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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reminder from nature: Boys aren't girls

This is a column bound to be a classic when comparing genders. The Ontario school system is running an over 4-1 female to male teacher ratio in the 20-30 age cohort. This means more trouble for boys as the system further tries to feminize them.  When a part of society becomes unbalanced as do many sectors of our social and educational system bias becomes the norm.  Health, teaching, child protection is largely female. Boys are doing badly in school and its simply due to gender bias by a highly feminized society. If Patriarchy was bad Matriarchy is worse.MJM



 
 




Jack and I enter the arena just as the lights go out. We scramble to our seats while Bono hollers about nameless streets over the sound system. Seconds later, the canned music fades and a spotlight shines on a man standing on the arena floor.

"OTTAWA!" he bellows. "Are you ready for a monster spectacular!"

I heard about this show on the radio. Eardrum-shattering, jalopy-crushing monster truck mayhem! I'm not into trucks -- monster or non-monster. But I knew someone who was: my four-year-old son.

Jack loves trucks, motorcycles, airplanes -- anything that moves fast, makes noise and pollutes. He could make engine sounds before he could speak. He would push a toy car across the floor and, through vibrating, spit-flecked lips, make that noise all little boys make: brrr, brrr, brrr.

I once thought fathers had to teach their sons to be boys. Now I know better. Only someone without a son could think gender is primarily a social construct. Sure, Jack and his six-year-old sister, Ella, were

indistinguishable as babies, when both were fussy, thirsty, genderless perpetual poop machines. But as soon as the first inkling of Jack's personality surfaced, it was obvious that he was all boy.

It's tough to be a boy today. Boys want to run and wrestle and shout. They want to have sword fights and gun battles and mud races. The world, however, wants them to be quiet, to settle down, to stay in their seats, to take Ritalin, to keep their nice shirts clean, to be careful with toys, to be cautious on play structures, to not go so fast, to not go so high, to always be gentle. Don't point your finger and shout "bang!" No standing on the swings. Put that stick down, buster. Basically, the world wants boys to be girls.

The lights come on and the show begins. Soon, colourful trucks with giant wheels are flattening cars, motorcycles are soaring through the air, and four-wheelers are barely avoiding collision as they race in tight circles. Jack is loving it. He is eating it up, like the popcorn he is stuffing into his maw with both hands. The only way he could enjoy this more is if the vehicles turned into robots and began duking it out.

Jack likes fighting. A lot. His love of horseplay, like his love of horsepower, seems innate. He slipped from the womb with a taste for pummelling. We wrestle often, and I have as much fun as he does, though it sometimes gets out of hand. During a recent bout, after receiving my fill of headbutts and groin-stomps, I told Jack to take it easy.

"I will not take it easy," he replied, launching a new assault. "I will take it tricky."

If we aren't roughhousing, we are debating who would win in a fight between so-and-so and what's-his-cape. Could The Incredible Hulk beat up Batman? (Definitely.) Could Megatron beat up Superman? (Unlikely.) The other day Jack posed a tough one: Could a lightsabre defeat an earthquake? After much discussion, we decided that the lightsabre would win. Unless it was a really big earthquake.

At 9:30 p.m., I ask Jack if he wants to leave. "Okay," he says. Two hours of vehicular carnage is enough for any boy, I guess. As we walk out, we pass a boy waving a Monster Spectacular pennant. "I want one of those!" Jack says. We pass a boy wearing a Monster Spectacular shirt. "I want one of those!" We pass a boy holding a toy monster truck. "I want one of those!"

Teaching a boy to ask instead of demand is a challenge. Especially if he wants something with wheels. Jack's manners are improving, though. A few weeks ago, he approached Ella and me and said, "Whoever wants a butt in their face, raise your hand." There was a time when he didn't ask for volunteers.

In front of the arena's exit is a souvenir booth. It has hundreds of toy monster trucks. It might as well have a giant vacuum that sucks money out of my pocket. Thankfully, Jack opts for a small (overpriced) truck instead of a large (overpriced) truck. I buy it and we head home.

The next morning, Father's Day cards await me at breakfast. In hers, Ella says she loves Dad because he helps her with art. Sweet girl. In his, Jack says he loves Dad "because he has a watch." That's my boy.

Roger Collier's column appears every other week. E-mail: rogercollier@hotmail.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

The secret to happiness - speak to your father

This isn't rocket science but at least social science is proving what involved dads already know from getting feedback while talking with their children.MJM

Children who regularly talk to their fathers are happier than those who do not, according to new research.

Father and teenage son having a discussion

Young people who said they talked seriously to their dads most days gave themselves an 87 per cent score on a happiness scale Photo: PHOTOLIBRARY

Young people who said they talked seriously to their dads "most days" gave themselves an 87 per cent score on a happiness scale compared with 79 per cent for those who said they hardly ever spoke to their fathers in this way.

The findings, from an analysis of research from the British Household Panel survey into 1,200 young people in Britain aged between 11 and 15, were released by the Children's Society to coincide with Father's Day this weekend.
Nearly half of young people - 46 per cent - said they "hardly ever" spoke to their fathers about important topics compared with 28 per cent who hardly ever spoke to their mothers about the things that matter most.

Only 13 per cent confided in their father "most days", according to the analysis.

The study, commissioned by the Children's Society and undertaken by the University of York, showed that young people talk less to their fathers about important issues as they get older.

The data showed 42 per cent of 11-year-olds did so more than once a week compared with 16% of 15-year-olds.

The analysis suggested there has been little change over the years with the same proportion - 30 per cent - of young people talking to their fathers about something that mattered to them more than once a week in 2007-08 as in 2002-03.

The charity said the findings were "highly significant" as academic research has shown that a child's well-being later in life depends on their teenage relationship with their father as well as with their mother.

It launched a Fatherhood Commission with children, experts and the public invited to submit evidence about the barriers to fathers' involvement with their children.

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of the Children's Society, said: "This research shows that young people's happiness is closely linked to how often they speak to their fathers about things that matter.

"Yet all too often these days, children are becoming alienated or live apart from their fathers.

"That is why the Children's Society is today calling on children, experts and the general public to submit evidence to our new Fatherhood Review.


"It will be investigating the extent to which fathers are involved in the everyday aspects of their children's lives and in the autumn we will publish recommendations on how the obstacles to better father-child relationships might be overcome."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7835708/The-secret-to-happiness-speak-to-your-father.html?utm_source=tmg&utm_medium=TD_speakdad&utm_campaign=family1806pm

Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Bad Dad ~ The Film

pH Films presents A Ruth van Vierzen & Patrick Hodgson PRODUCTION

Starring DOUG EDMONDSON, LLOYD GORLING, DOUG HOPE, BARBARA KAY, DAVE NASH, FRANK SIMONS and DENIS VAN DECKER and his band of F4J SUPERHEROES





Questions, Comments, Ideas... Please feel free to email the producers at info@bigbaddadthemovie.com



http://www.bigbaddadthemovie.com/index.html

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Divorced B.C. father kept from seeing child

In the article from the CBC below Mr. Geesing has done the right thing by taking this matter public. For many years courts have given sole physical custody to moms (90% in Canada).  Possession of children is not 9/10's of the law it is 10/10's. When mom has the kids she directly controls dad and often in a very twisted manner using the children as pawns. The courts will not enforce access. Mom's know this, as do lawyers, and use it as leverage.

