I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Divorce law needs updating, but Tory's proposal is not the answer

Antonia Zerbisias (AZ) is at it again. One wonders how someone with such slip shod research is allowed to publish a column in a MSM newspaper. The Trawna Red Star sometimes doesn't demonstrate high journalistic standard as evidenced by their left leaning rants that often cause a truth to suffer an indignity for the sake of ideology. AZ though is in a whole other class of scribblers who use feminist propaganda sites like the Liz library to score points. The scoring though is below the start gate where the truth runs into the "wall" before the marathon begins. We also have some of her propaganda acolytes like Martin Dufresne pompously spewing his vindictive rhetoric against his own gender. He says he's a father which is an interesting concept for Canad's leading male feminist. :) I guess he has to look like he's got his nose in the right spot to get those translation contracts from SOW Canada. Then we have the likes of the infamous man hater Rowan Kelly. See below for their comments. If this is as good as the "feminists for mom having everything after divorce" side gets its a pity. I expect better than that silliness. Thank goodness for loose cannons like her though because it clearly shows the kind of mentality that wants to discriminate against good dads. Aug 21, 2009 04:30 AM Comments on this story (47)

One of the great things about Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government is that its hidden agenda isn't really hidden.

Take, for example, last year's Bill C-484, ostensibly all about protecting "unborn children" but definitely not, oh no no no, about limiting women's reproductive choices.

Until, of course, on the eve of the election, when it was killed because the Conservatives didn't want "to reopen the abortion debate." That, months after the bill had passed second reading.

Then there's the pesky women's equality thing.

In 2006, one of the first things the Harpies did was strip the word "equality" from the Status of Women's mandate – as if ensuring women's equality wasn't the ministry's raison d'ĂȘtre.

Then, last year, only after howls of outrage from feminist groups, did they sneak it back in. Not that it made a difference since they had already cut the funding necessary to advocate for equal rights.

Now comes C-422, An Act to Amend the Divorce Act.

It's a private member's bill introduced in June by one of the most socially conservative backbenchers in the government, Saskatoon- Wanuskewin's Maurice Vellacott. He is past co-chair of the Pro-Life Caucus, an advocate of creationism in education, a vocal opponent of gay rights and, lest we forget, so harsh in his criticism of former Conservative-converted-to- Liberal MP Belinda Stronach, that the word "prostitute" came up in his diatribe.

The good news is, private member's bills are rarely passed.

The bad news is, research shows that they influence government policy – and, as the record shows, often reflect party policy.

Just so you know where this is all coming from.

The main aim of C-422 is to automatically award "equal parenting" rights to both parents in a divorce decision because, as research shows, children have better outcomes when both mother and father are (positive) presences in their lives.

In other words, judges should presume that equal parenting is in the "best interests of the child," unless proven otherwise.

Which, at first glance, sounds great. Who can argue with the idea of an engaged, loving and caring father remaining involved in his child's life – and not just as an every other weekend, cheque- writing daddy?

I see the men on my street and in my neighbourhood so very much part of rearing their children, doing much more than manning the barbecue and ferrying them to hockey practice.

But marriages break up.

Many do so amicably enough, with couples working out their parenting responsibilities without dragging armies of lawyers into the courts which, by the way, now award joint custody in almost half the cases.

I also know great fathers who have struggled to maintain their relationships in the face of angry exes, who use the kids as pawns, cut them off from their extended families and worse.

Fortunately, such women are in the minority.

But C-422 will cause more problems than it will solve, say women's and legal groups such as the Quebec Bar Association.

In fact, last month at the annual meeting of the Canadian Bar Association, federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson was cheered when he hinted that, personally, he wasn't 100 per cent behind the bill.

To outline all the reasons that the bill is flawed, even dangerous to women and children, not to mention potentially costly to the court system, would take the whole page – and I don't have that.

But here's just one example: Among the secondary considerations a judge must take into account is whether there's "family violence committed in the presence of the child." If the abuse occurs behind closed doors, hey, no problem. That despite how research shows that, in half the cases of violence, the battering begins after separation.

Nobody is saying that our divorce laws, last significantly changed in 1986, don't need an overhaul. They do.

But C-422 is not the reform we need.

Not when you consider the source, the context and that Conservative agenda.

