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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:26 AM
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Default 50/50 Equal Parenting: The Debate

Since we seem to run in to the 50/50 debate quite often, I thought it might be beneficial to start a thread where folks can express their thoughts, opinions and stances to assist us all in better comprehending the complex nature of the topic.

What would be your criteria for denying a 50/50 relationship to one parent who is doing anything they can to see and care for their child on an equal basis?

Does it meet the criteria focusing on one's "ability to parent" set out by the CLRA? In addition to the best interests test, 24(2), your ability to act as a parent is analyzed via:

Quote:
Past conduct
(3) A person’s past conduct shall be considered only,

(a) in accordance with subsection (4); or

(b) if the court is satisfied that the conduct is otherwise relevant to the person’s ability to act as a parent. 2006, c. 1, s. 3 (1); 2016, c. 23, s. 7 (2).https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c12#BK39
and of course,

Quote:
Violence and abuse
(4) In assessing a person’s ability to act as a parent, the court shall consider whether the person has at any time committed violence or abuse against,

(a) his or her spouse;

(b) a parent of the child to whom the application relates;

(c) a member of the person’s household; or

(d) any child. 2006, c. 1, s. 3 (1); 2016, c. 23, s. 7 (2, 3).https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c12#BK39
Of course there are many other factors taken in to consideration, but this is the bare bones of defining the "ability to parent".

You may ask, what about a parent who has made mistakes, but nothing like the above? What if mom or dad wasn't ready, panicked and backed out in the beginning? They did some soul searching, realized their moronic mistake and want nothing more than to see their children as a fully involved and loving parent?

What if they make your life hell, but your child's better? That's a decision that parents need to think long and hard about.

Personal feelings, bad relationship experiences and finances put aside, if a parent is deemed fit to act as a parent as defined in the CLRA, wants to prove themselves and are going at great lengths to do so, I become confused as to why they shouldn't be given the chance. Properly said, why the child shouldn't be given the chance to have an equal relationship with both parents?

If a parent is deemed fit to act as a parent (even if poor romantic partners) the child deserves the right to be cared for and have maximum contact with that parent.

The Maximum Contact Principle plays a large role.

And it just so happens that the maximum time a child can get with each parent is 50/50.

In much caselaw, such as Young Vs Young [1993] 4 SCR 3 (below), Maximum Contact with each parent is one of the most significant factors.

Quote:
It stands as the only specific factor which Parliament has seen fit to single out as being something which the judge must consider. By mentioning this factor, Parliament has expressed its opinion that contact with each parent is valuable, and that the judge should ensure that this contact is maximized."
Young v Young, [1993] 4 SCR 3 at para 204, [1993] 8 W.W.R. 513.
Justice McLachlin went on to explain:"The modifying phrase "as is consistent with the best interests of the child" means that the goal of maximum contact of each parent with the child is not absolute. To the extent that contact conflicts with the best interests of the child, it may be restricted. But only to that extent. Parliament's decision to maintain maximum contact between the child and both parents is amply supported by the literature, which suggests that children benefit
In Cavannah v Johne, [2008] OJ No 5027 at para 38, [2009] WDFL 614.

Quote:
Justice Ingram found that it would be unfair to deny the father an equal opportunity to parent the child. Time sharing was ordered with three nights with the father and four nights with the mother each week. Cavannah v Johne, [2008] OJ No 5027 at para 38, [2009] WDFL 614.
Put simply, the courts have the extremely important job of thoroughly analyzing parents' ability to act as a parent, while weighing the evidence supporting the child's best interests (Maximum Contact also)

In my opinion, if the parent has proven themselves to be fit to act as a parent, has demonstrated great motivation and action to see their child, and doesn't disturb lifestyle or routine too much, why not?

As humans we all have questionable behaviors at times. Perfection is an illusion that nobody should strive for. Your ex may have stayed out with his buddies on a Friday night, they might spit when they eat, leave the toilet seat up or may have even cheated on you. As questionable and raunchy as that behavior is, they can still be good parents.

As Tayken points out in his thread, the courts must also be very wary analyzing the term "abuse". Abuse is a serious issue and should be treated as such indefinitely, but it's now unfortunately also become an overused strategy for leverage in family law. http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...ase-law-16809/

In Abdelhamid Tayebi v. Salima Oukachbi, 2013 ONSC 6960 (CanLII)

Justice Piercea states:
Quote:
[13] Allegations of abuse may be a symptom of the failure of a relationship. Blame is an inherent part of the allegation. Sometimes it is wholly warranted; other times it is not. When parties are not communicating, any slight or criticism is magnified. There is a tendency to minimize the other spouse’s good qualities and maximize the bad. Warring spouses are rarely in a position to step back and evaluate the other’s behaviour with objective eyes. Nor are they able to critically assess their own behaviour...
The same judge also stated:

Quote:
[12] The difficulty with the term “abuse”, as it is used in affidavits filed in family law cases, is that it is used subjectively. It is an emotionally coloured term. It is not limited to describing physical violence but may be also be used to describe a range of conflicts including arguments, differences of opinion or values, or hurt feelings. For example, one partner may consider himself or herself as a good money manager while the other partner may perceive close budgeting as coercive control. One partner may consider an end-of-day inquiry about how the other spouse’s day went as an indication of love or interest while a disaffected spouse may deem the inquiry intrusive and controlling.
The judge has to be the best psychologist in the world. They have to ignore most of the "nonsense" affidavits, filled with inconsistencies and he said/she said high school quarrels and zero in on the parents' real intentions and mindsets, exposing truisms if need be.

