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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:21 AM
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Default Things You Need To Know About Parenting Plans for Children Under 3 Years

Things You Need To Know About Parenting Plans for Children Under 3 Years

This is an article published in the Canadian Bar Association Newsletter. The article takes a comprehensive look at recent studies on the subject as well as recent trends in case law.

All the sources are fully cited and can be researched if needed. The material is up to date as of 2011.

Quote:
AN UPDATED CONCLUSION:
A review of the case law in the past decade demonstrates that overnight access to a non-primary parent for infants or toddlers is routinely being ordered for infants over six months of age. In so doing, the courts refer to and address the mental health literature to support the overriding goal of avoiding long separations between the child/children and both parents. To further this goal, and in contrast to past jurisprudential trends, the courts are no longer willing to simply restrict overnight access to a parent based on the age of the child alone. There is an abundance of case law and research supporting the theory that parenting schedules ought to be designed and ordered to ensure meaningful parenting time for both the primary and non-primary parent in an attempt to maintain appropriate and meaningful relationships between young children and both parents. When representing the non-primary parent seeking overnights to a child under 36 months of age, it is crucial to ensure that there will be continuity of care within and between the two homes, ongoing communication about the continuity of care and routines either by a written journal, email or telephone and a built in review period to address the concern of the other parent in case the overnights are not working for the particular child/children.
My thoughts on the material presented in this article, if a parent seeking overnight access, or a 50/50 schedule (usually the father) has been actively involved in child-care prior to the break-up, it is far easier to show that overnight access should CONTINUE. That is, if the father spent overnights caring for the child while the family was together, continuation of that care is in the child's best interests afterwards.

Changing, feeding, bathing, putting to bed, getting up, can all be done by the father while the family is still living together, this gives the courts factual reason to decide to grant overnights.

Arguments for "Attachment Parenting" and no overnight access can be refuted by refering to the great deal of scholarly literature on daycare and Early Childhood Education. In Toronto, exceptional ECE programs are taught at George Brown College and Ryerson University. The programs include infant care, and most licensed daycares will take infants at about 6 months of age. Here you can find significant scholarly research, peer reviewed and easily cited, to show that infants can easily thrive with multiple care-givers.

When a parent isn't intimately and regularly involved in infant care, showing to the courts that overnights are in the child's best interest is an uphill battle. The basic principle to follow, if you want shared parenting after divorce, engage in it before divorce. Then it becomes easy to show that it is more stressful for the child to lose one parent, than to move between households after divorce.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Things You Need To Know About Parenting Plans for Children Under 3 Years

This is an article published in the Canadian Bar Association Newsletter. The article takes a comprehensive look at recent studies on the subject as well as recent trends in case law.

All the sources are fully cited and can be researched if needed. The material is up to date as of 2011.

My thoughts on the material presented in this article, if a parent seeking overnight access, or a 50/50 schedule (usually the father) has been actively involved in child-care prior to the break-up, it is far easier to show that overnight access should CONTINUE. That is, if the father spent overnights caring for the child while the family was together, continuation of that care is in the child's best interests afterwards.
You are absolutly correct and there are several specific cases that went before the court in early 2010 in which highly regarded justices in the Toronto Superior Court did just this. What the other parent needs to understand when requesting this to the court in their materials is that they have to demonstrate that they were a joint "primary care giver", and are a "cooperative parent".

The key factor being "joint primary care giver" (did as much or even more than the other parent) and that they are a "cooperative parent" - willing to work with the other parent on all matters that are in their children's "best interests".

The whole "primary parent" and "primary residence" concept before the court is losing much luster (to quote Justice Spies) as the courts are recognizing that they have become tactical battle grounds for lawyers to run up bills. I have even sat in long motion hearings to hear judges lambaste the solicitors present for doing so.

Shared Residency should be the term used when discussing where children reside. They have two homes and they live equally at both residences. They effectively have two "homes". Not, "moms house" or "dads house" but, their homes.

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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Changing, feeding, bathing, putting to bed, getting up, can all be done by the father while the family is still living together, this gives the courts factual reason to decide to grant overnights.
Also, many parents use day cares so a lot of the argument around "primary caregiver" loses even more luster as the majority of care is provided by these care givers. It is hard to argue on a sole custody basis that any parent (mother or father) is the "primary caregiver" when a 3rd party is doing care while both parents are working. So, it would be natural in today's modern family that both parents are taking on this responsibility and sharing it. Feminism has worked and there are many co-parents who cooperatively and equally care for their children. Why this opinion changes and the facts get distorted when it goes before the court is something that needs to be studied. It appears to be a systemic problem in the system as a whole.