The courts and the lawyers are picking the pockets of vulnerable families including the child's future financial integrity, and will not change without public knowledge and intervention.

It is a gamble because courts tend to use it against the parent who does go public. They do not believe it is in the "child's best interest". It will be if enough men go public, and we number in the tens of thousands, so men get involved and support Billl C-422 for equal shared parenting. Lawyers do not like this bill because it will reduce their business and they intimidated Rob Nicholson, the conservative member for Niagara, and Canada's Federal Justice Minister, at their annual general meeting in Ireland in 2009 so much he said he didn't support it.

Think about this for a minute. The Canadian Bar Association represent lawyers across Canada. They are a lobby group. Nicholson is a member of this group. He is also the Minister responsible for the creation and administration of Canadian Law. Bill C-422 will reduce divorce and lawyer's income. Isn't there something ethically wrong with this? 

A few Human Rights Complaints against government policies and bureaucrats down the road will help to steer the ship into more equal waters as the system, whether it be DV or Family Law to name just two, is way out of whack in favour of the feminist mythology that dads and men are just plain bad.MJM  








June 22, 2010

By CBC News
CBC News

A divorced B.C. father who hasn't seen his daughter for months blames the family court system and is joining others in a call for change.

A divorced B.C. father who hasn't seen his young daughter for several months blames the family court system and is joining others in a call for change.



"Before all this happened, my daughter had a great relationship with me," said Dieter Geesing. "I feel really helpless. This is not right."


Geesing said his ex-wife has been allowed to bar him from his daughter because a court order requiring her to co-operate is unenforceable.


"I love my child. It's not fair to her. You are cheating her of her childhood," he said tearfully. "This child has a right to interact with her father."


Geesing is a forestry specialist and his daughter is his only child. He and his wife separated in 2008, when the girl was eight years old. Since then, he said, his wife has tried to shut him out of his daughter's life completely.

No contact for 15 months

 

"When I phone, I get the message 'She doesn't want to talk to you,'" said Geesing. "On her 10th birthday, I left flowers on her doorstep - that's it."


Geesing has had no contact with his child since March 2009.


A court order in June 2009 gave the parents joint guardianship, with the child's "primary residence" at her mother's home.


The court also instructed the mother to pay for and attend counselling to help establish a "healthier" relationship between father and daughter. A letter from the counsellor to the judge shows Geesing's ex-wife has since failed to co-operate.



"For me it's quite obvious here is somebody who doesn't want this child to have any contact," said Geesing.


Records show there have been no consequences for the child's mother. Geesing has been told he has no legal recourse but to go back to court to ask the judge for help, which could take several months.


No comment from mother

 

Because she is the custodial parent, CBC News is not identifying the mother by name, to help protect the child's identity. When contacted, Geesing's ex-wife refused comment. Her lawyer did not respond to messages.


Geesing is one of several parents and family advocates calling on Ottawa to change the Divorce Act to give non-abusive divorcing parents automatic, equal roles in their children's lives.


"Why am I supposed to be the lesser parent?" asked Geesing. "The default [in the courts] should be equal, shared parenting. That should be the default."


When Geesing's divorce case got to trial, the child's mother wrongly accused him of inappropriate behaviour toward his daughter.


"It completely went out of control," said Geesing. "Nothing shook me as much as this accusation."

Ice cream photos called 'inappropriate'

 

Evidence of what Geesing's ex-wife deemed inappropriate included pictures he took of his daughter showing off her first permanent teeth and pictures of her eating an ice cream cone.


B.C. Supreme Court Justice Burnyeat concluded, "Having reviewed the photographs that the plaintiff believes were inappropriate, I cannot reach that conclusion."


The mother also said it was wrong for Geesing to playfully nibble on his daughter's ear while they were watching a DVD together.


The judge didn't buy that either, concluding, "I am satisfied that the plaintiff overreacted to what might be viewed by many as an innocent sign of affection between a father and his daughter."


A detailed psychological analysis of the family found no evidence the child had been abused, but concluded instead that the mother had alienated her from her father. It also recommended that if the mother didn't change her behaviour, the child should live with her father.


"[The mother] has been using control as a coping mechanism of ...perverse anxiety," wrote the psychologist. "There has clearly been a campaign of parental alienation."


"All of this court, this fighting, for nothing," said Geesing.

Access denial 'common'

 

"I know fathers who have been to court 50 times - in front of a judge - only to be told that they will get access but they do not," said Jerry Arthur-Wong, the executive director at Vancouver's only men's resource centre.


"It's like the court appearance had no impact on the other parent."


He said the extreme problems he sees are with the minority of protracted, acrimonious divorces, where the parents go all the way to trial to fight it out.


A 2009 study by Edward Kruk at the University of B.C.'s school of social work took a detailed look at the parental roles of 82 Vancouver-area fathers, from all walks of life, post-divorce.


Of the 82, 56 reported "lack of access" as their No. 1 problem. Thirty of the 82 fathers reported being completely disengaged from their children's lives.


Arthur-Wong also wants the Divorce Act amended to make equal, shared parenting the norm, except in cases where one parent is deemed unfit.


Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott is sponsoring a private member's bill that would make shared parenting the starting position in all cases that go to court. The bill passed first reading, but won't be debated in Ottawa for several months, if at all.


Government undecided on bill

 

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said he wasn't available for comment and the government has not decided whether to support the initiative.


"Our government is committed to promoting positive outcomes for the entire family during separation or divorce," wrote Nicholson's press secretary, Pamela Stephens. "Since parents usually understand their children better than anyone else, our government strongly encourages parents co-operate to make parenting arrangements in their children's best interests."


Arthur-Wong said the government has delayed taking definitive action for far too long.


"Denial of access is pretty common," he said. "That is child abuse and that is not acceptable in this society."
He thinks provinces should set up registries of parents who ignore court-ordered access, similar to the maintenance enforcement agencies that penalize parents who default on child-support payments.


"Those who say that it would be impossible to keep a registry of access denial, I say let's try it with the more extreme cases," he said.


Geesing doesn't expect to get another court date until the fall.


"I don't even know what I will do the first time, if I ever see her," said Geesing. "Should I shake her hand? Give her my business card or something like this? What do I do? I feel afraid to do anything."