If there are no police records, no CAS, no addictions or any evidence of abuse....and if they legitimately want to assist and help raise a child that they helped create, the child should have the awesome privilege of having them in their life equally, regardless of the other parents subjective feelings, needs and wants. The other parent lacks the objectivity to accurately rate the other's parenting ability, as discussed above.

Why not a graduated schedule to start off slow? Perhaps some counselling to get on the same page? If you hate your ex and cannot communicate .. don't resort to denying them more access because of it, get on www.ourfamilywizard.com, find a friend or relative for exchanges and adopt a parallel parenting regime. You're all set to not see or hear the voice of your ex.

I urge readers to really think about what I asked earlier:

What if your ex makes your life hell, but your child's better? Would you go 50/50?

Last edited by LovingFather32; 01-09-2017 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:24 AM
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Parents who fight 50/50, unless for child abuse purposes, are scum bags.

Try to remember that it is you who hates your ex. Your children don't share your feeling until you brainwash them into thinking they do.

I have noticed that some people on the forum say that their ex only wants the kids 50/50 because of the money...Who cares? At least they want them. As long as the children feel loved.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aghast View Post
Parents who fight 50/50, unless for child abuse purposes, are scum bags.

Try to remember that it is you who hates your ex. Your children don't share your feeling until you brainwash them into thinking they do.

I have noticed that some people on the forum say that their ex only wants the kids 50/50 because of the money...Who cares? At least they want them. As long as the children feel loved.
Many gatekeepers make a pit stop here in an attempt to justify their actions to themselves. I'm a pretty analytical guy and look at all the facts they post very closely.

Just once it would be interesting to hear a parent say "My ex has a huge CAS record" .. or "My ex is a heroin addict" .. or "a registered sex offender", etc so that I cold say "do NOT give 50/50".

I'm NOT a men's rights guy .. in fact I tend to stray from all that stuff. I'm all about the child's rights and what's in their best interests!

Unfortunately, I hear a lot of "kids call his new g/f mom" .. or "he's hiding funds" .. etc. That simply doesn't cut it in my opinion.

If a parent is spending day and night attempting to see their child more, spending big bucks on lawyers and countless hours negotiating .. the other parent needs to , at some point realize that perhaps that parent actually WANTS to have an equal relationship with the child they helped create.

As long as it's deemed safe as per Rule 24 of the CLRA, routines arn't too messed up and Rule 24(2) is closely studied .... the child should always have the privilege of having 2 loving, fully involved biological parents in their life equally.

I work alongside 2 psychologists. Each of them presented great arguments for why having a 50/50 relationship with both parents positively affects their development. They went down a huge compiled list that included the importance of "identity search", etc. Of course 50/50 isn't for everybody and isn't absolute ... but if the proper criteria is met (much of it discussed above)....50/50 is the way to go, regardless or warring spouses subjective views of each other.

One day individuals with gatekeeping tendencies will realize that the child should come before their personal feelings about their ex, as hard of a task as that is.

Last edited by LovingFather32; 01-09-2017 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:05 PM
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I think it would be appropriate to mention some of the arguments and thinking styles against 50-50

He just wants more time to reduce child support

The child is accustomed to this schedule or, status quo and we are not going to interrupt the child's schedule

The parent's don't communicate or get along well and therefore shared custody (time sharing) is not an option.

Of course we as father's would laugh at those arguments and label them as ridiculous, silly, and nonsense, but it is a reality and a problematic judicial thinking style that we have to deal with.

Last edited by trinton; 01-09-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:16 PM
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I think that 50/50 should be the starting point in negotiations. You negotiate 50/50 for property why not kids? And if that rubs you the wrong way, you sort of have 50/50 when you live together regardless of how much one parent does over the other.

From there it can be determined how it will work, where it will work and why it will work. You can add or subtract whatever is needed.

And I will say that for fathers and mothers. To me its what in the best interest of the kids and they need both parents in their lives.

I also think the biggest problem with getting 50/50 to be the starting point is the quick reaction to false allegations. I know every complaint SHOULD be looked at but when its used maliciously it should show up in the custody discussions.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
He just wants more time to reduce child support
As Tayken mentioned in an other thread, parents who are willing to dump thousands of dollars in court to see their kids surely arn't worried about losing cash...or else they wouldn't be dumping thousands away in the first place.
Quote:
The child is accustomed to this schedule or, status quo and we are not going to interrupt the child's schedule
This makes sense to a certain extent. Graduated schedules are a great remedy. Also, if one parent replaces, say video game time .. I'd say that's a healthy routine change. Life is full of changes and children,. teens and adults need to know how to cope with change.