Antonia Zerbisias is a Living section columnist. azerbisias@thestar.ca. She blogs at thestar.blogs.com.

You said an overhaul is needed, but you didn't say what it should be. Personally, I think the law is already clear enough about men=$$$ and woman=custody.

Submitted by BenC. at 8:11 AM Friday, August 21 2009

God forbid.....

....the reverse discrimination against men ever end....the divorce laws are a weapon wielded by too many women in order to exact financial and psychological revenge on their ex-spouses. Big changes are needed now and this is a start. There could certainly be some changes made to the bill, but its intent and direction are long overdue.

Submitted by Canada for Canadians at 8:50 AM Friday, August 21 2009

What (Amazonian) planet is Zerbisias living on?

She trots out the "abuse" trump card and claims the proposal is "dangerous to women and children" but gives virtually no evidence to support such a contention, except that women's and legal groups are opposed to the plan. Women and lawyers both have an inherent reason to see the status quo continue---let the father gravy train continue to flow! Incidentally, Ms. Zerbisias apparently does not even realize that "joint custody" doesn't even legally exist anymore, rather the "shared custody" defined by the 40% doctrine passed in the Divorce Act of 1997.

Submitted by Suzanne Carlson at 9:55 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Cloaking divorce reform in terms of feminist equality is wrong-headed

Current legislation and judicial practice permit outrageous discrimation against a caring involved father who simply wants to be part of a child's life. After multiple court appearances (and all of the savings earmaked for her university edcuation) just to visit with my daughter, I know this firsthand. I would sooner choke on my tongue than speak well of Harper but in this case, the proposed legislation is spot on.

Submitted by amicusfelix at 10:02 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Keep the myth alive

I wonder why you left out the fact the bill was seconded by *gasp* a LIBERAL WOMAN (MP Raymonde Folco from Laval) and supported by MP's from all parties. I would love to see your explanation of what is wrong with equal and shared parenting. As well, what you think is wrong with the current divorce system. Interestingly, you stated that about half of court outcomes result in joint custody (half results in custody to the mother... around 5% for Dad). Do you understand how much that cost to "win" joint custody? And how long it took? Do you have any idea the financial and emotional toll family law court extracts? Finally, the standard defence against shared parenting, domestic violence, is one of the many biases fathers are fighting against. Can YOU name any law that is designed because someone MAY fit a certain profile? Oh that's right, all Dad's that want joint custody and access are wife-beaters and deadbeats. I get your point now.

Submitted by ReformTheAct at 10:03 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Cause more problems? How?

I'm no fan of the Conservatives but honestly I don't see anything wrong with this proposed law. Antonia, you say there are "dangers" that could take up a whole page, and use an example that from a legal standpoint is a bit of a stretch. Any reasonable judge would rule a man battering his (ex) wife in the next room occured in the presence of a child. I am big fan of yours but this time I'm really surprised/disappointed. The regressive stance here is yours. I note with interest you point out that Bill C-422 is flawed but you offer no viable solution. Instead you're reling on the same-old, same-old knee jerk reactions of special interest groups that think in purely absolute terms and do nothing by try to victimize their entire gender at the expense of the the other.

Submitted by Terry_70 at 10:03 AM Friday, August 21 2009

No Real Surprise here........

the author is against anything giving equal parenting rights to men. she mentions that women who use their children as pawns are in the majority. that is willful ignorance or worse. it is WIDELY known that it does happen. and in more than a few cases. but they are just men in her eyes and it is ok to mess with them in any possible way. C-422 is just the START of what we need. but it would give men one more right and take away a weapon that women frequently use. it would give men in a divorce a leg up and the author absolutely cant stand that. the war is far from over and the pendulum is swinging our way. she may win this battle but the war is already lost. and THATS what is really getting her goat.

Submitted by samuel cogley at 10:09 AM Friday, August 21 2009

its all wrong headed

the divorce laws as they stand today are wrong headed, money cannot compensate for the absence of a dad. and then there is the police and the CAS who see the dad as a devil after divorce, how convenient and avoid acess. and then you have government depertments to harass an already harassed man about payments, when his life has collapsed. its cruel and that is why the institution of marriage is no longer based on trust, infact its fast vanishing thanks to bone headed lawyers and politicians and oh yes how could i forget the womens equality movement and political correctness. well who cares right as the poor kid cannot speak for himself/herself.