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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Arguments for "Attachment Parenting" and no overnight access can be refuted by refering to the great deal of scholarly literature on daycare and Early Childhood Education. In Toronto, exceptional ECE programs are taught at George Brown College and Ryerson University. The programs include infant care, and most licensed daycares will take infants at about 6 months of age. Here you can find significant scholarly research, peer reviewed and easily cited, to show that infants can easily thrive with multiple care-givers.
Not only thrive but, that it may in fact be better for them to have multiple caregivers. It takes a village to raise a child. This was the pattern of parental behavior for thousands of years and only recently changed in modern history where there was one caregiver.

"Attachment Parenting" ends after divorce and there is very little evidence based medicine in support of this parenting style. Nothing replaces two loving and caring parents equally involved in their chidlren's lives.

This goes along with the whole breastfeeding arguments of the past and the "tender years". Modern feminism was grounded on the basis of co-parenting. It is sad to see that this movement shifted from their stance and has taken in more recent years a strong stance against co-parenting.

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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
When a parent isn't intimately and regularly involved in infant care, showing to the courts that overnights are in the child's best interest is an uphill battle. The basic principle to follow, if you want shared parenting after divorce, engage in it before divorce. Then it becomes easy to show that it is more stressful for the child to lose one parent, than to move between households after divorce.
Also, parenting is something that any parent can do. If they haven't done it in the past and are going through a divorce it is something they can learn to do and do. The courts are starting to recognize this as well. The roles and relationship withing the family after divorce change but, what a lot of litigants fail to recognize that they are still family after divorce: Mother, Father and children. No legal document can remove you from the fact that you are a parent.

Thank-you for posting this information. I have been seeking out a good source for this information.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:25 AM
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thanks guys, this is a great find and i will add this to my footnotes for a possible trial. as always you give great sources.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:43 PM
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Interesting article. Whereas I agree that when the family functions as a whole family prior to divorce it makes 100% sense that the 2 parents strive to continue those roles and should be allowed to. But when one parent, and its not always the Father, finds it difficult to bond and deal with the inevitable stress of being a functioning parent. Once the breakup occurs is it fair to push that parent into a equal role when they clearly did not want or felt it was necessary to be an active parent when they had the chance Sometimes a parent wants to just pat on the head and do the fun stuff. And hands back to the other parent when they want their own time. It is quite obvious to involved parents that having a child is a 24/7 commitment . Interesting that quite often after a breakdown of the relationship suddenly everyone is claiming equal time with their children.

My point is if we push for a generalized statement of what is right then we paint everyone with the same brush. Its far more complicated than that. How does anyone really prove their involvement after the fact. Do we all have to document from the beginning of relationships and parenthood in case their is a breakup!
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachnana View Post
Interesting article. Whereas I agree that when the family functions as a whole family prior to divorce it makes 100% sense that the 2 parents strive to continue those roles and should be allowed to.
Great!
Quote:
But when one parent, and its not always the Father, finds it difficult to bond and deal with the inevitable stress of being a functioning parent.
But what? You didn't write a complete sentence so it is difficult to follow your train of thought.
Quote:
Once the breakup occurs is it fair to push that parent into a equal role when they clearly did not want or felt it was necessary to be an active parent when they had the chance
I'm not sure how closely you read the article. No one is pushing any parent into a situation they don't want.

The idea of presumption of shared parenting doesn't mean a parent who doesn't want equal time with their with their kids is forced into it. Here is the thing:
At present, there is no presumption of equality, and there are decades of history of courts automatically handing custody to the mother. In order for a parent, usually the father, to get equality, they have to jump through hoops and prove that they were an involved parent. This is unfair and humiliating.

If there is a reason why a parent should not be equal to the other - for example if they are on the road 3 weeks out of 4, or they were abusive to the children - then this reason must be shown. It shouldn't be up to a parent who wants their kids to have to prove they were an actual parent to them. It should be up to the one who disagrees to have factual reasons to prove why not.
Quote:
Sometimes a parent wants to just pat on the head and do the fun stuff. And hands back to the other parent when they want their own time. It is quite obvious to involved parents that having a child is a 24/7 commitment .
Yes, and no one is forcing this person to parent them full-time, half-time, or any time.
Quote:
Interesting that quite often after a breakdown of the relationship suddenly everyone is claiming equal time with their children.
There are a lot of connotations to your use of the word "interesting." Let's look at some of the reasons.

A couple have been through a toxic period in their relationship, and it is natural that one or both may be withdrawn. One may not feel comfortable in the home. There may be an affair going on. For whatever reason, the family shuts down.