Even if he doesn't see his daughter until she grows up, Geesing said he hopes by seeing him tell his story publicly, she will know one day that he tried to be a good father.


"I think I owe it to her to let her know that this is wrong."

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/06/21/bc-accessdenied.html#socialcomments

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Family Law creates a form of Gender Denigration and Gender Apartheid

The whole idea of dead beat dads, discussed in the National Post story below, is a work of fiction created through feminist advocacy and in North America the collection of child support is a multibillion dollar industry. In the USA it is centered around a highly gender biased act called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Joe Biden is its patriarch. Bill Clinton passed it back in the 90’s to pay back his feminist voters,. It is control central for the unconstitutional discrimination of males within the sphere of family law. The federal government pays the States incentives for collecting child support. If they collect, more money flows downward. Thus States have every incentive to be as draconian as possible.

Most men, upwards of 70%, cannot pay because they are poor. They are deprived of passports and license to drive. That can impact, as Mr. Gurney has described, his ability to earn income. They are then sent to debtor’s prison, where they cannot work to pay it off. After getting out, sometimes after 6 months, but in at least one case involving alimony, over 10 years, they are further behind because the arrears clock never stops. Men have an 8 times higher suicide rate over women after divorce. Often it is because they see no way out. They lost their children, their savings on lawyers, their dignity, their freedom and then their life. In addition, we say we don’t have capital punishment in Canada. Eight men a day die by their own hand. What a disgrace, but we get hyperactive if the flu hits and a few die a week. Both are tragic but men are expendable. Some Provinces and States use public forums to humiliate them by posting pictures and descriptions. This is the modern equivalent of putting people in stocks for public viewing and throwing things at them.

Lawyers and courts tout the unknowable “Best interests of Children” in their pompous and often kangaroo courts. Sure, they do - and I have a time share on Mars with running water. The above actions to dads are not in the best interest of any child, or any one else, but it keeps Judges, lawyers and their apparatchiks employed in a lucrative business.

You will hear of very few women being thrown in jail for child support arrears even though proportionately they are less likely to pay than men are. Further, you will seldom ever see them put in jail for denying access or alienating a child from dad. Moms get physical custody 90% of the time so there are many dads acting as ATM's for the divorce industry. Mom gets to control her ex in a myriad of fashions during and after the divorce process, aided and abetted by the machinery of the government, NGO’s (DV shelters), lawyers and most definitely judges who are the CEO’s of gender apartheid in this country. Politicians don’t have a clue what they have created and even if they piped up some feminist group funded by Status of Women Canada will chew them up in a maelstrom of shrieking rhetoric suggesting the government is abandoning women for male privilege aided by the likes of Jack Layton (Canada's Chief Socialist and feminist sycophant) and Iggenstein, (Michael Iggnatief - Canada's hapless  Liberal leader). Heck, you even have Tasha Kheiriddin an op-ed writer, and lawyer doing it at the NP against a bill for equal parenting, C-422, just before Father’s Day. She claims to be conservative but that clearly is a misprint. She is, if anything, a maternal supremacist, and if not liberal a Red-Tory who are Liberals who think they are conservative but don't know any better.MJM





Matt Gurney: Man jailed by courts after courts bankrupt him

Matt Gurney  June 21, 2010 – 2:12 pm
 
Jeff Dolan spent Father’s Day in jail, locked away for failure to pay child support. Deadbeat dads don’t garner a lot of sympathy. But you don’t need to study Jeff’s case for long before you realize that he’s anything but a deadbeat. Instead, he’s a man hopelessly ensnared in a crushing bureaucratic machine: He’s in jail because he couldn’t pay child support, but he couldn’t pay child support because he was unemployed … and he was unemployed because the court took his driver’s license for failure to pay child support … after he went bankrupt paying his court costs.

There is no good news in this story, but there is some dark irony. Jeff, who despite a learning disability graduated high school and held down several construction jobs in his home state of Minnesota, was also a volunteer at a local sexual violence crisis centre. One of his jobs there, on top of fielding telephone calls from sexual assault survivors, was to talk to high school classes. One thing he taught was “male privilege” — the notion that society favours men in many varied, sometimes subtle ways, thus enabling sexual violence.
Jeff is living proof that if there is such a thing as male privilege, it is doled out unevenly.

Jeff’s saga began five years ago, when a slowdown in Minnesota’s economy saw his employment opportunities dry up. After travelling to Texas to work in the oil industry, Jeff returned to his wife and two sons only to be served with a restraining order. His wife was claiming that Jeff was himself an abuser. Jeff’s lawyer urged him to immediately file for divorce, warning him that such orders are used by women as a “silver bullet” to ensure swift, favourable divorce proceedings. Jeff’s lawyer proved prescient, and he spent the next several years both seeking to prove that he was not an abuser and to get equal custody of his sons. It would be hard enough to argue for custody when facing abuse allegations at the best of time; Jeff actually had to do so before the same judge. Though the abuse allegations were ultimately set aside (two psychiatric profiles showed that he was not abusive), the damage was done — Jeff had lost equal custody, had gone deep into debt fighting two legal battles at once and had a nervous breakdown. By the time he was well enough to work, the world’s economy was in chaos, and there were no jobs.

But Jeff didn’t quit. He found new work, and could make good money billing by the hour. All he had to do was drive to the appointments, and he’d be able to pay down debt and meet his child support obligations. Enter the courts — since he had fallen behind on his obligations, the court stripped him of his driver’s license. That caused him to be unable to work. He fell further behind in his payments, and now he’s in jail. He can’t get his license back until he’s employed and making payments again, but he can’t find work because he does not have a valid license and now, must declare on job applications that he’s served jail time.

It’s a complete Catch-22, an utterly Kafka-esque nightmare from which there is no escape. The courts have left only one avenue open to Jeff to regain his freedom, financial independence and his children, while simultaneously making it impossible for him to do those very things. If anyone ever needed a heaping helping of male privilege, certainly, it must be Jeff Dolan.

Jeff is just one man, but speaks to a broader problem. Courts, in their earnest efforts to do right by families, are destroying them, instead. Men, who want only the chance to be good fathers, are crushed under the weight of gender-biased default rulings and the inertia of unfeeling bureaucracies. Whether in far-off Minnesota or, as Post columnist Barbara Kay has shown time and again, right here in Canada, men fighting custody battles are outgunned from the start. Jeff’s story, of being forced into bankruptcy by family court proceedings and then being jailed by those same courts for not being able to pay their court-mandated payments, is no surprise to any number of Canadian dads.

