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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 01-12-2006, 10:52 AM
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I just answered my own question for finding reference after reading the link. Can this be addressed in the case conference at all?

"During this phase, children become more mobile, increase their explorations of the world, initiate more social interactions, and develop more extensive and sophisticated linguistic and cognitive abilities. These achievements increase the child's anxiety about separation from important caregivers, and this anxiety is reflected in vigorous vocal and behavioral displays of resistance to separation, especially until approximately 18 months. Thus, it is common for children between 15 and 24 months of age to resist transitions from their mothers' houses to their fathers' after marital separation, even when children have good attachment relationships with both parents. However, once removed from their mothers' environments, these youngsters function well with their fathers, and vice versa. If planned separations are announced shortly in advance in a calm, matter-of-fact way, with reassurance that the parent (or child) will return, anxiety can be reduced. By 24 months, the majority of children no longer experience severe separation anxiety, although children with very insecure attachments and those whose primary attachment figures have their own separation difficulties may continue to express anxiety. "
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatvsLion
I just answered my own question for finding reference after reading the link. Can this be addressed in the case conference at all?
Not quite sure what you mean by being addressed at a case conference. Yes, you can bring up this point in relation to your child. I do think that most judges are aware of this as well (at least the ones who primarily do family law).

But judgew generally won't read studies like that for 3 reasons: (i) the author hasn't been qualified before the court as an expert; (ii) when you, rather than the author, is presenting the study to the court, it's hearsay evidence; (iii) the author is speaking in general about the average child and not your particular child -- you'd still need something to connect what the authoer is saying to your child.
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:59 PM
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I was implying references the document - and you answered my question on that thanks

Basically she's taking the issue and making it extreme - she's also been seeing a pyschologist which she references in the briefing in saying that he also doesn't see it normal for a child of that age to express anxiety towards the father in transitions. They've asked for an assestment but again asking me to pay for it. So I guess it's upto the judge to determin how to proceed with a temporary access order and if they will reject my overnights until this issue they've raised is resolved.

Also you said most judges are aware of this - I wonder to what extreme and also, would I know which judge is going to be in the case conference briefing before the actual briefing (which is scheduled for tuesday).

Another question - should I wear a suit or just a shirt and tie to this briefing?
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Old 01-12-2006, 10:54 PM
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Catsvlion,

If your ex wants a private assessment, Request that she pay for it fully. The courts generally will proportion the cost of this assessment to their respective incomes.


If you request that the office of the children's lawyer to be involved, and the Judge agrees and puts an an order for request of their involvement, and subsequently they accept to represent the child, they will complete an assessment at no cost to you or your ex.

As far as overnights, A quote from Richard A. Warshak in his paper

http://www.warshak.com/

BLANKET RESTRICTIONS

Overnight Contact Between Parents and Young Children

COMMON EXPERIENCE AND COMMON SENSE

No formal studies exist that assess the impact, on younger children, of sleeping in more than one setting. But most parents have enough experience with this arrangement to assuage concerns about its harm to children. Infants and toddlers often sleep away from their mothers and away from their cribs. They sleep in strollers, car seats, bassinets, and parents’ arms. They sleep in day care, in church, and in grandparents’ homes. Any married couple who takes a vacation in the first few years of their child’s life leaves the child in someone else’s care. Clinicians do not routinely advise parents against taking such vacations. If infants can tolerate sleeping away from both parents during nap time at day care centers, on what basis can we argue that sleeping away from one parent, in the familiar home of the other parent, would harm children?

BENEFITS OF OVERNIGHTS

Based on the analysis thus far, I have found no support in theory, research, or common experience for the proposition that overnights harm children. Should experts abstain from offering opinions about overnights? Or are there good reasons to advocate overnights? I believe the best answer, given the current state of knowledge, is that we have good reason to believe that overnights can benefit children.