Upon separation both parents realize what is at risk: Losing their relationship with their children. Both parents can feel strongly that they have work to maintain the relationship now. Before, they were home every day with the children. Now they are not. The sense of loss can be overpowering. Many parents want to divorce their spouses, not their children. Maintaining the relationship with the children takes work, and they are ready to step up and do that work.

The simple fact is that a separation means change. Why be surprised that one of the changes is that the parents suddenly are scared of losing the people they care about most, their children?

Quote:
My point is if we push for a generalized statement of what is right then we paint everyone with the same brush.
We are pushing for nothing of the kind. We are pushing for a neutral starting place so that each parent is considered a parent, nothing more, nothing less.
Quote:
Its far more complicated than that. How does anyone really prove their involvement after the fact. Do we all have to document from the beginning of relationships and parenthood in case their is a breakup!
Are you contradicting yourself? The idea of a presumption of equal parenting means that nothing need be proven the way you are describing. The presumption is that the status quo was that the children had 2 parents and so the situation going forward should be built around that. If the previous situation was not equal, that is what must be shown, not just assumed.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachnana View Post
Interesting article. Whereas I agree that when the family functions as a whole family prior to divorce it makes 100% sense that the 2 parents strive to continue those roles and should be allowed to. But when one parent, and its not always the Father, finds it difficult to bond and deal with the inevitable stress of being a functioning parent. Once the breakup occurs is it fair to push that parent into a equal role when they clearly did not want or felt it was necessary to be an active parent when they had the chance Sometimes a parent wants to just pat on the head and do the fun stuff. And hands back to the other parent when they want their own time. It is quite obvious to involved parents that having a child is a 24/7 commitment . Interesting that quite often after a breakdown of the relationship suddenly everyone is claiming equal time with their children.

My point is if we push for a generalized statement of what is right then we paint everyone with the same brush. Its far more complicated than that. How does anyone really prove their involvement after the fact. Do we all have to document from the beginning of relationships and parenthood in case their is a breakup!
I'm sorry but I was labeled a non involved father, from what I remember and I could be wrong not going to re read that stuff, my ex actually stated in her answer that I shouldn't have the children more that 4 hours a week and not for more than 2 consecutive hours, or at a minimum two consecutive meals.
I had to jump through hoops, like you wouldn't believe. Such as a 12 day trial.
I am an involved father, always have been and always will be.

There is not one dad that I have come across that wouldn't do anything to spend more time with their children.

Tayken, mess Thank you for your comments. I'd like to add my own.
As an intact family couples make decisions together for the best interests of the family. This could include the father working like a dog, and the mother staying home or vis versa.

Is it the F/M position that H/S doesn't want to spend with their children or has the F/M made the ultimate sacrifice by spending less time with their children so that their children don't go without.

Separation is a change the courts should be helping to make this change a change for the better, a positive change.

It is unfair and unrealistic to simply say well you worked before, so you have to work now. Oh you stayed at home so you can continue to do that.

The point I'm trying to make is, that intact families make decisions for the situation that they are in. Once separation occurs both parents have responsibility to provide for their children but also to support them in every way.
A mother must become but mom and dad, and a father must become dad and mom. By having both parents provide care and provide support for their children their is much more diversity in raising of the children.

I totally agree that a village raises a child.

When our children started at a new home daycare when in my care, I state to the person that we are a team. I get our children in the evenings and weekends and you get them during the weekdays, but we need to communicate about the children because together we are a team raising the children.

I guess she took it to heart, as she actually used that in an affidavit that she wrote on my behalf for the court.

Its been proven time and time again that when a parent man or woman, is taken away from their children both go through a mourning similar to mourning a death.

Just my two sense.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:29 PM
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There is not one dad that I have come across that wouldn't do anything to spend more time with their children.
I have ...
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:58 PM
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There is not one dad that I have come across that wouldn't do anything to spend more time with their children.
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I have ...
Me too unfortunately.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:38 PM
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Yes being more and more involved in advocating for Equal shared parenting and accountability to false allegations as well as helping others go through it. I have now come across parents both mothers and fathers who don't fit into the previous statement.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:17 PM
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No sure... Ive had the privilege of experiencing children endure both models (stone age and modern trend) and I have to say that there are more adverse affects with the children's sense of belonging to neither home in a week-about scenario. It's been heartbreaking to see my 2 stepdaughters struggle with it and jealous of my 3 daughters whom are in my sole custody. Relationships with all involved parents, off and on, have reasonable and occasionally unreasonable ups and downs.
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