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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 05-16-2006, 05:08 PM
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Default Why 'shared' custody?

All the discussion and dissention around the shared custody issue has got me to thinking about this: How many of the NCP's who file for shared custody do you think do it for the RIGHT reason.. actually WANTING to be a parent as much of the time as possible??

Ok, obviously no one will be open to admitting that if their child support obligation was not affected they wouldn't want shared custody, so we'll probably never get a realistic answer to this question, but I know the courts were absolutely flooded with NCP's claiming they had the kids 40%+ when it became a definitive determining factor for CS amounts.

In addition to those looking for reduced CS and additional tax incentives, there are those who're looking for revenge against their ex, and those looking for some 'fear-leverage' to get a favorable settlement.

I'm thinking that while there are many NCPs who genuinely WANT to play a larger role in parenting than just exercising access would afford them, there are many more than most people realize who are working for their own agenda, and not that of the kids' best interests. The same thing likely holds true for a lot of people who were not the primary caregivers within the marriage, but are now seeking access time that exceeds that which they ever spent with the children when the marriage was intact.

What do you think?
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:38 PM
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I think you simply need to re-title your post to "Why NOT shared parenting" and then apply your same reasoning - yet in reverse.

Regardless of motives, the key difference in the two scenarios; children are shared equally with their parents and both parents have equal say. To me, that should be the default right of all children and all parents.
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Old 05-16-2006, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
I'm thinking that while there are many NCPs who genuinely WANT to play a larger role in parenting than just exercising access would afford them, there are many more than most people realize who are working for their own agenda, and not that of the kids' best interests. The same thing likely holds true for a lot of people who were not the primary caregivers within the marriage, but are now seeking access time that exceeds that which they ever spent with the children when the marriage was intact
My experience as a mediator is that both parties carry a position into the mediation process - or, as you call it, an agenda. The 40% rule of the child support guidelines (which is now hopefully a thing of the past) often placed either parent in a position of wanting to collect support and not be agreeable to shared parenting and the opposite for the other parent.

When we talk about the term "primary care" it's important that it is a term that has no real meaning under law and therefore, one or both parties are placed in a position of having to assert that they were the primary caregiver and the other parent was not. This creates conflict and tension. The term in itself is problematic - for what is the unit of measurement in determining primary care? Is it a division of household labour? Is it the number of hours/day either parent spends with the kids?

What generally happens is that the use of the term, being purely open to interpretation, compells many a family court judge to defer to his/her values in defining the term - perhaps this is one of the reasons why father's rights activists claim there is a bias in the system.

The power of language during a divorce dispute cannot be understated. As with "primary care", two other words that do have meaning under the law tend to in my personal opinion act to increase conflict, namely "Custody" and "Access". I don't like these terms - never have. But people sure fight to ensure that language is written into a Consent Order of a separation agreement.

Last edited by Divorcemanagement; 05-16-2006 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:13 PM
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With my own first hand experience;

I have a shared 50-50 custody regime in place for a number of years. "Our" child is thriving having BOTH parents equally involved in their life in a meaningful way.

Child support is not an issue. Tabled amount of CS is paid. In addition, I provide a home for our child. I am always purchasing clothing, and items that our child requires. Our child is free to bring these items back and forth between the homes. I also pay 100% of dental and I also provide an extended health benefit.

I believe the majority of people are very sincere and desire to be actively involved in their children's lives in a meaningful way. They don't want to be marginalized out of the child's life to a few days a month when they and the child were use to seeing each other every day. How can this be in the child's interest to do so. I don't think payable child support reduction has much to do with it. Shared custody regimes actually cost MORE money.

Ultimately is the child's best interest that will determine the custody regime.

LV
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divorcemanagement
My experience as a mediator is that both parties carry a position into the mediation process - or, as you call it, an agenda.

What I'm referring to when I say "agenda" is a purpose suiting oneself as opposed to a purpose of unselfish goals... ie. that of the children's best interests.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Divorcemanagement
When we talk about the term "primary care" it's important that it is a term that has no real meaning under law and therefore, one or both parties are placed in a position of having to assert that they were the primary caregiver and the other parent was not.

While I did read that DecentDad hates the term, it is a term that describes a situation that is relevant. Change the term, whatever.. most of the time it is very obvious who was 'primary' in the child/children's care.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Divorcemanagement
What generally happens is that the use of the term, being purely open to interpretation, compells many a family court judge to defer to his/her values in defining the term - perhaps this is one of the reasons why father's rights activists claim there is a bias in the system.

Sean, your personal values are coming through here; what is your stance as an unbiased moderator?
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity
Ultimately is the child's best interest that will determine the custody regime.

LV

Yes, IF the system works the way it's designed to. I think many people abuse the system, and it's evident in the flood of cases the courts were hit with when the 40% rule came in, don't you think?
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Sean, your personal values are coming through here; what is your stance as an unbiased moderator?
My stance is that I have an opinion and personal values - though I am a moderator, it doesn't preclude me from stating an opinon or expressing my values. Interestingly, family court judges also have opinions and values - those opinions and values often shape their decisions... it's an inescapable fact.

Last edited by Divorcemanagement; 05-16-2006 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:27 PM
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The answer is simple, it is what is most fair to the children. Every reason you give for NCP wanting custody can be used the other way around for the custodial parent wanting custody. I can't even imagine why it would be any other way. Shared custody really works. (If one parent or the other doesn't try to sabatoge it....)
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasha1
While I did read that DecentDad hates the term, it is a term that describes a situation that is relevant. Change the term, whatever.. most of the time it is very obvious who was 'primary' in the child/children's care.
I dislike the term because it is a term of litigation. It is term of a person with an agenda. It is one of my red flag words that means you are in for a bumpy ride.

It is only used in custody and access wars. As I stated, it is a check box of great weight in swaying a judge's opinion. So off everyone goes defining who and what a PG is, all at $250 per hour.

Your opinion of what is revalant to your child may be completely different from your ex's opinion what is revalant to your child. And as Sean states, you get into all kinds of goofy wars like; Hey I changed 6 diapers today, I'm the PG. Hey, but I built the change table, so I'm the PG.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:10 PM
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Regardless of who PG was during marriage it should not make a difference at divorce. Most agree you don't divorce the children only the other parent, if you follow this logic then whoever spent more time with child becomes unimportant or so it should. Of course it is not viewed this way...yet..
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