child Protection Worker for the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa, who fabricates evidence to remove children from full time fathers and to place children with the most violent of mothers.

His employer is the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa, who get around $266,000 per child per year without any government oversight.

One of Ontario's worst criminals is their lawyer, Marguerite Isobel Lewis who personally fabricates evidence to keep children unnecessarily in care and, to place children at a certain risk of harm from a mother.

These two unconvicted criminals must have left a trail of destroyed victims. If you have been a victim of Phil Hiltz-Laforge or Marguerite Lewis drop us a line.

Bill 560 is only the start. Ontario Family Court, Canadian Family Courts are a cess pool of hatred towards fathers and if you are a father thinking of moving to Canada especially Ontario DONT.

If you are a Border Services or Immigration authority in any country be advised that Phillip Hiltz-Laforge and Marguerite Isobel Lewis are unconvicted criminals who have committed serious offences of moral turpitude, offences of obstruction of justice , offences against the administration of Justice and who should not be admitted.

Further information available upon request.