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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 08-30-2017, 05:10 PM
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Default New research supports shared custody for children in divorce

What two factors vastly increase the likelihood of a healthy and happy future for kids after divorce?

Mom — and Dad

Quote:
With the important exception of children who need protection from an abusive or negligent parent, "shared parenting should be the norm for parenting plans for children of all ages, including very young children," said Linda Nielsen, a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University.

It's difficult to believe that, in 2017, this even is a question. But statistics show that mothers still are awarded full physical custody of children in more than 80 percent of court-ordered child custody cases.

One big reason for the inequity is a decades-long belief by judges and others that conflict between divorcing parents (which is to be expected at this difficult passage) will cause too much stress for children. Those wary of establishing shared parenting argue that it places children in the middle of disagreements, pressures them into loyalty conflicts or forces them to side with one parent against the other.

Their thinking is that it's better to formally place the children in Mom's household for stability and let Dad parent one night a week and every other weekend.

In a new study, Nielsen re-examined this notion — with surprising results.

"The role of conflict has too often been exaggerated and should not be the determining factor in child custody decisions," said Nielsen, who has researched father-daughter bonds for more than 25 years.

Even the concept of conflict is problematic, Nielsen said, "because it is difficult to define or to assess reliably, in part because parents sometimes exaggerate or provoke conflict to 'win' sole custody."

In addition, conflict typically subsides within the first few years after separation, but custody decisions often last a childhood.

Nielsen reexamined 44 previously published studies on divorce conflict and its impact on children. She set out to answer four questions:

• To what extent do less conflict and a cooperative co-parenting relationship benefit children?

• Do children whose parents are in legal battles or who take their custody disputes to court have worse outcomes than children whose parents reach a custody agreement without high legal conflict?

• If children live with each parent at least 35 percent of the time in a shared-parenting scenario, are the outcomes significantly better if their parents have little to no conflict and work closely together as a friendly co-parenting team?

• And, do parents in shared arrangements have significantly less conflict and more communicative, cooperative co-parenting relationships?

She did not find strong support for the belief that high conflict and poor co-parenting mean poor outcomes for children.

What she did find is that the quality of the parent-child relationship, with both the father and the mother, trumped everything else.

"Forget that it's divorce," she said. "Think about growing up in a married home. Of course, it bothers kids when their parents quarrel. Conflict does matter. But what we're saying is that the quality of your relationship with your parents matters a whole lot more than the parents' relationship with each other."

Her study was published in Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, a journal of the American Psychological Association.

To truly help families move forward with the best interests of children front and center, Nielsen believes, the focus should be on developing programs and policies that strengthen the child's relationship with each parent and reducing children's exposure to conflict, "rather than assuming that joint physical custody is not an option."

There is growing support for that sentiment.

Children in shared custody arrangements "do considerably better on every measure, from school success, to fewer teen pregnancies and drug use, to having optimism for the future," said Dr. Ned Holstein, a public health practitioner and founder of the National Parents Organization (natioalparentsorganization.org), which aims to reform family court practices.

Holstein noted that in the past year, Missouri and Kentucky have passed "excellent shared parenting legislation," following states including Utah, Arizona and Alaska.

"If you want to hasten the process of healing, or at least tolerance, the worst thing you can do is declare one person a winner and one person a loser," he said.
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:37 AM
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Here is the original link in case anyone wants to look. It is by a writer at the newspaper. I didn't read the entire thing as I don't have much time for opinion papers.

Rosenblum: New research supports shared custody for children in divorce | Star Tribune
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:23 AM
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Default Other research supporting the importance of dads in the lives of children

Other carefully designed and conducted research showing the importance of dads in the lives of children include that done by Bauzerman:

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releas...3/custody.aspx

and ongoing research by Sara McLanahan and others in a joint study between Princeton and Colombia Universities called Fragile Families and Childhood Wellbeing.

Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study |

This is a longitudinal study of 5000 children which has been following the that group of children for about 15 years. It has been finding gross negative outcomes more common in children who don't have substantial time with their dad.

I don't know whether Canadian judges who are responsible for executing a "best interests test" have any education about what is in the best interests of children. It might be interesting to find out...
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:48 AM
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I don't know whether Canadian judges who are responsible for executing a "best interests test" have any education about what is in the best interests of children. It might be interesting to find out...
They don't. That's why we have the OCL. Judges are nowhere near qualified to comment and decide what is in the best interests of a child in a given family. To do that, they would need training in social work, which they don't have. Having lawyers / judges make decisions for children and families (without any input from neutral and impartial Social Workers) is just asking for trouble.

There are plentiful of research showing how beneficial to children joint and shared custody arrangements are.