Bill Levy, a Canadian with bitter personal experience in such matters said it best: “Canada has reopened debtor prisons, only for parents. Only alienated parents go to jail for poverty. No Mastercard or mortgage debtors. The Constitution does not permit this, we can’t be forced into servitude. And yet no one will stand up in court and make these arguments. Men, and some women, too, can’t fight back against the court’s preference for expediency.” That mirrors what Jeff’s brother Jon told me in a phone interview: “Jeff isn’t in jail because he’s an abuser or a bad father. He’s in jail because he’s poor in a bad economy where there are no jobs.”

You can take any number of harsh lessons from Jeff’s tale, or those that Ms. Kay has chronicled in the Post time and again, but the overriding one must be how helpless parents — usually fathers — are in the face of an inflexible family court system that gives no leeway or understanding to those trapped in its clutches.
National Post

You can read more about Jeff, and his family’s efforts to help him, at their blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No bias in this study ~ Lesbian Mothers Think Their Children are All Above Average

The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) study quoted in the story below has an agenda and we have had some Female Chauvinist Pigs, like Pamela Paul, doing articles in magazines like Atlantic describing the maternal superiority of Lesbians over - get this - heterosexual couples.  So they are not only better  than normal moms, who are also women but the underlying theme is dads are not necessary. If they said that about a racial minority they would be castigated by the media rather than the useful idiots of the MSM parroting the studies results as though it was factual. Studies show that as many as a third or more of lesbians have been victims of sexual assault, including rape,  or coercion at the hands of another woman.  Others show the rate of abusiveness between same sex females cohabiting is higher than heterosexual DV.  Additionally, single moms are the most likely to kill or abuse their children and Lesbians see more frequent breakups and they are less stable which is mentioned in the study. Paul, the maternal supremacist, fails to mention this.

This study conducted in Bejing isn't directly relevant but it is instructive in what is happening in Communist China, "The survey, funded by the Anti-Domestic Violence Network of the China Law Society (ADVN), an NGO founded in 2000 to protect women's rights, found 75 percent of lesbian and bisexual women in Beijing were victims of domestic violence." 

In this report a psychology professor Carolyn West "found estimates of lesbian domestic abuse ranging anywhere from 8.5 to 73 percent but says that in most studies 30 to 40 percent of lesbians reported they'd been in a violent relationship. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, estimates based on the sparse research available that domestic violence occurs in 25 to 33 percent of same-sex couples."

Needless  to say the NLLFS study is not to be taken seriously and those authors who are touting it have a clear agenda. Female superiority in the care of children and dads are unnecessary.  What does that say about their cousins Gay men raising children. Are they twice as unnecessary.  These supremacists do no favours to their very small same sex, relative to normal couples, community.





A very in depth study goes into great detail about homosexual marriages 

Some snippets:










Gay and lesbian vs. other opposite-sex intimate partner relationships
Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice confirm that homosexual and lesbian relationships had a far greater incidence of domestic partner violence than opposite-sex relationships including cohabitation or marriage.

·  The National Violence against Women Survey, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, found that "same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants. Thirty-nine percent of the same-sex cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a marital/cohabitating partner at some time in their lifetimes, compared to 21.7 percent of the opposite-sex cohabitants. Among men, the comparable figures are 23.1 percent and 7.4 percent."[50]
Source: "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence," U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs, 30.

The study further charts specic rates of DV compared to married men/women compared to homosexuals.

Homosexual and Lesbian Couples vs. Married Couples
When homosexual and lesbian relationships are directly compared with married couples, the difference in the domestic partner violence is pronounced:
Sources: "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence," U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs: 30; "Intimate Partner Violence," Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report:11.

And they posit the following:

A POLITICAL AGENDA: REDEFINING MARRIAGE

By their own admission, gay activists are not simply interested in making it possible for homosexuals and lesbians to partake of conventional married life. Rather, they aim to change the essential character of marriage, removing precisely the aspects of fidelity and chastity that promote stability in the relationship and the home.MJM








Janice Shaw Crouse

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) just published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and funded by the Gill Foundation and the Lesbian Health Fund of the Gay Lesbian Medical Association, claims that children of lesbian mothers do better than children from a married-mom-and-dad family. The AAP is no stranger to controversy; they are the pediatrics group that recently capitulated to political-correctness to advocate a “less extreme” form of female genital mutilation and then, when under pressure, reversed their recommendation.  The NLLFS study professes to be a highly respected, peer-reviewed “longitudinal” type of study.  Longitudinal studies, however, are conducted by researchers who objectively track subjects over a long period of time. In this study, the children were evaluated by their lesbian birth mothers — hardly disinterested, dispassionate researchers.

The hype for the study was remarkable, with over 116 newspaper headlines blaring the news: “Children of lesbian couples do well.”  Few of the articles questioned the fact that the children’s mothers were reporting on their “little darling’s” well-being, social functioning, behavior, and achievements; nor did publications usually note the lack of cross-checking with objective outcomes.  Not mentioned, as well, is that over half of the original lesbian-couple participants in the study were separated by the time their children were age six (mean age), though such family upheaval is typically quite difficult for children.  Nor did the laudatory reports question the fact that the 78 children in the study contributed their own assessments about their lives and well-being.  Without comparing these personal observations with objective outcomes (teacher/counselor evaluations, school report cards, etc.) the study is highly unreliable.

The study is neither objective nor comprehensive.  There are three major problems with the “study”:

1)      The “research” consists of the mothers’ opinions about their children;

2)      Only 77 lesbian couples participated in the “study,” and they were not typical parents in other regards. An earlier NLLFS report described the sample population as Caucasian (93 percent), predominantly college educated (67 percent), mostly middle and upper class (82 percent), professional or managers (85 percent) and a median household income of $85,000; and,

3)      the study did not consist of a random sample — all the participants were volunteers — recruited via posted announcements in women’s bookstores, at lesbian events, and in lesbian newspapers in three major metropolitan areas (Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco)

The personal relationships and professional affiliations of the authors engender even more questions about the study’s reliability.  Dr. Nanette Gartrell of the University of California, San Francisco, is “married” to Dee Moshbacker, Ph.D., a psychiatrist and lesbian activist/filmmaker.  She lamented that “there are so many places in the United States where same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt or foster children in need.”

Yet, she claims, “There is not a single study that has shown there are any problems in terms of psychological adjustment” [of the children in lesbian couple households].  The other author, Dr. Henny M.W. Bos, is an assistant professor in Amsterdam whose research focuses on “child rearing and child development in non traditional families, such as planned lesbian families, gay father families and patchwork families.”

The two authors send a message that children of lesbians fare better than the children of a married mom and dad.  They state at the outset, “Despite more than three decades of cross-sectional research demonstrating that the psychological adjustment of children is unrelated to their parents’ sexual orientation, the legitimacy of lesbian and gay biological, foster, and adoptive parenting is still under scrutiny.”  A close reading of the Pediatrics article reveals a broader agenda promoting donor insemination, praising female parenting in contrast to having a father present, and, typically, condemning straight society as homophobic — a disproportionate amount of attention is given to descriptions of the children’s negative experiences related to their parents’ sexual preference (but the harassment didn’t affect their well-being, you understand).