Numerous studies have shown that children do best when they maintain rich, close relationships with both of their parents following divorce (for a review and consensus statement, see Lamb, Sternberg, & Thompson, 1997). They are much more likely to escape psychological harm than children who are denied the chance to maintain relationships with both parents. Thus, postdivorce arrangements should maximize the opportunity for children to develop and consolidate relationships with both of their parents.

Developmental psychologists have learned that the best way to promote deep attachments is to allow children to interact with parents in a wide variety of contexts. High-quality relationships are best achieved when children experience each parent participating in all aspects of daily life, including getting up in the morning, preparing for the day, preparing for day care, dropping off at day care, picking up from day care, feeding, bathing, preparing for bed, playing, putting to bed, soothing when the child awakes in the middle of the night, and so forth. Overnights are important because they provide opportunities for a wider range of involvement. This contributes to the establishment and consolidation of the parent-child relationship, which in turn benefits the child’s long-term adjustment.


CONCLUSION

Blanket restrictions requiring young children to spend every night with the same parent after divorce are inconsistent with current knowledge about the needs and capacities of young children and their parents. In particular, the opinion that children can tolerate sleeping during the day in their fathers’ presence, and in the presence of hired attendants in day care centers, but not at night with their fathers, cannot be said to express a scientific judgment. It reveals a bias often rooted in inaccurate assumptions about early child development. Experts who endorse blanket restrictions cannot provide adequate scientific justification for their opinions. Courts, attorneys, and parents should be aware of such limitations.
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatvsLion
I was implying references the document - and you answered my question on that thanks

Basically she's taking the issue and making it extreme - she's also been seeing a pyschologist which she references in the briefing in saying that he also doesn't see it normal for a child of that age to express anxiety towards the father in transitions. They've asked for an assestment but again asking me to pay for it. So I guess it's upto the judge to determin how to proceed with a temporary access order and if they will reject my overnights until this issue they've raised is resolved.

Also you said most judges are aware of this - I wonder to what extreme and also, would I know which judge is going to be in the case conference briefing before the actual briefing (which is scheduled for tuesday).

Another question - should I wear a suit or just a shirt and tie to this briefing?

Catsvlion,

wear a suit definitely! Appearance and perception is everything! The Judge will be looking at you. First impressions are lasting impressions. It is an important day! There is no shame in wanting a relationship with your child!
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:43 PM
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Catvslion,

Definitely business suit, same for women, conservative business attire. My lawyers refer to it as "court room optics".

Good Luck on your upcoming conference, looking forward to an update that evening. Sometimes with some luck cases will settle on the court room steps.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:07 AM
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Catsvlion,

Please read this jurisprudence case law which can be found here.

http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/20...onsc10739.html

SCHMIDT v. HALEY

ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

DATE: 2004/03/22

before The Honourable Mr. Justice B.H. Matheson

In paragraph 12 Justice Matheson comments on empirical infant chid development research

[12] I accept the comments made by Joan B. Kelly and Michael E. Lamb in their article “Using Child Development Research to Make Appropriate Custody and Access Decisions for Young Children”. This is found in Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol. 38 No. 3, July 2000 297-311 at page 300:

“The empirical literature also shows that infants and toddlers need regular interaction with both of their parents to foster and maintain their attachments. Extended separations from either parent are undesirable because they unduly stress developing attachment relationships. In addition, it is necessary for the interactions with both parents to occur in a variety of contexts (feeding, playing, diapering, soothing, putting to bed, etc.) to ensure that the relationships are consolidated and strengthened.”


It has been used in a child protection case

http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/20...onsc10777.html

CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF HAMILTON v. A. B. (mother), J.K. Sr. (father)

ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

before The Honourable Mr. Justice B.H. Matheson
2004/03/25

In paragraph 44 Justice Matheson comments on empirical infant chid development research

[44] There has been a pattern of long lapses in the access by the father to the son. This is of great concern to the court and obviously to the Children’s Aid Society. The disruptions of the visits are hard for a young lad to comprehend.

