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, July 20, 2010

Dave Nash ~ A father's odyssey for child custody

Kenora Ontario 
Posted 5 hours ago
For most of us, Monday's are a struggle. This is especially true in July, when the weather gets nice.

Now imagine the journey of Dave Nash, who started off on foot from Kenora yesterday morning, hoping to put another 60 to 70 km under his belt. While he admits he's not Terry Fox, and he'll be walking some of those miles, it's still quite a feat (pun intended).

"People have had their families devastated by the Family Justice System," he said, during a short break before heading out.

The Guelph, Ont., resident started from Victoria and he's headed east.

"The reason I'm doing this is so that no other child has to go through this," he added.

Nash acknowledged his own son was caught in the middle of the custody battle between his parents, and it was during some important formative years, which was hard on everyone involved.

In his experience, the vast majority of parents seeking access are men, but there are also women who have approached him with similar stories.

"There's a gender bias," he said, before listing some of the terrible stories he's heard on his cross-country trek. For this reason, he said he's been met with great support along the way.

Since he hasn't got anybody accompanying him, strangers have offered him lodgings and provisions. He said his run has struck a chord with people from B.C. through the Prairies.

Originally, he'd hoped to break a record for the long-distance run, but he's had to revise his plans.

"I wanted to be able to run all of it, but my knees are killing me," he admitted, before hitting the road again.

Divorced parents sharing custody of kids

Here is an article that is truly in the best interest of children.  As the courts in Canada will not change we need legislation forcing them to do so. Bill C-422 achieves this goal.MJM


 By SAM SHAWVER, Special to The News and Sentinel

Photo by Sam Shawver
Divorced parents Matt Hively, left, and Jorun Picciano share custody of their children, Jacob, 15, Michaela, 13, and Jacynda, 12. At center is the Piccianos’ dog, Max.

MARIETTA - An estimated 15 to 20 percent of divorced moms and dads share the parenting of their children in the U.S., according to statistics from the Washington, D.C.-based American Coalition for Fathers & Children, a nonprofit organization that supports shared parenting.

But shared or joint custody of children after divorce is becoming more popular as courts realize the importance of both birth parents to children's lives.

That's just common sense, according to Matt Hively of Marietta and his former wife, Jorun Picciano of Williamstown, who have shared custody of their three children, Jacob, Michaela and Jacynda for the last 10 years.

"The first thing you have to decide is what's best for the kids," Matt said. "If more people would focus on their kids and not try to play them against one parent or the other, things can work out."
Jorun agreed.

"Just because Matt and I couldn't live together doesn't mean we can't be friends and be there for our kids," she said.

Jacob, 15, Michaela, 13, and 12-year-old Jacynda share two homes with their parents, but are equally at ease with mom or dad.

"We each have our own homes, but have set them up so the kids can show up at either house without having to pack anything," Matt said.

One thing that makes their situation unique is that both Matt and Jorun have remarried and all four spouses are close friends that have a hand in caring for each other's children.

"Matt's more like a brother-in-law to me, and we are good friends," said Jorun's husband, Nick Picciano.

"And having another guy's perspective in the family is really helpful sometimes," Matt said.

Matt's wife, Diana, completes the team.

"If anything would happen to Matt, Diana would still be there for the kids," Jorun said.

In addition to Matt and Jorun's three biological children, Matt and Diana have a daughter, Megan, 9, and Nick has a 12-year-old daughter, Lucia, from his previous marriage.

"All five see each other as siblings," Jorun said.

Matt, a Marietta firefighter, and Jorun, a paramedic with Medcorp of Marietta, work staggered schedules of 24 hours on and 48 off, which means one or the other is always home for the kids.

"People are going to read this and think, 'are they insane?'" Nick said, adding that most people would have a hard time believing divorced parents like Jorun and Matt could provide a stable environment for their children.

"But they've put their differences behind because they realized it takes both parents for this to work, and the kids are the glue that holds it all together," Nick said.

Matt and Jorun are quick to acknowledge that it wasn't always easy, and takes some work to maintain the family environment with two households.

"It probably took at least six to eight months for us to work out all the logistics at first," Jorun said.
"There was a lot of trial and error at the beginning," Matt said. "It's a process and you really have to work at it.

"But I didn't want to be a 'weekend' dad. You hear about kids who end up in jail or in trouble because they didn't have their dad around, and I didn't want our kids to grow up that way," he added.

"You also have to consider that, no matter what, you're always going to be these children's parents, even after they're grown," Jorun said.

She said they worked hard to make the transition as seamless as possible for the children after the divorce.

"We know we're fortunate to have this situation," Jorun said. "At the end of a ball game, Jacob doesn't have to be concerned about which parent he should go to - we all sit in the bleachers together and have a good time."

And the kids have learned there are some benefits to having two homes.

"We get to have Christmas twice," Jacynda said.


