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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2006, 05:42 PM
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Default This whole "shared parenting" thing...

I've been biting my proverbial tongue for a long time about this, but I'm gonna ask it now. The whole notion of 50/50 parenting... children live with Mom from sunday evening to wednesday morning, then go to school, and Dad picks them up from school that eve. They live with Dad from wednesday after school until saturday morning at 9am, then back to Mom's house until the following wednesday morning, when they go to school again. Then they live with Dad from wednesday after school until Sunday evening again....

The parents wind up with 50/50 parenting time, and I'm sure in many cases, these parents are busy calculating the hours and days, just to make damn sure.

I'm all for the notion of each parent playing an active role in the kids' lives, and encouraging the unique contribution that each parent can offer, but I really think it stinks that in order to do that, kids are shuffled from one home to the next.. one set of rules, values, parenting standards, etc., to the next.. essentially, one life to the next. Maybe I'm late in reading the latest issue of Parenting Today, but didn't we at least agree on the importance of consistency in the children's lives? When did that change? Does anyone consider what this does to the kids? Am I the only one who views this approach as 'the next best thing to chopping the kids in half'??
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Old 04-25-2006, 05:55 PM
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thank god - someone who actually believes in reality parenting. Even in a marriage there is no such thing is 50 50 parenting. But yes everything that's written about child rearing is about consistency for kids and regular rules. Kids are not clay that can be constantly molded. I know in my case it irks me that the ex is now spending more time with our daughter than in the last 9 years - however it won't last long - he loses interest easily. This was a major problem with the marriage - he didn't get involved in the day to day stuff - ie. homework, parties, talking, bathing etc... Now it's all about his rights as a parent - isn't that just confusing for her - I'm not exagerating - she was only 6 and complained about him not doing stuff with her or even being around.
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 2hopefull
thank god - someone who actually believes in reality parenting. Even in a marriage there is no such thing is 50 50 parenting.
I hear you! When my ex and I were still together, he did a lot toward being an 'active parent' for the first few monthes, but it wasn't long before drinking and partying gradually worked in to be his main focus again, and the only time he paid attention to being a father was when we'd go somewhere with the kids.. then he'd act like the "involved" father, and soak up all the attention that comes with twin babies. But when we weren't in public or at some family function (only HIS family's functions, mind you), he was quite readily finding excuses to be "busy" doing things that took him out of the house. NOW, though, his affidavits are filled with BS about how "involved" he was as a parent... ugh, enough to make me sick! And although these affidavits are sworn, no one seems to give a damn when you can prove much of it is false!
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:53 PM
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Shared parenting takes a lot of work but many families are successful and the children thrive.

Consistency and stability is important. Children are often shuffled from one routine to the next. It happens every year while they are school. Change is uninvited. If a split week is not appropriate, there is always alternate weeks.

It is even better when 2 adult individuals can put the bittersweet behind and put the children first. Communicate with the other parent in regards to consistent schedule such as bed times meal times and rules.

Even in a sole custody regime and and alternate weekend contact regimes consistency and stability are just as important.

Children can handle more than you think they can.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:36 PM
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Default re shared parenting

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that shared parenting had the express intention of preventing one parent from lauding it over the other on matters of religion/school/ medical treatment etc. Shared parenting if respected by both parents should give each other an equal say in what is happening to their children at a given time or circumstance.
To me the best effect of this is that it may eliminate or at least minimize any chance of Parent Alienation by one spouse to the other.Simply stated shared parenting I think should equalize the playing field.
On the other hand 50/50 access and visitation is not only fair to the parents , who in many cases are simply at polar opposites. but also fair to the children who certainly have a right to equal time with each parent.But 50/50 access is a far cry from shared parenting.
I fully agree that it contradicts most of our accepted ideals as to what is right for the child (ren).Again if the two parents could get together , by mediation if nessecary then I think a lot of the caveats about consistency ,or lack there of could be avoided.No one said this would be easy. But what about acting in the best interest of the child.Certainly seeing a loving caring parent half of the time can not be judged as unfair to the child.In fact is it not the right of the child and should these rights not supercede our own.
In my own case I am struggling to get 50/50 access , and shared parenting, even though the OCL has recognised and supports that as the father I should have sole custody.I simply donnot see sole custody as the best alternative for my children. I do believe that their mother has lots to offer these children, but then so do I.I cannot understand how reducing either parent to access status does anything but undermine the child parent relationship---again sending us down the road to parent alienation.
I don't know if this has helped but I truly feel if the best interest of the children has not been served and their rights are treated as something that parents can wheel, deal, and withold then we've failed. Collectively, legally and socially.
It was hardly the fault of the children,should they have to suffer the loss of a parent too?
As far as rules, decorrum,bedtimes, chores, priviledges etc, that I think is the basis of the complaint re: shared parenting.Wouldn't it be better to work these little issues out now rather then having to work out why "Johnny is joyriding in cars or Sissy won't come home at night"My dad always said little kids little problems , big kids big problems", So is it not a choice--- work togehter now or be forced to work together later?
I'm sure shared parenting must be a night mare for those with a "black and white these are the rules ex-spouse" If you are only in the preliminary stages talking with a social worker who specializes in child issues might be the ticket.
It was not my intention to take a soap box position here but I truly would like to see things better for all children who must suffer through two fools gettng a divorce ,----including my own.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:16 PM
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Ok, my bad; I'm not talking about co-parenting issues. I'm talking about the children having to "move" back and forth between Mom's home and Dad's home over 100 times per year! Where's the consistency? Security? What, the kid has consistency and security x2? Is that the idea, supposedly? Seems kids of military families often have issues, having to relocate (and that's WITH their family) every 6 months or whatever. But it's supposed to be a good thing when you force the kid to move every three days, huh? Sorry; not buying it.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:10 AM
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Default Shared Parenting