(g)Joan B. Kelly and Michael Lamb wrote about this in an article titled Using Child development Research to make appropriate Custody and Access decisions for young children, it is found in Family and Conciliation Courts Review Vol 38 No. 3 July 2000, pages 297-311 at page 300:

“The empirical literature also shows that infants and toddlers need regular interaction with both parents to foster and maintain their attachments. Extended separations from either parent are undesirable because of they unduly stress developing attachment relationships. In addition, it is
necessary for the interactions with both parents to occur in a variety of contexts(feeding, playing, diapering, soothing, putting to bed etc) to ensure that the relationships are consolidated and strengthened. In the absence of such opportunities for regular interaction across a broad range of contexts, infant-parent relationship fail to develop and may instead weaken, It is extremely difficult to re-establish relationships between infants or young children and their parents when the relationships have been disrupted. Instead, it is considerably better for all concerned to avoid such disruptions in the first place.”

and

Nagy v. Laverdiere, 2004 SKQB 206 (CanLII)

IN THE QUEEN’S BENCH (FAMILY LAW DIVISION)
JUDICIAL CENTRE OF REGINA
2004-05-14

http://www.canlii.org/sk/cas/skqb/2004/2004skqb206.html

before the honorable Justice Sandomirsky

In paragraph 5 of the Judgement, Justice Sandomirsky speaks of Joan Kelly and her expertise.

5] Let me preface my analysis by paraphrasing Dr. Joan B. Kelly who presented to this Court at an Education Seminar on January 16 to 18, 2002, on many aspects of child development research and its relevance to custody and access decisions. There are two principles which Dr. Kelly said cannot be overlooked. The first is that “cumulative experience of responsive care” is one major factor upon which a child creates an attachment. Second, in considering primary versus multiple attachments, it has been clearly established that “infants attach to both parents at the same age—six to seven months.” Dr. Kelly says some of the outcomes of infant-parent attachments are a sense of security, a basis of self-confidence and a development of trust. The research leading to these conclusions is not surprising and accords with common sense. What is particularly revealing, however, is that an infant normally attaches to a caregiver/parent figure so early in the infant’s development.

In paragraph 6 comments are made on the tender years doctrine

6] For many years the courts gave deference to the doctrine of tender years—that infants should be under their mother’s care because of the anatomical and emotional attachments which flow from birthing, breastfeeding and that the mother traditionally attended to the infant’s essential needs. The doctrine of tender years is now relocated to the status of a legal fiction. The research which Dr. Kelly describes overwhelmingly validates many findings including the two principles that children form attachments so much earlier than was previously thought, and, that the attachment to a mother and a father figure normally occurs at the same age, six to seven months in a normal circumstance.

In paragraph 7

[7] In this case we are dealing with an infant who is now 15 months of age and who has been in the constant care of her mother and to a lesser extent in contact with her father. Today, the father seeks to increase this contact between father and daughter. Mother harbours some trepidation and concern that the increase of access, and particularly overnight visits, is premature and not in her daughter’s best interests. As a matter of established science her said concerns are not supported by the child psychology and science of the day. That being said, each case must always be adjudicated upon its own merits against the backdrop of prevailing social science. Therefore, I turn to the evidence and analysis of the application at hand.