Submitted by vik kumar at 10:18 AM Friday, August 21 2009

My daughter wants this for her child, her husband is still too angry and hostile to even talk civilly to her. Shared parenting? Not automatic by any means and definitely not a starting point.

Submitted by suzzi at 10:24 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Wow, I agree with the Harper Government

Equal parenting is absolutely a right and one that needs to be legislated because it is not happening. I am not a right winger and I am not divorced (or a parent for that matter), but kids are used as pawns far too often when separation occurs. The best thing that could ever happen to the average divorcing couple would be to lock them in a room until they finally agree to stop bickering and start raising their kids together. And yes, the bill takes situations of violence into account, so I don't see that being a valid consideration either. I just can't believe I'm approving of something done by someone as vile as Mr. Vellacott!

Submitted by Mr. Monster at 10:32 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Flawed?

I think this Bill needs to passed very soon... not put on the back burner... We need 50/50 custody... We also need mandatory DNA testing at birth. The courts are all big about how they want to maintain the kid's status quo when it comes to lifestyle, Well, the kids status quo was two parents looking after them equally... and it should stay that way unless there is a compelling reason otherwise...This article is a perfect example of why gender bias should NOT be a part of custody agreements.

Submitted by Fantasm at 10:39 AM Friday, August 21 2009

marriage

This is why men over thirty know better than to get married.

Submitted by BenC. at 11:21 AM Friday, August 21 2009

The real truth is....

Feminist groups are against equal parenting for one reason, and one reason only...MONEY...If mom and dad share the child equally, in most cases, the mother will not be entitled to child support. Do not let feminist organizations propped up by LAWYERS destroy families more than they already have. Single mothers abuse children at a higher rate than single fathers. Antonia is not telling the whole truth.

Submitted by MensRightsNow at 11:31 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Pure Propaganda - a disappointment

Typically Antonia's articles make me think even if I disagree with them. This article simply used guilt-by-association (the sponsor of the bill is pro-abortion) and name-calling ("the bill is flawed, even dangerous to women and children"). I wouldn't dream of voting for for Harper but the last line about considering the source and Conservative agenda revolts me - a party I disagree with can have good ideas and I want to be engaged on those ideas. Your example that judges must consider family violence but only, implicitly, violence in the presence of a child is an important observation but the legal argument (turning on interpretation is somewhat unclear) - add to this the next sentence about research into when family violence occurs (which has nothing to do with violence "in the presence of the child" or no) and the only substantive argument you give is weak at best. This is an important issue; please write another article with some substantive arguments instead of partisan smears.

Submitted by 2faraway at 11:41 AM Friday, August 21 2009

Discrimination works both ways

Women are sterotyped as caregivers and men as breadwinners. This hurts women in the workplace and men in custody hearings. Just as we should move to address the inequity in the workplace, we should also do this in the custody area. The numbers don't lie. A woman is about ten times as likely to be awarded solecustody as a man. Allowing more men to be caregivers will help women reach equality in the long run by lessening the stereotypes.

Submitted by Shag Bag at 11:49 AM Friday, August 21 2009

I agree with Antonia

I agree that this bill could be problematic. First of all, the government's intervention in family matters troubles me. And secondly, there are many cases in which joint custory is not an option because it could jeopardize the safety of the mother and the children.

Submitted by herstorian at 11:49 AM Friday, August 21 2009

"Hidden agenda"? For The Sake Of The Children, an "ALL" party document submitted as a blueprint to revamp our outdated divorce laws over 10 years ago, fully supported the concept of rebuttable equal shared parenting. MP Vellacott's private members bill addresses the need for judges to consider family violence during and post separation in deciding best interests of the child. A Nanos Poll in March 2009 showed an overwhelming public and cross party support (in the 75% to 86% range) for Equal Shared Parenting. If Ms. Zerbisais suggests we dismiss "the source, the context and that Conservative agenda" then she must also consider all of our political parties and the public at large as suspect as well. Who's left to govern? Perhaps Ms. Zerbisias can step off her nay saying box and offer something positive to the debate.