When the subject of shared parenting comes up, I take notice for a number of reasons. Chief among them (and this thread kind of confirms what I am about to say) is the fact that parents (and generally the entire family law system for that matter) tends to look at the issue of shared parenting as "who gets the kids on what day" versus " is there agreement on the way in which child care will occur in both homes".

Conflict increases when there is no similar structure to parenting routines in both homes - moreover, conflict can go through the roof when a parenting arrangement is not governed by a comprehensive parenting plan that has built in mechanism for dealing with conflict.

Children can thrive in an equal time sharing arrangement, but only if both parents have addressed the way in which child care will occur - this minimizes the likelihood for conflict and places emphasis on actual parenting versus the days on a calendar that children will be spending with each parent.

I generally say to clients (and when I am mediating I always do this) "Let's put the issue of who gets the kids on what day over here for a while and let's simply talk about child care". My rationale is that there is no point in talking about the time share arrangement until we have agreement on the way in which child care will occur. If we get agreement - then I bring the time share arrangement back onto the table.

Most of the objections to shared parenting have everything to do with the functions of child care. So if one can get agreement on child care, there is an increased likelihood that shared parenting can work because we have taken proactive steps to reduce conflict and create methods of supporting the children in both homes from the start.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 08:14 AM
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2hopefull is on a distinguished road

the shuffling is not good for them - especially if their best friend is next door, another down the street, the specific books etc. My ex will only be able to get his family and friends to say how involved he was, considering I took her to every appointment (his job was more important, or he got too stressed at doctors etc...), our daughter's friends were surprised to find out that I wasn't already a single mother.

So Sasha1 it seems we were married to the same person.

Really I wouldn't mind at all if things could be civil and if the decisions were based for the best interest of my child - however I know him (15 years off the same routine) he'll be on good behaviour, then will tire out, until he wants something and the whole cycle begins - and who suffers? I'm the one that dealt with the fallout with the intro of the new girlfriend, when he would cancel or show up early and all the broken promises of playing outside etc durng the marriage - if it were a sincere effort and it was not just to suck more money out of me, also he only started this when he found out child support is law - he also changed employers for a lower paying position - surprise - not.

This has nothing to do with him being a male or father but for the self-absorbed person that thinks everything is a right including children - as long as that right pertains to themselves.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 08:19 AM
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This has nothing to do with him being a male or father but for the self-absorbed person that thinks everything is a right including children - as long as that right pertains to themselves
And this is the primary reason why parents need to frame all of the issues from the perspective of how the children can/will benefit. Taking the child-centered approach often smokes out people who have an agenda that has everything to do with their issues or their perception that they are advocating for their rights versus the rights and needs of the children.

For example - rather than talk about "who gets the kids on what day", try a strategy that goes like this:

"Dear (insert former spouse's name here)

Recently the conflict between us has increased when we have been talking about the kids and I am wondering if you would be agreeable to meeting with me and child psychologist during this very difficult time. I'm sure you would agree that we should both work closely to reduce conflict and introduce new and better ways of supporting the children. I understand that you would like a shared parenting arrangement, and while I am not against the idea of shared parenting, it's important that we have a degree of cooperation between us to make shared parenting work.

I believe that working in partnership with a child psychologist is an excellent way of addressing the current parenting arrangement. Perhaps we can both incorporate his/her ideas into a parenting plan and try it out for a while. If it works, I would be more than happy to look at ways of increasing the children's time with you.

Warm Regards

Last edited by Divorcemanagement; 04-26-2006 at 08:24 AM.
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2006, 09:42 AM
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One of the neatest solutions that I heard about was what my lawyer called nesting. The idea being the kids stay in the house and the parents are the ones who shuffle. They each have their own little places and they go to the house for 3 days at a time. They have also tried the week on week off thing as well.

Another family I know have houses very close to each other - both walking distance to the child's school. The 3 days on 3 days off works well for that because of the distance. The child can pop into her mom's to get something. She can still have her set of friend on the street to play with etc.

Both these solutions were very child centered and work because of that. I don't know how long the first one will last but even if it is only a couple of years it gives the kids a chance to adapt.
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