 Some critics are concerned that the Gartrell/Bos study will be used, not to praise lesbian couples, but to question the fitness of fathers.  Indeed, Gartrell/Bos note, “Lesbian mothers use less corporal punishment and less power assertion than heterosexual fathers.”  The authors assert the benefits of a feminine environment, “Growing up in households with less power assertion and more parental involvement has been shown to be associated with healthier psychological adjustment.”

Still other critics pointed out the weaknesses in the control group — the 93 children who were used for comparison.  They described the control group as “very different in race composition, socio-economic status of participants, and region of the country.”  They also noted that there are many more minorities and Southern children in the control group than in the NLLFS study group.  These critics questioned the editorial board and peer reviewers “who did not pay attention to such an obvious deficiency in the study.”

Others questioned the “enormous political incentive” for lesbian mothers to volunteer their participation.  There can be no doubt as to the “political incentive” of the “research.”  The authors make their purpose plain by concluding, “This study has implications for the clinical care of lesbian families, for the expert testimony provided by pediatricians on lesbian mother custody, and for public policies concerning same-sex parenting.”
In spite of the weaknesses in the methodology, the authors conclude with a vast generalization, “The NLLFS adolescents are well-adjusted, demonstrating more competencies and fewer behavioral problems than their peers in the normative American population.”
 
Clearly, these lesbian mothers are from Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.


Copyright © 2010 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
http://townhall.com/columnists/JaniceShawCrouse/2010/06/19/lesbian_mothers_think_their_children_are_all_above_average?page=full&comments=true

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathers 4 Justice UK ~ ANTHEM FOR JUSTICE "SEND A MESSAGE OF LOVE"

Fathers 4 Justice UK

ANTHEM FOR JUSTICE "SEND A MESSAGE OF LOVE" AVAILABLE NOW TO BUY - F4J UK are delighted to announce that the Anthem For Justice "Send A Message Of Love" is available now to buy and download for 99p through PayPal  or through the F4J UK  website. Thank you so much to everyone who made this record happen - and it is especially for your children.

This is a nice anthem for dads on Fathers Day

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Views of a Red Tory Feminist on child custody and C-422: Tasha Kheiriddin: Sometimes unequal works

Tasha, I am extremely disappointed in your rhetoric. I say rhetoric because you have cited no peer reviewed studies to support your spurious claims. I have read the Aussie reports you quote and they are, in many respects, mendacious and written to an audience of very selfish people such as yourself.
 
You jump off the cliff with comments like: “…that not only were some children at risk of being placed in violent situations,…” The implied deducement from this is to paint dads as the culprit. In fact, it is clear in Australia, as it is in the USA, if not Canada, the most dangerous place for a child is in the care of someone like you – the single mom unable to stand the stresses of child rearing, work, custody battles, addiction, depression and a host of other factors. You can get the multicountry reports on this page with links to the original government data. http://victimfeministcentral.blogspot.com/2009/09/mothers-commit-vast-majority-of.html.

I raised two girls from infancy and formed an intimate bond with them during feeding using alternately breast milk from a bottle and formula. Dare I say the early morning feedings, amongst others, all alone with my child in a dimly lit room were some of the most satisfying of my life. She is nestled in your arm, resting her head against you, listening to the heart beat she is so familiar with, and feeds voraciously for a time, slowing as she gets satiated. You raise her up over your shoulder and gently tap her on the back and when she burps you have a sense of immense satisfaction. As she nods off to sleep you kiss her and place her gently back in the crib. I, as a man, can nurture a child as good as any woman on earth, including you, and you do a disservice to yourself and your child with such selfish apostasy of dads. 


I did it for 10 years before your attitude, which is all too prevalent in Family Law and the Feminist support ecosystem stripped them from me and turned me into a visitor. The reason – as you described - I was guilty of being male and nothing else. Shame on you. (More comments after her two articles at bottom)MJM

Sometimes unequal works

  June 15, 2010 – 7:20 am
 
Tomorrow, June 16, is a day that has come far too quickly: my daughter Zara’s first birthday. It is a time to pause and reflect on the joys and craziness of parenting, and on the realization that Zara will never again repeat her first steps and first words (no, not Mama or Dada, but “car”. Oh well, at least the kid knows what she likes).

Her birthday also falls less than a week before Father’s Day, and thus also brought to mind a piece of legislation before Parliament which would radically change child custody and access laws in Canada: Bill C-422.

This private member’s bill, introduced by Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, would amend the Divorce Act to mandate “equal shared parenting” when parents split up. Courts would start from the presumption that parents share time with the kids and decision making on a 50-50 basis, and put the legal onus on parents to show that such an arrangement would not be in the child’s best interest.


Before I had a baby, I would probably have supported this legislation. Who would deny a child the right to the equal love and care of both parents? Why do mothers get custody so much more often than fathers?
Raising an infant as a single parent for the past year, however, has changed my opinion. Not because I think that children don’t need fathers, but because I realize that they need each parent in different ways at different stages of development. And unfortunately, Bill C-422 presumes that equal parenting is best regardless of circumstance, including the age of the child.

Children are constantly changing, and what may work for a 12-year-old may hurt a two-year-old. Case in point: shared physical custody. A pre-teen can fully understand that when he stays with mom one week and dad the next, he will be seeing mom again soon. But an infant cannot grasp this fact. Even a toddler is unable to fully verbalize desires and feelings, while teenagers, if I recall the drama I put my own parents through, are only too able to express themselves.

When it comes to very young children, the presumption of the bill contradicts the first law of every parenting book on Earth: Disrupt a baby’s routine as little as possible. Expert after expert advises parents to establish one sleep routine, nap routine and meal routine, and to ease young children slowly into transitions, such as moving house or mommy going back to work. They further warn that vacations — or any time away overnight from home — will prove disruptive. Indeed, what parents haven’t returned from a trip with their tots only to find that they suddenly won’t sleep through the night, or cling to your leg like Saran Wrap?

Add to that the advice of the medical community that breastfeeding is best for infants under one year. As a mother who nursed for that time, I can testify only too well that breastfeeding is about much more than food. It is about comfort– when baby cannot sleep or is sick, teething or cranky. No offence, dads, but there are some things men just cannot do. Separating a breastfeeding infant from its mother is just plain cruel, never mind impossible if the child refuses to drink from a bottle.