B.C. to revolutionize Family Relations Act, revise legal definition of 'parent'

Is this just a change in terminology or is it real change. The latter would involve having both parents remain in the lives of children and getting to the real stats on DV which are pretty much equal between genders with the female partner initiating it at a greater rate. The fact Tracy Porteous, executive director of the Ending Violence Association, likes it is worrisome as their main goal in life is to exclude dads from the lives of their children and paint a broad brush of all men as evil. 

That being the case then nothing will be changed by these proposals. The fact no dads groups are being quoted in this article, only women and lawyers is telling. Lawyers are in it for the money, not the best interest of children, and have a vested interest in ensuring they are continually involved. That means continued adversarial relationships as that is their job -the best deal for their client – not the children.MJM 

VICTORIA — The B.C. government plans revolutionary changes to family law to better reflect the realities of modern society.

Its proposals to update the 30-year-old Family Relations Act include revising the legal definition of a parent, changing property-division rules, making children’s interests the “only” consideration in parenting disputes, and even replacing the terms “custody” and “access” with “guardianship” and “parenting time.”

Another key aspect of the proposals is to change the adversarial aspect of separations, making it easier for couples to use out-of-court options to resolve issues such as child custody and division of assets.
“This is groundbreaking, absolutely groundbreaking,” said Vancouver lawyer Georgialee Lang, adding many lawyers have wanted to see these types of changes for years.

“I think they’ve done a very comprehensive job.”

In releasing more than 170 pages of recommended changes that will be open for public reaction and comment until October, Attorney-General Mike de Jong underscored how much families have changed in recent years.

“Increasing numbers of children are living with single parents or step-parents, the traditional family structure has changed, divorce and separation are far more common than they once were and we have a far better understanding today than perhaps we once did about the challenges associated with family violence and the impact that conflict has on children,” he said.

“We have family law built around a very adversarial model and we think there is a better way — when a family changes or when a relationship comes apart — there is a better way to resolve some of those issues then rushing off to court,” said de Jong.

“We will always need the court, but we do not need a system that is primarily an adversarial system.”---- Under the proposed new law, couples seeking a court proceeding must first demonstrate they have considered resolving their issues using other means. The law will also make the rules around negotiated agreements more predictable and easier to understand.

Reaction to the recommendations was immediately positive.

Tracy Porteous, executive director of the Ending Violence Association, said the government “is taking a big step today to increase the safety of women and children with respect to enforcement of protection orders and looking at the best interest of the child.”

She particularly liked the proposal to make the best interests of a child the “only” consideration in parenting disputes, and extending the definition of those interests to include factors such as the history of the child’s care, family violence and consideration of related civil or criminal proceedings.

New Democratic Party critic for the attorney-general Leonard Krog said he supported the proposed changes, and agreed the best place for family law cases is outside the court.

But he said he is concerned the B.C. Liberal government will not provide enough resources to support people going through mediation or other out-of-court settlements.

“Given [the government’s] record on broken promises, will they provide the kind of financing that is needed to support this system? Will there be accessible and affordable mediation services?” he asked.

“It’s all well and good to talk about trying to keep people out of the courtroom, well fine, where are you going to put them and how much is it going to cost them?”---- De Jong invited the public to review the detailed recommendations and to submit comments before Oct. 8. He said once the consultation is finished, government will finish drafting a bill that can be introduced into the legislature.

Coming after four years of consultation, the proposed changes reach into a variety of areas of family law.
The proposals would extend the rules of property division to couples who have been living together as common-law partners for more than two years, as well as to any common-law couples who have a child together.---- That change would be significant, as the property division aspect of the existing Family Relations Act generally does not apply to unmarried spouses.

The proposed new law also changes the way property is divided in the event of a separation, which the government says will create more certainty.

Under the new scheme, a couple would split property owned by one or both spouses at the time of separation, but with some exceptions. Those exceptions include items such as gifts and inheritances to one spouse; pre- and post-relationship property, and settlements or damage awards from tort claims involving just one spouse.

Under the existing law, property eligible for division is defined as that “ordinarily used for a family purpose,” a definition many have said is too vague.
The new proposals also seek to add legal clarity to situations where more than two people may be involved in the conception and birth of a child, such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.
The new law would state that a birth mother would be the child’s legal mother and could only give up her parental status through either adoption or surrogacy.

In an assisted conception that is not a surrogacy, the law would presume the birth mother’s partner — either opposite sex or same sex — to be the child’s other parent.---- Third-party donors of eggs, sperm or embryo would not be considered a legal parent, though they would be allowed to apply for such a designation and the new law would allow for more than two legal parents to be named.

The proposed new law would also replace terms like “custody” and “access” with “guardianship” and “parenting time,” a move many say will lead to a less adversarial process.

The law would also make child access as much a responsibility as a right by allowing a court to intervene and take action if a parent “fails to exercise the parenting time or contact without notice to the applicable guardian.”

Those wanting to view the proposed changes, or make comments to the government, can do so here: www.ag.gov.bc.ca/legislation
Read the entire report here