In paragraph 13

13] Until the applicant father is able to provide the Court with sufficient evidence of his living circumstances and parenting capabilities, including the seriously contemplated regime of how he will care for Tessa for the time periods he proposes, I will not leave the infant’s well-being into the realm of speculation.

and this case

Lucas v. Wilcox, 2004 SKQB 393 (CanLII)
http://www.canlii.org/sk/cas/skqb/2004/2004skqb393.html

IN THE QUEEN’S BENCH (FAMILY LAW DIVISION)
JUDICIAL CENTRE OF REGINA
September 30, 2004


before the Honorable Justice Wison

In paragraph 6, Justice Wilson makes reference to same article

[6] At the hearing of this matter I raised with the mother and father the research of Dr. Joan B. Kelly and, more specifically, the article Dr. Kelly wrote with Dr. Michael E. Lamb entitled “Using Child Development Research to Make Appropriate Custody and Access Decisions for Young Children,” Family and Conciliation Courts’ Review, (July, 2000) vol. 38, No. 3, p. 297. I suggested to the mother and father that, for a child of Emily’s age, a parenting arrangement whereby Emily would go a complete week without seeing the other parent may not be in Emily’s best interests. I suggested to the mother and father that they consider an arrangement whereby the mother would have Emily on Monday and Tuesday, the father would have Emily on Wednesday and Thursday, with the mother having Emily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The following week the father would have Emily on Monday and Tuesday, the mother would have Emily on Wednesday, Thursday, and the father would have Emily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Neither party expressed a willingness to try my proposed parenting arrangement with both parties being of the view that such an arrangement included too many transfers between the mother and father which would lead to conflict. I find it unfortunate that both parties were dismissive of a parenting arrangement that may, in fact, be in Emily’s best interests because they are unable to control the conflict between themselves.


You can use this same article as it has been considered expert opinion in the above mentioned jurisprudence. If it is contested you now have jurisprudence to support the use of the article.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:24 AM
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Catsvlion,

Here is more jurisprudence where the article was used. A MUST READ

Baird v. Webb, 2002 SKQB 518 (CanLII)

http://www.canlii.org/sk/cas/skqb/2002/2002skqb518.html

IN THE QUEEN'S BENCH
(FAMILY LAW DIVISION)
JUDICIAL CENTRE OF SASKATOON

December 19, 2002

before the Honorable Justice DICKSON

In paragraph 8, 9 and 10

The father dismisses the mother's fear that the child will be distressed by change of his overnight caregiver. He presented an article by Joan B. Kelly and Michael E. Lamb published in Using Child Development Research to Make Appropriate Custody and Access Decisions for Young Children, Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol. 38, No. 3, July 2002, 297-311 at pages 308-309:


The extent to which infants and toddlers can tolerate separation from significant attachment figures is related to their age, temperament, cognitive development, social experience, and the presence of older siblings. Aside from their very immature cognitive capacities, infants have no sense of time to help them understand separations, although their ability to tolerate longer separations from attachment figures increases with age. The goal of any access schedule should be to avoid long separations from both parents to minimize separation anxiety and to have sufficiently frequent and broad contact with each parent to keep the infant secure, trusting, and comfortable in each relationship.

Preschool children can tolerate lengthier separations than toddlers can, and many are comfortable with extended weekends in each parent's home as well as overnights during the week. In general, however, most preschool children become stressed and unnecessarily overburdened by separations from either parent that last more than 3 or 4 days. The exception might be planned vacations, in which parents and siblings are fully available to engage preschool children in novel, stimulating, and pleasurable activities. Even so, most parents would be advised to limit vacations at this age to 7 days and to schedule several vacations rather than one single lengthy vacation.


This quotation was cited and approved by McIntyre J. in Cooper v. Cooper, [2002] S.J. No. 226 (QL)(Q.B.) when he granted a father weekend access to a one-year old.


[9] I am concerned about the impact on a one-year old child of an access order that subjects him to six hours of highway travel every time he is delivered into the care of his father. Unfortunately, it cannot be avoided. If the access is to be meaningful and beneficial to the child, it must be exercised as the father sees fit. It must take place in a surrounding that is comfortable for both father and son; a place where the father can behave in a spontaneous and relaxed manner. Only then can the child know his father. That will not happen if contact with the father is limited to a few hours in a Wal-Mart mall.