Submitted by rocer at 12:06 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Why I support equal parenting

As a woman, a child of divorce who grew up without her dad, a divorced mother of two boys, and a second wife, I am proud to support equal parenting. I support it because children deserve their parents being present and active in their lives. I support it because 'child support' is about more than money, it is physical, emotional, spiritual. I support it because courts need new direction. Our system is based on common law, it is precedent based. The precedent in place is one of maternal primary care. We need to set new precedents. I support it because women deserve the same opportunities as men and deserve the benefits of sharing the responsibilities of child rearing. I support it because the current system is bankrupting families and stealing their wealth, what's more it is stealing children. I support it because it is the logical next step in gender equality. The balance to equality in the workplace is equality in the home. This is not partisan politics Antonia, your bias is showing.

Submitted by Kristin Titus at 12:12 PM Friday, August 21 2009

@HERSTORIAN

See, it's all about the children despite single mothers abusing children, even murdering them and you've been brainwashed to believe that it is men only doing this. It's embarrassing.

Submitted by MensRightsNow at 12:19 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Go Ahead ... Disenfranchise Married Men.

Ever since the one-sided misandrist divorce legislations of the 70's & 80's, marriage has been a death trap for men. Now you are trying to stall the very legislation which would start evening the field. Your article is a very transparent attempt to block reform Ms. Zerbisias. Look at Canada's marriage rates. They have been crashing unstoppably over the last three decades. How can this systematic disenfranchising of men be good for Canadian society over the long run? Being a proud Greek-Canadian, you should know better. Do you know how the Golden Age of Ancient Greece ended? It all came crashing down in the late-Antiquity era when Greek men were similarly disenfranchised and felt they no longer had a stake in the survival of the very society that turned its back on them. Read and learn. History doesn't always repeat, but it sure does RHYME.

Submitted by puma at 12:32 PM Friday, August 21 2009

So if the Divorce Laws favoured men...

would Antonia Zerbisias or others who believe in "equality but only if it benefits me" be raising a stink about adding more equality? I think not. Only in Canada can a child have one mother but many fathers (paying) even if the child isn't their own or was passed on fraudulently by its mother.

Submitted by golfingsteve at 12:37 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Face it Antonia...

...you don't like anything that has to do with Stephen Harper. Hidden agenda? Please - if it was hidden, nobody would know about it. And if somebody did know about it, that person would know the details and spread them around. So...no hidden agenda. Conservative agenda? Funny how the left-wing criticizes PM Harper for straying far from his Conservativer roots and mandate. Please - the Libs did no better. Did you criticize the Liberals' agenda? Did you talk about the Liberals' hidden agenda (adscam, entitlements, gst lie...etc)? No matter what the Harper government or no matter what any man does or suggests, you'll be against it.

Submitted by forevergreen2000 at 12:51 PM Friday, August 21 2009

scrap it

no-fault divorce has been an unmitigated disaster and a benefit only to lawyers.

Submitted by gonzo at 12:52 PM Friday, August 21 2009

You have been scolded by your masters on more than one occasion for lack of research and this isn't even in your blog. "...courts which, by the way, now award joint custody in almost half the cases." Joint custody is awarded in many cases but physical custody goes to mom in over 85% of joint custody awards. Dad is a visitor for two weekends a month if he is lucky. The CBA meeting was last week not last month. As usual you launch your tirades in an ad hominem manner trotting out the beliefs of someone without looking at the merits of the legislation. If you read it you may not have done so for comprehension. You also trot out the canard of DV but it is pretty much equal between genders and females in some cases are the majority of initiators. Moms are by far the majority in the abuse and killing of children in the USA and OZ. I find it interesting when equality for men rears its head you use a shotgun approach to try and shatter the notion.

Submitted by Mike Murphy at 1:23 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Equality?

Is the word equality not a derivitive of the word equal? Hmmmm? Do you not support equality Antonia?...you use that word quite freely. Equal shared parenting...has a nice equal ring to it!

Submitted by MensRightsNow at 1:58 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Partisanship or not!

You are a very leftist oriented individual but then so is feminism as it is a "collective" ideology. Given your partisan attack on Mr. Vellacott and the CPC you may wish to research a report done by a bi-partisan committee of the House and Senate over 10 years ago during the reign of the Liberals. (most of this and last century I believe). It is called "For the Sake of the Children." It is still available on the Parliamentary web site and collecting dust in the Parliamentary Library. It proposed much the same thing as does C-422 but the new legislation looks a little deeper at "The best interest of the Children" mantra and tries to provide a framework for high conflct cases. The simplest solution to high conflict divorce is to award custody to the cooperative parent. Its not rocket science. This is about whats best for the children not an ideology or a political parties doctrine. Children need and want both their parents in their lives. The social outcomes are far more beneficial.