Which brings us back to Bill C-422. Equal shared parenting would mean that very young children could be constantly shuttled back and forth between their parents’ homes. Breast here, bottle there, stay-at-home parent here, daycare there. This type of endless transitioning will do them no favours — in fact, it can do a lot of damage. Courts can already order these kinds of arrangements, even without shared parenting rules, and there is mounting evidence that the stress hurts a young child’s ability to attach to either parent, and to other people in general.

Bill C-422 would make this type of arrangement even more common at a time when other jurisdictions are questioning this model. Case in point: The Australian government, which four years ago introduced mandatory equal parenting legislation, is currently under pressure to revise its laws in the wake of several damning reports. Researchers found that not only were some children at risk of being placed in violent situations, but even children who were physically safe felt depressed, stressed and confused, and suffered adjustment problems. They also found that some fathers’ motivation in seeking shared custody was not to bond with their children, but to reduce the amount of child support they had to pay.

A consistent theme in child psychological literature is that children under the age of three need stability to grow up to be well-adjusted and confident adults. In Zara’s case, she is fortunate to have a father who gets that, and puts her needs ahead of his “right” to take her overnight alone, even under current laws. Until she is ready for overnights, Zara visits with him regularly at her home in the GTA and at his home in Montreal, with both parents present. Now one year old, Zara recognizes her father, greets him with her sunny smile, calls him Dada and is happy in his presence and his arms — all without suffering the anxiety of being torn from one parent to another at a young age.

Granted, this type of arrangement takes compromise by both mom and dad, and would not work for everyone, but isn’t that the point? Imposing a universal shared parenting presumption, with equal time regardless of age or situation, is not in the best interests of children. Respecting their stages of development is, and so is allowing parents to come up with their own solutions.

I hope our lawmakers will allow other fractured families the same latitude, and defeat Bill C-422 or amend it to respect the needs of very young children, and other special circumstances. Until then, happy birthday Zara, and happy Father’s Day, Ian. You both deserve the best celebrations a daughter and dad can have.
tkheiriddin@nationalpost.com


Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/06/15/tasha-kheiriddin-sometimes-unequal-works/#ixzz17RmepIby

Tasha Kheiriddin: Sometimes unequal works, Part II

 

  June 16, 2010 – 11:30 am
Yesterday I wrote a column, about my feelings on Bill C-422 and the presumption of shared custody, which got an extremely negative reaction from readers.  Apparently I have now joined the ranks of “sperm-hunting lesbians”, hormonally-challenged post-partum mothers, and other such stereotypes.  It would be almost comical if the issue wasn’t such a serious one, or one that matters to me very deeply as a parent.

Needless to say, I was surprised by the visceral tone of many comments.  So was our daughter’s father, who had received many positive reactions from friends about the piece, and was himself supportive of it.  
Many fathers are clearly angry about current custody and access laws, and with good reason.  Some of the stories readers sent in, when they weren’t draped in personal attacks, were truly heartbreaking.  No one wants to be denied access to his children.

And nowhere did I say that fathers should be denied access.  It is the assumption that certain types of access, such as overnight stays at a very young age, are in a child’s best interest, that I find objectionable. Call me whatever names you want, but you will not convince me that shuttling an infant, breastfeeding or not, between two different home environments, is best for that child’s sleep habits, sense of security, or attachment to either parent.

The problem I have with Bill C-422 is that it would establish a legal presumption that shared care is in the child’s best interest, regardless of age.  The bill is silent on any circumstances related to the child’s stage of development; rather it sets up a presumption that parties will have to rebut in court.

The fear fathers have is that if a mother gets full custody and there are no overnight visits in a child’s early years, that this situation will never change.  Unfortunately our legal system confirms their concern, as judges are reluctant to reverse “what is”, and expand visitation or change custody arrangements once they have been set up.

But the answer is not to create a blanket legal presumption of shared care.  Why not, instead, set up a system where access and custody are considered a “living tree”?  That is to say, they change as the child grows, and as his or her needs change, depending on many factors, including age.  When parties cannot agree on their own parenting plan, and end up in court, this could be done by a system of mandatory court reevaluations, once a year or even every six months in highly conflictual cases, less frequently in less antagonistic situations.

If parties knew that a reevaluation would be automatically performed at set intervals, then they might both be more mindful of how they parent their children.   It could discourage parental alienation syndrome, failure to pay child support, and other problems, because both parties would know that their behaviour would be regularly revisited.   Since reevaluation would be predictable, a parent would not have to file a costly motion to reopen his or her case, and face stonewalling from the other side, delays and high legal bills.  If on the flip side, both parents felt things were working fine, they could be given the option to opt out of the review with a consent signed by both parties.

Ultimately, this debate is not about fathers’ rights, or mothers’ rights.  It is about children’s rights.  Those include the right to have a relationship with both parents, but also to have his or her developmental needs respected.   As a parent, that is my only concern.  I would hope that other parents share it too.


Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/06/16/tasha-kheiriddin-sometimes-unequal-works-part-ii/#ixzz17RjAqgtQ



Further commentary left on site by Mike Murphy.  For those wanting to get a grounding in the issues surrounding Shared/Equal parenting these two articles should be must reading. Go to the links at the NP and read the many observations.

"Expert after expert advises parents to establish one sleep routine, nap routine and meal routine, and to ease young children slowly into transitions, such as moving house or mommy going back to work. They further warn that vacations — or any time away overnight from home — will prove disruptive. Indeed, what parents haven’t returned from a trip with their tots only to find that they suddenly won’t sleep through the night, or cling to your leg like Saran Wrap?"

Better not tell all the private and public day care centers where many children of working single moms end up. I call this "Sole Custody Proxy Parenting" which happens in many cases. Who is looking after your child today while you work? The presumption of 50-50 equal parenting does not suggest sensible parents cannot work out a routine for the child that is "child centered" not mom centered the latter, of which, is your view. What do you think happens with intact families. Sometimes dad even stays home for a time if his employer allows paternity leave while mom goes back to work.

Experience shows children can manage quite well when travelling if mom and/or dad are not over reacting. I can attest to that with both my daughters. They travelled daily after about 3 months home from the hospital.

I'll try to deal with your points one at a time to show you are ill researched, ill advised and incredibly selfish.

"No offence, dads, but there are some things men just cannot do. Separating a breastfeeding infant from its mother is just plain cruel, never mind impossible if the child refuses to drink from a bottle."

There must be an incredible amount of cruelty worldwide when millions of children must be fed from a bottle. You took this one right out of an Aussie feminist handbook and you are sounding a great deal like a feminist Australian journalist by the name of Caroline Overington who fears shared parenting as she might lose control of her husband if she has to share the children with their father. It is one fool proof method selfish moms use to control their separated/divorce husbands. As mentioned previously lots of infants have breast milk from bottles and for millions of families formula works well. Just ask those billion dollar companies who make it.