[10] I am satisfied that alternate weekend access is appropriate in this case, although not for the length of time suggested by the father. To begin, his access should be from Saturday morning to Sunday evening twice a month. The mother should share the transportation burden by delivering the child to the father in Regina and picking him up there when he is returned. It would, therefore, be convenient to her if Daniel's access weekends coincided with the weekends the mother takes her older child to Regina for visits with his father. Time of delivery to the father and return to the mother will have to be worked out by the parties to their mutual convenience. There will be an order accordingly. If the visits go well, Daniel's time with his father should be extended, perhaps commencing on Friday. Hopefully, the parties can work this out themselves, together with such things as holiday and special events access.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:40 AM
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Another case where the article was used. It is apparent that indeed it is expert opinion. The evidence is clear on its use.

Cooper v. Cooper, 2002 SKQB 151 (CanLII)

http://www.canlii.org/sk/cas/skqb/2002/2002skqb151.html

IN THE QUEEN’S BENCH
(FAMILY LAW DIVISION)
JUDICIAL CENTRE OF REGINA

JUDGMENT April 12, 2002
before the Honorable Justice McINTYRE

In paragraph 7,8,9 and 10 Justice McIntyre makes comments on same

[7] Joan B. Kelly and Michael E. Lamb, in Using Child Development Research to Make Appropriate Custody and Access Decisions for Young Children, Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol. 38, No. 3, July 2000, 297-311 observe at pp. 308-309:

The extent to which infants and toddlers can tolerate separation from significant attachment figures is related to their age, temperament, cognitive development, social experience, and the presence of older siblings. Aside from their very immature cognitive capacities, infants have no sense of time to help them understand separations, although their ability to tolerate longer separations from attachment figures increases with age. The goal of any access schedule should be to avoid long separations from both parents to minimize separation anxiety and to have sufficiently frequent and broad contact with each parent to keep the infant secure, trusting, and comfortable in each relationship.

Preschool children can tolerate lengthier separations than toddlers can, and many are comfortable with extended weekends in each parent's home as well as overnights during the week. In general, however, most preschool children become stressed and unnecessarily overburdened by separations from either parent that last more than 3 or 4 days. The exception might be planned vacations, in which parents and siblings are fully available to engage pre-school children in novel, stimulating, and pleasurable activities. Even so, most parents would be advised to limit vacations at this age to 7 days and to schedule several vacations rather than one single lengthy vacation.


[8] Earlier in the article the authors address prior opinions which suggested that overnight access for infants six to eighteen months is less then desirable and may not be appropriate until three years of age. The authors observed that such guidelines were unnecessarily restrictive and not based on child development research and reflected an outdated view of parent-child relationships.

9] I do not take issue with the petitioner's view that up until now overnight access with Ryan may not have been appropriate, apart from the issue of breastfeeding. Ryan was born in March, 2001. The parties separated in May, 2001. As a result of the distance which separates the parties, the respondent's opportunity to bond and form attachments with Ryan were more restricted than if the parties had lived in closer proximity to each other. In those circumstances, it would seem appropriate that there would be an opportunity for the respondent and Ryan to develop their relationship. The respondent has exercised regular access and the material does not indicate to me that Ryan has not bonded with his father such that the commencement of overnight access would be inappropriate. At the same time, I am not satisfied that three consecutive overnights would be appropriate at this stage.


[10] With respect to overnight access involving Ryan, the parties would do well to head the following observations of Kelly and Lamb at p. 307:

When there are overnights, it is not crucial that the two residential beds or environments be the same, as infants adapt quickly to these differences. It may be more important that feeding and sleep routines be similar in each household to ensure stability. Thus, parents should share information about bed times and rituals, night awakenings, food preferences and feeding schedules, effective practices for soothing, illnesses, and changes in routine as the child matures....
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:55 AM
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If your ex defames your parenting skills, be sure to sign up for appropriate parenting courses at your local early years centre. This will go a long way and will most definitely benefit your child.

There is an earlier post on parenting courses.
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