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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Barbara Kay: Stop denying fathers their rights

The CPC at their recent convention finally got around to modifying their policy as follows. The lower of the two clauses below has new wording added: "and/or shared parenting, "

This is a step forward but I get the impression from this and our CEPC President's recent contact with the PMO they don't understand the difference between "shared" and "equal" parenting. Shared could be divided as 90% mom % 10% dad. Joint is a legal fallacy which states mom gets sole physical custody but dad has some legal say. In practice this does not work. Possession is 10/10 of the law.

We will continue our lobbying effort to get a government bill for equal parenting. There are two main opponents. Feminists and Feminist who are lawyers, in addition to the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), who of course have a vested interest in the winner take all status quo as they will lose business. 

Those who think feminists are all about equality haven't read some of their misandric briefs full of mendacity and misleading statistics, some imported from similar feminist briefs in Australia, who do have a watered down shared parenting law. In fact  Tasha Kheiriddin  a colleague of Ms. Kay at the National Post uses some of those same spurious statistics to oppose equal parenting. Google the name of Pamela Cross for the lead Feminist Lawyer who uses ideology not fairness in her role fighting Equal Parenting.

I was a stay-at-home dad for 10 years running, and a damn good one, until my heart was torn out by the gender apartheid used in the social services/justice system that cares not one whit for good fathers having equality in parenting even when they were the parent who raised the children. They also cannot care for the newly fatherless children.

I was watching "The Game of Thrones" on Sunday and one of the players tried to explain the pain they felt. To paraphrase: "It was like someone tore out my heart and then squeezed it before my eyes." It summed up, in a short phrase, what it felt like to lose my children as a legal parent and the squeezing was done over a period of 4 years by the court system and their apparatchiks until a Judge decided I was stronger emotionally than my ex, therefore there was a power imbalance and I was unfit for equal parenting. He did what most chivalrous judges do, and yes it is misplaced chivalry even by conservative judges, in Canada without any reference to what is really best for children. I went from a full time legal dad to a visitor of 3 hours a week and every other weekend, which is the standard sentence for fathers who are guilty of nothing more than being male.

The system will adapt despite the misandry by feminists like Pamela Cross and her legal cohorts and the vested interests of lawyers represented by the CBA.

The Conservative party of Canada  recently modified section 69 of their policy on shared parenting to the wording in the lower version.

RESOLUTION A – 051

EDA – Oshawa; Whitby-Oshawa; Ajax-Pickering; Pickering-Scarborough East; Durham; Northumberland-Quinte West; Haliburton-Kawartha-Brock; Peterborough



Section K – Social Policy (MODIFICATION)

69. Shared Parenting

The Conservative Party believes that in the event of a marital breakdown, the Divorce Act should grant joint custody, unless it is clearly demonstrated not to be in the best interests of the child. Both parents and all grandparents should be allowed to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children and grandchildren, unless it is demonstrated not to be in the best interest of the child.



69. Shared Parenting

The Conservative Party believes that in the event of a marital breakdown, the Divorce Act should grant joint custody and/or shared parenting, unless it is clearly demonstrated not to be in the best interests of the child. Both parents and all grandparents should be allowed to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children and grandchildren, unless it is demonstrated not to be in the best interest of the child.






  Jun 15, 2011 – 7:30 AM ET | Last Updated: Jun 14, 2011 4:36 PM ET
 
Shania Twain recently published a memoir detailing her anguish at her ex-husband’s affair with her best friend. In the end, Shania found happiness with the friend’s betrayed husband, by her account a straight-arrow guy, a terrific father to his own daughter and a much-admired step-father to her sons.
She writes, “What attracted me to Fred was his selflessness. He was going through the same agony as I was — maybe even worse, because as a father, he would have to battle his soon-to-be ex for the right to see his own daughter. At least that was something I never had to face.”

Reflect on Shania’s words a moment, and perhaps you will be struck, as I was, by this statement’s lack of critical introspection or even indignation.



Why is it that Shania accepts with such fatalism that the custody of her daughter will never be at issue, whereas this selfless man will have to “battle” for access to his child? Because that is the way things still are in family courts in the West, and even celebrities with the clout to arouse public outrage have absorbed the received wisdom that if one parent resists shared parenting for any reason whatsoever — it is usually the mother, and the reasons can be trivial or non-existent — the mother is awarded sole custody. (In reality, nobody is awarded anything through such judgments; on the contrary, one parent and his children have been taken away from each other).

In 1995, 49,000 American men were primary caregivers to their children. In 2010 154,000 men were. Pampers is now using fathers in their diaper ads. Almost 10 years ago, in a sample of 32,000 parents, Health Canada found that working fathers and mothers spend virtually equal time on child care.
So gender convergence is the rule for non-divorced parents, and equal parenting is now the rule for divorces that don’t go to trial. Why is it not the presumptive norm for those that do go to trial, after which mothers get sole custody nine out of 10 times?

It is clear to any disinterested observer who immerses himself in the subject that almost the only opponents to equal parenting are misandric ideologues and those financially invested in the family court system itself, which would see a drastic reduction in revenue from the professional gold mine all-or-nothing custody battles represent.

Reliable surveys tell us that over 70% of Canadians want a presumption of shared or equal parenting in law (in the absence of abuse). But family courts have not caught up with reality. Many judges are still in thrall to stubborn myths: that men demand custody rights to punish their ex-wives or to avoid child support; that they easily disengage from their children; or that awarding men equal rights represents a “patriarchal backlash” (even though few men ask for sole custody, only shared) and children do just as well with one parent as two. Wrong on all counts.

Edward Kruk, associate professor of social work at the University of British Columbia, has been studying the changing role of fathers and the problems of father absence for 30 years. His latest book, Divorced Fathers: Children’s Needs and Parental Responsibilities, illuminates the tragic toll on fathers first removed from their children’s lives by a biased legal system, and then unsupported by a social services network that is almost wholly indifferent to fathers’ rights and feelings.

According to multiple studies, displaced fathers are overwrought at the loss of contact with their children. They are far more likely to become depressed or unemployed. Worse, suicide rates amongst fathers struggling to maintain a parenting relationship with their children are “epidemic.” Divorced fathers are more than twice as likely to kill themselves as married fathers. But since men tend to suffer in silence, the depth of their despair goes unnoticed.

Kruk calls the crisis of father absence — for both fathers and the children they are torn from — “one of the most significant and powerful trends of this generation.” Children now form primary attachments to both parents. Losing their father’s active participation in their lives is enormously consequential. Trustworthy research demonstrates that children deprived of a meaningful father role are at far greater risk of physical, emotional and psychological damage than those actively parented by their fathers. Children fare better with equal parenting even where there is conflict between the parents; it is only child-directed conflict that hurts children.

Kruk’s findings reveal that ironically, precisely because they have taken on equal responsibility for parenting before divorce, men who lose their parenting role now suffer far more grievously than they used to 20 years ago when he wrote his first book, Divorce and Disengagement. He argues for a paradigm shift, away from a rights-based discourse to a framework of “responsibility to needs,” in which both children’s needs and parental and institutional responsibilities to them would be enumerated.

Kruk rather poignantly asks: “Why are parents with no civil or criminal wrongdoing forced to surrender their responsibility to raise their children?” and “Is the removal of a parent from the life of a child, via legal sole custody, itself a form of parental alienation?” Good questions, especially since equal parenting has been part of the Conservative policybook since the party’s rebirth. What’s the delay? Over to you, Mr. Harper.

National Post


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