Submitted by Mike Murphy at 2:16 PM Friday, August 21 2009

guys

why do you even bother getting married? you seem to hate women so much, or is that only after they divorce you?I think this article clearly states that while Antonia is for equal parent time she worries about the other points in the bill- the devil is always in the details. Antonia, i think you need to write another article detailing what dangerous stuff is held within the bill.

Submitted by dperogie at 2:26 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Immature

Ms. Zerbisias your style of writing is churlish and immature. Harpies? You sound as bad as some of the people who post such drivel all over these pages. Every child has the right to both parents and fathers have just as much right to their children as mothers do. That's what this bill addresses. It's a first step towards repairing our badly broken family law system. You see, in this country, the family law system was developed by feminists to the benefit of women. Men have few rights when it comes to divorce and custody and women hold all the cards. Men are always assumed to be in the wrong. All claims made by women are assumed to be true. I've heard horror stories or women falsely claiming that they or their children were abused by their estanged husbands and there are never any consequences for making such false claims - even when they result in false arrest and other hardships for the man. Men and women are supposed to be equal yet there is no equality in family law.

Submitted by Mantis at 2:32 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Bill C-422 IS THE ANSWER

I am a sister, aunt, step-mom and second wife, had a Dad, Mom, and Brother. Worst memory was no younger sibling. I support equal parenting. I had two parents, so why in divorce, does the law destroy kids. Both my parents were active with me. They gave up “me” attitude for “us” attitude. As Kristin T wrote “I support it because 'child support' is about more than money, it is physical, emotional, spiritual.” The courts have to change, women want equality, then total equality means 50-50 for the kids. I support it, the courts need new purpose, stop feeding $300.00/hr lawyers on $18.00/hr salaries. The Cleaver society is gone, both work same goal, bring up kids, teach them well, nurture them to be better, today it takes two incomes to keep a home. Men as 4 day a month babysitter, ATM’s no more. Accept gender equality. Children are the equality/balance to keep families in check, parents must be in 50%. Kristin T said “This is not partisan politics Antonia, your bias is showing”

Submitted by Kris Zegota at 2:34 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Good on you Antonia

Seems you got your point across as evident from the vicious neo-con attack dogs. Nothingshows you've been exposed more than attacking the person who spilled the details of a bill they wanted hidden. I suggest you write an even more detailed account of what the bill will do and do more stories on the hidden agenda. Its funny, you'd think they'd be attacking there own party for canceling the stealth anti-abortion bill or returning equality to SWC. They wanna shut you down before this bill gets canned. Keep up the good reporting!

Submitted by T-Roy-To at 2:43 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Two Points

Firstly, by your own admission most divorces end "amicably" as you stated, if thats the case why wouldn't you be behind automatic shared custody if the standard is an amicable separation. Why do you feel the exception (the small percentage of divroces resulting from violence) should be the standard rule? Secondly, Time Magazine just published research indicating that in almost every aspect of life, drugs, education, response to authourity, income, growth, violence, etc .etc. etc. Children from dual parent upbringing consistently out perform those from a single parent household. The only thing you demonstrate in this article is your clear and total bias towards men, and if the comments are any indication you are quite disconnected from the general public. Shame on you and your editor for allowing such dribble to be published. I was old enough to remember my parents divorce, the violence card was raised despite never being proven and ended up being thrown out.

Submitted by foodie4life at 2:58 PM Friday, August 21 2009

@dperogie DUH

I quote Ms. Zerbisias "But C-422 is not the reform we need. Not when you consider the source, the context and that Conservative agenda." So you think she clearly states she's for equal parent time? Hmm...your rationalization causes me to have a conundrum over logic...I must ruminate on it some more. I would advise you that when a man or woman - as you will note there are several in opposition to your columnist - indicate they have a difference of opinion it is not - as they teach you at the local DV shelter - because of hatred of women. The corollary of that is those of you who would deny a child the right to have equal time with fit parents after divorce hate children. Can you see where your kind of logic leads. To a fallacious and unsupported conclusion I suggest. As to ever getting married - well hindsight is 20-20 and many of us - women included - would think twice about it.