Here is a link to a case where mom used breast feeding to alienate and keep dad from his child but it backfired. http://parentalalienationcanada.blogspot.com/2009/04/globe-mail-judge-rules-mom-is-milking.html The G&M headline was Judge rules mom is milking her parental rights with breastfeeding defence.

Here is a link that will knock your socks off involving dads and breast feeding. It is possible. http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/miscarticles/milkmen.html

"They also found that some fathers’ motivation in seeking shared custody was not to bond with their children, but to reduce the amount of child support they had to pay."

This is a canard that gets trotted out in all jurisdictions who introduce shared parenting. When one looks at the logic of the observation its silliness slaps you in the face. The other side of the coin is mom doesn't want to share the child with the dad because she wants to maintain control of him through both sole physical custody and financial coercion.

If dad has equal custody of the child he will be supporting his offspring directly not paying disguised alimony to his ex wife. By parroting the argument he is being selfish you defame dads through sexism. You deny that a father has an emotional bond with his children and he is no more than a machine driven by money. What utter nonsense is that line of thinking and, in turn, tends to treat women as children unable to financially support themselves without a parasitic attachment to the man they left. Most divorces in Canada - about 75% - are initiated by mom. Why do you think this occurs? Could it be the current entitlement system. Where shared parenting has occurred divorce rates go down

"Until she is ready for overnights, Zara visits with him regularly at her home in the GTA and at his home in Montreal, with both parents present. Now one year old, Zara recognizes her father, greets him with her sunny smile, calls him Dada and is happy in his presence and his arms — all without suffering the anxiety of being torn from one parent to another at a young age."

This sounds like a mechanical and loveless arrangement where the dad was no more than a sperm donor. To suggest that a father who co-created the child Zara would be "tearing" his child away tells me lots about you. I see an anxious, selfish, over protective parent willing to agree with spurious commentary from like people in another country that is setting the child up for having future relationship problems.

You are conservative in some manner, i guess, but you follow the feminist talking points to the core when it comes to your biological offspring. That is not a compliment nor a good recipe for raising a child. You will be transmitting all of your own awkwardness to your child and it will affect her relationship with her father in a negative manner. You diminish masculinity, you bow to maternal supremacy, you denigrate dads and marginalize the most important male role model your daughter could have - her father.

Perhaps Minister Nicholson will appoint you as a Federal Family Court Judge. You fit the profile to a "T".
Tasha makes no mention of the official massive study by the Australian Government produced by by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which was charged with evaluating their 2006 shared parenting legislation.

It is one of the biggest family policy research projects ever undertaken in Australia, or anywhere else for that matter, dealing with shared/equal parenting designed solely to give the government advice on the 2006 legislation.

It’s overall findings can be viewed as credible and authoritative.

These findings include:

- Most parents with a child under 18 years old agreed that the continuing involvement of each parent following parental separation is beneficial for the children (81% of parents interviewed in 2009). In 2006, the proportion of parents believing that the continuing involvement of each parent following parental separation is beneficial for the children was slightly lower (77%).

- Most parents in the 2009 survey believed that spending approximately half the time with each parent can be appropriate, even for children under 3 years old.

- An Australian Government report published before the 2006 Act indicated that there were perceptions in the community about an 80–20 rule in arrangements for children to spend time with their parents after separation, with mothers mostly having their child for 80% of the time. The evaluation data show that advice consistent with such a rule was provided by lawyers much less often after the reforms than prior to the reforms.

- Parents who contributed jointly to decisions about their child were more likely than other parents to indicate full compliance in providing child support payments.

- Total court filings in children’s matters have declined

- The majority of parents in shared care-time arrangements reported that the reforms worked well for them and for their children.

Although areas for improvement were found the overall thrust of the report indicated it was working. The Family Relationship Centres were available to help in many cases and particularly those in high conflict. The evaluation report itself, all 405 pages, can be downloaded here. http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fle/evaluationreport.pdf

@Infosaturated It appears you are as misinformed as Kheiriddin and can manage to create stats right out of thin air. These magical powers are a regular feature in feminist discourse. "The grand majority of men do not even request custody, 90% I believe all thought that may have changed. In cases where men do request custody they are successful in about 50% of the cases"

You must live in a rabbit hole with Alice to be able to dream these things up. I won't deal with your other silliness as i don't want to waste my time but here's something to chew on.

Contested Custody Claims in Canada

According to a report by the Canadian Department of Justice (1) less than 4% of divorces are finalized by a contested hearing in Canada. In contested cases (where there is a counter-petition or trial), 75% result in sole maternal custody and only 8% in sole paternal custody.

The above information is from an article by Jane Pulkingham in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Vol 9, #2, Fall 1994, p.73-97.

According to StatsCan mom gets 90% of physical custody in Canada. Dad gets 8% and the other 2% may well be shared care or other family. The rest of your observations are just as suspect.

Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/06/15/tasha-kheiriddin-sometimes-unequal-works/#ixzz17RpUDW00
11:03 AM on June 16, 2010
This comment is hidden because you have chosen to ignore MikeMurphy. Show DetailsHide Details
"Those include the right to have a relationship with both parents, but also to have his or her developmental needs respected. As a parent, that is my only concern."

You show incredible naivette and still imbue your comments with maternal (gender) supremacy. Why not have dad take care of the child in infancy, where he is agreeable and you be the visitor. I thought so. You have the "boobs" you say and that is all the courts use in deciding custody.

As soon as a dad agrees to your course of action he has defacto given up any rights he might have thought he had to be a legal parent unless mom agrees to equal parenting outside of court. Will you do this when she meets your approved age of development? The longer your plan goes on and the child has little contact with dad the more likely the courts will believe your nonsense about attachment and developmental needs. It is a self fulfilling prophecy,

A child needs both parents to develop fully. The father of the child has been sold a bill of goods and any loving biological father who would fall for your line of thinking is deserving of only being a visitor. He obviously has other priorities higher than his child. Its rather sad for your daughter and its her loss, not yours.

Your feminist training in law school has done its work. No doubt some of what you were taught involved feminists sycophants like Peter Jaffe. Your daughter will be less of the adult she could be by your very selfish attitude. Bill C-422 is an effort to level the playing field but as long as we have Maternal Supremacists like you the road for equality for fathers will be long and hard.

Anything of yours I read in the future will be coloured by this thought process which is not in the best interest of children. Your mythological presumptions are not supported by the most recent research. Men and women are different and bring to the table different skills to rearing a child. To suggest one is superior is to think much like people who believe certain racial types are more superior than others. Both are abhorrent concepts.


What Tasha can't see because of her Maternal filters and training in law school is most parents when approaching custody from a non-adversarial level playing field will work out what is best for the child. Infants will be a small proportion of children involved but when they are most parents treated equally and knowing they will not be losing anything through such deliberations will, if breast feeding is involved, do whats best for the child.

