Ottawa Divorce .com Forums

User CP

New posts


  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Political Issues

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.

Closed Thread
Thread Tools
Old 04-25-2009, 06:44 PM
SilverLining SilverLining is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 23
SilverLining is on a distinguished road
Default Opinion

The main priority for any family should be the children. While the arguement could be that the two parents simply dissagree about what is best for the child, in my research and experience I do not hear enough discussion of the child’s needs but hear more about the needs of the parent. Is the argument that the time with the non primary parent is more important that the stability and consistency and predictability for the child? It goes without saying that Gender itself should not determine the residence and time with the child.

Parenting time: Decisions should be made based on an attempt to make as little changes to the child as possible. The child’s life should be predictable and reliable and should also be based on the child’s age. If a child has a primary caregiver then it should be determined so and respected. (Note: Let's not debate sematics of this description of the person who has been the most and significantly involved in the child's life. Even in law if it not written, the judge still understands it to be de facto, by the amount of parenting time for instance. So, Semantics aside...) The primary caregiver of a small child for example should continue to do so with the child having a reasonable amount of time away from that primary caregiver, preferably a schedule that closely reflects what they are accustomed to.
If It is determined that the child/ren would be suited for an equal time sharing schedule, then one must ask if the parents are able to do that. One suggestion would be to start with a primary care arrangement and then through manditory counselling teach the parents how to get along. Once the parents have achieved and proven their ability to communicate well without conflict, then a shared parenting would and should be welcomed. At no point do I think there should ever be an assumtion of shared parenting legislated. Each case should be determined on an individual basis and focusing not on the needs of the parents to have equal "control" over their child but on what would be best for the child and what arrangement would be the easiest transition for them.

Parenting arrangement, ie "Joint or shared decision making": An arrangement with parents should be done so without the assumption that the parents will be able to communicate well. A shared parenting arrangement or even a joint parenting arrangement requires more cooperation, friendliness and mutual respect that was very likely there within the relationship and probably not there even more so in the separation. If the parents are unable to get along, then a shared parenting arrangement just puts the child in the middle. And would not be in the childs best interest. To make that legislation is faulty.

Main residence: Joint parenting, and shared parenting, are relatively new concepts. There has been little evidence to determine the long term effects on children in shared parenting. What is the cost if the children are used as frizbees between homes, and dealing with the uncertainty of a difficult schedule, and being in between hostile parents forced to communicate without the skills or resources? Most of us grew up with a main residence. I would argue that stability of the homelife would be key. One should know where to hang their hat. That being said, if the parents and the children are suited to having two home bases, then they should be able to do so, and will be healthy.

Possible solutions: court is never a good solution. So legislation is not a good solution. Parents are often stuck in a paradox: can’t make a decision on their own, too much hurt and conflict, no one to help them make a decision on their own, no one to help them gain the respect and communication skills required to avoid court. (mediation is a good alternative, but not when there is a power imbalance. Counselling would have to come before mediation). The parents, in applying for help to find a solution and in applying to court, are forced to retain a lawyer. The lawyer is good at law and court, but again, court is not in the best interest of the parents or the children since it almost never results in a fair solution for all people involved, children included.

Therefore my suggested solution is to focus on lobbying for free marital, preseparation and separation counselling. The main goal of the court is to keep you out of court. And one way or another, for the best interest of the child, both parents must learn to get along, and get along well. No matter what the parenting arrangement. So, the better one gets along with their ex spouse, the more likely that time with the children will be easier. On everyone. In the best interest of the children, I propose that we must demand for more health resources such as counselling, to encourage parents to heal, to be friends if they want to or are able, to set a good example for their children, and to put the child first. If the parents are able to communicate then they may be more able to make their own parenting arrangements. Its possible with the right assistance, (caveaot being abuse, of course) that both parents can find a flexible schedule, which allows for stability for the children without having to miss their other parent, without the absent parent being heartbroken, and the parents become alies. Maybe even friends, if they are lucky. Perhaps, they will be better people and better to eachother, and not worse, that they were when they were together.
In that case, sharing time with the children would be more possible, with both parents around with little or no hostilty and to teach the child about inclusiveness, and not to exclude someone you care about. They should be able to have both their parents, or either of them, when the child needs it. And that would make for the ultimate goal: a happy and healthy child who won't repeat their parent's history.
Then, Alternative solutions could be more easily found, like the “bird’s nest” concept. Or finding more time during the week, and sharing the work load. If one person wants to change something, then the approach required is total teamwork, even more so than if they were married. And even in such often contemptuous areas such as relocation. As I said and which most case law supports: both parents would have to get along better than they did before for shared parenting to work. So, they require the resources to do so.
Enforcement: support is difficult to enforce and court enforcement of access usually results in punishing the child or using them as a tool, ie, taking away care and control of the child by the primary parent. I would argue that the court solution is not the best one. The court would agree with me.*Also: An assumption of shared parenting disregards situations of abuse (which is very difficult to prove) and would require litigation, a sport for the rich, and one that creates more hostility between the parties.

Money or support should be a table amount based on equalising the incomes of both parents to make it fair. A 2 bedroom apartment does not cost less if you have the child for half the time, for example. Support should be a table amount and based on income, not time with the child.

To sum up: more rehabilitate, less legislate.

Hurt is hurt. The time that the child is away from the primary parent may hurt just as much as the time the child is away from the non primary parent. Time spent does not in itself determine who hurts more. It also does not determine who is valued or more important or in the eyes of the child. No matter whether the time shared is 50/50 or a "traditional access schedule, both parents are equally valuable in the eyes of the child. To argue the opposite would only to argue that the parental ego is more important than the individual needs of the child. The time with both parents should be reasonable, and determined by the child’s age, routine and needs.
We must find more respect and compassion, to change this cycle. If people continue to have such hositlity for their former partners, then eliminating conlict between the parents outweighs time and forced communication with the parents. Legislation doesn't change that. Social programs do.
Respect, forgiveness and compassion. In that order.
*It should be noted, that the UN last October (2008) recently reprimanded Canada for its unequal treatment of women in the family court and for not living up to its promise of equality for women. Upon presentations by many groups including the government, The UN recognised that the pendulum has swung too far the other way, which has created unequal treatment in law, has created a double standard, and taken away women's rights in the process. An assumption of shared parenting would go against the UN's recomendations for fair and equal treatment.

Please do not support Bill M483. Ask your MP to create a new bill that would be more fair to everyone, the children most importantly.
Thank you.
Closed Thread

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spousal support and career - what is your opinion on this? billm General Chat 14 11-27-2013 11:37 AM
My Opinion on the Irony of Spousal Support Ontario_Dad_41162 Divorce & Family Law 9 11-24-2013 07:03 PM
Opinion please Concerned1 Financial Issues 5 06-09-2011 04:18 PM
Opinion on an issue Gord Shell Divorce & Family Law 13 01-31-2010 12:31 AM
Opinion please Aden Parenting Issues 5 11-24-2005 10:46 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:26 AM.