Submitted by Mike Murphy at 2:59 PM Friday, August 21 2009

T-Roy-To at 2:43 PM Friday,

Are you living in a dark basement without electricity? Google C-422 and see how hidden it is. Neo Con attack dogs hey - :) How Iggy, who also supports equal shared parenting, as described in his book would be petrified. He doesn't consider himself a neo-con or an attack dog. Do you have any more hyperbole for today or will that be all?

Submitted by Mike Murphy at 3:04 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Bad fathers shouldn't try to hide behind the good ones

I find it a bit repugnant to see the worst of fathers - the ones looking for an out to avoid paying child support, the ones abusive to their partner/children, the ones that haven't done the parenting tasks that Zerbisias generously alludes to - using the image of the committed, equalitarian father to try and push through a law that would put ALL biological parents on an equal footing, regardless of skills, merits or letality, regardless even of who will dothe primary caretaking after divorce. Our children deserve better. Here is a resource on the major problems with C-422: http://www.nawl.ca/ns/en/documents/2009.08-BillC-422brief.pdf I completely concur with it. Nothing should trump the child's best interest, especially when h/se is at risk of continuing violence from a self-estranged parent. By creating new hurdles for divorcing women, C-422 reflects a conservative, equality-hating agenda. And it compromises the safety and welfare of children.

Submitted by MartinDufresne at 3:28 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Excellent Antonia

Good initial expose article, more please!

Submitted by voicefromtherockies at 3:28 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Cheers Antonia,..:-}

Marriage as we know it today is an invention of male thinking to make sure who the sire is,.. most males are possessive and jealous. Let's look back to pre-his-story. Women didn't need anything written to prove who was who,.. who cares? Let's re-write the divorce laws to reflect the best interest of the children, usually that is with the Mother,.. Some "fathers" are dangerous or deranged and need to be kept a safe distance from their progeny. There are some sicko Moms too, I am not sure the psycho ratio, but I think 20 males to one Female would be about right.

Submitted by Rowan Kelly at 3:41 PM Friday, August 21 2009

We need more info re C422 Details

Antonia, I think you need to write the whole page about the concerns & flaws in Bill C422, so people can have a clearer view about this issue. As you said, & so many posters have pointed out - No-one would argue against equal parenting as the being in the best interests of the child... in the majority of cases. BUT - BIG "but" here - this private bill is sponsored by Maurice Vellacott. I know good old Maurice. He is the most reactionary far-Right member of absolutely anyone in Harper's entire party. In fact, Maurice makes Stephen look positively liberal on many things. The man is not taken seriously by any but a very very few really extreme-believing people. SO, there is something going on here with this bill. It cannot be an innocuous as it sounds - not if Maurice is behind it. More info please, Antonia.

Submitted by Canadian Nurse at 3:43 PM Friday, August 21 2009

What?

I liked Antonia when she made Bernie Farber cry, but this article hints that fathers are a danger to their children. It ignores statistics collected by North American child protective agencies and the Canada Health Agency in particular that shows the opposite - the mother is the #1 abuser of her children in terms of physical abuse, neglect and emotional abuse. I also highly doubt that sour vindictive exes who play games with their children's access to their fathers form a "minority". She also ignored new research that shows that time with both parents is critical for a child's well-being - I read about this in The Star a while back. A little research never hurt, Antonia, and I doubt the facts would take up the whole page. Apparently an underhanded shot at men in general didn't either.

Submitted by trimax at 4:23 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Misandry and Myths about Domestic Violence

There have been many studies in the past 10 years that have refuted feminist mythology that men are aggressors and women are victims. Partner violence is nearly equal between genders and is often reciprocal, with women receiving more severe injuries in the most severe cases (very small percentage). If a judge were confronted with a very clear case that a woman (or man) had been physically assaulted and has injuries as evidence then the presumption is easilly rebutted. However, in the majority of cases of partner violence, it is simply a matter of he said / she said. We should be supporting both parents and treating them equally after divorce and providing mediation and services for high-conflict cases. The lawyers don't want mediation, they want all conflicts to be played out in court where they are generously compensated.