I have an advantage in knowing what we men are capable of in nurturing children because I was a full time stay-at-home parent from infancy for 10 years and I don't have boobs. (My 11 year old does describe them as "man boobs" cause I've gained a little weight.) I write from a perspective of a male whose been there done that and I am as equal as any mom , man boobs or not.

Its the adversarial and current entitlement system that is a large part of the problem and is supported by the lawyers. C-422 will help to diminish that and truly work out best interests. Most reasonable people can surmise that if Bar Associations oppose a certain law, that law just may have some merit. These lawyer associations are no more than self interested lobby groups looking out for the best interest of their members not parents or children. They currently make, on average, $25K per client in a divorce action. They do not want to see that reduced. Fortunately for parents there are lawyers out there who do see the imbalance in the current winner take all arena called family court and are working to change it.

Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/06/16/tasha-kheiriddin-sometimes-unequal-works-part-ii/#ixzz17Rq4X7UC

 

Tasha Kheiriddin: ‘Equal shared parenting’ law doesn’t put kids first


  

On March 25, Bill C-560 goes to second reading before the House of Commons. The private member’s bill, moved by Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, would amend the Divorce Act and related statutes to make equal shared parenting (ESP) the law in Canada. In Wednesday’s paper, my fellow columnist Barbara Kay wrote a spirited defence of the legislation, primarily because she says it is in the interests of children. While the bill is well-intentioned, and with the greatest respect for Ms. Kay, I must disagree.

ESP does not put kids first. According to a report by the Australian government on its shared parenting laws, legal professionals found that ESP led to a prioritization of parents’ rights over those of their children. In the words of one Australian lawyer, “I often get a lot of twisting of reading the Act. So, ‘It’s my child’s rights to spend 50–50 with me’. … [W]hat the parents want, gets twisted into children’s rights, which is not what the Act is actually saying.”
Here in Canada, Bill C-560 would create a legal presumption that “allocating parenting time equally between the spouses is in the best interests of a child.” This could be “rebutted if it is established that the best interests of the child would be substantially enhanced by allocating [time] other than equally.” Ms. Kay writes that this creates a “steep but not insurmountable hill” for those desiring “primary parent” status.
But why should a parent have to climb that hill, if he or she already is the primary parent in terms of hands-on care? The other parent may work more hours, not because he or she loves the children any less, but based on financial need, personal preference or parenting ability. To assume that this division of labour will, and should, suddenly be equally shared after divorce is absurd. The parent who has been at the office until 8 p.m. cannot suddenly be there for a 3:30 p.m. pick-up. The parent who does not enjoy caring for a toddler will not suddenly become Mary Poppins. And it is the kids who would suffer as a result.
Instead of saying, as Bill C-560 does, that “every child has the right to know and be cared for by both parents,” why not add the words “to the best of their ability”? As they do now, courts should evaluate each case on the individual facts, instead of starting from a false presumption that parents can and should parent “equally.”
Bill C-560 also fails the interests of children when it comes to age. Shared custody arrangements can cause young children to fail to form stable attachments to both primary and secondary caregivers. A University of Virginia study published last year in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that 43% of babies with weekly overnight visits to the other parent were insecurely attached to their mothers, compared to 16% with less frequent overnights. In the words of research advisor Robert Emery, “I would like infants and toddlers to be securely attached to two parents, but I am more worried about them being securely attached to zero parents.”
Instead of assuming ESP is best at all ages, why not endorse — as the Virginia study and many others do — a graduated approach? Get to 50-50 parenting over time. Currently, many parents will demand ESP because once a pattern of care is established, courts are reluctant to change it. Courts should instead be directed to order progression and review at regular intervals, to respect kids’ developmental needs.
Why not require recipients to file expense reports on a regular basis? This would reassure the payor that payments are actually going to support the kids
Then there’s money. The paradox for separating parents is that the less time they have with their kids, the more support they usually pay. ESP can mean less, or even no, support payments. Regrettably, even if parents don’t want or can’t handle 50-50 time with their children, they may seek it for financial reasons — or to ensure that they, not the other parent, controls the money spent on their children.
For this, there is also a solution: Make the support recipient financially accountable. While parents must file a budget during the separation or divorce process, there is no post-split follow-up. Why not require recipients to file expense reports on a regular basis? This would reassure the payor that payments are actually going to support the kids.
In short, ESP throws the baby out with the bathwater, while neither serving the best interests of children nor resolving key sticking points in separation and divorce. Here’s hoping that our MPs recognize this, and either amend or reject Bill C-560.
National Post

Monday, June 14, 2010

November 12-14, Canadian Equal Parenting Council National Conference & AGM

This conference looks promising and will be the first of its kind in Canadian history.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cross country run to promote family law change









June 9, 2010

Cross country run to promote family law change

By ROBERT KOOPMANS
Daily News Staff Reporter

Dave Nash figures it will take 70 days to run across Canada.

Regardless how long it takes, however, the former boxer says he will reach the east coast because he believes strongly in the cause behind his run.

Nash, who lives in Guelph, Ont., decided to take on the challenge of running across Canada to promote awareness of the failings of Canada's family law systems.

He's not running for "fathers' rights," as some have suggested, but for the right of children to have consistent meaningful access to both their parents.

Nash passed through Kamloops Tuesday, having started his cross-country expedition in Victoria on June 1. He hopes his run will raise awareness and promote family law change, which he says is desperately needed in Canada.

"I'm doing this run so no other parent has to go through what I had to go through to stay involved in their children's lives," he said.

Nash wouldn't discuss his personal circumstances, saying a court order prevents him from talking about the custody battle with his ex-wife.

He did say, however, he now has a shared parenting arrangement with his ex with regard to his nine-year-old son and his 13-year-old daughter.

"Our courts are continually ripping children away from one of their parents," he said, advocating for shared parenting over the more traditional joint custody arrangements.

"(Joint custody) is not the same as shared parenting. How can you say a parent seeing their child for six days a month is in the best interest of the child?"

Nash said he's already received tremendous support for his effort, including from women. Not all those negatively affected by family law are men - 15 per cent of parents who are denied some or all access to their children are women.

"Most Canadians don't realize how bad the system is," he said.

Nash said running across Canada in 70 days would also set a Guinness Book world record. The current record is 72 days.

He hopes to average 75 or so kilometres a day, and has chosen a route he believes will get him to his goal just in time.

But Nash's knee is already sore. It's supported by a leg brace as he gets set to start Day 9 of his journey.

"I'm not built for running," he concedes. "I'm making it to St. John's (Nfld), this run is so important to get this message out."

Nash said people who want to learn more about what he is doing can visit his web site at  www.crosscanadarunforthe children.com.

http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20100609/KAMLOOPS0101/306099954/-1/kamloops/cross-country-run-to-promote-family-law-change