Here is another:

Children of divorce may not face added stress from joint custody - Health - CBC News

and some more

Quote:
studies have consistently reported that joint custody parents report significantly less burden and stress in their lives than sole custody/primary residence parents, as sole responsibility for day-to-day attention to the child’s needs is not placed on either the mother or the father, resulting in better quality parent-child relationships
The constraints of traditional “access” relationships are well documented; closeness, warmth, and mutual understanding are elusive when parenting within the constraints of thin slices of time. Meaningful relationships are developed and sustained through emotional connectedness, and this is made possible through the emotional stability and security of meaningful (fair and equal) parenting time.

Attachment bonds are formed through mutual participation in daily routines, including bedtime and waking rituals, transitions to and from school, and extracurricular and recreational activities. There is a direct correlation between quantity of time and quality of parent-child relationships, as high quality relationships between parents and children are not possible without sufficient, routine time to develop and sustain a quality relationship. And children’s adjustment is furthered by primary relationships with both mothers and fathers (Fabricius et al, 2011). For children, primary attachment bonds are not possible within the constraints of “access” or "visitation."
Quality of parent-child attachments is also largely dependent on the well-beingof parents. Parent well-being is furthered with equal or shared parenting, as neither parent is threatened with the loss of his or her children(Bauserman, 2012). The highest rate of depression among adults is among parents who have a dependent child but are unable to maintain a meaningful relationship with that child.

Cowan compared 20 joint custody and 20 sole (maternal) custody families. Children in joint custody were rated as better adjusted by their mothers compared with children of sole custody mothers. The children's perceptions in sole custody situations correlated with the amount of time spent with their father! The more time children from sole maternal custody spent with their fathers, the more accepting BOTH parents were perceived to be, and the more well-adjusted were the children.
Source: D.B. Cowan, "Mother Custody vs. Joint Custody: Children's Parental Relationship and Adjustment." Doctoral Thesis, 1982. University of Washington. UMI No. 82-18213
DATA & STUDIES supporting the need for equal parenting

EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH SOLE CUSTODY

The continued involvement of the non-custodial parent in the child's life appears crucial in preventing an intense sense of loss in the child... The importance of the relationship with the non-custodial parent may also have implications for the legal issues of custodial arrangements and visitation. The results of this study indicate that arrangements where both parents are equally involved with the child are optimal. When this type of arrangement is not possible, the child's continued relationship with the non-custodial parent remains essential.
Source: Young Adult Children of Divorced Parents: Depression and the Perception of Loss, Rebecca L. Drill, P.h.D., Harvard University. Journal of Divorce, V.10, #1/2, Fall/Winter 1986.DATA & STUDIES supporting the need for equal parenting

Last edited by trinton; 08-31-2017 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:56 AM
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Here is the original link in case anyone wants to look. It is by a writer at the newspaper. I didn't read the entire thing as I don't have much time for opinion papers.

Rosenblum: New research supports shared custody for children in divorce | Star Tribune
You're just biased against fathers.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by trinton View Post
You're just biased against fathers.


The OLC isn't much better... many fathers have had their reports thrown out and argued against the recommendation of the reports... in surprise you think they are more suited


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Old 08-31-2017, 12:06 PM
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The OLC isn't much better... many fathers have had their reports thrown out and argued against the recommendation of the reports.
Define many? 1% ? 2% maybe 3% ?

There are definitely incompetent OCL social workers / lawyers, just as there are incompetent lawyers / judges, but a competent OCL social worker would do laps around a competent Judge. At least the OCL personally knows the child (and the parents) and has observed the child's relationship with each parent.

Last edited by trinton; 08-31-2017 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:41 PM
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Judges are nowhere near qualified to comment and decide what is in the best interests of a child in a given family.
that is the scariest part of the whole system. Judges are basing their decisions on law, they are not basing their decisions on their professional expereinces and education on child development and family systems theories, as that is not what they are trained to do. The hope is that the system has build in safe guards from the qualified experts, but I think you have to ask for that to happen? I am about to go to my first court experience and it is all about my affidavit vs, my former partners affidavit, and the judges decision. There will be no child development expert there. So the judge only has two differnt view points to consider, both of which will have their own bias'.


As far as the article, this was comparing children of divorce and amount of access/ conflict. I wonder how similar thoughts would fair in intact families and comparing those with strong relationships with children vs. parent who are checked out and not building strong relationships with children. there are most certainly times when parents are married and live in the same home, yet are still not involved, neglectful and not building strong relationships. Also another point to consider is high conflict within marriage vs high conflict out of marriage. Surely neither is very good for children, but which one is worse? A rock and a hard place for sure.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:32 PM
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You're just biased against fathers.
LOL. Of course I must be. When all you have is a hammer......
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:20 PM
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LOL. Of course I must be. When all you have is a hammer......
Just goes out to prove how biased against equal relationship to fathers you are absent of any abuse or neglect.. You are right.. When you're a hammer then every research about shared parenting is a nail.
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