Quote:
The parent's don't communicate or get along well and therefore shared custody (time sharing) is not an option.
That's why we have systems like www.ourfamilywizard.com and parallel parenting regimes. The courts seem to understand that some ex's can't stand each other...but are still great parents and deserve an equal relationship.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:28 PM
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False Allegations to create a slimy, false status quo (cheating the system):

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
I also think the biggest problem with getting 50/50 to be the starting point is the quick reaction to false allegations. I know every complaint SHOULD be looked at but when its used maliciously it should show up in the custody discussions.
It's a quick fix for many parents to get what they want. The "shock and awe" card is played far too often to manufacture a false status quo.

The judge in my case saw the false status quo, saw the gate keeping and denials and turned it around quickly for me. Unfortunately many judges don't. Abuse is tricky. It needs to be addressed and caution needs to be erred.

But what happens when the smoke clears and one parent hasn't seen their child for months due to false allegations but runs in to the new status quo wall that the other parent so cleverly built (complete manipulation of the system). Why do we get Jay walking and parking tickets but this nonsense is condoned?

The MOMENT abuse is not verified the child should be returned to the other parent (who was accused) as the accusing parent should be deemed not fit to properly parent in my view. If you can do that to another human being (a loving parent) and more importantly a CHILD, you require a heavy penalty and supervised visits.

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Old 01-09-2017, 02:35 PM
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The MOMENT abuse is not verified the child should be returned to the other parent (who was accused) as the accusing parent should be deemed not fit to properly parent in my view. If you can do that to another human being (a loving parent) and more importantly a CHILD, you require a heavy penalty and supervised visits.[/QUOTE]

The only problem with penalties for "false" accusations is the ability to determine whether the accusations were made maliciously knowing they were false, or whether the other parent truly believed there was a basis for an accusation, despite the accusation not being able to be proven formally.

I believe both scenarios exist and while malicious false accusations are deplorable and inexcusable whether for custody battles or any other reason, there are times when things which were not able to be proven actually occurred or at least there was a genuine basis for the concern.

Having said all that, on the topic of 50/50, I do think 50/50 should be the presumed starting point once the parents separate and variations of that should be on a case by case basis with strong evidence and reasoning required to support deviation from that if both parents want it. (Sometimes one parent does not want or is not able have 50/50)
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:51 PM
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Good post Peaceful. I would tend to agree with everything you said.

Australia seems to be a bit ahead of us, as is QC in presuming 50/50 after separation..as well as dealing with abuse/violence allegations.

Quote:
1.1 The new family law system and the Family Law Violence Strategy

In Australia, the considerable interest in family violence and child protection within the context of family law derives in part from sweeping changes to the family law system introduced by the Australian Government on 1 July 2006. These changes include: (a) changes to services in the form of new and expanded programs to help families strengthen relationships or deal constructively with separation-related disputes (the "centrepiece" of which is a new network of 65 Family Relationship Centres being established during 2006, 2007 and 2008); (b) changes to the law, as embodied in the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 (Cth) (with shared parental responsibility being supported by less adversarial procedures in all child-related cases that reach the stage of litigation after July 2007); and (c) changes to child support, as set out in the Child Support Legislation Amendment (Reform of the Child Support Scheme - New Formula and Other Measures) Act 2006 (Cth).

The changes have raised a number of important issues in relation to family violence and child abuse. For instance, the legislation has created a rebuttable presumption that parents will equally share parental responsibility for their children after separation. But the presumption does not hold as a default position where family violence and/or child abuse has occurred. Allegations of violence or child abuse and responses to such allegations are pivotal, because where there is joint parental responsibility after separation, the Court now has a responsibility, subject to the particular circumstances that are relevant to the welfare of the children in that case, to consider making orders for the children to spend equal or else substantial or significant periods of time with each parent.https://aifs.gov.au/publications/all...hild-abuse-and
The courts have a tough job indeed, and it will continue to be tough for them as long as some parents continue gate keeping and launching false allegations for leverage.

I still think that if Parent A has been caught red handed in a lie (false allegations) that they should be stripped of custody and have supervised access. They are not fit to parent a child if that's how they have learned to handle situations in life.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeacefulMoments View Post
Having said all that, on the topic of 50/50, I do think 50/50 should be the presumed starting point once the parents separate and variations of that should be on a case by case basis with strong evidence and reasoning required to support deviation from that if both parents want it. (Sometimes one parent does not want or is not able have 50/50)
What about parents who are fighting tooth and nail for an equal relationship? Spending ridiculous amounts of time/money against gatekeeping parents, in the absence of any abuse, major routine disruptions and with a solid parenting plan? Even if they had cold feet and made some bad decisions to not be there in the beginning? (Graduated schedule, etc)

I think they should have the chance, whether mother or father, to in the very least prove themselves as a 50/50 parent, regardless of how much their ex hates them.
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