Submitted by Denis Pakkala at 5:03 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Both Parents Need Support in Divorce

Supporting both parents to provide “cash and care” to their children after separation means an over-haul of the tax, benefits and child support systems. We need to look at the costs of parenting for each parent, how much they share care and each parent’s income. We need to: 1. see fathers as an INdisposable part of childrens lives 2. when parents separate, make them explain why they can’t both play substantial roles in their children’s lives, rather than make them justify why this should happen. 3. review the tax, benefits and child support systems which are blocking this kind of sharing of care after separation 4. provide proper services including mediation for separated and separating families, especially in high conflict cases. 5. Avoid court whenever possible, because it increases conflict rather than decreases it.

Submitted by Denis Pakkala at 5:10 PM Friday, August 21 2009

@rowan

Yes, men are deranged lunatics that want to harm children, you sound like one of them. Try looking up stats on abuse by mothers and you may have a different perspective. Again, shared parenting excludes abusive situations. Children love their dads too ladies. Sorry about that! Let's deconstruct 30 years of misandry in the family courts by allowing fathers equal access to their children.

Submitted by MensRightsNow at 5:20 PM Friday, August 21 2009

I'm waiting for the 'whole page' part...

What kind of argument is that? Antonia argues that the bill is flawed, dangerous to women and children, but doesn't have enough pages to argue why? Is this article a university paper with a word limit?---or is it that you don't really have a good argument(s)?

Submitted by just_joe at 5:23 PM Friday, August 21 2009

C-422 would tie judges' hands about children's welfare

Deadbeat dads groups have been fuming since the federal administration established decent child support guidelines in 1997. First they tried to use a clause that allows reducing child support when children spend at least 40% of the time with the non-custodial parent. But most of the battling dads do NOT want to do that much work. So the current battle plan is to have custody written out of divorce legislation altogether, to NOT have past/future parenting work taken into account. C-422 would force judges to PRESUME that fathers will be sharing equally and to give them near-total control. Indeed, no disposition in C-422 can force such a real sharing since, as we all know, goodwill and love for one's children cannot be legislated. This lobby has fashioned an out for the fathers that have NOT shared this work and do not intend to. Men would be able to blackmail women and children out of their basic enitlements to support and safety. As a committed sharing father myself, I object.

Submitted by MartinDufresne at 5:43 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Fear mongering

I find the kind of fear mongering that occurs in these articles and some of these comments distasteful. The greatest victimizers of women and children in Canada is not men, but this type of radical feminist diatribe. Ms. Zerbisias and I see she has a posse, would prefer to see women kept in the home 'relegated' to the status of sole-custodial parent. How conducive is sole custody to mom in providing her time and opportunity to pursue additional goals for herself and her children? It is the radical feminist agenda that continues to put women and children, as they seem to be incapable of separating the two, in the status and role of victim. Most of us are too smart for that now. My son's are not perpetrators, but if left to the vices of these characters, they'd be tarred and feathered before they ever had a chance to be one. For shame!

Submitted by Kristin Titus at 5:49 PM Friday, August 21 2009

A word to the wise

MikeMurphy, you may be tipping your hand a little by claiming that Mr. Ignatieff is supportive of Mr. Vellacott's bill, especially on the basis of an ambiguous sentence written six years ago. Your "Fathers4Justice" lobby may be shooting itself in the foot by attempting to lock him in to your extreme anti-mothers rhetoric. Better stick to comic superheroes...;-)

Submitted by MartinDufresne at 5:50 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Like a Red Rag to a Bull

Every time an article appears that gives any mention about women and marriage/divorce, we get all these poor guys out there who obviously need help to resolve their issues around gender and sundry related hurts hurling abuse at the writer. If ever there was an example of a need to cover psychological treatment under public health care, here it is. The hate spewed out here by faceless males - not adult `men' - is chilling.

Submitted by xdirector at 5:51 PM Friday, August 21 2009

Shaming Tactics

Yes xdirector is right. If you have your house taken away, your bank accounts frozen, your assets split, and your future shackled to lifetime alimony ... it must be a psychological condition. It's not real guys, it's all in your head! Oh yes, you are in prison due to alimony arrears, and you are getting raped there, but hey ... it's all psychological!

Submitted by puma at 6:19 PM Friday, August 21 2009