Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shared Parenting

I agree with this former grit MP. I like the idea of shared parenting. Too many divorced men are shut out of their children's lives. Both Child and parent suffer because of this. I believe our family law courts are stridently feminist and anti male. Let's bring back some balance.

Ex-MP calls for shared parenting
DIVORCE: Sarnia-Lambton's Roger Gallaway says judges should grant equal parenting except in proven cases of abuse
Last Updated: March 10, 2010 8:35am

When it comes to gaining access to their kids, a growing number of divorced fathers say they've been stymied by a police and court system that reflexively views women as believable and men as violent.

It's an emotional topic that dismays many of those who work in the field of domestic violence.

But a growing number of men's groups -- and a private member's bill (C-422) that would amend the Divorce Act by instructing judges to grant equal shared parenting except in proven cases of abuse -- are advancing this view.

One man I spoke to, for instance, says his ex-wife falsely accused him of slamming a van door on her leg. And even though that assault charge was later withdrawn by the Crown attorney, the man says the allegations damaged his reputation during proceedings with a family court judge who restricted his access to his kids.

It's those kinds of situations that the fledgling London Equal Parenting Committee will explore during "an evening of awareness in relation to domestic violence" Thursday at Crouch Library.

The evening's main speaker is Roger Gallaway, the former Sarnia-Lambton MP who co-chaired a 1998 federal report called For The Sake Of The Children, which examined issues surrounding child custody.

"What I find distressing is the lack of objectivity around this whole subject," says Gallaway, who represented his riding for the Liberal party from 1993 to 2006. "There has to be some type of balance put into the discussion. And it's sadly lacking."

Gallaway regrets that none of the 1998 report's recommendations -- including a call for stricter rules regarding the reporting of abuse -- were ever adopted.


Bec said...

Although I agree with this in theory, the reality of a blanket process allowing for equal parenting just is not in the best interest of ALL families but in particular the children.

Let me tell you why. The adults are disolving their marriage for a reason and often that has involved abusive and confrontational circumstances. It takes an extremely mature and wise parent to think of the children first and in the early stages, that is not usually the case.

I believe the children should be disrupted as little as possible and although I completely agree that Dad should be involved equally, I believe there are clear indicators to facilitate that.

For example, if the couple have negotiated their separation/divorce with little or no conflict, yes. If the visitation is agreed upon with little or no conflict, yes. If mediation and family councelling was pursued, yes.
Other than that, no. Mothers are the traditional nurturer and by nature the best placement for the children. Dad's should never be denied their kids, as often as they wish they should see them but I believe kids should have a main home with healthy ADULT parents negotiating together and that is more often not the case than is.

Roy Eappen said...

A reasoned argument Bec. The problem is far too often mothers do deny access to their ex husbands. judges rarely punish mothers for this behaviour and kids just get estranged from their dada. That is also a bad thing. Many mothers actually move away from the ex husband. Access should not be used as a wapon, but it is.

Bec said...

Re Mother's moving away....That is now considered in these agreements and in fact can be written right into the documentation.
Mother's are required to get written consent from the Father and those agreements are amended to include costs for travel etc. If the Dad says NO, it's NO and even from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
This is particularly important so that both parents can ensure the children are attending THEIR school with no disruptions when Dad has them during the school week.
But again Roy, this is with MATURE parents that think of their kids first.
There are as many Dad's that resent Child support and make that process difficult too.
If everyone would get over THEMSELVES and consider the kids first, we would eliminate so much of this drama.

Having said that,if it's a Lib idea I fear for the BOXED in approach and that is not a solution in family law or childcare.

Robert said...

co-parenting planners/organizers for parent and kids available here:

I Support Lord Black